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Theater for Young America’s ‘No Dogs Allowed!’ makes midwest premiere

"No Dogs Allowed!" opens April 22 at Theater for Young America in Kansas City's historic Union Station on the H&R Block City Stage
"No Dogs Allowed!" opens April 22 at Theater for Young America in Kansas City's historic Union Station on the H&R Block City Stage
Courtesy of Theater for Young America

"No Dogs Allowed!” a new musical for children, comes to City Stage in the lower level of Kansas City’s historic Union Station and makes its Midwest premiere tomorrow, April 22, a spokesman for Theater for Young America said, today.

This will be the Midwest premier of a charming new musical based on the award-winning book by Sonia Manzano, Alexandria Washington, customer relations manager for Theatre for Young America, said. Manzano, plays Maria on Sesame Street.

The music for “No Dogs Allowed!” was composed by Stephen Lawrence with lyrics by Bill Aronson. The show, produced by Theatre for Young America features many of their regular actors. TYA presents “No Dogs Allowed!” at the H&R Block City Stage in Union Station, April 22 through May 17, 2014.

In the play, Iris, a young Puerto Rican girl who narrates the musical, tells about a car trip she made with her large funny extended family for a day at a state park. Although her Papi says she cannot bring El Exigente, her dog, she sneaks him in the car. After car trouble where everyone has to pitch in to get started again, they arrive at the park and it has a big sign that says “No Dogs Allowed!”

Sonia Manzano wrote the book and adapted it into a musical play based on her own Puerto Rican family in the Bronx . Stephen Lawrence composed original music and Billy Aronson wrote lyrics for songs celebrating the culture, creativity and love of this eccentric extended family.

Valerie Mackey returns from a 6-week tour of Canada and the U.S. in Menopause the Musical to direct this musical with a cast that includes Mia Hedgpeth-Guerra, Bradley J. Thomas, Lena Andrews, Nicole Santorella, Wil Andrews-Weiss, Eric Johansen, Josie and Jami Lenati, and Isaac Robinson.

The play teaches how to work together to make the best of difficult circumstances. The family just makes the best of the situation and takes turns playing outside the park with El Exigente while each family member gets to do what they had planned, Washington said.

“No Dogs Allowed!” contains curriculumum connections for Live theatre, Latino culture, Spanish and English vocabulary, problem-solving, cooperation. The show is targeted for preschool and up.

Single tickets and group reservations may be reserved online at www.unionstation.org or by calling Union Station at 816.460.2020, or Theatre for Young America at 816.460.2083. The single ticket price is $9. Groups of 15 or more are $5.50 per person with a reservation. Season tickets are available at: .tya.org or by calling 816.460.2083.

The performance schedule for “No Dogs Allowed!” follows: Most morning performances begin at 10 a.m. on April, 22, 23, 25, 29, 30; May 1, 2,6, 7, 8, 9, 13, 14,15, 16. Noon performances are planned for April 24, 25; May 2, 3, 9, 15, 16. Performances at 2 p.m. fall on April 26, May 3, 10, and 17. An evening performance is planned for May 9 at 7 p.m.