Monday, January 31, 2011

Maps for Travelers "Static" music video by Zac Eubank

Winterlude, New Jazz Order Big Band photos by kcjazzlark

This big band remains a hard-driving collection of musicians playing outstanding big band music, respecting but not stuck in the past. From sax solos by Steve Lambert, to leader Clint Ashlock’s trumpet, to vocalist Megan Birdsall – to pull out just a few of the night's highlights – it’s hard to imagine Winterlude jumping off to a more musically magnificent start than it did January 20th in Polsky Theatre.

more at kcjazzlark

Harriman-Jewell 2011-12 Season

The Harriman-Jewell Series recently announced its 2011-2012 season. Nine of the season’s events will be held at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts (seven in the Helzberg Hall, two in the Muriel Kauffman Theatre), and nine in the historic Folly Theater.

more at the Harriman-Jewell Series
and at
and at KCUR

Maury Yeston "Tom Sawyer" interview with Laura Spencer

Maury Yeston, the Tony-award winning composer for Broadway hits like "Nine" and "Titanic," is writing the music for the first production the Kansas City Ballet is staging at the new Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. It's a ballet called "Tom Sawyer" and was inspired, as you might guess, by Mark Twain's coming-of age story.

listen at KCUR

KC Rep "Another American" review by Mark Edelman

Marc Wolf's compelling new play, Another American: Asking and Telling  (now through next Sunday, Feb 6 at KC Rep on the UMKC campus), sheds the harsh flood light of reality on the predicaments of these patriots. Armchair generals be forewarned: this is not a story that's going to make you proud to be an American.

more at KC Confidential

Unicorn "In the Next Room" review by Robert Trussell

Sarah Ruhl is a playwright with a lot on her mind. Whether she's as thoughtful as she would have us believe is another question. She's at her best creating audacious comic moments but she seems challenged to provide a consistent intellectual thread.

more at

Stanley Clarke, Hiromi preview by Aarik Danielsen

The collaboration between 59-year-old musical legend Stanley Clarke and 31-year-old meteor Hiromi is a beautiful collision of worlds. He practically invented modern bass technique and was playing with the likes of Chick Corea, Art Blakey, Dexter Gordon and Chaka Khan before his counterpart could walk. She is a dynamic dervish at the piano who played with prominent orchestras by age 12 and jammed with Corea at 17.

more at the Columbia Daily-Tribune

Missouri film producers alarmed by recommended cuts

Leaders of Missouri's film production industry are warning that proposals to eliminate state incentives for movie productions might convince out-of-state filmmakers to go elsewhere and might have already cost the state a $30 million film project in the St. Louis area.

more at the Missourian 
original posting here

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Fishtank "Show and Tell" performance

Show and Tell at the Fishtank Performance Studio 1-28-11 -- Recorded live on -

Mike Rollen "Kansas City Murder Factory" interview by Robert Butler

Lots of young filmmakers dream of a Hollywood career. Mike B. Rollen, though, says he’s interested in cinema as an instrument for social justice.

more at

KC Symphony, Giancarlo Guerrero review by Timothy McDonald

The charismatic and dynamic guest conductor Giancarlo Guerrero infused passion and drama into his performance with the Kansas City Symphony on Saturday night at the Lyric Theatre.

more at

KC Actors Theatre "Oh What a Lovely War" preview by Jackie Emory

Bang—one shot; one shot that started a war killing over 9 million men in uniform. The assassination of Arch Duke Ferdinand was the beginning of World War I and the agony of millions of men stuck in the trenches awaiting their fate. From February 11-27, the Kansas City Actors Theatre along with the collaboration of the UMKC Theatre and the National World War I Museum will perform Oh What a Lovely War at the Liberty Memorial.

more at Present Magazine

Lyric Opera 2010-11 Season by Paul Horsely

Of all the local organizations who will be presenting for the first time this fall in the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, none will be more thrilled to “stretch its legs” than the Lyric Opera of Kansas City. After decades of performing in the cramped, moldy Lyric Theatre (among other venues), the company has announced a splendid new season that plans to make full use of the Muriel Kauffman Theatre’s capabilities.

more at The Independent

KC FilmFest 2010 Highlights

Harriman-Jewell, Jean-Yves Thibaudet review by DSM

We are grateful, of course: very grateful to have these beautiful, vivid pieces today—we who are hardly aware of what pressures and emotional costs were associated with their composition. We are grateful, too, to Jean-Yves Thibaudet for reanimating them in the way he was able to do last night with such insight and consummate skill. Through the music, we might learn something about ourselves, even if we shall never be certain of the truths between Franz Liszt and Marie d’Agoult.

more at Chamber Music Today

KC Rep "Another American" review by John Coovert

Even with the historic December 22, 2010 repeal of  the commonly called “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” it’s deceptively easy for civilians to think that with President Obama’s signature that a major LGBT rights milestone had been reached (true.) It was also easy to be lulled into a sheltered sense that overnight everything would change (false.)

more at Lost in Reviews

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Chiefs music icon Tony "Mr. Music" DiPardo dies

Tony DiPardo, known as "Mr. Music" to a legion of Kansas City Chiefs fans, has died. DiPardo's TD Pack Band began playing at Kansas City Chiefs games in 1963. The band continued the tradition at every game until 2008.

more at KCTV
and at KMBC
and at KSHB
and at The Pitch
and at Plastic Sax
and at Missourinet 
and at KC Confidential 
and at KCUR

Ward Holmquist "Nixon in China" interview by Laura Spencer

The Lyric Opera of Kansas City will stage John Adams‘s “Nixon in China,” March 10 – 18, 2012 during its inaugural season in the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. “Nixon in China” is an opera in three acts about President Richard Nixon’s historic visit to China in 1972.

more at KCUR

Filmmaking's economic impact on Missouri

Missouri’s popularity with the film industry is on the increase; more than half of the movies shot in Missouri were filmed in just the past 10 years. Already in the first years of this new century, 122 movies have been filmed here. This translates into big business. Missouri’s Motion Media industry employs more than 7,600 workers at above state average wages and adds several billion dollars to our economy each year.

more at Video/Film Production in Springfield-Branson-Ozarks 
and a letter from the director of the Missouri Film Commission in the Columbia Daily-Tribune

Elizabeth Schurman on performance

In the '80s, it was hard to find a Broadway show to take kids to.  Maybe "A Chorus Line" wasn't appropriate, but what was?  Broadway was for grown-ups.  As was Times Square, where we were offered cocaine, impressing the hell out of me.  The city!  Its dangers!  I saw "A Chorus Line" on Broadway when I was a kid, and while I was very excited that I was going into the city to do something so grown-up with my mom, I have no memory of the show itself.

more at Present Magazine

KC Rep "Another American" review by Don Adams

Don’t ask, don’t tell: here’s a rubric that’s been stuck in our craw for quite awhile now, ever since our national teach-in on oral sex — the Clinton administration. So much of the past two decades has been spent with this phrase buzzing about in the background, apparently hopeless of any reconciliation — until the logjam burst after the last election, and victory was declared by its opponents. All of this might make the new show at KC Rep seem passé. That’s why you need to see it.

more at Kansas City Performs

Patrick Lewallen "Rock of Ages" interview

Buy Tickets - - Rock of Ages Live in KC @ Music Hall May 3-8, 2011

Friday, January 28, 2011

Todd Norris "Kansas City Conspiracy" short film

I shot this in about 45 minutes with no intention of editing it. I found a cool bridge near Union Station, so I put my camera on a tripod and took some shots of myself walking along it. It's interesting how editing and the right choice of music turns unassuming footage into something a bit dramatic.

New Theatre "Lend Me a Tenor" review by Robert Trussell

There's no getting around it: The only farce with staying power written in the last 25 years is Ken Ludwig's "Lend Me a Tenor," an artfully constructed madcap romp that even critics find difficult to resist.

more at

Will Hollywood come back to Missouri?

For the second year in a row, a Missouri-made movie has received an Oscar nomination for best picture. But state programs that helped make both of those films possible could be in jeopardy.

more at

T2, Back Alley Films projection wall at the KCADC Luncheon

T2 was asked to design the visual elements for the 2010 KCADC luncheon celebrating creativity in Kansas City. To showcase this diverse topic, the presentation spanned across the entire length of the interior wall of the grand ballroom of the Kansas City Convention center. Split over ten separate projectors, the final combined image was over 300 feet long and over 30 feet tall (wider than the new screen in the Dallas Cowboys stadium). The opening of the presentation consisted of an animated segment that covered areas of the arts in Kansas City.

[Thanks, Tony]

Cinnamon Schultz "Winter's Bone" interview by Robert Trussell

So you’re a professional actor living in Kansas City and you make a life here and you keep at it, building an impressive resume of stage work, television commercials, Internet ads and the occasional made-for-TV movie.
Then one day, the roulette wheel spins just right, and you find yourself in one of the best movies of the year.

more at

Roger Oyster, Kauffman Center interview by Laura Spencer

Roger Oyster, principal trombonist of the Kansas City Symphony since 1997, has performed that same role, as a guest or a member, in the St. Louis Symphony, the Atlanta Symphony, the Detroit Symphony, the National Symphony, the Grant Park Symphony (Chicago), and the Lyric Opera of Chicago. In a series of posts entitled “Timely and Timeless,” Oyster explores aspects of the Kansas City Symphony’s inaugural season in the Kauffman Center.

more at KCUR
UPDATE: part 2 
UPDATE: part 3

KC Ballet's Bolender Center dance floors

School Director Peter Pawlyshyn explains the importance of state-of-the-art floors for dancers. The new home for Kansas City Ballet, the Todd Bolender Center for Dance & Creativity, will have 7 studios with the high quality floors - creating a safe dance environment for students.

KC Rep "Another American" review by Robert Trussell

The Kansas City Repertory Theatre’s presentation of Marc Wolf’s moving and often comic “Another American: Asking and Telling” is a success on two fronts: Wolf’s performance in this one-man show is impeccable, and his writing is deeply humanistic.

more at

Jazz Winterlude, New Jazz Order review by Plastic Sax

"This is jazz," Clint Ashlock told a reverent audience of approximately 125 Thursday at Polsky Theater. "It's OK- you can talk." Ashlock was attempting to loosen up the crowd at the opening event of the Jazz Winterlude festival. I'm glad he failed. I've seen his New Jazz Order big band several times at Harling's. The dingy midtown bar attracts oblivious, obnoxious talkers. (I'm guilty as charged.)

more at Plastic Sax

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Missouri film tax incentive on the chopping block

When "Winter's Bone" was nominated for four Academy Awards Tuesday, it put the film in rare company as one of only a few movies filmed in Missouri to receive the honor, said Andrea Sporcic, assistant director of the Missouri Film Commission. But area film experts fear such future honors could be jeopardized by proposed state budget cuts that would eliminate tax incentives that attract filmmakers to Missouri.

more at the News-Leader
and at KSDK

Lyric Opera 2010-11 Season

The Lyric Opera of Kansas City, one of the three resident companies at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, has announced its 2011-2012 season, its first in the new venue. As KCUR’s Laura Spencer reports, the announcement began with a twist. 

more at KCUR
and at KSHB
and at Broadway World

Harriman-Jewell, Joshua Bell review by Paul Horsely

Violinist Joshua Bell delighted a sold-out Folly Theater audience on January the 22nd with his signature earthy-sweet tone and lovely, long-breathed phrasing. This generous Harriman-Jewell Series recital included three meaty masterpieces of 19th-century Romanticism, and he tackled all three with aplomb.

more at the Independent

A critique of the Kauffman Center by Tony Botello

They're calling The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts - "Kansas City's Crown Jewel" which is only fitting if we're talking about a blood diamond.

more at KC Confidential

Living Room "Black Bird" review by Robert Trussell

Shocking, funny, tragic, sad, thrilling, bleak — these are a few of the words with which you could describe David Harrower's "Blackbird," but none of them really convey the unique nature of this unsettling play about sex, love and loss.

more at

American Heartland "Maybe Baby, It's You" cast interview

The blockbuster comedy "Maybe Baby, It's You" is showing at the American Heartland Theatre, at Kansas City's Crown Center, until February 20, 2011.

KC Rep "Another American" review by Frank Siraguso

During the Rep's lobby party after the opening night's performance of Marc Wolf’s compelling Another American: Asking and Telling, a friend and I were discussing a certain aspect of the play. We were a little surprised the show has an intermission. Many solo shows have none, although it's not a cut and dried rule. It's sometimes easier for the performer to sustain dramatic momentum without that break. My friend, asked, "What made us go back in?" We knew where the play was heading and had a good guess how it might end. Why go back?

more at Infozine

Nelson-Atkins Chinese New Year Festival preview

The Kansas City Chinese Music Ensemble will perform at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art for the annual Chinese New Year celebration. The event, scheduled for Jan. 28 and 29, includes family-friendly activities on Friday night with special performances by musicians and dancers, gallery games, art demonstrations and delicious Asian-inspired food.

more at Present Magazine

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Stephen Locke "Film Portrait" promo

A look at Kansas City's jazz clubs

A gaping hole floats over Kansas City’s jazz scene, asking to be filled by a club where you can expect consistently – consistency is key here – fine food, good drinks, excellent service, all tightly managed.

more at kcjazzlark

Coterie "Olympiaganza" cast and crew interviews

Actors discuss how their character is portrayed in folklore, and then how they will interpret the character in this modern day retelling of Greek Mythology.

Costume Designer, Allison Dillard, shares what to wear to be fashionable in Ancient Greece!

2sday Productions "A Good Crease" fundraising promo

more at Indie Gogo

Lawrence Arts Center, Lyric Opera "One False Move" preview by Michael Auchard

Bullies terrorizing their classmates might not be the first thing that comes to mind when people think of opera performances, but an upcoming production by the Lawrence Arts Center’s City Youth Theater and Lyric Opera of Kansas City may help tie the two subjects together in young Lawrence residents’ minds.

more at the Lawrence Journal-World

KC Rep "Another American" review by dubyape

Another America is nothing short of brilliant
Rating: 5

Another American: Asking and Telling
Kansas City Repertory Theatre

Another America: Asking and Telling is nothing short of brilliant.  Marc Wolf author and performer has skillfully made a one man docudrama covering the history of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" through the words of those affected by it from both sides of the argument. Marc transitioned from one character to the next it was as if I was watching a carefully edited film.  But I sat there in awe realizing it was one man up there on stage playing all of the characters. I was horrified and saddened by some of the stories that came from real people.  It mad me angry at time that we the American people let this injustice go on for so long.  The play was not without humor there where times when my side hurt form laughing.  I would recommend anyone who had a stake in the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy to go see this play of our recent history.  I would also recommend this show in anyone interested in acting or playwriting as an example of just how it should be done.  In short go see this play it's too important not to in this day and age.  Thank you Eric Rosen for bring Marc and his spectacular production to Kansas City.  Its one of the best and most poignant plays I've seen in a long time.

read the review at KC Stage

Lyric Opera Samuel Ramey interview by Laura Spencer

The Lyric Opera of Kansas City has announced its inaugural season in the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. Highlights include the Lyric debut of John Adams' "Nixon in China" and a new production of Puccini’s "Turandot" with bass Samuel Ramey as Timor.

listen at KCUR
and more at KCUR's Sound and Glass

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Charlotte Street accepting applications for Rocket Grants

Applications for the second cycle of project-based Rocket Grants are now open at A total of $40,000 will be awarded this year, with up to $4,000 for each selected project. Deadline for applications for is April 1, 2011. Funds will be awarded in June 2011 and successful artists and artist groups will have one calendar year to complete their projects.
more at the Charlotte Street Foundation

Coterie "Bridge to Terabithia" review by Robert Trussell

The Coterie Theatre’s earnest production of “The Bridge to Terabithia,” an affecting tale of friendship and loss, never quite catches fire.

more at

Harriman-Jewell, Jean-Yves Thibaudet preview by Patrick Neas

Music lovers around the world are celebrating this year’s bicentennial of the birth of Franz Liszt. The Harriman-Jewell Series will mark the anniversary with an all-Liszt recital by pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet at 8 p.m. Friday in the Folly Theater, 300 W. 12th St.

more at

Quality Hill "Blues in the Night" review by Grace Suh

If your sweetheart or parent is a fan of torch songs or Tin Pan Alley, you could do worse than steer that special person to Quality Hill Playhouse, where the debonair J. Kent Barnhart holds court at the grand piano on Blues in the Night, a tribute to the lyricist Johnny Mercer.

more at the Pitch (after the American Heartland review)

Harriman-Jewell, Joshua Bell review by Timothy McDonald

Few people on earth can evoke as sweet a sound from a string instrument as Joshua Bell, the reigning crown prince of the violin. Bell appeared Saturday night at a sold-out Folly Theater, presented by the Harriman-Jewell Series.

more at

KC Rep "Another American" review by ChaimEliyahu

Other Americans: Do Tell
Rating: 5

Another American: Asking and Telling
Kansas City Repertory Theatre

Don't ask, don't tell: here's a rubric that's been stuck in our craw for quite awhile now, ever since our national teach-in on oral sex — the Clinton administration. So much of the past two decades has been spent with this phrase buzzing about in the background, apparently hopeless of any reconciliation — until the logjam burst after the last election, victory was declared by its opponents. All of this might make the new show at KC Rep seem passé.  That's why you need to see it.

Showing us how the overturning of this policy is not an end, but a beginning, is part of the enormous power of "Another American: Asking and Telling." Marc Wolf's one-man show introduces us to a parade of colorful characters whose stories bring the whole issue to life. Based on scores of interviews with service people and their families, reaching back to World War II, the show won an Obie for its Off Broadway production in 2000, then was revived last summer in New York.

>From now through February 6th, Kansas City is blessed with its first run since the December 18th decision to end this policy. Along with stories of enlisted men and women, their families and officers, Wolf has harvested from his interviews some of the most amusing renditions of the arguments, for and against, that I've heard. Flattened journalistic statements and pundit-speak are replaced with personal insights dripping with irony, and exhortations from the the pulpit with the simpler stuff of the locker room. Laughter once again proves to be good political medicine, though tears are sometimes not far behind.

Wolf ably conveys the personalities of his interviewees not only with impressive theatrical skill, but also with obvious respect, affection and humor. For all the attention this issues has gotten, "Another American"'s simple eloquence demonstrates how little of the human story has come through. Wolf's caharcters are not people most of us know, because of the atmosphere of fear that the policy itself and its advocates have created. His excellent, economical portrayals bring us a vibrant picture of gays and lesbians who have really wanted to serve, have done so, and have triumphed and suffered because of it. He also conveys military people's concerns about what might go wrong, without the overheated rhetoric that's predominated in mass media.

Having organized against the Vietnam war in my youth, and each other one since, I was not expecting to find this show so affecting. Wolf captures the vital essences of each of the characters for whom he speaks, and they cover the full range of experience, politics and feeling involved in the issue. Their stories establish that gay people and straight have been serving in the military all along, and that diversity of emotional responses to war can be understood as a strength. They leave us with the sobering insight that repealing "don't ask, don't tell" will not solve the problems on anti-gay feeling — plenty of it is expressed here — nor end episodes of violence such as those some of Wolf's characters, but not all, have survived.

Simply but elegantly staged, this fast-paced show is a theatrical gem. Humane, humanizing, funny, touching, illuminating, KC Rep should be applauded for bringing it to Kansas City, and you should really not miss it.

read the review at KC Stage

Marc Wolf "Another American" interview by Paul Proffett

“In the end, I think the play is about what happens to a community of people when they’re silenced,” New York actor and playwright Marc Wolf said in a phone interview about his one-man show, Another American: Asking and Telling, at the Kansas City Repertory Theater. 

more at Camp

Monday, January 24, 2011

American Heartland "Maybe Baby, It's You" review by Grace Suh

I'm a fool for love, but I'm a cynic for love stories, especially those involving such tired tropes as bad blind dates, decreasingly selective dating criteria, and cataclysmically bad wedding-reception dancing. These jokes, the material of a thousand bad stand-up routines, are so old that they're like Metamucil sprinkled on All-Bran.

more at the Pitch

Molly Hammer, Jeremy Kruse interview by Deborah Shouse

Molly Hammer was invited to the Kansas City Club to audition for a singing job. When executive chef Jeremy Kruse met Molly, he was instantly attracted to her.

more at

UMKC Conservatory, Parker Quartet review by Robert Folsom

The Parker Quartet wrapped up the inaugural season of the Music Alliance — a partnership between the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s Conservatory of Music and Dance and the Friends of Chamber Music — Saturday night at White Recital Hall with a concert of romantic expressions and modern tensions.

more at

Long-lost Chaplin film to screen in Topeka Silent Film Festival

The 1914 film, “A Thief Catcher,” turned up in 2009 at an antiques sale in Taylor, Mich. Film historian Paul Gierucki thought he was buying just another Keystone Studios comedy and didn’t watch the 16mm film until last March. The discovery of a new Chaplin performance marked the first film added to the famed actor’s roster in 60 years.

more at the Lawrence Journal-World

KC Rep "Another American" review by Paul Horsely

Marc Wolf’s one-man play Another American: Asking and Telling is not just about the American military’s bizarre and soon-to-be-defunct “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, it addresses the whole history of the armed forces’ harsh and often cruel treatment of gays and lesbians. Therefore the recent repeal of the policy – an event that could easily have kicked the legs out from under a play edged with righteous indignation about it – has in some ways made it more relevant than ever. The play, which opened on January the 21st at the Kansas City Repertory Theatre’s Spencer Theatre, is a potent reminder of the military’s existence outside of Constitutional principles, and of the dangers that lurk in that continued legacy.

more at the Independent

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Dumptruck Butterlips "Hypnotize" performance

Ziggy and Surka Perform "Hypnotize" with Dumptruck Butterlips at Speakeasy Sundays at the Jazzhaus in Lawrence, KS.

Living Room "Blackbird" preview by Robert Trussell

Cordes and Severo, two of the most gifted actors in Kansas City, are immersed in an intense two-character drama making its local debut Friday at the Living Room. David Harrower’s “Blackbird,” performed in 90 minutes without intermission, depicts a highly charged confrontation between a young woman and an older man about a sexual relationship they experienced 15 years earlier.

more at

"Zielinski", "Unravel" part of filmmaking scene in Columbia

With surefire Oscar sweethearts “The King’s Speech” and “Black Swan” gracing local screens of late and the eighth edition of the True/False Film Fest slated for early March, it would be fair to say Columbia has movies on its mind. The response to these critical darlings, and reception engendered by True/False and like-minded festivals such as Citizen Jane, has reinforced Columbia’s budding reputation as quite the warm, gracious host for cinematic talent.

more at the Columbia Daily Tribune

UMKC Conservatory, Parker Quartet review by DSM

The Parker Quartet’s performance last night in the UMKC Conservatory - Friends of Chamber Music Alliance Series was superb, their cohesiveness and intensity most impressive. The unusual program showcased a sort of vivid storytelling through music, a collectivistic mode of expression at which the Parker excels. You Can’t See Dogs on the Radio, as they say, but you have no doubt that they are there, that the dogs in the story are real live dogs. The Parker Quartet plays with imagination and realism that tops the most realistic video game or interactive fiction.
more at Chamber Music Today

Coterie Theatre "Bridge to Terabithia" preview

"Bridge to Terabithia" is showing until February 27, 2011 at the Coterie Theatre, at Kansas City's Crown Center. Tickets at

KS arts orgs reaction to proposed arts commission cuts

The State of Kansas is facing a $550 million shortfall, and state funding for the arts may become a victim of proposed budget cuts. Governor Sam Brownback is proposing eliminating the Kansas Arts Commission and turn it into a non-profit organization, a move that he says will save the state $574,000. The Arts Commission contends that the savings to the state would be minimal, but the real cost to the state could be dramatic.

more at Fox4KC