Close to Reality

During recent hit-or-miss years at the Kansas City Repertory Theatre, surefire hits have been Lou Bellamy’s vigorous but contemplative stagings of Jitney and Two Trains Running — arresting dramas from August Wilson’s 10-play Pittsburgh Cycle, which explores African-American urban life across the 20th century. Bellamy is back for tonight’s well-timed local premiere of Wilson’s Radio Golf (at the Spencer Theatre in UMKC’s Performing Arts Center, 4949 Cherry). The show seems to make good on all that last month’s hip-hop musical Clay suggested: that at the new Rep, under Artistic Director Eric Rosen, theater is once again an event. Set in the late 1990s, Radio Golf closed out Wilson’s ambitious cycle. The story of an African-American mayoral candidate who considers bulldozing the past to erect the city of the future feels up-to-date. (Walk across the UMKC campus afterward and ask yourself, “What used to be here?”) Wilson’s exploration of black political power questions how much of his or her past a black candidate must sacrifice to win high office. Is it any wonder that this is scheduled to run right into the second week of November? For tickets, call 816-235-2700.

Fri., Oct. 17, 8 p.m.; Sat., Oct. 18, 8 p.m.; Sun., Oct. 19, 7 p.m.; Tue., Oct. 21, 7 p.m.; Wed., Oct. 22, 7 p.m.; Thu., Oct. 23, 7 p.m.; Fri., Oct. 24, 8 p.m.; Sat., Oct. 25, 2 & 8 p.m.; Sun., Oct. 26, 2 & 7 p.m.; Tue., Oct. 28, 2 & 7 p.m.; Wed., Oct. 29, 7 p.m.; Thu., Oct. 30, 7 p.m.; Fri., Oct. 31, 2 & 7 p.m.; Sat., Nov. 1, 8 p.m.; Sun., Nov. 2, 2 p.m.; Tue., Nov. 4, 7 p.m.; Wed., Nov. 5, 2 p.m.; Thu., Nov. 6, 2 & 7 p.m.; Fri., Nov. 7, 8 p.m.; Sat., Nov. 8, 3 & 8 p.m.; Sun., Nov. 9, 2 p.m., 2008

Categories: Theater