The Dinosaur Musical You trembled when the creatures in Jurassic Park learned to open doors, so what hope have we now that they've mastered the old one-two rock step? It's family fun with thunder lizards as the Coterie explores the rift between vegetarian and carnivorous dinos. A pair of leaf-loving sauropods hole up in the Paradise Hotel -- called, by director Ernie Nolan, an "art-deco heaven" -- to sing, tell stories and deny their impending extinction. Through Aug. 7 at the Coterie Theatre at Crown Center, 2450 Grand, 816-474-6552.
The Eumenides Grab an eye-opener before kicking it old-old-old-school with Gorilla Theatre's latest a.m. drive-by performance of a Greek classic, this time the conclusion to Aeschylus' Oresteia trilogy. As always, Greek tragedy reveals that (a) we share fundamental human concerns with the ancient Athenians and that (b) the Aristotelian unities -- the philosopher's rules stipulating what a play can be, how much time it can cover, when it can be performed and that it can't budge from a single set -- are still less bizarre and restrictive than the laws governing the typical sitcom. July 9-10 at 7:30 a.m. at the Wheeler Amphitheatre in Frank A. Theis Park at Brush Creek and Rockhill Road.
From My Hometown It's Memphis vs. Philly vs. Detroit in this showdown of classic soul stylings. Three young singers, each named for his city and sound, arrive in New York, eager to become stars. Mixing original tunes with more than 30 R&B hits, this streamlined feel-good show is as much story as it is revue. Can rivals work together? Does Stax trump Motown? Gamble and Huff notwithstanding, does Philly even have a chance? July 8 through Aug. 21 at American Heartland Theatre, 2450 Grand, 816-842-9999.
Jesus Christ Superstar Andrew Lloyd Webber's savior-struck perennial seems less bombastic each year. These days -- after Mel Gibson's Passion and a run of Webber productions so bloated and tuneless they wash up on our stages like whales on beaches -- this belt-it-to-the-heavens '70s show chronicling the final days of the swingingest Jesus around feels as low-key as Godspell. Solidly carpentered, just as he would have done. Through July 11 at Starlight Theatre, 8601 Swope Pkwy., 816-363-7827.
Monday After the Miracle The further adventures of Helen Keller and Annie Sullivan, as documented by Miracle Worker author William Gibson. This time, our heroines are off to Radcliffe, where they -- no kidding -- fall for the same professor. Helen can sign the word water, but can she manage he's just not that into you? Next up: Helen and Anne jaunt off to Europe, where they foil a jewel heist. Through July 9 at Minds Eye Theatre, 13769 Pembroke Circle in Leawood, 913-897-2348.
Much Ado About Nothing Cast and director salvage much of what Shakespeare botches, but there's no way around the fact that this play -- despite the soaring comic duets between David Fritts' Benedick and Mary McCrary's Beatrice -- is repetitious and not always inspired. Director Sidonie Garrett lingers on what works, hustles through what doesn't, and doesn't shy from the darker edges. A good joke, pretty well told, but there are other, better ones we need to hear more. Through July 17 at Southmoreland Park, 47th St. and Oak. Free on the lawn; call 816-531-7728 for reserved seats. (Reviewed June 30)