Stage Capsule Reviews
The American Songbook: Music of the 1920s and ’30s The good news about the new season at Quality Hill Playhouse is that there’s not much news at all. Everything’s as it should be, with director, pianist and master of ceremonies J. Kent Barnhart and three cabaret pros gliding through the best of George and Ira Gershwin, Cole Porter and Jerome Kern. We expect that the first two shows of the season — this and the upcoming Christmas in Song — will be the best (because each subsequent entry in QHP’s schedule features the diminished pop of later years). Through Oct. 29 at Quality Hill Playhouse, 303 W. 10th St., 816-421-1700.
. Ghost Train Set, as always, on a train passing through Kansas City’s rough-and-tumble past, this Halloween-themed puzzler is as much a party game as it is a play. Be ready to interact with improvising suspects or to be handed a script. Through Oct. 31 at Hereford House Restaurant, 2 East 20th Street, 816-813-9654.
Incorruptible Michael Hollinger’s farcical Incorruptible applies the ragtag-misfits-saving-the-frat-house formula to a 14th-century monastery. The humor is propelled by the attempts of an insolvent abbey’s holy brothers to drum up some miracles (or at least some publicity). All this results in lies, cons and much ado about the authenticity of blessed relics — literally, the bones of saints. Through Sept. 30 at Olathe Community Theatre, 500 E. Loula, Olathe, 913-782-2990.
My Brain Hurts II The itinerant comics of Full Frontal Comedy once again set up at Union Station’s lavish digs, this time to attempt another dash through the Chicago-minted 30-plays-in-60-minutes concept. This used to bug us back when Comedy City’s Monkeys With Hand Grenades so fruitfully worked the same territory once a month. But because the Monkeys have recently thrown more shit than fun, we’re hoping that Tina Morrison and company claim said territory and thoroughly mark it. But, really: Why the stopwatch gimmick? Don’t some ideas deserve more than two minutes? Through Sept. 30 at Union Station’s City Stage, 30 W. Pershing Road, 913-403-4340.
Over the River and Through the Woods Of all the crowd pleasers mounted at the New Theatre over the years, this, according to the hype, is the pleasingest — a comedy about grandparents conspiring to keep an adult grandson from accepting a promotion that would force him to move far away. Cue laughs and lessons about the importance of family. Of course, much of the cast — including Marion “Mrs. C.” Ross — have abandoned their families to come to the Midwest for the show. Through Nov. 12 at New Theatre Restaurant, 9229 Foster in Overland Park, 913-649-7469.
With Their Eyes Director Jeff Church and the Coterie Theatre have always been as adept at truth as they are at fancy, so this oral history of September 11, 2001, based on interviews with the students and teachers of a high school four blocks from Ground Zero, shows tremendous promise. The series of monologues, delivered from Church’s multiethnic cast, could be our best chance at recalling the moment before tragedy was pounded into a political tool. Here’s to talk without talking points. Through Oct. 22 at the Coterie Theatre at Crown Center, 2450 Grand, 816-474-6552.