Lyric Opera of Kansas City Presents Carmen
Even after a century and a half, Carmen is still that femme fatale. The popular opera tells the story of an ill-fated romance, touching on themes of jealousy, obsession and bullfighting. Performed in the original French with English subtitles.
September 24–30, 7:30 pm. Muriel Kauffman Theater.
Plaza Art Fair
The Country Club Plaza’s signature fall event features nine city blocks of art from two hundred and forty artists. A quarter of a million people typically make their way through the event, which has been around for ninety years, having been started during the Great Depression as a way of lifting spirits and giving artists space to promote their work. Today’s fest is juried, with local experts, have selected the participating artists.
September 23–25. Country Club Plaza. plazaartfair.com.
Liberty Fall Fest
Now in its forty-fifth year, Liberty’s Fall Festival dishes out something for everyone. All three days of this festival are packed with live music, carnival rides, a parade and artisanal booths from local artists. The young and young-at-heart compete in a yearly chalk art contest where, no matter who wins, the streets of Liberty are left a little more beautiful.
September 23–25. Liberty Square. libertyfallfest.com.
Louisburg Cider Mill’s red barn and avalanche of apples is an icon of autumn in Kansas. The Mill stays busy throughout the fall, but for two weekends there is a full slate of programming including live Americana music, pony rides, craft booths and cider pressing. The cider is fresh-pressed and served hot or cold upon request—a nice touch given the sixty-degree swings in weather this time of year.
September 24–25 and October 1–2. Louisburg Cider Mill. louisburgcidermill.com.
Kansas City Underground Film Festival
This ten-day festival aims to bring “unseen and underappreciated films” to KC and share the love of film with the community by screening independent films of any genre—action, sci-fi, horror, drama, comedy, romance, thriller, low-budget or no-budget. There are also awards for the festival screeners and talks with creators and the audience.
September 16–26. Times vary. Charlotte Street Foundation. Tickets.
The Melting Pot Theatre begins its season with Mother/son, written by KC native Lewis Morrow and directed by Nicole Hodges Persley. Set in the midst of the Covid pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement, it’s a dark comedy-drama about a mixed-race man and his white mother who’s in denial about her own racism and addiction.
September 21-24, 7:30 pm. Melting Pot Theatre.
The Gaslight Anthem
The New Jersey-based rock band’s lead singer Brandon Fallon has similar growling vocals to another Jersey legend, Springsteen. Borrowing an angsty sound from other pop punk bands of the early aughts, The Gaslight Anthem still brings a nostalgic, longing sound to their world tour alongside fellow emo pop punk band Tigers Jaw.
September 23, 8 pm. The Midland.
Overland Park Fall Festival
The fall festival tradition is alive and well in Overland Park, where people have celebrated the autumn season for over sixty years. Live music kicks off the festival on Friday night, along with extra heat from flame artists. Saturday is packed full of family-friendly fun, featuring food trucks, local artisans and three stages of performers.
September 23–24. Downtown Overland Park. opkansas.org.
Lee’s Summit Oktoberfest
Oktoberfest in Lee’s Summit announces the beery beginning of fall with bratwurst and steins of homebrew. German-inspired appreciation is on the menu, with a biergarten, a wagon parade, “stein hoisting,” and a home brew competition—with tastings available. Other fair fare includes an arts and crafts festival, carnival rides and a petting zoo with pony rides available.
September 23–24. Downtown Lee’s Summit. lsoktoberfest.com.