Arts & Culture

Up To Date
4:54 pm
Tue September 2, 2014

Johnson County Blogger Releases 'People I Want To Punch In The Throat' In Book Form

When Johnson County blogger Jen Mann wrote about Elf on the Shelf on her blog, People I Want to Punch in the Throat, she became an overnight sensation.  Now with a book of the same name coming out, Mann sits down with Steve Kraske to talk about the leap from blogger to author.  She reveals how she met her husband, including an unusual date early on, and recounts a moms' night out at a gun range.

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Arts & Culture
6:00 am
Sun August 31, 2014

Poet Gearóid Mac Lochlainn Returns To KC For Irish Fest

Gearóid Mac Lochlainn, a native of Belfast, Ireland, has been described as a 'performance poet.'
Credit Michael McDonald/MKD Photography Ltd

Belfast bard Gearóid Mac Lochlainn is back in Kansas City, Mo., this weekend to perform at the Irish Fest. Known for his bilingual work with poetry and music, his most recent book and CD is called Criss-Cross Mo Chara

In 2008, after then President of Ireland, Mary McAleese, honored him for his contribution to Irish arts, he talked with New Letters on the Air host, Angela Elam, about his first book and CD called Stream of Tongues.

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Arts & Culture
5:30 am
Sun August 31, 2014

After 35 Years, A Nelson Security Guard Calls It A Day

Henry J. ("Hank") Raya, 82, watches over the museum's collection of South and Southeast Asian art Friday at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.
Julie Denesha KCUR

The oldest, and longest-serving, employee at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art retired on Aug. 31.

Henry J. ("Hank") Raya studied at the Kansas City Art Institute and served in the U.S. Navy before working for two decades as an illustrator at The Kansas City Star. Then he stepped into a new career: as a security guard at the Nelson-Atkins, where he's helped the visitors and protected the art for 35 years. 

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Up To Date
3:08 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Local Listen: Carswell & Hope

Carswell & Hope, a soulful folk-rock band from Lawrence, Kan., will be among the performers at this weekend's Kansas City Irish Fest. A collaboration between the Irish transplant Nick Carswell, two native Kansans, and a New Yorker, Carswell & Hope released its debut album in May. This week's Local Listen is a curiously pensive track from the project, "Hunger."

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Arts & Culture
2:48 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Film Review: A Hotel Inspector Doesn't Exactly Enjoy Her 'Five Star Life'

Margherita Buy is a hotel inspector seemingly living 'A Five Star Life.'
Credit Courtesy Music Box Films

Everyone who’s ever stayed at a hotel turns into a hotel inspector as soon as the bellman closes the door. Does the bedspread look plush or threadbare? Is the bathroom gleaming or grungy? Will room service arrive promptly and hot or late and cold? In the new Italian film A Five Star Life, Margherita Buy wonders these and other things as a hotel inspector beginning to question the constriction and loneliness of a career that looks awfully glamorous from the outside.

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Up to Date
11:55 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Up To Date's Indie, Foreign & Doc Critics' 'Three To See,' August 29-September 1

'A Five Star Life' made both of our critics' lists this week.

Looking for a great film to see the weekend of Aug. 29-Sept.1? Up to Date's independent, foreign, and documentary film critics share their favorites showing on area screens:

Steve Walker:

Cynthia Haines:

  • Alive Inside
  • A Five Star Life
  • A Most Wanted Man
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Food
11:55 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Food Critics: The Best Desserts In Kansas City

Golden Boy Pies out of Overland Park, Kan., was one of our Critics' recommendations. You can get a slice at Town Topic.
Credit Julie Fallone / Town Topic

  At some point, we all get a sweet tooth. For some of us it is a little more frequently than we would like, for others its an occasional craving.

Whether you are in need of a decadent mousse or plain old fashioned ice cream cone, our Food Critics are here to guide you (and your tooth) to the sweetest treats in the metro.

Here are suggestions from the Food Critics and listeners to Central Standard:

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Up to Date
11:24 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Facing Addiction With Ink And Pen

The path to wholeness for those whose lives have been touched by addiction is always different. But for at least one group of Kansas Citians, that road has been filled … with writing. Poetry and prose that chronicle and process and maybe even transform the struggle. 

On Friday's Up to Date,  guest host Brian Ellison talks two women taking part in an annual reading of work stemming from addiction.

Guests:

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Arts & Culture
7:53 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Remembering Agustín Romero-Diaz, Leader Of The Loose Park Drum Sessions

Agustin Romero-Diaz died on August 21. He was 67.
Credit courtesy: Pat Conway

Agustín Romero-Diaz, a native of Cuba and Kansas City resident, died last week at the age of 67. A drummer and singer, he wasn't known for his performances in a band, or on stage. In his three decades in Kansas City, he shared his passion for Afro-Cuban music each week during afternoon drum sessions in Loose Park. 

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Arts & Culture
2:42 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Kansas City Streetcar System Now Officially Named ... KC Streetcar

Willoughby Design's KC Streetcar logo without text.
Credit Kansas City Streetcar Authority

The Kansas City Streetcar Authority has released the name and branding for the city's new downtown streetcar line.

Created by Willoughby Design, Inc., the package approved by the Authority on Thursday includes a name, icon, color palette and other branding elements.

The transit system's now-official name — KC Streetcar — is "simple, intuitive and universal, giving Kansas City a place among the best transit systems in the world, ” says Tom Trabon, chair of the Streetcar Authority Board.

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Up to Date
11:28 am
Thu August 28, 2014

A Daughter's View Of Charlie "Bird" Parker

Kim Parker (right) with her mother, Chan Parker, and Charlie Parker.

Charlie Parker’s stature in the music world and in Kansas City wasn’t lost on his daughter . . . but for all his fame he was the man who held her hand and walked her as a terrified first-grader to school.

Kim Parker is in town as part of Kansas City’s celebration of her father.  She joins us to recollect more about her childhood with the legendary jazzman whose life she said was “bigger than anyone else’s.”

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Up to Date
9:00 am
Tue August 26, 2014

'Our Town' Gets A Facelift In KC Rep Production

David Cromer is bringing his revamped version of 'Our Town' to the KC Rep.
Credit kclivetheater.com

Even if you’ve visited Grover’s Corners before, you might not recognize it now. Thornton Wilder’s classic town is getting a makeover.

On Tuesday's Up to Date, we talk with MacArthur genius grantee David Cromer about his new vision for a production of ‘Our Town’ making its way onto the KC Rep’s stage.

Guests:

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Arts & Culture
11:19 am
Mon August 25, 2014

PHOTOS: Wiley's Kansas City Street Art Beautifies Utility Boxes

Corner of W. 45th St. and Belleview
C.J. Janovy KCUR

On Central Standard in July, host Gina Kaufmann asked the Kansas City graffiti artist known as Gear to explain his theory that graffiti is “the beautification of the city.”

Most graffiti artists choose areas that are run-down or buildings that haven’t been taken care of by their landlords, Gear said.

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Literature
9:28 am
Mon August 25, 2014

Writer Lois Lowry On 'The Giver'

Author Lois Lowry. Her 1993 children's novel, The Giver, has been turned into a film.
Credit courtesy: NEH

Acclaimed Newbery Award-winning children's author Lois Lowry's book for young people, The Giver, is now a film. 

"The Giver was the first book that I wrote that veered out of the realistic, and tiptoed a bit into fantasy. Some people call it science fiction. I don't like to think of it that way," Lowry tells our New Letters on the Air host Angela Elam.

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Central Standard
5:09 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Movie Critics: Films Of August 2014

Jeff Bridges (at left) plays the role of the Giver in the new film based on the book, The Giver, by Lois Lowry.
Credit courtesy: Walden Media

The new sci-fi thriller The Giver joins a growing parade of dystopian young adult novels that have been adapted to the big screen. Discover why the future looks so bleak, then cheer up with reviews of films to be released in August.

Opened August 1:

  • BOYHOOD (R) - 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • GET ON UP (R) - 3 out of 5 stars
  • GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (PG-13)  - 3 out of 5 stars

​Opened August 8:

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Up to Date
12:29 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

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

'A Most Wanted Man' is on critic Cynthia Haines' list this weekend.

Looking for a great film to see the weekend of Aug. 22-24? Up to Date's independent, foreign, and documentary film critics share their favorites showing on area screens:

Steve Walker:

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Up to Date
11:00 am
Fri August 22, 2014

Mixing It Up With A Cocktail Competition

The Paris of the Plains Festival features many different cocktails.
Credit Thomas Hawk / Flickr-CC

A good cocktail is about more than mixing a few jiggers of this and a twist of that. At the Paris of the Plains Cocktail Festival, they call it an art.

On Friday's Up to Date, we talk with a few of these about what's popular at happy hours now, how they create a new cocktail and how they like to mix it up for change.

Guests:

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Up to Date
10:38 am
Fri August 22, 2014

Sixteen And Singing Proudly

Singer-songwriter Gracie Schram is finding her place on the stage at age 16.
Credit gracieschram.com

Gracie Schram has sung the national anthem for the Kansas City Royals and Sporting KC, and she also has her own single with an album in the works. It's a pretty ambitious start for the 16-year-old Prairie Village, Kan. songstress.

On Friday's Up to Date, we talk with her about her start, her new music and her humanitarian efforts.

Guest:

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Arts & Culture
9:30 am
Fri August 22, 2014

Film Review: Anna Kendrick's Flakiness Complicates Her Family's 'Happy Christmas'

Lena Dunham and Anna Kendrick attempt a babysitting job with Jude Swanberg in "Happy Christmas."
Credit Courtesy of Magnolia Pictures

The new dysfunctional family comedy Happy Christmas may have modest goals, but it makes an impact thanks to several lively and well-crafted performances. Chief among those is Anna Kendrick. The Oscar nominee from Up in the Air is delightfully scattered as Jenny, a young woman fresh off a break-up who retreats to her brother’s home in Chicago in hopes of reconnecting with old friends and sustaining a semi-permanent buzz.

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Arts & Culture
7:45 am
Fri August 22, 2014

'Word Play' Exhibition At The Belger Explores Power And Humor In Text

The Belger Arts Center has collected the work of Renee Stout for decades, including 'Fatima's Sign.' Gallery assistant Mo Dickens describes it as a voodoo menu, lotions and potions you might find in a voodoo shop.
Credit Laura Spencer / KCUR

The experience of viewing a work of art often involves words — think of the neatly typed wall panels with an artist’s name and background, or details about the work itself. The written word — and its role in and on an artwork — is the focus of a Belger Arts Center exhibition in the Crossroads Arts District. 

"A couple of years ago, there were some visitors waiting for the elevator over there," says gallery assistant Mo Dickens, on the third floor of the Belger Arts Center. "And I heard one turn to the other and say, 'Hmm … I don’t know. I’ve never liked text on paintings.'" 

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Up To Date
4:25 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

The Weekend To-Do List: August 22-24

Kansas City BaconFest 2009
Credit bacontoday.com

Everything's better with bacon, especially the weekend!  Check out Brian McTavish's Weekend To-Do List where there's something for every taste.

Bacon Fest 2014
Massive appreciation and ingestion
2 to 5 p.m. Saturday
Union Station, 30 W. Pershing
Admission: $50 (GA), $100 (VIP)

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Arts & Culture
3:19 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Black House Collective To Premiere Five New Chamber Operas

Mezzo-soprano Anna Hoard sings in the role of Charlene in George Lam's 'Sherman's March.'
Julie Denesha KCUR

As they waited for other musicians and singers to arrive, composer Hunter Long and mezzo-soprano Anna Hoard lounged among music stands and percussion instruments in a sixth-floor room in the Town Pavilion building in downtown Kansas City, Mo. Hoard sings the role of Charlotte in Long’s new chamber opera titled Lost in Translation, one of five new operas that will have their world premiere on Friday.

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Arts & Culture
8:05 am
Thu August 21, 2014

At The Nerman, American Indian Art Is Contemporary

Norman Akers' "Transience"
Norman Akers

This fall, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art opens its blockbuster exhibition "The Plains Indians: Artists of Earth and Sky," with works ranging from a 2,000-year-old stone pipe to beaded designer shoes from 2011. To spark enthusiasm, three enormous teepees now compete with the Shuttlecocks on the Nelson’s south lawn.

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Up To Date
4:56 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Local Listen: The Phantastics

Credit The Phantastics

The Phantastics, one of this area’s most formidable party bands, send audiences into frenzies with a heated blend of funk, jazz and hip-hop.

The ensemble includes the noted rapper The Phantom and several of the region's most versatile musicians.

This week's edition of Local Listen features a dance-oriented track, "Phire," from the Phantastics 2013 EP "Closer."

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Arts & Culture
2:41 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Nelson Responds To The Onion, 12 Picassos In Collection

A photograph of Pablo Picasso, taken in 1957 by David Douglas Duncan. In 2013, Duncan donated 161 inkjet prints of Picasso to the museum.
Credit Courtesy Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art / Gift of the artist

The parody news site, The Onion, targeted the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Mo., last week in a story with this headline: "Museum Proudly Exhibits Picasso Shitty Enough To Be In Kansas City."

The article poked fun at the museum and its fictional acquisition of a Picasso pencil sketch, a "forgettable piece-of-shit doodle" filling up an entire wall. 

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Arts & Culture
3:27 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

HOK And 360 Architecture To Merge, Take Company Full Circle

Credit courtesy: 360 Architecture

Architecture, engineering and design company HOK announced Tuesday the acquisition of Kansas City-based 360 Architecture. The merger brings HOK, a St. Louis-based firm with offices around the country, back into the realm of sports architecture. 

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Up to Date
1:02 pm
Fri August 15, 2014

In The Studio With Actress Morgan Fairchild

Morgan Fairchild joins Steve Kraske in the studio.
Credit Beth Lipoff / KCUR

From Falcon Crest to Friends, Morgan Fairchild is a familiar face on the silver screen and in your living room. But what’s the secret to being a successful working actor?

On Friday's Up to Date, we talk about her life in front of the cameras as she joins us in the studio. We also take a look at how she spends her time away from Hollywood, being an activist and performing live on stage at places like the New Theatre Restaurant.

Guest:

  • Morgan Fairchild, actress
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Arts & Culture
12:09 pm
Fri August 15, 2014

Beep Goes The Weasel Combines Music, Vegetables And Drive-In Movies

Matt Hawkins and David Cedillo perform in Beep Goes The Weasel.
Laura Spencer KCUR

Most people go to Boulevard Drive-In in Kansas City, Kan., to watch what’s on the big screen, but this weekend they might stumble upon something a little strange on the way to the snack bar — a two-piece band accompanied by a half dozen or so kids playing music on fruits and vegetables. 

This weekend will be the second time the duo set up at the drive-in,

Earlier this summer, as Dave Cedillo started unloading computer equipment, amps, and vegetables, he explained his set up.

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Central Standard
11:21 am
Fri August 15, 2014

Food Critics: Best Brunch In Kansas City

Credit Erica Firment / Flickr--CC

Brunch. Sometimes it is leisurely and relaxing, sometimes after a long night, it is just necessary. 

From upscale to fresh and light to downright greasy, the Central Standard food critics have you covered for all your mid-morning needs in the Kansas City metro. 

Here are our food critics' recommendations:

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Arts & Culture
9:30 am
Fri August 15, 2014

Film Review: 'The Dog' Introduces Inspiration For Iconic Al Pacino Role

Al Pacino plays John in " Dog Day Afternoon."
Credit Courtesy: Drafthouse Films

Those whose movie addiction firmly took hold in the 1970s have a deep affinity for such films as Nashville, Taxi Driver, and Dog Day Afternoon, three perfect melds of storytelling and cinematic virtuosity. What many may forget about the latter film - directed by Sidney Lumet and with a volcanic Al Pacino at its core - is that it was based on a real bank robbery concocted by a real person, now the subject of The Dog.

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