With the return of school and Fall colors, KC stages begin their 2022-23 seasons and great theater is back. The Rep rolls out one the Bard’s most popular comedies, Starlight’s summer comes to a heartwarming end and KCAT and the Unicorn open their seasons with some thought-provoking KC premieres. See you at the theater!
Sept. 6–25 | Spencer Theater at UMKC
One of the Bard’s most popular and entertaining plays, Shakespeare’s comedy of mistaken identity, music and the madness of love is both hilarious and heartbreaking. Making his KC Rep directing debut, Associate Artistic Director Nelson T. Eusebio III spins this tale of unrequited love, foolish fawning and happy endings to open the Rep’s 22-23 season. And a Theater League challenge grant made this return to the classics possible. Tickets start at just $35 and can be purchased at www.kcrep.org.
Sept. 7–25 | Unicorn Theatre
The Unicorn presents the KC premiere of Lydia R. Diamond’s off-Broadway hit about the first woman to play professional baseball as she smashed through boundaries in the Negro Leagues. Featuring Nedra Dixon in the eponymous role, this funny and fascinating story explores race, gender and the raw ambition required to achieve the unachievable. Tickets at www.unicorn.org.
Sept. 13–18 | Starlight Theatre
Whether you’ve got a new dress and corsage or not, you’re invited to the Broadway party New York Magazine called “smart and big-hearted” and The New York Times declared “makes you believe in musical comedy again!” When a group of down-on-their-luck Broadway stars set out for Indiana to change the world for two
girls who just want to dance together, the love they discover unites them all. Tickets at kcstarlight.com.
Sept. 15–24 | Just Off Broadway Theatre
KC Melting Pot Theatre begins its 2022-23 season with this compelling story about race, redemption, and recovery. Lydia, a white woman who is married to a Black man, comes to live with their son, John, who reluctantly stages an intervention for his mother’s drug addiction. As John helps his mother in her latest efforts to get clean, we discover that Lydia’s drug addiction is just the beginning of the issues this family must overcome. Tickets at www.kcmeltingpot.com.
HANK WILLIAMS LOST HIGHWAY
Sept. 15–Nov. 20 | New Theatre Restaurant
The original country western musical outlaw gets the bioplay
treatment in this hit off-Broadway revue, featuring Williams’ extensive songbook and glimpses into a life that made him a complicated, ultimately tragic figure in American popular music. Tickets at www.newtheatre.com.
AKEELAH AND THE BEE
Sept. 20–Oct. 16 | The Coterie at Crown Center
The Coterie opens its 2022/2023 season with this warm family drama about a girl with natural spelling talent from the South Side of Chicago who is forced to expose her hidden smarts when her principal pushes her to participate in the local school spelling bee. Fearful of being mocked as a “brainiac,” Akeelah goes on to the finals of the National Spelling Bee, making some hard choices on her journey. Tickets at www.coterie.org.
MAN OF LA MANCHA
Oct. 6–23 | MTH Theater at Crown Center
The “Impossible Dream” musical recounts Cervantes’ classic tale of hapless dreamer Don Quixote de la Mancha and his sidekick Sancho Panza, who go questing for dames to save and villains to conquer in this most uplifting of musicals. Tickets at www.musicaltheaterheritage.com.
IS THERE LIFE AFTER HIGH SCHOOL?
Oct. 6–Nov. 6 | Chestnut Fine Arts Center
This sentimental musical comedy about a group of former high school students who recall and reflect on the joy and angst at a class reunion, Is There Life After High School takes us on a stroll down memory lane as we try to forget those trials and tribulations of growing up. Tickets at www.chestnutfinearts.com.
THE SOUND INSIDE
Oct. 19–Nov. 6 | Unicorn Theatre
Award-winning playwright Adam Rapp offers up this psychosexual thriller about a writing professor and her brilliant young student who plot the ultimate ending to their stories before time runs out. Nominated for the Best Play Tony® Award, Unicorn presents the KC premiere of this haunting, surprising new play. Tickets at www.unicorntheatre.org.
FAIR BALL: NEGRO LEAGUES IN AMERICA
Oct. 18–Nov. 30 | City Stage at Union Station
Celebrating the 100th anniversary (after a pandemic delay) of Negro Leagues Baseball right here in Kansas City, this original musical features songs composed and performed by the legendary Danny Cox. The show brings to life the exemplary courage of the men and women who played the game in a world of hate and racial discrimination. Inspired by Buck O’Neill with help from Kansas City’s Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, Fair Ball is based on true stories from a tumultuous and richly entertaining era of baseball history. Tickets at www.tya.org.
TELL-TALE ELECTRIC POE
Oct. 20–30 | The Coterie at Crown Center
One actor and one musician present the ghostly stories and poems of Edgar Allan Poe in this popular Coterie production just right for the Halloween season. At once horrifying and humorous, this year’s Poe features The Premature Burial and Tell-Tale Heart, as well as several Poe poems, with R.H. Wilhoit interpreting Poe and Rex Hobart live on multiple electric guitars. Tickets at www.thecoterie.org.