Script in Hand 2013-2014

The Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre presents its eighth season of Script-in-Hand performances – a series of classic comedies called Exit Laughing.

The 2013-2014 Script-in-Hand series is funded by Country Club Bank with additional support provided by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

Admission to all performances is free. See below for RSVP information.

The receptions for members of the Friends of the Kansas City Public Library that follow each performance are provided by Cosentino’s Market. You may join the Friends during any of the events and attend the reception the day you sign up.

Arsenic and Old Lace | By Joseph Kesselring
Sunday, November 24, 2013 • 2 p.m. • Central Library, 14 W. 10th St.

This 1941 Broadway black comedy centers on a New York theater critic who discovers his two spinster aunts have been poisoning “unhappy” men and burying them in the basement of their home in Brooklyn. Kesselring based the play’s setting on the boarding house in which he lived while teaching at Bethel College in North Newton, Kansas.

The Odd Couple | By Neil Simon
Sunday, February 2, 2014 • 2 p.m. • Central Library, 14 W. 10th St.
RSVP here or 816.701.3407

Among the most-performed comedies of the 20th century, Neil Simon’s 1965 Broadway hit is about two recently divorced men—the slob sportswriter Oscar Madison and the neat, uptight Felix Ungar—who become unlikely roommates in a New York City apartment. The play spawned a hit movie (with Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau), a long-running TV series (starring Jack Klugman and Tony Randall) and even a stage adaptation that turned Felix and Oscar into women named Florence and Olive.

The Philadelphia Story | By Philip Barry
Sunday, March 16, 2014 • 2 p.m. • Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St.
RSVP here or 816.701.3407

Barry’s 1939 comedy—about a ditzy socialite whose wedding plans are complicated by the simultaneous arrival of her ex-husband and a newspaper reporter—was written specifically for Katharine Hepburn, and became her first great triumph after a number of commercial failures. It subsequently became a hugely popular film starring Hepburn and Cary Grant, and was the source of the musical High Society.

You Can’t Take It With You | By George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart
Sunday, April 13, 2014 • 2 p.m. • Central Library, 14 W. 10th St.
RSVP here or 816.701.3407

Winner of the 1937 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, You Can’t Take It With You centers on the Sycamore family, whose members initially seem crazy. After spending a bit of time with these loveable eccentrics, however, audiences conclude that it’s the rest of the world that is mad. The plot centers on the Sycamore daughter’s betrothal to the son of respectable, stick-in-the-mud parents. Director Frank Capra turned the play into a hit film in 1938.

Damn Yankees | By George Abbott and Douglass Wallop, Music by Richard Adler, Lyrics by Jerry Ross
Sunday, May 11, 2014 • 2 p.m. • Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St.
RSVP here or 816.701.3407

Two American originals—baseball and musical comedy—meet in this 1955 fantasy which updates the Faustian legend to the modern American baseball diamond. An aging baseball fan sells his soul to the devil in return for newfound youth and the batting skills to lead his home team to victory over the hated New York Yankees. Among the hit tunes from this Tony-winning Best Musical are “(You Gotta Have) Heart” and “Whatever Lola Wants, Lola Gets.”