Arts & Culture

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
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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Arts & Culture
3:31 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

Sneak Peek: Second Fridays In Kansas City

Renee Stout, 'Fatima's Sign,' 2002
Credit courtesy: Belger Arts Center

So — maybe First Fridays in the Crossroads Arts District is a little too crowded for you. How about Second Fridays?

Some Kansas City metropolitan area galleries have started opening their doors on the second Fridays of the month to host new exhibitions or simply provide a less elbow-to-elbow opportunity to view the artwork.

Here's what's on tap:

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Up to Date
1:04 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

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

'Begin Again' made Steve Walker's list for this weekend.

Looking for a great film to see the weekend of July 11-13? Up to Date's independent, foreign, and documentary film critics share their favorites showing on area screens:

Steve Walker:

  • Obvious Child
  • Begin Again
  • Ida

Cynthia Haines:

  • Ida
  • A Hard Day's Night
  • Chef
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Up to Date
12:56 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

What's Showing In Independent, Foreign & Documentary Film, July 11

Critics Cynthia Haines and Bob Butler weigh in on films showing on area screens, including 'The Love Punch.'

Examine the personal relationships of three disturbed couples and hear the controversy about the political influence of two conservative Kansas billionaires.  

On Friday's Up to Date, our indie, foreign, and documentary film critics examine the latest films showing on area screens.

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Arts & Culture
9:22 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Your Guide To KC Fringe, By The Numbers

At the red carpet walk in 2013, Emery Woods kept her headdress in place as she waited with other members of the burlesque troupe De Allure.
Credit File: Julie Denesha / KCUR

In 2004, when Kansas City launched its first fringe festival as a showcase for experimental work, the event hosted 30 performances over three days.

KC Fringe is now an 11-day festival, and includes nearly 400 performances by more than 100 artists in venues from downtown Kansas City, Mo., to the Country Club Plaza.

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Arts & Culture
8:26 am
Fri July 11, 2014

New Opera 'Red Death' To Premiere At KC Fringe Festival

Nathan Granner, as Prince Prospero, invites his friends to his castle to escape the raging plague outside.
Julie Denesha KCUR

Edgar Allen Poe's 1842 short story "The Masque of the Red Death" serves as the inspiration for a new opera called "Red Death" that premieres next week in Kansas City, Mo.

The opera will be part of the KC Fringe Festival.

With music composed by Daniel Doss and a libretto by Bryan Colley, it follows Prince Prospero (played by Nathan Granner) as he attempts to escape a plague raging outside the castle walls.

Interview highlights:

On a "zany" Prospero

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Central Standard
3:55 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Kansas City Bartenders Create Cocktails Inspired By Local Bands

Credit Geishaboy500 on Flickr

Music is often connected with emotions, but what about food? Can a cocktail taste like a song? On Thursday's Central Standard, we spoke with two Kansas City bartenders who recently completed a feat of synesthesia - creating original cocktails inspired by songs from local musicians.  The event was called Mixtapes & Mixology.

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Up To Date
1:42 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

The Weekend To-Do List: July 11-13

Check out "Spamalot" at The Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City this weekend!
Credit Monty Python's Spamalot

Whether it's live music, comedy theatre, or the largest water slide on earth, Brian McTavish's Weekend To-Do List has got you covered for summertime entertainment!

Verruckt Water Slide
Opening of the world's largest water slide
Opens Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily
Schlitterbahn Water Park, 9400 State Ave., Kansas City, Kan.
Admission: $36.99; $28.99 for ages 3 to 11/55 and older

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Arts & Culture
8:30 am
Thu July 10, 2014

Parting Questions For The Rep's Kyle Hatley

The Rep's associate artistic director, Kyle Hatley, is moving to Chicago in August.
Credit courtesy: Kansas City Repertory Theatre

The Kansas City Repertory Theatre announced this month that Kyle Hatley, associate artistic director, plans to relocate to Chicago in August.

Hatley, a 33-year-old native of Memphis, started working at the Rep in 2008. During his time in Kansas City, Mo., he's earned a reputation as an energizing force in the theater community — as an actor and director, as well as the creator of innovative new works at the KC Fringe Festival and the Living Room.

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Up to Date
11:28 am
Wed July 9, 2014

Get A Clue: Looking At Crosswords

The crossword puzzle has evolved significantly over the last century.
Credit Jessica Whittle / Flickr-CC

Look down, not up, and maybe have a glance sideways. Working on a crossword means examining words and letters in a way you usually wouldn't when you're just reading.

On Wednesday's Up to Date, we look at the history of the crossword puzzle over the last hundred years.

Guests:

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Arts & Culture
9:00 am
Wed July 9, 2014

WATCH: 'The Winter’s Tale’ Set Comes Down

Crew members pull down 'The Winter's Tale' set.
Credit Julie Denesha / KCUR

The sound of power drills pierced the air on a humid Monday morning as several dozen crew members dismantled the set of "The Winter’s Tale" in Southmoreland Park in Kansas City, Mo.

The evening glow from the set’s blue and gray spires had long faded. From a grassy hill, Greg Mackender, resident composer and musician for the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival stood taking photographs on his camera phone before packing away his instruments.

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Central Standard
3:49 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Creativity Over Time: How Age Affects Artistic Careers

Anthony Krutzkamp dances to music composed and performed by Bobby Watson.
Credit Julie Denesha / KCUR

On Tuesday's Central Standard, we invited a variety of artists to discuss how their practice has evolved as they have moved from one stage of life to another.

As a ballet dancer embarked on retirement from the stage and into a teaching and choreographing role at the age of 32, he sat down with a visual artist who has more than forty years of studio experience and a legendary jazz saxophonist. The three compared notes across genres. 

Highlights:

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Up to Date
1:08 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Weekend To-Do List: July 4-6

Thousands enjoy the KC Riverfest fireworks show at Berkley Riverfront Park.
Credit KC Riverfest

Have a star-spangled weekend with this sizzling list of area entertainment from Brian McTavish!

Big Bang: Jackson County’s Fourth of July Celebration
5:30 p.m. (gates open) Friday; free admission
Longview Lake, Shelter #13

KC Riverfest: Music and Fireworks
4 p.m. (gates open) Friday; $5 admission after 5 p.m.
Berkley Riverfront Park

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Up To Date
1:05 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Up To Date's Indie, Foreign & Doc Critics' 'Three To See,' July 3 - 6

Credit Snowpiecer

  Up to Date's independent, foreign and documentary film critics share their favorites showing on area screens:

Steve Walker:

Cynthia Haines:

  • Ida
  • A Hard Days Night
  • Chef
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Up To Date
9:00 am
Thu July 3, 2014

The Untold Journey Of Civil Rights Photographers

Matt Herron

Thursday's Up to Date brings the never before told story of powerful events witnessed by five young photographers during the momentous summer of 1964 in the segregated South. Guest host Brian Ellison talks with Matt Herron, one of the photographers and author of Mississippi Eyes: The Story and Photography of the Southern Documentary Project, "the only book to provide a firsthand account of what it was actually like to photograph the civil rights struggle in the Deep South."

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