Thursday through Sunday at Kansas City Improv
John Caparulo may hope that the audiences he faces at Kansas City Improv haven’t heard his dismissive routine about Missouri. The comedian suggests that he was barreling through the state because it’s “just cold and cows” when he was ticketed by a policeman. “130 bucks, that’s ridiculous — rent’s not 130 bucks in Missouri,” Caparulo jokes. When the officer asked why he was speeding, Caparulo responded that, “I’m trying to get up to 88 miles an hour so I can get back to 1985.” A male counterpart to Roseanne Barr, Caparulo often wears a T-shirt and a cap as he spews profanity-laden jokes about his personal life. The recent birth of his first child is likely to provide a wealth of new material.
7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 3, 7:30 and 9:45 p.m. Friday, Sept. 4, and Saturday, Sept. 5, 7 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 6. Kansas City Improv. 816-759-5233. improvkc.com. $17-$25.
Kansas City Royals
Friday through Wednesday at Kauffman Stadium
Following a series with the Detroit Tigers, the Royals’ home stand continues with games against two other Central Division foes. A strong showing by the Royals could decisively settle the standings. Should the team unexpectedly flounder, things could become interesting. The Chicago White Sox are struggling to even their record, but an impressive August winning streak indicated that the Twins haven’t given up on their daunting goal of overtaking the Royals. The mere thought of the members of the Royals losing their collective mojo makes Friday’s unusual promotion especially scary. Fans who have purchased select Zombie Night tickets will receive a Royals Zombie bobblehead figure.
Vs. Chicago: 7:10 p.m. Friday, Sept. 4, 6:10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 5, 1:10 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 6. Vs. Minnesota: 7:10 p.m. Monday, Sept. 7, 7:10 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 8, and Wednesday, Sept. 9. Kauffman Stadium. 816-921-8000. kansascity.royals.mlb.com. $9-$118.
SantaCaliGon Days Festival
Friday through Monday at the Independence Square
One of the most impressive elements of the SantaCaliGon Days Festival is its imposing sprawl. The event celebrating the integral role Independence played in the westward expansion of the nation is immense. The layout includes the noisy commotion of a carnival midway and several craft tents. National entertainers include Head East, the rock band behind the 1974 hit “Never Been Any Reason,” and Kansas City blues-rock band Katy Guillen & the Girls. More than a dozen faith-based acts will perform on a stage dedicated to gospel. Non-musical presentations include a Little Mr. & Miss Independence pageant and a root beer chugging contest.
Noon-11 p.m. Friday, Sept. 4, 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 5, and Sunday, Sept. 6, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday, Sept. 7. Independence Square. 816-252-4745. santacaligon.com. Free.
Kansas City Irish Fest
Friday through Sunday at Crown Center
Baile an Salsa, one of the many bands appearing at the 13th edition of Kansas City Irish Fest this weekend, may cause some people to think they’ve entered the wrong festival. The expansive Galway-based band with musicians from eight countries is just as likely to play salsa as it is to perform the music associated with Ireland. Kansas City favorites the Elders and Galway’s acclaimed traditional Celtic and folk ensemble We Banjo 3 are among the other entertainers. Shopping, whiskey tastings, children’s activities and presentations by comedians, poets and storytellers are available for attendees who’ve had their fill of bagpipes and fiddles.
5-11 p.m. Friday, Sept. 4, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 5, and Sunday, Sept. 6. Crown Center. 816-997-0837. kcirishfest.com. Tickets are $10 on Friday and $18 on Saturday and Sunday. Weekend passes are $30. Children ages 3 to 12 are $5.
Friday in the Crossroads Arts District
First Friday events in the Crossroads Arts District provide an ideal opportunity to shop, socialize, dine and people-watch. AlphaGraphics Kansas City, 1717 Oak, is an appealing initial destination. The printing, design and marketing company is hosting a scavenger hunt. Arts options abound, but Friday is the final day to catch “A Universe of Collisions” exhibition at Grand Arts, 1819 Grand. The war-themed work is the creation of a collective with dual headquarters in Vietnam and California.
Friday, Sept. 4. Crossroads Arts District. 816-994-9325. kccrossroads.org. Free.
Kansas City Renaissance Festival
Opens Saturday in Bonner Springs
Popular perception to the contrary, there’s a lot more to the Kansas City Renaissance Festival than copious amounts of mead and cleavage. The annual themed event continues to evolve to accommodate contemporary interests and sensibilities. With activities ranging from zip-line rides to fairy house competitions, the festival appeals to a wide range of people who have little interest in alcohol or revealing costumes. A series of eight themed weekends is intended to keep the event fresh and to attract repeat visitors. Bellydance lessons and performances, “fantasy mask” competitions and eating contests are among the attractions at the opening weekend’s “Wonders of the World” concept.
Weekends through Oct. 18. Opening weekend is Saturday, Sept. 5-Monday, Sept. 7. Bonner Springs. 913-721-2110. kcrenfest.com. Prices at the gate are $20.95 for adults and $11.95 for children ages 5 to 12.
Festival of the Lost Township
Saturday in downtown Raytown
The signature component of the Festival of the Lost Township features “eight Kansas City chefs pairing their unique style of food with a craft beer.” Celina Tio of Julian, the Belfry and the Collection event space is among the wizards of the kitchen participating in the event. Neil Witte, the field quality/training manager at Duvel USA, Boulevard Brewing Co., will also be on hand to share his expertise at the beer and food festival. Representatives of about 20 breweries and distilleries, including locally based concerns J. Rieger & Co., Dark Horse Distillery and Cinder Block Brewery, will dispense their wares in Raytown on Saturday. Cover band Favorite Daze will provide the soundtrack.
11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 5. Downtown Raytown. festivalofthelosttownship.org. $35 in advance and $40 at the gate.
Midwest Chamber Ensemble
Sunday at the Lutheran Church of the Resurrection
The Kansas City Symphony’s “Pops in the Park” event isn’t the only notable free classical concert this Labor Day weekend. The Midwest Chamber Ensemble opens its fourth season on Sunday. Based at the Lutheran Church of the Resurrection in Prairie Village, the ensemble is quietly emerging as one of the area’s most intriguing arts groups. Boasting exciting young composers and musicians, the ensemble is readying an album titled “Voices From the Middle: New Music From Kansas City” for release. Sunday’s program includes the playing of pianist Emily Casteen on Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 21 and an interpretation of Ludwig van Beethoven’s First Symphony.
7:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 6. Lutheran Church of the Resurrection. 913-396-9878. midwestchamberensemble.org. Free but donations accepted.
Kansas City Symphony, “Pops in the Park”
Monday at Shawnee Mission Park
The Kansas City Symphony’s Celebration at the Station on Memorial Day weekend and the trek deep into Kansas for the Symphony in the Flint Hills may be the ensemble’s two most prominent annual concerts. While it lacks the grand scale of the former and the unique setting of the latter, the Symphony’s “Pops in the Park” event is also a highlight of the region’s arts calendar. The free concert doubles as a farewell to summer and as a welcoming introduction to classical music for active young families who may not find the time to regularly attend the Symphony’s concerts in Helzberg Hall. The Symphony’s program includes appropriately festive fare. The Youth Symphony of Kansas City and an instrument petting zoo provide pre-concert entertainment.
7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 7. Shawnee Mission Park. 816-471-0400. kcsymphony.org. Free.
Tuesday through Saturday at Quality Hill Playhouse
Although she’s a holdover from an age in which television viewers were often required to fiddle with antennas to watch one of her record-setting 76 appearances on “The Tonight Show,” Marilyn Maye, 87, remains entirely vital. The cabaret star who has spent much of her career in Kansas City impressed a critic for The New York Times at a Frank Sinatra-themed show in April. He suggested that Maye’s performance was “a phenomenal demonstration of one woman’s stamina and musical intelligence.” Maye’s enduring popularity, the critic added, is “a testament to the size of her talent and the warmth of her personality.” Her brief residency at Quality Hill Playhouse should serve as a celebratory homecoming.
7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 8, 1 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 9, 1 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 10, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 11, 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 12. Quality Hill Playhouse. 816-421-1700. qualityhillplayhouse.com. $40; $37 for students and patrons 60 and older.
Itzhak Perlman, violinist, and Emanuel Ax, pianist
Tuesday at Helzberg Hall
Neither Itzhak Perlman nor Emanuel Ax possesses the looks or the Internet savvy of today’s elite pop musicians. Yet in the classical world, the men are rock stars. Their celebrity transcends category. The pairing of the brilliant violinist born in Tel Aviv and the illustrious pianist from the Ukraine is one of the highlights of 2015 for classical devotees and music lovers of all persuasions. The illustrious duo will perform both of the selections featured on their new album for the Deutsche Grammophon label: Gabriel Fauré’s Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 1 in A major, Op. 13 and Richard Strauss’ Sonata for Violin and Piano in E flat major, Op. 18.
7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 8. Helzberg Hall. 816-415-5025. hjseries.org. $25-$80.
Cirque Éloize’s iD
Tuesday through Sept. 13 at Starlight Theatre
An actress portraying the title character soared above audiences during a production of “Mary Poppins” at Starlight Theatre earlier this summer. If the decidedly quaint production was capable of dazzling theatergoers with a special effect, there’s no telling what a troupe that specializes in fantastic displays has on tap for Kansas City audiences. Cirque Éloize, a company founded in Québec in 1993, is associated with energetic, visually dynamic productions. The show combines extreme sports and modern dance while demonstrating imaginative new uses for trampolines.
8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 8-Sept. 13. Starlight Theatre. 816-363-7827. kcstarlight.com. $13-$141.