A new musical comedy about the joys, challenges and burdens of motherhood opens this weekend at the Goppert Theatre at Avila Univesity, 11901 Wornall Road.
“MotherFreakingHood!” by Julie Thies Dunlap and Sara Stotts, Kansas City natives, former sorority sisters and University of Kansas graduates, opens Friday and runs through June 14. This marks the show’s Kansas City premiere.
Directing is Heidi Van, curator of the Fishtank Performance Studio, who has assembled a talented cast: Jennifer Mays, Nancy Nail, Sara Carolynn Kennedy, Vanessa Severo and Anthony Gasbarre. Musical direction is by Daniel Doss.
Dunlap and Stotts began their creative partnership writing music and scripts for Rock Chalk Revue, the KU campus variety show. Dunlap now lives in Lawrence and Stotts is based in Chicago. Both are married and have kids.
For ticket information, visit MoonshineVariety.co.
At the MET
Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre, 3614 Main St., wraps up its 2014-15 season with “The Full Monty,” the Broadway musical based on a British independent film about unemployed steel workers who decide to become male strippers. Karen Paisley directs. The show features a book by Terrence McNally and a score by David Yazbek. The big cast includes Vincent Onofrio Monachino, Bob Paisley, Tony Beasley, Leah Swank-Miller and Stasha Case.
Guy Masterson returns for two performances only of Gareth Armstrong’s “Shylock,” a one-actor play that examines one of Shakespeare’s most vivid and/or notorious villains, the money-lender in “The Merchant of Venice.” Masterson first performed the show locally as part of the British Invasion in 2011. He performs the piece at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday in the White Theatre at the Jewish Community Center, 5801 W. 115th St., Leawood. Call 913-327-8054 or go to JCCKC.org.
▪ KC MeltingPot Theatre, a nonprofit theater and a resident company at Just Off Broadway Theatre, 3051 Central in Penn Valley Park, begins its 2015 season with “Taste Test” by Frank Higgins, June 12-27. The play is set in 1985 as one of the biggest cola distributors in the world is about to embark on a new course and introduce a new product. The show is a co-production with Phoenix KC Theatre.
The season continues with “Old School” by Harvey Williams. The comic drama, which Williams has rewritten since it was staged as part of Melting Pot’s first season, focuses on an inner-city street philosopher and his network of relationships. The show runs Aug 14-29.
“Gidion’s Knot” by Johnna Adams, Sept. 18-Oct. 3, is a reprise of a production that Phoenix KC Theatre originally produced as part of the 2014 KC Fringe. The cast includes Vanessa Harper and Ellen DeShon. Warren Deckert directs. The play touches on censorship, artistic expression, bullying and the state of education.
“On Shoulders Now” by Harvey Williams is a holiday tale about margin-dwellers hustling day-to-day to survive and create a sense of family. The show runs Nov. 27-Dec. 19.
▪ Kansas City Actors Theatre begins its 2015-16 season with “The Gin Game,” D.L. Coburn’s Pulitzer Prize-winning two-character play that balances humor and drama in its depiction of a man and a woman in an assisted-living residence. Performances begin Aug. 12 and continue through Aug. 30 at the H&R Block City Stage at Union Station. Dennis Hennessy is the director.
“At Home at the Zoo” by Edward Albee is a companion piece to his famous early play “The Zoo Story.” This piece functions as a prologue to the earlier play. The director will be Doug Weaver. The show runs Aug. 12-30 at City Stage.
KCAT will stage a play by British playwright Caryl Churchill for the first time with “A Number,” which focuses on a father’s effort to clone his dead son. The 2002 play, set in the near future, addresses the ethics and philosophical implications of cloning.
Mark Robbins will direct. KCAT plans to stage the show in a yet-to-be-announced environment in a manner similar to its productions of “Three Viewings” (staged at the Muehlebach Funeral Home) and “Boston Marriage” (performed in a drawing room at Webster House). The show will be run in January and February of 2016.
The final show of the season will be Athol Fugard’s “The Island,” directed by Walter Coppage. Set on Robben Island, a notorious South African prison, the play depicts two political prisoners who work at hard labor during the day and at night in their cell rehearse Sophocles’ “Antigone.” The show will be staged at City Stage March 9-27, 2016.
Season tickets are on sale through the Central Ticket Office. Call 816-235-6222.
▪ The New Theatre Restaurant has unveiled its 2015-16 season, which kicks off with the classic comedy “You Can’t Take It With You” by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart. William Christopher, who starred in the TV show “M*A*S*H,” stars and the supporting cast includes New Theatre stalwarts Cathy Barnett, Debra Bluford, Craig Benton, Dodie Brown and Jim Korinke. The show runs Sept. 24-Nov. 29.
Gary Sandy, who starred in TV’s “WKRP in Cincinnati,” returns to star in the Ray Cooney farce “Out of Order,” Dec. 2-Feb. 14, 2016. Next up is Ken Ludwig’s backstage farce “Moon Over Buffalo,” starring Marion Ross (“Happy Days”) and Hal Linden (“Barney Miller”), Feb. 18-April 24, 2016. Barbara Eden (“I Dream of Jeannie”) makes a return trip to headline “Beau Jest” by James Sherman, April 27-July 3, 2016. And the season concludes with the Kander and Ebb classic “Chicago,” which is officially the longest-running American musical in Broadway history.