Monday, April 30, 2012

"The Phantom" chapter 2 by Nouvelle Films

Focus Film Festival review by Chris Hong

When the Focus Film Festival began in 2006, a total of four high schools entered 11 films into the competition.
Since then, the festival has grown tremendously with young directors from 14 schools in northeastern Kansas entering nearly 80 films into this year’s edition.

more at the Lawrence Journal World

Egads "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" performance

Selections from "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" were performed by Justin Van Pelt at the Off Center Theatre in Kansas City, Missouri on February 25th, 2012 as a benefit for Egads! Theatre Company. This is the opening number - "Tear Me Down".

Inside a Northland dance studio by Lisa Allen

At All About Dance by Katye, there’s more to the slogan ‘keeping you on your toes’ than initially meets the eye. After 20 years in the Northland, All About Dance by Katye isn’t the typical dance studio. With a commitment to making dance accessible to everyone, regardless of natural talent or available resources, All About Dance by Katye provides challenging curriculum, innovative programs and a commitment to family that runs deep.

more at the Northland Lifestyle

UMKC awards honorary degrees to Kauffman, Carrothers, Hennessy

Four Kansas Citians outstanding for their community work will receive honorary degrees at the 2012 University of Missouri-Kansas City commencement ceremonies. The four are Alvin Brooks, an advocate for justice and a crime fighter; Richard Carrothers and Dennis D. Hennessy, both theater owners and supporters of the visual and performing arts, and Julia Irene Kauffman, a renowned campaigner for the arts, new business and learning.

more at the University News

KCK Community College, Jazz Summit review by Plastic Sax

The multi-generational ensemble of saxophonist Jim Mair, trumpeter Hermon Mehari, pianist Charles Williams, bassist James Albright and drummer Michael Warren intrigued me, but the real reason I attended the closing concert of the Jazz Summit at Kansas City Kansas Community College was a rare opportunity to hear Lisa Henry. Yes, that Lisa Henry.

more at Plastic Sax

Kate Hackman, David Hughes, Charlotte Street Foundation interview by Kellie Houx

Look up the concept, “grassroots,” and the non-profit organization, Charlotte Street Foundation, may best represent the notion that the individual artist or artist group must find support that starts more as a groundswell rather than from the larger and more traditional structures.

more at KC Studio

Pianist Behzod Abduraimov released debut recording

Pianist Behzod Abduraimov, grand prize winner at the 2009 London International Piano Competition and a Park University senior applied music/piano major from Tashkent, Uzbekistan, has released his debut CD with Decca Classics, London, and begun a month-long tour of Australia.

more at the Northland Lifetyle

KC Repertory "Little Shop of Horrors" review by Alexia Lang

Whatever you do, don’t feed the plants at the Kansas City Repertory Theatre. Because if you do, they’ll grow big and loud and will only want more and more and more food.

more at the Vignette

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sterling Witt "Desensitized" music video by Metaphor Media

Sterling Witt - "Desensitized"
Shadows & Secrets - Bright Orange Records

MU student Tyler Beck interview by Jill Renae Hicks

Coming from a family of scientists, Tyler Beck is a standout. The University of Missouri senior is pursuing a degree in music education and is gravitating more toward vocal performance to potentially attend graduate school in the next year or so. "I started to slowly drift toward the more performing side," he said of his first years in college. "It's just something in a million years that I never thought that I would do."

more at the Columbia Daily Tribune

Living Room "Dog Sees God" review by Robert Trussell

Imagine that Snoopy has been put down after contracting rabies and murdering Woodstock and that his owner, Charlie Brown, now in deep mourning, is writing a letter to his “Pen Pal” (aka God). That’s how Bert V. Royal’s comic drama “Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead” opens, and it just gets more interesting as it goes along.

more at

City in Motion "Sacred Geometrix" photos by Mike Strong

Sacred Geometrix refers both to the sacred act of artistic creation and the linear and curved shapes in space formed by the human body.

more at KC Dance

KC Jazz Combo photos and performances

The Combo performed student originals on KC Jazz Connection April 25th.

more at KJHK

Martin City Melodrama "Completely Hollywood (Abridged)" review by kellyluck

Hollywood, Reduced
Rating: 4

Completely Hollywood (abridged)
Martin City Melodrama & Vaudeville Company

Since the founding of The Reduced Shakespeare Company in 1981, they have produced "abridged" versions of not only the complete works of Shakespeare, but also U.S. history, western civilization, sports, and even the bible. Currently at their Metcalf South headquarters, the Martin City Melodrama Company is performing their take on Hollywood. Chaos, appropriately, ensues.

The production posits itself a revue of sorts, of "99 movies in just under 99 minutes". It doesn't take too long for things to get off track, however, as the three performers (Marcus Mull, Nino Casisi, and Jeanne Beechwood) vying with each other, dueling screenplays. Along the way, the Twelve Rules of Hollywood are revealed, genres are dissected, and every movieland cliché gleefully held up to the light. The play climaxes in the second act, with a giddily schizophrenic "movie" performed right there on stage, spoofing every classic (and not-so-classic) film they manage to squeeze in (the official count is 187; I'll take their word for it).

At first blush it may seem odd that a primarily vaudeville/melodrama house is putting on such a contemporary production. But in actuality, the "Reduced" plays do have a lot in common with their vaudevillian ancestors. There is a manic, high-energy feel to them, rapid pacing with gleeful humor and no shortage of topical references worked in. We can't help but think of the "baggy pants" comics of that earlier era whose legacy is very much on display on the Martin City stage.

A performance like this demands a high-energy delivery. Fortunately, the Martin City players are more than prepared to deliver. Their experience in melodrama puts them in good stead as the three players switch rapidly back and forth between characters and situations at a dizzying pace. The audience at the performance we attended was quickly swept up into the spirit of things, even to the point of being drawn into the madness themselves (RSC productions have a long history of audience participation elements). The troupe proved themselves an excellent match for the material at hand, and it is hoped that they will explore the possibility of performing more along these lines.

The Martin City company has established itself as one of the premier all-ages theatre groups in the Kansas City metro area. Probably best known for their original works, they more than aptly demonstrate here their ability to handle others' material with aplomb.

KC Repertory "Little Shop of Horrors" review by Robert Trussell

Kansas City Repertory Theatre closes its season with a gleaming Cadillac of a show: a shimmering production of “Little Shop of Horrors” memorable for its high level of craftsmanship.

more at

River City Community Players "Laramie Project" review by BRN2ACT33

RCCP Tackles Laramie Project with Grace and Dignity
Rating: 4

The Laramie Project
River City Community Players

The RCCP's production of "The Laramie Project" was presented with grace and dignity by a very talented ensemble. While there wasn't a weak link in the cast, performances by Mike Forsythe, Carol Varner, Brenda Henson, and Spenser Williams were particularly noteworthy. Relatively newcomers to the stage, Jesse Jacobs and Andy Entwistle, provided strong performances as well. The production was very well staged and transitions from scene to scene went smoothly and efficiently keeping the show moving at a nice pace. Kudos to director Kaci Forsythe. If I could find any fault with the production, it would be a minor one - as each scene ended most of the actors did not maintain their character as they exited the scene and instead had to rush off for minor costume changes and preparation for their next scene.

The big disappointment was the audience. Attendance has been less than stellar and this cast and production deserves far better. So, I strongly urge those who have not seen this production to find the time to see one of the remaining performances.

Quality Hill "Life is a Cabaret" review by Alexia Lang

“Give ‘em the old razzle dazzle, razzle dazzle them,” is the tune that comes to mind when thinking of the latest production at Quality Hill Playhouse.

more at the Vignette

Lisa Cordes interview with the Charlotte Street Foundation

Lyric Opera Ball review by Lisa Allen

To those in attendance at the 2012 Lyric Opera Ball, the grandeur might be a once a year event, resplendent with sights and sounds reserved for special occasions. Held April 20th, The Wonderful Wizard of Opera was the first Grand Ball to be held at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.

more at Leawood Lifestyle

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Bazillion commercials

:60 commercial for Sylvania's new Mosaic Light strips.

Broadcast commercial for Boon County National Bank.


City in Motion "Sacred Geometrix" review by Libby Hanssen

City in Motion Dance Theater’s professional company presented “Sacred Geometrix” Friday at the H&R Block City Stage Theater at Union Station. The program showcased works choreographed by artistic co-directors Stephanie Whittler, Andrea Skowronek and Dale Fellin, as well as three other choreographers, all of whom danced in the company.

more at

Quality Hill "Life is a Cabaret" review by Robert Trussell

In putting together “Life is a Cabaret: The Songs of John Kander and Fred Ebb,” J. Kent Barnhart has given us not only an informative overview of the team’s work for stage, film and television, but also a sense of the bold risk-taking that typified Kander-and-Ebb shows.

more at

KU Opera and Symphony "2012 Opera Gala" preview by Terry Rombeck

Annalize Sussman remembers the first time she saw the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. “I thought it was magical,” the Kansas University master’s student says. “The building from the exterior has such beautiful architecture. It complements the landscape really well, sitting on that big hill.”

more at the Lawrence Journal World

Byrd Productions "Laidback Fundraiser" burlesque performances

Cher D. Blame performs a jazz-inspired burlesque routine at the Just Off Broadway Theater in Kansas City.

Cher D. Blame performs a burlesque routine to the classic tune of the 7th-inning stretch at The Uptown Arts Bar in Kansas City.

Art in Motion "Dance Carnival" preview by Chris Hong

Cathy Patterson has heard people’s reservations about dance performances: “They’re boring” and “the music isn’t fun.” But Patterson, director of the Art In Motion Dance Company, says the routines she’s choreographed for the group’s upcoming Dance Carnival are upbeat and energetic.

more at the Lawrence Journal World

Dan Bukovac, Heart of America Shakespeare Festival interview by Kellie Houx

During his work day, Dan Bukovac serves as a partner at law firm Stinson Morrison Hecker LLP. He is also active in the community, serving on the Board of Directors of the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival for more than 20 years. He became a director in 1992 when the Board was helping Marilyn Strauss raise funds for the first season. Bukovac was president from 1998 to 2004, succeeding Shirley Helzberg, and became the board president again in October 2011.

more at KC Studio

Des McAnuff "Jersey Boys" interview by Robert Trussell

This is how Des McAnuff puts it: He knew he had a tiger by the tail. He just didn’t know how big the tiger would be.

more at

Jon Jost, KC FilmFest workshop and interview by Nathan Halstead

Filmmaker Jon Jost interviewed by Nathan Halstead at the 2012 AMC Theatres Kansas City FilmFest.

Workshop/Seminar at the 2012 AMC Theatres Kansas City FilmFest, April 14, 2012. Shot at Stageport, Studio A.

Several local groups present staged readings

It’s a Tuesday night at Union Station. Some 50 people, many of them theater artists or theater fans, have come to the Irish Museum and Cultural Center for a staged reading of “This Lime Tree Bower” by Conor McPherson, a respected Irish playwright whose work isn’t often seen in Kansas City.

more at

Columbia music teacher retires after 30 years

A music specialist within the Columbia Public School system is retiring after three decades of teaching. The Columbia Public School's 5th Grade Honors Choir, founded by Susan Altomari and Mary Ming in 1987, will play a concert in Altomari's name Thursday. Altomari is retiring after 30 years of teaching a variety of music programs to elementary students.

more at the Columbia Daily Tribune

Christopher Good "Mudjackin" behind the scenes by Alex Tretbar

Christopher Good asks his girlfriend and co-producer to call one of their lead actresses with a costume question. “Ask her if she still has the same outfit from when we filmed at the Ozarks,” Good says. “Remember, the pink thing?” This is just one facet of what Good, 31, and other independent filmmakers call “no-budget” production.

more at the University Daily Kansan

KC Repertory "Little Shop of Horrors" promo

Little Shop of Horrors is playing at KC Rep through May 2012. Call our Box Office at 816.235.2700 to order your tickets today, or visit!

Friday, April 27, 2012

CinemaKC second season preview by Jon Niccum

Local filmmakers are always being asked, “Where can I see your movie?” Until recently, the answer invariably involved out-of-town festivals or Vimeo links. But then came “CinemaKC,” a TV series launched last year to showcase Kansas City’s filmmaking talent.

more at

Quality Hill "Life is a Cabaret" review by LindsayAdams

'Life is a Caberet' brings the razzle dazzle
Rating: 4

Life Is a Cabaret
Quality Hill Playhouse

As Kander and Ebb put it, "What good is sitting alone in your room? Come hear the music play."

Quality Hill's new musical revue is a highlight of their current season. "Life is a Cabaret" features performers Tim Scott, Aurelie Roque, and Stephanie Laws, with as always J. Kent Bernhart at the piano.

The revue has both "razzle-dazzle" and tons of heart. The revue showcases the Kander and Ebb favorites "Chicago" and "Cabaret", but also lesser known works, such as "The rink" and "Flora, the Red Menace".

All of the performers are charismatic and entertaining. Stephanie Laws shines in all of her songs with simplicity and expressiveness. Her most memorable song was the comic song "Ring Them Bells".

Tim Scott brought his marvelous theatricality and unique voice to his songs. He perfectly mixed comedy and poignancy int he tune, "Mr. Cellophane".

Aurelie Roque brought Broadway belting chops to her song "But the World Goes Round" her sultry voice particularly shines on her jazz numbers, like "Don't Tell Mama".

J. Kent Bernhart pulled all of the songs together with charming anecdotes and stories about Kander and Ebb's partnership.

"Life is a Cabaret" is a sure-fire entertaining night of theatre.

Acting student Katie Force interview by Lauren Collinsworth Claflin

Katie Force enjoyed her summer acting camps. They were fun and imaginative. She, however, was a basketball player, and that was her focus. When a close friend of hers begged her to join her in trying out for a musical at The Culture House, Force was hesitant, but reluctantly went to the audition. She was cast in Annie. Although she had only a few lines, Force was hooked.

River City Community Players "Laramie Project" review by ghostpug6

Powerful and Moving
Rating: 5

The Laramie Project
River City Community Players

"The Laramie Project" significantly exceeded my expectations. I was worried that the play would be an exercise in activism when, in fact, there were only a couple of portrayals that seemed unfair. To be precise, the Southern Baptist preacher and the Mormon elder were played as caricatures. They ranted and raved and generally came off as ridiculous, not in a good way. Kansas' own Fred Phelps was played like a maniac, which is only fitting. That aside, this play was instructive and well staged.

Mike Forsythe, Brenda Henson, and Carol Varner were particularly impressive; each played multiple characters with exceptional skill. Transitions are smooth, and the pace of the play is lively. The RCCP assumed risk by staging such a controversial play, and attendance was low on opening night when I attended and apparently even lower on the 21st of April. This is disappointing because those who pass on the play for fear of having their sensibilities offended are truly missing out. The story of Matthew Shepard and the citizens of Laramie is worth hearing, and this play is most definitely worth seeing.

Coterie Young Playwrights Festival preview

It's the Coterie Theatre's favorite time of the year: world premiere readings from some of Kansas City's most talented teen playwrights will be showcased during the Annual Young Playwrights' Festival at 7 p.m. May 9 and 10 at the Coterie Theatre, level 1, Crown Center Shops. Professional actors, directors and designers work to present a collection of seven staged readings, plays and monologues from teen members of the Coterie's Young Playwrights' Roundtable.

more at Broadway World

Lyric Opera "Barber of Seville" review by timlovestheatre

The Greatest Thing You've Probably Already Missed
Rating: 5

The Barber of Seville
Lyric Opera of Kansas City

The greatest joy I have as a reviewer is being sent to a show or other performance that I literally cannot wait to return to my computer and YELL at you through my keyboard to run out and buy a ticket! Unfortunately, this time I was sent out to see a show that was astounding but the chances are you might miss it.

The Lyric Opera of Kansas City ends its 54th season with Gioachino Rossini's "The Barber of Seville" at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. This is a comic opera with perhaps some of the most recognizable opera music in the world thanks to one "wascally wabbit" and his animated pals. The fact that the music is so familiar (and fantastic) makes the production accessible and, it's REALLY funny!

Each of the principal cast members sparkled in their own way with standouts being the comic timing of Kevin Burdette as Bartolo, the imposing Bass of Arthur Woodley as Basilio and the impressive Joshua Hopkins as Figaro, the "barber" in question. Brian Anderson and Sandra Piques Eddy were very engaging as lovers Almaviva and Rosina. Strong in their supporting roles were Brad Walker as Almaviva's servant and Holly White as a maid. Supernumeraries Jerry Jay Cranford, Beau Crowder, Ernest Suarez, and Katie Tigerstrom provided some fantastic comedy that only served to bring us closer into the world of the "Barber".

It is often hard to distinguish whether the work onstage is a result of brilliant performers or a brilliant director. This production seems to have plenty of both but director William Theisen has worked wonders and hits a true comic piece in one slow-motion scene that I would like to see about fifteen more times to catch all of the brilliance I missed. A figurative tipping of the hat to the wonderful work of Conductor Ward Holmquist and the Kansas City Symphony Orchestra for their splendid execution of Rossini's work.

With each show the Lyric seems to raise their production values. Recent work on "Nixon in China" was fantastic and "Barber" seemed to be trying to top it with its lush sets and vivid costumes. There is much more to look forward to from this creative team.

I think it is important to note that this production marks the end of the Opera's general director Evan R. Luskin's career. Mr. Luskin has been a part of the Lyric since 1986 starting first as the managing director and moving into the General Director's role upon the retirement of conductor, manager and Lyric Opera co-founder Russell Patterson.

Luskin can proudly point to many achievements in his career not least of which is the Lyric Opera's work in the development of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts which continues to electrify the Kansas City arts scene. In addition, he has overseen the development of their purchase of three buildings in the East Crossroads neighborhood which will become Lyric's new administrative home as well as providing production and rehearsal space.

But now the sad part, the Lyric Opera traditionally does four performances of their production. The huge demand of this popular show meant almost all of the seats were sold out very quickly! This led them to add a performance on April 23rd. This Monday night presentation was the one I was able to see. That means there are only two performances left, and chances are you cannot get a seat. But, I still encourage you to not let this be the show everyone is talking about but you missed, run for those tickets now!

Even if you cannot acquire one of these hot tickets, hope is not lost. The Lyric's second season at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts shows great promise with the tragic "Madama Butterfly", the dramatic "Il Trovatore", the sure to be visually astounding "The Flying Dutchman" and the witty and light hearted "The Mikado".

For Tickets: or 816-471-7344

Evan Luskin, Lyric Opera interview by Steve Kraske

Changes are happening at Kansas City’s Lyric Opera. Its general director, Evan Luskin, is retiring next month after 26 years with the company. During Luskin's tenure, the Lyric launched a capital campaign for a new Opera Center, including set and costume production, rehearsal space, and administration; the annual budget nearly quadrupled; and opera is now performed in its original languages. He oversaw the company's transition to the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. Thursday on Up to Date, Steve Kraske talks with Luskin about his long career and changes he’s made at the institution, and we sit down with the woman stepping up to fill his shoes this summer: Kentucky Opera’s Deborah Sandler. We'll take a look at how opera has grown here at home and ask the question: how does this classical art form stay alive and relevant in the modern age? 
more at Up to Date (mp3 link)

Lucky DeLuxe, Burlesque Festival interview by Berry Anderson

Maybe you picked up a copy of The Pitch this week and noticed that the Filter section was all about the ladies? There's a women's MMA, Daisy Bucket, Russian ballerinas, and Gina and Tanya. Yes. Meow. Which brings us to Susanna Lee, the burlesque comedian also known as Lucky DeLuxe.

more at the Pitch

Heart of America Shakespeare Feastival preview by Kellie Houx

Toward the end of Midsummer Night’s Dream, Theseus tells an assembled group that “The lunatic, the lover, and the poet are of imagination all compact.” For the 20th season of the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival, the creativity and the imagination of playwright William Shakespeare in the hands of veteran actors will be double the joy as the festival group stages two shows in rotating repertory. The popular comedy of Midsummer Night’s Dream will be paired with the historical tragedy of Antony and Cleopatra, a play never performed as part of the festival.

more at KC Studio

Kimberly Cowen "Souvenirs" interview by Patrick Neas

After countless leaps, pirouettes and pas de deux, Kimberly Cowen’s remarkable 20-year career as a dancer with the Kansas City Ballet is coming to an end. Her final role will be in Todd Bolender’s “Souvenirs,” part of the Kansas City Ballet’s “Masters of American Dance” being presented for six performances beginning Friday at 7:30 p.m. in the Kauffman Center’s Muriel Kauffman Theatre.

more at

KC Repertory "Little Shop of Horrors" preview by Steve Walker

When first introduced in 1960, Little Shop of Horrors was a cheesy, low-budget movie about a meek floral shop apprentice who accidentally cultivates a man-eating plant.

more at KCUR

Ten facts about Liberty Hall

The name “Liberty Hall” belonged to the original venue, built above a butcher shop in 1856. The title was a nod to Abraham Lincoln’s having once called Lawrence the “cradle of liberty.”

more at the University Daily Kansan

Theatre for Young America 2012-2013 Season

A two-dimensional traveler, a precocious first grader, a robot, a kidnapped mother and child, a chicken with a hyper-active imagination, and dogs exhibiting quirky human behaviors will inhabit the H&R Block City Stage when Theatre for Young America presents its 2012-2013 season at Union Station. The City Stage is located on level B in Union Station at 30 W. Pershing Road in Kansas City, Missouri.

Tickets may be reserved online at, or by calling Union Station at 816.460.2020. Season tickets must be purchased through Theatre for Young America by calling 816.460.2083 or through the TYA website at

Theatre for Young America's 2012-13 productions and show dates are:

October 9 through November 10, 2012
The beloved children's book was written by Jeff Brown in 1964 and has become a literary and pop cultural phenomenon, delighting readers and travelers all around the world with this delightful two-dimensional hero. Lambchop is your ordinary, every day, run-of the-mill ten-year old until one night the bulletin board on the wall above Stanley's bed comes loose and falls right on top of Stanley. The next morning, Stanley Lambchop wakes up flat. Not just flat…really, REALLY flat! In a whirlwind musical travelogue, Stanley--the ultimate exchange student--scours the globe for a solution to his unusual problem. The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley has lyrics by Timothy Allen McDonald and Jonathan K. Waller; music by David Weinstein, Timothy Allen McDonald, Jonathan K. Waller and Stephen Gabriel; and Timothy Allen McDonald wrote the book.

November 20 through December 29, 2012
One of the most requested shows by TYA's patrons, Junie B. Jones in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells returns to the City Stage for the holiday season. Based on Barbara Parks' Junie B. Jones books and adapted for the stage by Allison Gregory, this is a sparkling musical featuring Junie B. Jones, a first grader who is funny, silly, lovable, but irreverent. It's holiday time and Room One is doing a lot of happy things to celebrate—like making elf costumes and singing joyful songs. Tattletale May keeps ruining Junie's holiday glee until Junie learns an important lesson about the joy of giving.

January 22 through January 31, 2013
Created by local playwright Gene Mackey, TYA's Artistic Director, for Theatre for Young America, in cooperation with The Whole Person and VSA Missouri, this play addresses the problem of bullying, including the particular kinds of bullying the disabled encounter. Three best friends who share a love of computers, games and imagination meet once a week to chew over the world's problems. They affectionately describe themselves as a gang of geeks. The gang decides to solve the problem of bullying. One of the three suggests using role-playing, but the Chief Geek has a better idea. Use a robot. This show will be available for tour from late January through February.

February 16 through February 23, 2013
This play by renowned Missouri playwright Frank Higgins features the celebrated spider from African folklore. Under heart-breaking circumstances, Anansi's stories bolster the spirits of a mother and daughter who have been kidnapped from their African homeland. Anansi's inventiveness, vitality and enterprising character fortify them during this frightful "middle passage" by bringing the bright and spirited folklore of Africa along for their harrowing journey.

March 5 through April 13, 2013
This short folk-tale of the chicken that created an unnecessary and hilarious panic when he proclaims, "the sky is falling," has been expanded into a delightfully manic musical. Theatre for Young America's Artistic Director, Gene Mackey, who wrote the book and lyrics, and Cheryl Benge, who wrote the music, combined their creative talents to present a delightful version of the story of Chicken Little, Henny Penny, Cocky Locky, Goosey Poosey, and Foxy Woxy. This play is a favorite with Kansas City audiences and also has been produced innumerable times by other theaters across the country.

April 23 through May 18, 2013
Go, Dog. Go! uses much of the dialogue and illustrations of author P. D. Eastman's classic children's book of the same name. The stage-play, which takes place in a world where dogs are involved in car chases, perform circus tricks and dance, was adapted by Roberta Wilhelm for the Omaha Theater Company for Young People and was developed under the auspices of the Estate of P.D. Eastman. Kids will be dazzled by the frenetic pace and enjoy the play's faithfulness to the book.

June 11 through June 29, 2012
(May extend into July if ticket sales warrant)
Theatre for Young America is currently in negotiations for rights to a show that will be announced later.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Quixotic "Requiem ONE" short film

Kansas Senate approves film and arts commissions merger

The Kansas Senate has approved a bill to create a new Creative Arts Industries Commission by merging separate arts and film services panels.

more at the Wichita Eagle
and at the Lawrence Journal World

A look at the KU Performance Club by Megan Hinman

If you’ve ever walked by Budig on a Monday afternoon, you’ve probably seen the KU Performance Club, a group that recently combined with the KU Juggling Club. The group practices from noon to 4 p.m. every week, and their performances are eye-catching.

more at the University Daily Kansan

Filming Joyce DiDonato for PBS

The crowds that attended the Kansas City Symphony performances at the end of March with Prairie Village native Joyce DiDonato, now a world renowned opera sensation with the mezzo soprano voice, may have been witness to a little bit of history. The three performances were recorded, plus rehearsals, backstage interviews and a master class led by DiDonato, to be part of the PBS Summer Arts Festival, hosted by Anna Deavere Smith. The Kansas City show called Homecoming: The Kansas City Symphony Presents Joyce DiDonato will air July 20.

more at KC Studio

Washburn University "Dido & Aeneas" preview by Bill Blankenship

A sorcerer's plot to interfere in the marriage of the queen of Carthage and a Trojan prince unfolds on stage in Washburn Opera Studio's production of Henry Purcell's "Dido & Aeneas."

more at the Topeka Capital Journal

Blue Springs High School "Evening of Jazz" preview by Kelly Evenson

People interested in listening to some jazz do not have to go very far from home this weekend. The Blue Springs High School Evening of Jazz is at 8 p.m. Friday at the Blue Springs High School Performing Arts Center.

more at the Examiner

KC Burlesque Festival preview by Robert Trussell

Marisa MacKay wants to put Kansas City on the burlesque map — not that it isn’t there already, but MacKay wants to make sure it sticks. And so Mackay and her husband, Scott Smith, are producing the second annual Kansas City Burlesque Festival, which gets under way Thursday and runs through Saturday at the Uptown Theater, 3700 Broadway.

more at

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Tenor Alfie Boe interview with the Lyric Opera

Acclaimed tenor Alfie Boe will be performing his first solo U.S. concert in Kansas City at Helzberg Hall on May 6. The event is a collaborative benefit concert for the Lyric Opera of Kansas City and the Kansas City Irish Center. When asked how he would like to be introduced to Kansas City, his reply was immediate and simple: “I’m a singer.”

more at the Lyric Opera

Crosscurrent preview by Joe Klopus

The heady inventions of pianist Lennie Tristano are 65 years old now, but they still sound “modern,” whatever that means, to everyone. Jazz people are still coming under their spell, still testing themselves on his territory. That’s the reason for the Kansas City band called Crosscurrent.

more at

KC Repertory "Little Shop of Horrors" preview

Playing NOW at Kansas City Repertory Theatre's 'downtown' Copaken Stage, come visit the lovable, if not 'extreme' man-eating plant, Audrey II that is taking over Kansas City! Call our box office at 816.235.2700 or visit to purchase your tickets today.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Todd Norris cinematography demo reel 2012

Musical Theatre Heritage "Sweeney Todd" review by Deborah Hirsch

Stephen Sondheim claims that his Tony Award-winning Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street isn't about cannibalism. Musical Theater Heritage's George Harter told an audience last weekend that the story of the murderous barber, whose customers become key ingredients in a meat-pie recipe, is Sondheim's "horror movie for the stage." (It's also, Harter added, Sondheim's homage to Bernard Herrmann, who composed the score for Taxi Driver and numerous Alfred Hitchcock films, including Psycho.)

more at the Pitch

Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre "Pride and Prejudice" review by Deborah Hirsch

A note to fans of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice: Jon Jory's 2006 stage adaptation, onstage at Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre, is the SparkNotes version. And to those unfamiliar with the 1813 novel? You might read the SparkNotes summary before attending.

more at the Pitch

Joseph Medeiros "Little Shop of Horrors" interview by Nicholas Sawin

When Joseph Medeiros, 27, takes on the role of Seymour Krelborn in the Kansas City Repertory Theatre’s production of “Little Shop of Horrors,” each performance serves as a form of wish-fulfillment.

more at Ink

Read more here:

Lyric Opera "Barber of Seville" review by Paul Horsley

It’s hard to say which opera is the most popular in the repertoire, but The Barber of Seville certainly ranks among the top five. This wittiest of comedies formed a fitting conclusion to what may have been the Lyric Opera’s most distinguished season so far – its first in the Kauffman Center – and the four originally scheduled performances of it were selling so briskly that the company added a fifth.

more at the Independent