UMKC hopes for a hit.
After the Broadway revival of Craig Lucas' Reckless opened last fall, one acerbic New York critic said that it didn't need to be revived -- except as a star vehicle for the ever-splendid Mary-Louise Parker, whose performance strengthened her reputation as one of theater's most beloved assets. The UMKC Theatre Department, however, rightly believes that the show can stand on its own merit. Particularly impressive are Reckless' brilliant shifts in tone. The action begins on a candy-cane high one snow-kissed Christmas Eve but swiftly veers to darker places after a man tells his chipper wife that he has put out a contract on her life. She hops out the window, and we pick up on her lengthy journey to rebuild her core belief that people are inherently good. It's often funny, if not always politically correct, and when it's sweet, there's no syrupy aftertaste. The show opens at 8 p.m. Friday at Union Station's City Stage Theatre (30 West Pershing); call 816-235-6222. -- Steve Walker
Even this stretch of the Bible Belt encircles many faiths -- at least according to The Hindu and the Cowboy, and Other Kansas City Stories. Donna Ziegenhorn compiled the theater piece from 80 stories about what it means to be something other than Christian in this seemingly religion-locked Midwestern city. Tragedy, humor and reconciliation escape form a narrative that gives voice to KC's increasingly varied identity. Sponsored by such organizations as the Center for Religious Experience and Study and the National Conference for Community and Justice, the performance is at noon on Monday at Longview College's Melvin A. Aytes Education Center (500 S.W. Longview Road); call 816-672-2030. -- Walker
Kilroy Was Here
"Arbiter of Taste for the Local Metal Scene" is not a viciously coveted title. Or maybe Jim Kilroy has filled the role so effectively since the first Banzai Awards Show in 1988 that nobody wants to oust him. The man presents his 15th annual round of awards at 9 p.m. Friday at the Beaumont Club (4050 Pennsylvania, 816-561-2560), where Sidewise, Albino Fly, Stillborn and Moire sing for their feast of Kilroy adulation. Tickets are $8 in advance, $10 at the door. -- Jason Harper