KC events Aug. 15-21: KC Improv fest; Ethnic Enrichment fest at Swope; Mavis Staples

Kansas City Improv Festival

Opens 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 15, at Kick Comedy Theater

If you like to laugh, the Kansas City Improv Festival will provide plenty of chances. The event will draw 39 comedy teams from across the country who will perform 12 shows over two weekends, with Liss N’ Sams and Off Book as the headliners. There also will be 14 comedy workshops. Also, 7 and 10 p.m. Friday, Aug. 16; 5, 7 and 10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 17; 7 p.m. Aug. 22; 7 and 10 p.m. Aug. 23; 5, 7 and 10 p.m. Aug. 24. Tickets are $15-$25 through kcimprovfestival.com.

816 Day

Friday, Aug. 16, at City Market and downtown

The date is Aug. 16 (that’s 8-16) and the area code is 816, so we have a new celebration on the Missouri side of state line — City Market, in particular, but also other parts of downtown. There will be live entertainment, branded events and one-day deals, highlighted by aerial and acro-yoga performances by Voler at 6:16 p.m. and 7:16 p.m. and Kemet Coleman’s theatrical performance, “Electric Park,” at 8:16 p.m. thecitymarket.org or dnakcmo.org/816-day

Ben Folds book signing

2 p.m. Friday, Aug. 16, at Unity Temple on the Plaza

It will be a busy day for Ben Folds. The popular singer-songwriter from North Carolina will perform a concert at Starlight Theatre at 8 p.m., but first he will promote his new memoir, “A Dream About Lightning Bugs: A Life of Music and Cheap Lessons.” He will discuss the book with Vivien Jennings, founder and president of Rainy Day Books, as well as answer audience questions and sign copies for attendees. 913-384-3126. Admission is $37.50 for one or two people (includes one book) through rainydaybooks.com.

“Charlie Parker: Bird’s the Word”

7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 16, at American Jazz Museum

The Jazz Museum’s monthlong celebration of late Kansas City saxophonist Charlie “Yardbird” Parker’s 99th birthday will include a number of free programs, and this one is unique among them. It will start and end with original poetry by Mary Moore and Glenn North, respectively, with a beatbox performance and workshop by Luke Harbur in between. 816-474-8463. americanjazzmuseum.org/event/charlie-parker-birds-word. Free.

DeRay Davis

7:30 and 10 p.m. Friday, Aug. 16; 7 and 10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 17; and 6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 18; at Kansas City Improv

Deray Davis Game Show Network

Having appeared in movies such as “21 Jump Street,” “Barbershop” and “Semi-Pro” as well as on the TV shows “Snowfall,” “Empire” and “Reno 911,” DeRay Davis has firmly established himself in the acting world. But the Chicago native got his start in show business as a standup comic and continues to be standout on the comedy club circuit. His first Netflix special, “DeRay Davis: How to Act Black,” was a hit in 2017. 816-759-5233. Tickets are $30-$40 through improvkc.com.

Ethnic Enrichment Festival

6-10 p.m. Friday, Aug. 16; noon-10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 17; noon-6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 18, at Swope Park

Given the political climate in the United States, perhaps there has been no better time to attend the Ethnic Enrichment Festival and to appreciate the foods, crafts and performing arts that immigrants have brought to our country. More than 60 cultures will be represented at the 40th annual event, one of the nation’s largest festivals of its kind, with booths lining the area near the front entrance to Swope Park. eeckc.org/events/ethnic-enrichment-festival. $5 at gate; 12 and under free.

“Every Brilliant Thing”

Opens 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 16, at Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center

Spinning Tree Theatre will open its 2019-20 season with the Kansas City premiere of “Every Brilliant Thing,” a one-character comedy about suicide. Well, there’s actually more than one character because audience members are drafted to fill certain roles in the story of a 7-year-old who begins compiling a list of brilliant things after her mother attempts suicide. It was first produced in 2013 at the Ludlow Fringe Festival, then had a successful 4-month run off-Broadway and was turned into an HBO documentary. Runs through Sept. 1. 816-569-5277. Tickets are $15-$45 through spinningtreetheatre.com.

Royals vs. N.Y. Mets

7:15 p.m. Friday, Aug. 16; 6:15 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 17; and 1:15 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 18; at Kauffman Stadium

The Mets will be forever known in Kansas City lore as the team the Royals beat in five games to win the 2015 World Series. Both teams have fallen on hard times since then, though the Mets have been nowhere nearly as bad as the Royals the past two seasons. In fact, while the Royals continue their quest to avoid 100 losses for the second consecutive season, the Mets have made a surge to get into contention for a wild-card playoff spot. 800-676-9257. Tickets are $19-$337 through mlb.com/royals.

Croatian Festival

5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 17, at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church

Croatian roots run deep in the Strawberry Hill neighborhood of Kansas City, Kansas, and the century-old St. John the Baptist Croatian Festival celebrates that heritage. Visitors can sample traditional Croatian food such as sarma (cabbage rolls), cobanac (stew) and palacinke (crepes) and listen to Croatian music by Hrvatski Obicaj. There also will be kids’ activities, a boutique and raffles. 913-371-0627. stjohnthebaptistcatholicchurch.com. Free.

KC Taste

Noon-10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 17, at Crown Center

At Kansas City Taste, more than 30 area restaurants will showcase signature dishes from their menus, and local and national chefs will present food demonstrations. Local wineries and distilleries also will be represented, and another component of the festival will be live music, with Cherry Bomb heading the list of acts. Tickets are $20-$75 through crowncenter.com/events/kc-taste.

“A Man and his Dillusions: A Modern Magic Show”

8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 17, at Culture House Stage and Studio

Tyler Korso Corsaut is from San Diego and lives in Overland Park, but like any magician worth his salt, he performs under one exotic-sounding name — Korso. He also has come up with a catchy title for his show, “A Man and his Dillusions,” which combines illusions with comedy. Korso has been featured at conventions, festivals and comedy clubs across the country, opening for national acts including Jimmie “JJ” Walker and Carlos Mencia. 913-393-3141. Tickets are $10-$15 through korsomagic.com.

Mavis Staples

7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 21, at Liberty Hall


Legendary R&B and gospel singer Mavis Staples will not perform, but that doesn’t mean her appearance won’t be entertaining. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and Kennedy Center Honors recipient will share stories from her career, including her experiences with the Civil Rights movement, as part of the Lawrence Public Library’s 780s Music Storytellers Series. 785-749-1972. libertyhall.net. Free; no tickets necessary.

Also this week

Classical music and dance

Summer Singers of Kansas City and Chamber Orchestra, Aug. 18, Grace & Holy Trinity Cathedral. festivalsingers.org


“Empty,” SBG Production Company, Aug. 16-17, Just Off Broadway Theatre. justoffbroadway.org

The Lalas burlesque show, Aug. 16, Ameristar. ameristarkansascity.com


Jon Rudnitsky, Aug. 15-17, Comedy Club of Kansas City. thecomedyclubkc.com

Music (rock, pop, jazz)

Aaron Watson, Aug. 15, Kansas City Live! powerandlightdistrict.com

Buckcherry, Aug. 15, The Truman. thetrumankc.com

Three Dog Night, Aug. 15, Uptown. uptowntheater.com

Vince Gill, Aug. 15, Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland. arvestbanktheatre.com

Ben Folds and Violent Femmes, Aug. 16, Starlight. kcstarlight.com

Future Fields Festival with Minnesota, Quixotic, My Brothers & Sisters, Prismada and more, Aug. 16, CrossroadsKC. crossroadskc.com

John Hiatt, Aug. 16, Knuckleheads. knuckleheadskc.com

Sara Evans, Aug. 16, Legacy Park Amphitheater. rocktheamp.net

Casper Magico and DJ Carolina, Aug. 17-18, BLVD Nights. blvdnights.com

Slipknot, Volbeat, Gojira and Behemoth, Aug. 17, Providence Amphitheater. providenceamp.com

Stephen Marley with Jo Mersa Marley and DJ Shacia Payne, Aug. 17, CrossroadsKC. crossroadskc.com

$uicideboy$ with Denzel Curry, Shoreline Mafia and more, Aug. 18, Providence Amphitheater. providenceamp.com

Chris Isaak, Aug. 20, Uptown. uptowntheater.com

Josh Ritter and The Royal City Band, Aug. 21, Madrid. madridtheatre.com


American Truck Show Circuit, Aug. 16-17, Arrowhead Stadium. atsc.world

BBQ & Fly-In on the River, Aug. 16-17, Excelsior Springs Memorial Airport. visitexcelsior.com/index.php/annual-events/bbq-on-the-river

Midwest Slime Fest KC, Aug. 17, Lenexa Radisson. eventbrite.com/event/56956122295

Book talks/lectures

Timothy Denevi for “Freak Kingdom: Hunter S. Thompson’s Manic Ten-Year Crusade Against American Fascism,” Aug. 21, Kansas City Public Library-Central Library. kclibrary.org


Sporting Kansas City vs. San Jose, Aug. 17. Children’s Mercy Park. sportingkc.com

Kansas City T-Bones vs. Lincoln, Aug. 21-23. T-Bones Stadium. tbonesbaseball.com

Professional Boxing: Shane Mosley Jr. vs Calvin Metcalf, Aug. 16, Memorial Hall. eventbrite.com/event/61267076475


Cheese & Cocktails. 7-9 p.m. Aug. 18. $50. The Better Cheddar, 604 W. 48th. thebettercheddar.com, 816-561-8204

Taste of Blue Springs. Blue Springs Historical Society. 4-8 p.m. Aug. 17. $15-$25. Blue Springs High School, 2000 NW Ashton. tasteofbluesprings.info

KC Taste. Noon-10 p.m. Aug. 17. $20-$75. Crown Center, 2450 Grand. crowncenter.com/events/kc-taste

Hip Hops Hooray. 5-8 p.m. Aug. 17. $35-$50. Diametric Brewing Co., 949 NE Columbus, Lee’s Summit. eventbrite.com/event/62984156307 or newaxiombrewco.com

Farm Table Dinner with chef Kara Anderson. 5 p.m. Aug. 18. $150. Green Dirt Farm, 19935 Mount Bethel, Weston. greendirtfarm.com, 816-386-2156

Ferragosto Dinner with Boulevard Brewing Company. 5:30 p.m. Aug. 15. $65. Lidia’s Kansas City, 101 W. 22nd. lidias-kc.com, 816-221-3722

Victoria Secret: Lily on the Water with Till Vodka and Boozy Botanical. 7:30-10 p.m. April 15. $45. Missouri Barn Dinner Series featuring chef Michael Foust. 5 p.m. Aug. 18. $75. Powell Gardens, 1609 NW U.S. 50, 30 miles east of Kansas City. powellgardens.org, 816-697-2600

Guest Chef Series: The New Midwest. Chef Rick Mullins of Cafe Sebastienne. 6 p.m. Aug. 20. $100. The Savoy, 219 W. Ninth. eventbrite.com or thesavoykc.com, 816-443-4260

Cassoulet night. 4-10 p.m. Aug. 15. $25. Westport Café and Bar, 419 Westport. westportcafeandbar.com, 816-931-4740