The exceptional talent displayed on Kansas City’s most illustrious stages represents just a fraction of the region’s performers. KC Fringe provides a forum for artists who often are overlooked. The variety of mediums at the annual event include theater, music, film, spoken word, comedy and burlesque. The festival’s scope is reflected by three of the event’s intriguing presentations. Lucky DeLuxe’s solo show is “Unlucky: A Stripper Stripped.” John “Br. John” Anderson stars in a tribute to the late vocalist Sam Cooke. The theatrical production “Kings of Israel” is “a gay take on the biblical story of David and King Saul.”
Thursday-July 27. Multiple venues. 816-359-9195. kcfringe.org. Buttons providing access to events are $5. Ticket prices vary.
Amelia Earhart Festival
Picturing Amelia Earhart singing along with Randy Houser hits like “How Country Feels” is difficult. Born in Atchison in 1897, Earhart became an international celebrity in the late ’20s. Imagining her reaction to the music of Houser, the contemporary country star headlining this year’s Amelia Earhart Festival, is in keeping with the ceaseless speculation that followed the aviation pioneer’s disappearance in 1937. In addition to Friday’s concert, the festival includes a carnival, a “trailer smash,” an aerobatic performance and an appearance by Amelia Rose Earhart, a Tonganoxie High School graduate who maintains the adventurous tradition of her namesake.
Thursday-Saturday. Atchison. 800-234-1854. atchisonkansas.net. Most activities are free. Tickets to Friday’s concert are $25 in advance and $30 at the gate.
Kansas City Swap Meet
Just as one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, the dusty paraphernalia piling up in a pack rat’s garage might be viewed as valuable curiosities by a collector. The Kansas City Swap Meet on the infield of the Kansas Speedway promises to be a bonanza for automotive enthusiasts eager to make some money and for people in the market for car parts or related memorabilia. With space for as many as 1,200 vendors working under a mandate that “80 percent of the items to be sold must pertain or relate to the transportation industry, antique advertising and coin-operated items,” the two-day event is likely to resemble a massive automotive museum.
Friday-Saturday. Kansas Speedway. 866-460-7223. kansasspeedway.com. $5 per car per day.
‘The Adventures of Tom Sawyer’
One of the most famous episodes of Mark Twain’s novel “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” depicts him convincing his peers to pay him for the privilege of whitewashing a fence. In the musical rendition, the lead character sings “Smart Like That” as he brazenly bamboozles his friends. By glossing over the unsavory aspects of Twain’s work, the theatrical production is also slightly whitewashed. The family-friendly musical emphasizes wholesome Americana rather than the novel’s troublesome themes. The large cast includes Preston Offill as Tom Sawyer, Jeremy Walterman as Huck Finn, Mosha Clyma as Becky Thatcher and Pam Sollars as Aunt Polly.
Friday-July 26. Shawnee Mission Park. 913-826-3012. theatreinthepark.org. $8-$20 for adults.
This performance art troupe is among the most prominent touring acts based in Kansas City. Quixotic has developed a reputation as an exceptionally arresting live act. In the weeks following Saturday’s engagement at Crossroads KC, Quixotic will present its combination of dreamy electronica, aerial acrobatics, dance and dramatic lighting at festivals in Colorado, West Virginia and Canada. Two electronic musicians — San Francisco’s Random Rab and Denver’s Ill Esha — open Saturday’s show.
8 p.m. Saturday. Crossroads KC. 785-749-3434. crossroadskc.com. $21.50-$66.50.
Donald Fagen and Walter Becker of Steely Dan long considered the intricate music created by the band a studio concoction that could not be properly replicated in live performances. Thankfully, Fagen and Becker changed their minds. Saturday’s concert will be the third time Steely Dan has appeared at Starlight Theatre in the past four years. Abetted by extraordinarily accomplished jazz musicians, Steely Dan’s most recent outings at the outdoor venue showcased the classic rock band’s catalog of distinctive hits to great effect.
8 p.m. Saturday. Starlight Theatre. 816-363-7827. kcstarlight.com. $40-$200.
Sporting Kansas City vs. Los Angeles
Excellent play during the World Cup transformed Matt Besler and Graham Zusi from respected American-born Major League Soccer players into coveted international commodities. While most observers still don’t believe that athletes in the MLS perform at the same level as the stars of the world’s elite leagues, Besler and Zusi have done much to transform the image of soccer in the United States. The Los Angeles Galaxy’s Omar Gonzalez, a teammate of Besler and Zusi in Brazil, also played with distinction in the World Cup. Barring injuries or deals sending the men overseas, the trio will be reunited Saturday.
5 p.m. Saturday. Sporting Park. 1-888-452-4625. sportingkc.com. $25-$280.
Kansas City’s Big Picnic
The vast lawn on the south side of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is one of the great public spaces in Kansas City. The recent addition of Robert Morris’ Glass Labyrinth to the expanse that also includes Henry Moore’s sculptures and the giant shuttlecocks of Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen deepens the appeal. Kansas City’s Big Picnic, part of the 25th anniversary celebration of the Donald J. Hall Sculpture Park, is further inducement to the beautiful grounds. Revelers can bring their own refreshments or purchase a “tote-for-four” meal in advance. The festivities will feature live music, children’s activities and free ice cream.
5 p.m. Sunday. Donald J. Hall Sculpture Park. 816-751-1278. nelson-atkins.org. Free.
Midwest Classic, Web.com Tour
Billed as “the official proving ground for future PGA tour champions,” the Web.com Tour is a developmental vehicle for the Professional Golf Association. Top-performing players on the 29-tournament tour gain access to the primary PGA contests. For the fourth consecutive year, the Midwest Classic at Nicklaus Golf Club at LionsGate will have a field of 156 athletes who hope to establish or re-establish their golfing credentials. Up-and-coming Jamie Lovemark claimed $108,000 by winning last year’s classic after sinking a long putt on the final hole.
Monday-July 27. Nicklaus Golf Club at LionsGate. 913-652-6912. midwestclassic.com. Daily passes are $10. Weekly passes are $25.
Glenn Beck’s ‘We Will Not Conform’
Thousands of concerned citizens will gather in theaters on Tuesday to take part in a “live interactive experience” with conservative media personality Glenn Beck. The forum is designed to formulate a plan to lobby against Common Core, the standardized educational curriculum. An experiment that marries technology with political activism, the novelty of a cinematic town hall meeting might attract curious people of all political persuasions.
7 p.m. Tuesday. Theaters include Cinemark Palace at the Plaza, Cinemark 20 in Merriam, Independence 20, Kansas City 18 Cinemas at Ameristar, Barrywoods 24, Olathe Studio 30, Town Center 20, Southwind Stadium 12 in Lawrence. fathomevents.com. $20.
Miami County Fair and Rodeo, Platte County Fair and Wyandotte County Fair
County fairs in the Kansas City area are an opportunity to survey the region’s agrarian roots. “Mutton bustin’” at the Miami County Fair and Rodeo, the 4-H exhibits at the Platte County Fair and pig races at the Wyandotte County Fair might be refreshing for disconnected city dwellers. The fairs aren’t limited to agricultural concerns. In addition to the carnivals and live music at all three fairs, Miami has ATV races, Platte has a wine-tasting event and Wyandotte offers camel rides. The Johnson County Fair begins on July 28.
Miami County Fair and Rodeo. Saturday-July 26. Paola. 913-294-5090. miamicountykansasfair.com. Admission charged for some events.
Platte County Fair. Tuesday-July 26. Platte County Fairgrounds, Tracy. 816-431-FAIR. plattecountyfair.com. Admission charged for some events.
Wyandotte County Fair. Tuesday-July 26. Wyandotte County Fairgrounds. 913-721-2333. wycofair.com. Admission charged for some events.