Arts & Culture

Arts & Culture
5:30 am
Thu April 17, 2014

New Musical At KC Rep Examines A Family And Its Secrets

Nick Blaemire at Lincoln Center, 2010.
Credit courtesy of Nick Blaemire

It seems every new musical is based on a familiar movie, such as the current Broadway productions of Rocky, Bullets Over Broadway, and Aladdin. There are notable exceptions, though - original stories crafted from pure imagination.

Opening its world premiere production at the Kansas City Repertory Theatre is a show taking up that challenge called A Little More Alive.

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Up To Date
11:26 am
Wed April 16, 2014

The Disappearance of Investigative Journalism

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Dean Starkman joins host Steve Kraske to talk about the disappearance of investigative journalism in American media.
Credit deanstarkman.com

Following the 2008 financial meltdown, many were left asking, "where were the journalists at?" 

On the second half of Wednesday's Up to Date, host Steve Kraske discusses the lack of investigative journalism in recent years with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Dean Starkman

Guest:

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Up To Date
11:24 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Web Exclusive: Edward James Olmos On Lt. Castillo Of 'Miami Vice'

Edward James Olmos as Lt. Martin Castillo on "Miami Vice".
Credit Google Commons

If Miami Vice was the hottest show on television in the '80s then Lt. Martin Castillo was the coolest character.  As portrayed by Edward James Olmos, Castillo was a man of few words and a mysterious past.  In this excerpt of his interview with Steve Kraske, Olmos recalls the conditions under which he took the role and why he didn't look at actors Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas during his first season on the show.

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Up To Date
11:11 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Actor And Activist Edward James Olmos

Actor, director, and Chicano activist Edward James Olmos joins Steve Kraske on Wednesday's "Up to Date."
Credit Donna Lou Morgan

Science fiction fans will recognize him as Commander William Adama from Battlestar Galactica, but Edward James Olmos is also well known for his activism in the Latino and Chicano community. 

On the first half of Wednesday's Up to Date, host Steve Kraske sits down with Olmos to discuss his long career in Hollywood and his numerous efforts to reach out to Chicano youth. Olmos gave the Cesar Chavez Lecture at the University of Missouri-Kansas City on Tuesday.

Guest:

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Up to Date
9:00 am
Tue April 15, 2014

Connie Stevens: Hollywood, Elvis & The New Theatre

Connie Stevens joins Steve Kraske on Up to Date.
Credit conniestevens.com

Need to take your mind off of the IRS today? 

On Tuesday's Up to Date, we do our best to distract you from your taxes with a visit from actress Connie Stevens. Join us as we talk with her about 1960s Hollywood, what it was like to date Elvis and how she likes acting with her daughter at The New Theatre Restaurant.

Guest:

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Arts & Culture
5:42 am
Tue April 15, 2014

Museum Visit Sparks Memories Of Childhood Dollhouse

A two-story dollhouse built in the early 1970s by Charles Denesha.
Julie Denesha KCUR

On my fourth birthday, my grandfather gave me a dollhouse. It was a yellow, two-floor house that he built in his basement workshop in Kansas City, Kan. The dollhouse had six rooms and came with an assortment of handmade furniture, painted floors and wallpaper in nearly every room.

I was thrilled by the gift and I played with the dollhouse, constantly moving my dolls from room to room, creating little dramas in my young mind. My dolls talked on the tiny rotary phone, ate breakfast in the kitchen and slept in their neatly-appointed bedrooms.

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Up to Date
11:12 am
Fri April 11, 2014

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

'Particle Fever' explores what it's like to work at CERN's Large Hadron Collider.

Here are Up to Date's critics' favorite indie, doc and foreign films showing on Kansas City-area screens the weekend of April 11-13. 

Cynthia Haines:

  • Lunch Box
  • Particle Fever
  • The Unknown Known

Steve Walker:

  • The Unknown Known
  • Particle Fever
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel

Bob Butler:

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Up to Date
9:00 am
Fri April 11, 2014

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

'Bad Words' is on our critics' list of films this weekend.

Take a peek at the inner-workings of CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, and get a look into the life of labor leader Cesar Chavez. When it’s on the silver screen, you’ve got an all-access pass.

On Friday's Up to Date, our independent, foreign and documentary film critics take a look at the latest films opening in Kansas City.

Our critics' list:

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Arts & Culture
3:13 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Music In The '90s: Was There A 'KC Sound'?

In the age of cassette tapes, Kansas City's underground music scene was alive and well.
Credit Thegreenj / wiki commons

As the national media look back at grunge and Nirvana is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Central Standard revisits Kansas City's hole-in-the-wall venues of the 1990s and asks: Was there a Kansas City sound? And are the musicians and fans active at that time still making, promoting and listening to music today?

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Dance
1:11 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

After 30-Year Career With The Kansas City Ballet, James Jordan Moves On

James Jordan (at left), as Van Helsing, in Michael Pink's 'Dracula.'
Julie Denesha KCUR

After nearly three decades with the Kansas City Ballet, Ballet Master James Jordan has accepted the same post with The Sarasota Ballet as of the 2014-2015 season.

Devon Carney, the Ballet's artistic director, said in a news release that Jordan's national reputation as a stager of Anthony Tudor ballets led to the Florida connection.

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Books
11:57 am
Thu April 10, 2014

Ray Bradbury Remembered By Loving Biographer

Writer Ray Bradbury was an American icon. His work straddled genres, uniting the seemingly-disparate worlds of science fiction and high literature, haunting readers' imaginations with side shows, skeletons, bright stars, the dark skies of space, solitary front porches and late night train whistles. 

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Film
11:53 am
Thu April 10, 2014

Africa World Documentary Film Festival Brings Global Stories To Lawrence

Musicians from Mali, like MC Jazz (pictured here), are profiled in one of the many diverse films in the Africa World Documentary Film Festival.

The University of Kansas is hosting the Africa World Documentary Film Festival this Thursday, April 10 through Saturday, April 12.

The convener of that festival, Daniel Atkinson, visited the KCUR studios to talk about the films he chose to show and the ideas he hoped to convey through the wide range of stories these documentaries tell.

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Up to Date
11:45 am
Thu April 10, 2014

The Weekend To-Do List: April 11-13, 2014

Bill Maher comes to Kansas City this weekend.
Credit Angela George / Wikimedia Commons

Need to put the Spring in your step? Check out Brian McTavish's Weekend To-Do List for April 11-13.

“Miracle on South Division Street” starring Connie Stevens (Stage comedy), Dinner seating at 6:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, noon and 6:30 p.m. Saturday, 12:15 p.m. Sunday at the New Theatre Restaurant, 9229 Foster, Overland Park, Kan. Tickets: $33 to $55

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Arts & Culture
5:58 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Folk Alliance International Names New Executive Director

Folk Alliance International's new executive director Aengus Finnan.
Credit courtesy: Folk Alliance International

Folk Alliance International announced its pick for a new executive director on Wednesday.

The board of directors selected Aengus Finnan, a musician, community leader and arts administrator. Finnan will replace Louis Meyers, a South by Southwest co-founder who's served as executive director since 2005.

The 3,000-member organization moved its headquarters from Memphis to Kansas City in August.

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Arts & Culture
12:37 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Portraits And Party Scenes From Kansas City's Drag Ball Culture Revealed

Private Birthday Party / Gay and Lesbian Archive of Mid-America, UMKC

In the 1950s and 1960s, gay and lesbian clubs dotted the Kansas City metro area.

Bars, with names like The Ivanhoe Cabaret and The Terrace, "were widely viewed as having some of the finest entertainment around," according to the News-Telegraph in a 1992 article. But these drag balls, also called "tea parties" or "private birthday parties," were mostly underground events.

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Central Standard
7:43 am
Tue April 8, 2014

Movie Critics: Reviews Of March Releases Plus A Look At the Kansas City FilmFest

Credit Fox Serchlight

From the over-the-top, young-adult heroics of "Divergent" to the eccentric comedy of "The Grand Budapest Hotel" and the intriguing examination of obsession in the documentary "Tim’s Vermeer" the offerings over the last month at local movie theaters has certainly been diverse. And that horn of plenty continues to overflow as the 18th annual Kansas City FilmFest begins in earnest next week.

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Arts & Culture
3:00 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

ArtsKC Announces Move To Crossroads

ArtsKC-Regional Arts Council will be relocating this summer to the Crossroads Arts District, near a cluster of restaurants, shops and galleries, such as Hammerpress, Town Topic, and Kemper at the Crossroads.
Credit Laura Spencer / KCUR

ArtsKC, the arts council for the Kansas City metro area, announced a move Monday from downtown to the Crossroads Arts District in Kansas City, Mo.

The new location, at the corner of Southwest Boulevard and Baltimore, places the 15-year-old organization squarely in the center of a thriving arts and cultural scene.

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Up to Date
5:31 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

Local Listen: Scruffy And The Janitors

Scruffy and the Janitors play the Middle of the Map festival Saturday, April 5, on the back patio of the Riot Room at 6:15 p.m.
Credit Middle of the Map Fest

 

This year’s Middle of the Map music festival began Thursday night and will continue through Saturday at  locations in and around Westport.

Our “Local Listen” segment focuses on musicians from the Kansas City area that will be sharing the stage with regional and national artists.  

Today, we travel up I-29 a bit and give a listen to one of the newest bands to come out of St. Joseph: Scruffy and the Janitors. Here is “Shake it Off.”

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Food
12:20 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

Food Critics: The Best Fish In Kansas City

Our food critics recommend the best fish entrees on Kansas City menus, spring 2014.

      

  It's Lent, and whether you observe the Catholic fast or not, it's a great excuse to eat fish.

Kansas City restaurants offer plentiful selections of the under-water variety. On today's Central Standard the food critics recommend their favorite fish entrees in town.

Will Monsieur and Madame be having osteichthyes? Yes, please. Leave the frozen fish sticks at home.

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Arts & Culture
12:00 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

Middle Of The Map Fest Hits Kansas City With Music, Technology And More

Ferociously pounding the drums with her feet Molly Gene, of One Whoaman Band, performs at the fourth annual Middle of the Map festival.
Julie Denesha KCUR

On Thursday night at the Westport Saloon in Kansas City, Mo., a circle of men holding bottles of beer surrounded Molly Gene wearing fishnet stockings and cowboy boots as she ferociously pounded her custom set of foot drums. Gene, of her so-called ‘One Whoaman Band,’ was in town for the 4th annual Middle of the Map Fest. 

As The Star's Tim Finn puts it, "There are at least 100 good reasons to attend Ink's Middle of the Map Fest this weekend." Out of 120 bands in the lineup - 100 are performing at the festival for the first time.

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Arts & Culture
8:05 am
Fri April 4, 2014

Take A Sneak Peek Of The New King Tut Exhibit At Union Station

"The Discovery of King Tut" displays a replica of Tutankhamun's golden mask. It's a representation of the king as everlasting, and not a portrait.
Laura Spencer KCUR

The Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun, or King Tut, has been a subject of fascination ever since his tomb was discovered in 1922. The young king, who died at the age of 19, and his golden treasures have inspired films, fashion, music, travel and exhibitions. The Discovery of King Tut, has toured 20 cities since 2008, and it makes its first stop in North America at Union Station on Friday.

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Arts and Culture
7:40 am
Fri April 4, 2014

WATCH: Toy Museum Staff Tackle Daunting Task Of Packing Up Giant Dollhouse

The stately Coleman dollhouse is taken apart to make way for renovations at The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures.
Julie Denesha KCUR

The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures in Kansas City, Mo., houses one of the largest toy collections on public display in the United States. In January, the museum closed its doors for a yearlong renovation, but the work inside continues. 

One of the star attractions of the collection is the Coleman dollhouse. The largest dollhouse in the museum's collection, it measures 9 feet tall and 8 feet wide and once belonged to the wealthy Coleman family from Lebanon, Pa.

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Up To Date
12:37 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

The Weekend To-Do List: April 4-6, 2014

More than 120 bands will be playing this weekend for Ink's Middle of the Map Fest.
Credit middleofthemapfest.com

Wash away the recent rainy weather with Brian McTavish's Weekend To-Do List for April 4-6.

Ink's Middle of the Map Fest Music festival with more that 120 bands at six venues.  Thursday, Friday, Saturday. Gary Numan performs at 11 p.m. Thursday at Ernie Biggs Piano Bar. Country Club Plaza and Westport area. Tickets: $55 three-day-pass

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Arts & Culture
7:38 am
Thu April 3, 2014

Development Of A Regional Cultural Plan Underway

Over the last decade, an estimated $1.57 billion has been invested in arts, cultural and entertainment infrastructure. This includes the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, which opened in 2011.
Credit courtesy: Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

Plans are in the works to create a regional cultural plan to establish a shared vision for the Kansas City metro.

In recent years, Kansas City has gained a national reputation as a "culturally rich metropolis." In the five-county metro area, including Kansas and Missouri, there are over 6,000 artists, writers and performers, 250 arts and cultural non-profits, and 360 for-profits. 

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Arts & Culture
11:57 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Four Penetrating Documentaries Highlighted At 2014 Kansas City FilmFest

Writer and cultural critic Gore Vidal in "Gore Vidal: United States of Amnesia," spotlighted at 2014 Kansas City FilmFest.
Credit Courtesy gorevidaldocumentary.com

Film festival curators work diligently to give audiences an eclectic menu with as much breadth and depth as possible. The 2014 edition of the Kansas City FilmFest offers dozens of experimental, animated, and even “Afrofuturist” short films, as well as narrative comedies and dramas hoping to generate buzz. But from the offerings previewed by this writer, the strength of this year’s festival rests on its documentaries.

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Up to Date
11:42 am
Wed April 2, 2014

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

Judi Dench and Steve Coogan star in Philomena, which has charmed both of Up to Date's critics this week.

Here are Up to Date's critics' favorite indie, doc and foreign films showing on Kansas City-area screens the weekend of March 28-30. 

Click the highlighted links for Steve Walker's reviews of the films.

Cynthia Haines:

  • Tim's Vermeer
  • Her
  • Philomena

Steve Walker:

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Up to Date
11:00 am
Wed April 2, 2014

A Day In The Life Of An Average Pakistani

Haroon Ullah is the author of The Bargain From the Bazaar: A Family's Day of Reckoning in Lahore.

Haroon Ullah knows the pace and color of daily life in Pakistan and the delicate balance between secular and religious culture.

On Wednesday's Up to Date, we talk with him about the struggles of an ordinary middle-class family just trying to live life in a region that's seen constant upheaval.

Guest:

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Arts & Culture
9:38 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Teen Poets Compete In 'Louder Than A Bomb'

A semifinal competition in March at the American Jazz Museum in Kansas City, Mo.
Credit courtesy: Louder Than A Bomb-KC

The spoken word competition called Louder Than A Bomb, named after the Public Enemy song, started in Chicago, Ill. in 2001. It's now considered one of the largest youth poetry festivals.

Cities across the country, including Kansas City, are launching their own Louder Than A Bomb programs.

A program bridging divides in Kansas City

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Up to Date
10:36 am
Tue April 1, 2014

One Journalist's Bleak Forecast Of America's Landscape

George Packer is the author of The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America.

If you look at America through journalist George Packer’s eyes, you’ll see a landscape where familiar staples of society, such as Social Security and privacy, are disappearing in a country-wide decline in civilization.

On Tuesday's Up to Date, we talk with the National Book Award winner about his latest book, why he sees such a bleak picture for the country and how we might make it to the light at the end of the tunnel.

Guest:

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Up to Date
10:33 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Promoting The Arts In The Urban Core

Aaron Dworkin is the founder of Sphinx in Detroit.
Credit sphinxmusic.org

The Musical Bridges program at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music aims to give more arts opportunities to young people in the urban core of the city.

On Tuesday's Up to Date, we talk with a MacArthur Fellow who's done a similar thing in Detroit.

Guests:

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