Arts & Culture

Central Standard
4:51 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

Movie Critics: Films Of July 2014

With the first days passing 100 degrees Fahrenheit on the heat index, summer is in full swing. And with summer, comes a plethora of fun, escapist flicks. But July has also brought films with depth, humor and insight. On Friday's Central Standardthe movie critics give their take on what's moving movies forward and what can be left to burn up in the sun.

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Arts & Culture
4:37 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

Co-Founder Of The Writers Place In Kansas City Dies At 82

Gloria Vando and her husband, Bill Hickok, co-founders of The Writers Place in 2006.
Credit Dennis Lowden

William "Bill" Hickok died Monday at the age of 82 in Marina Del Rey, Ca. Two decades ago, Hickok and his wife, Gloria Vando, co-founded a literary community center in Kansas City, Mo. called The Writers Place.

Hickok, a first cousin several times removed of the gunslinger "Wild Bill" Hickok, was born in Kansas City; he graduated from Southwest High School and the University of Missouri.

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Central Standard
12:32 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

In Angola Prison, KU Researcher Found Music, Stories And Pain

Daniel Atkinson's doctoral research took him inside the walls of the Louisiana State Penitentiary.
Credit University of Kansas

Ethnomusicologist Daniel Atkinson describes Louisiana State Penitentiary (commonly called "Angola") as a “living, breathing plantation.” The land where the prison stands today was converted from plantation to penitentiary after slavery was abolished. 

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Obituary
12:11 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

Kansas City Arts Community Mourns Painter's Unexpected Death

Artist David Goodrich outside the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Mo.
Credit Facebook

David Goodrich, 52, a Kansas City artist whose expressionistic paintings conveyed a perpetual state of motion, was found dead Tuesday.

Goodrich enjoyed hiking and was found dead in Horseshoe Canyon, just north of Canyonlands National Park in Utah. His body was identified on Thursday.

Authorities speculate he suffered from heat stroke, but the cause of death has not been confirmed.

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Up To Date
11:47 am
Fri July 25, 2014

Lawrence Man Attempts To Shatter A Television World Record

Credit 6Lawrence.com

Have you ever stayed up all night talking? Try doing it for 66 hours straight. A Lawrence TV host is about to try in an attempt to shatter the world record for longest television marathon talk show. On Friday's Up to Date, Steve Kraske talks with host of The Not So Late Show about his strategies for staying awake, and keeping a live audience engaged for over two and a half days.

Guest: 

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Arts & Culture
9:52 am
Fri July 25, 2014

Film Review: The French-English Hybrid 'Chinese Puzzle' Celebrates Complicated Lives

Cécile De France, Romain Duris, Kelly Reilly, and Audrey Tatou in 'Chinese Puzzle.'
Credit courtesy of Cohen Media Group

There's a scene in Cédric Klapisch's warm, exuberant comedy Chinese Puzzle that perfectly captures both the beauty and complications of a life well lived. A discussion between two men (one living, one a hallucination) proposes that a piece of embroidery is an apt metaphor for the human condition: on one side is a lovely picture of a moment captured in time. But turned over, one sees all of the knotty entanglements.

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Up to Date
9:00 am
Fri July 25, 2014

Kansas City Hosts American Culinary Federation Convention

Chefs at the American Culinary Federation conference create complicated food items, such as these sugar sculptures.
Credit purpletwinkie / Flickr-CC

  When you imagine what it's like to be a chef, you might picture toiling in a hot kitchen, with order requests coming in left and right. In reality, not every chef works in a restaurant.

On Friday's Up to Date, we talk about the other professional opportunities chefs have, from creating recipes for corporate food giants to experimenting with food in a lab.

We also take a look at what speakers and activities you can join at this weekend's American Culinary Federation's national conference.

Guests:

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Up To Date
2:02 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

The Weekend To-Do List: July 25-27

Credit Starlight Theatre

 The hills are alive with the sound of...hip hop, comedy, and rock & roll. No matter your taste in entertainment, Brian McTavish's Weekend To-Do list is sure to have you covered!

The Sound of Music
Classic family musical
Opens at 8 p.m. Friday with performances through July 31
Starlight Theatre in Swope Park
Tickets: Start at $12

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Up to Date
2:00 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

How Elephants Helped Win World War II

Vicki Constantine Croke is the author of Elephant Company.

  Tanks and ammo certainly played a big part in winning World War II, but the Pacific theater had another large asset—elephants.

On Thursday's Up to Date, we talk about the man who led these animals against the Axis powers and the bond he developed with these surprisingly gentle giants.

Guest:

Vicki Constantine Croke, author of Elephant Company

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Up To Date
12:56 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

Two Hundred Years Of U.S. Presidents And Pop Culture

Credit Regnery History

Presidents have been forced to calculate whether they want to be men of the people...or men of somewhat higher understanding.

On this edition of Up to Date Steve Kraske sits down with author Tevi Troy for a look at how popular culture has shaped the presidency. From Jefferson’s grounding in philosophy to Obama’s mastery of Internet culture, they examine who was best, or worst, at navigating a president's need to connect with the average citizen through the culture of the day.

Guest:

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Up to Date
9:00 am
Thu July 24, 2014

From Jefferson To Obama, Pop Culture Infuses The White House

From Jefferson to Obama, pop culture has influenced presidents, according to author Tevi Troy.

When you think about presidents and pop culture, you might picture Obama’s Twitter account, but you might not realize that other ventures with mass-appeal have been affecting the White House for a few centuries.

On Thursday's Up to Date, we’ll talk about the influence everything from theater to books to the internet have had on the presidency since Thomas Jefferson was in charge.

HEAR MORE: Tevi Troy speaks at 6:30 p.m. July 24 at the Plaza branch of the Kansas City Public Library.

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Central Standard
2:09 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Kansas City Duo Victor & Penny Make Music On The Road

Erin McGrane and Jeff Freiling perform as Victor & Penny in KCUR's talk show studio.
Credit Alyson Raletz, KCUR

With a ukelele and jazz guitar in tow, the traveling Kansas City-based musical duo known as Victor & Penny stopped by Central Standard on Wednesday to talk with Gina Kaufmann — and to perform a few of their signature "antique pop" songs live for our listeners.

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Arts & Culture
8:44 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Kansas And Missouri Artists Selected For 'State Of The Art' Exhibition At Crystal Bridges

Calder Kamin, Kansas City, Mo. 'Impact Proof: Arkansas Residents and Visitors' (2014).

In 2013, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Ark., embarked on a project to discover “the most compelling American art being created today.”

Over a period of about 10 months, museum president Don Bacigalupi and assistant curator Chad Alligood crisscrossed the country. They traveled more than 100,000 miles — by plane and car — and stopped in the homes and studios of nearly 1,000 artists.

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Up To Date
1:55 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Local Listen: Jason Vivone & the Billy Bats

Credit billybats.com

The Phoenix, one of Kansas City's most popular live music venues, hosts its fifth annual Phoenix Fest this Saturday.  Jason Vivone and the Billy Bats are among the eight area-based acts performing at the event.  This week's edition of Local Listen features "Eddie Ate Dynamite," the humorous title track from the band's 2013 album.

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Central Standard
10:13 am
Tue July 22, 2014

Wyandotte County Fair Connects Kids With Agricultural Roots

Allyson Billings relaxes with her pet rabbit.
Christina Lieffring KCUR

People usually associate state and county fairs with Ferris wheels and food on a stick. But in areas that have seen their demographics shift from rural to urban populations, these fairs are now serving a new role of connecting city folk to their country roots.

One way the Wyandotte County Fair, which runs July 22 to 26, does this is through its competitions in arts and crafts, food, agriculture and livestock, run by the local 4-H club.

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Central Standard
3:47 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Food Critics: Where To Find The Best Slice Of Pizza In Kansas City

There's no limit to the toppings that could make a pizza great. Our food critics have suggestions for a variety of styles all over the metro.
Credit Premshree Pillai / Flickr--CC

On a beautiful summer night, stopping by a neighborhood pizzeria for a quick slice (or five) can really hit the spot.

With a handful of exciting new pizza places opening up, Charles Ferruzza and the food critics put out a call for the best pizza in the Kansas City area. 

KCUR's food critics recommend:

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Arts & Culture
2:59 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

WATCH: In This Scene ... Three Kansas City Highlights At The Fringe

Mary Sue (Kenna Hall) and her mother (Ellen Kirk) rehearse a scene from '(Virgin.)'
Credit Julie Denesha / KCUR

It can be daunting to wade through the schedule for the KC Fringe Festival.

Founded in 2004, Fringe presents about 130 events this year, including theater, dance, comedy, film, poetry, as well as visual art exhibitions.

There are artists from around the world — St. Louis, Minneapolis, New York, Oakland, the U.K. — and the Kansas City area.

Here are a few homegrown highlights:

"Poor Lear"

Warning: This content may be unsuitable for children. It contains brief sexual references.

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Up to Date
2:01 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Local Listen: Quixotic

Quixotic performs at Crossroads KC on July 19.
Credit Julie Denesha / KCUR

Quixotic's circus-like presentations make it easy to overlook the musical component of this performing arts troupe from Kansas City. Yet the sounds that accompany its compelling visuals, a distinctive merger of electronic and acoustic elements that bridge the divide between classical and pop, are an essential element of the ensemble's success.

This edition of Local Listen features "From the Outside Looking In," the title track of Quixotic's latest recording.

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Arts & Culture
11:13 am
Fri July 18, 2014

KC Fringe Encourages Writers To Present New Work

In '(Virgin.),' Ellen Kirk plays an overprotective mother. Here, she holds a chastity belt as Matt Leonard, who plays the father, and Kenna Hall, as Mary Sue, look on.
Laura Spencer KCUR

The KC Fringe Festival, an annual event featuring actors, dancers, poets, storytellers, filmmakers, and visual artists, turns 10 this year. The festival offers about 50 theater performances, from R-rated to puppet shows for kids. And, KC Fringe often provides an opportunity for performers to try out new material.

It seems appropriate that Jesse Ray Metcalf, the writer of a new production called "(Virgin.)," would say: "This is my first time doing Fringe."

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Up to Date
10:42 am
Fri July 18, 2014

DVD Gurus: World War II

'Sink the Bismarck!' is on our DVD Gurus' list of World War II flicks.

They fought on the beaches, in the air, on the sea... and on film. World War II made an indelible mark on pop culture, and it's especially evident on the silver screen.

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Up To Date
10:28 am
Fri July 18, 2014

The Weekend To-Do List: July 18-20

Credit ifckc.com

Brian McTavish's Weekend To-Do List packs entertainment for every taste, from one big picnic to a funky art festival. Have a fantastic weekend!

Steely Dan
Classic rock under the stars
8 p.m. Saturday
Starlight Theatre, Swope Park
Tickets: $40 to$150

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Arts & Culture
2:57 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Where To Fringe - From Traditional To Unexpected Kansas City Venues

The Fishtank, 1715 Wyandotte, Kansas City, Mo.
Cara McClain KCUR

For its 10th season, the KC Fringe Festival will take over spaces in Kansas City, Mo., for theater, music, comedy, spoken word, burlesque and more.

KC Fringe is an 11-day festival that provides a platform for often lesser-known performing and visual artists. 

This year's Fringe will have 19 different venues. Most are scattered around the Crossroads Arts District, but some spread out into Westport and the Country Club Plaza.

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Arts & Culture
1:25 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Film Review: 'Venus in Fur' Tests The Limits Of Dominance And Submission

Mathieu Amalric and Emmanuelle Seigner in 'Venus in Fur.'
Credit Guy Ferrandis / IFC Films

Despite director Roman Polanski's checkered personal history, his film resume is nearly blot-free.

From Rosemary's Baby to Chinatown to The Pianist, Polanski films examine our capacity to strive and dream in the face of brutal outside influences.

While his adaptation of David Ives' Tony Award-winning play Venus in Fur isn't at the level of those movies, it has a familiar and intoxicatingly dark tone and pulse.

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Arts & Culture
6:00 am
Thu July 17, 2014

From Page To Park: Parting With Sweet Sorrow

Bruce Roach as Leontes.
Brian Collins Heart of America Shakespeare Festival

The cast and crew of the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival’s The Winter’s Tale have shared three weeks of rehearsals and 17 and a half performances since they gathered for their first read through at the end of May.

There was one complete rain out and one at intermission — but all in all, healthy crowds, nearly 23,000 people, for one of Shakespeare's lesser known titles. The final installment of the series From Page to Park explores what it means for a company to close a show.

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Up To Date
9:00 am
Wed July 16, 2014

A Fistful Of Spaghetti Westerns

Clint Eastwood, the young American star in the 1964 Italian Western, "A Fistful of Dollars"
Credit Clint Eastwood for A Fistful of Dollars / Wikimedia Commons

A half century ago, nobody expected much of Sergio Leone’s 1964 Italian Western A Fistful of Dollars – not even its young American star, Clint Eastwood. On Wednesday's Up to Date, Steve Kraske explores how this film's fiery success ignited the popularity of an entire genre known as "spaghetti westerns".

Guests:

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Central Standard
4:40 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

'Citizen Koch' Directors On Documentary Filmmaking

"Citizen Koch" is playing at the Tivoli Theatre

Citizen Koch is a new documentary that investigates the political influence of Kansas-born billionaires David and Charles Koch. The film has a strong point of view, which has drawn mixed reviews.  On Tuesday's Central Standard, we talked with the directors about how Citizen Koch was made and their approach to documentary filmmaking.

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Central Standard
2:39 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Fiddler Explores Little-Known French Dialect Spoken In Missouri Town

Old Mines, Missouri (pictured here) is home to a little-known dialect of French.
Credit Creative Commons, Wikipedia

In honor of Bastille Day, Central Standard explored efforts to preserve Missouri French: a dialect that once flourished in southwestern Missouri, now remembered by only a handful of people in the town of Old Mines. Some say the language is dying, but the dialect has been pronounced dead then rediscovered many times.

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Central Standard
12:52 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

KU Linguist Transforms How The Kazakh Language Is Written

The Kazakh language is written in Cyrillic script, but likely not for much longer.
Credit James Hill / Creative Commons, Flickr

    

Languages change. Sometimes slowly and organically, sometimes quickly... and on purpose.

Kazakh President Nursaltan Nazarbayev wants the people of Kazakhstan to use Latin script (rather than Cyrillic) to write in their native language.

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Arts & Culture
6:01 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

Local Listen: Ensemble Ibérica

Ensemble Ibérica
Credit Jeff Evrard / ensembleiberica.org

Often characterized by Americans as the blues of Portugal, fado is a melancholy music.  Vocalist Rodrigo Costa Félix is one of three Portuguese fado artists that will headline a concert Saturday, July 12, at Polsky Theatre on the campus of Johnson County Community College.  Kansas City's Ensemble Ibérica, a group led by event organizer Beau Bledsoe, will open the show.  This week's Local Listen features Ensemble Ibérica's "Fado Pechincha."

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Up To Date
5:26 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

Michael Feinstein: Ambassador Of The Great American Songbook

Michael Feinstein in studio at KCUR.
Credit Beth Lipoff / Up to Date

His career includes multi-platinum recordings, 200-plus live performances per year, two Emmy and five Grammy nominations, conductor of the Pasadena Pops, nightclub owner, and that’s just the half of it. Perhaps his greatest recognition, though, is as “Ambassador of the Great American Songbook”. On Friday's Up to Date, Michael Feinstein talks with Steve Kraske about his love of classic American popular music and his efforts to preserve it for future generations.

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