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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Up to Date
11:06 am
Fri April 19, 2013

Up To Date's Indie, Foreign & Doc Critics' 'Three To See,' April 19-21, 2013

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Looking for a great film to see the weekend of April 19-21, 2013?

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Performance
5:00 am
Tue April 16, 2013

'Bud, Not Buddy' Explores Racism And The Depression With Young Audiences

Eboni Fondren (as Miss Thomas), Granvile T. O’Neal (as Mr. Jimmy), Elijah E. Murray (as Steady Eddie), and Aaron Branch (as Bud "not Buddy" Caldwell ) in 'Bud, Not Buddy.'
J. Robert Schraeder courtesy of Coterie Theatre

Traditional ideas about theater for young audiences can get stuck in a library full of mischievous animals and recycled fairy tales. But the Coterie Theatre -  named by Time magazine as one of the top five theaters for young audiences in the United States - strives to be more adventurous, as in its new show for elementary school students that discusses jazz, the Depression, and racism.

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Up to Date
11:27 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Up To Date's Indie, Foreign & Doc Critics' 'Three To See,' April 12-14, 2013

Ryan Gosling in 'The Place Beyond The Pines.'

Looking for a great film to see the weekend of April 12-14, 2013?

Up to Date's indie, documentary and foreign film critics share their three favorites showing on area screens.

Cynthia Haines: The Gatekeepers; No; Quartet

Steve Walker: ​The Place Beyond The Pines; The Gatekeepers; No

Film
8:00 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Sins Of The Fathers Echo Throughout 'The Place Beyond The Pines'

Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes struggle to define a family in "The Place Beyond the Pines"
Courtesy Focus Features

As stories about sons and fathers go, they can range from the Biblical to mythological - where patricide was the norm - to the searing contemporary take on fatherhood  in the new movie The Place Beyond the Pines by Blue Valentine director Derek Cianfrance.

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Performance
5:00 am
Thu April 11, 2013

The Fishtank Stages Arthur Miller Play In Birdies

Birdies, a lingerie and bridal shop, is located on W. 18th Street in the Crossroads.
Studio 8183

On some occasions, a play calls out to be staged somewhere other than a theater. For example, last year, a production of William Inge's "Bus Stop,"  which is set in a diner, was performed in one in Lee's Summit.  This weekend, an Arthur Miller one-act about a man shopping for intimate apparel for his mistress will be mounted in a Crossroads boutique that specializes in that kind of women's wear.

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Up to Date
11:36 am
Fri April 5, 2013

Up To Date's Indie, Foreign & Doc Critics' 'Three To See,' April 5-7, 2013

Looking for a great film to see the weekend of April 5-7, 2013?

Up to Date's indie, documentary and foreign film critics share their three favorites showing on area screens.

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Film
9:00 am
Fri April 5, 2013

Multiple Personalities Cross Time And Boundaries in '6 Souls'

Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Julianne Moore headline the eerie "6 Souls"
Courtesy of The Weinstein Company

Made three years ago but only now seeing the light of day - though there’s nary a shaft of light in it 6 Souls is from the Swedish directing team Måns Mårlind and Björn Stein. At times preposterous and blatantly derivative of films like Paranormal Activity and The Exorcist, it’s an effectively creepy psychological thriller that knows how to twist its plot threads around viewers’ necks, and it draws you in in spite of itself.

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Up to Date
6:00 pm
Thu April 4, 2013

What's Showing In Independent, Foreign & Documentary Film

The Gatekeepers

A group of Aboriginal singers get their big break—but it means traveling into the midst of the Vietnam War.

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Up to Date
12:45 pm
Fri March 29, 2013

Up To Date's Indie, Foreign & Doc Critics' 'Three To See,' March 29-31, 2013

Looking for a great film to see the weekend of March 29-31, 2013?

Up to Date's indie, documentary and foreign film critics share their three favorites showing on area screens.

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Up to Date
11:45 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Up To Date's Indie, Foreign & Doc Critics' 'Three To See,' March 22-24, 2013

In 1964 a group of seven-year old children were interviewed for the documentary “Seven Up.” They’ve been filmed every seven years since. Now they are 56.

Looking for a great film to see the weekend of March 22-24, 2013?

Up to Date's indie, documentary and foreign film critics share their three favorites showing on area screens.

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Film
10:30 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Werner Herzog's Year With The 'Happy People' Of Siberia

Hunting Season with Faithful Canine Companion in 'Happy People'
Studio Babelsberg

Being happy is relative and subjective, meaning different things for different people in different parts of the world. And that's certainly the case for the resilient villagers profiled in Werner Herzog's and Dmitry Vasyukov's documentary Happy People: A Year in the Taiga, which tracks all four seasons among a scrappy group who live where few could.

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Up to Date
11:59 am
Fri March 15, 2013

Up To Date's Indie, Foreign & Documentary Film Critics 'Three To See' For March 15-17, 2013

Looking for a great film to see the weekend of March 15-17, 2013?

Up to Date's indie, documentary and foreign film critics share their three favorites showing on area screens.

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Film
6:59 am
Fri March 15, 2013

Hungry Americans Line Up For 'A Place At The Table'

Philadelphia mom Barbie Izquierdo and her kids in "A Place at the Table"
Courtesy Magnolia Pictures

A young Philadelphia mother of two takes pains to make her food stamps stretch to that barren fourth month, when even cans of ravioli are scarce.

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Performance
5:00 am
Wed March 13, 2013

The Living Room's Minimalist 'Carousel' Revived At KC Rep

The cast of 'Carousel'
Don Ipock Kansas City Repertory Theatre

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical Carousel is revered by many for its artfully woven tapestry of story, song and dance  -  including Time magazine, which in 1999 named it the best musical of the 20th century. Currently at Kansas City Repertory Theatre is a re-creation of a production that premiered nearly two years ago at a downtown performance space, where Carousel was viscerally staged in a way that both respected the material and deconstructed it to pieces.

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Up To Date
12:31 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

Up To Date's Indie, Foreign & Documentary Film Critics' 'Three To See' For March 8 - 10, 2013

Looking for a great film to see the weekend of March 8-10, 2013?

Up to Date's indie, documentary and foreign film critics share their three favorites showing on area screens.

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Up To Date
5:08 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

What's Showing In Independent, Foreign & Documentary Film

If one thing stood out in 2012 filmmaking, it was the documentary.

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Up to Date
9:44 am
Sat March 2, 2013

Up To Date's Indie, Foreign & Documentary Film Critics' "Three To See" For March 1-3, 2013

Looking for a great film to see the weekend of March 1-3, 2013?

Up to Date's indie, documentary and foreign film critics share their three favorites showing on area screens.

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Film
7:27 am
Fri March 1, 2013

Showcase Of French Films Rich With Mystery And History

The amazing career of filmmaker Raymond Depardon in "Journal de France"
Courtesy of www.cinepal.fr

The Tivoli in Westport will be a Francophile’s dream for the next  ten days with its annual showcase Rendez-Vous with French Cinema. Nine different films will be screened before its conclusion.

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Performance
5:13 am
Wed February 27, 2013

UMKC Theatre's 'Eat This!' Explores Journey From Farm To Plate

UMKC theater students Logan Black, Alisha Espinosa, and Jamie Dufault play a farmer, a conflicted eater, and a chef.
Courtesy UMKC Theatre

With the growth of the local food movement and a rise in urban farming, Kansas City diners are increasingly discriminating about what goes on their plates. Yet a good number of people don't delve any more deeply into their meal other than what's tasty and convenient.

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Up to Date
11:23 am
Fri February 22, 2013

Up To Date's Indie, Foreign & Doc Critics' 'Three To See,' February 22-24, 2013

Looking for a great film to see the weekend of February 22-24, 2013?

Up to Date's indie, documentary and foreign film critics share their three favorites showing on area screens.

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Up to Date
11:58 am
Fri February 15, 2013

Up To Date's Indie, Foreign & Doc Critics' 'Three To See,' February 15-17, 2013

The 2013 Oscar Shorts (Live Action and Animated) are showing at the Tivoli Theater in Kansas City, Mo.

Looking for a great film to see the weekend of February 15-17, 2013?

Up to Date's indie, documentary and foreign film critics share their three favorites showing on area screens.

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Performance
5:02 am
Tue February 12, 2013

Kansas City Residents Inform And Inspire KC Rep's 'Waiting For You'

Michael Rohd and Rachel Chavkin, co-directors of KC Rep's "Waiting for You
Steve Walker KCUR

It's not often that two different theater companies with roots on both coasts converge in Kansas City. Yet that's the case this month at Kansas City Repertory Theatre. The TEAM from Brooklyn and Sojourn Theatre Company with connections to Portland, Oregon are mounting what's called a developmental production of a new play based on interviews over several months with many Kansas City residents.

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Up to Date
11:42 am
Fri February 8, 2013

Up To Date's Indie, Foreign & Doc Critics' 'Three To See,' February 8-10, 2013

Looking for a great film to see the weekend of February 8-10, 2013?

Up to Date's indie, documentary and foreign film critics share their three favorites showing on area screens.

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Film
6:50 am
Fri February 8, 2013

Time And Illness Test A Couple's Vows In 'Amour'

Best Actress nominee Emmanuelle Riva in Michael Haneke's "Amour"
Courtesy Film Forum

Austrian filmmaker Michael Haneke may be the most divisive director of the last decade.  But his latest film, Amour, which recently received four Oscar nominations including both Best Foreign Film and Best Picture, leaves audiences floored. It's a great movie that no one suspected the devilish, at times sadistic, Haneke would or could ever make.

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Up to Date
6:00 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

What's Showing In Independent, Foreign & Documentary Film

Stand Up Guys

A group of aging criminals try to recapture their youth, an anti-anxiety medicine turns people homicidal and a couple deals with a tragic accident.

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Film
7:00 am
Fri February 1, 2013

From Maggie Simpson To Afghanistan: The 2013 Oscar Nominated Shorts

Deceptive hand grenade in Oscar-nominated animated film "Fresh Guacamole"
shortoftheweek.com

For several years, a compilation of Oscar-nominated short films - in animation, live action, and documentary - has opened in theaters across the globe , making those categories on Academy Award night not as foreign or inaccessible as they used to be. This season's entries again include a variety of styles,  themes and locations, ranging from the Ayn Rand School for Tots where the perpetually silent Maggie Simpson is dropped off at The Longest Daycare to Buzkashi Boys and the cacophonous streets of Kabul.

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Performance
5:00 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Rare William Inge Plays With Gay Themes Open In Historic Bar

De De Deville and Ray Ettinger (back to camera) in "An Otherwise Hopeless Evening"
Joseph Keehn

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of playwright William Inge, whose classic plays like Bus Stop and Picnic drew on his formative years in Independence, Kansas. Though never openly gay, he did write a series of short plays featuring gay characters and stories that have seldom been seen.

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Film
6:00 am
Fri January 25, 2013

Behind The Berlin Wall, Life Grows Less Grim For A Doctor Named ‘Barbara’

Nina Hoss plays the title character in Christian Petzold's 'Barbara.'
Courtesy of Adopt Films

In Christian Petzold’s moody and beautifully shot Barbara, audiences are given a peek into what life might have been like in 1980 for smart and talented people stuck on the wrong side of the Berlin Wall.

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Performance
5:00 am
Thu January 24, 2013

'BlackTop Sky' Marks Young Playwright's Homecoming

Playwright Christina Anderson
Maggie Elliot Unicorn Theatre

The world premiere of the play BlackTop Sky, opening this weekend at the Unicorn Theatre, marks a homecoming for its author.

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Up to Date
11:41 am
Fri January 18, 2013

Up To Date's Indie, Foreign & Doc Critics' 'Three To See,' January 18-20, 2013

Looking for a great film to see the weekend of January 18 to 20, 2013?

Up to Date's indie, documentary and foreign film critics share their three favorites showing on area screens.

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