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The Weekender

Rest your weary rooting muscles with a feast of options

Ira Glass, host and producer for NPR's “This American Life,” brings the show to the Kauffman Center for “Reinventing Radio: An Evening With Ira Glass,” on Saturday. (Credit: Stuart Mullenberg) Ira Glass, host and producer for NPR's “This American Life,” brings the show to the Kauffman Center for “Reinventing Radio: An Evening With Ira Glass,” on Saturday. (Credit: Stuart Mullenberg)
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Let’s hope the Royals clinch the pennant in Game 6. The team would avoid the stress and peril of a Game 7, plus get an extra day of rest. Frankly, fans could use the break, too. We’d get an extra night to enjoy all the fabulous, non-baseball-centric stuff to do around town. Here’s a few ideas for how to spend that extra time. 

WONDERING

Stevie Wonder brings his “Songs in the Key of Life Tour 2015” to the Sprint Center Friday night. (Photo: Owen Sweeney | Invision for AP)

The legendary Stevie Wonder brings his “Songs in the Key of Life Tour 2015” to the Sprint Center Friday night. (Photo: Owen Sweeney | Invision for AP)

First, you had better get out your bucket list because it’s almost time to cross off a big name. There’s a legend coming to town. Stevie Wonder, genius, will perform at Sprint Center on Friday night. He’s on tour performing his classic, Grammy-winning 1976 album “Songs in the Key of Life.” Yes, the whole album. In its entirety. That fact alone is testament to his appeal. How many artists could mount a successful arena tour off a 40-year-old record? 

But, really, does it even matter what songs he performs? Wonder could play “Three Blind Mice” on the kazoo and make it sound worthwhile. So just get yourself to show. Stevie last came to town in 2009, and there’s no telling when (or if) the 65-year old will be back. Go to Ticketmaster, pony up the hundred bucks or so, and get ready to hear some history. 

TALKING

Ira Glass has carved out a unique place for himself in the annals of American broadcasters. And a popular one. “This American Life,” the NPR show he has produced and hosted for 20 years, is heard live by 2.2 million listeners each week and millions more download the podcast. 

Saturday night at the Kauffman Center, Glass will let audiences see how the show gets made. The event, “Reinventing Radio: An Evening With Ira Glass,” combines live narration with taped interviews and music, letting audiences virtually experience how the show is put together. Glass takes the stage at 7:30pm, and tickets start at $39.

HOOFING

"Fancy Free" is part of the Harriman-Jewell Series' “Stars of American Ballet,” presentation at the Kauffman Center this weekend. (Credit: Kauffman Center)

“Fancy Free” is part of the Harriman-Jewell Series’ “Stars of American Ballet,” presentation at the Kauffman Center this weekend. (Credit: Kauffman Center)

The Harriman-Jewell Series is a Kansas City gem. From Itzhak Perlman to Bobby McFerrin, the performing arts series has brought a mind-blowing array of world class talent to town. Friday night at the Kauffman Center, Harriman-Jewell will bring us some of the best dance on earth with “Stars of American Ballet.” It’s a kind of all-star review for the pointe shoe set, with principal and soloist-level dancers from major American companies performing classic pieces of choreography. You’ll see Jerome Robbins’ iconic “Fancy Free,” along with Balanchine’s “Tarantella,” the pas de deux from “Who Cares?,” Wheeldon’s “Liturgy,” and Gallardo’s “Tango.” Tickets start at a mere $25. Click to buy them here.

DRAGGING

Roy Haylock, better known by the stage name Bianca Del Rio, is a comic on the rise. The hysterically hateful Del Rio, known as the Queen of Shade, won Season 6 of RuPaul’s Drag Race. She was named one of Variety’s 10 Comics to Watch for 2015, and is the subject of Vimeo’s first ever stand-up comedy special

The show, on Sunday night, is at the Folly Theater. That means even the bad seats – which start at $40– won’t be too far from the stage. And, really, you don’t want to sit that close anyway, lest you be made part of the show. Expect a performance that’s raw, profane, über-sassy and absolutely vicious in the best possible way. 

FLOATING

For fun that’s a little more wholesome —and breathtakingly beautiful — head to the Great Midwest Balloon Fest at the Ag Hall of Fame in Bonner Springs. The events run all weekend, with dazzling, mass night flights called “glows” set for Friday and Saturday night. For an extra thrill, tethered rides will be available Saturday and Sunday morning. There’s a 5k Race, a carnival for kids, live bands, street performers, and a costume contest, too. Check the website for times and tickets. 

SPORTING

You could go see the Chiefs play the Steelers on Sunday. At 1-5, the team is going nowhere fast and tickets will be (relatively) cheap. Win or lose, after all, tailgate barbecue is always be delicious.

Then again, you could go see a football team that, you know, wins. That would be Sporting KC, playing that other kind of football. Sunday is #DecisionDay for Major League Soccer – the last day of the MLS regular season – and the league has a slate of big matches scheduled. Like a tilt between SKC and the LA Galaxy, set to kickoff at 6pm. Their battle on the pitch will be broadcast live on ESPN, so get tickets here, then go clap and scream for the home team in front of a national audience.

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