Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Wires "Native" performance

"Native" - The Wires
Violin - Laurel Morgan
Cello - Sascha Groschang

Junkyard Jazz Band interview by Sara Shepherd

For more than 30 years the Junkyard Jazz band has shared its more-the-merrier style of play with the Lawrence community, most notably as the main entertainment Thursday nights at the American Legion. This year the band’s artistry and longstanding popularity are being recognized in a big way, with a spot in the Kansas Music Hall of Fame.

more at the Lawrence Journal World

Angela Hagenbach "Great Gatsby" performance

The Big Read, an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts, encourages the community to read "The Great Gatsby" and enjoy programs related to the the book.

more at WIBW

[Thanks, Plastic Sax]

Travis Guerin "Dancers Making Dances" interview with the KC Ballet

Travis Guerin not only choreographed his own piece for Dancers Making Dances, but he created the music he used as well! Hear about his process in this video.

Joan Crawford's ties to Northeast KC

Thank you for all your informative articles.  I find it interesting that you wrote about Grauman’s Theater the same time I am reading a book about Joan Crawford (“Not the Girl Next Door” by Charlotte Chandler).  In your article, you stated that stars Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks partnered with the theater in its beginning.  So, here is a tidbit for you and others.

more at the Northeast News

Bob Sheppard interview by Joe Klopus

Just ask Bob Sheppard, a first-call Los Angeles sax man who’s coming to our area this week for two important reasons: to teach and perform at the University of Kansas Jazz Festival, and to hang out and make music with bassist Bob Bowman and guitarist Danny Embrey, two friends with whom he has a gig at the Blue Room at 8:30 p.m. Saturday.

more at

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UMKC "Eat This!" preview by Steve Walker

With the premiere of Eat This!, the University of Missouri-Kansas City's theatre department is serving up a unique theatrical experience that explores the social and political debates surrounding food's journey from land to plate.

more at KCUR

True/False Film Festival preview by Maddie Aberman

Volunteers clearing snow outside venues for the upcoming True/False Film Fest have coined a nickname: "We are calling ourselves the 'I Dig True/False' weather team," said Josh Oxenhandler, shovel in hand as he helped clear outside the Ragtag Cinema on Hitt Street on Tuesday afternoon.

more at the Missourian

Quixotic special event reel

Quixotic Special Event Reel

Here is piece that shows all of the ways Quixotic can be incorporated into your event.

Thelonius Monk Tribute photos by Simone

Food is flying off the shelves. People are "panic buying" bread and milk in anticipation of the next big snow. And filling up on as much live jazz as they can, in hopes it will fuel them through the coming snowbound days.

more at Free the Human Beings

[Thanks, Plastic Sax]

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Vinson Cole "Celebration of the Poetry of Langston Hughes" review by Happy in Bag

I've written more than my fair share of tepid reviews.  I'm therefore unable to object to the lukewarm response a critic for The Washington Post gave to a Vinson Cole recital two months ago.  Yet the famed vocalist's performance for an audience of about fifty at White Recital Hall on Sunday was as dazzling as anything I've heard in recent months.

more at There Stands the Glass

Unicorn "Good People" preview

Sneak peek at the Tony-Nominated play "Good People", with off-stage comments from the cast!  Onstage Feb. 27th- March 24, 2013 at Unicorn Theatre and co-produced with Kansas City Actors Theatre.

True/Falst Film Festival preview by Dan Lybarger

Since David Wilson and Paul Sturtz conceived of Columbia, Missouri's True/False Film Fest in the summer of 2003, their annual event has demolished three persistent myths about documentaries and the festivals that spotlight them.

more at the Pitch

Trombonist Carly Meyers interview by Timothy Finn

Carly Meyers was in elementary school when she fell in love with the sights and sounds of the trombone.  “When I was in fourth grade I remember they brought in a group of professional musicians to show us different instruments to inspire us to pick up an instrument to play in fifth-grade band,” she said. “I fell in love with the brass instruments.”

more at

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River City Community Players "Spelling Bee" review by powerofsum42

Yes of Course... Rating: 4

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
River City Community Players

Leavenworth has been, to me, the home of a little theater that could for quite some time now. And more and more the RCCP has been putting on shows of a quality that you rarely find in community theater. I am surprised I have not heard of this director MB Hurst, I'm sure I know someone who has, but I think I'll be following their work for a little while, this is a fine show.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

"Building a Gigabit City" short documentary by Infinite Collisions We produced a video to help showcase a unique conference held in Kansas City to discuss the implementation of Google Fiber into the city's infrastructure.

[Thanks, Tony]

Bazillion demo reels

Projection mapping is a projection technique that uses specialized software and techniques to warp, blend, and mask-out areas of projected images so they fit perfectly on irregularly-shaped “screens” such as buildings and interior spaces.Bazillion has created videos and animations for projection on to a vast array of buildings and custom screens.
Samples of Bazillion's Character animation.
Samples of Product and Industrial animations by Bazillion.
Samples of Agriculture animation by Bazillion.
Samples of action footage composited with 3D animation and visual effects by Bazillion.

Patrick Rea "Enclosure" fundraiser

Award-winning Filmmaker Patrick Rea needs your help to make his next feature film "Enclosure."  The screenplay was written by Rea and Michelle Davidson, co-host of the Kansas City morning show KC Live and CinemaKC.  These two have teamed up in the past on several award-winning short films. Dynamic visuals will be created by Director of Photography Hanuman Brown-Eagle.  Julian Bickford will create a suspenseful score.  We have a dedicated team of producers that will help bring the project to fruition, which include Ryan S. Jones, Aaron Laue, Amber Rapp, Michelle Davidson, Patrick Rea and Jon Niccum.

more at Indiegogo

"Cabela's Spring 2013 Collection" promo by Clay Mason

Cabela's Spring '13 Collection

Shot in the Fall of 2012, this piece was created to coincide with Cabela's Spring '13 photo collection. After delivering the final footage, this was put together to show the overall vision of the work. To my knowledge this is NOT the final edit that Cabela's is using in their campaign. Filmed on location in Sparta, Missouri. Cinematography by: Brook Linder and Clay Mason. Produced by: Nate Luke ( Music by: Clams Casino - "Palace"

"The Music Beat: For the Love of the Song, Humble Beginnings" by Jeanne Jasperse

This article is from the January 2013 issue of KC Stage

Eleven years ago, Frank Hicks and some buddies were kickin' it back at the chopper shop, sippin' on a few cold ones on a Saturday afternoon and listening to the tunes of some friends that happened to have a band. What an inauspicious start to what has now become an award winning legacy to the local, regional, and national music scene here in Kansas City.

Robidoux Resident Theatre "Little Mermaid" proposal

Prince Eric proposes to Ariel in real life at the conclusion of Robidoux Resident Theatre's production of The Little Mermaid, February 24, 2013.

Lyric Opera "Flying Dutchman" preview by Patrick Neas"

It was a dark and stormy night. No, it really was. The spendthrift Richard Wagner, who had been working as a conductor in Riga, Latvia, was racking up debt and wanted to flee his creditors. So he and his wife, Minna, snuck across the Prussian border and, without passports, talked the captain of the ship Thetis into taking them to London.

more at

River City Community Players "Spelling Bee" review by ghotspug6

F-U-N-N-Y Rating: 5

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
River City Community Players

The River City Community Players have staged a brilliant version of "Putnam County." I've seen a lot of community theater along the way, and it's rare when a cast is so uniformly strong. Every character had at least one moment to shine, and each delivered on the opportunity. This play is superbly written. It captures the pressures of trying to be perfect as well as the challenges of trying to fit in. And it also skillfully portrays a universal moment of embarrassment for all pubescent boys--I'll leave it at that. Who to single out? Branson Bliss is hilarious as Vice Principal Paunch as is Guy Gardner as ultra-nerd Barfee. JoAnna Bledsoe looks like a nightmarish Pippi Longstocking and is as funny as Schwartz. Sean Conners is a riot as Mitch, the comfort-counselor parolee who offers no real comfort. Everyone in the cast sang and danced at least passably if not superbly. This is an audience participation show and those who volunteered were great sports who played their roles with humor and comic timing.

Monday, February 25, 2013

KC Repertory "Clay" review by Steve Wilson

The Kansas City Repertory Theatre presented an encore performance of “Clay”, at the Copaken Staged in the Power and Light Entertainment District. “Clay”, written scored and performed by Matt Sax and in collaboration with and directed by Eric Rosen, opened the Rep’s 2008 season. The show has had successful runs in Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Chicago, Kansas City and New York. John Williams and John Schmidt provide additional music for the hip hop musical.

more at

Barn Players "9 to 5" review by Steve Wilson

“9 to 5, the Musical” opened Friday Feb. 22 at the Barn Players in Mission, Kan. The play from the book written by Patricia Resnick and with music and lyrics by Dolly Parton is based on the 20th Century Fox movie, which starred Dolly Parton.

more at

Coterie "Tell-Tale Electric Poe" preview by Robert Trussell

When the Coterie Theatre unveiled its original production “Tell-Tale Electric Poe” in 2009, the show made a strong impression because viewers had never seen anything quite like it and actor Bruce Roach brought a quiet intensity to this trippy anthology of stories and poems by Edgar Allan Poe.

more at

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Ingrid Stölzel named director of Park University's International Center for Music

Park University announces the appointment of Ingrid Stölzel, D.M.A., as director of the University’s International Center for Music. Stölzel began her duties at Park Feb. 25.

more at KC Studio

Metropolitan Ensemble "For Colored Girls" review by kellyluck

Riveting Spoken-Word performance Rating: 5

For Colored Girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuff
Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre

Colored Girl. I remember the first time I heard it.

I was... what, twelve? Call it twelve. I had been playing with some neighbor kids the better part of the afternoon. When I came in afterward my grandmother asked, not unpleasantly, "Who was that little colored girl you were playing with?" At first, I didn't know what she meant; I got this mental picture of a girl painted over with yellows and reds and blues, all swirls and splotches like a walking Jackson Pollack painting. It took a bit of back-and-forth before I realized who she was referring to. Funny thing how child minds are imprinted: for the longest time I couldn't hear "colored" without imagining rainbow people.

Flash forward a few decades. I'm stepping with some trepidation into the Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre's production of "For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow is Enuf". A white girl from the comfortable suburbs of the Midwest, stepping into a world manifestly not her own. I feel almost that I am intruding, in a way. A voyeur, sneaking a hasty glance into the other side of life before scampering back to the safety of my own. But in fact, Ntozake Shange's best-known work pulled me in and didn't let go 'til the very end.

Understand. This is not your normal narrative: Schange calls it a "choreopoem", think spoken word, performed by a rainbow of everywomen, each known only by the color she wears. They move from character to character, story to story. The ensemble (Chioma Anyanwu, Victoria Barbee, Donette Coleman, Aishah Harvey, Lynn King, Sherri Roulette Mosley, and Meredith Wolfe) take us through memories and experiences comic and tragic, songs of innocence and experience until at the very end, when our spirits, wrung out and exhausted from the journey, are restored as the women of the play heal each other--and indirectly, us--with a laying on of hands. "I found God in myself, and I loved her," they tell each other. "I loved her fiercely."

A play of this sort is, to my mind, aptly at home at a venue like the MET. Karen Paisley ably directs the show, and makes excellent use of the intimate space. The performances were generally very strong, and the play flowed smoothly from beginning to end. One interesting thing to note is that Ms Paisley opted to present the play without an intermission. It seemed to this reviewer that this was the right decision: the structure of the play rather depends on the stories building up one atop another, and a break would have killed that. The ensuing performance is a bit long, but riveting enough to keep one drawn in all the way to the end. Also of note is the lighting design by Greg Casparian, which complements Shannon Smith Regnier's costume design quite nicely.

"For Colored Girls..." is an intense piece. Considered revolutionary when it was first presented in 1975, it still has the power to shock and move. Shange is a superlative wordsmith, and the performers at the current production show they are well and truly up to the material. It is not an easy thing to sit through. There are not a lot of laughs, or a tune you can hum on your way out the door. It's not that kind of show. But it is an amazing, visceral theatrical experience and one, if I may say so, easily worth digging through the latest crop of snow to see.

Lyric Opera "Flying Dutchman" preview by Alice Thorson

Keith Brumley, the Lyric Opera’s director of design and technical production, has seen opera’s future: It includes a major role for digital animation.

more at

River City Community Players "Spelling Bee" review by BRN2ACT33

Bravo - B-R-A-V-O. That is correct! Rating: 4

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
River City Community Players

The River City Community Players can be very proud of their current production - The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Director MB Hurst has cast a superb ensemble of vocally talented actors. Her choreography was inventive and worked well with the musical numbers and actors. Actually having sat through the auditions, she had the talent to have an equally talented second cast. An enviable position for any director. Her staging and pace of the show were excellent.

The entire ensemble is to be congratulated for magnificent performances - not a weak link anywhere. There were, however, a few exceptional standouts. Guy Gardner, always a delight to see on stage, played "Magic Foot" Barfee with incredible comic timing and delivery. Sean Connors, as Mitch, Kristen Altoro as Rona, and Danielle Swatzell as Olive were the vocal and acting highpoints of the show, particularly as they performed the very moving, and in my honest opinion, best number in the show - The I Love You Song. Raphael Tate, who has grown up in the RCCP, is maturing into a fine actor and shows great promise.

Music directors, Kari Rydalch and Bill Welch did an excellent job vocally with the actors and the music during the performance. Costumer Fran Kapono is to be commended for adorning each actor with costumes that enhanced their characters.

I would be remiss not to point out a few weaknesses (IMHO). As I sat waiting for the performance to begin, I gave the program a quick read and discovered a "minor" omission - the cast list. While the set was functional, I was not particularly impressed with the set design and the lighting designed left a great deal to be desired.

This is an excellent production with an exceptionally talented cast. Shake off the winter blahs and all of this snow and make your way to the River City Community Players' production of Spelling Bee! You won't be disappointed.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Piano Guys, Midland Theatre preview by KCPT

Tune in to KCPT on March 2nd at 7pm to learn more.

Joyce DiDonato interview by Steve Paul

Two hours into an intensive, nonstop master class, after listening and giving patient and pointed feedback to four student operatic singers in succession, Joyce DiDonato takes a question from the audience in the Juilliard School’s Paul Hall.

more at

Lyric Opera 2013-2014 season preview by Steve Paul

Those giddy whispers you may have heard on the street are true: Opera superstar Joyce DiDonato will return to her hometown this fall to kick off the next season of the Lyric Opera of Kansas City.

more at

River City Community Players "Spelling Bee" review by englishtranslat

 My Favorite Moments of the Bee! Rating: 5

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
River City Community Players

The River City Community Players have simply astounded me this time!! I have not laughed so hard in a long time! This show quite simply wrapped me up in every single individual story so intensely that I felt like I really knew and cared about each and every one of them, which seldom happens to me at a comedy!

Going off of my title though, I believe certain players deserve honorable mention. Now, this is not to say that they were not all superb, but these are the folks who stood out to me, personally.

First off, the vocals were very well cast in this production. They were sublime and seemingly flawless (from what I know), but I would have to say that my favorite was Mitch Mahoney (I do not know his real name); having played this role myself, I was judging him the hardest, and he lived up to my expectations!

Secondly, in terms of comedy and general performance, my two favorites would have to be William Barfee and Leaf Coneybear. These two actors (again, I do not know their true names) just sold it to me from their line delivery to their antics. I just simply died over and over again!

Last but not least, in terms of drama, (in this case, who I felt sorry for the most) most of the characters had a rather sad back story, but I would have to really give it to Olive Ostrovsky, Logainne Schwartz, and Grubenierre. Logainne has two parents who are very intense and set on their daughter winning (one more than the other) and because of this she is easily stressed out, especially over the times when the bee is not following the rules. As for Olive's home life, well, let's just say she lacks the preferred parental compassion other kids may get... All in all, I feel this show was very well cast, designed, choreographed, and put together... I highly recommend this show!!

Christine Brewer, KC Symphony review by Libby Hanssen

A hint of the frozen tundra swept through the Midwest this week, making the Kansas City Symphony’s program notably portentous. Two works explored Russian sensibilities, bookending Richard Strauss’ sublime “Four Last Songs” for soprano and orchestra.

more at

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Roof collapse at Priscilla and Dana's School of Dance

Part of the roof caved in at a Gladstone dance school Friday morning
The roof has partially collapsed at one of the metro's largest dance studios.

KC Repertory "Clay" review by Robert Trussell

I’ve only seen Matt Sax perform twice but by any reasonable measure he would have be considered an exceptional actor. Kansas City Repertory Theatre has brought back “Clay,” the one-man musical that kicked off the Rep’s season in 2008, and Sax again delivers a tour-de-force performance in a show that supports a melodramatic storyline with important themes. Specifically, the show talks about the importance of truth in art, but does so in a way that never diminishes Sax’s aggressive-yet-nuanced capacity to dazzle us with words, vocal effects and physicality.

more at

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Christine Brewer "Four Last Songs" preview by the KC Symphony

Christine Brewer is one of the world's most acclaimed and respected sopranos. She will perform a work for which she has a special affinity -- and one of the most gorgeous works ever composed -- Richard Strauss' Four Last Songs. Tchaikovsky's delightful Second Symphony, the "Little Russian," so-called because of its folk-inspired melodies, brings the concert to a thrilling close. Concerts are Feb. 22-24, 2013. Tickets available at or call (816) 471-0400.

Living Room "Fool for Love" promo

Promo for The Living Room Theatre's production of Fool For Love, a play by Sam Shepard.Starring Jason Miller, Amy Kelly, Bob Elliot, and Curtis Smith. Directed by Forrest Attaway. Show dates: February 27th - March 17th.Promo created by Todd Norris and Mitch Brian of Jetpack Pictures.Shot on a Panasonic GH3.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Danielle de Niese, Folly Theatre review by Paul Horsley

Danielle de Niese is not only one of the most glamorous of sopranos, she sings with exceptional sensitivity of line and phrase, a tasteful feel for rhythmic give-and-take, an intelligent grasp of text and a generous emotional range.

more at the Independent

Black House photos for February

Pat Conway gives a Gamelan demonstration for the fellow Charlotte Street residents

Kansas Silent Film Festival preview by Bill Blankenship

Some of the biggest names on the screen and behind the camera during the silent era of Hollywood will be featured at the 17th annual Kansas Silent Film Festival, which begins Friday evening and runs through Saturday night in White Concert Hall.

more at the Topeka Capital Journal

White Theatre "Next to Normal" review by LAbound

Powerful Musical. Powerful Voices. Powerful Performance! Rating: 5

Next to Normal
The White Theatre

Having never seen the show before this performance, we went in with no idea what we were really getting into. All I can say is after the show was over, there were tears flowing and a standing ovation! The voices blended wonderfully and there were flawless scene changes and not one mistake that I could tell! Voices perfectly on pitch, and powerful character performances, each character pulling their own weight. If you want to see a dramatic show with an added bonus of knowledge gained about bipolar and how it affects a family, this is an awesome show. If you love musicals (this is a rock opera) and perfectly powerful vocal performances, this is also the show for you. Side note: after the show I searched the internet for some of the songs from this show, and I found a few Broadway clips. I can tell you honestly, this cast did a job as good, if not better, than what I saw on that stage. I have paid $150.00 per ticket to see a show on Broadway, and at $22.00, this is incredible entertainment! With only 2 shows left, be sure to go see it.

Nathan Louis Jackson, KC Repertory resident playwright interview by Robert Trussell

Something historic happened in early 2010. That’s when Kansas City audiences got their first look at “Broke-ology,” a play that had just been produced by Lincoln Center in New York. It told the story of an African-American family — two brothers and their aging father, whose body has started to fail him and who is haunted by the memory of his late wife. Family dramas are hardly unusual, but the writer and the setting made the show unique.

more at

Announcer Tom Kane will not be doing the Oscars

This year’s Oscarcast seems to be all about change: a new, possibly outrageous host (Seth MacFarlane) and more production numbers (translation: bathroom breaks). And, instead of Overland Park’s Tom Kane, a new announcer.

more at

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Michelle Davidson "KC Live" compilation

Michelle Davidson - TV host

Olathe students win ESU Shakespeare Competition

Wyatt McCall from Olathe, Kansas, a student of Robin Murphy at Olathe Northwest High School in Olathe, Kansas, won the Kansas City regional event of the English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition.  

more at KC Studio

KC Repertory "Clay" preview by Robert Trussell

Matt Sax simply isn’t as young as he used to be. None of us is, of course, but in a recent interview Sax implied that he was increasingly aware of the inexorable passing of time. This from a guy who hasn’t hit 30 yet.

more at

Alberto Suarez, Tchaikovsky 2nd Sympony interview with the KC Symphony

Alberto Suarez

Owen/Cox "Goldberg Variations" performance

Excerpts from J.S. Bach's "The Goldberg Variations" performed by Owen/Cox Dance Group. Choreography by Jennifer Owen. Music performed by Kairy Koshoeva. Dancers: Allyson Ashley, Christen Edwards, Jennifer Owen, Catherine Russell, Shane Tice, Latra Wilson

KC Blues Society election troubles by David Hudnall

You wouldn't imagine that something as innocuous as a Kansas City Blues Society board election could turn as jagged as a Son House song. But contentious elections have become an unfortunate annual tradition for the KCBS, a nonprofit organization that purports to exist "solely for the purpose of promotion and preservation of various forms of blues music." And when the society convened January 10 at Knuckleheads Saloon, to elect its 2013 board, the knives came out in a hurry.

more at the Pitch

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

"A Senior Moment" short film by Michelle Davidson

Written & Directed by MICHELLE DAVIDSON
Executive Produced & Edited by PATRICK REA
Director of Photography HANUMAN BROWN EAGLE

Recent KC Symphony performances reviewed by Paul Horsley

The Kansas City Symphony’s first concerts of 2013, all conducted by music director Michael Stern and held in Helzberg Hall, presented a refreshing and subtle array of repertoire and soloists. Though sadly I was unable to attend the Pinchas Zukerman program (which included Elgar’s Violin Concerto and Hindemith’s Mathis der Maler), I did hear the other three, which included a Mahler Symphony, a new soloist and a well-established one, and a world premiere. The range of old and new was savvy, as was the way in which themes of art, artists and “portraits” had been woven into two of the four programs.

more at the Independent

Jorge Arana Trio performance by KJHK

The Kansas City jazz rock group Jorge Arana Trio visited KJHK January 28th and performed five songs.

Set List
1. Nightly Stroll
2. Catch a Bulltet with your Teeth
3. Thieves among us
4. Confrontation
5. Snake in the Grass

Matt Sax "Clay" interview by Robert Trussell

He’s baaack: “It’s an awesome opportunity for me to come back to Kansas City because Kansas City is such a warm, wonderful environment for me. It’s kind of a second home for me and a place that’s been so supportive of all the things I’ve done artistically.”

more at Ink

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Cirque du Gay promo by Metaphor Media

Two gay clowns let it all hang out as they service you with a rainbow of entertainment and pure happy fun. We bare all of the music, muscle, magic and more. Cirque du Gay is ready to show you the naked truth. The curtain is taken away so there are no secrets. The audience is now taken into the world behind the circus tent, while you enjoy all the excitement on the stage. It's two shows in one. And now we entice you with more! These two clowns take on juggling, dancing, puppetry, S&M and even Broadway for an adult circus that will keep you laughing. Step right up and join the newest and biggest circus of Cirque du Gay.

Fundraiser to help Screenland Armour go digital

Help Save The Historic Armour Theatre!  All the Great New Films, Classic Movies such as Psycho, The Shining, Big Lebowski, Rocky Horror, Gone with the Wind, Comedians like Judah Friedlander and the Whitest Kids U' Know, TV and Video Games on the Big Screen and Trivia Nights... GONE. Without the digital projectors to keep our doors open to all the awesomeness that Armour has to provide.

more at Kickstarter

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Charlotte Street Foundation Rocket Grant recipient interviews


The Rocket Grants program was launched in 2009 by the Charlotte Street Foundation in Kansas City, MO and the KU Spencer Museum of Art in Lawrence, KS, in partnership with the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. The program aims to fuel the energy of the Kansas City regional visual arts community by encouraging and supporting innovative, public-oriented work in non-traditional spaces. Get details:

Rocket Grants enable individuals and groups of artists to take new risks with their work, push the scope and scale of their activities, develop and pursue collaborative projects, and engage with the public and public realm in inventive and meaningful ways. With the specific goals of developing new kinds of audiences and providing frameworks for the growth of further experimentation, awarded projects create unconventional and expansive forms of interaction, exchange, provocation, and surprise.

Now in its third year, the Rocket Grants program has awarded $121,000 in direct funds to thirty projects, involving at least seventy-two artists working in multiple media. Hundreds of other artists have been integrally and peripherally included in the performances, publications, workshops, artist-run spaces, videos, public installations, events and websites that the awards have funded.

Unicorn "Good People" cast

Watch as the cast of "Good People" talk about funny moments in the show, and as they use some of that "Southie" accent ! Good People is co-produced by Unicorn Theatre and KCAT and runs Feb. 27-Mar. 24, 2013 at Unicorn Theatre's Mainstage. Written by David Lindsay-Abaire, Directed by Mark Robbins and featuring Jan Rogge, Scott Cordes, Kathleen Warfel, Manon Halliburton, Dianne Yvette and Phillip Russell Newman.

KC Ballet "Dancers Making Dances" preview

Dancers Making Dances Promo

KC Art Institute "Art Sounds Collaboration" review by Sai Srikar Kadiyam

It’s easy to think of opera as some relic of a by-gone era, festooned with silken gowns and set in cavernous, gold-leafed theaters. But at its heart, opera is very much a timeless performance. On Tuesday, Feb. 12, the Kansas City Art Institute hosted the “Art Sounds Collaboration,” a performance of two short modern chamber operas, “Pondery” and “Numera.”

more at the University News

UMKC Conservatory "Bach's Lunch" review by Sai Srikar Kadiyam

The second edition of the UMKC Conservatory’s “Bach’s Lunch” featured a performance of J.S. Bach’s church cantata, “Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland,” BWV 61. (“Now come, Savior of the Heavens”) last Friday in the Grant Recital Hall.

more at the University News

"Spotlight on Danny Cox" by Tim Russell

This article if from the December 2012 issue of KC Stage

Danny Cox has been a busy man. With a long career in entertainment across the country and in Kansas City, he has amassed more hyphens than a keyboard has keys. Learn more about this amazing artist by learning a little bit about all of the "hats" he has worn.

Eddie Moore "Freedom of Expression" review by Happy in Bag

Of the many notable albums that have been released in the past few years by Kansas City-based jazz musicians, only a few have pleased me more than Eddie Moore and the Outer Circle's new release The Freedom of Expression.   In addition to documenting the formidable talent of several young musicians, the project serves as a reminder that everything is indeed up to date in Kansas City. 

more at Plastic Sax

Monday, February 18, 2013

More Lyric Opera "Flying Dutchman" photos

Photos from Week 8 of construction for the set of the upcoming production of The Flying Dutchman. Finishing touches are being made to main sections of the ship deck. Construction is happening on the bow of one of the ships along with some hidden scenery elements like a platform and stairs that will be used by the cast, but will be hidden from view by other pieces of scenery. The principle singers arrive this weekend and full rehearsals will begin. Luckily the crew has been working hard and some of the set pieces will be ready to rehearse on.

more at the Lyric Opera
and more here

Green Lady Lounge review by kcjazzlark

Don’t try to tell me jazz is dead in Kansas City. Especially when you can add another new club to the list.

more at kcjazzlark

Kansas is represented at the Academy Awards

How can we draw a line from a little kid in Sweden — a co-star in “The Impossible,” a movie set in Thailand — all the way back to Kansas?

Read more here:
Well, you’ll have to pay attention. And keep in mind that most everyone’s first name starts with a J.

more at

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Kurt Elling, Gem Theater review by Bill Brownlee

Kurt Elling, the elite male vocalist in jazz, awed an audience of about 400 on Saturday at the Gem Theater. The stellar exhibition of his groundbreaking talent demonstrated that Elling continues to dramatically expand the artistic possibilities of jazz vocals.

more at

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Mike Farrell "On Golden Pond" interview

You may know him best as Captain B.J. Hunnicutt on the TV series “M*A*S*H.” Emmy-nominated actor Mike Farrell spent eight years acting — even writing and directing several episodes. Now, Mike is in town, taking on his newest role at the New Theatre.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Spinning Tree "Afternoon of Song" preview by Steve Wilson

Andy Parkhurst, Managing Director of Spinning Tree Theatre in Kansas City and Michael Grayman, Artistic Director, announced that the Spinning Tree Theatre will be holding their first fundraiser and silent auction on Sunday February 24 from 2 to 4 p.m. at Californos in Westport.

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Kansas Silent Film Festival preview by Eric Melin

Just over 100 years ago, Mack Sennett founded Keystone Studios, the first Hollywood film company that specialized in making comedies. Unfortunately, of the approximately 1,000 films produced by the “King of Comedy,” only a few hundred have survived, and they are in desperate need of restoration.

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Hats off to the Friends of Chamber Music for bringing one of the most acclaimed pianists of his generation to the Folly Theater for his first-ever performance in Kansas City. This Friday night, as part of the Friends’ series, Alexander Melnikov will perform music by Franz Schubert, Robert Schumann, Alexander Scriabin and Sergei Prokofiev.

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KC Women in Film and Television "Cinewomen" preview

Monica Espinosa and Morhad Elyse Christensen stopped by 41 Action News to share details about a showcase of women in film coming to Kansas City.

Documentary plays look at Kansas City

Theater is the art of make-believe. Except when it’s not. Theater can never really function as journalism, but documentary theater has the capacity to reflect reality in a way that conventional dramas do not. Fictional plays often rely on melodramatic revelations and political machinations to move the story along. Docudramas have a different goal: to throw hard facts in the viewer’s lap.

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Bobby Watson, KC Symphony review by Libby Hanssen

Saxophonist Bobby Watson and an all-star line up of local jazz talent joined the Kansas City Symphony for a casual and convivial performance Friday night in a packed Helzberg Hall.

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