Late Night Theatre returns for a special holiday romp called, appropriately, “A Very Late Night Christmas.”
This production, written by Ron Megee and Jessica Dressler, is another satirical pop-culture mashup inspired, in part, by the Dolly Parton-Kenny Rogers TV holiday specials in the 1980s, with weird “guest appearances” by other residual stars of that lost decade.
The cast includes Ashley Otis as Dolly, Jessica Dressler as Kenny and Christopher Barksdale as Whitney Houston. Other members of the troupe include Katie Gilchrist and Chadwick Brooks. Megee is directing.
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▪ Meanwhile, out in the southwestern region of the metro, Martin City Melodrama & Vaudeville Co. has unveiled its first holiday show at the company’s new home in the Great Mall of the Great Plains in Olathe. As we’ve observed in the past, Martin City shares a certain aesthetic kinship and irreverent attitude with Late Night Theatre, but with a big difference: Late Night is R-rated and Martin City is for the whole family.
The Martin City show, which kicks off its 30th season, is “Santa Conquers the Martians, or, Claus Encounters of the 3rd Kind,” written by artistic director Jeanne Beechwood. This being the holidays, a new vaudeville revue will include Martin City’s famed Water Glass Symphony. This year, however, the performers will actually be drinking from the glasses as they play. Or so I’m told.
The cast includes Dianne Brown, Rob Pagenkopf, Shana McCoy, Cody Goeppner and Mark Riggs. Ellen Beechwood designed the costumes, and the musical finale is composed by Jon Copeland. Also on the bill: an appearance by Charlie the Wonder Dog.
The show runs through Jan. 4. Patrons should enter the Sports and Adventure entrance at the southeast corner of the mall. For tickets and information, call 913-642-7576 or go to MartinCityMelodrama.org.
▪ The Quality Hill Playhouse opened its annual holiday production last weekend. “Christmas in Song” this year features Lindsey McKee, Cary Mock and LeShea Wright with J. Kent Barnhart at the piano. The show runs through Dec. 24. Call 816-471-1700 or go to QualityHillPlayhouse.com.
▪ Kansas City Actors Theatre has provided updated attendance figures for the first three shows of its current season. The KCAT productions of “The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds,” “Hamlet” and “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead” came to 4,469. The company’s season will continue with a production in February of Beth Henley’s “Crimes of the Heart.” KCAT was one of the local companies included in an article on Nov. 16 about local theater attendance.
▪ Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre, 3614 Main St., is extending its fine production of Stephen MacDonald’s “Not About Heroes” through Dec. 7. The play by Stephen MacDonald examines the friendship between British poets Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon, both of whom fought in World War I. The MET production, directed by Bob Paisley, features Robert Gibby Brand and Seth Macchi. Call 816-569-3226 or go to METKC.org.