Theatre Reviews

Somehow the shackles on Pete Bakely’s fingers broke, again, and he has spun two hilarious short plays for this year’s KC Fringe Festival. Even more outrageous than previous pieces and now playing at The Arts Asylum, are Upskirt and CEC [read more]

The Living Room Theatre’s Emma Carter gifts us with an incisively clever new play, Wicked Creatures.

Set in Victorian England, Carter’s 90-minute play invokes a host of hard topics, all of which are comically juxtaposed against the facade of Victorian gentility. Factor in superbly-subtle exposition, dynamic characters, witty dialogue and a relentless undercurrent of humor and horror, and the result is a darkly funny, culturally-relevant play that simultaneously entertains and challenges.[read more]

A high school trip to Rome for eight girls and their chaperone brings exactly what the girls want, adventure, love, learning, and even a hint or romance, inLuciano for Me at the Unicorn Theatre on the Levin Stage for the KC Fringe Festival.[read more]

American Indians suffered terribly from the actions of European explorers and then White Europeans began settling the United States, pushing farther and farther into Native American lands, while never seeming to care about those residing there first. Such is the backdrop for Crazy Horse: A Dream of Thunder, now playing at the Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre for the Kansas City Fringe Festival.[read more]

When discussing his KC Fringe submission, The Table, playwright Curtis Smith described it a deep, dark, disturbing, and he proves right on all accounts in the play at The Living Room Theatre. [read more]

Stand up and cheer for the trio of actors who undertake the dark but creative mind-set of one of Edgar Allen Poe’s classic terror tales, “The Falll of the House of Usher,” one of his many stories that adapted into film. [read more]

Audiences have only about 15 seconds to resist the on-stage presence of Annie Oakley as Cheryl Weaver takes that stage and commands the full attention of those present in the Central Standard Theatre’s offering for the KC Fringe, Performing  Annie Oakley:  Shooting is a Gentle Thing, at the Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre. [read more]

Slice of life stories always allow the audience to peer into the dysfunctional point of some situation, as is the case of John and Leslie Are in the Copy Room Again.  Life imitates art and art imitates life, in this production at Phospor Studio. [read more]

Dear fans of Shakespeare and classical works in performance, you are in for a treat. The theatrical team of Hubbard and Hubbard bring a (highly) reduced-cast, 60-minute version of The Scottish Play to the KC Fringe: it is cleverly adapted, creatively staged and, best of all, dynamically spoken and embodied by wife-husband duo,April and Robert Hubbard. [read more]

In Gilda: A Tribute to Gilda Radner, performer, Helena Cosentino presents a tremendously entertaining, ninety-minute, one-woman show. Presented in deep thrust staging at the Just Off Broadway Theatre, Cosentino’s show is a lively testament to her versatility as a performer—she sings, dances, narrates, does impressions—and all this after cleverly crafting a script that simultaneously shares the life and times of comedienne, Gilda Radner’s work and pays homage to her work.[read more]

What happened to Huckleberry Finn after the story of his early and adolescent life ends?  Does he find more adventures?  Does he meet new and interesting people? Does he just fade into American’s melting pot?  Does he go to Indian Territory as he supposes?  Does he grow up to become just an adult Huckleberry Finn?  Does he lose his innocence and grow old and hard, like Pap? [read more]

Relevance Productions continues to string together interesting and challenging pieces for Kansas City Fringe audiences to view and discuss, and this year’s entry, The Islander, brings memories of the old-time Rod Serling TV series The Twilight Zone. [read more]

Sam Cooke's story started in a small town in Mississippi in 1931. He began his musical career as a gospel singer before moving on to secular recordings and establishing himself as the King of Soul [...]  Here at the Fringe, Brother John brings his voice and his history to us in his latest musical retrospective.[read more]

David Hanson likes to play with the concepts of performer and audience. Last year his "Bird in the Hand" took place simultaneously in multiple parts of Union Station. The audience, which was divided into three parts, each got a different piece of the overall story, depending on where they were. This year, he has expanded on the idea with "Audience".[read more]

Phillip Low has become a returning regular here at the Fringe, coming to do his spoken-word monologues detailing the various adventures of his life [...] This show has him relating his times in China, tracing back the history of his family. He talks all about the hassle of trying to get there, leaving his bag in a cab and the lengths he went to get it back again...[read more]

The Coterie brings some heavy fare to Westport Coffee House in the form of A Bird of Prey, a story about the perils of high school, finding your place, and dealing with the dynamics of an environment that's almost a constant trial-by-fire. And if that weren't enough, someone is murdering children. Their ghosts speak to us, begging to be heard, watching helplessly as the cycle begins anew.[read more]

Those who like vampire stories will be attracted to Rumors of Shadows, not only because of the vampire story within the performance, but some fun special effects, lighting tricks, daft “horror story dialogue,” various out of the ordinary characters, and mime. [read more]

The life of luxury and excess may be what people envision of Henry VIII and his court, bu, the deathwatch thoughts and passion of his second wife, Anne Bolyn, propose an entirely different view of Henry’s wife and mother of future Queen Elizabeth [read more]

A humble man living only to make all mankind into better people, and a man truly blessed with the kindness, compassion, and benevolence. “Selfless” written by Forrest Attaway, about Forrest Attaway, directed by Forrest Attaway allows the subtlety of Forrest Attaway to take center stage—Not. The loveable and larger than life Forrest Attaway loved in the Kansas City theatre scene allows a younger actor, Seth Macchi, to mimic him on stage for an hour...[read more]

The Toymaker is the story of Prudence, a second-(or third)-generation toymaker who lives in her shop, all alone with her toys. Yes, she talks to them. Yes, she hears them talk back. No, she never leaves the store. [read more]

Kansas City Fringe audiences get the rare chance to see a distinguished playwright’s one-act plays prior to their fall debut in New York City as Home Grown Theatre Co. brings “I Can’t Imagine Tomorrow” and “Green Eyes” to the Fringe stage of Kansas City’s Arts Asylum. Two talented performers portray characters in two plays by the noted playwright that draw heavily on his traditional, tormented characters. [read more]

Much has been said about the process of writing: the struggles, the self-doubt, the painstaking process of finding just the right word in just the right place. And indeed, all of these things are true and valid aspects of the craft. But what they tend to leave out, and what writers generally keep to themselves, is that writing can make you crazy."Script to the Bone" gives us a case in point: Hannah (Danielle Swatzell), a debt-ridden Ph. D. who has taken on script doctoring to pay the bills. She gets a call at 4 in the morning from her producer to "tidy up" a chunk of script.[read more]

This play gives insight in the insanity of a woman as she slowly slides away from reality, a home, a husband, and begins her journey into her own private world of audio and electronic video stimulation. With Kansas City favorites Manon Halliburton and David Fritts, the cast alone gives the audience a glimpse of the story and anticipated relationship [read more]

In a way, it is unfortunate that the Fishtank is such an intimate space, as Ms Rasheedat 'Ras' Badejo's one-woman production is almost certainly going to play to sold-out houses throughout the fringe and most likely to the post-fringe "overflow" performances already slated for August. Ms Badejo's portrayal of a woman mostly forgotten by history is a fascinating one, and we expect word to get out fast. [read more]

Expect to be entertained when you see Trevor Belt, Jessica Franz, Andy Penn and a relatively new face in the KC theater scene,  Casey Jane, that take on the newest works by local playwrights Inbar Kahn, Sarah Aptilon, and Victor Wishna. [read more]

Fringers with families will want to save space on their calendar for Olive Juice Theatre and their take on the legend of Jason and the Argonauts.  The tale, in which would-be hero Jason is sent in to retrieve the legendary Golden Fleece, is performed in a freewheeling slapstick style with lots of comedy, songs, and audience participation. [read more]

Word to the wise:  Enter at your own risk.  Fits of laughter engulf the audience as three of the most brilliant and creative comic minds in Kansas City combine their off-beat random thoughts into one of the funniest entries into the Kansas City Fringe Festival in several years.

[read more]

 

Count on Kevin King and his pack of talented (or if is untalented) crazies to present an ever-changing evening of entertainment in “Baddest Auditions” that opened at 9 p.m., Friday, July 23, at the Musical Theatre Heritage Stage 2. [read more]

“Where are all the girl action figures?! Where’s Black Widow??! Where’s Wonder Woman??!” And so begins Brick Street Theatre’s 60 minute rant, protest and exposé on the misogynist tendencies of the comic book genre and its holy pilgrimage site, Comicon.

Fangirls: An Improbable Cosplay is playwright, Jessie Salsbury’s venture into adapting her one-woman show from last year’s Fringe into a one-act for four actors. Set at and around a Comicon in an unnamed city, three women of indeterminate age drag their friend Otto, a Comicon newbie, around. [read more]

InkMagazine - Article on Crumblecake Production's The House of the Devil is a Hot Mess

In 1902, in Pittsburg, Texas, an  inventor and clergyman by the name of Burrell Cannon built the Ezekiel Airship, an attempt to create the first powered, controlled flying machine via use of biblical principles. Working with a small group of inventors and a dedicated staff at the local foundry, Cannon created his work based on the words of Ezekiel 1:16: "The appearance of the wheels and their work was like unto the color of beryl; and they four had one likeness; and their appearance was as it were a wheel within the middle of the wheel" (a passage that has inspired more than one flying saucer theory, incidentally). Allegedly achieving flight one year before the Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk, the flyer was destroyed in a storm on its way to the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair. It is this curious sidenote to history that first-time playwright David O. Hill has chosen for his "The Story of the Century". [READ MORE]

The year is 1974. Rudolph Nureyev, lately defected from the Soviet Union, is touring the United States. Two slightly obsessive fans, Diana and Kate, are determined to meet him. What they get is a comedy of errors, a whirlwind of fantasy, a couple of solid life lessons and a dash of international intrigue. [read more]