7:30 and 10 p.m. Friday, May 25; 7 and 10 p.m. Saturday, May 26; 7 p.m. Sunday, May 27; at Kansas City Improv
A native of Tipton, Mo., and briefly a student at the University of Missouri, David Koechner has established himself as a classic comedy character actor on TV (“Superior Donuts” and “The Office”) and in the movies (“Anchorman”). He comes to town annually as one of the hosts of the Big Slick Celebrity Weekend, which will be June 1-2, so this stand-up gig will kick off a homecoming week for Koechner. 816-759-5233. Tickets are $20-$50 through improvkc.com.
USA Weightlifting National Championships
8 a.m. Friday-Sunday, May 25-27, at Overland Park Convention Center
With the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo only two years away, the national championships of USA Weightlifting will be a rare chance to see potential Olympians in action locally. More than 300 athletes will compete for national titles in 16 weight classes (eight men and eight women). Tickets are $15 (members $10 per session and $25 for weekend) through teamusa.org/usa-weightlifting.
“Ain’t No Such Thing as Midnight Black”
Opens 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 25, at Just Off Broadway Theatre
KC MeltingPot Theatre will present this provocative play by Kansas City, Kan., native Lewis Morrow. Ellington DeCloud, tired of watching black people die, devises a plan to take 1,000 blacks to a remote place where they can establish their own businesses, own farms and create a way of life sustainable for generations to come. Needless to say, it’s not a simple process. Runs through June 9. 816-226-8087. Tickets are $23-$27.50 through kcmeltingpot.com.
“Illuminated Waters,” Puppets for the Planet Festival
6-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday, May 25-26, at Theis Park
When StoneLion Puppet Theater says its performance will feature giant puppets, it means GIANT puppets. These guys will stand as tall as 20 feet and require 10 puppeteers to manipulate as they glow and play above and in the water of Brush Creek. The two-day festival, which also will provide food trucks, interactive art, a glow party, games and music, is designed to emphasize the importance of clean water to the survival of our planet. stonelionpuppets.org or kcparks.org/event/illuminated-waters-2. Free.
7:30 p.m. Friday, May 25, at Uptown
Perhaps you’ve heard of James Comey and his book, “A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership.” The former FBI director’s takedown of President Donald Trump, who fired him, became a runaway best-seller as soon as it was released April 17, and Comey has been touring in support of the book ever since. 913-384-3126. rainydaybooks.com. Sold out.
Lawrence Busker Festival
5 p.m. Friday, May 25; noon Saturday, May 26; 12:15 p.m. Sunday, May 27; in Downtown Lawrence
More than 20 odd and amazing acts will perform on five stages at the 11th annual Lawrence Busker Festival, the area’s largest gathering of street performers. Among the stars will be Gazzo, a street magician from Britain, and Pete Sweet, a slack rope walker from Germany. Also on hand will be jugglers, acrobats, a speed painter and a strongwoman, as well as live music. lawrencebuskerfest.com. Free; tips encouraged.
Memorial Day Weekend
10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday-Monday, May 25-28, at National WWI Museum and Memorial
The museum’s long list of displays and activities over four days will include more than 20 vintage military vehicles from World War I, World War II, the Korean War and Operation Desert Storm as well as the Wounded Warrior Family Support High-Five Tour Vehicle and a Vietnam-era Bell UH-1 Iroquois “Huey” Helicopter. The Memorial Day ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. Monday with a keynote address by former space shuttle commander Jon McBride. 816-888-8100. theworldwar.org. $5-$8; free for veterans and active duty military personnel.
Trivial Pursuit: A 50-State Adventure
Opens Saturday, May 26, at Crown Center Shops
There are no losers in this version of Trivial Pursuit. Visitors will take a pretend trek across the United States, with an activity for every state and the District of Columbia, at the traveling exhibit that includes hundreds of trivia questions at interactive game stations. Photomurals will depict some of America’s most beautiful tourist destinations as the exhibit also highlights our nation’s geography, history, music and pastimes. Runs through Sept. 3. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. 816-274-8444. crowncenter.com. Free.
Sporting Kansas City vs. Columbus
5 p.m. Sunday, May 27, at Children’s Mercy Park
About one-third of the way through the Major League Soccer season, Sporting Kansas City has shown no signs of faltering. Sporting has stood atop the Western Conference almost the entire season, having gone 4-0-1 at home since losing its season opener. It will face the Columbus Crew, which is battling for the top spot in the Eastern Conference, to begin a stretch of three of four matches at home. 913-387-3400. Tickets are $35-$64 through sportingkc.com.
Kansas City Symphony, Bank of America Celebration at the Station
8 p.m. Sunday, May 27, at Union Station
The largest free Memorial Day weekend festival in the Midwest will include a flyover by the KC Flight Formation Team and musical guests Airman First Class Melissa Edgmon from the U.S. Air Force Band of Mid-America and operatic baritone John Brancy. As always, the Kansas City Symphony will provide the patriotic music, capped by a fireworks display. The event site will open at 3 p.m., with pre-concert musical acts, food trucks and other activities. 816-471-0400. kcsymphony.org/celebration. Free.
“A Chorus Line”
Opens 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 29, at Muriel Kauffman Theater
The classic “A Chorus Line,” presented by Big League Productions, celebrates the singers and dancers who make up the ensemble of a Broadway musical. With music by Marvin Hamlisch, it won the Pulitzer Prize and nine Tony Awards, including best musical, in 1976. Songs include “I Can Do That,” “One” and “What I Did for Love.” Runs through June 3. Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. 816-421-7500. Tickets are $49.50-$99 through broadwayinkc.com.
Opens 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 30, at Unicorn Theatre
This 2015 play by Taylor Mac is a family comedy of the darkest kind. A soldier returns home from Afghanistan to find his mother liberated from an oppressive marriage while his stroke-stricken father slumps in a corner and his sister is now a transgender boy. Charles Isherwood of The New York Times calls it an “audacious and uproarious black comedy.” Runs through June 24. 816-531-7529. Tickets are $32-$42 through unicorntheatre.org.
Also this week
Classical music and dance
Kansas City Symphony, “Sounds Relaxing,” May 30, Kauffman Center. kcsymphony.org
Grandma Lee, May 29-June 2, Stanford’s Comedy Club. stanfordscomedyclub.com
Ian Bagg, May 30, RecordBar. therecordbar.com
Music (rock, pop, jazz)
John Anderson with Corb Lund and Elizabeth Cook, May 24, Knuckleheads. knuckleheadskc.com
Nikki Lane, Jason Eady and Sara Morgan, May 25, Knuckleheads. knuckleheadskc.com
Slander, May 25, Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland. midlandkc.com
Melvins, May 25, RecordBar. therecordbar.com
Poison with Cheap Trick and Pop Evil, May 25, Sprint Center. sprintcenter.com
Stryper, May 25, Ameristar. $25. ameristar.com
Westport Roots Music Festival, May 25-27, Westport Saloon. westportroots.com
Banda Los Recoditos, May 26, Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland. midlandkc.com
Farruko, May 26, Uptown. uptowntheater.com
Keith Harkin, May 26, Knuckleheads. knuckleheadskc.com
Day Lit Vol.1 with Donell Jones, Case, Le Vell and Asa Barnes, May 27, Crossroads KC. crossroadskc.com
The Head and the Heart with Grouplove, May 29, Starlight. kcstarlight.com
Kimbra, May 29, Madrid. madridtheatre.com
Daughtry, May 30, Uptown. uptowntheater.com
Shrine Rodeo & Demo Derby, May 24-26, Leavenworth County Fairgrounds. shrinerodeo.com
Kansas City Tattoo Arts Convention, May 25-27, Sheraton Crown Center. facebook.com/events/298125703989717
Browne’s Irish Street Faire, May 26, Browne’s Irish Marketplace. brownesirishmarket.com
Kansas City Nanobrew Festival, May 26, Berkley Riverfront Park. kcnanobrews.com
Westport Block Party, May 27, Westport and Pennsylvania. westportkcmo.com
Jon Meacham for “The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels,” May 24, Unity Temple on the Plaza. rainydaybooks.com
Kansas City Phantoms (arena football) vs. Texas, May 25. Silverstein Eye Centers Arena. kcphantoms.com
Royals vs. Minnesota, May 28-30. Kauffman Stadium. mlb.com/royals
Going the Distance for Brain Injury Run, May 28, Loose Park. biarun.org