American Buffalo A formalist’s dance of dazzling profanity, idiotic repetition and go-nowhere action, David Mamet’s breakthrough play about a coin heist planned by the dim confederates of a junk-shop owner can feel like a clever exercise. Fortunately, Kansas City newcomer Forrest Attaway wrings real life from the material as the hyperactive bruiser Teach. Well-directed by Bob Paisley, Teach stomps about the junk-shop basement, all coiled threat and spat-out nonsense. The language snaps, the pace is a gallop, and the second- (and third-) banana performances feel nicely rounded. Through Oct. 14 at Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre, 1824 Walnut, 816-536-9464. (Reviewed in our October 4 issue.)

Bad Dates Yes, this one-woman show sounds slight, especially as the debut production of the new Copaken Stage’s first full season. In three long scenes, waitress and single mother Haley Walker — played with tireless invention by Rebecca Dines — bustles about her too huge (but wonderfully designed) New York apartment, dishing and dressing as she preps herself for imminent dates. The result, though, is funny and affecting, a finely constructed contemplation of what matters, sugared up as girl talk. The show is slight the way a crescent moon is: just a sliver’s worth of glow, but if you look closely, you can make out all the substance of the full. Through Oct. 21 at the Copaken Stage in the H&R Block Building, 13th St. and Walnut, 816-235-2700. (Reviewed in our October 4 issue.)

Jeckyll & Hyde: The Musical When it comes to Doctors Who Tampered in God’s Domain, Robert Louis Stevenson’s Jeckyll has always been a second stringer, never quite making the Faustus-Frankenstein varsity squad. On Broadway, in Frank Wildhorn and Leslie Bricusse’s romantic ’90s musical, intense fan devotion never quite stripped him of his also-ran status. Some critics scoffed that he was just a watered-down Phantom. Now, though, with Daniel Doss and Sarah Mae McElroy teaming up to mount Wildhorn and Bricusse’s treatment, this may be Jeckyll’s moment. Despite occasional swoons into cheese, the score has worn well. And local boy Patrick Lewallen is two-facing it as the leads. We know he can do the good-guy half, having enjoyed him as the boogie-down King of Kings in an otherwise iffy Jesus Christ Superstar last year. Through Oct. 31 at Just Off Broadway Theatre, 3051 Central, 816-255-2313.

Revolver, With Roving Imps and Poke In the couple of months since local improv collective City 3 has taken root at the Westport Coffee House, the art form has blossomed. In addition to the reliable game-show riff On the Spot (which runs tonight at 7), City 3 hosts new, daring troupes as well as acclaimed out-of-towners, who occasionally swoop in to show how it’s done. Saturday night offers some of each. Headlining the second show, at 10 p.m., is Revolver, from the famed iO Chicago Theatre. They work a single audience suggestion into a wide array of scenes and ideas. Joining them is Bonner Springs’ Roving Imps troupe as well as Poke, a new two-person show starring local MVPs Trish Berrong, a performer who has too rarely taken the stage in recent years; and Tommy Todd, a performer who rarely exits the stage. In short: three groups, $12, 10 p.m. Fri., Oct. 12, at Westport Coffee House, 4010 Pennsylvania, 816-678-8886.

Categories: A&E