Stage Capsule Reviews
Everyman What we dread doesn’t change much as the ages fly by, so this 16th-century morality play, which concerns a regular Joe accounting for himself before death, is as contemporary as, say, The Odd Couple. Granted, it’s the kind of Western Civ-type exercise in which sins have speaking parts and the characters have names like Goods and Discretion. But this Tymeworks production is directed by Philip blue owl Hooser, who gave us Loving Lucy and The Women and, in general, is such a force of nature that we can’t believe Katie Horner doesn’t track him on Doppler. Hooser promises gospel and pop music and says profits from the run will go to Operation Breakthrough, the area’s largest day care for “at risk” youth. Somewhere beyond this sphere, Good Deeds is gloating. Through Sept. 23 at Just Off Broadway Theatre, 31st St. and Broadway, 816-235-6222.
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.
The Pillowman Double-stuffed with effects, gallows humor, narrative twists and scenes of nerve-fraying tension, Martin McDonagh’s The Pillowman centers on a writer arrested and tortured by a totalitarian dictator’s thugs for crimes seemingly inspired by his short stories — fabulist horrors involving the murder of children. McDonagh is interested in making stories on the stage as visceral as those on the big screen; he’s helped here by sharp staging by director Joe Price and the Unicorn’s designers, and sharp performances from Nathan Darrow (as the writer) and Rusty Sneaery (as the writer’s mentally disabled brother). Through Sept. 24 at the Unicorn Theatre, 3828 Main, 816-531-7529. (Reviewed in our Sept. 7 issue.)