A Straight Story

If you headed west, as Americans once were instructed to do, your promised land would probably fail to make good on all its promises. In his classic True West, Sam Shepard makes fractious poetry out of Golden State lives that fall far short of the Golden State myth. The play is so sharp and engaging that even a bad production can win an audience over. But this performance of True West (at Union Station’s H&R Block City Stage Theater, 30 West Pershing Road) comes from the esteemed Kansas City Actors Theatre, so promises more. Local stalwarts Mark Robbins and Jim Birdsall star as Shepard’s dueling brothers, reprising roles they played at the Missouri Repertory Theatre 26 years ago. The play starts at 7:30.

Fri., July 23, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., July 24, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., July 25, 7:30 p.m.; Tue., July 27, 7:30 p.m.; Wed., July 28, 7:30 p.m.; Thu., July 29, 7:30 p.m.; Fri., July 30, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Aug. 1, 2 p.m.; Tue., Aug. 3, 7:30 p.m.; Wed., Aug. 4, 7:30 p.m.; Thu., Aug. 5, 7:30 p.m.; Fri., Aug. 6, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Aug. 7, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Aug. 8, 2 p.m.; Mon., Aug. 9, 7:30 p.m.; Wed., Aug. 11, 7:30 p.m.; Thu., Aug. 12, 7:30 p.m.; Fri., Aug. 13, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Aug. 14, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Aug. 15, 2 p.m., 2010