“Prairie Village Home Companion” comes to the Unicorn during Fringe Festival

Suzanne Welch ands Jim Sturgill will perform at the Unicorn during this year’s Fringe Festival.

The Westport Center for the Arts plans to poke a little good-hearted fun at Kansas City’s suburbs during the Fringe Festival June 19-29. Its production “Prairie Village Home Companion” features a “live” radio broadcast, somewhat patterned after public radio’s A Prairie Home Companion, set in a historic town of 21,000 residents. However, the producer, Jeanne Murphy of the Westport Center for the Arts, says the suburb could be any in the Kansas City area.

Murphy says the play’s author, Suzanne Welch, has been a fan of A Prairie Home Companion since she was young. Actor Jim Sturgill, an improvisational comic, also loves the show.

The Westport Center for the Arts was founded in 2006 to support community artists and the arts. It holds visual arts exhibitions, readers’ theater, a monthly brown bag concert series and a foreign film series. Murphy says the group wanted to challenge itself, so members decided to mount a production for the Fringe Festival.  “Prairie Village Home Companion” stars actors Sturgill and Welch, with music by Michael Fraser and Tenley Hanson of the Short Leaf Band.

Performances are 1:30 p.m., Sunday, July 22; 9 p.m., Thursday, July 26; and 6 p.m., Saturday, July 28. All performances will be held at the Jerome Stage at the Unicorn Theatre, 3828 Main Street. Tickets are $10 with a Fringe Festival button.

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