Live! Onstage in July and August

Shrek The Musical (photo by Cyork Photography)

Starlight hosts a full schedule, the KC Fringe Fest gets underway and more great theater rolls off KC stages as the first days of school approach. Support local theater by attending one or more of these productions:

Now through Aug. 4 | The Coterie

Once again, Willy Wonka opens his marvelous and mysterious chocolate factory to a lucky few. Color and confection explode in a world of pure imagination in this theatrical adaptation of Roald Dahl’s beloved children’s book, featuring songs from the hit Broadway show along with “Candy Man,” “Oompa Loompa Song” and “Pure Imagination” from the movie. Tickets at www.thecoterie.org.

July 5 – Sept. 8
New Theatre Restaurant

Charismatic Jack Kelly, the leader of the newsboys who peddle papers in NYC around the turn of the century, squares off against mean old Joseph Pulitzer, publisher who raises prices in an effort to stop Jack and his buddies from organizing against him. As always, there’s a pretty girl — the spitfire reporter Katherine Plummer — to carry the day and win our hero’s heart. Great dancing and fun for the whole family. Tickets at www.newtheatre.com.

Little Mermaid (photo provided by Starlight Theatre)

July 9 – 14 | Starlight Theatre

The musical that brought Disney animation back to life features a wonderful score by Alan Menken and the late Howard Ashman, who adapted some of their “Little Shop of Horrors” material to this touching story about a girl who has everything except adventure and love. Tickets at www.kcstarlight.com.

July 12 – 18 | Spaces all over town

Kansas City’s summer performing arts riot celebrates its 20th year of putting new, funky and groundbreaking work on midtown and downtown stages. Find out how to sign up for over 600 local, regional and international artists presenting theater, musicals, comedy, dance, circus, film and visual arts in 12 performance spaces by clicking on www.kcfringe.org.

July 16 – 27 | City Stage at Union Station

You know the Lewis Carroll story: A girl named Alice falls down a rabbit hole and into a strange new world populated by a Cheshire Cat, Mad Hatter, March Hare and the Queen of Hearts. How will Alice ever find her way out and back home? Musically, of course, in this Theatre for Young America family-friendly production. Tickets at www.tya.org.

July 26 – 28 | Starlight Theatre

Your favorite ogre and his loveable sidekicks are back to save Princess Fiona from the evil Lord Farquaad in this stage adaptation of the Oscar®-winning DreamWorks animated film. Tickets at www.kcstarlight.com.

Moulin Rouge (photo by Matthew Murphy)

July 26-Aug. 5 | Music Hall

Baz Luhrman’s cinematic mind-bending mash-up of rock and roll and fin de siècle romantic melodrama comes to life on Broadway, where it continues to sell out the Hirschfeld Theater. Now, you can catch the Best Musical Tony® Award winner in downtown KC, replete with more than 60 pop hits shoehorned into this opulent musical about a forlorn chorus girl trapped in a downward spiral of sex and drugs. Will she find true love with a poor poet before it’s too late ? Baz will tell. Tickets at www.americantheatreguild.com.

Aug. 1 – 18 | Musical Theater Heritage in Crown Center

Jerry Herman’s oddly heartwarming musical about family commitment and loving who you love has won seven Tony Awards® including Best Musical, Best Score and Best Revival — twice! Albin and Georges live an idyllic life on the French Riviera until their paradise is interrupted by son Jean-Michel, who brings home his fiancé to meet the folks. But — sacre bleu! — she’s a girl! Tickets at www.musictheaterheritage.com.

Aug. 2 – 25 | Quality Hill Playhouse

Kent Barnhart and company salute the composer who gave us Broadway’s greatest hits from “Oklahoma” to “South Pacific,” “The King and I” and “The Sound of Music.” Tickets at www.qualityhillplayhouse.com.

Come From Away (photo by Matthew Murphy)

Aug. 6 – 11 | Starlight Theatre

The remarkable true story of 7,000 airline passengers stranded on 9/11 and the small town in Newfoundland that welcomed them. Cultures clashed and nerves ran high, but the initial uneasiness turned into trust, music soared into the night, and gratitude grew into enduring friendships. Tickets at www.kcstarlight.com.

Aug. 7 – 25 | City Stage at Union Station

It took more than 50 years for playwright Alice Childress’ moving comedy-drama to reach Broadway. Now this look at racism, identity, ego and the high-pressure world of 1950s Broadway arrives in our town, compliments of KC Actors Theatre. There’s trouble indeed when a condescending white director attempts to stage a play about racism that is populated with racist caricatures, shallow dialogue and that condescending white director. Tickets at www.kcactors.org.

Aug. 20 – 25 | Starlight Theatre

Perhaps the greatest Broadway musical in history, the combined talents of Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim, Arthur Laurents and Jerome Robbins are in full, glorious flower in this modern-day take on Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet.” Love conquers hate in this stirring classic — or does it? Tickets at www.kcstarlight.com.

Compiled by Mark Edelman

KC Studio

KC Studio covers the performing, visual, cinematic and literary arts, and the artists, organizations and patrons that make Kansas City a vibrant center for arts and culture.

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