In director Steve McQueen’s thematically brutal yet beautifully composed film 12 Years a Slave, Chiwetel Ejiofor gives an astonishing performance as Solomon Northup, a black musician whose trusting nature leads to the ultimate betrayal when he goes from a free man to a slave. That both director and actor are British and black isn’t an anomaly but rather an obtuse argument that perhaps American filmmakers are too close to the story of slavery in this country to do it justice.
The Halloween season is a time when, for at least a night or two, you can become something – or someone – else. An exhibition at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art called Dressed Up explores the "theater of the self," and the role of nature, culture, reality and perception.
Creating a new self-image
"Let’s be really ornery in the museum," encourages librarian Meghann Henry. "And on the count of three, you're going to count shout ‘Good morning!’ One, two three, 'Good morning!' Pretty good, alright."
The Phantom of the Opera, a 1925 silent film, tells the story of an organist who lurks beneath an opera house. This Halloween night, organist Aaron David Miller will be in plain sight at the Kauffman Center, when he provides the soundtrack for a screening of this film.
Almost every year around this time in Kansas City, a musical phenomenon rises up at area bars. A mysterious band called the Haunted Creepys tends to perform around Halloween, and whenever Friday the 13th rolls around.
The Creepys wear colorful robes and hoods with black netting covering their faces, and they claim to be a 400-year-old band of undead musicians from Transylvania who play original numbers such as Phantom of the Pipeline, Skiffle Haunt and Hairy Tomato.
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art has commissioned a new work by architect and artist Maya Lin, who's probably best known as the designer of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Lin’s sculpture, Silver Missouri, inspired by the Missouri River, is crafted from recycled silver, and it’s one in a series of works exploring water conservation. It will be installed in the Bloch Building on November 15.
In the Netflix series, House of Cards, actor Nathan Darrow, a native of Kansas City, plays Edward Meechum. It's an understated role, but he's the keeper of secrets as the bodyguard and driver for ruthless Congressman Francis "Frank" Underwood, played by Kevin Spacey.
With Jimmy Fallon due to take over "The Tonight Show" in early 2014, many are looking back to the days when Johnny Carson hosted the late night show.
On Monday's Up to Date, Steve Kraske talks with Carson's former lawyer, Henry Bushkin about his new behind-the-scenes memoir detailing his relationship with the longest running "Tonight Show" host. From their initial meeting in 1970 to their falling out in 1988, Carson trusted Bushkin as his legal advisor, tennis partner, and close friend.
The music of The Silver Maggies is a unique blend of gothic country and high desert noir, resulting in a sound that’s dark and lonely... and maybe a little dangerous. In this week’s local listen, we hear “End of Time” from their album “My Pale Horse”. The Silver Maggies appear Friday evening October 25th at The Brick, sharing the stage with Starhaven Rounders and Amy Farrand.
Most theater productions comfortably nest in traditional, familiar venues, with a proscenium arch, a set taking up three walls, and the audience making up the fourth. Occasionally, though, the material calls for a stretch of the boundaries.
The Jorge Arana Trio offers an energetic and eclectic fusion of jazz, rock and funk that has gotten the attention of music lovers throughout Kansas City as a result of their take-no-prisoners live shows.
In today's Local Listen, we hear Bitter Era from their most recent album, "Mapache."
You can catch the Trio on Sunday October 20 at The Riot Room and November 1 at the Czar Bar.
With two kids, a mini-van and a lull in their love life, Abby and Kate are not much different from their suburban neighbors. The fact that they’re a married lesbian couple is beside the point – it is less important than their domestic apathy - yet still central to Stacie Passon’s assured, candid and clever film Concussion.
The Kansas Board of Regents this week approved the renovation and expansion plans for the Spencer Museum of Art at the University of Kansas.
The building where the museum is housed opened to the public in 1978, and according to a news release, the collection has grown by more than 250 percent. This includes the nearly 10,000 objects transferred to the Spencer's holdings in 2007, with the closing of the KU Museum of Anthropology, and other acquisitions.
That chill in the air isn’t the only thing that will give you goosebumps. With the approach of Halloween, all kinds of spooky stuff is coming your way.
On Friday's Up to Date, DVD Gurus Mitch Brian and Jason Heck join us to share their favorite horror films. We’ll follow the creepy tale of a pair of hands with minds of their own, cower from an invisible demon and duck a mad man’s sharp axe. They’ll leave you wanting to check under the bed before you go to sleep tonight.
There is something that strings all these different local bands together… Mr. Marco’s V7, The Grisly Hand, Ernest James Zydeco, Dead Voices. Or rather, someone.
Musician Mike Stover plays in all of these bands and more. Normally when you hear a story about a band you hear from the lead singer or songwriter, the person at the front of the stage. Mike Stover is normally in the back or off to the side, sometimes sitting down, he doesn’t sing, just sticks to the strings.
A new exhibition, Impressionist France: Visions of Nation from Le Gray to Monet,at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art examines the relationship between landscape and national identity. There are more than 100 paintings and photographs, from 1850 to 1880, including works by artists such as Manet, Monet and Le Gray, as well as artists well-known at the time but not today.
Photographers and painters construct "an idea of nation"
Ramona Pansegrau is a musician whose life has been shaped by dance. This marks Pansegrau's seventh season as both the music director and the conductor for the Kansas City Ballet. And, after three decades of working with dancers, she says creating wonderful moments on stage still gives her a thrill.
Katy Guillen and The Girls have only been together for about a year, but it hasn’t taken them long to get noticed: next January they will be representing Kansas City in the International Blues Challenge in Memphis. They’ve just release a new EP called “… and then there were three.”
In this week's "Local Listen" we hear a track from the album titled “The Race."
You have a couple chances to hear them live next week: they’ll be at BB’s Lawnside Bar-B-Q on October 17th and at Knuckleheads on the 18th.
To Wisconsin-based multi-media artist Beth Lipman, glass represents life – there is a beginning and an end, there is change, it is fragile, it is precious. For over a decade glass has been the material of choice for Lipman who is considered one of the most compelling conceptual artists working in glass today.
An exhibit opens this weekend at the Kansas City Museum about Lupe Gonzalez, a local musician who became an icon in the Latino community. His name may not be recognizable, and that’s likely because Gonzalez never received national recognition.
In 1970, the symbol for the city of Kansas City, Missouri, resembled paper clips; in 1992, it was a heart-shaped fountain, in shades of pink and blue. Thursday marks the unveiling of a new image for the city.
Communications director Danny Rotert says the new brand reflects the city’s look and attitude.
The fall air was crisp on Saturday morning as Steve Conard lifted his 1940s era Western Flyer from the back of his car.
"Today the weather is absolutely perfect for this kind of a ride," said Conard, dressed in a large, vintage tweed jacket and plaid pants. He said he had been looking forward to joining the Kansas City Tweed Ride since the day he found the rusty bike frame for five dollars at a bike swap this summer. It had taken him six weeks to rebuild the bike from salvaged parts.