Bill Cosby and the Kansas City Symphony will appear Jan. 12, 1991, at the opening of the Johnson County Community College's Cultural Education Center, officials announced Thursday.
The comedian and the orchestra will play in the 1,400-seat theater, part of the $23 million, 163,000 square-foot building that includes a 400-seat theater and an experimental theater space.
The arts center is on the community college campus at College Boulevard and Quivera Road in Lenexa, about -mile south of the Quivira Road exit on Interstate 435.
After the official opening, the arts center will play host to a series of performances by the symphony and other Kansas City performing groups, including the Lyric Opera and the State Ballet of Missouri.
AT THE MOMENT, the center's administrators plan to concentrate their marketing strategies on the Johnson County area rather than in areas west and south of the center, said Jackie Snyder, the college's assistant dean for community services.
"Right now, we're trying to draw an audience from the Johnson County community," she said. "They may not have had an introduction to the arts, and there's a large audience here."
Now in the final stages of construction, the arts center is a large, red-brick building attached to the main college campus. The common lobby for the theaters is entered from the north and has a skylight.
WHEN COMPLETED, the center will be the first of three new venues for the arts in northeastern Kansas. An art center in Topeka is scheduled to open in April of 1991, and the Lied Center for the Performing Arts at Kansas University could be completed by early 1993.
"I think there will be enough room for all of these centers," Snyder said.
The 1991 schedule for the center includes:
Jan. 12: Opening night with the Kansas City Symphony and Bill Cosby.
Feb. 1-3: The Missouri Repertory Theatre in "Woody Guthrie's American Song."
Feb. 13: "Kansas City Jazz Reunion," with local jazz artists.
March 2: The American Dance Theatre.
April 5,7: AMAN Folk Ensemble.
March 16: The State Ballet of Missouri.
April 27: The Lyric Opera in "HMS Pinafore."
May 10,11: The Kansas City Symphony in "Exploring the World of Igor Stravinsky."