The best events in KC: September 2023

Photography by Gary Rohman.
Is God Is
Photography by Zach Bauman

A new season of exciting shows is abreast at KC Melting Pot Theatre, a professional theater company based in KC that’s kicking off its tenth anniversary 2023-2024 season, “In Black and White,” on September 14. 

KCMPT’s new season explores what author and activist W.E.B. Du Bois called the “problem of the color line” with social relations in America. 

“The playwrights selected this season will probe important questions about striving for the American dream and the right to pursue life, liberty and happiness,” says Linda Williams, general manager of KCMPT. “Our season will examine the ways in which race, gender, sexuality and class shape how we understand equality and our capacity to affirm those unalienable rights during such a fragile socio-historic moment in time.”

The season opener is Aleshea Harris’s 2018 dramedy Is God Is, a modern myth of twin sisters who make a harrowing journey to exact righteous revenge. Blending Afrofuturist aesthetics with hip-hop inspired language, the result is a compelling tale of Black women reclaiming their time, voice and narrative. 

“Harris’ style of writing presents a witty blend of the classic epic tale and the surrealism of the Theatre of the Absurd,” says KCMPT’s associate art director and dramaturg Melonnie Walker. “It is a unique approach that audience members may have seen on many occasions in film, and the action of the story will be reminiscent of an urban Western-meets-Pulp Fiction.”

GO: Is God Is runs September 14—23 at Just Off Broadway Theatre. Get tickets and more information about the rest of KCMPT’s 2023-2024 season at

Michael Blackson

September 1 & 2

Dubbed “The African King of Comedy,” the Ghanaian-Liberian comedian has been getting laughs since the early ’90s. Inspired by the stand-up comedy of Eddie Murphy, Blackson began doing stand-up himself and eventually landed roles in classic comedy sequels such as Next Friday and Coming 2 America.

September 1, 7:30 & 10:15 pm; September 2, 7 & 10 pm. Improv Comedy Club.

Kansas City Chalk & Walk Festival 

September 2 & 3

Just one of many free fall festivals throughout KC, this family-friendly event aims to celebrate creativity and fill outdoor spaces with vibrant art. Along with artists creating sidewalk works with chalk, there will also be street performers, childrens’ activities, live entertainment, art workshops and other hands-on activities.

September 2, 10 am—5 pm; September 3, 10 am—3 pm. Crown Center Square.

Cyrano de Bergerac

September 5–10, 12–17 & 20–24.

Kicking off KCRep’s sixtieth anniversary season is Cyrano de Bergerac. Based on the 1897 play of the same name written by Edmond Rostand, it has been adapted by Martin Crimp and directed by Nelson T. Eusebio III. The play follows the timeless tale of the protagonist Cyrano, who involves himself in a touching and hilarious love triangle as he is torn between physical attraction and the power of prose.

September 5–10, 12–17 & 20–24. Times vary. Spencer Theatre.

3 Doors Down

September 6. 7:30 pm. 

Grunge-rock band 3 Doors Down formed in Mississippi in the mid-’90s, reaching international fame with their hit “Kryptonite” in 2000. The band has been rumored to be working on their seventh album, a follow-up to their most recent 2016 album Us and the Night. During their stop in KC, they will be playing old hits like “Here Without You” and “Let Me Go.”

September 6. 7:30 pm. Starlight Theatre.

Opus 76 Quartet “Music of Regency”
Photography by Gary Rohman

September 9. 2 & 5 pm.

The artist-in-residence quartet, Opus 76, will be performing works by Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert to transport audiences to the Regency era, made popular in contemporary culture by Jane Austen’s works and the Bridgerton series on Netflix. An optional high tea service is offered after one performance to complete the experience back to the past.

September 9. 2 & 5 pm. Polsky Theatre.

Gregory Porter

September 10. 7 pm.

Singer and songwriter Gregory Porter has won the Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album twice—first in 2014 for Liquid Spirit and again in 2017 for Take Me to the Alley. Following his  humble beginning singing in small jazz clubs on both coasts, Porter released his first album, earning him his first Grammy and the title of “America’s Next Great Jazz Singer” by NPR.

September 10. 7 pm. Muriel Kauffman Theatre.

The Kansas City Underground Film Festival

September 13–23.

The Kansas City Underground Film Festival has been bringing attention to independent filmmakers for nearly half a decade. The festival accepts films in every genre, emphasizing low-budget (or no-budget) films from countries across the world.

September 13–23. Times, dates and locations vary.

Blue Springs Fall Fun Festival

September 15–17. 

The 54th Annual Blue Springs Fall Fun Festival returns to the heart of Blue Springs with the theme “Walk on the Wild Side.” This free, three-day family-friendly event features a parade, artisanal vendors, a carnival, live music performances on multiple stages, festival foods, a car show and more wholesome fun.

September 15–17. Times vary. 1000 W. Main Street, Blue Springs

Audra McDonald with the Kansas City Symphony

September 15–17. 

Six-time Tony Award-winner Audra McDonald joins the Kansas City Symphony with guest conductor Andy Einhorn for an evening of awe-inspiring vocals. McDonald is a soprano with a talent for animated storytelling and putting her own spins on Broadway classics and contemporary musical theater songs.

September 15–17. Times vary. Helzberg Hall.

Uncorked: KC Wine Fest

September 16. 5–9 pm. 

KC’s annual Uncorked wine festival is back for its seventh year, with the event benefiting local nonprofit the KC Jazz Alive. There will be over one hundred different wines and bubbles from around the world, along with local food trucks and vendors, a photo booth and a live DJ. Early and general admission tickets are available, with the former including an extra hour of time for smaller group tastings and exclusive pours from select wineries.

September 16. 5–9 pm.
Union Station.

Waldo Festival

September 16. 10 am–8 pm.

The Waldo Festival is back for its thirty-first year to celebrate family fun in one of KC’s cutest neighborhoods. Enjoy all things Waldo with rides, games, live music, local vendors, children’s activities like face painting, food trucks and more.

September 16. 10 am–8 pm. Waldo (Gregory Boulevard & Wornall Road).

Queens of the Stone Age

September 20. 7 pm.

Seattle-based rock band Queens of the Stone Age formed in the mid-’90s and quickly gained a cult-like following with their rock ‘n’ roll sound, commanding stage performances and hits like “No One Knows” and “Go with the Flow.” After releasing their most recent album In Times New Roman… this summer, they are making a stop in KC during their extensive The End Is Nero Tour, which will include performances across North America followed by a European leg of the tour.

September 20. 7 pm. Starlight Theatre.

Three Days Grace 

September 21. 7 pm.

Fusing heavy rock ‘n’ roll and metal, Ontario-based band Three Days Grace formed in the late ’90s but didn’t reach commercial success until their 2006 album, One-X. Now, they are co-headlining a U.S. tour with Chevelle in support of their 2022 album,
Explosions. Fans can expect a rowdy and energizing show where they will perform both new and old hits like “I Hate Everything About You” and “Pain.”

September 21. 7 pm. Starlight Theatre.

Herb Alpert & Lani Hall

September 21. 7 pm.

Two legendary performers and music icons Herb Alpert and Lani Hall join together for a special celebration of their decades in the music business—and their decades in love. Hall, the former singer of Sergio Mendes & Brasil ‘66, will perform classics like “Más Que Nada” and “The Fool on the Hill.” Alpert is celebrating his sixtieth year since recording his first hit song, “The Lonely Bull.” Together, their band will play an eclectic mix of American standards, Brazilian jazz, Beatles covers and more.

September 21. 7 pm. Helzberg Hall.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Live in Concert
Photography from Shutterstock

September 22. 8 pm.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Live in Concert combines the universally beloved animated film with live orchestral music and a DJ playing turntables on the stage. The hip-hop-based score is seamlessly woven into the film, reflecting universal themes of resilience and heroism.

September 22. 8 pm. Yardley Hall.

The Music of Led Zeppelin

September 22. 8 pm. 

Guest conductor Brent Havens will lead the Kansas City Symphony in a tribute to legendary rock band Led Zeppelin. With the help of a band, vocals by Randy Jackson and a spectacular accompanying light show, the symphony will put a spin on Led Zeppelin classics such as “Whole Lotta Love” and “Stairway to Heaven.”

September 22. 8 pm. Helzberg Hall.

Latino Arts Festival

September 23. 11 am–5 pm.

The Latino Arts Festival celebrates the rich history and culture of Chicanos and Latinos. The day-long festival will highlight artists of all experiences, artisans, food vendors, poetry readings, musical performances, folkloric and cultural dance and, of course, the largest lowrider show in KC.

September 23. 11 am–5 pm. Hy-Vee Arena.

Avenged Sevenfold

September 26. 7 pm.

Huntington Beach-based band Avenged Sevenfold has become one of the most popular heavy metal bands of the 21st century. They are making a stop in KC on the second leg of their extensive Life is But A Dream… Tour, with support from Falling in Reverse.

September 26. 7 pm. T-Mobile Center.

Gregory Alan Isakov

September 29. 7:30 pm.

South African-born singer-songwriter Gregory Alan Isakov used to be a horticulturist before turning to another study—music. Quickly becoming a major player in the indie-folk scene with albums like That Sea, the Gambler and The Weatherman, his music uses banjos and violins and sometimes brings in orchestras and whimsical elements like whistles to bring a down-home feel to his songwriting. He is opened by early-aughts folk crooner Damien Jurado.

September 29. 7:30 pm. The Midland Theatre.

The Second City’s Comedian Rhapsody

September 29 & 30. 8 pm.

Founded in Chicago in 1959, the improv comedy group The Second City has had generations of powerhouse comedians from John Belushi to Tina Fey. Still a stage performance group, The Second City also performs original productions across North America. This brand-new revue features iconic sketch comedy and songs from their history, new classics and, of course, their trademark improv.

September 29 & 30. 8 pm. Polsky Theatre.

Tower of Power with the Kansas City Symphony

September 30. 8 pm.

Horn-driven soul, R&B and funk band Tower of Power has been melding genres for a groovy new sound for fifty years. In their debut with the Kansas City Symphony and David T. Beals III Associate Conductor Gonzalo Farias, they will be playing a diverse lineup of songs both old and new like “Step Up” and “You’re Still a Young Man.

September 30. 8 pm. Helzberg Hall.

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