“Next to Normal”
Opens Thursday, Aug. 4, at Musical Theater Heritage
Few Broadway musicals deal with subjects as serious as mental illness, but “Next to Normal” isn’t your typical Broadway musical. The rock opera, which the Theater League brought to the Kauffman Center in 2012, won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for drama. The story follows a woman with bipolar disorder and how it affects her and her family. 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 4 (runs through Aug. 21). Musical Theater Heritage. 816-221-6987. mthkc.com. $17-$58.
Digital Ally Open
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Thursday-Sunday, Aug. 4-7, at Nicklaus Golf Club at LionsGate
The names might not be as familiar as those on the PGA Tour, but the golf played on the Web.com Tour is at nearly the same level. In fact, three-quarters of PGA Tour players are Web.com alumni. So this will be your chance to see the world’s future golf stars at a very reasonable price. The field will play for a purse of $650,000, with $117,000 going to the winner. 7 a.m. Thursday-Sunday, Aug. 4-7 (pro-am on Wednesday). Nicklaus Golf Club at LionsGate. 913-652-6912. digitalallyopen.org. $10 daily pass; $25 weekly pass.
Friday, Aug. 5, at the Midland
Jim Jefferies isn’t afraid to offend people, not even after being physically attacked onstage during a performance. Right-wing gun lovers might be the most likely to be offended. The 39-year-old Australian comic’s best-known bit is called “Guns Are Not Protection.” If you’re still not sure whether he’s your kind of comedian, you can check out Jefferies’ act on Netflix, where his special, “Freedumb,” was released last month. 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 5. Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland. 816-283-9921. midlandkc.com. $39.50-$49.50.
Festival of Butterflies
Friday-Sunday, Aug. 5-7 and Aug. 12-14, at Powell Gardens
Every August, Powell Gardens transforms its 2,500-square-foot conservatory into a butterfly house filled with hundreds of the colorful little creatures. Visitors can also learn about monarch butterflies and other native species in two outdoor butterfly breezeways as well as enjoy activities ranging from storytelling and a daily costume parade to wine tasting and cooking demonstrations. 9 a.m. Friday-Sunday, Aug. 5-7 and 12-14. Powell Gardens. 816-697-2600. powellgardens.org. $5-$12 admission; prepaid reservations required for special events.
“Shrek the Musical”
Friday-Sunday, Aug. 5-7, at Gladstone Theatre in the Park
Ogres had a bad rap before Shrek came along. He has starred in multiple animated movies after first appearing in a 1990 children’s book by William Steig. “Shrek the Musical,” which opened on Broadway in 2008, brings most of the familiar characters to life and throws in more than 20 musical numbers. It’s good fun for the entire family. 8:30 p.m. Friday-Sunday, Aug. 5-7. Gladstone Theatre in the Park. 816-423-4091. gladstonetip.com. Free.
Kansas City Royals vs. Toronto Blue Jays and Chicago White Sox
Friday-Sunday, Aug. 5-7, and Tuesday-Thursday, Aug. 9-11, at Kauffman Stadium
Who knows? Maybe the Royals will win all six of these games while all the other teams in the playoff race falter. Maybe they will manage to get back in the thick of the playoff race. Maybe they’ll go on to repeat as World Series champions. Maybe not. But even if they don’t, it’s still hard to beat a day or night at the ballpark. 7:15 p.m. Friday, Aug. 5; 6:15 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 6; 1:15 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 7; 7:15 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, Aug. 9-11. Kauffman Stadium. 800-676-9257. kansascity.royals.mlb.com. $17-$176.
Right Between the Ears
Saturday, Aug. 6, at Liberty Hall
During political times like these, we all can use some levity, which is the specialty of Right Between the Ears. This year’s presidential election should provide the comedy troupe with plenty of material for its show, “Electoral Dysfunction 2016.” Right Between the Ears does a broadcast every week on Kansas Public Radio stations and just appeared at the KC Fringe Festival. 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 6. Liberty Hall, Lawrence. 785-749-1972. libertyhall.net. $15-$19.
Slide the City
Saturday, Aug. 6, at Pershing Road
Why didn’t somebody think of this before now? Slide the City puts your backyard Slip ’N Slide on steroids and brings it to the city streets for a daylong block party including vendors, live music and other entertainment. The big draw is the 1,000-foot-long inflated vinyl slide with three lanes: Single Sliders, Family Lane and Party Lane. Sliders must be at least 5 years old and 46 inches tall. Noon-7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 6. Pershing Road and East 25th Street. slidethecity.com. $15-$99.
“Star Wars” marathon
Saturday, Aug. 6, at the Midland
If you are the type of movie fan who knows that the original “Star Wars” gained the subtitle “Episode IV: A New Hope” in 1981, then this event is for you. That original 1977 “Star Wars” will be shown, followed by 1980’s “The Empire Strikes Back” and 1983’s “Return of the Jedi” as part of a touring road show presented by Alamo Drafthouse. 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 6. Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland. drafthouse.com/event/star-wars. $30-$65.
Sunday, Aug. 7, at the Uptown
If you are familiar with Bill Maher, you know what to expect when he performs. The comedian and host of HBO’s “Real Time With Bill Maher” doesn’t like any religion and almost all Republicans, and the feelings are no doubt mutual. He’s pretty much the liberal answer to Rush Limbaugh. What are the chances he’ll have something positive to say about Donald Trump? 8 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 7. Uptown. 816-753-8665. uptowntheater.com. $45-$150.
Weird Al Yankovic
Sunday, Aug. 7, at Starlight
Weird Al has been performing his silly songs for 40 years, and people still aren’t tired of him. Maybe it’s because his song parodies have kept up with the times, moving from rock ’n’ roll (“Eat It” and “Like a Surgeon”) to hip-hop (“White & Nerdy” and “Word Crimes”) and from TV music videos to social media music videos. In the process, he has sold millions of albums and won four Grammy Awards. 8 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 7. Starlight. 816-363-7827. kcstarlight.com. $36.95-$75.95.
“A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder”
Opens Tuesday, Aug. 9, at Starlight
A good, old-fashioned murderous musical comedy, “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder” closed Jan. 17 after more than 900 shows on Broadway at the Walter Kerr Theatre and now is touring America. It won four Tony Awards in 2014, including best musical. With book and lyrics by Robert L. Freedman and music and lyrics by Steven Lutvak, it was inspired by the 1907 novel “Israel Rank: The Autobiography of a Criminal” by Roy Horniman. 8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 9 (runs through Aug. 14). Starlight Theatre. 816-363-7827. kcstarlight.com. $14-$142.
“I’m Not Rappaport”
Opens Wednesday, Aug. 10, at H&R Block City Stage
Two elderly men, one Jewish and one black, regularly meet under a bridge in Central Park, where they tell tall tales, complain about things and talk about life. Those are the basics of “I’m Not Rappaport,” a play that premiered on Broadway in 1985 and ran for more than two years. It is a comedy that touches on serious issues, including aging and dealing with the dangers of urban living. 8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 10 (runs through Aug. 28). H&R Block City Stage, Union Station. 816-361-5228. kcactors.org. $15-$40.