Mom, we're only dancing.

Boyfriend Trouble 

Mom, we're only dancing.

12/3-12/26
Convenience is an often unaffordable luxury when people have major bombs to drop on their loved ones. Case in point: In the Unicorn Theatre's (3828 Main, 816-531-7529) new musical Convenience, a 26-year-old man faces the task of coming out to his estranged mother, who then must look for the right moment to inform her son that a stepfather is on the horizon. Granted, it's not exactly a boiler-room situation, but writer and composer Gregg Coffin's intimate examination of relationship complexities is a completely sung-through musical. At the very least, it's a novel approach to parlor drama.

But we expect more than just an evening of adequacy from director Cynthia Levin, who, in her 25 years at the Unicorn, has established herself as a taker of risks and a lover of hard edges. We're also looking forward to the Unicorn debut of Gary Holcombe (playing the potential stepdad), one of the best character actors in town. Convenience opens at 8 p.m. Friday and runs through December 26.-- Jason Harper

Icy Hot

SAT 12/4
Johnson County Community College has dubbed its Holiday Celebration on Ice a fusion of fire and ice. Not because there are actual flames in the performance, you see, but because the experience will be so hot. The show's creator and choreographer, Latin American ice skater Rosstyn Eduardo Gudino, hails from Miami. And the show begins with a Gloria Estefan rendition of "Silver Bells." Feel the heat at 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday at the Carlsen Center (12345 College Boulevard in Overland Park, 913-469-4445). Tickets start at $25. -- Annie Fischer

Life's cruel at William Jewell 12/2-12/4

In its recent survey of the 357 best colleges, The Princeton Review ranked William Jewell No. 2 for "happiest students." Little did the surveyors know that the theater department at the little Baptist college in Liberty was planning to ring in the holidays with a three-pronged assault on the very idea of human happiness, in the form of the Oresteia by Aeschylus. See the first play in the trilogy at 8 p.m. Thursday and the second and third plays at 8 p.m. Friday. Or take it all in one gut-wrenching dose at 4 p.m. Saturday (with a dinner break). Performances are at Peters Theater, 500 College Hill Road. Call 816-781-7700. -- Harper

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