Kansas City’s theater season has effectively reached the mid point with three productions remaining in both the Rep and Broadway Across America’s touring productions at the Music Hall. It’s been a pretty great year thus far…lets recap and take a look forward.
Both opened their seasons with darker edgier takes on classic elements in stories with superb productions of Into the Woods (KC Rep) and Spring Awakening (Music Hall). I am still kicking my self for not catching repeat performances for both.
The character driven one man show handled fantastically by writer, performer and director David Cale in Palomino was another very well done one man show with outstanding dialog and characters at the appropriately intimate Copaken stage.
It hasn’t all been perfect however. The highest grossing rep production ever, A Christmas Story, The Musical! in it’s pre-Broadway premiere filled the Spencer theater but felt like a show still in tweaking phase. As much was confirmed when I caught a follow up performance of it with some family over the holidays and found an audience survey about the show in my program. Hello test screening/production. I will welcome back Dickens A Christmas Carol next year but hope to one day see a tweaked Christmas Story in the Spencer, however, I think the show’s producers have bigger plans.
The crowd favorite Wicked took up residence at the Music Hall for nearly a month much to the show’s fan bases delight. While being a good, very well produced production, it was a bit too poppy after the darker, grittier openers of the season and left me feeling indifferent.
I was weary walking into White Christmas well after the holidays had come to a close on January 5 but to my delight found it entertaining enough for what it was. Then again, I am always a sucker for period type pieces especially those that celebrate show business.
Looking ahead I eagerly anticipate the Rep’s line up, while the Musical Hall serves up a couple of interesting choices.
The KC Rep’s co-production with CenterStage of Around the World in 80 Days opened January 22nd at the Spencer Theatre and runs through February 14. The family friendly production is really well put together but I was caught off guard by the heavy love story.
Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein goes from from screen to stage February 16-21 at the music hall. Still not sure if I should go back and watch the film to reacquaint myself with it prior to the show.
The Rep keeps things local February 19 – March 21 with BROKE-OLOGY at the Copaken Stage. The show that uses Kansas City, Kansas as it’s setting.
Another story with local ties takes stage at the Spencer Theatre March 12-April 4 in BUS STOP.
Some counter programing to the rep when the traveling production of A Chorus Line plays at the Music Hall April 13-18
April brings the final of three world premiere’s and the final show of the season at the KC Rep in VENICE – A NEW MUSICAL April 9 – May 11. Written by Matt Sax and Rep artistic director Eric Rosen, the creators of last year’s well received Clay. A good lineage should lead to a good show.
Closing out the Musical Hall’s season in mid May 11-16 is 101 Dalmatians musical. Make sure to pick up after your pets.