Friday, August 31, 2012

"Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 with Chinese Dancing Artist" short film by Lisa Marie Evans

Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 with Chinese Dancing Artist. A collaboration between artists Xu Yun and Lisa Marie Evans during The Hungarian Multicultural Center's Artist in Residence.

Coterie "Dramatic Health Education Project"

KC Actors Theatre "Real Inspector Hound" preview by Robert Trussell

Far be it from me to put words in the mouths of actors, but I think it’s fair to say that the way stage performers view writers whose task it is to critique their efforts is, well, complicated.

more at

Read more here:

Storyteller Bobby Norfolk preview by Bill Blankenship

Bobby Norfolk, an award-winning storyteller from St. Louis, will give free performances Saturday about the Underground Railroad, the Harlem Renaissance and Negro Leagues baseball as part of the Labor Day weekend Heart of America Black Expo: Grant Fest.

more at the Topeka Capital Journal

Professor William Lackey, Mizzou New Music Initiative interview by Amy Wilder

If one were summing William Lackey's personality in a word, the best adjective would be "exuberant." Assistant teaching professor at the University of Missouri School of Music and managing director of the Mizzou New Music Initiative, he radiates enthusiasm about what he does. An educator, composer and collaborator, he is fascinated by individuals' relationships to sound, by technology and by the connections to just about everything that can be made through music.

more at the Columbia Daily Tribune

A look at the Lied Center by Kellie Houx

English poet William Cowper, in his 6,000 lines of blank verse called The Task, wrote, “Variety’s the very spice of life, That gives it all its flavor.” For performing arts presenters such as the Lied Center on the University of Kansas campus, variety means community engagement and enthusiasm. Just ask Executive Director Tim Van Leer.

more at KC Studio

State Fair Community College 2012-2013 Season

State Fair Community College has announced its 2012-13 fine arts and performing arts season.

more at the Sedalia Democrat

Thursday, August 30, 2012

"Third Noir" short film by Timothy Harvey

Criticism of KC Star singles out Robert Trussell

Take Robert Trussell. Let’s set aside the fact that the Star’s theater critic — a very nice man — is habitually unwilling to, you know, criticize local theater. Instead, let’s examine his latest passion: beating the drum about Kansas City’s vigorous, staggering — heroic, even! — support for the arts, while repeating the not-so-novel observation about how great great great that is for the economy.

more at the Pitch

Coterie "Spring Awakening" cast and crew interviews

Meet the cast with highlights from Coterie Theatre's Spring Awakening, writen in 1891, but also a great rock musical! With its affecting score by recording star Duncan Sheik, raging choreography and magnetic young cast, Spring Awakening goes back in time to explore what's changed—and what hasn't—on the path to understanding sex. It is a story of first love and lasting regrets. But most remarkably, it's a musical contemplating questions that teenagers have been asking forever.

Ryan Davis, Alamo Draft House interview by Justin Kendall

As a film fanatic, it doesn’t get much better than working for the Alamo Drafthouse. It’s the kind of job that makes you feel like you’re already living in an alternate reality. One moment you’re discussing your favorite film, and the next you’re ordering the pyrotechnics for the next Action Pack event. I can’t imagine a better job.

more at the Pitch

Starlight "La Cage Aux Folles" review by Robert Trussell

Starlight Theatre closes out its 2012 season with an enjoyable touring production of “La Cage aux Folles,” a venerable stage musical with a big heart and a wacky sense of humor.

more at

Read more here:

Stella Blue "Man's Man's World" performance

Stella Blue performs a slightly political burlesque to this James Brown classic as a special guest of Foxy Von Trap's August Student recital.
This piece originated in Lucky Deluxe's Good Book Variety Revue 2010.

Emily Peterson interview by Deborah Hirsch

Remember the time when you dreamed of being an actor? For Emily Peterson, 23, that childhood wish never went away. So it's a good thing that she has become one of KC's most visible — and accomplished — young performers.

more at the Pitch

Sedalia Symphony 2012-2013 Season

The Sedalia Symphony Orchestra has announced the schedule for its 78th season. 

more at the Sedalia Democrat

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Robert Butler "Movies That Matter" with the KC Public Library

Think you're film literate? Not until you've experienced the masterpieces of world cinema presented as part of this new series. Former Kansas City Star film critic Robert W. Butler (now a member of the Library's Public Affairs staff) provides opening and closing remarks.

Elizabeth Tredent "Madama Butterfly" interview with the Lyric Opera

In the upcoming production of Madama Butterfly, Mezzo-Soprano Elizabeth Tredent, a second year UMKC Kaplan Apprentice, will portray the demanding role of Suzuki.  These days she is busy rehearsing, but not too long ago we had a chance to speak to her about all things opera.

more at the Lyric Opera

Starlight "La Cage Aux Folles" review by kellyluck

Let's Talk (And Sing) About Family Values...
Rating: 5

La Cage Aux Folles
Starlight Theatre Association

A particular irony struck me last night while watching the premiere of the George Hamilton touring company of "La Cage Aux Folles" at the Starlight Theatre: here we were, watching a story about gay families struggling to exist with integrity and love in the face of forces that would sweep them forever away from the daylight world, while in Tampa the real-life equivalent of those same forces were gathering with the most blatantly anti-gay agenda in twenty years. In a way, it seemed almost unreal, how two entirely different sets of ideals could exist in the same country at the same time. But while one group preached conformity, the other celebrated diversity. One doubled down on dogma, driving away any hint of compromise. The other envisioned a world where Family is what you make it, where the full magnificent range of humanity all have a place in this world. The two worlds could not be further apart, but only one leaves room for the other.

Federal grant means changes at Mutual Musicians Foundation

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver attended to accept a plaque in his honor. During his remarks, Rep. Cleaver noted that he had helped secure a $163,000 federal grant which made the new interpretive panels possible.

more at kcjazzlark

Citizen Jane Film Festival preview by Aarik Danielsen

To swipe a line from Michael Stipe, if the end of the world as we know it comes, the organizers of Citizen Jane Film Festival would feel just fine. In fact, they have been preparing for that very inevitability.

more at the Columbia Daily Tribune

Choirs bring old and young together

Though they range from age 3 to 97, the members of the Lawrence Children’s Choir and its senior counterpart, Crescendo, have more in common with each other than they might realize.

more at the Lawrence Journal World

Playwright Donna Ziegenhorn interview by Dan Blom

Bringing a community’s own stories into performance makes a powerful connection for the community and an audience, a power Fairway’s Donna Ziegenhorn believes in and has witnessed through her own work.

more at the Prairie Village Post

KC Ballet "KC Dance Day 2012" thank you

KC Dance Day was a huge success this year. We wanted to thank the Kansas City community for coming out to enjoy the performances and classes. Also, special thanks to all of the groups that helped make our day a success!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

"Catch Up" short film by Lisa Marie Evans

Immersed in a new city, exploring and seeking a sense of identity amongst a foreign culture with limited time.  Created during an artist residency in Budapest through the Hungarian Multicultural Center.

Eula Mary Simmons Harold, Stephens College professor, dead at 81

Eula Mary (Judy)  Simmons Harold graduated from the Julliard School of Music in New York. She was an accomplished cellist. In her 36 years as chair of the Stephens Music Program at Stephens College, she enriched the lives of many.

more at the Missourian

"Vision of a Downtown Arts Campus" video by the KC Public Library

A Paris of the Plains 2.0? Peter Witte, dean of the UMKC Conservatory of Music & Dance thinks building a Downtown Campus for the Arts could do wonders for Kansas City. The Conservatory, along with other UMKC arts departments, plus the KC Rep and KCUR, could all be housed in the proposed 600-student campus next to the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. The Kansas City Art Institute, too, could play a role in this project, which has its eye squarely on making downtown KC an arts & culture hub for the entire region.

[Thanks, Tony]

Rex Hobart "Corridor Classics" short film for Homecoming Hoedown

Corridor Classics | Homecoming Hoedown 2012

Local TV stations create their own local shows

About 10 minutes till air time, and the nervous energy is palpable on the “Kansas City Live” couch, which would probably make a great spot to nap if it didn’t face several TV cameras. The guy half of the attractive blond duo blurts out a cheer: “Let’s go, team, let’s go!”

more at

"Spotlight on Marisa McKay" by Nicole Hall

This article is from the July 2012 issue of KC Stage

If you know anything about burlesque, dance, or yoga in Kansas City, you have most likely heard of a woman called "Madame MacKay", also known as Marisa MacKay-Smith. While the chances of seeing her walk like her legs are sore are high, the chances of seeing her absolutely work it out in a sexy bra and panties are even higher.

How did Marisa MacKay-Smith get started performing?
Apparently, she was delivered ... and then she started dancing. Well, pretty much. She began her dance training at the tender age of three, and while her mother let her cut her gums on many activities - gymnastics, swimming, horse-back riding, girl scouts, violin, and music theory - Marisa ultimately chose dance (and she dove, head first, into it). "Both of my parents have always been super supportive of my hobbies and my career. I just could not imagine myself NOT dancing," Marisa says. By the way, that violin and music theory part ... she studied those for 10 years as well.

As she got older...
Like little dancing kids will usually do, she trained in studios in her native city, Chicago, and in Arizona and Dallas, and went to summer camps (where she also participated in theatre). In high school, she was highly active in theatre and dance, which led to her full involvement at the college level, where she has performed in UMKC Dance Conservatory and KC Rep graduate and undergraduate shows. She made it all the way to New York City to be a paid intern at the Theatre Arts Center, and has studied at the Kansas City Ballet. She holds a Dean's Honor Roll listing from UMKC with a bachelor of fine arts in dance performance and a minor in theatre. Marisa is also a well-known and highly-sought-after choreographer, and has choreographed most dance forms including operas (UMKC opera department) and musicals in and around the Kansas City area. Marisa also proves to be able to lead a group as well as perform in it; artistic director credits include Reach...a movement collective inc., The Smith Project, and Burlesque Downtown Underground. This girl definitely does it all. On and around a stage.

What does Madame MacKay DO all the time?
Marisa is choreographing something, teaching something, or dancing somewhere anywhere from 36 to 50 hours a week - which really only means that she's got a fabulously-in-shape body and super sore legs a majority of the time (it certainly doesn't mean she has loads of money: "It doesn't pay to be an artist," says Marisa matter-of-factly). Currently, she teaches dance at Legacy School of the Arts and at Miss Maria's Acrobat and Dance Studio. She teaches Pilates, yoga, and deep stretch at Element Fitness, and she instructs the intermediate class for burlesque professionals called "The Next Step: Beyond Beginning Burlesque" at Zumba by Mandy.

Her list of where she has worked and performed is literally far too long to include here, but you can pretty much trust that if it's a stage in Kansas City, Marisa has probably been on it. With all this and more as her resume, when she's asked about the strains of her career, she has to put the term "day off" in quotations - undoubtedly because she rarely gets to have one. She gets to sleep, sure, and gets to read the occasional book and drink a glass of wine after peeling herself out of her leotard and into her pajamas at the conclusion of each day ... but then she's back to moving at 5 am or earlier to visuals at a national lingerie company. Concerning her six jobs, excluding the two companies she runs, she exclaims, "I sure am tired by the end of the week!" Although from what I or anybody else can tell, there really is no "end" to her week: she does just as much work on weekends that she does on weekdays. It really takes a lot of love of her craft to stay moving the way she does, and it is undeniably clear how much she appreciates her husband Scott for his unrelenting and immeasurable support.

Let's talk about what Marisa loves.
She loves supporting the arts in Kansas City. If you are holding a Kickstarter or fundraiser, Marisa has probably heard of it, read up on it, and donated to it. She LOVES to be entertained. "I love being in the audience, on the other side of the curtain." And she has a recognizable affinity for the theatre in Kansas City specifically. There are so many kinds of theatre happening in Kansas City, and she loves to be a part of it all. She loves her husband Scott, who seems to be her rock amidst the crazy life she has. She loves learning about all her students. "Every class is different; every student is in my class for their own reasons," Marisa says excitedly about her teaching experiences.

How was Madame MacKay born?
Marisa was challenged to produce a burlesque show about five years ago - and in those five years, she has managed to produce, arguably, the best and most entertaining burlesque company in Kansas City, Burlesque Downtown Underground. She has worked and works with such performers as Katie Gilchrist, Aurelie Roque, Stephen Plante, Laura Jacobs, Steven Eubank, Bob Paisley, Kyle Hatley, Grant Prewitt, Matt Rapport, and Bobbi Foudree. She assembles casts of extremely entertaining, talented, and funny performers, and they all work together to create the kinds of shows that are making Kansas City known for its booming, bountiful, and bawdy burlesque. In addition to her Kansas City shows and commitments, Marisa just can't keep from spreading her wings as far as they'll go: she has shimmied in New Orleans, St. Louis, Chicago, and Dallas. This fall, she plans to teach and perform in Wichita, perform in Colorado, and on her birthday she'll be primping-up to perform at the House of Blues in New Orleans - again.

When can you see the fabulous Marisa MacKay-Smith next?
This summer, she will be appearing and performing in the Windy City Burlesque Festival before she produces and performs in her fifth KC Fringe Festival. This year, BDU and Van Ella Productions (St. Louis) will join forces to knock the socks off the Kansas City crowd in their Carnivalesque Collaboration, "Burlesque and Beggars". Performances are July 20 - 28, and will take place at the Todd Bolender Center for Dance & Creativity. Tickets will be $10, coupled with the price of a Fringe button ($5) - making a grand total of $15 for this live burlesque performance. For more information on this production, visit the KC Fringe Festival's website at

Nicole Hall has a BFA in theatre performance and minor credits in English and philosophy from the University of Central Missouri. When not choreographing productions, Nicole can be seen performing all around the Kansas City area.

Kansas State Fiddling and Picking Championships review by Meagan Thomas

Groups of musicians sat in circles Sunday afternoon in South Park strumming their instruments or listening to the concert performers during the 32nd annual Kansas State Fiddling and Picking Championships. Although it is a competition, a large part of the atmosphere of the event is music participation, camaraderie and jam sessions between performances.

more at the Lawrence Journal World

Mutual Musicians Foundation patron interviews by Susan Wilson

For more than eighty years, the small two-story building at 1823 Highland Avenue has been the heart of Kansas City jazz.  Today it’s the Mutual Musician’s Foundation, but in 1917, the building became the headquarters for the Local 627 Colored Musician’s Union. Over the decades, nearly every jazz great in the country has jammed here, and the all-night weekend jam sessions have also served as training grounds for jazz students.

more at KC Currents

Monday, August 27, 2012

Jeff Beith, Stephen Goldblatt, Bazillion interviews on "CinemaKC" plus shorts

Cinema KC 'Bazillion' August-2012

The IBG Star 3D Experience '2D Version'

Bamboo Forest (2D Version)

Sprint M2M 'Domino's'

Topeka Civic Theatre patron awards

"Avenue Q," the puppet musical for adults, topped the balloting by Topeka Civic Theatre & Academy patrons for the best main stage show of the 2011-12 season.

more at the Topeka Capital Journal

ArtsKC Fund doles out over $300,000 in grants

The Arts Council of Metropolitan Kansas City announced $327,837 in new grants to local artists, arts organizations, and arts programming through the ArtsKC Fund.  The ArtsKC Fund includes grants in three categories; Ovation, Catalyst and Inspiration, all of which were represented in this cycle.  Ovation and Catalyst grants are awarded to arts organizations for either general or program support while Inspiration grants are awarded to individual artists and arts professionals.

more at ArtsKC

Olathe Community Theatre "I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change" review by BRN2ACT33

Talent Abounds at OCTA's I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change.
Rating: 5

I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change
Olathe Community Theatre Association

What an amazingly talented cast, brilliantly directed by Shelly Stewart and musical direction by Kevin Hershberger.

Individually and collectively, this wonderful cast entertained the audience with their energy, comic timing, and emotional renderings of dating, love, and marriage. Guy Gardner's choreography was just right for this small ensemble. The simple set let the cast shine in their performances and the numerous set changes moved flawlessly.

It is easy to praise this talented cast and directors (stage and musical) but I was particularly struck by the musical accompaniment. Jonathan Schriock on violin was amazing!

Trumpeter Hermon Mehari tours KC

No two days are alike in the life of 24-year-old professional trumpet player Hermon Mehari. And that's just the way he likes it, whether he's fronting a jazz quartet in the rough-walled, acoustically awesome basement bar of the Majestic Restaurant or sharing American music with an audience in Paris.  

more at MSN   

[Thanks, Reddit]

Week-on-Stage: August 27-September 3

Auditions for this week
  • A Piece of My Heart - Summit Theatre Group
  • Dracula - KCKCC Theatre Department
  • God of Carnage - Independent Actors Theatre
  • Hairspray - KCKCC Theatre Department
  • The Mystery of Edwin Drood - JCCC, Department of Theatre
  • The Nerd - City Theatre of Independence*
  • Theatre for Young America 2012-13 Season Auditions - Theatre for Young America*
Performances for this week
  • JTS Brown Show - The KC Improv Company (Closes Sep 29)
  • La Cage Aux Folles - Starlight Theatre Association (Closes Sep 2)
  • Lawrence Opera Works! - Lawrence Opera Works (Closes Aug 27)
  • Social Security - New Theatre Restaurant (Closes Nov 4)
  • The Kitchen Witches - A.R.T.S., Inc. (Closes Sep 2)
  • The Real Inspector Hound - Kansas City Actors Theatre (Closes Sep 14)
Events for this week
  • Drama Classes - Avila - Theatre for Young America*
  • Drama Classes - Wonderscope - Theatre for Young America*
  • Titanic: The Artifacts Exhibition - Union Station Kansas City, Inc.
  • Trust Us, This Is All Made Up - KC Improv Festival
Theatre Reviews

Ratings - Top Ten Rated Shows of the Last 3 Months
  • 5.00 A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum - Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre. (4 Votes)
  • 5.00 The 39 Steps - Theatre Atchison. (2 Votes)
  • 5.00 Cairo on the Kaw Raks the Cradle - KC Fringe Festival. (2 Votes)
  • 5.00 Dances of India - KC Fringe Festival. (2 Votes)
  • 5.00 Down to Monterey - KC Fringe Festival. (2 Votes)
  • 4.50 Cinderella - Raytown Arts Council. (2 Votes)
  • 4.50 Rhino - KC Fringe Festival. (2 Votes)
  • 4.50 Underneath the Lintel - KC Fringe Festival. (2 Votes)
  • 4.50 Peter Pan - Starlight Theatre Association. (2 Votes)
Reviews - Five Most Recent of Past Performances
  • 4.50 The Mousetrap - Kansas City Actors Theatre. (2 Votes)
  • 4.34 Revolution: A Tribute to the Beatles - The Barn Players, Inc. (44 Votes)
  • 4.30 I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change - Olathe Community Theatre Association. (81 Votes)
  • 3.25 Aida - Starlight Theatre Association. (4 Votes) 
  • 3.22 Twelfth Night, or What You Will - She&Her Productions. (9 Votes)

Jeff Harshbarger interview with the KC Area Development Council

Jeff Harshbarger | KCCXR Portrait

[Thanks, Plastic Sax]

Gerald Spaits Quartet photos by kcjazzlark

I ran into Gerald the night before. I told him I’d be at Take Five the next evening to hear his group, and I’d bring my camera. I’ve featured plenty of the terrific young jazz musicians in Kansas City today, but not so many of the guys who…. “Are old?” Gerald interjected.

more at kcjazzlark

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Short nature films by Stephen Locke

"Natural Kansas"

Supercell Sunset

Tempest Night

Evening Bell

The Dark is Here

Mammatus Loop

Kingfisher Supercell

Timothy Mooney "Greatest Speech of All Time" performances

Tim Mooney describes the concept and the impetus behind "The Greatest Speech of All Time," his new one-man play, depicting monologues from Socrates, Mark Antony, Frederick Douglass, Lincoln, Teddy & Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Martin Luther King. Mooney describes the power that lives inside the words and his intent to explore them for the modern audience. (Video captured from a live performance of the show at the Kansas City Fringe Festival.)

Tim Mooney presents Frederick Douglass' famous "The Hypocrisy of American Slavery" (also known as "What to the American Slave is the Fourth of July?") as part of "The Greatest Speech of All Time," presented at the Kansas City Fringe Festival, July, 2012. Mooney effectively captures the soaring rhetoric and emotional power of the speech. Is this "the greatest speech of all time?" Share your thoughts in the comments below!

City in Motion "Tap Jam" photos by Mike Strong

Billie Mahoney's Tap Jam at the Uptown Arts Bar
Presented by City in Motion Thursday August 2, 2012 - 3611 Broadway, Kansas City, Missouri

more at KC Dance

Coterie "Spring Awakening" preview by Topher Levin

When you’re a theater company known for adventurous teen programming, living up to your reputation often means thinking outside the box and challenging yourself to present unique and surprising programs to your audiences. With the Coterie Theatre’s upcoming production of the award-winning Broadway musical Spring Awakening, the theater looks set to raise the bar yet again. 

more at Camp

St. Andrew Pipes & Drums preview by Susan Fotovich McCabe

There’s no mistaking the distinctive sounds of the Great Highland bagpipe. Every note stirs the deepest of emotions and evokes images of the misty Highlands of Scotland, a parade, folk dances and even a military or funeral service. Few will disagree that with a talented piper at the helm, the bagpipe commands the attention of anyone within earshot of this instrumental dynamo.

more at Lee's Summit Lifestyle

Kauffman Center garage photos by Eric Bowers

Photos Friday morning just after 6am at the Kauffman Center’s Arts District Garage – downtown Kansas City MO.

more at Eric Bowers Photoblog

Lyric Opera "At Ease With Opera" program helps you brush up on Italian

Debra Karr, an instructor in the Italian department at the University of Kansas, presented “Andiamo all’opera” (or “Let’s Go to the Opera”), which covered the use of Italian in opera librettos and highlighted some common phases to become familiar with.  Below you can view or download the presentation and brush up on your Italian in preparation for Madama Butterfly.

more at the Lyric Opera

Deborah Sandler, Lyric Opera interview by Robert Trussell

Something’s happening in Kansas City. That, Deborah Sandler said recently, is clear. The arts are on the move. But the reason they are, in the view of the new general director of the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, may be the most significant thing about this sunbaked prairie town: Its determined support of its arts institutions and utter defiance of a tattered economy.

more at

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Fall music preview by Patrick Neas

Last year’s spectacular opening of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts was one for the history books, but the 2012-13 classical music season is far from anticlimactic.

more at

Fall music and dance preview by Libby Hanssen

Homegrown artistry proliferates in America’s creative crossroads. Kansas City’s numerous music and dance events this fall, along with the international acts that travel through town, further the region’s arts-hub reputation.

more at

Fall jazz preview by Bill Brownlee

A visit by the genre’s most luminescent figure, a concert by the pianist DownBeat recently crowned as its artist of the year and appearances by several hometown heroes are highlights of Kansas City’s fall jazz calendar.

more at

Fall theatre preview by Robert Trussell

The fall theater lineup is, in a word, eclectic. Megamusicals? They’re on their way. Sprawling historical epics? One of those is in the pipeline. Hip, contemporary theater? Got it. Revisited modern classics? We have those, too. Intimate theater? There’s plenty of that. We even have some PG-13 children’s theater.

more at

"Jim Leedy: The Documentary" preview by Laura Spencer

The Crossroads, a once blighted area in downtown Kansas City, is now a thriving arts district. But in the early 1980s, when it was full of rundown warehouses, some called it simply Leedyville, a nod to artist Jim Leedy, who encouraged other artists to set up studios - and businesses to move to the area.

more at KCUR

UMKC Downtown Campus on "The Local Show"

One of the KC's Chamber's Big 5 ideas calls for relocating the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance to a downtown/Crossroads location. Randy Mason visits the three proposed sites and discusses the merits of each, as well as the need for such a move with UMKC Conservatory Dean Peter Witte.

Greg Fox, Dino O'Dell preview by Bill Blankenship

Audience members from children to seniors should hear something that will satisfy their musical tastes at a free concert Sunday staged by Topeka's First United Methodist Church.

more at the Topeka Capital Journal

Friday, August 24, 2012

BranitVFX Summer 2012 demo reel

Branit Demo in Progress 06-28

Kauffman Center picked as "World's Most Memorable Theatre"

Although performing arts centers worldwide today hire the globe's top architects to design their theaters, the trend actually dates back long before the 21st century.

more at the Huffington Post

[Thanks, Reddit]

Grace Cathedral "Chamber Music Delights" preview by Bill Blankenship

Grace Cathedral will begin the 10th season of its Great Spaces Music & Arts Series with a Friday concert it has titled "Chamber Music Delights."

more at the Topeka Capital Journal

Richard Renner "Lawrence Busker Festival" interview

Freaks, geeks, oddiites, and artists are about to run wild in Lawrence. Richard Renner told us all about the Lawrence Busker Festival where everything you thought was impossible happens right before your eyes.

more at Fox4KC

Fundraiser for barbecue documentary

Two Kansas Citians hope to get people fired up about local barbecue through a documentary, which they’re trying to finance using a Kickstarter campaign.

more at the KC Business Journal

Olathe Community Theatre "I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change" review by PeterL87

Wonderful Musical!
Rating: 5

I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change
Olathe Community Theatre Association

I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change is an incredibly funny, heartfelt, and beautifully performed musical. I was incredibly impressed by the stage direction by Shelly Stewart, the musical direction by Kevin Hershberger, as well as the talent of the cast itself.

I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change is an ensemble show with a small cast of six performers. Each performer seemed to bring a different element to the table and there were many different levels of talent in this cast. Although some of their individual performances may have fallen short for me, they managed to come together as a whole and put together a beautiful piece of theatre.

I was most disappointed by the performance given by MB Hurst. I was not impressed by her vocals and her acting left much to be desired. Throughout many of her scenes I felt a bit uncomfortable for her as it didn't seem that she was confident in the work she was producing on stage. Although to me she was the weakest link in this production, she did manage to impress during the last scene of the show.

Rachel Adcock may not have been the best actor in the show, but she definitely had the best vocals. Her solo song "I Will Be Loved" was beautifully performed and had the entire crowd on her side.

Sarah Montoya may not have the best voice in the show, but she is definitely the most talented actor in the cast. She seemed to carry every scene that she is in with the poise and confidence of a seasoned actor well beyond her years. I was also, like the other reviewers, most impressed by her final monologue given. The emotion that she was able to capture was endearing and heartbreaking.

John Cleary was extremely amusing and fun to watch. The only issue I had with his performance was that I felt that I was watching the same person in every scene. Although that person was incredibly funny, I would have liked to have seen some variety in his acting.

James Levy & Kevin Rehrer didn't get much time to act in scenes, but their vocals were top-notch. I was incredibly impressed with the voice that came out of James Levy during the final song in Act I. He has a strong and beautiful voice that I wish I could have heard more. Kevin Rehrer is also very vocally talented and has, as someone else mentioned, great comedic timing.

All in all although I had some problems with individual performances, the cast as a whole was very talented and entertaining to watch. Do yourself a favor and get down to Olathe Community Theatre to check out this wonderful show before it closes!

Lawrence Busker Festival preview by Jabulani Leffall

On this Thursday's Central Standard, an extreme pogo performer, a sword swallower, and a look at this year’s Lawrence Busker Festival.

more at Central Standard

Heidi Van, Patrick Conway interview by Steve Walker

Since 2008, the Charlotte Street Foundation has recognized creative Kansas Citians who, within their various genres, consistently produce original and innovative work that often falls outside the mainstream. Selected for this year's Generative Performing Artist Awards are composer and musician Patrick Conway and theater artist Heidi Van.

more at KCUR

Alamo Draft House offering bike valet service

I'm a biker.  I try to ride my bike anywhere throughout the day that is less than five miles away.  Over the years, I've had a couple of bikes stolen and I've even had my front rim bent from some jerkwad kicking it for no reason.  Other than occasionally sweating through my work clothes, the risk to my bike while being parked on the street is the only downside to being a bike commuter.

more at the Alamo Draft House

Thursday, August 23, 2012

48 Hour Film Festival "Indestructible" entry by Zodiac Cinema

Zodiac Cinema's entry for the 48HFP Kansas City 2012.

more at Vimeo

Washburn University "The World is My Home" preview by Bill Blankenship

A one-man show, "The World Is My Home — The Life of Paul Robeson," will on Saturday evening at Washburn University chronicle the remarkable and controversial athlete, actor, singer, cultural scholar, author and political activist.

more at the Topeka Capital Journal

KC Actors Theatre "Mousetrap" preview by Steve Walker

When Kansas City Actors Theatre started fishing for a theme for the launch of its eighth season, the founders first picked one play, then tailored a similar one around that. They are now poised to give audiences what they're calling its "Summer of Mystery."

more at KCUR

Elizabeth Caballero "Madama Butterfly" interview with the Lyric Opera

We recently spoke with Elizabeth Caballero, returning to the Company after a critically acclaimed Lyric Opera debut performance of LiĆ¹ in Turandot, who is starring as Cio-Cio-San (a.k.a. Madama Butterfly) in the production opening in the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts on September 15th.  Read all about Ms. Caballero’s career and her start in the box office for an opera company.

more at the Lyric Opera

Barbara Eden "Social Security" interview by Steve Kraske

You may know her best for her starring role in I Dream of Jeannie, but Barbara Eden has been a working actor and entertainer for more than six decades. From an uncredited spot as College Girl to leading lady opposite Elvis Presley to headlining in Las Vegas, Miss Eden has rarely slowed down in a long and varied career.

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George Hamilton "La Cage Aux Folles" interview by Robert Trussell

The other day I rang up George Hamilton. He was out in L.A., catching some rays poolside. And my first thought was: Well, where else would he be?

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