This Week in KC, March 30-April 5: ‘Avenue Q,’ Paula Poundstone, baseball book festival

Paula Poundstone will be at Arvest Bank Theatre at The Midland Friday, March 31.
Paula Poundstone will be at Arvest Bank Theatre at The Midland Friday, March 31. MICHAEL SCHWARTZ

“Tennessee Playboy”

Opens 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 30, at Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre

When “The Playboy of the Western World” by John Millington Synge premiered in Ireland more than 100 years ago, Irish nationalists who considered the play offensive instigated riots. This adapted version set in east Tennessee tells the same tale: A man who has killed his father is on the run and seeking a place to hide, and he finds a group of strangers more than willing to help him. Runs through April 15. 816-569-3226. metkc.org. $15-$49.

“Avenue Q”

Opens 8 p.m. Friday, March 31, at H&R Block City Stage

Featuring multiple puppets interacting with a few human characters, “Avenue Q” is a unique musical comedy that won the 2004 Tony Award “Triple Crown” for Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book. The Music Theatre Kansas City production will follow a recent college graduate who moves into a new apartment and deals with an odd collection of neighbors as well as issues of entering adulthood. Songs include “It Sucks to Be Me” and “If You Were Gay.” Runs through April 8. 913-341-8156. mtkc.org. $15-$25.

Kansas City Ballet, “Sleeping Beauty”

Opens 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 31, at Muriel Kauffman Theatre

This is a chance for the whole family to watch the classic fairy tale about a beautiful princess and a handsome prince come to life in dance. With music by Tchaikovsky (who also composed “Swan Lake”), “Sleeping Beauty” premiered in 1890 and has been performed around the world ever since. This is the ballet’s Kansas City premiere. Runs through April 9. Kauffman Center. 816-931-2232. kcballet.org. $60.50-$135.50.

Paragon Ragtime Orchestra

1 and 8 p.m. Friday, March 31, at Polsky Theatre

The 11-piece Paragon Ragtime Orchestra from Lewisburg, Penn., bills itself as “the world’s only year-round, professional ensemble re-creating ‘America’s Original Music,’” which includes early musical theater, silent cinema and vintage dance. Its program will be “You’re A Grand Old Rag: George M. Cohan’s Broadway.” Carlsen Center, JCCC. 913-469-4445. jccc.edu/theseries. $6 for abbreviated 1 p.m. show; $21-$25.

Paula Poundstone

8 p.m. Friday, March 31, at Arvest Bank Theatre at The Midland

For fans of NPR’s “Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me!,” Paula Poundstone is a Saturday morning radio-listening staple. The Alabama native is also one of the nation’s top comics, having been a favorite on late-night talk shows with Johnny Carson, David Letterman and Jay Leno. In fact, Comedy Central placed her No. 88 on its list of the 100 Greatest Standups of All Time. 816-283-9921. midlandkc.com. $32.50-$37.50.

Anne-Sophie Mutter

7:30 p.m. Friday, March 31, at Folly

A four-time Grammy winner, German violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter made her debut as a soloist 40 years ago at age 13 and made her first recording two years later with the Berlin Philharmonic. The former prodigy’s current U.S. tour with pianist Lambert Orkis will take her to Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center after her performance at the Folly. 816-415-5025. hjseries.org. $30-$85.

Baseball Book Notes Book Festival

9:30 a.m. Saturday, April 1, at Negro Leagues Baseball Museum

Baseball literature will be the focus of this all-day event. Authors will include Sherman Jenkins (“Ted Strong Jr.: The Untold Story of an Original Harlem Globetrotter and Negro League All-Star”), Paul Dickson (“Leo Durocher: Baseball’s Prodigal Son”), Chris Lamb and Michael G. Long (“Jackie Robinson, A Spiritual Biography: The Faith of a Boundary-Breaking Hero”) and Jonathan Eig (“Luckiest Man: The Life and Death of Lou Gehrig” and “Opening Day: The Story of Jackie Robinson’s First Season”). 816-221-1920. nlbm.com. Included with museum admission, $6-$10.

Kansas City Phantoms vs. Bloomington

7:05 p.m. Saturday, April 1, at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena

OJ Simpson has returned home. In his 10th season of professional indoor football, the Truman High School product and former Missouri Western player (no relation to the somewhat better known O.J. Simpson) has been one of the early standouts in the inaugural season of the local Champions Indoor Football team. This will be the Phantoms’ second home game. 816-800-2133. kcphantoms.com. $24-$63.

Missouri Mavericks vs. Wichita

4:05 p.m. Sunday, April 2, at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena

After starting the season 3-8 and 11-20, the Mavericks battled their way back over .500 with the help of a six-game winning streak in February. Now they head into their final ECHL regular-season home game clinging to faint hopes of claiming a playoff spot. They will play three games at Utah to complete the 2016-17 campaign. 816-252-7825. missourimavericks.com. $16-$53.

Kansas City Filmfest

Opens 7 p.m., Wednesday, April 5, at Cinemark Palace on the Plaza

Feature films and documentaries, full-length movies and shorts — all will be part of the five-day celebration of motion pictures. Among the showings of local interest will be “The American Artist: The Life & Times of George Caleb Bingham” at 1 p.m. April 8 and “Rush Brothers” at 6 p.m. April 9. Running in conjunction with the Filmfest will be the Reel Spirit Young Filmmakers Showcase (April 5 and 8) and the New York Dog Film Festival (April 7 and 9). Runs through April 9. kcfilmfest.org. Passes $45-$85; single tickets $10.


7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 5, at Sprint Center

The popular British rock band will headline Coachella later in April and is playing only eight other venues — including the Sprint Center — while in the United States this spring. Radiohead, which has won three Grammy Awards for Best Alternative Music Album, released its ninth studio album, “A Moon Shaped Pool,” last year. Dudu Tassa & the Kuwaitis from Israel will open. 816-949-7000. sprintcenter.com. Tickets to the sold-out concert are $65 and $89.

Kris Kristofferson

8 p.m. Wednesday, April 5, at Uptown

From Rhodes scholar to U.S. Army captain to singer/songwriter/actor, Kris Kristofferson took a circuitous route to the Country Music Hall of Fame. Now 80, the writer of “Me and Bobby McGee,” “Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down,” “Help Me Make It Through the Night” and other great songs continues to write music and tour the world. 816-753-8665. uptowntheater.com. $35-$85.