Sunday, March 31, 2013

Big Kansas City "Harlem Shake" video by Nathan Eaton

The Harlem Shake video meme may be dying off, but a crowd of Kansas City entrepreneurs kept it alive and well this week with a spot involving more than 200 people.

more at the KC Business Journal

Musical Theater Heritage "Sunday in the Park With George" preview by Joel Nichols

Musical Theater Heritage puts songs in the spotlight

KC Symphony, Scriabin preview by Patrick Neas

Although the atheistic, materialist Bolsheviks eventually came to power, pre-revolutionary Russia was a hotbed of spiritualism.The symbolist movement, which explored the dark, decadent corners of the soul, had many enthusiasts in Russia. And theosophy, a proto-New Age religion founded by Madame Blavatsky, was especially attractive to artists, poets and composers.

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"Rent's Due" short film by Andy McCone

more at Rocket Grants

Make-up artist Marie Shereman interview by Carolyn Kaberline

Although Marie Shereman is quick to tell people she is “truly afraid of blood, needles, pain, knives and such,” that fear doesn’t extend to her work with special effects makeup. There she “loves blood and guts.”

more at the Topeka Capital Journal

Saturday, March 30, 2013

"Heart and Soul" performed by the cast of "Carousel"

How many cast members of Carousel does it take to play Heart & Soul? Come see them (and many more!) in Carousel at KC Rep presented by The Living Room ending April 6.

Coterie Theatre rebranding by Robert Trussell

Founded in 1979 by Judith Yeckel and Vicky Lee, the nationally recognized company has grown from a no-budget storefront operation in Crown Center Shops to one of Kansas City’s established companies, providing employment to scores of actors and other theater artists each year and attracting tens of thousands of viewers during a typical season.

more at

George Harter "Sunday in the Park With George" interview by Steve Kraske

In the first part of Friday's Up to Date, we talk with Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art Associate Curator of European Art, Nicole Myers and Executive Director of Musical Theater Heritage George Harter about where art and theater fuse Seurat’s classic,

more at Up to Date

Sarah Jane McMahon "Mikado" interview with the Lyric Opera

We recently spoke with Sarah Jane McMahon, Yum-Yum in the upcoming production of The Mikado, as part of our 10 Questions Series.  Mrs. McMahon is making her Lyric Opera debut and talked about her favorite operas.  Read below to learn more about this talented Soprano who we hope you can see on stage at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in April.

more at the Lyric Opera

"Sketelon" short film by Rex Hobart

In this 2013 stop-motion animated movie by Rex Hobart, the mysterious appearance of a skeleton in the desert prompts a trigger-happy gunslinger to tempt fate.

Musical Theatre Heritage "Sunday in the Park With George" preview by Julie Denesha

Musical Theater Heritage opens their 11th season with the Kansas City premiere of Stephen Sondheim's "Sunday in the Park With George." The musical explores the intense single-mindedness of artist Georges Seurat during the creation of "A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte."

more at KCUR

Musician Joe Schoonover interview by Michael Goehring

Growing up around people who loved to play music, it was only natural for Joe Schoonover to become a musician, too.

more at the Topeka Capital Journal

True/False panel on filmmaking in repressive regimes

During the True/False Documentary Film Festival in Columbia, directors from around the world gather to screen their films and talk about their craft. The discussion relates to filming in countries with repressive regimes: Vladimir Putin's Russia and two former Soviet republics.

more at KBIA

Friday, March 29, 2013

Caroline Robinson "Pipedreams" Organ Concert Series preview

To showcase the grand Julia Irene Kauffman Casavant Organ in Helzberg Hall, the Kansas City Symphony presents the Organ Concert Series hosted by Michael Barone, host of American Public Media's popular radio program, "Pipedreams." Caroline Robinson, of the Curtis Institute of Music, begins the evening with a discussion with Michael Barone followed by a performance of Sowerby's Pageant, Bach's Präludium and Fugatum in organo pleno a 5 voci in E-s, Vierne's Carillon de Westminster and more.

Brent Huff "Chasing Beauty" interview by Michelle Davidson

Filmmaker Brent Huff spent years as an actor and model before moving behind the camera. Those years in the business prompted him to make the documentary, "Chasing Beauty". The film tells the wonderful, and not-so-wonderful, stories about working in the modeling world.

more at KC Live

KCPT president Kliff Kuehl interview by Susan Motley

“We are producing more local content all the time,” Kuehl says, “and these programs help our community know itself. We highlight education, arts, sustainability, healthcare and entrepreneurship in the Metro. We want to super serve the community in these subject areas.

more at the Leawood Lifestyle

KC Chorale, Grammy Awards photos

Thank you to The Kansas City Chorale for making Our Town so proud!

more at the Independent

KC FilmFest film lineup

Every film in the 2013 Kansas City FilmFest is now listed on our online schedule, complete with trailers, stills and synopsis. Enjoy!

more at the KC FilmFest

Musician Jerry Dodgion interview by Joe Klopus

Reed man Jerry Dodgion has a secure spot in musical history because his name is firmly attached to some of the finest jazz recordings ever made. Yet he was amused when he was called (correctly) “vastly experienced.”

more at

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Musical Theatre Heritage "Sunday in the Park With George" preview by Robert Trussell

When Tim Scott learned that he would play painter Georges Seurat in the Stephen Sondheim musical “Sunday in the Park With George,” he knew he wanted to look beyond Sondheim’s score and lyrics for inspiration.

more at

Lyric Opera "Mikado" scenery construction photos

This week we are highlighting the beginning steps being taken on the some of very tall scrolls that will be seen on stage during the upcoming Lyric Opera production of The Mikado. There will be three different sets of scrolls and right now work is starting on the first set which will be displayed before and after each of the two acts, which a color sketch illustrates.  This new set for The Mikado is being designed by R. Keith Brumley.

more at the Lyric Opera
and more here
or at Flickr

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Inge Festival "Great Wilderness" preview

An acclaimed director of exciting contemporary work will take the reins of a new play by Samuel D. Hunter, as part of the 32nd Annual William Inge Theatre Festival.

more at Broadway World

Commericals by Joseph Pollock

Water bottles are environmentally wasteful, right? Wrong – meet Dlo Water, a new and exciting startup that seeks to redeem the way bottled water is purchased and use profits to help and aid those affected by the global water crisis. Created by Tom Baurain and myself.

Black House Collective, Nelson-Atkins performances

I would like to thank the Nelson-Atkins for documenting our performance.

more at the Black House Collective

UMKC Musical Bridges program gives urban students music instruction

There's a program in the Kansas City metro that aims to give students in the urban core one-on-one classical musical instruction. One young woman nervously auditioned to land a spot in the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance Musical Bridges program. Students from all over the metro are also auditioning in hopes of getting a leg up on the competition to one day play professionally.

more at KCTV

Starlight seeking applicants for Vincent Legacy Scholarship

Starlight Theatre is now accepting applications through April 8 for the Vincent Legacy Scholarship for ethnically diverse youth in the sixth, seventh and eighth grades who have a passionate interest and strong ability in the performing arts. Approximately two scholarships will be awarded that will pay for up to $2,500 of dance, voice or acting training for the selected youth.

Midland "Spank!" preview by Lisa Gutierrez

This is a safe bet. You will never again mindlessly slide a toothbrush in and out of your mouth if you see “Spank!,” the “Fifty Shades of Grey” parody playing tonight and Friday at the Midland.

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Opera singer Tara Cooper interview by Justin Kendall

"People might be surprised to know that I ... " Am a giant nerd and love to play video games.

more at the Pitch

KC FilmFest "We Are Superman" preview

We Are Superman is the story of the American urban core in a time when racism has gone underground, prejudice is glossed over, and progress is built on the backs of the poor. The film is an emotional testament to a select few who are working tirelessly in the heart of Kansas City at the corner of 31 Street and Troost Avenue; working to transform a dividing line into a gathering place.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Starlight Theatre tour by Michelle Davidson and Michael Mackie


Joe Sample interview by Steve Kraske

Musician Joe Sample has made his life about all that jazz. In the second part of the program, we'll talk with Sample about his career, music and what's next in his musical odyssey.

more at Up to Date (mp3 link)

Don Dagenais "Mikado" interview with the Lyric Opera

Don Dagenais of the Kansas City Lyric Opera Guild previews the Lyric Opera of Kansas City production of Gilbert and Sullivan's THE MIKADO. The production will be performed at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts April 20-28, 2013.

Kauffman Center "Peter Cottontail III" preview by Michelle Davidson

Peter Cottontail III tells the story of young Peter who is training to take over the role as the Easter Bunny, but encounters some struggles along the way. The show is full of music, bright colors and plenty of dancing.

more at KC Live

O’Riada-McCarty-Manning Academy of Irish Dance going to Boston

St. Patrick’s Day may be behind us, but the Irish spirit is as strong as ever in a group of young northeast Johnson Countians who are making their debut at the World Irish Dancing Championships today in Boston, Mass.

more at the Prairie Village Post

Erik Hess hired to manage Standees cinema

Dineplex International’s Frank Rash announced last week that the company has hired Erik Hess to be the general manager of the first-ever Standees restaurant and theatre concept, which is scheduled to open at the Village Shops in Prairie Village in late May.

more at the Prairie Village Post

Dancer Stephen Plante interview by Sarah Gish

Stephen Plante’s three jobs keep him constantly changing his clothes.
Between performances with City in Motion Dance Theater and the Owen/Cox Dance Group, the 23-year-old Kansas City dancer works at Latteland and Christopher Elbow Artisan Chocolates.

more at Ink

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Heartland Men's Chorus 'Falling in Love Again" review by Steve Wilson

A blanket of fresh snow made the Heartland Men’s Chorus Spring Show seem more like a winter show. The harsh winter weather was not able to halt the production of a strong, moving performance by the chorus. “Falling In Love Again” ran on the stage of the Folly Theatre, in downtown Kansas City, on Saturday and Sunday. The production was presented in conjunction with the Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals 1933-1945 exhibit at the Dean’s Gallery in the Miller Nichols Library at the University of Missouri at Kansas City campus.

more at

Pat Jordan, Mayor's Task Force for the Arts interview by Susan Wilson

The co-chair of the Mayor’s Task Force for the Arts is a woman who’s been a formidable presence in Kansas City’s art scene since the early 90s.

more at KC Currents

Lincoln College Prep wind ensemble going to Carnegie Hall

Congratulations to the Lincoln College Preparatory Academy wind ensemble. They’re headed to a performance at famed New York venue Carnegie Hall on March 31.

more at the Midtown KC Post

Kauffman Center in the snow

Even though I already have probably a thousand photos involving the Kauffman Center, I had about none with snow, and someone has expressed interest in licensing some snow/KPAC pics, so I grabbed a few in case.

more at Eric Bowers Photoblog

Artist Inc takes training program to Arkansas, Oklahoma

Artist INC, a collaborative partnership of Charlotte Street Foundation, the Arts Council of Metropolitan Kansas City, and the UMKC Innovation Center, announces a new partnership with Mid-America Arts Alliance (M-AAA), to bring the Artist INC programming to two new communities in the region: Argenta Arts District and the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition.

more at Artist INC

UMKC music student Aaron Markarian killed in shooting

A UMKC professor remembers student Aaron Markarian, who died in a quadruple shooting last week, as a talented, hard-working and charismatic person.

Shea Coffman performing songs from "Children of Eden" and "Godspell"

Shea Coffman sing Lost in the Wilderness from Stephen Schwartz's musical, Children of Eden.

Shea Coffman sing Beautiful City from Stephen Schwartz's musical Godspell.

Jazz then and now by kcjazzlark

The Modern Jazz Quartet (MJQ) headlined the 1985 Kansas City Jazz Festival. A stage was built on the south lawn of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (the lawn was more open then, with less landscaping and no Bloch building), just in front of the portico, facing what was then Brush Creek Boulevard. MJQ almost didn’t go on. The airline lost Percy Heath’s bass. But they found and delivered it to the festival grounds shortly before the group was scheduled to perform.

more at kcjazzlark

Monday, March 25, 2013

Creating Original Music Project streams original music

For eight years, the annual Creating Original Music Project (C.O.M.P.) competition has brought young composers to the University of Missouri campus in the spring for a concert of original music.

more at the Mizzou New Music Initiative

Stephens College "Sprouts Plays for Living" program by Janese Silvey

It didn’t take long for elementary students at Stephens College Children’s School to get the gist of the play. “Why didn’t she just change her shirt?” one asked, before slowly realizing that there are some characteristics, such as skin color, that can’t be changed.

more at the Missourian

Jan Allan Zarr takes over Topeka Performing Arts Center

Jan Allan Zarr said he is excited to begin as executive director for the Topeka Performing Arts Center. Zarr is coming to Topeka with his fiancee to assume his duties in mid-April for VenuWorks Inc., which based in Ames, Iowa.

more at the Topeka Capital Journal

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Monterey Jazz Festival Anniversary Tour review by Libby Hanssen

Neither snow nor rain nor the NCAA basketball tourney could keep Kansas City jazz fans from almost filling the Gem Theatre Saturday night. They braved the freak winter storm to hear the world-class talent of the Monterey Jazz Festival 55th Anniversary Tour for the Jammin’ at the Gem series.

more at

Read more here:

KC Repertory "Carousel" review by brave_one

Refreshing and Creative Rating: 4

Kansas City Repertory Theatre

Walking through the backstage area to our seats was interesting enough apart from my eagerness to see this show, partnered creatively by KC Rep and the Living Room. Older theatre patrons were looking around, curious to see the other side of the theatre, which made me smile.

Being both part of the audience and somewhat part of the show was intimate and exciting all at the same time. The light bulb effect was the perfect touch to this mostly bare stage, and the timing of this effect was seamless.

I would have known Steven Eubank was credited for the choreography without looking at the program: energetic, whimsical and anything but standard.

Although Rusty Sneary does a fine job portraying a rough-around-the-edges Billy, and Molly Denninghoff a strong and confident Julie, it was Liz Clark Golson that really stood apart from the rest of the cast. Yes, the character of Carrie is simply that: a "character," but Golson's energy and expert comic timing were outstanding. Also, Nick Uthoff is memorable as Jigger, with an excellent comic scene between he and Golson.

Lastly, kudos to the ensemble for keeping their energy up throughout this lengthy show!

A few constructive criticisms: 1) The opening scene for Act 2 (That Was a Real Nice Clambake) simply did not match the rest of the production. It was too sex-heavy and seemed out of place. 2) Mrs. Mullin's character was wearing a dress that looked like a current-day fashion you could pick up at Target, and showed way too much skin. 3) There is a scene where the ensemble enters from behind the audience with a sudden loud noise/yell that made everyone jump - maybe a little bit much with the age of some of the patrons - don't want a medical emergency.

Overall, a unique and refreshing take on a classic piece of musical theatre in a setting like none other, and a talented and energetic cast that will leave you wanting more. Bravo to Kyle Hatley, KC Rep and The Living Room for a job very well done!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Olassa performance and interview with Michael Mackie

Lawrence folk band, Olassa, wasn't complete until they met their third band member in the grocery store.

Bazillion Commercials

Client: The Whole Person
Agency: Meers Advertising

Client: Shawnee Mission Medical Center
Agency: The Collaboration

Client: John Deere
Agency: Bazillion

A broadcast campaign consisting of three :30 spots for Boone County National Bank. The spots were created around Boone County's tagline "Strong roots. Endless possibilities".
Client: Boone County National Bank
Agency: Woodruff Sweitzer
2013 Bronze Telly: Local TV Campaign
2013 Bronze Telly: Local TV Banking commercial - Lending spot

A series of origami-style transitions for Burger King's website.
Client: Burger King
Agency: VML

Client: Bedhead
Agency: Bernstein Rein

Web Banner
Client: GE
Agency: VML

Tatsuya Nakatani, Walnut Place Laundromat performance by Dave Michael

Amazing percussionist Tatsuya Nakatani playing at the Walnut Place Laundromat in Kansas City, MO.

Phtotos at Rocket Grants

Nakatani, a creative percussionist originally from Osaka, Japan, has been residing in the USA since 1994. Currently based in Easton, PA he has released over sixty recordings in the USA and Europe and has performed countless solo percussion concerts through intensive touring since the late 1990s. He has collaborated with hundreds of other artists internationally and presented master classes, workshops and lectures across the USA and around the world.
For more information visit his website:

This concert was part of "Byproduct: The Laundromat" a program organized by Sean Starowitz to cultivate a deeper understanding of socially engaged art practice in Kansas City. The program will bring together both local and national practitioners from the field to collaboratively discuss and challenge the notion of art spaces, community programming, and the role of the audience, all while utilizing a laundromat as its main venue. The project is financed by a Rocket Grant through the Charlotte Street Foundation in Kansas City, MO and the KU Spencer Museum of Art in Lawrence, KS, with funding from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.
More information available here:

Blue Springs City Theatre "Charlotte's Web" review by BWS

A fantastic show!
Rating: 5

Charlotte's Web
Blue Springs City Theatre

This show came as a bit of a surprise, as I'd never seen a version of Charlotte's Web that actively tended toward comedy. (But oh, did I love it!)

With that said, Ms. Burris's talent for comedy shines clearly in her direction of these young performers. (Those who saw her portrayals of Mrs. Teevee and Mrs. Fezziwig know what I mean.) Brooklynn Tomlin commands your attention and your laughs as Wilbur the pig, and her performance is wonderfully contrasted by Lexi Poindexter's caring and understated portrayal of Charlotte the spider. I think (and hope) that we haven't seen the last of these two delightful young actresses!

But even more than the principal characters, there are dozens of smaller roles whose performers left a lasting impression on me. (My personal favorites being the crotchety old sheep played by Zoe Bea Edgar, and Lurvy, played by Matt Barris.) The show is littered with tiny wonderful moments such as a dance by the little goslings and a two minute scene with a rival pig (known as Uncle) that nearly had me rolling in the aisles.

The sets were beautiful, if a bit simple. (As expected for a community theater show.) The only weaknesses with the performance were sound issues with mike feedback and a brief hot mike moment when a cue was being given to the cast backstage.

Special recognition goes to the folks who designed and created the costumes. They were creative in concept and design, and the entire cast looked amazing.

So, if you could use a couple of hours filled with laughter tempered by tender moments of heartwarming friendship and love, I highly recommend you check out BSCT's production of Charlotte's Web.

Ron Simonian "Bazookas Showgirls" commercials

One of the new Bazooka's Showgirls TV spots, starring Ron Simonian.

more at Youtube

KC Repertory "Carousel" review by Mark Edelman

Take a big, classic musical like Rodgers and Hammerstein’s CAROUSEL (now thru April 6 at KC Rep). Get rid of the pretty period clothes, the handsome scenery, and most of the musicians… Add some grit, compliments of local theater trailblazers Rusty Sneary and Kyle Hatley, the artists behind Crossroads area theater company The Living Room. Play the whole thing in the round, so the actors are literally in your face, and you’ve got KC Rep’s hip “new” musical hit.

more at KC Confidential

Friday, March 22, 2013

Tatsuya Nakatani, Walnut Street Laundromat performances by Steve Paul

Improvisational percussionist

Another section from his improv at the Walnut Street Laundromat.

Another clip from laundromat recital.

  Never seen this before: Nakatani blows through cymbal opening on top of drum head, a primal wail.

Heartland Men's Chorus "Falling in Love Again" preview by Laura Spencer

In the 1920's and into the early 1930's, there was a thriving gay culture in Europe, especially in Berlin. But, with the rise of Hitler and the Nazi party, that all changed. The Heartland Men’s Chorus explores the music of the period, and a tale of two lovers sent to concentration camps – and their different fates - in a program called “Falling In Love Again.”

more at KCUR

WTCT Players "War of the Worlds" preview by Bill Blankenship

An Oct. 30, 1938, radio broadcast that caused thousands of listeners to panic because they believed it was news of a Martian invasion will be one of the scripts the WTCT Players will present Sunday at Topeka Civic Theatre & Academy.

more at the Topeka Capital Journal

Barbara Wiggins steps down as director of Topeka Performing Arts Center

Barbara Wiggins has faced numerous challenges in the seven years she has served as executive director for the Topeka Performing Arts Center, including city funding cuts. But Wiggins hasn’t backed down and continues to garner support for TPAC even though her stint as executive director will end Wednesday.

more at the Topeka Capital Journal

KC Repertory "Carousel" review by BobEvans

CAROUSEL revisited Rating: 5

Kansas City Repertory Theatre

If the Shirley Jones and Gordon MacRea movie of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel is one of your all time favorites, chances are you will not appreciate the re-tooled version of the classic to appeal to more modern audiences.

If, however, you are open minded, be sure to check out the Kansas City Repertory Theater's version of Carousel and see a show so different from what you expect. Historically, The Living Room produced the classic with innovative style and changes about two years ago. The show drew the attention of the REP and talks began to recreate The Living Room's version of the classic, but staged and presented by the Rep in its theater. But, to recreate the new version, the REP had to redesign their entire stage and seating. And wow, what a transition. Instead of seeing the ample stage and terraced seating, ushers escort patrons onto what was the original stage and also escort patrons through back stage corridors to find seats. Gone are the terraced seats, and four new sections are positioned on the actual stage. Two additional sections replace the area where the orchestra seating formerly lay.

Carousel puts the audience directly in the performance space. The show, performed in the round uses all aisles as entrance and exit areas for the actors as they work through the show. Should a patron need to leave during the performance, he or she is actually in the performance areas.

To be more earthy and realistic, the high soprano strains of the characters of Julie and Carrie have been lowered an octave. The booming baritone of Billy has also been lowered some as well. The vocals now resemble more real persons and not near operetta-style performances. That alone gives the show a well-needed shot in the arm. Similarly, costumes now reflect the styles one would see on a coastline fishing village. And, the clothes look like what normal people would wear. The set is void of extravagant props and no carousel is ever seen in this production.

With the show performed in the round, the audience feels like it is actually inside the show. But, even with the innovate re-tooling of the show, the story line remains weak. While audiences remember the musical score of the show, the music does not match the story. The musical score is light and the story is darker. The long anticipated resolution remains weak as it does in the original story. But, that's the flaw in the original script, not a weakness of the production. The REP does a wonderful job of interpreting Carousel, and it should not be missed.

To reflect the popularity of Carousel, the Rep already announced extended performances. Some shows are already at capacity and others are filling fast. Call soon or take the chance of missing the production.

As for the acting, rest assured the casting by The Living Room remains mostly intact with only a few replacements of some smaller parts due to scheduling conflicts. Strong performances come from the principals, as expected from a carefully selected, well-seasoned cast. Molly Denningoff portrays Julie Jordan with a confidence found lacking in other versions of the show. Liz Clark portrays the simple-minded Carrie with less naivety than the better known screen version. Both ladies deliver strong acting and vocal skills. And, Katie Gilchrist consistently brings strong characterization and vocal performance to every performance. Expect no less in this version.

As for the male leads, Rusty Sneary gives the character of Billy more grit than other versions. While he is the "hero" of the story, he is a bad man that makes bad choices. Sneary threads the needle with his characterization and allows some of Billy's bad decisions to play larger while minimizing some of Billy's fatal faults to soften the character. Vocally, he matches the revised show with less grand, operetta-like vocals. His acting and vocals match well with this production. Kyle Hatley portrays an unnamed God-like character that helps guide Billy to repent of worldly faults. Uncredited in the program, Hatley provides pivotal interventions in Act II and moves the show toward its resolution. Though a smaller part, his expertise and delivery of the part stand apart from most of the cast.

Overall, expect not a traditional Rodgers and Hammerstein show. Go in open minded and enjoy a performance that would please the originators. They could never envision what the combined efforts of The Living Room and The Kansas City Repertory Theaters created.

CinemaKC "Directors of Photography" episode

Episode 13: Directors Of Photography

Mayor's Task Force for the Arts update by Laura Spencer

In January, the Mayor’s Task Force for the Arts launched a series of meetings - at community centers, nature centers, libraries and other venues - to try to map out a vision for Kansas City’s arts and cultural policy. Ideas and feedback (including a survey; click on "share your voice!") are still being collected over the next few months for the city's first comprehensive review since 1997.

more at KCUR

Thursday, March 21, 2013

American Heartland "Life Could Be a Dream" review by BobEvans

Absolute fun in the 50s Rating: 5

Life Could Be A Dream
American Heartland Theatre

American Heartland Theater of late provides light, fun shows that
entertain their patrons but do not challenge their thinking. The
current show, Life Could Be a Dream certainly follows this pattern;
however, this show strikes a fun note from its onset with a fantastic
cast, toe-tapping bebop music, a great band to back up the
performers and songs, and an element of happiness that grows the
show beyond its script.

UMKC Conservatory "Midsummer Night's Dream" review by Joey Hill

The UMKC Conservatory opened a rendition of Benjamin Britten’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” an operatic adaptation of William Shakespeare’s classic comedy, on Thursday, March 14.

more at the University News

KC Art Institute "A Day in the Park" review by Joey Hill

The Kansas City Art Institute. in collaboration with UMKC, hosted the fifth operatic reading of poet of late Dina Von Zweck’s “A Day In The Park,” with musical accompaniment of the season on Tuesday March 12.

more at the University News

Nathan Granner, Ben Gully performances

Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho

Nessun Dorma

Robert Trussell surveys small theatre companies

Theater companies come in two sizes: Big and small.  And these days Kansas City has more small professional theater companies than ever before.

more at

Harrison Ford coming to Kansas City

He’s been in space, in the desert and aboard Air Force One.  Now Harrison Ford is coming to Kansas City. In April, the versatile 70-year-old actor will lend his fame to a benefit showing of his upcoming Jackie Robinson movie, “42.”

more at
and at KSHB
and at the Pitch
and at KCUR

CinemaKC "Women Behind the Camera" episode

Episode 11: Women Behind the Cam

KC Repertory "Carousel" review by Deborah Hirsch

Carousel isn't meant to be blithely uplifting, and the version being staged by the Living Room and the Kansas City Repertory Theatre isn't. But it's a happy collaboration, freshening the work without diluting its essential toughness.

more at the Pitch

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

British traveler tours jazz, bbq, and the Kauffman Center

I left my heart in Kansas City. That reads like a Tony Bennett song or a film noir. In fact, I left it in Chicago, next door, and it was taken, not left. A younger me followed a damsel across states in pursuit of, well... something.

more at the Daily Mail

[Thanks, Plastic Sax]

Pete Weber "12th Street Jump" interview by Justin Kendall

Occupation: Host of National Public Radio's 12th Street Jump, professional actor, and presentation manager for Theater League's touring Broadway shows.

more at the Pitch

Coterie "Slashdance" review by Joey Hill

It’s easy to say the walking un-dead have infested almost every corner of the present culture. Zombies are proving to appear as a full blown cultural force, finding a place for themselves in any setting, any genre and any decade. Thus, it’s no surprise they would find a comfortable spot in the 1980s.

more at the University News

Black House Quartet performance

KC Repertory "Fearless ête" promo

Mark your calendar now for our annual gala on Friday, April 5, at 7:00pm at Spencer Theatre. We are turning our grounds into a carnival for this year's Carousel-themed fête. Our annual gala will be a celebration of all the things we love about a carnival, including stunning performances, games, activities, and deliciously spectacular culinary feats from some of your favorite local restaurants.

Angelina Sansone, Ryan Jolicoeur-Nye "Splendid Isolation" interview by the KC Ballet

Dancers Angelina Sansone & Ryan Jolicoeur-Nye talk about performing the ballet choreographed by Jessica Lang, 'Splendid Isolation III.' This piece is part of Kansas City Ballet's winter program featuring 'A Midsummer Night's Dream.'

"Nailbiter" trailer from Lionsgate

On DVD May 28th! Forced to take refuge from a deadly tornado, the Maguire family finds shelter in an abandoned storm cellar. As the storm passes, the family tries to make their way out, only to realize that someone - or something not quite human - is holding them captive. Struggling to get out alive, they soon find out they aren't alone.

KC Ballet "Midsummer Nights Dream" preview

There is one weekend left to see Kansas City Ballet's winter program featuring 'A Midsummer Night's Dream,' 'Splendid Isolation III,' and 'Concerto Grosso.' March 22-24 at the Kauffman Center!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Mizzou New Music Intiative receives state-wide coverage

The Mizzou New Music Initiative has been in the news for several reasons in recent weeks.

more at the Mizzou New Music Initiative

Unicorn "Good People" review by Paul Donovan

The new show at the Unicorn, "Good People", is a slice-of-life story about the class struggle in Boston. I know, there has been a lot of talk about in the media and the arts recently about lower class vs. middle class (including shows produced this season at the Unicorn). You may be tempted to skip this play. But that would be a mistake. Nominated for the 2011 Tony Award for Best Play, this is a slice of life that needs to be seen and appreciated.

more at Camp