KC officials say city not ready for large venue events yet


KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson is phasing into the state’s reopening. But one opening is stirring up controversy. The governor says concerts in large venues are OK.

However, Kansas City officials don’t think the city is ready to make that move quite yet.

If you’re looking to catch a show at the Starlight Theater, you’ll have to wait at least until July. After canceling or postponing many of their concerts and Broadway shows, the theater hopes to save what’s left of their already short season. 

“We do plan on opening in mid-July. Our first show is likely to be ‘Escape to Margaritaville” Broadway show. That swears they’re still coming and are touring. So we’ll see,” Starlight Theater President & CEO, Richard Baker said.

Right now, Baker and his team are in the process of drafting up a plan that will be submitted to Mayor Quinton Lucas. It’ll outline how the theater will implement safety measures upon reopening.   

“My guess is that it will probably entail our people probably being in masks and food service people in gloves as well. We will work on social distancing,” Baker said. 

They can seat 8,000 patrons. But a small capacity can only work for so long.  

“If we get to July and the mayor is still saying we can only go at 25 percent capacity. That’s not enough seats to even pay for the show,” Baker said. 

Other venues like The Truman are also hoping to open soon, following the mayor’s guidelines.  

“It’s still up in the air. There’s not anything really set in stone yet. We’re hopeful that we’ll see concerts this year, definitely,” The Truman Assistant General Manager, Casey Osburn said. 

Just like The Truman, Starlight Theater is looking ahead to an uncertain, but hopeful future. 

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