Arts » Summer Guide

Summer Guide Outdoor Stages

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Jesus Christ Superstar
June 11–13, July 17–20

The rock opera by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice focuses on the last week of Jesus' life and his relationship with Judas Iscariot, who is astonished by Jesus' claims of divinity and lack of preparation against the Romans. It's performed in Theatre in the Park in Shawnee Mission Park (7710 Renner Road in Shawnee). The show begins at 8:30 p.m. For tickets and information, call 913-236-1237 or see theatreinthepark.org.

Heart of America Shakespeare Festival
June 15–July 3

One of Shakespeare's longest historical plays — often considered his greatest — is this year's featured production: Richard III. Performed at 8 p.m. by Kansas City actors (but no performance on June 21), the play in Southmoreland Park (Oak and Emanuel Cleaver II Boulevard) is free to attend. The Paul Mesner Puppets open at 6:30 and 7:15 p.m. each night. Blankets and BYO dinners are encouraged. See kcshakes.org for more information.

Little House on the Prairie, the Musical
June 22–27

Adapted from the children's book, this musical production debuted in 2008 and runs this season at Starlight Theatre (4600 Starlight Road in Swope Park) with Melissa Gilbert as "Ma." Shows begin at 8 p.m.; for tickets, call 816-363-7827 or see kcstarlight.com.

Annie
June 25–27, July 1–3

It's the hard-knock life until Annie is whisked away for a Christmas visit to Oliver Warbucks' mansion, and she melts the zillionaire's heart with her songs and sad, parentless story. Performances of this family-friendly production begin at 8:30 p.m. at Theatre in the Park in Shawnee Mission Park (7710 Renner Road in Shawnee). For tickets, call 913-236-1237 or see theatreinthepark.org.

All Shook Up
July 9–11, July 15–18

This musical isn't about Elvis Presley. It's actually about Chad, the ex-con who rides into a sleepy Midwestern town and revives the romance scene with his bad-boy swagger. Chock-full of Elvis tunes, this show at Shawnee Mission Park's Theatre in the Park (7710 Renner Road in Shawnee) is actually based on Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. For tickets, call 913-236-1237 or see theatreinthepark.org.

Dreamgirls
July 20–25

This Tony Award-winning musical chronicles the trials and tribulations of a 1960s, all-female singing trio from Chicago called the Dreams. From their Apollo Theater debut to their gig on the Las Vegas Strip, the women learn about fame and fortune the hard way. Shows begin at 8 p.m. at Starlight Theatre (4600 Starlight Road in Swope Park). For tickets, call 816-363-7827 or see kcstarlight.com.

Cinderella
July 23–25, July 29–August 1

Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II originally adapted this fairy tale for television; it's complete with evil stepsisters, glass slippers, a fairy godmother, and the prince who won't rest until he finds the beautifully disguised servant girl he's destined to marry. It's performed at Theatre in the Park in Shawnee Mission Park (7710 Renner Road in Shawnee). For tickets, call 913-236-1237 or see theatreinthepark.org.

KC Fringe Festival
July 23–August 1

For the sixth year, regional and national artists come together for a variety of events — theater, dance, performance and visual art, spoken word, film, fashion, puppetry and storytelling. Unpredictable and uncensored, performances will go on in locations throughout the city. See kcfringe.org for places, times and more information.

Beauty and the Beast
August 10–15

Join Belle, the Beast, Lumiere the candelabrum, Cogsworth the clock, and Babette the feather duster for this production adapted from the 1991 Disney movie. This musical love story brings elaborate sets and lavish costumes to Starlight Theatre (4600 Starlight Road in Swope Park). Shows start at 8 p.m.; for tickets, call 816-363-7827 or see kcstarlight.com.

The Producers
August 23–29

This story, which is not suitable for children or the easily offended, follows Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom as they try to produce a total flop and instead end up with a hit. Heavy on Nazi and gay jokes, The Producers is the first stage production to win 12 Tony Awards. See it at 8 p.m. at Starlight Theatre (4600 Starlight Road in Swope Park). For tickets, call 816-363-7827 or see kcstarlight.com.

Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles
September 7–12

This giant sing-along is a multimedia, multidimensional performance with historical highlights, television commercials and live music from John, Paul, George and Ringo impersonators. It begins at 8 p.m. at Starlight Theatre (4600 Starlight Road in Swope Park). For tickets, call 816-363-7827 or see kcstarlight.com.

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