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BEST OUTDOOR THEATER 

Starlight Theatre

Critics' Choice

The updated Starlight is like a boutique baseball stadium for thespians and theater lovers. Expansive seating, updated stage and sound, restaurants, fountains, concessions, patios — even a gift shop. No Cracker Jack, but popcorn and lemonade if you prefer game-time munchies over sit-down service. The moon dances overhead as players traverse the stage, and the occasional breeze brings to mind Swope Park's earlier use, way back in the mid-1930s, as a refuge from the heat when Kansas Citians fled here to find cooler sleeping environs than their un-air-conditioned homes. A decade or so later, the large park proved a logical location for the perfectly named Starlight, and here the stars still shine from both stage and sky.

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