Rinker Buck for “The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey”
Thursday, July 9, at Unity Temple on the Plaza
Historical markers designating sites as points on the Oregon Trail are sprinkled throughout the Kansas City area. Anyone who reads Rinker Buck’s new book “The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey” or attends his talk at Unity Temple on the Plaza on Thursday will never look at those signs the same way again. Buck recounts his adventure riding a horse-drawn wagon from Missouri to Oregon in his new work. Thursday’s multimedia presentation is a risk-free way to sample Rainy Day Books’ popular author appearance series. The purchase of a book is usually required to gain admittance, but Buck’s appearance is a free “open house” event.
7 p.m. Thursday, July 9. Unity Temple on the Plaza. 913-384-3126. rainydaybooks.com. Free.
Peter Yarrow and Noel Paul Stookey
Thursday, July 9, at Yardley Hall
The death of Mary Travers in 2009 failed to snuff out the music of Peter, Paul and Mary. Her collaborators in the trio — Peter Yarrow and Noel Paul Stookey — continue to perform the ensemble’s classic material. Now lively septuagenarians, Yarrow and Stookey began singing folk music in Greenwich Village in the early 1960s. Decidedly less strident than many of their contemporaries on the burgeoning folk scene, Peter, Paul and Mary became relatively wholesome ambassadors of the movement. The trio’s accessible interpretations of protest songs, including “If I Had a Hammer,” played a pivotal role in instigating societal change.
7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 9. Yardley Hall. 913-469-4445. jccc.edu/theseries. $35-$125.
Thursday, July 9, at the Sprint Center
The first version of Rush was formed in 1968, but the Canadian trio is commemorating the 40th anniversary of drummer and lyricist Neil Peart’s membership in the trio on the current R40 tour. Because it’s expected to be the final extensive road outing for the hard rock band best known for the 1981 hit “Tom Sawyer,” Rush’s obsessive fans will treat Thursday’s show as a farewell gig. High-pitched vocalist Geddy Lee has a special connection to Kansas City. A collector of baseball memorabilia, Lee has donated more than 200 autographed baseballs to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.
7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 9. Sprint Center. 816-949-7000. sprintcenter.com. $48-$153.
Young Friends of Art Summer White Party
Friday, July 10, at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
One of the biggest challenges faced by traditional arts institutions is finding creative ways to appeal to younger generations. The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art has a goldmine in its sixth annual Young Friends of Art Summer White Party. The sold-out fundraiser provides young professionals an opportunity to socialize while wearing seasonal clothes in the Donald J. Hall Sculpture Park. In acknowledgment of the playful “The Four Seasons” installations of Philip Haas, this year’s event has an “Escape to Eden” theme. An open bar and live entertainment will help set the celebratory tone of the charitable event.
7 p.m. Friday, July 10. Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. 816-751-1ART. nelson-atkins.org. $75-$110.
Kansas City Royals vs. Toronto
Friday, July 10, through Sunday, July 12, at Kauffman Stadium
Royals fans with spiritual leanings might be inclined to pray for the team after Saturday’s game at Kauffman Stadium. The annual Faith & Family Day event features a post-game concert by Christian group NewSong and testimonials from members of the Royals organization. Appeals to a higher power might be in order. Last year’s successful season seemed like a miracle to many observers. The Royals may need all the help they can get as they conclude the first half of the season with three games against the Toronto Blue Jays. The team’s roster includes the formidable sluggers Josh Donaldson, José Bautista and Edwin Encarnación.
7:10 p.m. Friday, July 10, 1:10 p.m. Saturday, July 11, 1:10 p.m. Sunday, July 12. Kauffman Stadium. 816-921-8000. kansascity.royals.mlb.com. $11-$448.
National Council of La Raza Conference and National Latino Family Expo
Family Expo: Saturday, July 11, through Monday, July 13, at the Kansas City Convention Center
Conference: Saturday, July 11, through Tuesday, July 14, at the Kansas City Convention Center
A favorite target of politically conservative pontificators, the National Council of La Raza is an organization that lobbies on behalf of Latinos. Learn more about La Raza at the group’s free three-day National Latino Family Expo during the group’s national conference. A soccer tournament and music are among the attractions at the expo. Weightier topics will be addressed in more than 50 workshops at the four-day convention. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton will address conventioneers on Monday.
Family Expo: 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, July 11, 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday, July 12, 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday, July 13. Kansas City Convention Center. 202-785-1670. nclr.org. Free.
Conference: Saturday, July 11-Tuesday, July 14. Kansas City Convention Center. 202-785-1670. nclr.org. Registration is $350 in advance. On-site registration is $475.
Saturday, July 11, at Crossroads KC
HippieFest 2015 at Crossroads KC will feature headliners the Family Stone, an ensemble that includes a few former members of the band led by the brilliant but erratic Sly Stone. They’ll revive classic material like “Everyday People.” Rick Derringer will break out old hits, including “Rock and Roll, Hoochie Coo.” Joey Molland, a surviving member of Badfinger, and Peter Rivera of Rare Earth will also perform.
7 p.m. Saturday, July 11. Crossroads KC. 785-749-3434. crossroadskc.com. $41.50-$91.50 in advance.
Saturday, July 11, at the RecordBar
Jen Kirkman is the type of comedian who seems to lack a filter. Her standup routines address the most intimate aspects of her life. Although she’s inherently funny, Kirkman’s monologues more closely resemble the candid confessions of a best friend rather than the public musings of an entertainer. The title of the Los Angeles-based Kirkman‘s 2013 book “I Can Barely Take Care of Myself: Tales From a Happy Life Without Kids” and a recent television special “I’m Gonna Die Alone (And I Feel Fine)” allude to her approach. Her material includes gags about wedding planning, her fear of cockroaches and more.
10 p.m. Saturday, July 11. RecordBar. 816-753-5207. therecordbar.com. $15 in advance.
Summerfest Chamber Music Concert
Saturday, July 11, at White Recital Hall and Sunday, July 12, at Country Club Christian Church
The entertainment industry acts as if people shut down their brains during the summer. Movie theaters are dominated by films featuring explosions, chase scenes and animated characters. Classic rock and R&B oldies are among the primary attractions at popular music venues. Many locally based arts organizations including the Kansas City Symphony follow suit by taking extended breaks. The annual Summerfest chamber music concerts represent an oasis for listeners craving refined sounds. This weekend’s counterintuitive concerts feature Georg Philipp Telemann’s Quartet in E minor and György Ligeti’s Six Bagatelles.
7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 11. White Recital Hall.
3 p.m. Sunday, July 12. Country Club Christian Church. 816-895-2920 summerfestkc.org. $27.
Mark Wood Rock Orchestra Camp Music Festival
Sunday, July 12, through July 19 at MidAmerica Nazarene University
Band camp is taking on a new meaning in the new millennium. Once almost exclusively the province of members of staid junior high and high school ensembles, the concept is changing with the times. Students at the Mark Wood Rock Orchestra Camp Music Festival are more likely to perform the music of the Beatles than Beethoven. Wood, a violinist who has collaborated with many renowned pop and rock musicians, oversees the training of pupils at his namesake summer camp where “attendees are immersed in cultivating self-expression through improvisation, performance and the latest technology.”
Sunday, July 12-July 19. MidAmerica Nazarene University. 516-767-6677. mwroc.com. $1,300 for students, $900 for guardians.
Cass County Fair
Tuesday, July 14, through July 19 in Pleasant Hill
The regional county-fair season begins in Cass County on Tuesday with the opening of a carnival at the Cass County Fair. The six-day event includes motocross and all-terrain vehicle competitions, and a demolition derby. A mutton-busting contest and a rodeo will also kick up dust in Pleasant Hill. More subdued attractions include a baby contest and a quilt exhibition. People who otherwise have little interest in the usual trappings of county fairs will attend Saturday’s Bluegrass & Americana Music Festival. Artists include Green Side Up, a bluegrass ensemble that has been entertaining area fans since 1971.
Tuesday, July 14 - Sunday, July 19,. Pleasant Hill. 816-540-3135. casscountyfairmo.com. various prices
FC Kansas City vs. Houston
Wednesday, July 15, at Swope Park Soccer Village
Jamaal Charles, Eric Hosmer, Salvador Perez and Brandon Rush have been joined by Lauren Holiday, Heather O’Reilly, Becky Sauerbrunn and Amy Rodriguez in the ranks of Kansas City’s most notable professional sports heroes. The four women recently contributed to the U.S. national team’s World Cup win. The athletes’ newfound celebrity has raised the profile of FC Kansas City, the team that won the championship of the National Women’s Soccer League last year. The atmosphere at Swope Park Soccer Village should be electrifying as the Blues take on the Houston Dash on Wednesday.
7 p.m. Wednesday, July 15. Swope Park Soccer Village. 855-452-4625. fckansascity.com. $11-$25.
Wednesday, July 15, at the Uptown Theater
Traditional cultural gatekeepers may be irrelevant. The increasingly prominent role the public plays in identifying talent and creating celebrities has benefited Lilly Singh. The 26-year-old Canadian became a global sensation by treating the creation of a series of YouTube videos as her full-time job. Her channel at the site is closing in on a billion views. Although the tone of most of her goofy videos is lighthearted, Singh often addresses serious topics such as the societal status of Indian-Americans. Singh pledges that she intends to “make you laugh and feel inspired” on her Trip to Unicorn Island tour.
8 p.m. Wednesday, July 15. Uptown Theater. 816-753-8665. uptowntheater.com. $29.50.
Joseph A. Califano Jr. for “The Triumph & Tragedy of Lyndon Johnson: The White House Years”
Wednesday, July 15, at the Plaza branch of the Kansas City Public Library
Much like presidential candidates Chris Christie and Bernie Sanders, Joseph Califano Jr. is a notoriously blunt political figure. In a recent essay for Politico titled “The White House Is No Place for Wimps,” Califano savages politicians who aspire to reside in the middle ground. His perspective was molded by President Lyndon Johnson. As one of Johnson’s closest advisers, Califano watched as Johnson doubled down on the war in Vietnam and played a firsthand role in the creation of the Great Society. Califano will promote a new reissue of his 1991 book “The Triumph & Tragedy of Lyndon Johnson: The White House Years” on Wednesday.
6:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 15. Kansas City Public Library-Plaza Branch. 816-701-3400. kclibrary.org. Free.