Live! Onstage in May and June

Shakespeare Fest (photo by Brian Collins)

Summer’s here, and with it comes the advent of outdoor theater and some warm-weather entertainment. Enjoy these onstage offerings as temperatures rise:

Now through May 19 | Spencer Theater at UMKC

When meek floral assistant Seymour Krelborn stumbles across a new breed of plant he names after his co-worker crush, the foul-mouthed carnivorous flora promises Seymour anything his heart desires as long as he keeps feeding it BLOOD. This never ends well, as fans of the Roger Corman movie can attest. Still, it’s good, grimy musical comedy fun to wind up KC Rep’s 2023-24 season. Tickets at www.kcrep.org.

Roman Banks as ‘MJ’ and the cast of the “MJ” First National Tour. (photo by Matthew Murphy, Murphymade)

May 7 – 12 | Music Hall

The Gloved One returns to KC, this time in the celebrated Broadway musical that goes beyond the Master’s dance moves and signature sound to offer a rare look at the creative mind and collaborative spirit that catapulted Michael Jackson into pop royalty. With a book by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lynn Nottage, MJ brings the man to unforgettable life. Tickets at www.broadwayinkc.com.

Now through June 30 | New Theatre Restaurant

“Happy Days” star Donny Most joins KC comedy cadre Cathy Barnett, Craig Benton and Victor Raider-Wexler in this rib-tickler about a happy couple who discover their dream home infested by in-laws. Just like any good NTR summer comedy, all hell ensues amid the prime rib, tilapia and those delicious desserts. Tickets at www.newtheatre.com.

Now through May 19 | The Coterie

Based on the beloved children’s book by Mo Willems, “Naked Mole Rat” … uses energetic songs and quirky characters to encourage young audiences to embrace their originality. When Wilbur the naked mole rat decides to shake things up and — gasp — put on clothes, we learn that it’s boring — even for a rodent — to be just like everyone else. Tickets at www.thecoterie.org.

May 8 – June 2 | Unicorn Theatre

This world premiere follows the travails of Helen, a determined young girl with big dreams and a face that launched a thousand ships. So, what happens when you’re the daughter of Zeus and what you want and who you think you are do not fit the expectations of those in charge of your fate? It’s an ambitious odyssey, this contemporary look at the Trojan War, that feels strikingly like the world we live in now. Tickets at www.unicorntheatre.org.

May 22 – June 9 | City Stage in Union Station

KC Actors Theatre scored a hat trick landing this Tony Award®-winning Best Play about the eponymous Jewish immigrants from Bavaria who came to America and built a dynasty. Their decade-spanning story of ambition, risk, the American Dream, and a family and company that changed the world promises to be the highlight of the theater season. Tickets at www.kcactors.org.

photo by Meredith Mashburn Photography

May 28 – June 2 | Starlight Theatre

For six decades, she dominated popular culture, broke down barriers, pushed boundaries and let nothing and
no one stand in her way. It’s no wonder she’s the subject of this stylish Tony Award®-winning bio-musical. Packed with so much Cher, it takes three women to play her. And those Bob Mackie outfits — dazzling! Tickets at www.kcstarlight.com.

June 6 – 23 | Music Theater Heritage

George and Ira Gershwin’s operatic masterpiece gets an MTH adaptation in this celebrated “American Folk Opera.” Revised for a Broadway revival in 2011, MTH’s production marks one of the first regional presentations of the new work. Tickets at www.musictheaterheritage.com.

June 11 – 30 | Southmoreland Park

Just across the street from the Nelson, our Heart of America Shakespeare Festival celebrates its 32nd season with the Bard’s cautionary tale about political conspiracies and the chaos and upheaval that can lead to civil war. And that’s besides the Republican National Convention! No tickets for this one, but you can learn all
about the food trucks, pre-show entertainment and general fun at our annual summer Shakespeare Fest at www.kcshakes.org.

June 11 – 29 | City Stage at Union Station

Theatre for Young America presents its dramatization of two of Missouri’s favorite sons, following Tom and Huck through their youthful adventures and well-meaning transgressions along the banks of the “Mighty Mississippi.” But what else is there to do in Hannibal, Missouri? Tickets at www.tya.org.

“STOMP” created by Luke Cresswell and Steve McNichols. (photo by Steve McNichols)

June 14 – 16 | Starlight Theatre

Bring along a trash can lid and maybe some ear plugs. This international percussion sensation uses everything but conventional percussion instruments — matchboxes, wooden poles, brooms, garbage cans, Zippo lighters, hubcaps — to fill the stage with magnificent rhythms. Now, see it outside at Starlight; you probably won’t hear the crickets, let alone the freight train south of town, with all the inspired racket. Tickets at www.kcstarlight.com.

June 18 – 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.

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