City of Angels Like Old Country Buffets, most local community theaters dole out fatty, predictable fare so soft that patrons hardly even need to chew. The Barn Players, though, never shy away from spice and texture. Worth mastication, we hope, is this revival of Larry Gelbart's noir-parody City of Angels, a witty musical about hard-boiled detectives ... and the process of revision. As crime writer Stine adapts his novel into a screenplay, his characters live around him, acting out his changes and singing David Zippel's inspired (and Tony-winning) lyrics. The gags range from sophisticated to stupid, and the music from scats to romantic Hollywood swells. This might not be familiar, but it shouldn't be tough to swallow. Through Oct. 7 at the Barn Players, 6219 Martway, Mission, 913-432-9100.
Moonlight and Magnolias A comedy more ambitious than most American Heartland shows, Ron Hutchinson's Moonlight and Magnolias imagines Hollywood titan David O. Selznick (Craig Benton) corralling screenwriter Ben Hecht (William Grey Warren) and director Victor Fleming (Scott Cordes) into a frantic, marathon overhaul on the troubled script of a film already in production: Gone With the Wind. While the film's cast and crew sit around, getting paid to wait out the changes, Selznick and company hole up in an office to act out the script, playing all the characters themselves. Combining the gossipy fizz of a show-biz tell-all with the hyperactive silliness of those All of Faulkner in 40 Seconds-type shows, this has a chance to win over both the gag-loving Heartland faithful and the trivia-savoring Turner Classic Movies crowd. Through Oct. 14 at the American Heartland Theatre, at Crown Center, 2450 Grand, 816-842-9999.