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Fancy Steppin'


Breathe easy, Kansas City. The Ginger Musical is not some redheaded version of Hair. Instead, Christopher McGovern's promising dance musical, at the American Heartland Theatre, is inspired by the old joke that Ginger Rogers did everything that the more celebrated Fred Astaire did, only backward and in heels. Sure, Astaire's stage and film career was one of the most inventive in the history of dance. And sure, he actually choreographed a lot of those dances. But it's still a good line, and Rogers is a ripe subject for the kind of nostalgic tribute at which the Heartland excels. Backwards in High Heels: The Ginger Musical stars Broadway singer and hoofer Vanessa Sonon as Ginger, that once-in-a-generation vessel of talent, grace and doing it backward. Erik Floor plays the men in her life, some of whom she occasionally gets to lead. The show features original songs, as well as highlights, from Rogers musicals: "A Fine Romance," "I Got Rhythm" and — just in time for the new depression — "We're in the Money." The show premieres tonight at the American Heartland Theatre in Crown Center (2450 Grand, 816-842-9999).— Alan Scherstuhl
Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m.; Tuesdays, 7:30 p.m.; Wednesdays, 7:30 p.m.; Thursdays, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., March 14, 2 p.m.; Wed., March 18, 1 p.m.; Sat., March 21, 4 p.m.; Wed., March 25, 1 p.m.; Sat., March 28, 2 p.m.; Sat., April 4, 4 p.m.; Wed., April 8, 1 & 7:30 p.m.; Thu., April 9, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., April 11, 4 p.m.; Thu., April 16, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., April 18, 2 p.m.; Sun., April 19, 7:30 p.m. Starts: March 6. Continues through March 26, 2009

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