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Miss Nelson Has a Field Day It's phys-ed terror in this Theatre For Young America musical — and not in the typical body-issues and tight-shorts ways. An adaptation of Harry Allard and James Marshall's raucous book about what happens when the worst school in Texas meets the world's meanest substitute teacher, this Miss Nelson promises comic gloom and energetic numbers as well as Valerie Mackey made up into a truly hideous swamp of a coach: black lipstick, a Cardinals cap and a black fright wig that looks like its made entirely of spider legs. Through April 18 at the H&R Block City Stage in Union Station, 30 West Pershing Rd, 816-460-2020. (Alan Scherstuhl)

Macbeth Ambition unchecked is the order of the day here, both in the mad Scot's power lust and, perhaps, in the very fact of this often grand community theater's daring to take on "the Scottish play." The crazier strand of drama folk fake-believe that this witch-brew tragedy hexes any theater in which its name is said aloud, a superstition even more absurd than Midwesterners thinking gay couples somehow jeopardize marriage. What's important: Barring high schools and in-the-park productions, it's the only full-length Shakespeare production on the calendar anytime soon at any local theater. Here's one of the bard's nastiest plays, dripping with blood and cauldron gunk, packed to straining with murderous verse of the highest order, mounted in Mission by a reliable crew — can't we shift the cursed-title thing to something that deserves it, such as Mitch Albom's Duck Hunter Shoots Angel? Through April 6 at the Barn Players, 6219 Martway in Mission, 913-432-9100. (Alan Scherstuhl)

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