Steve Walker

Arts Reporter

Since 1998, Steve Walker has contributed stories and interviews about theater, visual arts, and music as an arts reporter at KCUR. He's also one Up to Date's regular trio of critics who discuss the latest in art, independent and documentary films playing on area screens. 

In addition, Walker has taught creative writing and film criticism classes at the Kansas City Art Institute and currently teaches at the University of Kansas. His writing has appeared nationally in The Sondheim Review, The Advocate and Theater Week, and locally in The Kansas City Star, The Kansas City Business Journal, Ingram's, The Pitch and Review.

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KCUR Arts
12:29 pm
Thu August 12, 2010

Women Take On The Roles Of Founding Fathers In "1776"

When directors are casting a musical that's been staged before, they're often dependent on what it originally looked like.

Kansas City, MO – The concept of non-traditional casting switches up that formula, putting actors of different genders, race or age into roles that weren't written that way.

Musical Theater Heritage opens a production of "1776" this weekend, boldly asserting that shows don't have to be held hostage to history.

"1776" runs through August 29th at the Off Center Theater in Crown Center.

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Theater/Performance
9:20 am
Thu July 29, 2010

Actors Revisit Roles in KC Actors Theatre's "True West"

There are many theatre roles - say, Romeo and Juliet - that should probably be retired from an actor's repertoire by the time they're 30. But what happens when actors return to roles they played much earlier in their careers?

Kansas City, MO – KCUR's Steve Walker visited with two Kansas City actors who are re-teaming this month in a Sam Shepard play they first appeared in 26 years ago.

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Theater/Performance
1:35 pm
Wed June 23, 2010

"American Idol" Meets" Ugly Duckling" in "Lucky Duck"

 

Update March 2012: The Coterie brought the show to New York for a run at the New Victory Theater. Reviews: Kansas City Star, New York Post, and  New York Times.

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Performance
9:46 am
Fri May 21, 2010

Production about Foreign Travel as Transformation with a Twist

photo: courtesy of Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre

If your travel budget is tight this season, Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre invites you to vicariously experience the glory and grandeur of Florence, Italy in its new show, "The Light in the Piazza."

Kansas City, MO – "The Light in the Piazza" won a 2005 Tony Award for its composer Adam Guettel. The grandson of the Rodgers half of musical legends Rodgers and Hammerstein, Guettel demonstrates that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. KCUR's Steve Walker reports.

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KCUR Arts
8:00 am
Thu March 4, 2010

The Unicorn's "Green Whales" Tackles Tough Subjects with Humor

Actors Vanessa Severo and Anna Safar in "Green Whales."
photo: Cynthia Levin, courtesy of Unicorn Theatre

Though the Unicorn Theater has always been quick to pounce on the most buzzed about plays in New York, it has actually launched many new plays. In fact, a quarter of the shows over the years have had their world premieres in Kansas City. The latest is called "Green Whales," and while it tackles tough subjects in comedic ways, it is giving everyone involved a voice in bringing this new play to fruition.

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Music
1:04 pm
Thu December 10, 2009

Kansas City Symphony Shakes Up Annual Holiday Production

During the month of December, the Kansas City Symphony can be found all over the city, and in various configurations - like the TubaChristmas concert and the Chamber Players' Tchaikovsky concert earlier this month.

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KCUR Arts
2:58 pm
Fri September 11, 2009

Moises Kaufman Tackles "Into the Woods" At The Rep

When Eric Rosen, the artistic director of Kansas City Repertory Theatre, asked noted playwright and director Moises Kaufman to pick a musical he'd like to direct here, at the top of the list was Stephen Sondheim's "Into the Woods."

Kansas City, MO – Moises Kaufman sat down with KCUR's Steve Walker to talk about how a director puts his own stamp on a musical, and his own venture into the woods.

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Performance
2:34 pm
Fri September 11, 2009

An Interview With Tony Award Nominee Moises Kaufman

Director Moises Kaufman at a rehearsal of "Into the Woods"
Don Ipock Courtesy of Kansas City Repertory Theatre

From a glance at the cast of characters who populate the Stephen Sondheim musical "Into the Woods" - among them, Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, and Jack in the Beanstalk - one could assume that the show is a romp for audiences of all ages. But a deeper look reveals that its inspirations include Bruno Bettleheim and Carl Jung, both of whom defined classic fables and fairy tales with a much darker palette.

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Music
12:11 pm
Thu June 25, 2009

New Musical Features Friendship Between Fly and Earwig

Though the season of pesky insects - and insect repellent - is upon us, the Coterie Theatre finds no irony in premiering a new work that cross-pollinates the worlds of pop rock, musical theater, and bugs.

Kansas City, MO – As the latest offering from the Coterie's Lab for New Family Musicals, the show "U: Bug: Me" opens this weekend hoping to, well...draw flies.

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Performance
9:51 am
Thu June 11, 2009

"Desperate Times" in New Theatrical Venture

One would think that the current economic climate would make it difficult at best to kick off a new theatrical venture. But a Kansas City playwright and actor are doing just that.

Kansas City, MO – One would think that the current economic climate would make it difficult at best to kick off a new theatrical venture. But a Kansas City playwright and actor are doing just that, thanks to a guardian angel and a story that would be a crime to keep to themselves.

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Theater/Performance
8:12 am
Wed March 11, 2009

Musical Tribute to Ginger Rogers

Vanessa Sonon and Erik Floor star in Backwards in High Heels through April 19, 2009 at American Heartland Theatre in Crown Center.
Photo: Shane Rowse

Kansas City area natives who went on to fame, fortune and academy awards during Hollywood's golden age include Joan Crawford, Wallace Beery, and Ginger Rogers.

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Theater/Performance
12:29 pm
Wed December 10, 2008

Behind the Scenes in the Costume Shop of The Nutcracker

Matthew Powell and Breanne Starke as the Mechanical Dolls in Todd Bolender's The Nutcracker.
Photo: Steve Wilson (courtesy of Kansas City Ballet)

Richard Nixon was president when the Kansas City Ballet premiered its production of The Nutcracker, set to the music of Tchaikovsky. For thirty-six years running, audiences have been so swept up in the music and the movement that other crucial elements of the piece tend to get overlooked, and what would The Nutcracker be without its extravagant costumes?

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Theater/Performance
12:08 pm
Sat November 15, 2008

Charlotte Street Foundation Recognizes Generative Artists

The 2008 Fellows are (pictured left to right) choreographer/dancer DeeAnna Hiett; composer/musician Mark Southerland; and playwright/producer/director/actor Ron Megee.
photo: Laura Spencer, KCUR

Kansas City artists who've been recognized by the Charlotte Street Foundation over the last 10 years will tell you that it helps their reputations and their bank accounts.

Kansas City, MO – This year, the organization expanded its definition of "artist" to include an actor and playwright, a dancer/choreographer, and a musician. KCUR's Steve Walker gathered the honorees together and found them to be equally flattered, humbled, and appreciative.

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Performance
11:55 am
Mon July 21, 2008

KC Fringe Festival Presents Clown Ballet with a Serious Message

THE COPPELIA PROJECT: a clown ballet in three acts. Featuring Kalen Compernolle, Vanessa Severo, Marisa Mackay, and Ric Averill (as Dr. Coppelius)
photo: Charles Stonewall

EXTENDED RUN: August 1 - 3, American Heartland Theatre. At performance spaces throughout the city, over 50 events make up this year's KC Fringe Festival, a celebration of the off-beat, nontraditional, and avant-garde.

When people think of stories about mortal men who create life from inanimate objects, Frankenstein and Pinocchio come immediately to mind. Less well-known is the 1870 ballet, Coppelia, about a creator of dolls who come to life.

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Performance
11:57 am
Thu April 26, 2007

Playwright James Still's Works in Two Kansas City Venues

Nathan Darrow (left) and Karen Errington (right) in Iron Kisses.
photo courtesy of the Unicorn Theatre

This weekend, the voice of a writer with deep Kansas roots, James Still, will be heard in two very different Kansas City theater venues.

Kansas City, MO – Olathe South High School, Secret History of the Future, April 26 - 28, 7:30 pm.

Unicorn Theatre presents Iron Kisses, April 27 - May 20 (previews April 25 and 26).

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Theater/Performance
8:59 am
Tue August 1, 2006

Lyric Opera Camp

Lyric Opera campers during a vocal warm-up.
Photo: Laura Spencer, KCUR

For the past 14 years, the Lyric Opera of Kansas City has hosted elementary to high school-aged kids for its two-week opera camp.

Kansas City, MO – For the past 14 years, the Lyric Opera of Kansas City has hosted elementary to high school-aged kids for its two-week opera camp. As KCUR's Steve Walker reports, this year's campers are working on an opera with significance to one of the camp's special guests.

Pinocchio will be presented on Friday, August 4, 2006 at 2:30 pm at the Lyric Theatre.

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Film
11:55 am
Tue March 22, 2005

An Interview With John Waters

Photo by Greg Gorman

  Filmmaker John Waters grew up in Baltimore in the 1950s and began making silent 8mm and 16mm films in the mid 1960s, screened in rented church halls and attended by underground audiences who heard of the films by word-of-mouth and leaflets. His first success: the 1972 film Pink Flamingos starring Divine.

Hairspray opened Tuesday, March 29 at the Music Hall and runs through April 10, 2005.

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KCUR News
1:59 pm
Mon September 9, 2002

It's OK To Laugh Again

Kansas City – Though Americans were being told to get back to normal after 9-11, there weren't many clues how to do that. Nearly a year later, in a Kansas City comedy club, KCUR's Steve Walker finds that it may be OK to laugh again.

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