College football season begins
The summer wasn’t exactly void of sports entertainment. LeBron James and Kevin Durant squared off in the NBA Finals. Gabby Douglas and Usain Bolt electrified the Olympic Games. Still, there’s something about the start of football season, which kicks off for most Division I teams — including the three area universities — this weekend. For the first time since 2004, Kansas State earned a preseason top 25 mention, and they’ll look to build upon last year’s 10-3 campaign that ended in a Cotton Bowl loss to Arkansas. Missouri and Kansas, who as recently as five years ago were battling for a national championship game berth in the season’s final weeks, enter the year unranked. Missouri, who ditched the Big 12 this year for a spot in the football-hungry Southeastern Conference, kicks things off with a 6 p.m. matchup against Southeastern Louisiana in Columbia. Kansas opens the season against South Dakota State at 6 p.m. in Lawrence, and Kansas State hosts Missouri State at 6:10 p.m.
The Beast/The Edge of Hell open
Perhaps no Kansas City Halloween tradition is as deep-seated as a trip to the West Bottoms for a trek through one of a number of warehouses-turned-haunted houses. The Beast and the Edge of Hell, both of which open Friday, have been around since 1991 and 1975, respectively. The Beast fashions itself the nation’s largest haunted house, and tickets — which are $23 at kcbeast.com — provide access to the Werewolf Forest, Jack the Ripper’s London and a four-story slide that serves as the visitor exit. The Edge of Hell, meanwhile, boasts five stories, nearly 50 live performers and a 20-foot anaconda to help make things as uncomfortable for patrons as possible. Tickets to Edge of Hell are also $23 at edgeofhell.com. A pair of other haunted houses, the Chambers of Edgar Allan Poe and Macabre Cinema, open the following weekend.
The festival, which begins Saturday and runs weekends through Oct. 14, is a full-fledged collection of food, drink and entertainment celebrating the Renaissance Era in all its old-timey glory. More than 100 booths offer art, clothing and more, and there are live jousting, music and dancing, too. Each weekend features a different theme, and special events — including weddings — are held throughout the festival. It’s all at the fairgrounds at 628 N. 126th St. in Bonner Springs. Hours are 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays and on 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Columbus Day. Adult tickets are $19.95 at the gate and $16.95 in advance, with special ticket packages also available. Go to kcrenfest.com for a complete schedule and list of activities.
‘La Cage Aux Folles’
The Tony-winning musical debuted in 1983, but the subject matter might be more timely now than it was then. While gay marriage has warranted particular attention in recent weeks, thanks in no small part to a fast-food chicken restaurant’s public stance on the matter, “La Cage” follows the relationship of Georges and Albin, a gay couple who together put on a nightclub drag show. Though comical in nature, the musical delves into a number of heavier issues, and upon its release grabbed six Tony Awards, including best musical. The production hits Starlight Theatre this week, running nightly through Sunday. All shows begin at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10-$85 at kcstarlight.com.