Monday, December 31, 2012

Mark Lowrey "Tangos for 18th Street" review by Tony Botello

Just listened to a couple of tracks from Mark Lowrey's latest set of songs. So far, here's what we think . . .

more at Tony's Kansas City

Best local music videos of 2012 by Happy in Bag

Mac Lethal and Strange Music aren't the only Kansas City-affiliated entities making worthwhile music videos.  One of several brilliant Cody Critcheloe efforts tops the list of my ten favorite entries of 2012.   

more at There Stands the Glass

Steve Paul collects trenscendant artistic moments of 2012

The assignment was deceptively simple: Tell us a story of one experience of the year during which you felt transported by art. Culture has the power to change our lives, to expand our hearts, to help us learn about and understand our increasingly complicated world. Undoubtedly it occurred in your world sometime this year. Here is how some of our local artists, trendsetters, regular contributors and culture professionals found moments of art in their lives in.

more at

kcjazzlark offers a KC Jazz Christmas Carol

“The young care for it not,” he scowled, “so its fate I may foretell. Though blessed its audience may once have been, they now pass with the ages, and increasingly swift. Young musicians strike with hip-hop, with rap, and not with this genre now forsaken, its day of prominence passed. And with none to grow its art, its molding scores enjoyed by the withering few, its fate I declare sealed. Nay, not even as a niche may this music survive.

more at kcjazzlark
and part 2
and a response from Plastic Sax

Wichita filmmaker wins regional Emmy with "Wayman Tisdale Story"

With newsman and documentarian Bill Kurtis as an uncle, Wichita-born Brian Schodorf grew up exposed to the world of TV journalism, but the Chicago-based filmmaker, 29, has made his own mark in the field.

more at the Topeka Capital Journal

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sinag-Tala "Hiyas" performance at the Folly

Sinag Tala Hiyas YT

Kinnor Philharmonic New Year Concert preview

The Kinnor Philharmonic Orchestra's New Year's celebration concert is Tuesday, Jan. 1 at 3 p.m.

more at NBC Action News

Auburn Community Center 2013 Season includes films

The coming attractions at the Auburn Community Center will include films as the Auburn Community Theater will alternate classic movies with stage plays during its 2013 season.

more at the Topeka Capital Journal

Friday, December 28, 2012

KC Ballet Guild photos by Larry Levenson

A special photo provided the perfect holiday gathering for Kansas City Ballet Guild parents of children in the cast of this year’s Nutcracker. More than 200 roles are filled by professional dancers and local students.The Nutcracker runs through December 23rd at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts with music by the Kansas City Symphony. 

more at the Independent

Midwest Center for Holocaust Education film series preview

From the 1930s to the present, American filmmakers’ varied depictions of Adolf Hitler, the Nazis and the genocide of European Jewry have always involved a coming together of art, commerce, politics and history. In turn, these representations have exerted a profound influence on popular culture as well as public perception of and opinion about these events.

more at the KC Jewish Chronicle

Kyle Hatley "Christmas Carol" interview by Jabulani Leffall

On the first half of Monday's Central Standard, we are joined by Kyle Hatley, director of A Christmas Carol now playing at the Kansas City Repertory Theatre, to discuss how this year's production differs from the shows of Christmas' past.

more at Central Standard

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Nature and history at Burr Oak Woods Nature Center

The Missouri Department of Conservation and Burr Oak Woods Nature Center feature two films with spectacular nature scenes and fascinating history will be the highlight.

more at Infozine

"Chorus #113" short film by Alex Kane "experimental" film interpretation of one of my favorite Jack Kerouac poems.

Local artist Stretch debuts "Eating the Enemy" on Animal Planet

Kansas City artist and restaurant owner Stretch gets his own reality TV show tomorrow.

more at the Midtown KC Post
and at the Pitch

2012 Year in Jazz by Joe Klopus

See? That wasn’t so bad now, was it? So 2012 didn’t start too well for Kansas City jazz, what with that whole kerfluffle about Jardine’s closing and staying closed. In the end, that major setback didn’t create a crisis for the scene at large, as many of us had feared. And some developments along the way helped to offset the loss of opportunities for jazz gigs.

more at

2012 Year in Theatre by Robert Trussell

Patience does not come easily to theater critics, but after decades of delayed gratification, I was the recipient of a couple of major artistic gifts in 2012. Here’s why: Two of the theater community’s bolder, brasher and more audacious performance companies put up shows I had been waiting years to see.

more at

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Singer Darcus Gates interview by Cindy Hoedel

Darcus Gates owns Darcus Nail Salon and Day Spa, 4721 Tracy. Gates is also a professional singer. She performs Jan. 11 at the Blue Room. She and her husband, George, son of barbecue baron Ollie Gates, have three children and four grandchildren and live in Kansas City.

more at

Drummer Billy Brimblecom interview by Melissa Treolo

In August of 2005, 28-year-old Billy Brimblecom went through surgery to remove his left leg. Earlier that year, doctors had identified the source of the pain Brimblecom had been experiencing in the leg for several years: Ewing’s sarcoma, a cancer of the bone. Brimblecom had always attributed the pain he would feel off and on to an earlier car accident. But worsening pain had motivated the trip to the doctor’s office, where multiple tests, including a biopsy, led to the discovery of the cancer.

more at the Dispatch

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Independent Filmmakers Coalition Christmas video card

The Independent Filmmaker's Coalition of Kansas City, joined this year by the Kansas City Women In Film & TV, once again brings you it's holiday wishes to all those friends and family who have traveled near and far. We miss you, and hope this Holiday Season is bringing you happiness and joy!

Mayor's Christmas Tree time-lapse video

Here's a look at the assembly and decoration of the 2012 Mayor's Christmas Tree at Crown Center in Kansas City, Mo. The 100-foot-tall Douglas fir is donated by Cascade Timber Consulting Inc. of Oregon. In order for the tree to meet oversized load limits for interstate highways, the branches are pulled toward the trunk (some are cut off and reattached upon the end of its 2,000 mile journey to Kansas City). Upon arrival, workers spend about two weeks assembling the tree and decorating its with about 7,200 white lights and more than 1,200 ornaments. This is a look at that process!

After the holidays, the tree is shipped to a local lumber company to be recycled. The wood is milled into lumber and used to create Hallmark-designed Mayor's Christmas Tree ornaments. Proceeds from ornament sales benefit the Mayor's Christmas Tree Fund, which assists thousands of Kansas City residents each year.

Happy Holidays from the KC Repertory Theatre

The cast, crew and staff of Kansas City Repertory Theatre wish you all a Happy Holiday!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Cirque du Soleil performer Alicia Enstrom comes home for the holidays

Not all the marvels of Cirque du Soleil happen under the spotlights. This year, a touring schedule miracle for Cirque's "Quidam" production means its troupe member from Topeka will be home for Christmas and New Year's Eve.

more at the Topeka Capital Journal

Liberty North band to play at presidential inauguration

A local high school band is getting the chance of a lifetime in the new year. They get to play at the Presidential Inauguration next month, an honor bestowed on only one band from each state.

more at NBC Action News

"NV in KC" short film by Judith Levy

NV in KC: a story about envy among artists in Kansas City

NV in KC, is a humorous and insightful film about envy among artists and institutions in Kansas City. Blending fictional narrative and documentary interviews, it is a diary-like story about artist Lee J. Ross and her struggles to come to terms with her own feelings and those of her friends.

[Thanks, Tony]

William Whitener, KC Ballet interview by Kellie Houx

Kansas City Ballet Artistic Director William Whitener calls his departure from Kansas City and return to New York as his preparation for his third act. The first act was the transition from young Seattle dancer to the great dance centers of the world, to Broadway and film. Act II saw Whitener bring his experience in the world of dance here to Kansas City Ballet for 17 seasons, reaching a glorious peak during the 2012-13 season with Kansas City Ballet’s move into their two outstanding new dance facilities: the Todd Bolender Center for Dance & Creativity, KCB’s stunning new dance center and home, and the Ballet’s new stage… the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.

more at KC Studio

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Owen/Cox "Nutcracker and the Mouse King" review by Robert Trussell

Most of the viewers who showed up at the Folly Theater Saturday night knew they weren’t there for a traditional holiday show. The Owen/Cox Dance Group’s jazz-dance retelling of “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King” received a rousing response from an audience that largely bought into the postmodern, deadpan humor of the piece.

more at

Juggler Crazy Boy Coy promo by Metaphor Media

Crazy Boy Coy is a professional idiot. Whether he is juggling five objects, putting himself through a 13 inch tennis racket or eating and breathing fire he is both amusing and engaging. He also uses audience participation to accomplish some of his stunts, most notably juggling fire torches while standing on a 2 foot plastic globe. With tons of fire, buckets of skill and dashingly good looks, what's not to love!

KC Repertory "Christmas Carol" ghost interview by Julie Denesha

Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol opens on a "cold, bleak, biting" Christmas Eve. It's seven years after the death of Jacob Marley, the business partner of the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge.  Scrooge and Tiny Tim may get the best lines, but it's the ghosts who really move the plot along.

more at KCUR

Cynthia Levin interview by Kellie Houx

In ancient folklore, the unicorn was often seen as a creature with the ability to bestow magical and medicinal properties. Here in Kansas City, the Unicorn Theatre may just be the place for a medicinal balm for the spirit and a magical journey that looks at a different place in contemporary culture.

more at KC Studio

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Starlight marketing director Adam Watson interview by Amber Mobley

Watson played football for one year at Central High School in St. Joseph. But he found his way to the stage during the off-season for his high school’s production of “Hello, Dolly!”

more at Ink

Aerial footage of Kansas City

evening and night HD aerial video of kansas city downtown, sprint center and liberty memorial.

Owen/Cox "Nutcracker" performance

Even jaded people who've endured enough versions of the Nutcracker to last several lifetimes and music-centric people who are reluctant to attend the ballet will marvel at the embedded video.

more at Plastic Sax

Tenor Michael Fabiano interview by Kellie Houx

Rising star and tenor Michael Fabiano has performed in operas all over the world. Critics are praising his voice and his performances in places like the Metropolitan Opera, the English National Opera, San Francisco Opera, Dresden Semperoper and Opéra National de Paris. Now, he plans to make his American recital debut as part of the Harriman-Jewell Series in Kansas City Jan. 19.

more at KC Studio

Friday, December 21, 2012

History of KCUR documentary short

Among the first crop of NPR radio stations, KCUR has been a fixture in the Kansas City community for decades. Through good times and bad, the stations has grown thanks to a talented staff and dedicated community support. After guiding the healthy station into the 21st century, KCUR's longtime general manager, Patty Cahill, retired in 2012.

City in Motion "Modern Nigth at the Folly" preview by Kellie Houx

Legendary modern choreographer and teacher Martha Graham once said, “We look at the dance to impart the sensation of living in an affirmation of life, to energize the spectator into keener awareness of the vigor, the mystery, the humor, the variety, and the wonder of life. This is the function of the American dance.”

more at KC Studio

Thursday, December 20, 2012

KC "Christmas Story" cast meets NY "Christmas Story" cast

This past month, some of the kids from prior productions of A Christmas Story, The Musical (Kansas City world premiere and 1st National Tour) reunited with the current Broadway members.

"Thank you ArtsKC"


Karrin Allyson, Dave Scott preview by Joe Klopus

This time of year, we look for friends whose paths have taken them away from the Midwest to come home for the holidays. And some of those friends are enlivening the jazz calendar this week.

more at

Read more here:

KC Repertory "Death of a Salesman" preview by Kellie Houx

In 2011, Kansas City Rep’s artistic director Eric Rosen cast veteran Kansas City actors Meryl Moores and Gary Neal Johnson in the modern stage classic August: Osage County. They didn’t play husband and wife in that production, but Rosen knew where to turn when he was casting.

more at KC Studio

UMKC Conservatory Crossroads Concert in New York

On March 9, 2012, UMKC composers and musicians, faculty, students, and alumni, performed at New York City's famed (le) poisson rouge! Here is our story.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Actress Anita Codell interview by Justin Kendall

Describe a recent triumph: Receiving two awards at the San Diego Christian Film Festival and receiving the Altman Grant for Filmmakers here in KC.

more at the Pitch

New Grain Valley cinema preview by Karl ZInke

Eastern Jackson County residents now have a new option when deciding where to go see a movie.

more at the Examiner

Musical Theatre Heritage "Place Called Home" performance

Jacob Aaron Cullum and 10 yr old Jordan Hass deliver a plaintive, beautiful and dual perspective rendition of A PLACE CALLED HOME at Musical Theater Heritage's A SPECTACULAR CHRISTMAS, playing December 6 - 23 in Kansas City. for tickets and details.

Unicorn "Soul Collector" review by Deborah Hirsch

Lester Dupree is out to save your soul — and make a mean living doing it. In his new play, Ron Simonian plays the pastor in a portrayal that mimics televangelists and their money-raking techniques. Yet The Soul Collector, at the Unicorn Theatre, falls short of satire or parody. Despite multiple targets — an invasive religious right, a combative and divisive fundamentalism — it misses its mark.

more at the Pitch

KC Studio year in review by Kellie Houx

I was thinking back to the year that was as I count down the days to Christmas and New Year’s Eve. There’s something awesome and a little daunting when you look back at the work you have accomplished that year. In a way, I am little amazed at how many words I typed and how many people I interviewed during the past year. In return, I have merely been the vehicle, the transport from the conversation to the printed magazine that reaches thousands in the metropolitan area.

more at KC Studio

Laura Wolfe "Nutcracker" interview with the KC Ballet

Company Dancer Laura Wolfe talks about her role as The Sugar Plum Fairy in Kansas City Ballet's production of "The Nutcracker."

Amy Farrand interview by Steve Kraske

"I've never been the kind of person to say 'I don’t think I could do that' but more like 'I’m gonna do THAT!', says singer/songwriter Amy Farrand and from early childhood that attitude has shaped her life both in and out of the music scene.

more at Up to Date

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Little Lancer Dancers half-time show at Shawnee Mission East

For hours on Sunday, nearly 200 young ladies who hold dreams of someday performing with SM East’s nationally recognized dance team got a chance to see what being a Lancer Dancer is all about.

more at the Prairie Village Post

Robert Diamond "Drum Off" interview by Michelle Davidson

Robert Diamond is just 16 years old, but he's in the finals for a national "Drum Off" competition. He is a junior at Gardner Edgerton High School and is the youngest person in the finals.

B&B Theatres opening new cinema in Grain Valley

B&B Theatres is headquartered in the Northland, and they're getting ready to open a new theatre in Grain Valley. The theatre's grand opening is Wednesday, December 19 at 6:00 p.m. The Red Carpet Gala is a fundraiser for the Grain Valley Assistance Council, and the first 100 people in line will receive a free goodie bag.

Marketplace 8
1131 North East McQuerry Rd
Grain Valley, MO 64029

KKFI "Shots in the Night" radio theatre

2012 Show - Shots in the Night - a KKFI Radio Theater Production UNDEAD Coverage of the 103rd Kansas City Lamplighters' Parade (Zombies included)

more at Soundcloud

kcjazzlark picks local jazz gift ideas

Not a week before Christmas, a friend came to me.
“I need KC jazz! It must be on CD!
It needs to be music released just this year,
Exceptional songs you know I'll want to hear.
I have a new girlfriend who I must impress
With new KC jazz music. So only the best.”

more at kcjazzlark

"Spotlight on Jon Weimer" by Kelly Luck

This article is from the October 2012 issue of KC Stage

It's not easy thing being an independent filmmaker. You have to deal with the lack of money and dearth of outside funding in these financially uncertain times. Or people who, when you tell them you're making an independent film, automatically think "porn". Locations which flat-out refuse to allow you to film, or demand rates that would make a major studio flinch. Leads who move across the country three-quarters of the way through filming because they "want an Asian girlfriend". Stoned sound guys. Spending thousands of dollars for an animatronic monster and getting nothing to show for it.

But none of that stops Jon Weimer.

Tuba Christmas review by Zack Levandowski

Tuba Christmas was founded by Harvey Phillips, a Missouri native, more than 30 years ago.  It brings tuba and euphonium players together once a year to play a concert of traditional holiday songs for the season.

more at KC Currents

Plastic Sax picks the top jazz stories of 2012

1. Gone for good.  In the early months of 2012 it was still possible to believe that Jardine's, the busiest and most popular jazz club in Kansas City, would somehow be revived.  It didn't happen.

more at Plastic Sax

Monday, December 17, 2012

Mayor's Task Force for the Arts public meeting invite

You are invited to participate in the kick-off of Envision Arts and Culture KC, the arts and culture planning project of the Mayor's Task Force for the Arts on Monday, January 28 from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. at ArtsTech, 1522 Holmes, KCMO, 64108.

The Mayor's Task Force for the Arts is designed to address the need for a public aspect to the development and promotion of the city's cultural framework. The work of this Task Force and resulting report will create a path for the city toward deeper engagement with the citizens of Kansas City that will make the arts more purposeful, rewarding, and meaningful for our community.

This Envision Arts and Culture KC planning project aims to find out what you and your fellow citizens think about arts and culture in the community.  Planning sessions are community conversations, led by volunteers, where small groups of citizens meet to talk about the arts and culture in your community - what are people doing now? What types of arts and culture events do you enjoy? What do you want to see in the future? What are the priorities?

Several Artist INC fellows are volunteer facilitators and agreed that organizing a conversation of other Artist INC fellows would be a great opportunity for the voices of artists to be front and center in this process.  As the kick-off session, Mayor Sly James will be joining us to launch this campaign, so make plans to attend this event so that you can be heard and help determine the future of the arts & culture in Kansas City. 

Anat Cohen Quartet review by Bill Brownlee

The inspiration for “Anat’s Dance,” the title of a selection performed by the Anat Cohen Quartet at the Folly Theater on Friday, wasn’t difficult to discern. Cohen spent much of the evening rapturously swaying, displaying uninhibited salsa moves and pumping a fist in the air.

more at

"Christmas in Kansas City" celebrates 30 years

It all started at the Chapman Recording studio, then at Fifth and Broadway. It was 1982, and musicians would get together at the studio after their gigs to jam. Owner Chuck Chapman himself was in a band in those days.

more at

KC Film Critics Circle announces best flms of 2012

Well, we had a lot of fun arguing and pitching our ideas for what films should win what award and in the end, the crew here at Lost in Reviews are pretty happy with the turn out. There were 31 members voting this year for the KCFCC’s 46th annual vote. Check out the winners below, as well as the films that took second place! This list is full of really impressive films and we recommend you get out there and start checking them out if you haven’t already!

more at Lost in Reviews

City Council considerng removing hotel exemption for non-profits

The Kansas City Council will consider an ordinance that would call for an April 2 election to let voters could decide whether to remove nonprofit exemptions from the 7.5 percent convention and tourism tax charged to everyone else using city hotels.

more at the KC Business Journal

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Musical Theatre Heritage "Spectacular Christmas" review by Robert Trussell

Each year Musical Theater Heritage tweaks its annual holiday show, “A Spectacular Christmas,” so no two editions are exactly alike. That’s a good thing, but the basic formula doesn’t change. And it might be time for an overhaul.

more at

Foxy by Proxy "Miracle on Mass. Street" preview by Sara Sneath

About two and a half years ago, Emma Swendson went on break from her job at Juice Stop so she could go change into something a little sexier. She was trying out for a burlesque troupe.

more at

Owen/Cox, KC Ballet "Nutrcackers" reviews 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 Culture Mob

Metropolitan Ensemble "Animal Farm" preview by Robert Trussell

Guy Masterson, as theatergoers who have attended the annual British Invasion know, is a visceral performer – aggressively physical, facially pliant and vocally versatile as he ranges from falsetto to bass.

more at

Village Presbyterian "Tidings of Joy" preview by Patrick Neas

Village Presbyterian Church loves music and it loves to share. That is why every year, as a gift to the community, the Prairie Village congregation presents “Tidings of Joy,” a Christmas concert that’s a symphony of ethereal choirs and instruments, combined with occasional singing that includes the audience.

more at

Unicorn "Inspecting Carol" review by Greg Boyle

The Unicorn Theatre has opened the holiday season with a wacky, laughter-with-tears-running-down-your-cheeks Christmas show, called Inspecting Carol, by Daniel J. Sullivan and the Seattle Repertory Theatre. It is the story of a small professional theatre company trying to put on their yearly production of Dickens’ classic, A Christmas Carol, which is, incidentally, the most frequently produced play in the United States. Every company knows that this show means the same thing to their season as Black Friday does to a retailer — make or break time.

more at KC Active

Unicorn "Soul Collector" review by Paul Donovan

It’s no secret that people get touchy about religion. And when religion touches politics … well, the benefits of having those conversations are usually not worth the risks if you don’t know really know each other. No person should really go there in polite company.

more at Camp

Friends of Alvin Ailey "Ailey II" photos by David Riffel

Ailey II was held on October 6th at the Folly Theater. An After Party was held at the Muehlebach Tower of the Kansas City Marriott Downtown. Dr. Michael Weaver was the honorary chairman, and Angela Bennett and Sherri Wattenbarger served as the co-chairmen. Artistic Director Troy Powell and Choreographer Benoit-Swan Pouffer delighted guests with an amazing program featuring their diverse creative talents. Proceeds benefited Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey and its year-round programs for youth, which teach critical life skills through dance.

more at the Independent

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Unicorn "Inspecting Carol" review by Paul Donovan

With the holiday season starting earlier and earlier every year, no one can be blamed for running into Christmas fatigue. Some people are tired of Christmas by Thanksgiving. And one of the most ubiquitous sights this time of year is the plague of A Christmas Carol. From stage versions to movie versions to Scrooge references in casual conversation, nobody escapes the annual ghost story. 

more at Camp

Unicorn "Soul Collector" review by Tony Botello

The Soul Collector is some of the best satire produced in Kansas City in quite some time!!! Ron Simonian remains one of this town's top talents!!!

more at Tony's Kansas City

Panel discusses downtown arts campus

The headline of a recent editorial in The Kansas City Star about downtown Kansas City, Missouri declared: "A decade later, downtown has stronger heartbeat." Some neighborhood leaders, university and elected officials are hoping that heartbeat will only become more regular if the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance moves downtown.

more at KCUR