The best events in KC: October 2023

Photo courtesy of Weston Applefest.

Apple pies, apple butter, apple cider, apple dumplings and, of course, just plain old apples can all be found at Weston’s annual Applefest.

Since 1990, this quaint Missouri town has celebrated all things apple with this annual fall festival held the first full weekend of October. It began as a way to acknowledge Weston’s rich history of apple growing and orchard farming, but civic leaders later decided to turn their city’s idyllic Main Street into a free family festival. 

The historic downtown district—which dates back to 1837—serves as a scenic backdrop for more than sixty artisanal booths as well as brick-and-mortar shops full of undiscovered treasures, restaurants, bars and a brewery.

A parade complete with marching bands, antique tractors, classic cars and fire trucks kicks off the festivities Saturday morning. Throughout the weekend, festivalgoers will have the opportunity to learn how apple butter and apple cider are made. Along with live music, there will be plenty of other entertaining activities for adults and kids alike, including a maze, pony rides, face painting and pumpkin painting. Go ahead and grab a warm fritter, find the perfect hand-crafted art object, and get ready for a new season.

GO: October 7–8. Main Street, Weston, Missouri.

311

October 1. 6:30 pm

First formed in Omaha in the late eighties, 311 got their name from the police code for “indecent exposure,” and things have only gone how you’d expect from there. Capitalizing on the late ’90s rap-rock fad, the band went on to fuse reggae, hip-hop, funk and metal to carry them into the new millennium. 311 is one of the longest original lineups in rock, alongside Radiohead or U2, but that’s where the comparisons end. On their stop in KC, the band is joined by AWOLNATION and Blame My Youth. October 1. 6:30 pm. Grinders.

Beyoncé
Photo courtesy of GEHA Arrowhead Stadium.

October 1. 8 pm.

Put on your sequined cowboy hats and black bodysuit: Beyoncé’s Renaissance World Tour is coming to KC. Her opening act features soulful ballads, leading into a show that includes most of the Renaissance album along with other hits from her iconic career. Beyoncé’s enduring impact and legacy within the realm of Black musicians and artists resonate throughout the three-hour performance, embodying her far-reaching influence. October 1. 8 pm. GEHA Stadium at Arrowhead.

The Wonder Years

October 6. 6:45 pm.

Pennsylvania-based pop-punk legend The Wonder Years is touring this fall to celebrate the tenth anniversary of their fourth album, The Greatest Generation. Altogether, they have released seven full-length albums, two EPs and several splits/compilations. They will be playing from their large repertoire of music, joined by openers Anxious, Sweet Pill and Action/Adventure. October 6. 6:45 pm. The Truman.

KC Oktoberfest

October 6 & 7.

While KC may be thousands of miles away from Munich, residents can still enjoy the authentic German festival at Crown Center organized by local favorite KC Bier Co. Every year, thousands of visitors come decked out in their best overalls and clogs to enjoy German-style beer and Bavarian cuisine. October 6 & 7. Times vary. Crown Center.

The Mars Volta

October 8. 7 pm.

Known for their progressive rock sound and surprising lyrics, El Paso-based The Mars Volta have made a splash in the music scene during the last twenty years. The band’s only constant members are Omar Rodríguez-López and Cedric Bixler-Zavala, with a rotating cast of supporting instrumentalists. Teri Gender Bender is opening for them on their self-titled tour stop in KC. October 8. 7 pm. Uptown Theater.

Lucinda Williams

October 10. 8 pm.

Singer-songwriter and guitarist Lucinda Williams began her long and lustrous career with traditional country and blues but later moved toward a more rock ‘n’ roll sound that cemented her as a music icon. She’s making a stop in KC with her band in support of her newly released album, Stories From a Rock n Roll Heart. October 10. 8 pm. Uptown Theater.

Ain’t Misbehavin’ 

October 12–15, 19–22 and 25–29

Ain’t Misbehavin’ pays homage to the Harlem Renaissance with a sassy, sultry celebration of a vibrant era in American history and jazz legend Fats Waller. Expect to hear his beloved tunes like “The Joint is Jumpin’” and “Handful of Keys.” October 12–15, 19–22 and 25–29. Times vary. Music Theater Heritage.

ODESZA

October 13. 6:30 pm.

Washington-based uber-popular EDM duo ODESZA is coming to KC in their anticipated follow-up to last year’s The Last Goodbye Tour. The second leg features support from Big Boi, TOKiMONSTA and OLAN & QRTR. October 13. 6:30 pm. T-Mobile Center

Unleash the Beats

October 13. 8 pm.

Chicago-based troupe Tap Theatre seamlessly blends tap and concert dance, creating a captivating performance complemented by live music from the city’s finest musicians. Unleash the Beats promises to be an unforgettable night of rhythmic brilliance spanning diverse musical genres, from Duke Ellington to David Bowie. October 13. 8 pm. Midwest Trust Center.

Ghost Light 2023

October 13–14.

In the dark woods of Roanoke Park comes the fourth annual frightfully fun night of ghost stories and songs. Embrace the start of Spooky Season with the musicians, writers and storytellers that make up KC’s diverse arts community at Ghost Light. Enjoy the free hybrid concert and ghost-story event with art-making activities, live performances from the Ghostlight Orchestra and a haunted parade complete with costumes. October 13–14. Grounds open at 4 pm; performance at 7:30 pm. Roanoke Park.

Jekyll & Hyde

October 13–15 & 19–22.

Kansas City Ballet’s Jekyll & Hyde brings the haunting tale of a dark mind and shady streets to life. This North American premiere, choreographed by Val Caniparoli from the Finnish National Ballet, presents the timeless tale with music performed by the KC Symphony. October 13–15 & 19–22. Times vary. Kauffman Theatre.

Sugar Skull! A Día de Muertos Musical Adventure

October 19. 7 pm.

Sugar Skull! A Día de Muertos Musical Adventure is a touring bilingual and bicultural musical for the whole family that uses traditional, regional Mexican music and dance to tell the story of twelve-year-old Vita Flores, who finds herself on a magical journey to find the true meaning of Día de los Muertos. October 19. 7 pm. Yardley Hall.

Electric Poe 

October 19–22, 26–29 & 31 and November 3–5. 6:30 pm.

Hidden KC gem Union Cemetery hosts a chilling outdoor performance of Electric Poe. The talented R.H. Wilhoit adapts Edgar Allan Poe’s macabre masterpieces for the stage, including Annabel Lee and The Cask of Amontillado. Accompanied by live music, the haunting allure of Poe’s works come to life—or death—in front of the historic “Holding Vault” of KC’s oldest public cemetery. There’s also an optional after-show Q&A about both Poe and Union Cemetery and guided cemetery tours before Friday performances. October 19–22, 26–29 & 31 and November 3–5. 6:30 pm. Union Cemetery.

Nobuntu

October 20. 8 pm.

The female a cappella quintet from Zimbabwe, Nobuntu, has drawn international acclaim for their inventive performances and sound, ranging from traditional Zimbabwean songs to Afro-jazz to gospel. Their concerts are performed with pure vocals, supported by minimalistic percussion and traditional instruments like the mbira—a thumb piano—and authentic dance. October 20. 8 pm. Polsky Theatre. 

Ruben Studdard & Clay Aiken

October 23. 7 pm.

Twenty years after Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken faced off in the final round of American Idol season two, the unlikely duo is going on tour together twenty years later. The aptly named Twenty The Tour will be hitting major cities across the U.S., with songs from both artists’ repertoire. October 23. 7 pm. Uptown Theater.

What the Constitution Means to Me 

October 24–29, October 31–November 5 & November 8–12.

Direct from Broadway, playwright Heidi Schreck’s boundary-breaking play breathes new life into our Constitution and imagines how it will shape the next generation of Americans in What the Constitution Means to Me. In this hilarious and hopeful new play, Schrek reimagines her teenage self in order to connect the profound relationship between four generations of women and the founding document that shaped their lives. October 24–29, October 31–November 5 and November 8–12. Times vary. KCRep Copaken Stage.

To Kill a Mockingbird 
Photo courtesy of The Music Hall.

October 24–29.

All rise for Harper Lee’s timeless classic, To Kill a Mockingbird, in Aaron Sorkin’s celebrated adaptation presented by the American Theatre Guild. This Pulitzer Prize-winning play, directed by Tony Award winner Bartlett Sher, has become a true phenomenon. Witness the emotionally shattering and soulful portrayal of this American classic. October 24–29. Times vary. The Music Hall.

The Phantom of the Opera 

October 25. 7 pm.

Aspiring young opera singer Christine Daaé discovers she has a secret admirer hiding in the shadows beneath the opera house, but luckily he’s brooding and hunky. To enhance the spookiness ahead of Halloween, the 1925 German silent film will play as organist Dorothy Papadakos provides the ominous soundtrack on the Julia Irene Kauffman Casavant Organ. October 25. 7 pm. Kauffman Theatre.

Clint Black

October 27. 8 pm.

Country music star, singer-songwriter, actor and jack-of-all-trades Clint Black cemented himself as an icon when his debut, genre-altering album in 1989, Killin’ Time, was met with critical and commercial success. His widespread influence can still be felt in the works of artists today—you won’t find “A Better Man” than him. October 27. 8 pm. Yardley Hall. 

P!NK

October 27–28. 7:30 pm.

Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter P!NK is coming to KC for the third time in a decade. This time, the entire KC skyline turned pink when the singer announced her tour dates. She’ll be playing hits new and old from her sprawling career, including “Just Give Me A Reason” and “Try.” Mid-2010’s poppy radio hitmaker GROUPLOVE will be opening. October 27–28. 7:30 pm. T-Mobile Center.

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