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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Film
6:04 am
Fri January 18, 2013

Brutality And Tenderness Converge In 'Rust And Bone'

Mattias Schoenaerts and Marion Cotillard in 'Rust and Bone'
Courtesy Sony Classics KCUR

Foreign films do well in the United States in proportion to how successfully their captivating stories feel as close as next door - not foreign at all but intimate and familiar. French filmmaker Jacques Audiard does this with startling acuity in his new movie Rust and Bone, where Oscar winner Marion Cotillard (La Vie en Rose) and Belgian star-in-the-making Matthias Schoenaerts ferociously embody lost souls bonded by their inner demons and outer damage.

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Performance
5:00 am
Fri January 18, 2013

As In 'Billy Elliot,' Barriers To Boys In Ballet Disappear With Grace

Nathan Rogers, 7, laughs as he holds a pose.
Julie Denesha KCUR

The musical Billy Elliot, which won ten Tony Awards in 2009 and comes to Kansas City's Music Hall next week, teaches that to move toward a dream, the dream must involve movement.

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Up to Date
12:56 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

Up To Date's Indie, Foreign & Doc Critics' 'Three To See,' January 11-13, 2013

Scene from 'Zero Dark Thirty.'

Looking for a great film to see the weekend of January 11 to 13, 2013?

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

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Film
6:00 am
Fri January 11, 2013

Ten Years After 9/11, Retaliation Starts At 'Zero Dark Thirty'

Jessica Chastain in "Zero Dark Thirty"
www.eurweb.com KCUR

We may never know the whole truth of what led to the killing of Osama bin Laden on May 2, 2011, but the chronology and intricate plotting on display in Kathryn Bigelow's Zero Dark Thirty - as controversial as they have proven to be -  make for riveting cinema.  It's a movie whose heart pulses at a rapid rate that, in certain scenes, will match your own.

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Up to Date
6:00 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

What's Showing In Independent, Foreign & Documentary Film

Any Day Now

Visit a small town, ripe for fracking exploitation, and zip down Central Park West with FDR. Feel the pain of a gay couple in the 1970s as they fight to care for an abandoned, mentally ill teenager.

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Up to Date
11:58 am
Fri January 4, 2013

Up To Date's Indie, Foreign & Doc Critics' 'Three To See,' January 4-6, 2013

Looking for a great independent, foreign, or documentary film to see the week of January 4-6, 2013?

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Up to Date
11:39 am
Fri December 28, 2012

Up To Date's Indie, Foreign & Doc Critics' 'Three To See,' Dec. 28-30, 2012

Looking for a great independent, foreign, or documentary film to see the week of December 28-30, 2012?

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Up to Date
2:03 pm
Fri December 21, 2012

Up To Date's Indie, Foreign & Doc Critics' 'Three To See,' Dec. 21-27, 2012

From 'Farewell My Queen.'
Carole Bethuel Cohen Media Group

Looking for a great independent, foreign, or documentary film to see the week of December 21-27, 2012?

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Up to Date
9:54 am
Wed December 19, 2012

Up To Date's Indie, Foreign, and Doc Critics' 'Three To See' December 14-21, 2012

Paul (Romain Duris) takes a dead man’s identity and heads to Croatia in 'The Big Picture.'
Nicolas Guiraud

Looking for a great independent, foreign, or documentary film to see the week of December 14-21, 2012?

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Film
5:18 am
Mon December 17, 2012

KC Film Critics Circle Splits Honors Among 'The Master,' 'Lincoln' & 'Les Mis'

Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman in "The Master," the Kansas City Film Critics Circle's Best Film of 2012.
The Weinstein Company

At the 46th annual gathering of the Kansas City Film Critics Circle honoring achievements in film in 2012, Paul Thomas Anderson's fictitious take on a Scientology-like cult The Master squeaked out a Best Picture win over Life of Pi.

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Up to Date
11:52 am
Fri December 14, 2012

The Best In Independent, Foreign & Documentary Film 2012

Moonrise Kingdom

Our critics have made their lists for the best independent, foreign and documentary films of 2012. See their choices below, and get a preview of each film with our trailer playlist.

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Up to Date
10:17 am
Tue December 11, 2012

Up To Date's Indie, Foreign, & Doc Critics' 'Three To See' December 7-14, 2012

Looking for a great independent, foreign, or documentary film to see the week of December 7-14, 2012?

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Performance
5:00 am
Wed December 5, 2012

Ron Simonian Takes Leap Of Faith With 'The Soul Collector'

Kansas City playwright Ron Simonian had his first play produced in 1992 in a warehouse in the Crossroads District.

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Up to Date
12:21 pm
Fri November 30, 2012

Up to Date's Indie, Foreign, and Documentary Critics' "Three to See" November 30-December 2, 2012

Looking for a great independent, foreign, or documentary film to see the weekend of November 30 to December 2, 2012?

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Film
9:52 am
Fri November 30, 2012

In 'Anna Karenina,' Passion Rewarded With Punishment

Keira Knightly and Aaron Taylor-Johnson as lovers that can't be in "Anna Karenina"
filmofilia.com KCUR

Leo Tolstoy's classic novel Anna Karenina has been filmed, televised and musicalized enough that a 2012 version had to shake things up.

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Performance
5:00 am
Wed November 28, 2012

The Monocle Launches A Living Gallery Of Performing Artists

The Monocle, from left: Christian Hankel, Katie Gilchrist, Shay Estes, and Nathan Granner.
Steve Walker KCUR

When a visual artist paints or sculpts something "on commission," it means a gallery, company, or private collector has contracted that artist to create something very specific to their particular wants or needs.

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Film
5:15 am
Thu November 22, 2012

Holding Off The Dark With A 'Silver Linings Playbook'

Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence in "Silver Linings Playbook"
The Weinstein Company KCUR

Writer/Director David O. Russell, who turned the 2010 boxing movie The Fighter into a devastating drama about a high-strung, high-maintenance family with Shakespearean flaws, is exactly the right person to be at the helm of the new black comedy Silver Linings Playbook. 

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Performance
7:00 am
Wed November 21, 2012

Victor & Penny: Antique Pop Icons

The band Victor & Penny practice in a small studio in Columbus Park.
Julie Denesha KCUR

The term for a musical or artistic piece consisting of motifs or techniques borrowed from other sources is "pastiche."

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Up to Date
10:11 pm
Thu November 15, 2012

What's Showing In Independent, Foreign & Documentary Film

A Late Quartet
filmophilia.com

Ever wonder how someone falls in love with a felon? What about the romantic frustrations of a paralyzed man?

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Visual Arts
5:00 am
Thu November 8, 2012

An Artistic Slant On Health Care At The Spencer

Visitors to The Drop-In/Pop-Up Waiting Room Project vote for their favorite superhuman health agent.
Spencer Museum of Art

The state of health care in the U.S. was at the top of the list of concerns many Americans took to the voting booths this week.

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Up to Date
10:14 am
Fri November 2, 2012

Up To Date's Indie, Foreign & Doc Critics' 'Three To See' Nov. 2-4, 2012

Looking for a great independent, foreign, or documentary film to see the weekend of November 2-4, 2012?

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Up to Date
1:00 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

Up To Date's Indie, Foreign & Documentary Critics' 'Three To See' October 26-28, 2012

Looking for a great independent, foreign, or documentary film to see the weekend of October 26-28, 2012?

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Performance
9:04 am
Tue October 23, 2012

'Irma Vep' A Show Dependent On Clothes Encounters

In rehearsal, Mark Robbins, as Lady Enid Hillcrest, gives a disapproving look as Ron Megee, playing Jane Twisden, pours herself another hot toddy.
Julie Denesha KCUR

The Kansas City Repertory Theatre's latest production, The Mystery of Irma Vep, features eight characters of both sexes, including the Lord and Lady Hillcrest, their maid and butler, and a couple of surprise visitors.

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Up to Date
11:38 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Up To Date's Film Critics' 'Three To See' October 19-21, 2012

redesignrevolution.com

Looking for a great independent, foreign, or documentary film to see the weekend of October 19-21, 2012? Up to Date's critics share their three favorite showing on area screens.

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Film
6:00 am
Thu October 18, 2012

Coming Of Age With Scars In 'The Perks of Being a Wallflower'

Emma Watson, Logan Lerman and Ezra Miller comprise a trio with "The Perks of Being a Wallflower."
Courtesy of npr.org

Like any writers worth their salt, Stephen Chbosky channeled the best and worst episodes of his youth into a book called The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

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Up to Date
11:22 am
Fri October 12, 2012

Up To Date's Film Critics' 'Three To See' October 12-14, 2012

Looking for a great independent, foreign, or documentary film to see the weekend of October 12-14, 2012?

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Film
6:00 am
Fri October 12, 2012

In 'Samsara,' A Planet And Its People As They Live And Breathe

Native dancers captured in "Samsara"
Courtesy of Oscilloscope Laboratories

The visual spectacle of the wordless documentary Samsara is the result of five years of filming in twenty-five countries on five continents.

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Performance
5:00 am
Fri October 12, 2012

Political Theater Gets Loud In 'Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson'

Shea Coffman and Katie Karel in "Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson."
Cynthia Levin Unicorn Theatre

If there's not enough political theater in the run-up to the November elections, the Unicorn Theatre is offering a bit more with its production of Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, the emo rock musical biography of America's seventh President. 

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Up to Date
10:28 am
Fri October 5, 2012

Up To Date's Indie, Foreign & Documentary Critics' 'Three To See' October 5-7, 2012

Looking for a great independent, foreign, or documentary film to see the weekend of October 5-7, 2012?

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Film
4:49 am
Wed October 3, 2012

Silences Broken, Secrets Revealed At Kansas International Film Festival

Kori Cioca, one of the brave young women whose military careers were shattered by sexual assault in "The Invisible War."
hollywoodreporter.com

Good documentaries are like prize-winning journalism in their ability to wage war on toxic secrets.

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