Royals vs. Boston Red Sox (Sept. 11-14) and vs. Chicago White Sox (Sept. 15-17)
Following a pivotal road trip that pitted the team against the New York Yankees and the Detroit Tigers, the Kansas City Royals return to Kauffman Stadium for their final home stand of the year, which opens with games against the Boston Red Sox and the Chicago White Sox. Several attractive diversions may entice people who aren’t entirely riveted by the Royals’ playoff chase. A Beers of the K tasting will help thirsty fans prepare for Sept. 12’s game. The popular children’s Fun Run follows the Sept. 14 contest. Dogs are welcome at the Sept. 17 Bark at the Park promotion.
7:10 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 11 and Friday, Sept. 12; 6:10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 13; 1:10 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 14; 7:10 p.m. Monday, Sept. 15 through Wednesday, Sept. 17. Kauffman Stadium. 800-676-9257. kcroyals.com. $8-$119. (Additional fees apply to Beers at the K and Bark at the Park.)
Kansas City Symphony’s opening weekend: “Joyce DiDonato Returns!”
The pride of Prairie Village, Joyce DiDonato is in the prime of her career. Her three performances with the Kansas City Symphony this weekend are bookended by high-profile concerts in the United Kingdom and Germany. Her sumptuous new album, “Stella di Napoli,” is a strong contender to earn DiDonato her second Grammy Award. Earlier this year the Juilliard School bestowed DiDonato with an honorary doctorate. Ravel’s “Shéhérazade” is among the selections that the graduate of Bishop Miege High School will perform at Helzberg Hall. DiDonato will also host a voice master class at 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 13.
8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 12, and Saturday, Sept. 13; 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 14. Helzberg Hall at Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. 816-471-0400. kcsymphony.org. $28-$76.
The illicit shenanigans associated with outdoor music festivals are likely to be few and far between at this weekend’s Nehemiah Festival. The family-friendly Christian music festival includes headlining appearances by Cloverton, a rock trio from Manhattan, Kan., and Bread of Stone, a band from Sioux City, Iowa, that evokes the secular band OneRepublic. More than three dozen additional acts are slated to perform on the festival’s four stages.
4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 12; 9 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 13; 10 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 14. Smith’s Fork Park, Smithville. nehemiahfest.com. Free. Camping rates range from $12 to $50 per tent.
Brush Creek Art Walk
The Brush Creek Art Walk was initiated in part to encourage people to enjoy the walkways alongside the body of water. Many who have strolled on the path on the south side of the Country Club Plaza don’t realize that the Brush Creek walkway extends for miles. The underutilized expanse will be documented in works by plein air painters this weekend. Quick-paint competitions on each day of the event may be the most entertaining way to observe artists in action. Sunday’s contest includes performances by reggae ensemble Az One, folk duo Barclay Martin and Rick Willoughby, and the Expassionates, a rock band.
Friday, Sept. 12; Saturday, Sept. 13; Sunday, Sept. 14. Brush Creek Trail. 913-707-8337. brushcreekartwalk.org. Free, $45 to register to paint.
Jesse James Festival
Jesse James was born in Kearney in 1847. Rather than glorifying the legacy of the outlaw, however, the Jesse James Festival serves as a friendly celebration of community pride. Dan Colt, president of the Jesse James Festival Committee, says the event has been bringing together residents of the town 25 miles northeast of downtown Kansas City for more than 40 years. Organized entirely by volunteers, the festival this year includes a barbecue competition with more than 60 teams, a carnival, a demolition derby, a mud volleyball tournament, a fishing contest, and music by bluegrass and country bands.
Saturday, Sept. 13; Tuesday, Sept. 16; Thursday, Sept. 18; and Friday, Sept. 19, through Sunday, Sept. 21. Kearney. jessejamesfestival.com. $5 parking fee per car, most events are free.
KC and the Sunshine Band
“That’s the way, uh huh, uh huh, I like it.” The lyrics of KC and the Sunshine Band’s 1975 hit “That’s the Way (I Like It)” may not qualify as great poetry, but the song defines the moment in which the disco craze became a widespread American obsession. The ensemble’s name continues to cause confusion decades later. Rather than referencing Kansas City, the band’s moniker is a derivation of bandleader Harry Wayne Casey’s surname. The free concert Sept. 13 in the Power & Light District includes a ’70s costume contest and an opening set by DJ Quick.
7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 13. KC Live. 816-842-1045. powerandlightdistrict.com. Free, must be 21 or older.
Plaza 10K and 2-mile walk and run
“I’m running to the Plaza,” a phrase often employed by area residents with a penchant for dining and shopping, will take on an entirely different meaning on Sept. 14. Billed as “the largest 10K in Kansas and Missouri,” the Plaza run begins and ends on the Country Club Plaza and extends from U.S. 71 to the east and almost all the way to State Line Road to the west. Electronic chips attached to the shoelaces of participants will time the runners. Less ambitious athletes can participate in the 2-mile walk and run. The annual event benefits Kids TLC, an organization dedicated to “transforming lives of children and families in our community.”
7:30 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 14. Country Club Plaza. 816-569-4508. plaza10k.com. $55 for the 10K, $25 for the 2-mile and $10 for a kids run.
Jessie Burton for “The Miniaturist”
Tabbed by many prognosticators as a breakout author of 2014, Jessie Burton is an unlikely literary celebrity. She toiled for years as a London-based actress before being struck by a bolt of inspiration while viewing a 17th-century dollhouse at a museum in Amsterdam. Burton’s imaginative story led to a lucrative contract. A review in the British newspaper The Telegraph praised Burton’s debut novel, suggesting that “(e)very sentence is a gorgeous, finely turned thing, and domestic snapshots come straight from Vermeer or Dutch still lifes.” In spite of Burton’s newfound fame, Fairway is just one of a handful of North American cities in which Burton will discuss her work of historical fiction during her international book tour.
7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 16. Rainy Day Books, 2706 W. 53rd St., Fairway. 913-384-3126. rainydaybooks.com. $26.95 plus tax for a hardcover copy of “The Miniaturist” and an autograph reservation.
The Kansas City Blues Society’s Skinny Tuesday Pub Crawl
Area blues aficionados face a nightly embarrassment of riches. So many venues feature the music that selecting a single option can prove challenging. The Kansas City Blues Society’s Skinny Tuesday Pub Crawl eliminates the need to make difficult decisions. Six buses will transport revelers to seven venues across the city. The musical destinations include performances by the dynamic Linda Shell and the Blues Thang at the Well in Waldo, the accordion-driven sound of Ernest James Zydeco at BB’s Lawnside BBQ in south Kansas City, and the Bel Airs’ “rockin’ rhythm ’n’ blues” at Knuckleheads in the East Bottoms.
7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 16. kcbluessociety.org. $20.
J. Chris Newberg
J. Chris Newberg is a musical comedian. In “Perfect,” a typically droll composition, Newberg sings the praises of his girlfriend. She put his dog to sleep, snorts heroin and robs convenience stores, but “other than that, she’s perfect.” In “Bad Idea,” he suggests that “vomiting on a police offer, then asking directions to the closest liquor store” and “opening up a disco in Alaska and calling it ‘Club Baby Seals’” are ill-conceived notions. The comedian from Michigan received a career boost on the 2011 edition of the television competition “America’s Got Talent” in which he was championed by judge Howie Mandel.
8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 17, and Thursday, Sept. 18; 7:45 and 9:45 p.m. Friday, Sept. 19, and Saturday, Sept. 20. Stanford’s Comedy Club, 7328 W. 119th St., Overland Park. 913-400-7500. stanfordscomedyclub.com. $10-$35.