“Disney’s Beauty and the Beast”
Opens Wednesday, July 13, at Starlight
It will be hard to keep from singing along to some of the tunes in the popular Broadway musical based on the 1991 animated movie. In addition to the Oscar-winning title song, highlights are “Be Our Guest” and “Belle.” The story is a familiar romance, with young Belle being wooed by the Beast, who is actually a prince transformed by a curse that will end only if he can learn to love and be loved. As if the music and story aren’t enough, the sets and costumes are stunning as well. 8 p.m. Wednesday, July 13 (through July 19). Starlight Theatre. 816-363-7827. kcstarlight.com. $15-$143.
Kansas City International Theatre Festival
Opens Wednesday, July 13, at Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre and MCC-Penn Valley
“The Invasion” is the Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre’s annual festival of plays featuring international artists. The offerings include a new British comedy, “Escape From the Planet of the Day That Time Forgot!” and “In the Window” by Nuala McKeever, a comic from Northern Ireland. 6 p.m. Wednesday, July 13 (through July 23). Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre and MCC-Penn Valley. 816-569-3226. cstkc.com. $15-$30.
Cass County Fair and Wyandotte County Fair
Through Sunday, July 17, at Pleasant Hill and through Saturday, July 16, at Kansas City, Kan.
The county fair season will kick off with two biggies, one on each side of the state line. In addition to the usual carnivals, music, livestock shows and food exhibits, each will have some distinctive events. The Cass County Fair will feature a fashion review, firefighters competition and 5K run/walk. The Wyandotte County Fair will include barrel racing, go-kart racing and a pie contest.
Cass County Fair: 1 p.m. Wednesday, July 13; 4 p.m. Thursday, July 14; 8:30 a.m. Friday, July 15; 8 a.m. Saturday, July 16; 4 p.m. Sunday, July 17 (carnival only). Pleasant Hill. casscountyfairmo.com. Prices vary.
Wyandotte County Fair: 5-10 p.m. through Friday, July 15; noon-10 p.m. Saturday, July 16. 13700 Polfer, Kansas City, Kan. 913-721-2333 or 913-721-2334. wycofair.com. Carnival wristband $15; other prices vary.
Thursday-Sunday, July 14-17, at Kansas City Improv
You might never have seen Adam Ferrara perform stand-up comedy, but you’ve seen him somewhere — unless you’ve been avoiding television and movies for the past 20 years. Ferrara now is a host on the U.S. version of “Top Gear.” He also was a regular on “Nurse Jackie” and “Rescue Me.” And he has appeared in movies “Definitely, Maybe” and “Paul Blart: Mall Cop,” among others. 7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 14; 7:30 and 9:45 p.m. Friday, July 15; 7 and 9:45 p.m. Saturday, July 16; 7 p.m. Sunday, July 17. Kansas City Improv. 816-759-5233. improvkc.com. $16-$20.
“A Public Conversation with Cliff Illig”
Thursday, July 14, at Kansas City Public Library-Central Library
Thousands of area residents have jobs because of Cliff Illig, who founded the Cerner Corp. with Neal Patterson in 1979. The medical records software giant based in North Kansas City is one of the region’s biggest employers. Illig will sit with Kansas City Public Library director Crosby Kemper III to discuss Cerner as well as his co-ownership of Sporting Kansas City and his involvement in civic and entrepreneurial initiatives. 6:30 p.m. Thursday, July 14. Kansas City Public Library-Central Library. 816-701-3400. kclibrary.org. Free.
“Two Zany Redheads”
Opens Thursday, July 14, at Chestnut Fine Arts Center
Carol Burnett got her start on television almost 60 years ago, including working for Lucille Ball, who hired her as a guest star on “The Lucy Show.” Burnett became TV’s leading lady, assuming the mantle from her mentor. Now, thanks to the Chestnut Fine Arts Center, the two comic geniuses will reunite — in spirit, at least — for a stage show filled with humor and music. The local production will star Lori Blalock, Val Fagan, Ken Remmert, Kipp Simmons and Brad Zimmerman. 8 p.m. Thursday, July 14 (through Aug. 28). Chestnut Fine Arts Center. 913-764-2121. chestnutfinearts.com. $25-$28.
Amelia Earhart Festival
Friday-Saturday, July 15-16, at Atchison, Kan.
Yes, it has a carnival, music, food, children’s activities, crafts and such. But as befits America’s greatest aviatrix, the Amelia Earhart Festival also features a symposium at Benedictine College where authors will discuss the Atchison native and her impact, as well as the Pioneering Achievement Award Luncheon that will honor jockey Julie Krone. 4 p.m. Friday, July 15; 9 a.m. Saturday, July 16 (carnival will run Wednesday-Saturday, July 13-16). Multiple venues in Atchison. 913-367-2427. visitatchison.com/event/amelia-earhart-festival. Most events free; prices vary on other events.
“Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”
Opens Friday, July 15, at Theatre in the Park
This was the first musical by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber to be performed in public, although it wasn’t widely produced until after the success of Rice and Lloyd Webber’s “Jesus Christ Superstar.” Both are Bible-based rock operas. “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” debuted on Broadway in 1982, more than 10 years after it was written, and was nominated for six Tony Awards. 8:30 p.m. Friday, July 15 (through July 23). Theatre in the Park, Shawnee Mission Park. theatreinthepark.org. $6-$8.
FC Kansas City vs. Washington Spirit
Saturday, July 16, at Swope Soccer Village
The home team will have a chance for some revenge when Washington visits. The Spirit scored two goals in the final 11 minutes to beat the Blues 2-0 on July 2 in Boyds, Md. Kansas City’s two-time defending National Women’s Soccer League champions were without three starters because of international duties, with Becky Sauerbrunn and Heather O’Reilly having reported to the U.S. women’s national team and Desiree Scott playing for Canada. 6 p.m. Saturday, July 16. Swope Soccer Village. 855-452-4625. fckansascity.com. $15-$45.
Saturday, July 16, at Arrowhead Stadium
Have you ever wondered whether Kenny Chesney takes off his cowboy hat to sleep? Quintessential country singer that he is, Chesney has a hat for all occasions. The 48-year-old Tennessean also has a hit for almost all occasions. He will bring them — along with Miranda Lambert, Sam Hunt and Old Dominion — to Arrowhead for his “Spread the Love” Tour. 5 p.m. Saturday, July 16. Arrowhead Stadium. ticketmaster.com. $25-$225.
“Republican Showdown in Kansas City”
Opens Sunday, July 17, at Kansas City Public Library-Central Library
Just one day before the 2016 Republican convention begins in Cleveland, an exhibit looking back at the 1976 Republican convention will open. That event at Kemper Arena was the last national convention in Kansas City and the last contested convention anywhere. There was no Donald Trump, but it did have the drama of Ronald Reagan challenging President Gerald Ford for the party’s presidential nomination. The exhibit will open with a panel discussion at 2 p.m. Sunday and will include photographs, video and other artifacts from the historic event. Runs Sunday, July 17, through Aug. 28. Kansas City Public Library-Central Library. 816-701-3400. kclibrary.org. Free.
Kansas City’s Big Picnic
Sunday, July 17, at Donald J. Hall Sculpture Park and Theis Park
The areas south of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art will be linked to form a giant picnic area featuring food trucks, musical performances and recreation stations with badminton and other lawn games. Picnickers can lay their blankets in designated areas to be part of a giant checkerboard-patterned display by artist Alison Heryer. No grills or tents permitted. 4-7 p.m. Sunday, July 17. Nelson-Atkins Museum Donald J. Hall Sculpture Park and Theis Park. kcparks.org/event/kansas-citys-big-picnic-2016. Free.
Kansas City Royals vs. Cleveland Indians
Monday-Wednesday, July 18-20, at Kauffman Stadium
The last time the Royals were on the verge of falling out of the race for the American League Central Division title, they swept the Indians in three straight games at Kauffman Stadium. Well, here we are again. The Royals need another three-game sweep to pull closer to the first-place Indians and improve their chances of repeating as AL Central champions. 7:15 p.m. Monday-Tuesday, July 18-19; 1:15 p.m. Wednesday, July 20. Kauffman Stadium. 800-676-9257. kansascity.royals.mlb.com. $10-$110.
Malala and Ziauddin Yousafzai
Tuesday, July 19, at Kauffman Center
Malala has joined the ranks of the select few worldwide figures known simply by their first names. She has been an activist for girls’ education since before she was a teenager in Pakistan, and in 2014 she became the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. Now 19, she and her father will speak about the global struggle to advance girls’ education and will answer questions from the audience. 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 19. Muriel Kauffman Theatre, Kauffman Center. 816-994-7222. kauffmancenter.org. $69-$129.
Wednesday, July 20, at Kauffman Center
After co-founding the Beach Boys and writing most of the songs that turned them into a 1960s phenomenon, Brian Wilson fell completely off the map for many years as he battled mental illness and drug addiction. He has since returned to tour with the Beach Boys, although he is now touring on his own to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the album “Pet Sounds.” The sold-out concert proves he’s still got plenty of fans. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 20. Muriel Kauffman Theatre, Kauffman Center. 816-994-7222. kauffmancenter.org. Sold out.
Wednesday, July 20, at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena
This is a rare chance to watch men in their 60s wearing heavy makeup as they play heavy-metal music. Original band members Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons are still the driving forces of Kiss, which changed its name from Wicked Lester in 1973 and zoomed to huge success. The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014. That was the same year Caleb Johnson, who will open for Kiss, won the 13th season of “American Idol.” 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 20. Silverstein Eye Centers Arena. 816-795-7577. silversteineyecentersarena.com. $39.50-$125.