Bill James and Rachel McCarthy James
6:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 21, at Kansas City Public Library-Plaza Branch
Some 40 years after becoming a baseball statistical guru with his “Baseball Abstracts,” Lawrence resident Bill James has turned his attention to a whole different ballgame. He and his daughter will appear for “The Man From the Train: The Solving of a Century-Old Serial Killer Mystery,” in which they crack an unsolved mystery surrounding one of the deadliest serial killers in American history. 816-701-3400 or 913-384-3126. kclibrary.org or rainydaybooks.com. Free.
Liberty Fall Festival
11 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 22; 9 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23; noon-4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 24, at Liberty Square
The historic setting around the Clay County Courthouse will help make this festival worth checking out. In addition to visiting the shops on the square, visitors will be able to find quality arts and crafts at about 175 booths. A carnival will run all three days, and there will be a parade at 11 a.m. Saturday and live music on Friday and Saturday evenings. Only carnival and adjacent areas will be open Sunday. 816-781-5200. libertyfallfest.com. Free (except for carnival).
7:30 and 10 p.m. Friday, Sept. 22; 7 and 10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23; 7 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 24, at Kansas City Improv
When you’re a comedian with the name Roland Powell and you stand 5 feet, 2 inches and you hail from Duval County, Fla., why not go by Lil Duval? But be forewarned: This little “Guy Code” star might just as likely offend you as make you laugh, especially if you’re a woman. He popularized the #itaintrape hashtag and recently took heat for saying he would kill any transgender woman if she waited too long in their relationship to reveal she was formerly a male. 816-759-5233. Tickets are $22-$52 through improvkc.com.
Melissa Etheridge with Kansas City Symphony
8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Sept. 22-23, and 7 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 24, at Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts
This will be a homecoming in every sense for Melissa Etheridge. The rock icon from Leavenworth not only will perform close to her hometown, but her three concerts with the Symphony will follow a two-week adventure that began with the Boston Pops on Sept. 3 at the Tanglewood Music Center in Lenox, Mass., took her to Temecula, Calif., on Sept. 7 and moved to Anchorage, Alaska, on Sept. 14-15. Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center. 816-471-0400. Tickets are $40-$90 through kcsymphony.org.
New Dance Partners
8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Sept. 22-23, at Carlsen Center Yardley Hall
In this fourth annual JCCC Performing Arts Series collaboration, four local dance companies will premiere four original works that choreographers created just for the occasion. Performing this year will be Kansas City Ballet, Owen/Cox Dance Group, Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance Company and Störling Dance Company. Johnson County Community College. 913-469-4445. Tickets are $21-$25 through jccc.edu/theseries.
Plaza Art Fair
5-10 p.m. Friday, Sept. 22; 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23; 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 24, at Country Club Plaza
The area’s biggest and most prestigious art show will fill the Plaza’s streets with tents housing thousands of works by nearly 250 painters, sculptors, photographers and ceramists from around the nation. The 86th annual fair, which is expected to attract more than 250,000 visitors, also will feature three stages with music and more than 25 restaurant booths. plazaartfair.com. Free.
Fall Parade of Homes
Saturday, Sept. 23, through Oct. 8 throughout area
From Spring Hill to Smithville and from De Soto to Grain Valley, would-be buyers — and anybody else — can tour their possible dream homes. The Home Builders Association of Greater Kansas City will present nearly 300 houses ranging in price from $249,900 to $1,595,00. The association has created a new app that will allow visitors to check out the homes on their mobile devices. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. daily. kchba.org/kc-parade-of-homes/fall. Free.
Kansas Kids Fest
10:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23, at Children’s Mercy Park
With more than 50,000 square feet featuring inflatables, performances, carnival games, food, face-painting, arts and crafts, and pony rides, this event presented by Sporting Kansas City will have almost anything a kid desires. Meanwhile, parents can meet with instructors, coaches, photographers, day cares, preschools and other businesses that cater to children. Adult tickets are $7-$10 through kansaskidsfest.com; free for under 18; unlimited-play-activity wristbands at gate, $10.
Overland Park Fall Festival
7 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23, at Santa Fe Commons Park
Not many celebrations cram so many activities into a single day. A parade through downtown at 10 a.m. will highlight the Overland Park Fall Festival, which also will include arts and crafts, a farmers market, three stages of concerts, children’s entertainment and food. Local Irish rockers the Elders will headline the music with a concert scheduled for 3:30 p.m. opkansas.org/events/overland-park-fall-festival. Free.
Sporting Kansas City vs. Los Angeles
1 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 24, at Children’s Mercy Park
In the Western Conference of Major League Soccer, eight of the 11 teams — including Sporting — are still competing for six playoff spots. The Los Angeles Galaxy is one of the three Western teams whose playoff hopes have been dashed, so this is a match Sporting should win. However, it also is the home team’s third match in eight days (including the U.S. Open Cup final), so fatigue could be a factor. 913-387-3400. Tickets are $42-$69 through sportingkc.com.
Royals vs. Detroit
7:15 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, Sept. 26-28, at Kauffman Stadium
This series will begin one day after the Royals conclude an 11-game road trip during which their hopes to earn a wild-card playoff spot all but ended. So in the season’s final six games, all at home, they likely will be merely playing out the string. If nothing else, Tuesday’s game will be Love Your Melon Night. 800-676-9257. Tickets are $16-$104 through kansascity.royals.mlb.com.
“Driving Miss Daisy”
Opens 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 27, at New Theatre
Before it was a popular movie in 1989, “Driving Miss Daisy” began life as an off-Broadway play by Alfred Uhry in 1987. And the story of a wealthy white widow and her longtime black chauffeur still holds up 30 years later. This version will star Michael Learned from “The Waltons” and Charlie Robinson from “Night Court.” Runs through Nov. 26. 913-649-7469. Tickets are $34-$60 through newtheatre.com.
Also this week
Classical music and dance
Charlie Albright, pianist, Sept. 23, Folly. hjseries.org
Kansas City Symphony, “Classics Uncorked: Future Favorites,” Sept. 26, Kauffman Center. kcsymphony.org
Music (rock, pop, jazz)
JJ Grey & Mofro with Ben Miller Band, Sept. 21, Knuckleheads. knuckleheadskc.com
Black Violin, Sept. 22, Lied Center. lied.ku.edu
Déjà Vu, Sept. 22, Providence Medical Center Amphitheater. providenceamp.com
Dennis DeYoung, Sept. 22, Ameristar. ameristar.com
Gorillaz with Danny Brown, Sept. 22, Sprint Center. sprintcenter.com
The Skatalites, Sept. 22, Crossroads KC. crossroadskc.com
Manchester Orchestra, Sept. 23, Crossroads KC. crossroadskc.com
Cornstock Concert on the Hill Music Festival featuring Easton Corbin, Casey Donahew and BlackHawk, Sept. 23, North Lake Park, Garnett. accornfest.com
EOTO, Sept. 23, Liberty Hall. libertyhall.net
Frank Werth with Michael Moore and TCB Band, Sept. 23, VooDoo. voodookc.com
Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, Sept. 23, Sprint Center. sprintcenter.com
Wilco, Sept. 23, Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland. midlandkc.com
Andy Mineo, Sept. 24, The Truman. thetrumankc.com
Boyce Avenue, Sept. 24, Granada. thegranada.com
Kenny Rogers, Sept. 24, Lied Center. lied.ku.edu
Rise Against with Pierce the Veil and White Lung, Sept. 24, Uptown. uptowntheater.com
Dark Star Orchestra, Sept. 25, Granada. thegranada.com
Post Malone, Sept 25, Uptown. uptowntheater.com
Hard Working Americans, Sept. 26, Knuckleheads. knuckleheadskc.com
Stone Sour with Steel Panther and Cherry Bombs, Sept. 26, Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland. midlandkc.com
Sylvan Esso with Helando Negro, Sept. 26, CrossroadsKC. crossroadskc.com
The Weeknd with Gucci Mane and Nav, Sept. 26, Sprint Center. sprintcenter.com
Martin Sexton Trio, Sept. 27, Granada. thegranada.com
Matchbox Twenty and Counting Crows with Rivers & Rust, Sept. 27, Starlight. kcstarlight.com
UNplaza Art Fair, Sept. 23-24, Southmoreland Park. peaceworkskc.org/unplaza
Raymore Festival in the Park, Sept. 21-23, Raymore. raymorefestival.com
Lee’s Summit Oktoberfest, Sept. 22-23, Downtown Lee’s Summit. lsoktoberfest.com
Shawnee Great Grillers Blues and Barbeque State Championship, Sept. 22-23, Shawnee Town. shawneegreatgrillers.com
“Cattle, Cowboys, and Culture: Kansas City and Amarillo, Building an Urban West,” Sept. 23-March 18, Kansas City Public Library-Central Library. kclibrary.org
Ciderfest, Sept. 23-24 and Sept. 30-Oct. 1, Louisburg Cider Mill. louisburgcidermill.com/ciderfest
Grand Festival of Chez les Canses, Sept. 23, Fort Osage National Historic Landmark. makeyourdayhere.com
High Plains Brew Hoff, Sept. 23, Brew Lab. highplainsbrewhoff.com
Wild West Days, Sept. 23-24, Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop & Farm. mahaffie.org
American Indian Cultural Celebration, Sept. 24, Nelson-Atkins Museum. nelson-atkins.org
“The World Remembers,” Sept. 26-Nov. 11, National WWI Museum. theworldwar.org
Cindy Kaza, Sept. 27, Kansas City Improv. improvkc.com
Barbara Powell Allen and Deborah Jean for “Becoming Marjorie: The Life and Legacy of Marjorie Powell Allen,” Sept. 24, Unity Temple on the Plaza. rainydaybooks.com
Ed Darack for “The Final Mission of Extortion 17: Special Ops, Helicopter Support, SEAL Team Six, and the Deadliest Day of the U.S. War in Afghanistan,” Sept. 26, Kansas City Public Library-Plaza Branch. rainydaybooks.com or kclibrary.org
Jennet Conant for “Man of the Hour: James B. Conant, Warrior Scientist,” Sept. 27, Linda Hall Library. rainydaybooks.com
“Writers at War: Literature and the Wartime Experience” with Matthew Eck, H.C. Palmer and Whitney Terrell, Sept. 27, Kansas City Public Library-Central Library. kclibrary.org
Lakeside Speedway, World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series, Sept. 22. lakesidespeedway.net
Kansas City Zoo Run, Sept. 23, Kansas City Zoo. kansascityzoorun.org