Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Win a free pass to see "Kick-Ass"

Enter to win advance screening passes for you and a guest to see Kick-Ass starring Aaron Johnson, Chloe Moretz and Christopher Mintz-Plasse, with Nicholas Cage. Screening will be held on Thursday, April 8th at AMC Town Center 20 at 7:30pm.

more at Lost in Reviews

"Bus Stop" review by Russ Simmons

In a scene that will be amusingly familiar to anyone who lives in the Kansas City area, a confused traveler asks, “What state am I in?”

more at Sun Publications

The Pitch declares Heidi Van a mastermind

"Clowns make the rules," Van says. "They have the authority to change those rules. They can die. They can come back. They can look out at the audience and say, 'You know what? I'm an all-caps CLOWN!'"

more at The Pitch

Free tickets to the Studio Movie Grill on April 1

Studio Movie Grill is set to open on Thursday, April 1st and is giving everyone FREE tickets to catch a flick, and get a glimpse of their exciting concept...Eat. Drink. Movies. No, that isn't an April Fool's joke.

more at

also, take a tour of the Studio Movie Grill at

Actors & Artists Against AIDS interview by Steve Walker

When the AIDS epidemic first hit Kansas City, it affected certain communities harder than others, among them, Kansas City's theater community. 

listen at KCUR

Andy Garrison interview by Sean Pratt

Since many actors receive their initial training somewhere other than NYC or LA, it’s important to examine the many different types, styles and locations of institutions available to them. The studio setting, with its small class size, ongoing sessions and a la carte selection of topics are just one of several options for the actor in training. Andy Garrison, founder/instructor of The Actor Training Studio in Kansas City, talks about his approach to this kind of actor education. In this three part interview, he’ll share his thoughts on the creation of his studio in Kansas City, his particular teaching methods and the pluses and minuses of the studio system.

ArtsKC Fund needs volunteers for First Friday

Come help the ArtsKC Fund while enjoying this fabulous spring weather!  The Arts Council urgently needs 5 volunteers to help distribute fliers in the Crossroads District in anticipation of "First Friday." This event is part of a grassroots public awareness campaign to promote the ArtsKC Fund.
  • Who - Julia Smith, Arts Council Staff, plus 5 volunteers
  • What - Distribute fliers
  • When - Friday, April 2, 12-2 p.m.
  • Where - YJ's Snack Bar (128 West 18 Street, KCMO 64108) Crossroads District
  • Why - To help raise awareness of the ArtsKC Fund and how it benefits the community
Volunteers will meet at YJ's to pick up fliers & a distribution map.  Each volunteer will be assigned a section of the Crossroads District to place fliers on public message boards and in local businesses.  Wear comfortable walking clothes.  This is a great volunteer opportunity to share with your kids!  If you would like to help, please call Julia Smith directly at 816.994.9224 or email her at

UCM alumni win award for epilepsy doc

It Is Epilepsy: The Challenges and Promises of Automated Seizure Control, a documentary produced by UCM alumni Susan Arthurs and Doug Underwood, will have its world premiere at the Women’s International Film Festival in Miami, Fla., April 2. The Kansas City premiere of It Is Epilepsy is planned for May 1 at an appreciation reception for donors.

more at the University of Central Missouri

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Parkville belly dance photo album

The Nikoria Dance Troupe was among the performers at a Northland cafe on Sunday afternoon. Photos by Fran Mattox.

more at

Kansas Arts Commission offers advocacy toolkit

What is essential? Isn't that what all the conversations about budget cuts come down to? We all agree that safety and protection are essential, but after that, the conversation splits and fractures. The economic crises has brought into bas-relief, once again, the discussion of what is essential. Healthcare, transportation, food, schools, prisons, care for the elderly and less-abled . . . the arts?

more at the Kansas Arts Commission

High school students needed for Barn Jr. show

The Barn Players is looking for two high school students to act as the assistant stage manager and the costume/props designer for its Barn Junior summer series show, A Year with Frog and Toad, Kids. 

Some experience is helpful, but the Barn Junior program is educational, so we will teach you the skills you need. A strong work ethic and love of theatre are the only two hard-and-fast requirements! You will be working with cast members ages 8-12 years old and an adult production staff.

Rehearsals are during the day M-F from 10am to 4pm, beginning July 12 (parent meeting on July 7th). Performances are July 27-29 at 7:30pm. More information is available at The Barn Players.

Send a letter of interest along with a resume to Jason Coats, Education Director, at

Kronos Quartet Founder talks to Lied Center

Kronos Quartet Founder, Director and First Violinist David Harrington talks with the Lied Center about the innovative Quartet's evolution, collaborating with composer Terry Riley and more.

Top Rated Shows: Mar 29-Apr 5

Reviews - Current Performances
  • 3.50 Bus Stop - Kansas City Repertory Theatre. (6 Votes)
Ratings - Current Performances
  • 5.00 I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change - American Heartland Theatre. (1 Vote)
  • 3.50 Bus Stop - Kansas City Repertory Theatre. (6 Votes)
Ratings - Top Ten Rated Shows of the Last 3 Months
  • 4.75 Kiss Me Kate - Musical Theater Heritage. (4 Votes)
  • 4.50 Life On The Mississippi - The Coterie Theatre. (4 Votes)
  • 4.50 Slammed: KC Speaks Out on the Recession - UMKC Theatre. (2 Votes)
  • 4.29 Grey Gardens - Unicorn Theatre. (7 Votes)
  • 4.00 King O' the Moon - City Theatre of Independence. (9 Votes)
  • 4.00 The Wiz - The Barn Players, Inc. (7 Votes)
  • 4.00 Martin City Melodrama's 25th Season! - Martin City Melodrama and Vaudeville Company. (2 Votes)
  • 3.95 Rent - CenterSeason Theatre. (19 Votes)
  • 3.87 The Great American Trailer Park Musical - Olathe Community Theatre Association. (15 Votes)
Reviews - Five Most Recent of Past Performances
  • 5.00 Barrymore - Theatre Atchison. (1 Vote)
  • 3.36 Dirty Rotten Scoundrels - The Barn Players, Inc. (14 Votes)
  • 3.32 Chicago, The Musical - City Theatre of Independence. (25 Votes)
  • 3.14 Broke-ology - Kansas City Repertory Theatre. (7 Votes)
  • 2.82 Footloose - River City Community Players. (11 Votes)
Rate and review events online at KC Stage

KU student wins award for atheism doc

For 17 years, Chris Redford attended Sunday church services, participated in religious organizations and considered himself a devout Christian. He came to the University Of Kansas as a freshman in Fall 2001 with a mission to spread the word of Christ. But after two years of science and philosophy classes, Redford’s beliefs began to change and he began to document his metamorphosis into atheism on his YouTube channel Evid3nc3.

more at the University Daily Kansan

Spanish and Latin American Art Music

A KU music professor teams up with a Spanish vocal coach and master pianist to plan the second Festival of Spanish and Latin American Art Music in Kansas.

listen at KCUR

Ed Asner reflects on Starlight Theatre's mission

The mission of the Starlight Theatre Association of Kansas City, Inc, a not-for-profit corporation, is to present first quality professional entertainment and arts education to diverse audiences, while building an appreciation for the performing arts and preserving and enhancing the Starlight venue for future generations. As it carries out this mission, Starlight will remain committed to family-oriented entertainment at affordable prices, with a focus on musical theatre.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Week-on-Stage: Mar 29-Apr 5

Performances for this week
  • Ain't She Sweet - Chestnut Fine Arts Theatre
  • Bus Stop - Kansas City Repertory Theatre
  • Cactus Flower - New Theatre Restaurant
  • Communicating Doors - KCKCC Theatre Department
  • Cubic Z - Improv-Abilities
  • Curtains - Topeka Civic Theatre and Academy
  • I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change - American Heartland Theatre
  • Junie B Jones and a Little Monkey Business - Theatre for Young America*
  • Sherlock Holmes Hound of Baskervilles, or Not Another Dog-Gone Detective Story - Martin City Melodrama and Vaudeville Company
  • There Was an Old Woman Who Swallowed a Fly! - Martin City Melodrama and Vaudeville Company
  • Undergraduate Student Projects - University of Kansas Theatre
  • Who's In First? - The Mystery Train
Classes for this week
  • Musical Audition Workshop - Lawrence Community Theatre
  • Tap Classes - Lawrence Community Theatre
Auditions for this week 
  • Assassins - The Barn Players, Inc.*
  • Egads Musicals of 2010 - Egads Theatre Company
  • God is Love: A Preacher's Confession - Nu Image Pioneerz
  • Open Auditions - Civic Opera Theater
*Subscribers to KC Stage receive a discount to these affiliate organizations with their KC Stage member card.
Get complete show info at KC Stage

KCUR's "12 O'Clock Jump" booted from Mutual Musicians Foundation

Just like that, Theater League honcho Mark Edelman’s dream of hosting a nationally syndicated radio show from the historic Mutual Musicians Foundation near 18th and Vine Jazz District is history…

more at KC Confidential

Belly dancing in Parkville

It seemed to Nicole English that belly dancing as an art form needed advocates in town, so she decided to take action.

Trailer for "Air: The Musical"

This is the official trailer for our feature film "AIR: The Musical", produced by Through A Glass Productions. A romantic comedy, a drama, and a musical all in one, this film was shot in Kansas City, Lawrence, Topeka, and Yates Center, KS.

more at Vimeo

Heartland Men's Chorus "British Invasion" review by John Heuertz

The line for the men’s room was longer than for the ladies’ room. Must have been a Heartland Men’s Chorus show.

Friends of Chamber Music 2010-11 Season

The Friends of Chamber Music next season will celebrate 35 years in the arts business by presenting a lineup of events that’s slightly shorter but somewhat bigger than ever.

Large swath of the Crossroad District going up for sale

A death, a fire and a bankruptcy have nudged the Crossroads toward a crossroads.

more at the Kansas City Business Journal

Muddy Waters Birthday Weekend at BB's Lawnside Barbeque

A little piece of real Kansas City blues history will be on display this weekend at B.B.'s Lawnside Barbecue.

more at

Sunday, March 28, 2010

David Byrne on collaboration

I’ve done a slew of collaborations over the years — more and more as time goes by, and they are always slightly different from one another, though there are more similarities than differences. One could say that some of the songs co-written with other members of Talking Heads were also collaborations, so the give and take nature of collaborative writing skills got developed early.

more at David Byrne's Journal

Brad Zimmerman interview by Robert Trussell

The Chestnut Fine Arts Theatre began life as most theaters do — with nothing.
No money. No publicity. No business plan. Just a dream and a desire to put on a show.

Heidi Grant Murphy to sing with KC Symphony

American soprano Heidi Grant Murphy singing Amore's aria Gli Sguardi Trattieni from the 1762 version of Christoph Willibald Gluck's opera Orfeo Ed Eurídice. Sung in Italian, subtitles in English. The performance at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City took place on 24.01.2009. and was conduced by James Levine with Stephanie Blythe as Orfeo and Danielle De Niese as Euridice.

Heidi Grant Murphy will perform with the KC Symphony on the following dates:
Friday-Saturday, April 9-10, 8:00 PM | Lyric Theatre
Sunday, April 11, 2:00 PM | Yardley Hall

Michael Stern, music director
Heidi Grant Murphy, soprano

Ravel Le Tombeau de Couperin
Barber Knoxville: Summer of 1915
Mahler Symphony No. 4

Koonce and Megee talk about the AIDS Walk benefit

KC theatrical stars Ron Megee and Missy Koonce (in the trailer on their movie set) take a few moments to tell us about the new play they're starring in, Pride & Joy and other plays. A benefit for AIDS Walk Kansas City, you can buy tickets online at

"Dance Anywhere" photo album

Dance Anywhere is a yearly even started by Beth Fein in 2005. Little by little it is adding locations each year. The Kansas City event was a bit late to start and the emails for participant went out just the other day but next year, well, that should be bigger, maybe a lot.

more at KC Dance

"Bus Stop" review by Deborah Ground Buckner

Kansas City Repertory celebrates its Midwestern traditions with the staging of Kansas native William Inge's Bus Stop. Set in early March 1955, in a diner in rural Kansas, about 20 miles west of Kansas City, Missouri, the play is both familiar and far away. It is the Chaucer-like story of eight lonely people brought together who pass the time entertaining each other and pondering the questions of life.

more at Press+1

Twinprov performance at OKC Improv

In this "Epic Rap Battle" we learn how the Doppelgangstas first met. Recorded at the February 27, 2010 debut of Twinprov's improvised nerdcore rap concert experience, "The Doppelgangstas: Live", in which Buck and Clint Vrazel introduce the universe to their rapper alter egos, Kid Koopernicus and Uncus The Humongous Homunculus. Performed at OKC Improv at Ghostlight Theatre Club in OKC, OK.

Twinprov is a one-of-a-kind comedy troupe made up of two-of-a-kind twin brothers Buck and Clint Vrazel that specializes in creating reality-altering improv, stand-up, sketch, and musical comedy. For more info. go to

Play Reading at Rockhurst University

Rockhurst University’s Center for Arts and Letters has chosen Robert Kinast’s play, Nails, for a staged reading on Wednesday April 21 at 7:30 p.m. in room 115 of Sedgwick Hall. This reading is part of the Center’s Plays-in-Progress program. After the reading, the audience has the opportunity to give feedback to the cast, director, and playwright.

The play concerns Kim and Tran, refugees from the war in Vietnam, who have been operating a nail salon in the U.S. for twenty-five years and now face a double challenge. The rent for their salon space is increasing dramatically and may force them out of business, while their American-born daughter intends to join the Marines rather than go to college for which her parents have worked all her life. Kim and Tran’s real struggles, punctuated by flashbacks of their escape from Vietnam, are juxtaposed throughout the play to a stand-up comedy routine in which the comedian makes fun of Vietnamese technicians who work in nail salons, leaving the audience to decide whether to laugh or object.

Reservations are not necessary and there is no admission charge for this event, although donations are accepted. If you need directions or campus location, you may call the Center at 816-501-4607.

more at Rockhurst University

Saturday, March 27, 2010

SXSW local coverage wrap-up

For those that didn't know, Austin's South by Southwest music/film/interactive festival took place March 12-21, and Kansas City was there promoting the local music scene. Here's a rundown of locally relevant coverage of SXSW.
And for those that couldn't attend, SXSW is offering a whopping 5.43GBs of free music featuring every band that performed at the festival. You can download it all here.

Upcoming music events in St. Joe

The two performers taking the stage at Cafe Acoustic next week couldn’t be more different in their musical methods. One, singer/songwriter Tony Benn, is coming from Ireland to kick off his first tour of the states, his main luggage the guitar in his case and the songs in his head. The other, the eclectic, Omaha-based collective Midwest Dilemma, isn’t sure how many of its dozen-or-more members are making the trip to St. Joe — severely throwing a kink in any car pool or van-packing arrangements. Regardless, lucky for us, they’re both coming to perform at 9 p.m. April 1 at Cafe Acoustic.

more at St. Joe Live

Win tickets to NY to see "Looped" on Broadway

Submit a video of yourself doing your best Tallulah Bankhead impersonation for a chance to win a trip to NY, tickets to see Looped on Broadway, a backstage visit with Valerie Harper, two nights stay at the fabulous and legendary Algonquin Hotel, and more!

more at Broadway World

Lucky Deluxe splits from KC Society of Burlesque

Before I witnessed a couple of local shows and talked with a few performers, I didn’t realize that the Kansas City Burlesque scene was filled with so much intrigue, mystery and maneuvering.

more at KC Confidential

Miles Bonny review by Matthew Beat

Miles Bonny has been part of the Kansas City/Lawrence music scene for over 10 years. During that time, he has been an integral part of the scene, especially the hip-hop scene, founding the influential website and managing the INnatesounds record label. Production has been his main specialty, but on his latest album, Incense and Wine, he about does it all.

more at

Jerry Vest interview by Lucas Wetzel

Upon entering the store, which Jerry has run with his wife, Linda, for the past 15 years, you'll see a dazzling variety of wigs, capes, plastic weapons, pre-fab costumes, hats, sunglasses and trinkets. The back room abuts their auto repair business, and in the basement are boxes containing masks, costumes and mascots of every species and feather. Vest has enough elf costumes to outfit the entire North Pole, and if you see a demonic Easter Bunny at large in Kansas City anytime soon, well, you can guess where it came from.

more at KC Free Press

Tech N9ne interview by Steven Roberts

Tech N9ne certainly isn't a household name. He isn't necessarily a big name in the realm of hip-hop either, but thanks to appearing at festivals like Rock the Bells and touring on his own, he's been able to sell over a million records and build a solid, dedicated fanbase. As he prepares to drop his newest album, The Ollie Gates Mixed Plate, named after a restaurant in his hometown of Kansas City, Missouri, he told Mixtape Daily about the unconventional road he took to get here.

more at MTV

(thanks Tony)

KC Symphony Chamber Players review by Timothy McDonald

Classical music enthusiasts whose tastes are confined to Germany, Austria, Italy and France experienced a rude awakening on Friday night at the Bell Cultural Center of Mid-America Nazarene University.

more at

Friday, March 26, 2010

Video introduction to the Unicorn's next season

more at the Unicorn Theatre

Elizabeth Pitcairn interview by Blake Hannon

World-renowned violinist Elizabeth Pitcairn didn’t always own one of the most legendary stringed instruments ever made. When she was growing up in northern Pennsylvania, her mother took her to a violin shop to get her first real instrument when she was 5 years old. At that age, she admits she had different criteria than she does today. “I wanted the pretty looking (red) one and she wanted this one that was yellow and sounded good,” Pitcairn says. “I guess it turns out I got the red one that sounds good later in life.” The “red one” happens to be the 1720 Red Mendelssohn Stradivarius violin, whose creation and history became the inspiration for the 1999 film “The Red Violin.” Now, both the instrument and Pitcairn’s virtuosic skill are coming to our area to perform with the Saint Joseph Symphony for its concert “The Red Violin,” taking place at 7:30 p.m. March 27 at the Missouri Theater.

more at St. Joe Live

American Heartland Theatre's 2010-2011 Season

American Heartland Theatre in Crown Center has announced its 2010-2011 Season, celebrating the theatre's 24th season of productions. AHT continues its tradition of providing variety in live theatre by showcasing one two-time Tony award winning comedy, four Kansas City Premieres, one AHT favorite and one Richard Rodgers Award Winner in its upcoming season. Productions include The Love List; Plaid Tidings; Maybe Baby, It's You; No Way to Treat a Lady; The 39 Steps; and The Honky Tonk Angels. This season's productions will feature local and out-of-state performers. For more information on the theatre, visit

more at Broadway World

Topeka Symphony/Topeka Jazz Workshop this weekend

Classical music without strings and jazz with them can be heard this weekend when the Topeka Symphony Orchestra offers its "No Strings Attached" program Saturday night and the Topeka Jazz Workshop Inc. Concert Series brings New York City guitarist Mike Moreno to town Sunday afternoon.

more at the Topeka Capital-Journal

Russel Means interview by Jon Niccum

Means is heading to Lawrence this weekend as the special guest of the sixth-annual American Indian Stories N' Motion Film Festival held at Haskell Indian Nations University. He'll present and discuss his movie "Rez Bomb," an indie feature set on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, where he was born.

more at Lawrence Journal-World

"Bus Stop" review by Jeannine Chatterton-Papineau

As part of the Kansas City Repertory Theatre's plan to present at least one play each season that reflects Kansas City and its stories, artistic director Eric Rosen has staged a new production of William Inge's romantic comedy Bus Stop.

more at Infozine

Bill McGlaughlin interview by Patrick Neas

Bill McGlaughlin, who conducted the Kansas City Symphony from 1986 to 1998, is fondly remembered for his warm personality and his ability to inspire enthusiasm and appreciation for the beauty of classical music. Now McGlaughlin returns to Kansas City as he joins the Bach Aria Soloists at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Village Presbyterian Church in Prairie Village for the “Inspired by Bach” concert event. McGlaughlin won’t be conducting. Instead, he’ll give insights to the stories behind the music.

Brian Bailey "Cats" interview by the Lied Center

Cats actor Brian Bailey speaks with the Lied Center about performing in such an iconic Broadway musical, his character Mungojerrie (that horrible cat!) and much more.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Win tickets to "Clash of the Titans"

Enter to win advance screening passes for you and a guest to see Clash of the Titans starring Sam Worthington, Ralph Feinnes, and Liam Neeson. Screening will be held on Tuesday, March 30th at AMC Town Center 20

more at Lost in Reviews

Lenexa educator Doug Talley receives Governor's Arts Award

Doug Talley, Lenexa, received the Arts in Education award during the 2010 Governor’s Arts Awards on March 11 at Washburn University in Topeka.

more at Sun Publications

Byrd Productions hosting fundraiser

Mime artist and clown Beth Byrd, founder of Byrd Productions, is preparing the small nonprofit company’s annual Laidback Fundraiser, a cavalcade of eccentric performers from diverse disciplines.
The bash kicks off at 7 p.m. April 10 at the Just Off Broadway Theater, 3051 Central.

Trussell looks at the Unicorn's 2010-11 Season

The Unicorn Theatre announced its 2010-11 season last weekend, revealing an artistically diverse lineup of shows that include two co-productions with UMKC and another with Kansas City Actors Theatre.

"Kiss Me Kate" review by Russ Simmons

The folks at Musical Theatre Heritage have ably revived yet another classic Broadway tuner, Cole Porter’s stylish romp "Kiss Me Kate." This "show within a show" is about a feud between a former husband and wife acting team. The tensions escalate as they attempt to mount a musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s "The Taming of the Shrew."

more at Sun Publications

"Frindle" behind the scenes

This production of Frindle will use a blend of professional actors and youth apprentice actors from the Coterie's Master classes. In these interviews, hear how the young actors create their characters and how they balance acting and school.

The scenic world of Frindle: The Technical Director of the Coterie demonstrates how he builds pieces of the Frindle set.


"Bus Stop" review by Alan Scherstuhl

The vital news in William Inge's Bus Stop has reached you already. You understand that young women can still be innocent without being virgins and that young men might act brutish to compensate for sexual inexperience. Meanwhile, lonely grown-ups who nip off to bed together sometimes find warmth and relief rather than damnation.

more at The Pitch

Starlight's "Dreamgirls" preview

Full of onstage joy and backstage drama, Dreamgirls tells the story of an up-and-coming 1960s singing girl group and the triumphs and tribulations that come with fame and fortune. Dreamgirls features the unforgettable hits And I Am Telling You Im Not Going, One Night Only and Listen. The shows creative team has re-envisioned this Tony and Academy Award-winning musical so it sparkles like never before!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

"I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change" rehearsal

The American Heartland Theatre at Kansas City's Crown Center presents "I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change" until April 25, 2010.

The IFC highlights some articles on DIY filmmaking

There are alway questions around the IFC on how to do things on the cheap. Well, tech blog, Ars Technica, ran two feature articles by David Di Muro, a self-taught filmmaker based in Sydney. Self-taught? Sounds rather familiar, eh?

After reading the articles, I thought they contained a lot of very useful information and thought I’d share them with you.
Admittedly, these articles are more focused towards the home hobbyist and consumer, but the post-production article in particular has some very effective tips for controlling and streamlining your editing workflow.

more at the Independent Filmmaker's Coalition

Detailed look at past efforts to create a jazz museum

Groups in Kansas City had tried to establish a jazz hall of fame/museum at least since the 1960s.  In an earlier post, I told of the 1989 press conference officially presenting the city's plans. Those particular plans died but eventually led to the American Jazz Museum.

There’s plenty more to the story. So here, part one of a look at Kansas City’s convoluted path to a jazz museum, told through quotes from news clippings, documents and studies collected during my years with the Jazz Commission and the Jazz Festival.

more at kcjazzlark: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

"Rigoletto" review by Teresa Sheffield

“Rigoletto,” at the Kansas City Lyric Opera, is a tragedy that will put a smile on your face, only because it’s so good. It’s good for two reasons: Richard Paul Fink and Mary Dunleavy.

more at the University News