Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Michelle Davidson promo reel

Celtic Soul Experience photos and review by May's Machete

I went to/volunteered at an awesome concert last night at St. Mary's Episcopal Church downtown. I'd never been there before and I was delighted at the medieval feel of the place (due to the evening darkness & mostly brick construction).

more at May's Machete

[Thanks, Tony]

Celtic Tenors interview with the Lied Center

Matthew Gilsenan of The Celtic Tenors talks to the Lied Center about their upcoming holiday performance at the Lied Center of Kansas on Saturday, Dec. 10 — 7:30 p.m.

Karrin Allyson review by Mark Edelman

The word “brilliant” gets thrown around alot these days...  But for an hour plus of the real thing, don’t miss Karrin Allyson’s gig at Jardine’s tonight (two shows Tuesday, Nov 29 at 6:30 and 8:30). Great music doesn’t get much better than this.

more at KC Confidential

Washburn University "Sousa Spectacular" to benefit Joplin High School

The Washburn University Wind Ensemble will don uniforms, and its conductor, Mark Norman, will portray John Philip Sousa to raise money Wednesday night to help Joplin High School rebuild its music library.

more at the Topeka Capital Journal

Praise for the Kauffman Center in the LA Times

Today, Kansas City's known more for its tailgating and its barbecue. But perhaps it will now be known for something more — the $413-million Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, a much-celebrated set of massive, steel-jacketed clamshells that resemble a pair of sonic booms whose motion has been arrested and encased in cement.

more at the Los Angeles Times 

[Thanks, KC Rag]

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

"The Voicemail" short film by Trish Brummett

For my alternative digital processes class project.

Jazz in the suburbs by kcjazzlark

You drive up, and on one side you pass Zenail and Spa, and His and Her Fitness. On the other side is Nevaeh Salon. Admit it, this strip center is as suburban Johnson County as it gets. Inside, on a Friday night, the crowd fills every seat. Folding chairs have been set up, but they’re not enough. Some people stand, leaning against a counter or a wall. They range in age from grade school to the gray haired. This crowd is as suburban Johnson County as it gets.

more at kcjazzlark

Columbia Civic Orchestra seeking compositions by Missouri residents

The Columbia Civic Orchestra (CCO) and the Mizzou New Music Initiative are looking for recent orchestral compositions written by Missouri residents to perform at a concert in March, 2012.

more at Mizzou New Music Initiative News

Lily Tomlin review by Lindsay Adams

Lily Tomlin came to Kansas City and the Muriel Kauffman theatre for a stand-up comedy act. She is a famed actress and comedienne known for her work on “Laugh-in” and in such movies as “9 to 5,” “Tea with Mussolini” and “A Prairie Home Companion.” She starred and guest-starred in such shows as “The X-Files,” “NCIS,” “The West Wing,” “Desperate Housewives” and “Damages.” She has won six Emmy’s, two Tony’s, and a Grammy and has been a pioneer for women in comedy and television writing.

more at the University News

KC Rep "Christmas Carol" review by Alexia Lang

Only a scrooge could bear to miss out on the holiday extravaganza that is “A Christmas Carol” at the Kansas City Repertory Theatre.

more at the Vignette

"Leawood Stage Company Amphitheatre Fight" by Jamie Lin

This article is from the October 2011 issue of KC Stage

Since 1998, the Leawood Stage Company has worked with the City of Leawood and Leawood Parks and Recreation Department to present a variety of entertainment, including an annual musical production. LSC makes their home at Ironwoods, a public 70 acre park where citizens can enjoy Prairie Oak Nature Center, The Lodge at Ironwoods, a Challenge Course, the Oxford School House, four cabins, a shelter and playground, and a walking trail on top of the amphitheatre.

more at KC Stage

Monday, November 28, 2011

Buster Williams remembers Mary Lou Williams

Plastic Sax rarely features non-original work, but I jumped at the opportunity to present new insights into the career of the legendary Mary Lou Williams from jazz great Buster Williams. Frank R. Hayde conducted the following phone interview with Williams in March. Aside from the links I've added to the transcript, it appears almost precisely as Hayde presented it to me.

more at Plastic Sax

Vintage Vogue interview by T2 + Back Alley Films

This weekly, half-hour series follows our Vintage Vogue Diva, Kathy Rasmussen, through the trials and tribulations of owning a Vintage Clothing store. Each week we watch Kathy as she scours the city for vintage gems requested by her demanding and picky buyers. In addition to running her shop with her less than enthusiastic retired husband, Jim, Kathy also spends countless hours chatting and counseling her hilarious, and often dramatic customers. This is fun, quirky TV with a fashion flare!

"Climbing Around the Kauffman" by Tom Ryan

Yesterday I went to the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts to listen to the Kansas City Symphony. This is my third visit to the building, not counting the times I climbed around inside and outside when it was under construction. I’ve watched this building come to life out my window for the last three years. I really want to like it, but I’m uncomfortable there, literally.

more at Crossroads Currents

Coterie "Seussical" flash mob

MU student Stephanie Berg wins composition competition

University of Missouri graduate student Stephanie Berg (pictured) has won this year’s award in the “Young Artist” category of the Missouri State Division of Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) composition competition.

more at Mizzou New Music Initiative News

KC Rep "Christmas Carol" review by Robert Trussell

We can agree that the Kansas City Repertory Theatre’s annual production of “A Christmas Carol” is hardly pushing a political agenda, but it is tempting to view Ebenezer Scrooge as a member of the 1 percent while everyone else is part of the 99 percent.

more at

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Bar Studios family interview by T2 + Back Alley Films

This weekly, one hour series follows the Bar family through the exciting and ever changing world of Ball Room Dance! Louis, the leader of the pack, is father to Alex and Christine, and husband to Laura, his current wife. The family, along with their trusted family assistant, Lani, navigate their way through competition after competition finally making their way to the World Championships of Dance at the end of each season. Through their journey we meet a laundry list of characters that are their students--many of whom come along for the ride in their effort to compete in and win the numerous National and World Dance Championships. 
more at Vimeo

Odyssey Chamber Series "Ro-mantic Holidays" preview by Jill Renae Hicks

In the spirit of the season, the Odyssey Chamber Music Series is ready to wear its heart on its sleeve — musically speaking, that is. This week’s performance, the third of the series’ season, focuses on the Romantic period of classical composition, an era of impassioned, expressive songwriting. And, if anyone doubted, the concert is titled “Roe-mantic Holidays.”

more at the Columbia Daily Tribune

New Theatre "Game Show" preview by Robert Trussell

When Richard Carrothers decided he wanted to stage “Game Show,” a process that began in earnest about two years ago, he knew he needed a cast that was nimble, adaptable and quick. Because “Game Show” isn’t like other plays you’ve seen at the New Theatre — or anywhere, for that matter.

more at

Lyric Opera "Nixon in China" announcement by Ward Holmquist

Artistic Director Ward Holmquist announces John Adams' "Nixon in China" as part of the press conference announcing the 2011-12 season.

Owen/Cox, KC Ballet "Nutcrackers" preview by Rachel Murphy

Every Christmas is the same–arts organizations trot out their money shows; A Christmas Carol, Handel’s Messiah, and The Nutcracker. In Kansas City, this weekend there are two versions of the dance classic, one by the Kansas City Ballet and one by Owen/Cox Dance Group, each with their own merits.

more at CultureMob

Topeka High School Magdrigals preview by Bill Blankenship

The time since they last rehearsed in the Topeka High School choral room ranged from a couple of days to a number of decades. More than 150 current and past members of the school’s select vocal ensemble, the Madrigals, gathered from around the country Saturday to blend their voices in a program commemorating the 75th anniversary of the group.

more at the Topeka Capital Journal

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Madame MacKay "Burlesque Classic" performance

Madame MacKay performs live classic burlesque routines at the Conspiracy Room inside the Uptown Theater Complex with Burlesque Downtown Underground.

KC Symphony "Russian Spectacular" review by Timothy McDonald

The Kansas City Symphony set out to show that Russian music during the holiday season is about much more than Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker. At Friday night's performance at Helzberg Hall the orchestra dished out a fascinating menu of Russian works from the 19th and 20th centuries.

more at

Kauffman Center follow-up by Steve Paul

There’s a lot of oohing and aahing going on inside the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. When the light is right and the vibe is electric, the preshow mingling in the glass-walled lobby feels great. You get a sense of community, of gleeful wonder.

more at 
and this Thanksgiving note from Jane Chu

KC Ballet "Nutcracker" preview by Patrick Neas

Although Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” is rooted in the Russian Imperial Ballet, annual Christmas performances of the ballet are really an American holiday tradition.

more at

Friday, November 25, 2011

Panasonic AF100 test footage by Through a Glass Productions

Probably 95% of our projects are shot on RED, but we have a Panasonic AF100 for projects that call for it.

We've outfitted our AF100 with the HotRod PL Mount Adapter System, so that we can use any number of high-end cinema lenses with the camera.

Jeremy Osbern, resident Director/Director of Photography at TAG took our AF100 out for a few hours to a nearby farm and shot footage with one of our PL-Mount LOMO Anamorphics and a stack of diopters.

Pretty pleased with the results. We know that Anamorphic lenses look great on the RED, but it's good to know that we can get that great widescreen look and famous horizontal flares out of the AF100 as well.

* music by Bishop Allen

Praise for the Kauffman Center in the NY Times

I’ve never seen a performing-arts space that seems to relish its location so much, to be so proud of the city it shows off. People appear delighted just to be there; the Kauffman Center has glamour, that indefinable, impossible-to-engineer quality. It is accessible and even friendly, but it elevates you; there’s the sensation of going someplace.

more at the New York Times

Independent Filmmakers Actors Showcase

Topeka Ballet "Nutcracker" preview by Bill Blankenship

Linda Virr, artistic director of Topeka Ballet, likes to call her company’s version of “The Nutcracker” a “short and sweet” one.

more at the Topeka Capital Journal

Trumpeter Dave Scott interview by Joe Klopus

Trumpeter Dave Scott has been an unheralded but distinctive presence on the international jazz scene for quite a few years.

more at

Barn Players seeking director for benefit

Eric Magnus, Artistic Director of The Barn Players, is looking for a special director for a scheduled musical revue benefit concert in August, 2012.

Magnus said the director would be responsible for the concept of the show, selecting his or her production team, casting and directing the show. To apply send a resume to Eric Magnus, Artistic Director, The Barn Players at Application deadline is December 15, 2011. Director applicant Interviews will be set and applicants notified; they will be held at the Barn Players Theatre, 6219 Martway in Mission . The director will be named by January 15, 2012.

The letter of application should include a resume, plus your choice of a show, your ideas for the production and reason for selecting – the proposed musical revue must be an original idea and not a published or copyrighted revue.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Chuck Haddix "America's Great Jazz Cities" interview

This week our ongoing tour of America’s great jazz cities takes us to Kansas City. We’ll talk with local boy and jazz historian Chuck Haddix about the storied and sordid roots of the famed Kansas City sound, and get to know the corrupt Kansas City political boss who defied Prohibition and helped spark the city’s early jazz scene. And we’ll take a look at adopted hometown hero (Count) Bill Basie’s long and winding road from Kansas City to the pinnacle of swing, and explore the life and music of one of jazz’s most underappreciated legends: the great Mary Lou Williams.
more at PRX
[Thanks, Plastic Sax]

KC Symphony "Russian Spectacular" promo

In this video Executive Director Frank Byrne talks about our guest conductor Maestro Prieto and guest violinist Tianwa Yang. Our Russian Spectacular features music of three of the greatest Russian composers of all time. Tickets are still available at or call (816) 471-0400.

No apologies needed for KC Wind Symphony

Cut it out! During each of the last three concerts I've attended at Village Presbyterian Church, the bandleader apologized for his ensemble's progressive leanings. The most recent culprit was Dr. Phillip C. Posey, conductor of the Kansas City Wind Symphony.

more at There Stands the Glass

Magician Reggie Gray interview by Jennifer Bhargava

Reggie Gray has put a spell on Kansas City. The 31-year-old magician juggles more than 40 shows per month. Among his tricks: infectious energy, clean-cut humor, charming demeanor and a blinding grin.

more at Ink

Quality Hill "Christmas in Song" review by Robert Trussell

I’m not sure why we must rate everything and everyone in the world, from the best “American Idol” contestants to the worst NFL teams, but we do. Could be it’s just a primitive human impulse that we have no control over.

Metropolitan Ensemble "All My Sons" review by Tom Ryan

I think that instead of his now famous farewell speech to the nation, his “military industrial complex speech” televised on January 17, 1961, President Eisenhower should have instead broadcast a performance of Arthur Miller’s play All My Sons, first performed in 1947. This play will be remembered, will possess a resonant posterity, beyond any speech delivered from the Oval Office.

more at Crossroads Currents

MU University Singers to perform at White House

The MU University Singers will pack their bags Dec. 18 and head to Washington, D.C. The White House extended a special invitation to the choir, welcoming 30 members to perform there Dec. 19.

more at the Missourian

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Karrin Allyson interview by Plastic Sax

Plastic Sax recently conducted an email interview with Karrin Allyson. The unedited transcript follows. Allyson performs at Jardine's on November 28-29 at 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

more at Plastic Sax

Composer Michael Anderson interview by Jill Renae Hicks

The first blooms of Michael Anderson’s chamber music piece “At the Mercy of the Forest” unfold with twinkling piano, a dissonant, pizzicato cello chiming in and a flute chirping birdlike above the thickening carpet of woodland-esque sounds. This piece, which the University of Missouri composition student created for Peter Raven’s retirement tribute at the Missouri Botanical Garden, earned even greater accolades from judges who recently awarded him perhaps the most coveted annual honor at the MU School of Music: the Sinquefield Composition Prize.

more at the Columbia Daily Tribune

Lily Tomlin review by Timothy Finn

As she opened her one-woman show Sunday night at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, Lily Tomlin waxed philosophical: “At times like this I’m not sure if you’re here because of me or I’m here because of you. Without you, there’s little point in being here tonight.”

Lansing High School students making feature film

Students at Lansing High School are getting a unique opportunity to learn the art of making movies and whether they can cut it as future filmmakers.

more at KMBC

Brownback appoints new arts commissioner

Gov. Sam Brownback has appointed Connie McLean of Wichita to the Kansas Arts Commission to replace Lawrence resident Grant Glenn, who resigned because of Brownback’s arts funding veto. Brownback’s veto of the Arts Commission’s $689,000 annual appropriation made Kansas the only state in the nation to ax state funding of the arts. Since the veto, Kansas also was declared ineligible for $1.3 million in matching federal dollars.

more at the Topeka Capital Journal

"Don't Forget to Leave the Ghost Light On" by Angie Fiedler

This article is from the October 2011 issue of KC Stage

October is the time for spooky stories told around the campfire, and so we asked subscribers and area arts organizations for tales of local theatre ghosts. Here's what we got back.

more at KC Stage

Enter to win tickets to KKFI's "Happy Freakin' Holiday Variety Show"

Enter your contact info at the link below for a chance to win two free tickets to KKFI's Happy Freakin' Holiday Variety Show on December 4.

This contest is open to anyone. It closes November 30 at noon, and multiple winners will be chosen at random.

Questions? Comments? E-mail

Monday, November 21, 2011

Timothy and Jennifer Friend "Blessed" interview by Dan Lybarger

Writer/director Timothy Friend and his wife, actress/producer Jennifer Friend, spent much of the day Wednesday putting together their new short, “Blessed.”

Metropolitan Ensemble "All My Sons" review by Robert Trussell

Arthur Miller’s 1947 drama "All My Sons," his first Broadway success, could be viewed as a warm-up to "Death of a Salesman," and in it you see a fairly young playwright trying a bit too hard to be poetic and meaningful.

Quality Hill "Christmas in Song" review by LindsayAdams

Christmas in Song is the show to see this season.
Rating: 4

Christmas in Song
Quality Hill Playhouse

Christmas in Song is a very intimate experience. The theatre is cozy and thanks to the set and the warmth of J. Kent Barnhart feels almost as if you are in a living room. The theme for the show this year is wonder and light, which is shown through their choice in songs, including "Bright Star", "Christmas Star" and "Light a Candle".

J. Kent Barnhart was the pianist and emcee of the show. He would introduce the songs and usually tell an amusing anecdote. He shared stories from his own childhood at Christmas. After his introduction they would perform a set of songs.

He was affable and self-depreciating. His style was reminiscent of an old fashioned classic cabaret emcee. His maestro skills are the piano shone as well as his lively narration as his performance of a ragtime arrangement of "Jingle Bells" brought down the house. He was joined by three lovely ladies who assisted him with vocals.

Molly Hammer brought her sultry country infused soul stirring tones into every solo. Her rendition of "My Grown Up Christmas List" was alternately heartbreaking and beautiful. LaTeesha McDonald Jackson's vocals were beautiful, unfortunately often the words weren't understandable. Her best song was a very earnest musical rendition of Psalm 27.

Lindsey McKee had a commanding soprano voice and stirring vibrato that served her well on such classic songs as "Ave Maria" and "O Holy Night". What she lacked in physical emoting at times, she more than made up for in her emotion laden vocals. She proved that she was more than just another gorgeous soprano voice, showing of her comedic chops with an absolutely hysterical rendition on "Lime Jello Marshmellow Cottage Cheese Surprise".

One of the strongest parts of the revue was during the last segment of the show. All four performers sat around the piano, as Barnhart played a plaintive chords and he regaled the audience with tidbits from his childhood as well as sharing stories about the performers.

The transitions between the songs worked well, and while the revue showcased a wide variety of different styles, genres, and times, the differences were never jarring. There truly is something in the revue for everyone, young or old, whether you have more traditional or more modern taste.

Lyric Opera "Cosi Fan Tutti" review by Zachary Woolfe

Across the street from my hotel here is the stately stone Lyric Theater. Built as a Shriners’ hall in 1926, it has also served as a Red Cross blood collection center, a playhouse, a radio studio and a movie theater called the Capri.

more at the New York Times

Living Room "Betrayal" review by FranziaKafka

Great and Interesting Show
Rating: 4

The Living Room

The Living Room has done it again with another great piece. Walking into the set and being instructed that we will travel with the actors for different parts of the show and being able to break down any walls was a great way to start.

And the perfect way to finish it was with a strong script and wonderful performances from all three performers (there is also a brief moment with a waiter and he did a fine job as well)!

Katie and Forrest were the best part of the show giving emotional and desperate performances and illustrating a wide variety of emotions. Rick was also a good addition to the show but sometimes came off a little too dry rather than intimidating. However they are British so there might not be very much difference.

A high recommendation for anyone to go see this show.

KC Rep "Christmas Carol" promo

Based on the book by Charles Dickens, and adapted for the stage by Barbara Field, Kyle Hatley directs the 31st production of KC Rep's 'A Christmas Carol'. Tickets on sale now! November 19-December 26. 816.235.2700

Sunday, November 20, 2011

KC Symphony, Behzod Abduraimov review by Timothy McDonald

A hometown crowd can be tough as nails, but the audience at Friday night’s performance by pianist Behzod Abduraimov and the Kansas City Symphony at the Kauffman Center was warm, receptive and, quite frankly, bowled over.

more at

Friends of Chamber Music "Rebel" review by DSM

Last night’s Friends of Chamber Music REBEL performance with Rufus Müller (tenor)—a program entitled ‘Out of the Eclipse: Music of Transformation and Revelation’—was really excellent.

more at Chamber Music Today

KC Rep "Christmas Carol" preview by Robert Trussell

The Kansas City Repertory Theatre’s annual production of “A Christmas Carol” has for most of its life been a production of moments — funny moments, scary moments, sentimental moments. Audiences have come to expect certain events, certain lines of dialogue, certain visual effects.

more at

KC Filmmakers Jubliee seeking executive director

The Festival Coordinator plans, oversees and manages all aspects of AMC Theatres Kansas City FilmFest, an annual, five-day festival that takes place primarily at AMC Mainstreet in Kansas City, Missouri (and other possible locations in the KC Metro). The Festival Coordinator will not be a member of the Board of Directors of the Kansas City Filmmakers Jubilee but will be an important and primary member of the Festival Management Committee for Kansas City FilmFest.

more at the Kansas City Filmmakers Jubliee

American Heartland "Marvelous Wondrettes" promo

Showing at Kansas City's American Heartland Theatre until December 24, 2011. Visit for tickets.

New Theatre "Game Show" review by Robert Trussell

Think of it as a show within a show. Or, to be precise, a TV show within a show.
The New Theatre’s lively production of "Game Show," an inventive entertainment by Jeffrey Finn and Bob Walton that never quite lives up to its potential, is a crowd-pleasing romp that strikes a delicate balance between scripted material, ad libs and always unpredictable audience participants.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

KC Symphony, Shostakovich preview by Patrick Neas

I first heard the Symphony No. 10 by Dmitri Shostakovich on the radio one Thanksgiving evening many years ago. With bracing harmonies and rhythms and a rousing finale, it was the perfect musical tonic after a day of heavy feasting.