AMERICAN HEARTLAND TO OFFER ROCK, COMEDY AND MYSTERY - 'BUDDY HOLLY STORY,' 'PLAY IT
AGAIN, SAM' AMONG 1995-96 PLAYS.
April 9, 1995 By ROBERT TRUSSELL Publication: The Kansas City Star
Rock 'n' roll from the 1950s, comedy from the '60s, a 40-year-old mystery and a spoof of present-day Hollywood make up the American Heartland Theatre's 1995-96 season. The season begins Sept. 8 with Woody Allen's "Play It Again, Sam," a comedy in which a nerdy writer obsessed with Humphrey Bogart finds himself assisted by Bogey's spirit in his romantic pursuits. The show runs through Oct. 22. The rest of the season: "The Taffetas," a musical celebration of girl-groups from the '50s, runs Oct. 28-Jan. 7, 1996. This show, similar in tone to "Forever Plaid," includes such songs include "Mr. Sandman," "Sh-Boom" and "Johnny Angel." "Buddy The Buddy Holly Story" opens Jan. 12, 1996, and runs through March 10. The show presents a biographical outline of the rock 'n' roll legend and concludes with a re-creation of his final concert in Clear Lake, Iowa, that also featured performances by Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper. Songs include "That'll Be the Day," "Maybe Baby," "La Bamba" and "Chantilly Lace." Agatha Christie's classic mystery "The Mousetrap" opens March 21, 1966, and runs through May 5. The play, originally written for radio, opened onstage in London in 1952 and ran for decades. In it a group of strangers, one of whom is a murderer, are stranded in a boarding house during a snowstorm. "Forbidden Hollywood," from the creators of the popular spoof "Forbidden Broadway," takes musically satirical potshots at La-La Land, making fun of such film classics as "The Sound of Music," "The Wizard of Oz," "Basic Instinct" and "Forrest Gump. " The show runs May 10-July 7, 1996. Vicki Oleson returns to star in Neil Simon's "California Suite," a collection of four related one-act comedies. The show runs July 18-Sept. 1, 1996. For ticket information, call the box office at 842-9999.Young audiences Theatre for Young America also announced its 1995-96 season, made up for the most part of stage adaptations of literary classics. The season lineup:"The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," Sept. 26-Nov. 10. This musical is based on Washington Irving's famous tale of Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow. "Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates," based on a classic novel by Mary Mapes Dodge, is set on the frozen canals of 19th-century Holland and depicts ice races and songs and customs of the Netherlands. The show runs Nov. 24-Dec. 22. "Phillis: A Life of Phillis Wheatley," Jan. 17-Feb. 16, 1996.The life of Wheatley, who was kidnapped by slave traders and later became one of the first black poets in Colonial America, is depicted in this historical play. "Gruff! The Three Billy Goats," a musical comedy based on the fable of three goats and a troll, runs March 5-April 12, 1996. "The Magician's Nephew," April 23-May 17, 1996. This is a dramatization of the fifth book of The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. In the play the great lion Aslan creates Narnia and bestows the gift of speech to its animals. "Journey to the Center of the Earth," June 6-30, 1996. A musical version of the classic Jules Verne novel about an expedition below the surface of the Earth, where the adventurers encounter sea serpents, dinosaurs, giant turtles and a world within a world. "Tom Sawyer," July 11-28, 1996. A musical adaptation of Mark Twain's picaresque novel set in a 19th-century river town and featuring Huck Finn and Becky Thatcher. Theatre for Young America is in Mission Center at the intersection of Shawnee Mission Parkway, Johnson Drive and Roe Boulevard. Call 831-2131.Simonian again Ron Simonian's "Bagheads" begins performances Friday at Quality Hill Playhouse, 303 W. 10th St. The show runs through April 30. The Kansas City playwright's bizarre comedy examines the strange experience of a psychologist whose emotional and sexual needs have assumed a physical form known only to him and eventually lead him into an emotional tangle involving his wife, a paranoid hypochondriac and a talk-show host obsessed with food. The show is directed by Sidonie Garrett, who recently staged Simonian's "Thanatos" in New York. The cast includes Matt Rapport (also a veteran of the New York production of "Thanatos"), Jane Loutzenhiser, Vicki Baker, Lancer Shull, Karen Iverson, John Luongo and Woody Bengoa. For ticket information, call American Musical Theatre at 221-6000.Gray returns Monologist Spalding Gray will return to the Folly Theater with his one-man performance, "Gray's Anatomy," at 8 p.m. April 29. The show is part of the William Jewell College Fine Arts Program. "Gray's Anatomy" is the 14th monologue Gray has created and performed based on his experiences. This piece is based on medical problems with his left eye, experiences with alternative healers and traditional medicine, and how it all ultimately led to his marriage. Gray's other monologues include "Swimming to Cambodia" and "Monster in a Box," both of which were adapted as films. He also has appeared in the movies "The Killing Fields," "True Stories," "The Paper" and "King of the Hill." For ticket information, call the William Jewell fine arts office at 781-8250 or the Folly box office at 474-4444. The Kansas City Star Date: April 9, 1995 Page: J7 Copyright 1995 The Kansas City Star Co.