Kansas Citians will be spreading their blankets for Kansas City’s Big Picnic 4-8 p.m. Sunday, July 23, at Donald J. Hall Sculpture Park and Theis Park. Lauren Frisch Pusateri | .

KC events July 20-26: Jim Gaffigan, ‘Jesus Christ Superstar,’ D.L. Hughley, Big Picnic

“Jesus Christ Superstar”

Opens 7 p.m. Thursday, July 20, at Carlsen Center Polsky Theatre

The Culture House will present the rock opera that created a sensation more than 45 years ago. With music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice, “Jesus Christ Superstar” debuted on Broadway in 1971. The story is told through the eyes of Judas Iscariot and is loosely based on the Gospels’ accounts of the last week of Jesus’ life. Runs through July 23. 913-469-4445. Tickets are $17 through jccc.edu/theseries.

Jim Gaffigan

8 p.m. Thursday, July 20, at Starlight Theatre

If you like your comedy filled with four-letter words and sex references, Jim Gaffigan is definitely not your man. His humor focuses largely on his five-child family and fat references (to himself). He has written two books, “Dad Is Fat” and “Food: A Love Story,” to complement his work in movies, albums and TV. “The Jim Gaffigan Show,” his sitcom about a couple raising five kids in a two-bedroom New York apartment, aired on TV Land in 2015-16. 816-363-7827. Tickets are $35-$85 through kcstarlight.com.

KC Fringe Festival

Thursday, July 20, through July 30 at multiple venues

Offbeat artists and performances will abound at the 13th annual event for experimental theater and much more. Film, comedy, burlesque, music, storytelling, visual arts and puppetry are among the other art forms that will be represented at the festival, which attracts individuals and groups from across the nation and around the world. Last year’s Fringe Festival featured more than 400 performances at more than 20 venues. 816-359-9195. Prices vary at kcfringe.org.

D.L. Hughley

7:30 and 10 p.m. Friday, July 21; 7 and 10 p.m. Saturday, July 22; 7 p.m. Sunday, July 23; at Kansas City Improv

Although he has been a host of radio shows and the star of TV shows during his more than 25 year career, D.L. Hughley says his first love is stand-up comedy. He got his start nationally as the original host of BET’s “ComicView,” toured with The Kings of Comedy and has filmed four HBO specials. Still, he might be best known as the star of the sitcom “The Hughleys” (1998-2002). 816-759-5233. Tickets are $30-$45 at improvkc.com.

Royals vs. Chicago White Sox

7:15 p.m. Friday, July 21; 6:15 p.m. Saturday, July 22; 1:15 p.m. Sunday, July 23; at Kauffman Stadium

If the Royals are to make the American League playoffs, one thing is certain: They have to start playing better against their AL Central brethren. Entering the All-Star break, they were 13-21 against the Indians, Twins, Tigers and White Sox. This series will be the first of 12 second-half games against the White Sox, who hold a 2-5 advantage in the season series. 800-676-9257. Tickets are $19-$179 through kansascity.royals.mlb.com.

Luke Bryan

7 p.m. Friday, July 21, at Sprint Center

Just in case you’re not sure what genre of music Luke Bryan performs, consider that he will stop at the Sprint Center on the Huntin’, Fishin’ and Lovin’ Every Day Tour. Obviously, he’s not a classical pianist. Bryan is, in fact, one of country music’s hottest acts after releasing just three studio albums, one of which has been certified platinum and two multiplatinum. Brett Eldredge and Adam Craig will open. 816-949-7000. Tickets are $49.95-$75 through sprintcenter.com.

Steve Martin and Martin Short

7:30 p.m. Friday, July 21, at Starlight Theatre

Steve Martin and Martin Short must be hoping their show lives up to its title: “An Evening You Will Forget for the Rest of Your Lives.” After all, the veteran comics performed it less than 10 months ago at the Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland. Memorable or not, the show will no doubt be funny as Martin and Short exchange barbs and stories. Martin will also play banjo, joining the bluegrass band Steep Canyon Rangers. 816-363-7827. Tickets are $45.95-$198.95 through kcstarlight.com.

FC Kansas City vs. North Carolina

7 p.m. Saturday, July 22, at Swope Soccer Village

Here is an interesting situation that could probably occur only in soccer: Through 14 matches, the North Carolina Courage has lost more matches than three other teams in the 10-team National Women’s Soccer League, yet is in first place. The difference? North Carolina (9-5-0) hasn’t tied any matches, while Chicago (7-3-4), Portland (6-4-4) and Seattle (5-3-6) have all tied at least four. FCKC is in ninth place at 3-7-4. 913-335-6146. Tickets are $15-$35 through fckansascity.com.

Kansas City’s Big Picnic

4-8 p.m. Sunday, July 23, at Donald J. Hall Sculpture Park and Theis Park

You can pack your own meal or buy dinner at one of the food trucks when you take part in what is likely the region’s largest picnic of the year. The huge space in front of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art will be the site of many activities in addition to the casual dining, including musical performances, the StoneLion Puppet Theatre, lawn games and bubbles-based entertainment by Grateful Bubbles. kcparks.org. Free.

USA Track & Field National Junior Olympic Championships

Starts at 8 a.m. Monday, July 24, at Rock Chalk Park, Lawrence

The world-class track and field stadium at the University of Kansas will attract a bevy of world-class junior athletes for the annual Junior Olympic national championships. Nearly 10,000 athletes are expected to compete in the sprints, runs, jumps and throws after qualifying at preliminary, association and regional levels in six age groups ranging from 7 to 18 years old. Runs through July 30. Tickets are $6-$10 daily and $25-$45 for seven-day pass through usatf.org.

“Something Rotten!”

Opens 8 p.m. Tuesday, July 25, at Starlight Theatre

Those who don’t follow the openings and closings of Broadway shows might not be familiar with the relatively new “Something Rotten!” Brothers Karey and Wayne Kirkpatrick with John O’Farrell wrote the musical comedy about three years ago, and it premiered on Broadway in March 2015, earning 10 Tony nominations. Set in the 1590s, it tells the story of fictional brothers Nick and Nigel Bottom, who write the world’s first musical play. Runs through July 30. 816-363-7827. Tickets are $14-$142 through kcstarlight.com.

“What Is Parkvillia Northcutti?”

6 p.m. Tuesday, July 25, at National Archives

Just in case you haven’t read “A New Pennsylvanian Pollen Organ From Northwestern Missouri With Affinities in the Lyginopteridales” in the November 2016 issue of the Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, this forum should be enlightening. Local scientists and natural history experts will focus on 306-million-year-old plant fossils found on the Park University campus and why they matter. archives.gov/kansas-city. Free.

Also this week

Classical music and dance

Victoria Botero Ensemble, July 22, Karbank 1900 Building. 1900bldg.com


Steven Michael Quezada, July 20-22, Stanford’s Comedy Club. stanfordscomedyclub.com

Music (rock, pop, jazz)

Gretchen Wilson, July 20, Kansas City Live. powerandlightdistrict.com

Big Time Grain Company, July 21, Kansas City Live. powerandlightdistrict.com

Jaymes Young, July 21, RecordBar. therecordbar.com

The Romantics, The Smithereens and Bow Wow Wow, July 21, Crossroads KC. crossroadskc.com

The Temptations, July 21, Ameristar. ameristar.com

AFI with Citizen, July 22, Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland. midlandkc.com

Conspirasee Music Festival featuring The Schwag, The Hindenburg Project and Lou Dog Trio, July 22, Uptown. uptowntheater.com

Gucci Mane with Rae Sremmurd, Kevin Gates and more, July 22, Providence Medical Center Amphitheater. providenceamp.com

Journey with Asia, July 22, Starlight. kcstarlight.com

Nickelback with Daughtry, July 23, Starlight Theatre. kcstarlight.com

Social Distortion, July 25, Liberty Hall. libertyhall.net

Violent Femmes with Echo and the Bunnymen, July 25, Crossroads KC. crossroadskc.com

Chevelle with Black Map, July 26, Uptown. uptowntheater.com

Mary Chapin Carpenter with Sarah Jarosz, July 26, Kauffman Center. kauffmancenter.org


Christmas in July, July 22, Wyandotte County Lake. wycokck.org

Miami County Fair, July 22-29, Paola. miamicountykansasfair.com

National Buffalo Soldiers 9th & 10th (Horse) Cavalry Association, July 24-29, DoubleTree Hotel. 910hcav.org/national-reunion

Leavenworth County Fair, July 25-29, Tonganoxie. leavenworthcountyfair.com

Book talks

Terry Tempest Williams for “The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America’s National Parks,” July 26, Mid-Continent Public Library-Woodneath Library Center. mymcpl.org or rainydaybooks.com


Kansas City T-Bones vs. Winnipeg, July 21-23; vs. Texas, July 26-29. CommunityAmerica Ballpark. tbonesbaseball.com

KC events July 20-26: Jim Gaffigan, ‘Jesus Christ Superstar,’ D.L. Hughley, Big Picnic