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Performance
5:00 am
Thu November 14, 2013

KU Theater Department Reinvents Stage Design With Computer Technology

Mark Reaney's computerized rendering of the set of the University Theatre's production of 'Adding Machine: A Musical'.
Mark Reaney Department of Theatre, University of Kansas

When the University Theatre at the University of Kansas in Lawrence first staged the play The Adding Machine in 1995, it garnered national attention. American Theatre magazine was impressed by the way the production utilized cutting edge computer animation in its set design. This week, the department opens a musical version of the play with its scenic designer intact while the technology used is now much more advanced.

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Visual Arts
5:40 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

KCI Terminal A Closing, But Public Art Remains, For Now

The terrazzo flooring of 'Polarities' is underfoot in Terminal A.
Julie Denesha KCUR

At Kansas City International Airport, Air Canada, US Airways and United are moving to Terminal C, and Terminal A is expected to close on Jan. 9, 2014. But what does this mean for the public artwork - inside and outside the terminal?

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Performance
4:38 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

'The Magic Flute' Reimagined

In 'The Magic Flute' a comic tale of love buffeted by the forces of good and evil. Kathryn Lewek, plays the Queen of the Night.
Julie Denesha KCUR

The Magic Flute, by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, first premiered in Vienna in 1791. A comic tale of love buffeted by the forces of good and evil, the opera is a singspiel, including both spoken dialogue and song.

For the Lyric Opera of Kansas City's production, artist and ceramicist Jun Kaneko, based in Omaha, Neb., designed the fanciful set design and costumes.

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Up to Date
1:40 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

Up To Date's Indie, Foreign & Doc Critics' 'Three To See,' Nov. 8-10

Cynthia Haines and Steve Walker both recommend "12 Years a Slave" this weekend.
Credit Fox Searchlight Pictures

Looking for a great film to see the weekend of November 8-10? Up to Date's indie, documentary and foreign film critics share their three favorites showing on area screens.

Cynthia Haines:

  • Wadjda
  • 12 Years a Slave
  • All is Lost

Steve Walker

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Visual Arts
7:48 am
Fri November 8, 2013

A. Bitterman Enters Community Dialogue About Controversial 'Scout' Billboard

One side of A. Bitterman's two-part billboard showed the artist, standing on scaffolding and on a chair, pointing a gun at 'The Scout.'
courtesy of the artist

In late September, a billboard went up picturing a white man aiming a rifle at The Scout, the locally-famous statue of a Native American on horseback that’s in Penn Valley Park. The billboard also called out a cheery “Discover Kansas City!” in cursive font. But, it didn’t go over very well. The billboard came down about a week after it went up, and it nearly wasn’t installed at all.   

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Performance
5:00 am
Thu November 7, 2013

Immersion In Music Inspires Jun Kaneko's 'The Magic Flute'

Artist Jun Kaneko created the scenic and costume design for Mozart's 'The Magic Flute.'
Cory Weaver

Artist Jun Kaneko grew up in Japan, but he's been based in Omaha, Neb. since the mid-1980's.  He's known for his monumental ceramic sculptures, including his signature "dangos," or rounded forms - and he’s also created scenic and costume design for opera.

Mozart’s The Magic Flute marks Kaneko's third opera. The set is almost entirely digital animated projection, with colorful, whimsical costumes. The Lyric Opera of Kansas City opens the production this weekend at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.

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Up To Date
11:40 am
Tue November 5, 2013

Evocative Portraits From Photographer Gregory Heisler

Oceanographer Robert Ballard discovered the wreckage of the Titanic.
Greg Heisler

Photographer Gregory Heisler admits that the process of making a portrait is fraught with unease.

The sitter, Heisler says, doesn't want to face reality. For the photographer, that's all there is.

Greg Heisler has spent a quarter century photographing covers for Time, Life and Sports Illustrated.

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Up to Date
11:41 am
Sun November 3, 2013

Steve's Bookshelf: Cracking Camelot And Becoming American

Steve Kraske speaks with authors Thurston Clarke, Robert Dallek and Domingo Martinez.

John F. Kennedy was no King Arthur, but his life has often been compared to Camelot.

On Monday's Up to Date, we revisit Steve’s Bookshelf, a collection of books on Steve Kraske's radar right now. We talk with Thurston Clarke and Robert Dallek the authors of two different books that examine the former president’s policies. Also, author Domingo Martinez takes us into the life of a family trying to become “real” Americans on the Texas border.

Guests:

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Film
6:45 am
Fri November 1, 2013

Film Review: '12 Years A Slave' A Portrait Of Dignity Under Extreme Duress

Lupita Nyong'o, Michael Fassbender, and Chiwetel Ejiofor are all excellent in Steve McQueen's '12 Years a Slave.'
Credit Courtesy / Fox Searchlight Pictures

In director Steve McQueen’s thematically brutal yet beautifully composed film 12 Years a Slave, Chiwetel Ejiofor gives an astonishing performance as Solomon Northup, a black musician whose trusting nature leads to the ultimate betrayal when he goes from a free man to a slave. That both director and actor are British and black isn’t an anomaly but rather an obtuse argument that perhaps American filmmakers are too close to the story of slavery in this country to do it justice.

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Performance
6:41 am
Fri November 1, 2013

[VIDEO] Eboni Fondren 'Ain't Misbehavin' At Spinning Tree Theatre

Eboni Fondren in 'Ain't Misbehavin.'
Credit Julie Denesha / KCUR

In this scene, singer Eboni Fondren performs 'I've Got a Feeling I'm Falling' in Spinning Tree Theatre's production of Ain't Misbehavin' at Just Off Broadway Theatre.

"Ain't Misbehavin is a celebration of the music Fats Waller wrote, performed, and made famous during the 1930s Harlem Renaissance," says co-director Andy Parkhurst.

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Visual Arts
5:00 am
Fri November 1, 2013

Kemper Museum's Exhibition Gets 'Dressed Up'

Hope Gangloff, Vera, 2013; acrylic on canvas, 81 x 54 inches.
Collection of Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art

The Halloween season is a time when, for at least a night or two, you can become something – or someone – else.  An exhibition at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art called Dressed Up explores the "theater of the self," and the role of nature, culture, reality and perception.

Creating a new self-image

"Let’s be really ornery in the museum," encourages librarian Meghann Henry. "And on the count of three, you're going to count shout ‘Good morning!’ One, two three, 'Good morning!' Pretty good, alright."

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Classical
9:30 am
Thu October 31, 2013

Haunting Soundtrack For Silent Classic 'The Phantom Of The Opera'

'The Phantom of the Opera' starred Lon Chaney, as the phantom who haunts the Paris Opera House.
Credit Blackhawk Films/Image Entertainment

The Phantom of the Opera, a 1925 silent film, tells the story of an organist who lurks beneath an opera house. This Halloween night, organist Aaron David Miller will be in plain sight at the Kauffman Center, when he provides the soundtrack for a screening of this film.

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KC Currents
9:19 am
Thu October 31, 2013

The Mysterious 400-Year-Old Band That Haunts Kansas City

He Who Bought The Farm would not publicly reveal himself at KCUR. He says he has no head, and wouldn't explain what holds up the hood.
Credit Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR

Almost every year around this time in Kansas City, a musical phenomenon rises up at area bars. A mysterious band called the Haunted Creepys tends to perform around Halloween, and whenever Friday the 13th rolls around. 

The Creepys wear colorful robes and hoods with black netting covering their faces, and they claim to be a 400-year-old band of undead musicians from Transylvania who play original numbers such as Phantom of the Pipeline, Skiffle Haunt and Hairy Tomato.

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Visual Arts
2:42 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Nelson-Atkins Commissions Work From Artist Maya Lin

Artist Maya Lin's new work for the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art will be installed on November 15.
Credit Walter Smith / Courtesy Maya Lin Studio and Pace Gallery

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art has commissioned a new work by architect and artist Maya Lin, who's probably best known as the designer of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. 

Lin’s sculpture, Silver Missouri, inspired by the Missouri River, is crafted from recycled silver, and it’s one in a series of works exploring water conservation. It will be installed in the Bloch Building on November 15. 

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Performance
5:00 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Kansas City Actor Goes From Shakespeare To ‘House Of Cards’

Nathan Darrow plays Edward Meechum, Congressman Francis 'Frank' Underwood's bodyguard and driver in 'House of Cards.'
Credit Netflix

In the Netflix series, House of Cards, actor Nathan Darrow, a native of Kansas City, plays Edward Meechum. It's an understated role, but he's the keeper of secrets as the bodyguard and driver for ruthless Congressman Francis "Frank" Underwood, played by Kevin Spacey.

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Up to Date
9:30 am
Mon October 28, 2013

Johnny Carson: The King Of Late Night

Credit henrybushkin.com

With Jimmy Fallon due to take over "The Tonight Show" in early 2014, many are looking back to the days when Johnny Carson hosted the late night show.

On Monday's Up to Date, Steve Kraske talks with Carson's former lawyer, Henry Bushkin about his new behind-the-scenes memoir detailing his relationship with the longest running "Tonight Show" host. From their initial meeting in 1970 to their falling out in 1988, Carson trusted Bushkin as his legal advisor, tennis partner, and close friend. 

Guests:

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Up to Date
7:24 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

Local Listen: The Silver Maggies

The music of The Silver Maggies is a unique blend of gothic country and high desert noir, resulting in a sound that’s dark and lonely... and maybe a little dangerous.   In this week’s local listen, we hear “End of Time” from their album “My Pale Horse”. The Silver Maggies appear Friday evening October 25th at The Brick, sharing the stage with Starhaven Rounders and Amy Farrand.  

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Up to Date
11:45 am
Fri October 25, 2013

The Weekend To-Do List, Oct. 25-27, 2013

The Kinsey Sicks parody group performs at Johnson County Community College this weekend.

Looking for something to ward off the chill this weekend? Check out Brian McTavish's Weekend To-Do List for October 25-27, 2013.

Deborah Voigt (Soprano in recital), 8 p.m. Friday at the Folly Theatre, 300 W. 12th. Tickets: $25-$75 

The Kinsey Sicks (Parody group), 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Polsky Theatre, Johnson County Community College. Tickets: $25-$30 

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Up to Date
10:38 am
Fri October 25, 2013

Up To Date's Indie, Foreign & Doc Critics' 'Three To See,' Oct 25-27

The National Theatre of London's presentation of Frankenstein, on screens at the Tivoli, is on Steve Walker's list this week.

Looking for a great film to see the weekend of Oct. 25-27? Up to Date's indie, documentary and foreign film critics share their three favorites showing on area screens. 

Cynthia Haines:

  • Salinger
  • Parkland
  • Gravity 3D

Steve Walker:

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Up to Date
3:00 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

The Worst Gigs In Rock 'N' Roll

Credit worstgig.com

It's hard to imagine Def Leppard, John Mayer, or any other rock musician having a bad day, but Jon Niccum​ begs to differ. 

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Up to Date
4:00 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Children's Book Puts Reader In The Story

Jon Scieszka and Mac Barnett join Steve Kraske to discuss their new book, 'Battle Bunny.'

A boy gets a book he thinks is cheesy-- a tale about a bunny and his birthday. His next move is to take a pen to the pages of the book and make the story a bit more interesting.

In the second part of Thursday's Up to Date, we take a look at a lighter side of life with children’s book authors Jon Scieszka and Mac Barnett as we talk about their new book, Battle Bunny

Guests:

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Performance
5:00 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Kansas City Funeral Home Becomes Unconventional Theatre Venue

The site is funereal but not the play: (left to right) Katie Gilchrist, Jeanne Averill, and David Fritts in Kansas City Actors Theatre's 'Three Viewings' at Muehlebach's Funeral Home.
Credit Brian Paulette / Kansas City Actors Theatre

Most theater productions comfortably nest in traditional, familiar venues, with a proscenium arch, a set taking up three walls, and the audience making up the fourth. Occasionally, though, the material calls for a stretch of the boundaries.

Such is the case with Kansas City Actors Theatre's Three Viewings, a play set in a funeral home whose three-week run will perform at Muehlebach's Funeral Home.

Dearly departed

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Up To Date
3:11 pm
Fri October 18, 2013

Local Listen: The Jorge Arana Trio

The Jorge Arana Trio offers an energetic and eclectic fusion of jazz, rock and funk that has gotten the attention of music lovers throughout Kansas City as a result of their take-no-prisoners live shows. 

In today's Local Listen, we hear Bitter Era from their most recent album, "Mapache."

You can catch the Trio on Sunday October 20 at The Riot Room and November 1 at the Czar Bar.

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Film
5:49 am
Fri October 18, 2013

Film Review: Marital Malaise Leads To Sexual Moonlighting In 'Concussion'

Robin Weigert (right) as Abby, a bored suburban wife and mother who becomes a sexual escort for other women in 'Concussion.'
Credit Courtesy Radius-The Weinstein Company

With two kids, a mini-van and a lull in their love life, Abby and Kate are not much different from their suburban neighbors. The fact that they’re a married lesbian couple is beside the point – it is less important than their domestic apathy - yet still central to Stacie Passon’s assured, candid and clever film Concussion.

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Visual Arts
4:30 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

KU Board of Regents Approves Spencer Museum Expansion Plans

The Spencer Museum of Art at the University of Kansas in Lawrence.
Credit Laura Spencer / KCUR

The Kansas Board of Regents this week approved the renovation and expansion plans for the Spencer Museum of Art at the University of Kansas.

The building where the museum is housed opened to the public in 1978, and according to a news release, the collection has grown by more than 250 percent. This includes the nearly 10,000 objects transferred to the Spencer's holdings in 2007, with the closing of the KU Museum of Anthropology, and other acquisitions.

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Up to Date
4:00 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

DVD Gurus: Putting A Fright In Halloween Night

Mad Love is on the DVD Gurus' list of their favorite horror films.

That chill in the air isn’t the only thing that will give you goosebumps. With the approach of Halloween, all kinds of spooky stuff is coming your way.

On Friday's Up to Date, DVD Gurus Mitch Brian and Jason Heck join us to share their favorite horror films. We’ll follow the creepy tale of a pair of hands with minds of their own, cower from an invisible demon and duck a mad man’s sharp axe. They’ll leave you wanting to check under the bed before you go to sleep tonight.

Mitch:

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Music
9:55 am
Thu October 17, 2013

The Many Talents Of Kansas City Musician Mike Stover

Credit Todd Zimmer

There is something that strings all these different local bands together… Mr. Marco’s V7, The Grisly Hand, Ernest James Zydeco, Dead Voices. Or rather, someone.

Musician Mike Stover plays in all of these bands and more. Normally when you hear a story about a band you hear from the lead singer or songwriter, the person at the front of the stage. Mike Stover is normally in the back or off to the side, sometimes sitting down, he doesn’t sing, just sticks to the strings.

On the night of The Crossroads Music Festival last month, musician Mike Stover was one especially busy guy.

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Visual Arts
5:00 am
Thu October 17, 2013

An Impressionist Journey Through France

Claude Monet, French (1840-1926). The Promenade with the Railroad Bridge, Argenteuil, 1874.
Courtesy: Saint Louis Art Museum

A new exhibition, Impressionist France: Visions of Nation from Le Gray to Monet, at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art examines the relationship between landscape and national identity. There are more than 100 paintings and photographs, from 1850 to 1880, including works by artists such as Manet, Monet and Le Gray, as well as artists well-known at the time but not today.

Photographers and painters construct "an idea of nation"

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Performance
5:00 am
Wed October 16, 2013

[VIDEO] Ramona Pansegrau, A Life At The Piano, Shaped By Dance

Ramona Pansegrau rehearses with Ryan Jolicoeur-Nye and Rachel Coats
Credit Julie Denesha / KCUR

Ramona Pansegrau is a musician whose life has been shaped by dance. This marks Pansegrau's seventh season as both the music director and the conductor for the Kansas City Ballet. And, after three decades of working with dancers, she says creating wonderful moments on stage still gives her a thrill.

Preparations are crucial

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Government
9:38 pm
Mon October 14, 2013

Board Votes, Again, To Sever KC Museum Ties With Union Station

The Kansas City Museum at Corinthian Hall in 2005.
Credit Scutter / Creative Commons

The Kansas City Museum Advisory Board on Monday approved a plan recommending the Kansas City Museum separate from Union Station. The board meeting opened with a Sunshine Law training. The last time the board voted on this issue, the city attorney’s office said it violated the state’s open meetings law.

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