Sporting Kansas City
With the loss to the New York Red Bulls on Sept. 6, Sporting KC equaled the total number of losses it endured during the entirety of the regular season last year. Two contests against teams not affiliated with Major League Soccer may help Sporting re-establish its championship form. Both events are part of the annual CONCACAF Champions League tournament. The Thursday, Sept. 18, contest pits Sporting against the Costa Rican club Deportivo Saprissa. Sporting faces Real Estelí F.C. on Tuesday, Sept. 23. Last year the Nicaraguan club played Sporting to a draw.
7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 18, vs. Saprissa, and 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 23, vs. Real Estelí. Sporting Park. 1-888-452-4625. sportingkc.com. $32-$275.
“The Art of Scouting”
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Art Stewart has seen more baseball than almost anyone alive. Stewart, 87, was employed by the New York Yankees before he was hired by the Kansas City Royals in 1970. As a scout and later as the Royals’ director of scouting, Stewart is responsible for notable players ranging from Bo Jackson to Johnny Damon wearing the team’s uniform. He now works as senior adviser to Dayton Moore, the general manager of the Royals. Stewart and Sam Mellinger, columnist for The Kansas City Star, collaborated on the book “The Art of Scouting.” The pair will have plenty of stories to tell during their discussion.
6:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 18. Kansas City Library’s Plaza branch, 4801 Main St. 816-701-3400. kclibrary.org. Free. Reservations are recommended.
By demonstrating her quick wit on the popular NPR program “Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me!,” Paula Poundstone has expanded the audience for her droll sense of humor. She has long been a favorite among comedy buffs and viewers of talk shows. Poundstone’s ability to make the commonplace amusing and her spontaneous interactions with members of her audiences have sustained her career since the 1980s. The Californian recently took notice of the apparent confiscation of a traveler’s order of barbecue by a security agent at KCI. The audience can expect Poundstone to riff on Kansas City’s culinary specialty.
8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 19, Midland, 1228 Main St. 816-283-9921. midlandkc.com. $32.50-$37.50.
Royals vs. Detroit
The stellar performance of pitchers James Shields, Kelvin Herrera and Wade Davis limited the fearsome batters of the Detroit Tigers to two hits in the final game of an otherwise dispiriting series last week. The Royals have an opportunity to turn the tables on the Tigers during the last three home games of the season. The team’s first playoff berth since 1985 may hang in the balance. Should the offense continue to falter or if the Royals’ pitchers suddenly lose their form, fans can console themselves with a couple of tantalizing promotions. Many of the Royals’ top prospects will participate in Futures Night on Friday, Sept. 19. Scarfs will be distributed to 10,000 fans on Saturday, Sept. 20.
7:10 p.m. Friday, Sept. 19; 12:05 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 20, 1:10 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 21. Kauffman Stadium. 800-676-9257. kcroyals.com. $14-$100.
“The Plains Indians: Artists of Earth and Sky”
After a four-month showing at the museé du quai Branly in Paris, “The Plains Indians: Artists of Earth and Sky” exhibition will be on display at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art through Jan. 11. The exhibit will be shown at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York next spring. The three institutions collaborated on the project. The presentation’s 138 pieces range from items collected during the Lewis and Clark expedition to contemporary works. The art of several Indian nations familiar to Midwesterners such as the Osage, Cheyenne, Pawnee and Kansa are included in the ambitious show.
Friday, Sept. 19-Sunday Jan. 11. Nelson-Atkins Museum. 816-751-1278. nelson-atkins.org. $12; $10 for seniors over 55; $6 for students; children 12 and under and members of the museum are free.
Waldo Fall Festival
Located at the intersection of 75th Street and Wornall Road in the heart of the Waldo neighborhood, the 22nd Annual Waldo Fall Festival will be a seven-hour celebration of community pride. The festivities begin at 10 a.m. with the announcement of the honorary designation of the Mayor of Waldo and the induction of new members into Waldo’s Walk of Fame. A dog show, food trucks and plenty of children’s activities will be accompanied by the sounds of musicians including Jim “Mr. Stinky Feet” Cosgrove and the blues band June Bug and the Porch Lights.
10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 20. Waldo Area, 75th Street and Wornall Road. 816-523-5553. waldokc.com. Free.
Kansas City Symphony, “The Composer Is Dead”
Sergei Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf” and Benjamin Britten’s “The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra” have served as entertaining introductions to classical music for countless children. Times have changed. Composer Nathaniel Stookey and Lemony Snicket, the nom de plume of the author of the “A Series of Unfortunate Events” novels, have created a work that appeals to the skeptical sensibilities of the children of the new millennium. A mystery in which the sections of the orchestra are interrogated in the suspicious death of a composer — Snicket jokes that he’s “decomposing” — is designed to demonstrate the range of sounds that can be produced by an orchestra.
2:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 21. Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. 816-471-0400. kcsymphony.org. $20-$40.
Strutt With Your Mutt
Few charities have been more deeply embraced by area residents than Wayside Waifs. The organization is dedicated to improving “the quality of animal welfare … by providing humane treatment and advocating for companion animals.” Throngs of dog lovers and their cherished pets will participate in Wayside Waifs’ annual Strutt With Your Mutt event in Brookside on Sunday, Sept. 21. Perusing the offerings of more than 50 vendors and participating in costume and trick contests in the midst of a crowd so large that “we will be shutting down Brookside Boulevard” will provide additional fun.
8 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 21. 62nd Terrace and Brookside Plaza. 816-761-8151. waysidewaifs.org/strutt. $35-$40.
Biggsteps 5K and Family Fun Run/Walk
A graduate of the University of Kansas and a six-time participant in the Boston Marathon, Sean D. Biggs died in 2012. He was 36. Inspired by his active life and cancer-related death, Biggs’ friends instituted the Biggsteps 5K and Family Fun Run/Walk last year. The efforts have already raised more than $80,000 for causes including cancer research. In addition to supplemental children’s races, the family-friendly fundraiser includes an inflatable bounce house and face painting for young attendees. Chris Cakes will supply pancakes, and the cover band the Heather Stones will provide music for the post-race festivities.
8:30 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 21, University of Kansas Edwards Campus. biggsteps.org. The 5K is $25 in advance and $30 on the day on the event. The Family Fun/Run is $20 in advance and $25 the day of the event. The children’s races (10 and younger) are $10.
Kansas City Symphony, “Modern Rock: Music of Reich, Ligeti and Zappa”
Noise protection ear plugs may not be necessary during the “modern rock” concert at Helzberg Hall. In spite of the billing, listeners of all orientations are likely to appreciate the intriguing recital featuring members of the Kansas City Symphony performing compositions by György Ligeti, Steve Reich and Frank Zappa. Ligeti’s sprightly “Six Bagatelles for Wind Quintet” was written before the advent of rock ’n’ roll. Reich’s hypnotic “Drumming” is based on African music. Zappa’s “The Black Page” is a similarly rhythmically challenging piece. Even so, anxious members of the audience may elect to partake of liquid courage at the cash bar before or after the concert.
6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 24. Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. 816-471-0400. kcsymphony.org. Free, RSVP.
In spite of its name, the official Oktoberfest celebration opens in Munich on Saturday, Sept. 20. Several area establishments and communities are commemorating the holiday. Revelers infatuated with images of a comely fräulein serving bier are likely to feel right at home at the Twin Peaks restaurants in Independence and Olathe. The restaurants’ Oktoberfest celebration runs from Saturday, Sept. 20, to Friday, Sept. 26, and features beer-poached bratwursts served by women in themed costumes. Grünauer, one of Kansas City’s most authentic German restaurants, will host an outdoor party on Friday, Sept. 26, and Saturday, Sept. 27. The two-day event features a special menu, German and Austrian beers and six bands ranging from the comedic Russian rock of Nuthatch-47 to the indie-rock of Loose Park. Tickets are $12. The Lee’s Summit Chamber’s Oktoberfest on Friday, Sept. 26, and Saturday, Sept. 27, includes a carnival, a biergarten and entertainment on three stages in downtown Lee’s Summit. Parktoberfest, Parkville’s rendition of Oktoberfest, takes place at English Landing Park on Saturday, Oct. 4. The event includes a 5K run, pumpkin painting and a performance by the Fleetwood Mac tribute band Landslide.
Various dates, locations and prices.
Nick Swardson’s default catchphrase is “let’s get drunk!” His detailed discussions of alcohol binges, the ensuing outlandish behavior and struggling through hangovers have landed the comedian and actor a large following. Swardson even manages to make alcohol poisoning seem funny. His politically incorrect brand of comedy is depicted in his many efforts for Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison Productions. Swardson co-wrote and starred in the outlandishly crude 2011 film “Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star.” The subsequent scathing reviews only enhanced Swardson’s appeal among his fans.
8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 23. Midland, 1228 Main St. 816-283-9921. midlandkc.com. $39.50.
Kansas City Symphony, “Music of the Mad Men Era”
The AMC series “Mad Men” has almost singlehandedly revived a denigrated period of American popular culture. The first season of “Mad Men” was set in 1960, a time in which the social mores, fashion and music associated with Madison Avenue had been written off as hopelessly dull. The acclaimed work of the creators of “Mad Men” has reminded viewers that Brazilian bossa nova and jazz recordings by the likes of Ella Fitzgerald were popular at the time. The Kansas City Symphony’s “Music of the Mad Men Era” concert will likely allude to those sophisticated sounds in addition to featuring arrangements of hits by pop vocalists such as Brenda Lee and Bobby Vinton.
8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 19, and 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 20. Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. 816-471-0400. kcsymphony.org. $40-$85.
UNplaza Art Fair
While it has long been one of Kansas City’s signature events, the Plaza Art Fair isn’t for everyone. Some people feel uncomfortable amid the massive crowds and others recoil at the premium price tags associated the merchandise and refreshments. These holdouts might be more at home at the UNplaza Art Fair, the annual fundraiser of PeaceWorks-KC. The UNplaza Art Fair’s offerings include “ceramics, woodworking, jewelry, glasswork, fiber art, sculpture, photos (and) paintings.” All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church, the host of the event, also holds a concurrent used book sale.
10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 20, noon-5 p.m. Sunday Sept. 21. All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church, 4501 Walnut St. peaceworkskc.org/unplaza.html. Free.