This Week in KC: WaterFire, Brad Williams, Ailey II and festivals galore

Ailey II will give four performances from Thursday, Sept. 29-Saturday, Oct. 1, at the Folly Theater.
Ailey II will give four performances from Thursday, Sept. 29-Saturday, Oct. 1, at the Folly Theater. EDUARDO PATINO

This weekend will provide a variety of fairs and celebrations that go well beyond the typical fall festival.

Vintage vehicles and bluegrass music form the allure of the Dust Bowl Jamboree, a free festival Saturday at E.H. Young Riverfront Park in Riverside.

Cultures are the focus at the Greater Kansas City Japan Festival and the Harvest Moon American Indian Festival, both on Saturday.

And those who can’t wait for Halloween can get a head start with Friday’s opening of Pumpkin Hollow at Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead and at the Scarecrow Festival on Saturday in Downtown Shawnee.

Gladfest, Sept. 29-Oct. 2, Gladstone. gladstonechamber.com/gladfest

Universal Film Festival, Sept. 29-Oct. 1, Cinemark Palace at the Plaza. universalfilmfestival.com

Oktoberfest, Sept. 30, Shawnee Civic Centre. shawneegermanclub.org

Pumpkin Hollow, Sept. 30-Oct. 31, Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead. opkansas.org

Applefest, Oct. 1-2, Weston. westonmo.com

Dust Bowl Jamboree, Oct. 1, E.H. Young Riverfront Park. visitplatte.com/event/dust-bowl-jamboree-2

Fall Festival of Arts, Crafts & Music, Oct. 1-2, Missouri Town 1855. jacksongov.org

Greater Kansas City Japan Festival, Oct. 1, JCCC. kcjapanfestival.com

Harvest Moon American Indian Festival, Oct. 1, Osage Trail Station Neighborhood, 31st and Troost. harvestmoonfestivalkc.com

Harvest Celebration and Antique Tractor, Engine and Equipment Show, Oct. 1-2, Powell Gardens. powellgardens.org

Oktoberfest, Oct. 1, Commercial Street Mall, Atchinson. atchisonkansas.net

Scarecrow Festival, Oct. 1, Downtown Shawnee. visitshawneeks.com/event/scarecrow-festival

Ailey II

Thursday-Saturday, Sept. 29-Oct. 1, at Folly

Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey, the official second home of the famed Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, will present Ailey II in three public performances. The company will feature world and Kansas City premieres, as well as a classic, Alvin Ailey’s “Revelations.”

▪ 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29; 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1. Folly Theater. 816-474-4444. kcfaa.org or follytheater.org. $28-$68.


Thursday, Sept. 29, at Starlight

Perhaps the most popular country-music group ever will conclude Starlight’s 2016 season of concerts. Alabama formed in a bar in Myrtle Beach, S.C., more than 40 years ago and has gone on to sell more than 73 million albums and earn induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Last year the band released “Southern Drawl,” its first album of new songs since 2001.

▪ 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29. Starlight Theater. 816-363-7827. kcstarlight.com. $35-$125.

Brad Williams

Thursday-Sunday, Sept. 29-Oct. 2, at Kansas City Improv

Chances are you’ve seen Brad Williams on a late-night talk show or in a prime-time sitcom. The California native, who has fun with the fact that he is a little person, also has starred in two comedy specials on Showtime and generates a popular podcast. But he is first and foremost a touring standup comic, with his appearance at the Improv sandwiched between shows at the Loony Bin in Wichita and the Funny Bone in Des Moines.

▪ 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29; 7:30 and 9:45 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30; 7 and 9:45 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1; 7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 2. Kansas City Improv. 816-759-5233. improvkc.com. $20-$25.

“The World Remembers”

Opens Thursday, Sept. 29, at National WWI Museum

The National World War I Museum is the only site in the United States that will present “The World Remembers,” which displays names and images of all those who died during each year of the war. The 1916 portion will feature 597,889 soldiers from 12 nations. The exhibit will run through Western Front Armistice Day.

▪ 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday Sept. 29; runs through Nov. 11. National WWI Museum. 816-888-8100. theworldwar.org. Regular admission, $8-$14.


Opens Friday, Sept. 30, at the Living Room

Vanessa Severo and Charles Fugate will star in this two-character play that featured wife and husband Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman two years ago in an off-Broadway production. Emma and Ulysses were divorced 20 years earlier, but now the ex-wife pays a visit to the ex-husband, who has fallen on hard times in a trashy trailer.

▪ 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30; runs through Oct. 23. The Living Room. 816-533-5857. thelivingroomkc.com. $25.

“Barry, Bette and Broadway”

Opens Friday, Sept. 30, at Quality Hill Playhouse

If you’re a fan of Barry Manilow, Bette Midler and Broadway music, this show is for you. It will feature songs from the 1970s and 1980s popularized by the two singers, along with music from the Great White Way.

▪ 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30; runs through Oct. 30. Quality Hill Playhouse. 816-421-1700. qualityhillplayhouse.com. $35-$38.

Kansas City Symphony, Tchaikovsky’s Fourth

Friday-Sunday, Sept. 30-Oct. 2, at Kauffman Center

One of Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s most popular symphonies, No. 4 will conclude the season opener of the Symphony’s Classical Series. Also on the program will be “Rapture” by American Patrick Harlin and violinist Stefan Jackiw, who will return as soloist for a concerto based on melodies from Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s film scores.

▪ 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Sept. 30-Oct. 1; 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 2. Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. 816-471-0400. kcsymphony.org. $28-$80.

“Amazing Species: Life at the Limits”

Opens Saturday, Oct. 1, at Museum at Prairiefire

From how they get oxygen to how they get around, creatures that survive in the world’s harshest environments are the focus of this exhibit organized by the American Museum of Natural History. The exhibit includes specimens, videos, interactive exhibits and live animals such as the mantis shrimp.

▪ Grand opening, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1; runs through Jan. 17. Museum at Prairiefire. 913-333-3500. museumatpf.org. $8-$14.


Saturday, Oct. 1, at Country Club Plaza

This will be the 10th year for Barnaby Evans’ WaterFire art installation on Brush Creek. The idea is simple enough — little pots of fire floating on water — but it has certainly caught on in Kansas City. Viewers are encouraged to bring chairs or blankets to the creek bank to enjoy the floating fire as well as musical entertainment and fire performers.

▪ 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1. Brush Creek at Country Club Plaza. waterfirekc.com. Free.

Carli Lloyd

Sunday, Oct. 2, at Unity Temple on the Plaza

One of the stars of the U.S. women’s soccer team will discuss and sign her memoir, “When Nobody Was Watching: My Hard-Fought Journey to the Top of the Soccer World.” Carli Lloyd is a two-time Olympic gold medalist who was FIFA’s 2015 player of the year, but she describes in the book how she nearly quit soccer in 2003.

▪ 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 2. Unity Temple on the Plaza. 913-384-3126. rainydaybooks.com. $26.

NHL exhibition: St. Louis vs. Washington

Wednesday, Oct. 5, at Sprint Center

The National Hockey League will pay its annual visit to Kansas City with the Blues taking on the Capitals. St. Louis, which lost to San Jose in last season’s NHL conference finals, will open its regular season just one week later at Chicago. Vladimir Tarasenko, a 24-year-old forward from Russia, returns for his fifth season after leading the Blues with a career-high 74 points last season.

▪ 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 5. Sprint Center. 816-949-7000. sprintcenter.com. $13-$123.

Tom Jones

Wednesday, Oct. 5, at Uptown

Recent rumors on the internet indicated Tom Jones had died, and hundreds of fans wrote their condolences on Facebook. Not so fast. The 76-year-old Welsh singer, who won a Grammy as best new artist in 1966, is alive and touring. Among his biggest hits are “What’s New Pussycat?” “Green, Green Grass of Home,” “Delilah” and “She’s a Lady.”

▪ 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 5. Uptown Theater. 816-753-8665. uptowntheater.com. $45-$125.

Dan Kelly: dkelly@kcstar.com