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On Stage: Who Doesn't Want Farce?

If it's farce that you want—and come on, who doesn't?—then consider a trip to the Kechi Playhouse, where long-time audience favorite Charley's Aunt is playing throughout the month of July. The show, written by Brandon Thomas, had an original run in London of a record-breaking 1,466 performances, beginning onstage at the Royalty Theatre in December of 1892, then moving to the larger Globe Theatre in January of 1893 to accommodate the show's popularity.

Charley's Aunt is the story of two Oxford students who are in need of a chaperon in order to woo the young women they love. The play includes the usual comic complications of farce, as well as the unusual—in this case, the unusual centers on the title character, the all-important chaperon.

Another audience-favorite is appearing onstage, produced by Music Theatre Wichita; Oklahoma is playing from July 13th to the 17th at Century II.  The musical is notable for being the first collaboration between Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein II. Based on the 1931 play Green Grow the Lilacs, by Lynn Riggs, the story takes place in Oklahoma Territory in 1906. While the play was not a success, the musical, which debuted in 1943, was received with enthusiasm, smashing box-office records and bringing the Rogers and Hammerstein team much praise and recognition, including a special Pulitzer Prize in 1944. Oklahoma remains a perennial favorite.

Sanda Moore Coleman received an MFA in creative writing from Wichita State University in 1991. Since then, she has been the arts and community editor for The Martha's Vineyard Times, a teaching fellow at Harvard University, and an assistant editor at Image. In 2011, she received the Maureen Egan Writers Exchange prize for fiction from Poets & Writers magazine. She has spent more than 30 years performing, reviewing, and writing for theatre.