Exterior of the Starlight Theatre

DESCRIPTION: Presenting Broadway entertainment since 1951, Starlight Theatre is Kansas City’s oldest and largest performing arts organization. Each summer, Starlight presents up to seven Broadway musical productions and hosts a variety of top concert artists on its outdoor stage. The 16-acre Starlight Theatre complex, located in Swope Park, is one of only three outdoor theatres of its kind still operational in the United States. It seats approximately 8,000 people. 

ADDRESS: 4600 Starlight Rd., Kansas City, MO 64132

LOCATION: In Swope Park, across from the Kansas City Zoo

PHONE: 816-363-STAR (7827)


SOCIAL MEDIA: Facebook-Starlight Theatre, Twitter- @KCStarlight, Instagram-kcstarlight


  • The summer entertainment series at Starlight Theatre includes up to seven Broadway musicals and 20 or more top concerts. Visit for updated show schedules each season.
  • The opening of the 10-story, fully enclosed and air-conditioned Cohen Community Stage in 2000 equipped Starlight Theatre to bring large national touring productions to Kansas City, including Miss SaigonLes Miserables and AIDA.
  • The Applause Club opened at Starlight Theatre in 2008, providing an enhanced space for buffet-style dining before Broadway shows and VIP-only access during concert events.
  • The beauty of Starlight Theatre is enhanced by extensive landscaping and picturesque fountains named in honor of the Helzberg family and the Steadman family.

HOURS: Starlight Broadway shows begin at 8 p.m. Concert start times vary.

ADMISSION: Broadway ticket prices range from $12 to $96. Concert ticket prices vary.

ANNUAL ATTENDANCE: Approximately 250,000

HISTORY: Construction of Starlight Theatre began in December 1949. The theatre opened in the summer of 1950 with the “Thrills of a Century” pageant gracing its stage in celebration of Kansas City’s centennial. The Starlight Theatre Association formed that same year and began programming and operating the theatre in 1951. Desert Song opened Starlight’s inaugural season, and in its early years, Starlight’s season included 10 shows with a mix of operettas, light opera and musical comedy styles. During the past two decades, Starlight has implemented more than $30 million worth of improvements and greatly enhanced the quality of its facilities for audience members and performers.

HANDS-ON ACTIVITIES: Starlight Theatre reaches area youth through a variety of educational programs, including performing arts classes, summer camps and scholarships.

WHAT’S NEARBY: Starlight Theatre shares Swope Park with the Kansas City Zoo and Lakeside Nature Center.

ANNUAL SPECIAL EVENTS: The Starlight Theatre Annual Benefit Gala is held in September. The black-tie event raises funds for ongoing operations and maintenance at the theatre.


  • Many Hollywood favorites have performed on the Starlight stage over the years. Some of the best-known stars include Carol Burnett, Bernadette Peters, Kristin Chenoweth, Phyllis Diller, Michelle Lee, Donny Osmond, Tommy Tune and Lou Diamond Phillips.
  • Starlight donates 364 free tickets to every performance of every Broadway show to local non-profit organizations that serve the disadvantaged.

DON’T FORGET: Starlight Theatre is an outdoor venue hosting Broadway and concert events. The theatre, however, can be rented for private events year-round. The indoor, climate-controlled stage house and rehearsal rooms can accommodate group sizes from 60 to 1,200. See website for details.

GROUP TOURS: Starlight offers discount ticket pricing, backstage tours and private dinner events for groups of all sizes during Broadway show weeks. The Starlight experience is ideal for groups ranging from family reunions to corporate employee gatherings. Visit website or contact group sales coordinator Staci Shute at for details.


From the north: Take US 71 South to the 63rd Street/Meyer Boulevard exit. Turn left at Meyer Boulevard. Go straight and enter through the main gates of Swope Park.

From the south: From I-435 South, take the MO-350 East/63rd Street exit. Turn left on 63rd Street. From US-71, go north to the Meyer Boulevard exit. Turn right on Meyer Boulevard. Go straight and enter through the main gates of Swope Park.

From the east: From I-70 West, merge onto I-435 South. Take the Blue Parkway/MO-350 East exit. Take the 63rd Street ramp toward Raytown. Travel a couple miles and turn left onto Starlight Road.

From the west: From I-70 East, merge onto I-670 East/I-70 ALT East. Exit on US-71 South. Exit on Meyer Boulevard and turn left (east). Go straight and enter through the main gates of Swope Park.

PARKING: $7 cash per vehicle for general parking or $10 cash for preferred parking. Season ticket holders park for free or can upgrade to our preferred paved parking lot for a fee.

PUBLIC RELATIONS CONTACT: Barb Schulte, director of communications and outreach, 816-997-1144 or

Media Contacts

Derek Klaus
National & Convention Media:
Derek Klaus
Director of Communications
816-691-3849 | Twitter | LinkedIn
Toni Alexander
Regional & KC Media:
Toni Alexander
Communications Manager
816-691-3848 | LinkedIn
Our Speak Easy podcast is back. In the first episode of Season 2, we sit down with Chris G...

For News Media

Members of the media can register to gain access to Visit KC's image and B-roll library

LOGIN Register