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At Play: Season Of The Farce

July 10 sees the opening of the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic The King and I at Music Theatre of Wichita. Based on Margaret Landon’s Anna and the King of Siam this production features memorable numbers such as “Getting To Know You,” “Shall We Dance?” and “Something Wonderful.”

You can see Hairspray at the Crown Uptown through July 28. Set in 1962 Baltimore, this musical tells the story of teenager Tracy Turnblad’s dream to dance on a local TV dance program. When she wins a role on the show, she becomes a celebrity overnight. She then launches a campaign to integrate the show.

July 25 through August 11 at Wichita Community Theatre, it’s Steve Martin’s adaptation of the 1910 Carl Sternheim farce The Underpants, directed by Mark Anderson. Theo Maske has an unusual problem: his wife’s underpants won’t stay on. One Sunday morning, they fall to her ankles right in the middle of town, creating a public scandal. Mortified, Theo swears to keep her at home until she can find some less unruly undergarments. Amid this chaos, he’s trying to rent a room in their flat. The prospective lodgers have some surprises of their own.

Through July 28 at Kechi Playhouse, it’s Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest. This false-identity farce first opened in 1895 and remains arguably Wilde’s best known theatrical piece.

Jedd Beaudoin is host/producer of the nationally syndicated program Strange Currency. He has also served as an arts reporter, a producer of A Musical Life and a founding member of the KMUW Movie Club. As a music journalist, his work has appeared in Pop Matters, Vox, No Depression and Keyboard Magazine.