The Pajama Game Perhaps the lightest, friskiest and most underrated classic of the Broadway musical's golden age, Adler and Ross' workers-versus-management comedy follows labor troubles from the factory floor to the union hall to -— in its allusive '50s way -— the bedroom. This concert-style Musical Theatre Heritage production emphasizes the memorable songs "Steam Heat," "Hernando's Hideaway" and the knock-'em-dead "I'll Never Be Jealous Again." MTH productions are invariably well-cast, well-sung and well worth your patronage. Add a small orchestra and a cast of 17 — including the funny James Wright; the dazzling Karen Errington; and Tim Scott, the world's only professional Royals fan — and this looks like August's only must-see musical. Through Aug. 31 at Off-Center Theatre, on the third floor of Crown Center, 2450 Grand, 816-221-6987.
The Taming of the Shrew This comedy-fantasy-nightmare demonstrates how to strip away a woman's individuality over the course of an engagement. By the end, Katherine — that "irksome, brawling scold" — lies that she can't tell the sun from the moon, just to keep her man happy. It's pretty funny, though, with lashing insults and scalding sexual politics. There's even just hint enough that the whole thing might be some protofeminist put-on. Either way, this Shakespeare in the Parking Lot production benefits KCK's Alcott Arts Center, that beautiful, old brick school building that looms over the 18th Street Expressway, and it's only five bucks a head, so there's reason to feel good about coming out to see humanity at its worst. At 7 p.m. Aug. 22 and 23 at the Alcott Arts Center, 180 S. 18th St., Kansas City, Kansas, 913-233-2787.