Kansas City Irish Fest
5-11 p.m. Friday, Sept. 1; 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, Sept. 2-3, at Crown Center
If you’re Irish, this is an event you can’t miss. And if you’re not, there are still plenty of reasons to attend, starting with 10 stages featuring music by 30 bands (highlighted by The Elders, The High Kings and We Banjo 3) as well as other activities. Among the draws will be Art in the Park, a film festival, comedy shows, heritage workshops and displays and a huge children’s area, not to mention dozens of vendors. Tickets are $7-$12 through kcirishfest.com (general admission for Saturday and Sunday will be $18 starting Friday).
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7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 2, at Sprint Center
Here’s your chance to celebrate Labor Day weekend the traditional way — with a bunch of large, sweaty men and women. The world’s best professional wrestlers will visit the Sprint Center, and WWE Live’s list of competitors includes big names such as John Cena, Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose. Fair warning: WWE’s website says “Talent is subject to change.” Tickets are $17-$102 through sprintcenter.com.
Kansas City Renaissance Festival
Opens 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 2, at Bonner Springs
Ah, those were the good, old days, before antibiotics, electricity and indoor plumbing. The festival grounds will be populated by folks dressed like their medieval ancestors, with stage acts, street acts, music, games, rides, jousting and more. New this year will be the Dragon Encampment and the Throne of Swords Tavern. Runs weekends through Oct. 15, plus Labor Day and Columbus Day. Tickets are $10.50-$12.95 through kcrenfest.com ($12.95-$21.95 at gate; two-day pass $40; season pass $55-$89.95; daily special events $10-$74.95).
“Between the Lines”
Opens 8 p.m. Sept. 8 at Spencer Theatre
Who hasn’t read a book and imagined himself or herself becoming part of the story? In this world premiere play presented by the Kansas City Repertory Theatre, 17-year-old Delilah doesn’t have to imagine — the handsome hero in her favorite book really does start talking to her. From that point, romance, adventure and humor ensue, and Delilah learns some important life lessons. Runs through Oct. 1. Tickets are $25-$75 through kcrep.org.
Opens 8 p.m. Sept. 8 at Starlight Theatre
So the performers might look a bit old to be in high school. (Olivia Newton-John was 29 when the movie was filmed, and she was a huge hit.) With “Grease,” what really matters is the fun music and the relationship between new girl Sandy Dumbrowski and greaser Danny Zuko. Interesting fact: Including the musical’s original Broadway run in 1972 and revivals in 1994 and 2007, “Grease” has been nominated for 11 Tony Awards but hasn’t won any. Runs through Sept. 14. Tickets are $14-$142 through kcstarlight.com.
Buzz Beach Ball
Friday, Sept. 8, Saturday, Sept. 9, at Providence Medical Center Amphitheater
A few devoted listeners to the modern rock radio station 96.5 The Buzz have expressed objections to the bill of this year’s Beach Ball. The presence of the rapper Snoop Dogg and the acerbic hip-hop duo Run the Jewels is an odd fit for indie-rock purists. More discerning music lovers recognize that the lineup represents a gloriously eclectic two-day party. Additional artists include the pop-oriented Foster the People, veteran guitar-rock group the Toadies, indie-rock titans Weezer and the gypsy-punk ravers Gogol Bordello. Festival dates are Friday, Sept. 8 and Saturday, Sept. 9, at Providence Medical Center Amphitheater.Tickets are $20-$54 per day. Two-day passes are $30-$110. Details are available at providenceamp.com.
Kansas City Symphony, Screenland at the Symphony
7 p.m. Sept. 8 and 2 p.m. Sept. 10 at the Kauffman Center
The symphony will begin its new season with “Star Trek Into Darkness” Live. For those unfamiliar with the Screenland at the Symphony format, director J.J. Abrams’ 2013 movie “Star Trek Into Darkness” will play on the big screen while the symphony recreates Michael Giacchino’s score live. In case you’re not a Trekkie, this is the flick in which Benedict Cumberbatch portrays a super-villain. Tickets are $46.50-$91.50 through kcsymphony.org.
“The Vietnam War,” An Evening with Ken Burns and Lynn Novick
7 p.m. Sept. 8 at Arvest Bank Theatre at The Midland
Ken Burns calls “The Vietnam War” his most ambitious project, and that’s saying something coming from the filmmaker responsible for documentaries such as “The Civil War” and “Baseball.” Burns and partner Lynn Novick will be on hand for a first look at their documentary, and fans will see clips from the 18-hour series that will premiere Sept. 17 on PBS. Tickets are $35-$80 through midlandkc.com.
Monday, Sept. 11, at Liberty Hall
In the most effective use of a musician in a cinematic comedy since Jonathan Richman appeared as a troubadour in “There’s Something About Mary,” the Brazilian musician Seu Jorge sang engaging covers of David Bowie songs in the Bill Murray vehicle “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.” Jorge’s acoustic renditions of glam-rock classics like “Life on Mars?” enhanced the 2004 film. The actor and musician is reprising his striking Bowie arrangements and performing his enchanting original compositions on a well-received tour of North America. Tickets are $35-$75 through libertyhall.net.
Wednesday, Sept. 13, at the Uptown Theater
Ben Harper was born too late. Rather than playing to throngs of ecstatic hippies at iconic ‘60s festivals like Woodstock, the anachronistic singer-songwriter resigned himself to playing to admirers with similarly vintage tastes at mid-sized venues. Harper, a master of folk, blues, rock and reggae, is reunited with his band the Innocent Criminals on his current tour, a pairing that allows the California native to recreate old favorites like “Steal My Kisses” with complete authority. Tickets are $45-$89 through uptowntheater.com.
Chiefs vs. Philadelphia
Noon Sept. 17 at Arrowhead
After opening the season Sept. 7 at defending Super Bowl champion New England, the Chiefs will have a 10-day break before playing their only home game of the month. An interesting subplot will be coach Andy Reid facing his former team. The Eagles fired him after he led them to five NFC championship games and one Super Bowl in 14 seasons. Tickets are $63-$474 through chiefs.com.
Sunday, Sept. 17, at the Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland
The sonic equivalent of the latest Tesla sedan, the sleek, state-of-the-art sound of Banks is fashionably functional. By putting a goth spin on contemporary R&B, Banks’ songs like “Crowded Places” sound as if Beyoncé had suddenly become obsessed with Depeche Mode. The resulting voguish dance music of the California born Jillian Rose Banks matches the tenor of the times. “Gemini Feed” and “Fuck With Myself” are among the Banks songs that are simultaneously ominous and sexy. Tickets are $25 through midlandkc.com.
Plaza Art Fair
5-10 p.m. Sept. 22, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sept. 23, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sept. 24 at Country Club Plaza
The area’s biggest and most prestigious art show will fill the Plaza’s streets with tents housing thousands of works by painters, sculptors, photographers and ceramists from around the nation. The three-day fair, which annually attracts more than 250,000 visitors, also will feature music on three stages and plenty of food options. More info at plazaartfair.com.
Opens 7:30 p.m. Sept. 30 at the Kauffman Center
The Lyric Opera’s season opener will be a new production telling a tragic 19th century love story. Tchaikovsky turned Alexander Pushkin’s classic Russian novel into one of the world’s most beloved operas filled with arias and ballroom dance numbers. The libretto, which retains much of Pushkin’s poetry, will be sung in Russian with English subtitles. Additional performances are 7:30 p.m. Oct. 4 and 6, 2 p.m. Oct. 8. Tickets are $35.50-$175.50 through kcopera.org.