End of the Line

Tom Moriarty knows how to sell a play: “There’s a drug deal gone wrong, and then it’s just rock and roll from there” is how he describes Desperate Times — Desperate Measures, the first full-length play by Ron Simonian since 2006’s Next of Kin. Simonian, a Kansas City playwright, comic and urban legend, has been scripting and staging plays for almost 20 years now. His tales of the horny and heartsick expose the secret drives (and lusts) of men, cutting through the lies that men tell themselves — and, when warranted, toasting those lies with world-class dirty jokes. Simonian directs Desperate with the help of Kyle Hatley, assistant artistic director of the Kansas City Repertory Theatre. Moriarty, who stars and also serves as Simonian’s producing partner, elaborates on the Desperate plot: “It’s about a couple of losers who try to grab themselves a piece of the American dream and don’t have the wherewithal to get there.” Those familiar with Simonian’s work won’t be surprised that by “losers,” Moriarty means pimps. Find out what exactly Jesus has to do with all this at Crown Center’s Off Center Theatre (2450 Grand), where the show premieres tonight. Call 816-842-9999 for tickets.

June 11-28, 2009