Thursday, January 31, 2013

Lyric Opera "Flying Dutchman" set construction photos

Check out photos from Week 5 of construction for the set of the upcoming production of The Flying Dutchman. Painting continues, with textures being applied on top of base coats. Construction continues, as more and more of the set pieces are taking shape. Sewing work also began on sails for the ships.

more at the Lyric Opera 
and more here

Christian Youth Theatre annual gala photos

The CYT annual gala featured an evening of dining, dancing, auctions and entertainment from CYT kids and alumni.

more at the Johnson County Lifestyle

Composer Kirke Mechem interview by Laura Spencer

Composer Kirke Mechem grew up in Topeka, Kansas, but he's lived in San Francisco since 1963. He says he still considers himself a Midwesterner: "You can take the boy out of Kansas, but you can never take Kansas out of the boy."

more at KCUR

KC Ballet "Nutcracker Luncheon" photos by Larry Levenson

December 13th was the date for the Kansas City Ballet Guild’s annual Nutcracker Luncheon to honor Artistic Director William Whitener’s final season. Guests enjoyed entertainment by surprise guest, Marilyn Maye, and personal tributes by Vicki Baxter, Kimberly Cowen, Logan Pachciarz, Jason Pollen, Wil Rowland, and Wendy Powell. 

more at the Independent

Shawnee Mission East "Drowsy Chaperone" preview by PVPoster

You crazy web kids out there probably think you invented the concept of self-referencial “meta-ness,” don’t you? Don’t you! Wellsirs, I invite you to visit SM East starting this Thursday to take a virtual trip back in time — all the way back to the ancient year 1998 — when “The Drowsy Chaperone,” this year’s SM East musical, first debuted.

more at the Prairie Village Post

Mayor's Task Force for the Arts review by midtownkcposter

Mayor Sly James made a commitment to Kansas City’s arts community last night.

more at the Midtown KC Post

William Chrisman "Beverly Hillbillies" preview by Kelly Evenson

Emily Sukolics loves how her character of Granny Moses gets her sayings mixed up throughout William Chrisman’s spring play of “The Beverly Hillbillies.”

more at the Examiner

KC Repertory "Death of a Salesman" review by Frank Siraguso

Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman is a play about identity – personal, family and professional. Willy, played for keeps by Gary Neal Johnson, is losing his grip on reality. He can't make his 30-odd years on the road as a salesman add up. Throughout the play, Willy constantly asks, what's the secret? He means the secret of success. Willy also constantly rebukes himself for not following Ben, his older brother, to Alaska for certain success. (Turns out Ben actually went to Africa and found a diamond mine. Either way, he was still rich.)

more at Infozine

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

"Iris" short film by Zodiac Cinema

A girl with a special gift can find love for everyone but herself.

UMKC Downtown Campus narrowed to two sites

Chancellor Leo Morton said a proposed location for the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s downtown conservatory has been ruled out, leaving two main candidates.

more at the KC Business Journal

Philanthropist Adele Hall dead at 81

Adele Coryell Hall, local philanthropist and wife of Hallmark chairman Donald J. Hall, has died. She was 81 years old.

more at NBC Action News

and at KMBC 
and more here

and at KC Week in Review

and at Fox4 News

and at

and the KC Business Journal 

and at the Midtown KC Post 

and at KC Confidential

and a word from the Nelson-Atkins Museum at Infozine

"Craigslust" short film by David Berry

2012 Independent Filmmakers Coalition "Fiery Wheel of Film" festival entry...

Unicorn "Black Top Sky" review by Piddums

Black Top Sky shows a strong new voice
Rating: 4

BlackTop Sky
Unicorn Theatre

Antonio got tasered by the cops. When we first see Ida
(Chioma Anyanwu), she's standing in a seedy little
park, telling the story of how Antonio, a street
vendor, was first harassed, then attacked by a group of
police officers and how he's now unconscious in jail,
handcuffed to a bed. The seedy little park is the
common area of a large housing project. While she's
there, she loses her keys. And that's what complicates

Johnson County Community College "Jazz Winterlude" photos by kcjazzlark

I wasn’t sure what to expect. Sure, it was free. But it was indoors on an unexpectedly pleasant Saturday afternoon. It was jazz in suburban Johnson County starting at 1 p.m. And basketball was on TV. Two jazz fans told me they would love to come but they couldn’t because they’d be watching basketball.

more at kcjazzlark

Pipe organs in Kansas City by Lee Hill Cavanaugh

Few musicians can boast that their instrument rises seven stories high and lives inside a million-dollar building that a team of architects, designers, acousticians and artists created just for its music.

more at

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KC Repertory "Death of a Salesman" review by Meredith Shea

A gripping story of the American dream gone wrong comes alive in Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman” at the Kansas City Repertory Theatre.
Willy Loman has spent his whole life attempting to work his way up the sales ladder in order to raise a family and own a house, but nothing seems to make him happy.  Now in his sixties, medical issues are getting the best of him.  He battles with constant hallucinations, attempted suicides and his two disastrous sons, Biff and Happy.

more at the University News

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Stan Kessler, Beau Bledsoe "Passport" review by Happy in Bag

Passport, the self-titled debut album by the duo of guitarist Beau Bledsoe and trumpeter Stan Kessler, is one of the most breathtakingly beautiful recordings to emanate from Kansas City in recent memory. 

more at Plastic Sax

Unicorn "Black Top Sky" review by Steve Wilson

The Unicorn Theatre presented the world premiere of Christina Anderson’s play, “BlackTop Sky” on Saturday Jan. 26 in the Jerome Theatre. She attended Yale and Brown Universities in New York and was named as one of fifteen up-and-coming artists “whose work will be transforming America’s stages for decades to come.” This homecoming for Anderson, a Kansas City, Kan. native, is the first work produced in the Kansas City area since she made her appearance on the national scene.

more at

KC Women in Film extends Short Screenplay Contest deadline

KCWIFT has a valentine for you! To show our love for female filmmakers, we're extending the KCWIFT & KC FilmFest Short Screenplay Contest deadline to March 1, 2013. That's right, no more excuses! You have all of February to submit your screenplay.

more at KC Women in Film and Television

Metropolitan Chorale, Nelson-Atkins review by Sai Srikar Kadiyam

There exists a very true and almost primordial connection between visual art and music. When this connection is fully realized, the outcome can fulfill beauty on a gargantuan scale. On Jan. 26, the Metropolitan Chorale of Kansas City, conducted by UMKC’s Dr. Rebecca Johnson, made this beauty real in the Sculpture Hall at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

more at the University News

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

What makes a better companion to lunch than live music? Live classical music, that’s what. On Jan. 25, UMKC’s Conservatory of Music hosted “Bach’s Lunch,” a lunchtime concert performance of Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Peasant Cantata.” (A “Cantata” is a lyrical composition accompanied by music.)

more at the University News

Coterie "Number the Stars" review by Robert Trussell

Well, I hadn’t seen evil Nazis on stage in years, so there was something bracing about watching agents of unmitigated evil strut across the stage and through the aisles of the Coterie Theatre.

more at

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"Postcards from the Past: Schubert Theatre" by Felicia Londré

This article is from the December 2012 issue of KC Stage

When David Warfield played The Music Master at Kansas City's Shubert Theatre in April 1907, over 1,000 people lined up overnight to buy tickets. In the morning, despite heavy rains, the line stretched east on 10th Street across Baltimore and into the lobby of the bank that is today's Central Library. The charming theatre opened in 1906 as part of the New York-based Shubert brothers' chain of theatres built to check the power of the ruthlessly monopolistic Theatrical Syndicate. Known as "the house cosy", the Shubert long maintained an avid clientele by presenting top stars in New York touring companies. But times changed and it was demolished in 1936.

 The Shubert's main entrance faced 10th Street in the middle of the block where spines of gigantic books now adorn the parking ramp. From the lobby of the theatre, one entered the main floor of the auditorium that sloped down toward the stage so that one did not have to climb stairs. The two balconies hung low to enhance the feeling of intimacy in the 1,625-seat house. The Shubert was equipped with both gas and electric lighting.

Felicia Hardison Londré is curators' professor of theatre at UMKC, specializing in French, Russian, and Kansas City theatre history. She currently (2012-14) serves as dean of the College of Fellows of the American Theatre.

KC Repertory "Death of a Salesman" review by Robert Trussell

Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman” is rightly considered a classic, but it has been criticized roundly through the years. To wit: The dramatic elements are obvious and overstated, it’s an anti-capitalist screed, and the dialogue sometimes employs jarring, incongruous syntax when Miller attempts elevated language befitting high tragedy.

more at

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Monday, January 28, 2013

Downtown Arts Campus update by Nathan Zoschke

The most likely scenario for the proposed Downtown Arts Campus is a phased build out, beginning with the relocation of the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance. The project, which has a strong civic support, includes a $90 million price tag.

more at the University News

Unicorn "Black Top Sky" review by Robert Trussell

As the Kansas City theater community continues to make its presence felt in New York and Chicago, we should remember what it takes to build a reputation beyond the borders of Jackson, Johnson and Wyandotte counties. Producing high-quality work, of course, is the top priority, but a commitment to experimentation is another vital ingredient.

more at

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Russian National Ballet "Swan Lake" review by Libby Hanssen

The key to capitalism is to give the people what they want. Kansas City balletomanes want “Swan Lake.” The Russian National Ballet Theatre performed the beloved Tchaikovsky story ballet Friday night to a sold-out crowd in the Muriel Kauffman Theatre, presented by the Harriman-Jewell Series. This was the company’s fourth appearance in the series, since its first American tour in 1999 performing, of course, “Swan Lake.”

more at

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Mayor's "Envision Arts & Culture KC" preview by Robert Trussell

We’ve been hearing it and feeling it for years: Kansas City is emerging as a vibrant place for the arts and culture. But it took a timely swipe by a prominent spokesman for the arts to turn the subject into an agenda item at City Hall.

more at

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Uptown Mandolin Quartet 40th Anniversary preview by Sara Shepherd

Beth Dearinger didn’t know how to play mandolin. But when she heard several of the unique instruments playing tremolo together, she was entranced.

more at the Lawrence Journal World

KC Ballet 2013-2014 Season

It will be a story-filled season for the Kansas City Ballet when 2013-14 comes around. The company, which was scheduled to announce its next season at an event Saturday night, plans three evening-length ballets, including the holiday “Nutcracker,” a recent-vintage “Cinderella” and the local premiere of “Dracula,” a crowd-pleaser from choreographer Michael Pink.

more at

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Singer Wennely Quezada interview by Adrianne DeWeese

A couple of years ago, Wennely Quezada begged her mother to let her participate in karaoke night at a restaurant. Wennely, then 10 years old, even had a song picked out: “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going,” from the Broadway musical “Dreamgirls.”

more at the Examiner

KC Repertory "Death of a Salesman" review by Steve Wilson

The Kansas City Repertory Theatres production of “Death of a Salesman”, by renowned playwright Arthur Miller, opened Friday night Jan. 25 at the Spencer Theater on the University of Missouri at Kansas City campus. The play is a co-production of UMKC Theatre, with support of the Hall Family Foundation. The classic was written by Miller in 1949 and remains timeless through the ages. The work seems even more meaningful today, with the current economic situation faced by families all around the country.

more at the Examiner

Sunday, January 27, 2013

KC Symphony, Martinu, Schoenberg, Schumann preview by Patrick Neas

The Kansas City Symphony this season has been featuring music inspired by the visual arts — think Modest Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition” and Paul Hindemith’s “Mathis der Maler” Symphony. Next weekend the orchestra, conducted by Michael Stern, will perform a 20th-century classic based on Italian Renaissance art and the world premiere of a work the Symphony commissioned inspired by art contained in the Nelson-Atkins Museum.

more at

James Carter review by Bill Brownlee

Organ trios are often dismissed as disreputable offshoots of proper jazz that belong in smoky taverns rather than in respectable concert halls. The artistically astute performance by the James Carter Organ Trio at the Folly Theater on Friday discredited that assumption.

more at

Robert Trussell looks at arts funding through personal sponsorships

Art needs money and money needs art. Money allows the arts to flourish. Art allows wealth to be a positive cultural force. It’s a relationship you can trace to, well, to the invention of money itself.

more at

KC Repertory "Death of a Salesman" review by kellyluck

The Epic, The Tragedy, and the Man on the Street
Rating: 5

Death of a Salesman
Kansas City Repertory Theatre

Tragedy is the art of the third act. Every tragedy, no
matter its setting or the players involved, is the
final chapter of a tale that stretches long before. We
as the audience are brought to bear witness as the
wheels that were set in motion years, even generations
ago reach their final point. We are neither judge nor
jury, these things being out of our hands. But the
thing must be seen, and so we come and we watch again
as the protagonist's dreams fall out of his grasp, the
same mistakes are repeated over and over, and always
the same shattering consequences.

Bazillion commericals

3D Animated Tiger sequences for Missouri University.
MDS Cabinets

3C Network - 3 x :30's
Three :30 spots

Theatre League 2013-2014 Season

“War Horse,” the poignant World War I drama that ran for years in London and in New York, will be the chief item of interest on the 2013-14 season just announced by Theater League and Broadway Across America.

more at

Starlight taking applications for Community Ticket Program

Starlight Theatre is continuing its tradition of offering free nights of Broadway musicals to groups serving individuals who might otherwise miss out. Since the theatre's inaugural season in 1951, the Starlight Community Ticket Program has distributed 364 free tickets every night of every performance to area not-for-profits and the individuals they serve.

more at Broadway World

Heartland Men's Chorus "Broadway Rocks" photos by Fran Mattox

Fans of The Men’s Heartland Chorus flocked to the Kauffman Center of the Performing Arts on Thursday evening for toe-tapping songs from recent Broadway musicals like Wicked and Mamma Mia and Lion King.

more at Mingle

Saturday, January 26, 2013

University of Central Missouri dedicates rehearsal hall

The University of Central Missouri Department of Music recently recognized the dedication of a member of its emeriti faculty with the dedication of the Russell Coleman Rehearsal Hall in the university’s Utt Building.

more at the University of Central Missouri

Fox4News visits City in Motion for dance lessons

This is what happened when Fox-4 WDAF in Kansas City came to the City in Motion dance school and company to get a ballet lesson for their morning anchors. This was a fun feature with the station anchors to go along with their coverage of "Billie Elliot" opening on stage in KC (that coming weekend). Publicist Nancy Besa made the arrangements and the crew consisted of a camera guy, producer Camissa Hill, anchor and traffic guy Nick Vasos with meteorologist Michelle Bogowith and anchor/reporter Kim Byrnes. CIM's instructor for the ballet lesson was Ann Shaughnessy who instructs at the CIM school and is a member of the CIM professional dance troupe. They were great sports and actually did well taking about two hours to do the shooting. Producer Camissa showed her dance chops with what was an obvious knowledge of dance in her planning and vocabulary. Dance was one of her majors in college at Syracuse U. She also got Nick to don black tights and a pink tutu. They also brought a Black Swan tutu but really went for the pink. They had a lot of fun which you will see from the laughter. I hope you have as much fun watching.
The URL for the page with stills is at:

Störling Dance Theater "Underground" on "The Local Show"

In a week where our nation pays tribute to Dr. King and his accomplishments in the struggle for civil rights, preparations are also underway for an annual event which tackles similar issues in a most unusual and dramatic way.

It's the Störling Dance Theater's production of Underground, inspired by activities along the Underground Railroad. The company's artistic director, Mona Störling-Enna may come from Finland, but working with a team based out of the Culture House in Olathe, Underground emerges to tell a very American tale.

Underground, featuring original music by Jay Pfeiffer, will be performed on Saturday February 2 at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.

Quality Hill "I'll Be Seeing You" review by andiam

Once again earning the name Rating: 5

I'll Be Seeing You: The Songs of World War ll
Quality Hill Playhouse

As usual, Kent Barnhart has produced an evening of solid
entertainment. This isn't the sort of music I normally
listen to (I don't believe I have a single recording of
any of the songs he included). However, Kent, along with
the three singers and wonderful rhythm section he brought
on board, really sells these songs. Molly Hammer is a
thorough professional. Colleen Grate, an outstanding
Broadway belter, is one of KC's rising stars. And while
it may be unfair to single out any one of the three,
Lauren Braton was definitely my favorite. Her rendition
of "P.S. I Love You" was breathtaking. Let's face it,
however. The real star of a QH production is Kent
Barnhart himself, with his well-researched narration that
lets us understand how the songs reflect the times in
which they were written. Thanks to him, the show is much
more than the sum of its parts. The show closed with a
beautifully understated rendition of "God Bless America,"
including the rarely heard verse that puts the song in
its historical context.

Union Station gets a new movie screen

In just a few minutes the old screen surface was removed to make way for a brand new silver surface optimized for 4k 3D videos!

It took 30 guys faster than you would think to carry in this 1800lb screen through a small hole, unroll it, and hoist it into place without touching the screen surface!

Unicorn "Black Top Sky" cast interviews

Are these two guys really fighting over a woman? In the world premiere play "BlackTop Sky", actors Tosin Morohunfola and Frank Oakley III portray Klass, an intriguing stranger, and Wynn, the steady boyfriend of the female character, Ida, who is played by Chioma Anyanwu. In this video, they discuss what it's like as they compete for Ida's attention. The play is by Christina Anderson, directed by Mykel Hill, and onstage at Unicorn Theatre Jan. 23-Feb. 10, 2013 in Kansas City, MO

Brownback launches statewide arts initiative

Gov. Sam Brownback's administration tried to launch a new statewide arts initiative on Thursday, but questions arose immediately about how to proceed, including whether the director works for the arts commissioners or vice versa.

more at the Lawrence Journal World

Comedy City Improv on "KC Live"

Are you ready for a laugh? How about a show that is truly unique each and every night? ComedyCity brings television style improv to the stage in Kansas City. Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday night, the team of comedians works the stage and even uses some audience volunteers in the fun.

ComedyCity featuring Major League Improv 817 Westport Rd Kansas City, MO (behind Westport Flea Market) 7:30pm and 10:00pm Tickets: $9 - $13

Friday, January 25, 2013

Missouri Arts Council funds being diverted by Governor

Arts organizations in Missouri are starving for money—and are saying a violation of state law is involved.   The Senate appropriations committee has been told this is a life or death issue for the Missouri Arts council.  Council Chairman Nola Ruth says the council needs three million dollars in the next state budget “so that we can survive.”

more at the Missourian

American Heartland "Menopause" review by Steve Wilson

Yelling, mood swings and hot flashes, the only way to enjoy menopause is at the American Heartland Theatre production of, “Menopause, The Musical.” The play, written by Jeanie Linders, is running through February 17 at the Off Center Theatre in Crown Center.

more at

Recent development on the Broadway corridor by Metaphor Media

A short historical background of the Broadway corridor with an emphasis on new growth and developments that occurred in the year of 2012.

White Theatre "Next to Normal" preview by Ruth Baum Bigus

The topic of mental illness is one that touches many lives — one in four Americans struggle with mental illness in any given year. The Jewish Community Center Cultural Arts Department raises the issue of dealing with mental illness in its production of the musical “Next To Normal” at the White Theatre.

more at the KC Jewish Chronicle

Coterie "Number the Stars" preview

Showing until February 21, 2013 at the Coterie Theatre. Based on the Newbery Medal winning book by Lois Lowry. During World War II, the Johansen family faces soldiers, interrogations, fierce dogs and the loss of loved ones to help their neighbors, the Rosens, escape across the ocean to safety in Sweden. Based on true actions during the Holocaust. Part of the Coterie's Preteen/Young Adult Series. 816-474-6552 or

American Heartland "Hound of the Baskervilles" preview

Showing until February 24, 2013 at the American Heartland Theatre. A wildly funny adaptation of the classic Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's story of mystery and suspense. An ancient family curse, a spectral hound and a deranged killer on the loose. One after another, the male heirs of the Baskerville family are being knocked off. Sherlock Holmes, the "greatest detective of all time", sends Dr. Watson to the countryside in order to prevent more bloodshed, and naturally, mayhem of various kinds ensues. A Kansas City premiere. 816-842-9999 or

Sound recordist Chuck Haddix interview by Cindy Hoedel

Chuck Haddix of Kansas City is a sound-recording specialist at Marr Sound Archives at University of Missouri-Kansas City,, and host of the “Fish Fry,” a live music program that airs 8 p.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday on KCUR-FM. This conversation took place inside the archives.

more at

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Music Hall "Billy Elliot" review by Nancy Pistorius

Elton John says that seeing the premiere of the film, Billy Elliot, at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival, changed his life. He was so drawn to the story of one boy's journey to make his dreams come true that he composed the score for the award-winning musical based on the movie. Set in County Durham, UK, during the area's historic mid-1980's coal miners' strike, Billy Elliot the Musical won ten Tony Awards, including Best Musical, in 2009 on Broadway. It's easy to see why critics and audiences alike were won over by the rousing musical numbers, inspirational message, and exuberant dancing.

more at

Thursday, January 24, 2013

James Carter interview by Joe Klopus

James Carter, the saxophonic whiz who brings his organ trio to the Folly Theater on Friday, has a long memory.

more at

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Quality Hill "I'll Be Seeing You" review by Steve Wilson

According to J. Kent Barnhart many of the songs written in the late 30’s or very early 40’s weren’t widely accepted or popular. Some of those songs breathed new life as the United States entered into World War II. Suddenly those songs were on the lips of everyone as they told of love and separation. Those songs were brought back to life in “I’ll Be Seeing You”, at the Quality Hill Playhouse.

more at

Music Hall "Billy Elliot" review by Steve Wilson

Set during the mineworker’s strike of 1984 in Great Britain, comes the story of a young man who finds the beauty and grace of ballet in the macho hard world of the cool miner. Adapted from the motion picture with music by Elton John “Billy Elliott, the Musical”, presented by the Theater League of Kansas City, opened at the Music Hall in downtown Kansas City on Tuesday night.

more at

KC Ballet's pilates studio tour by Josh Spell

Learn about Pilates Reformer from Josh Spell, a company dancer with KCB as well as a certified Pilates Reformer Instructor.

Heartland Men's Chorus "Broadway Rocks" rehearsal

The Heartland Men's Chorus joins the Kansas City Symphony with guest conductor Steven Reineke for "Broadway Rocks!" This event will be rousing evening packed with show stopping numbers from the latest generation of Broadway musicals like "Wicked" and "Mamma Mia." You'll be tapping your toes and dancing in the aisles to the most electrifying songs ever to hit the Great White Way! Featuring upbeat favorites from such high energy shows as "The Lion King," "Rent," "Hairspray" and more. Concerts are January 24 - 26 in Helzberg Hall at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets available online at or (816) 471-0400.

Unicorn "Black Top Sky" preview by Robert Trussell

World premieres aren’t so unusual at the Unicorn Theatre, but “BlackTop Sky” is in a special category. The extended one-act is by Christina Anderson, a native of Kansas City, Kan., who began to write plays in her teens and never stopped. An alumna of the Coterie Theatre’s Young Playwrights Round Table, she went on to study at Brown University and earned her master of fine arts degree in playwriting from the Yale School of Drama.

more at

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Peter Barrett Communications 2013 demo reel

Peter Barrett Demo 2013

Music Hall "Billy Elliot" review by Robert Trussell

The main reason to see “Billy Elliot the Musical” is, of course, the dancing. The national touring production that opened Tuesday at the Music Hall did what it had to do to earn a standing ovation: It softened us up with easy laughs, tugged at our heartstrings with sentimentality, pumped us full of high-octane arrangements of generally forgettable Elton John melodies and dazzled us with some exceptional choreography by Peter Darling. Add to that a big dollop of left-wing British political sentiment, and before you know it you’ve got a crowd-pleaser on your hands.

more at

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Living Room "Black Bird" review by Deborah Hirsch

Relationships are complicated. Especially when the connection is between a 40-year-old man and a 12-year-old girl. That's among the lessons of Scottish playwright David Harrower's Blackbird, said to be inspired by a 2003 case involving a 31-year-old former U.S. Marine, Toby Studebaker, and a 12-year-old British girl. Together they flew to France and checked into a hotel, having met online the year before.

more at the Pitch