Kansas City Fringe Festival
Opens Thursday, July 19, at multiple venues
With more than 400 events over 11 days encompassing plays, music, magic, dancing, aerial arts, comedy/improv, spoken word/storytelling, puppets and more at venues ranging from Union Station to the SqueezeBox Theatre, the 14th annual Fringe Festival is simply Kansas City’s biggest summer entertainment event. It all starts with the Opening Night Party at Union Station’s Extreme Screen (7 p.m. Thursday). Runs through July 29. 816-359-9195. Most tickets are $10 through kcfringe.org; attendees must also buy Fringe Festival buttons for $5.
Opens 7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 19, at Kansas City Improv
Since getting his start on local radio and in comedy clubs in the Miami area where he grew up, Benji Brown has become known nationally as a stand-up who can make people laugh. In addition to touring and releasing his own comedy specials, he has appeared on multiple TV shows and is an on-air radio personality for the syndicated “Rickey Smiley Morning Show.” Also, 7:30 and 10 p.m. Friday, July 20; 7 and 10 p.m. Saturday, July 21; and 7 p.m. Sunday, July 22. 816-759-5233. Tickets are $20-$50 through improvkc.com.
Amelia Earhart Festival
Friday-Saturday, July 20-21, in Atchison
This celebration of the legendary aviatrix and Atchison native will consist of a country music extravaganza (LakeFest) Friday night and a wide variety of activities Saturday. Brett Young, Maddie & Tae and A Thousand Horses will perform at LakeFest. Saturday will feature events throughout Atchison, including a run/walk, children’s activities, music on the riverfront, crafts, a symposium and a discussion panel, an evening aerobatic performance and fireworks. visitatchison.com/event/amelia-earhart-festival. Most events other than the carnival (Wednesday-Saturday) and LakeFest (7 p.m. Friday, $25) are free.
3 p.m. Friday, July 20, at Mid-Continent Public Library-Woodneath Library Center
The master of international spy novels returns with his 18th book featuring Gabriel Allon, an art restorer and assassin who serves as the chief of Israel’s secret intelligence service. Daniel Silva, the No. 1 New York Times best-selling author of “The Black Widow” and “House of Spies,” will make a presentation on “The Other Woman” and will meet with fans and sign books. 816-883-4900 or 913-384-3126. mymcpl.org or rainydaybooks.com. Free.
8 and 9:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, July 20-21, at Stanford and Son’s Comedy Club
Local comic David Naster takes the saying that “laughter is the best medicine” literally. He has written books and conducted workshops based on his “You Just Have to Laugh” philosophy that stresses finding humor during difficult times. Naster has honed his stand-up act on stages in the Kansas City area and beyond since the late 1970s. 816-569-2671. Tickets are $10-$15 through stanfordscomedyclub.com.
Royals vs. Minnesota
7:15 p.m. Friday, July 20; 6:15 p.m. Saturday, July 21; and 1:15 p.m. Sunday, July 22, at Kauffman Stadium
One of the silver linings for Royals fans during this cloudy season is that with all the losses has come dwindling attendance, thereby making it easier to nab promotional items on giveaway days. For example, the team will distribute Amos Otis bobbleheads honoring the former center fielder to the first 20,000 fans in attendance Saturday, July 21, which means even late arrivers might go home with bobbleheads. Also, vs. Detroit, 7:15 p.m. Monday-Tuesday, July 23-24, and 1:15 p.m. Wednesday, July 25. 800-676-9257. Tickets are $19-$509 through mlb.com/royals.
6:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, July 21-22, at Worlds of Fun
This won’t be the full-on Harlem Globetrotters experience with the Washington Nationals as the sacrificial lambs. Rather, fans will be able to get up close and personal with the legendary basketball wizards, who will display their ball-handling and shooting skills — as well as their comedic prowess — during 20-minute shows near the International Plaza. 816-454-4545. Included with admission; $37 and up through worldsoffun.com.
Invicta Fighting Championships
7 p.m. Saturday, July 21, at Scottish Rite Temple
A mixed martial arts fight series for women founded in 2012 by longtime MMA executive Shannon Knapp, Invicta promotes match-ups between female competitors and develops future stars of the sport. This will be Invicta’s 30th event, and the evening’s featured match-up will be an atomweight (105 pounds) title fight between Texas product Jinh Yu Frey and Minna Grusander of Finland. Tickets are $25-$50 through invictafc.com/events-main.
7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 21, at City Market
Adults of a certain age will feel right in their element during an evening of big band tunes from the 1930s and 1940s. The Kansas Citians, presented by the Philharmonia of Greater Kansas City, will provide the music, with prizes for best dancers and best dressed. Moondrop Circus also will perform aerial acrobatics, and handcrafted cocktails by Tom’s Town Distilling will be available. 816-842-1271. thecitymarket.org. Free.
2:30 p.m. Sunday, July 22, at Kansas City Public Library-Central Library
“The Prison Letters of Nelson Mandela” was released this month in honor of what would have been the 100th birthday of the anti-apartheid icon and former South African president. His granddaughter will join Mandela Foundation senior researcher Sahm Venter to discuss the portrait of one of the most inspiring figures of the 20th century. Kansas City is one of only four U.S. stops on their book tour, joining New York, San Francisco and Dallas. 816-701-3400. kclibrary.org. Free.
Kansas City’s Big Picnic
4-8 p.m. Sunday, July 22, at Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and Theis Park
An evening of live music, art activities and lawn games will fill an area that stretches from the Nelson-Atkins Museum to Brush Creek. Visitors can pack their own picnic dinners or buy them from a variety of food trucks. Among the attractions will be performances by StoneLion Puppet Theater, a plein air Quick Paint contest and recreation stations with badminton and other activities. kcparks.org/event/kansas-citys-big-picnic-2018. Free.
Sunday, July 22, through July 28, at Sea Life Aquarium
As the Discovery Channel presents its popular Shark Week TV extravaganza for the 30th time, Sea Life will spotlight its four species of the ocean’s fiercest predator — the black tip reef shark, bamboo shark, zebra shark and nurse shark. Visitors to the 28,000 square-foot indoor aquarium also will be able to check out stingrays, sea stars, sea horses, an octopus, jellyfish and thousands of other sea creatures. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday and Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $12 and up through visitsealife.com/kansas-city; admission $16 and up at door.
Also this week
Classical music and dance
Kansas City Baroque Consortium Concert II, July 20, Westport Presbyterian Church. kcbaroque.org
Summerfest 2018: Concert 3, July 21-22, White Recital Hall and St. Mary’s Episcopal Church. summerfestkc.org
“The Addams Family,” July 20-28, Theatre in the Park. theatreinthepark.org
“The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” July 20-22, Yardley Hall. jccc.edu/theseries
Music (rock, pop, jazz)
Mike Zito, July 19, Knuckleheads. knuckleheadskc.com
Neurosis with Converge and Birds in Row, July 19, Granada. thegranada.com
Blues Traveler, July 20, Kansas City Live! powerandlightdistrict.com
Daryl Hall and John Oates with Train, July 20, Sprint Center. sprintcenter.com
The Handsome Family, July 20, Knuckleheads. knuckleheadskc.com
Kidz Bop, July 20, Starlight. kcstarlight.com
Randy Bachman, July 20, Ameristar. ameristar.com
Delbert McClinton with Roxy Roca, July 21, Knuckleheads. knuckleheadskc.com
The Floozies with Opiuo, Sunsquabi and more, July 21, CrossroadsKC. crossroadskc.com
Halsey, July 21, Silverstein Eye Centers Arena. silversteineyecentersarena.com
Robert Cray, July 23, Knuckleheads. knuckleheadskc.com
Shania Twain, July 24, Sprint Center. sprintcenter.com
Journey and Def Leppard, July 25, Sprint Center. sprintcenter.com
Miami County Fair, July 21-28, Paola. miamicountykansasfair.com
Leavenworth County Fair, July 24-28, Tonganoxie. leavenworthcountyfair.com
Kansas City T-Bones vs. Texas, July 20-22, vs. Lincoln, July 24-26, T-Bones Stadium. tbonesbaseball.com