Stage Capsule Reviews


Curious George Now that actor Ry Kincaid has finished playing screen icon James Dean at the Westport Coffee House in Little Bastard, he’s making a monkey of himself during the day for Theatre for Young America. Playing the title role in Curious George , Kincaid reprises the simian role and mannerisms he created for TYA’s hit Curious George last season. This new version, directed by Val Mackey, compresses three Hans A. Rey books: Rides a Bicycle, Goes to the Hospital and Gets a Medal. June 8-27 at 5909 Johnson Dr. in Mission, 913-831-2131. July 1-17 at City Stage at Union Station,
30 W. Pershing Rd., 816-460-2020.

Forbidden Broadway The Theater League is resuscitating this sendup of Broadway with a mix of parodies old and new at Union’s Station’s City Stage. Lampooning stage icons from Ethel Merman to the dark, ambisexual revival of Cabaret are Forbidden Broadway veterans such as Cathy Barnett, Don Richard and Becky Barta. They’ve all done the show for many years but are still expert at milking laughs from such things as the poverty chic of Les Miserables. With John Michael Zuerlein. Through August 1 at Union Station, 30 West Pershing Rd., 816-460-2020.

The Libation Bearers For its 13th summer of free, crack-of-dawn Greek tragedy – rather, 7:30 a.m. tragedy — the Gorilla Theatre tackles The Libation Bearers. Written by Aeschylus, who was tagged “the father of tragedy” even against such competition as his peers Sophocles and Euripedes, the play is a classic eye-for-an-eye story. Orestes decides to avenge his father’s murder by murdering his mother, Clytamnestra, and her lover. Apollo promises Orestes he won’t be punished for his crimes. Throw in some madness and a few lawyers, and you’ve got a pilot for HBO. June 26-27 at the Wheeler Amphitheatre in Frank A. Theis Park at Brush Creek and Rockhill Road.

Living Out The Missouri Repertory Theatre’s production of Living Out is touted in the press kit as its “first-ever production conveying the Latino experience in the U.S.” — and it’s gotta be about maids. More precisely, nannies, but still, Lisa Loomer’s play is at its clumsiest depicting rich Anglos (played mostly as sitcom buffoons) in their struggle to get good help. The more important issue — what it might mean to care for others’ children when you have your own waiting for their own quality time — is sabotaged (despite good work by Stephanie Diaz and Ricardo Antonio Chavira) by the writing’s dubious intentions and niche appeal. Through June 27 at the Missouri Repertory Theatre, 4949 Cherry, 816-235-2700.

Menopause the Musical Until the last twenty minutes of what is essentially a musical-comedy salute to hot flashes, the jokes in this production are stale or stolen outright. And reading between the lines reveals not-so-funny insight into such social embarrassments as water retention and marital infidelity. So it is without warning that the show later takes a measurable turn into the joys of self-pleasure. The cast, especially Chavez Ravine, is pardonable, managing to reheat these leftovers. With her tangy, delicious Tina Turner take-off, Ravine — a terrific singer with mammoth stage presence — steals the show without an ounce of regret. Through June 27 at the American Heartland Theatre, 2450 Grand Ave., 816-842-9999.

The Rainmaker InPlay’s 2003 production of Nothing Comes to Sleepers was one of the better shows of that year, so it comes into its new show, The Rainmaker, with a pretty good track record. N. Richard Nash’s play about a ranch family struggling through a Kansas drought offers as its most animated metaphor the character of Lizzie. When a charismatic drifter named Starbuck enters the family’s life with promises of better weather through divine intervention, the family’s prospects for survival — and for a possible suitor for spinsterish Lizzie —turn much rosier. Directed by Frances Farah, The Rainmaker will be staged at Just Off Broadway in Penn Valley Park through June 26. Call 816-235-6222 for tickets.

Categories: A&E