Starlight Theatre


DESCRIPTION: Presenting live Broadway entertainment since 1951, Starlight Theatre is Kansas City's oldest and largest performing arts organization. Each summer, Starlight presents up to nine 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 two outdoor Broadway-producing 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)



  • The summer entertainment series at Starlight Theatre includes straight-from-Broadway musicals and headlining concert artists.
  • 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 price range from $14 to $95. 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 thorough a variety of educational programs, including performance troupes, musical theatre awards and scholarships.

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

ANNUAL SPECIAL EVENTS: The Starlight Theatre Annual Benefit Gala is held each fall. 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 work with underserved communities.

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: The Starlight experience is ideal for groups ranging from family reunions to corporate employee gatherings. Visit the website or contact Starlight group sales at for details.

PARKING: General parking at Starlight is free and based on a first come, first served basis. Premium paved parking is available for $30 per car and may be purchased in advance at the time of ticket purchase only. Guests that have purchased premium parking will need to enter Swope Park through the 63rd Street entry point.

PUBLIC RELATIONS CONTACT: Rachel Bliss, Communications Manager, 816-997-1151 or

Media Contacts

Makenzie Wolters
Makenzie Wolters (KC/Regional Media)
Visit KC
Derek Klaus
Derek Klaus (National Media)

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