Arts & Culture

Performance
11:54 am
Thu December 16, 2010

"A Very Joan Crawford Christmas" at the Unicorn

Ron Megee is Joan Crawford in "A Very Joan Crawford Christmas" by Jeff Church & Ron Megee. Through January 2, 2011.
Photo by Aren?t We Clever and courtesy of Unicorn Theatre

Watch any old movie from the 1930s or '40s and you're likely to hear Kansas City worked into the script. One reason may be that it was a stop for planes and trains traveling between the coasts. But another reason could be traced to the fact that many movie stars of the period were from Kansas City, including Ginger Rogers, Wallace Beery and Jean Harlow. The most famous native, though, was Joan Crawford, who is the subject of a new play with a twisted holiday theme.

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Music
11:05 am
Thu December 16, 2010

Best Pop and Indie Music of 2010

Four fabulous music junkies join us as we take a look at the best indie and pop music of 2010.

 

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Music
1:58 pm
Wed December 15, 2010

'All Songs' Listeners Pick The Best Albums Of 2010

NPR's "All Songs Considered" host Bob Boilen and producer Robin Hilton count down the Top 25 listener picks for 2010 and share some thoughts on the year in music.

 

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Jazz/Blues
3:09 pm
Mon December 13, 2010

Miguel Mambo DeLeon Teams up with UMKC Jazz

Miguel DeLeon's new album Pasiones Del Alma finds the "Mambo man" in a bit of a contemplative mood. But he never strays too far from his love of dance music.

Kansas City, MO – Miguel "Mambo" DeLeon has been shaking hips in Kansas City and beyond for more than 20 years. He's opened for Sting as well as many Latin music legends, including Tito Puente and Willie Colon.

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Performance
11:18 am
Fri December 10, 2010

Broadway Across America and Theater League Combine Broadway Series

In 2006, the Kansas City City Council awarded a contract to Broadway Across America - instead of Kansas City-based Theater League - to present Broadway shows in the Music Hall. Today the two organizations announced they've teamed up to present a five-show "Kansas City Best of Broadway Series."

Kansas City, MO – There will be two shows at the Music Hall, and three in the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, as part of its inaugural 2011 - 2012 season.

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Theater/Performance
12:02 pm
Thu December 9, 2010

Angel Makes Debut in "The Nutcracker"

Grace Hooks attends classes on Saturday mornings at the Kansas City Ballet. This year marks her first as an angel in "The Nutcracker."
photo: Laura Spencer/KCUR

This year marks the Kansas City Ballet's 38th annual production of "The Nutcracker." It's one of the largest in the region, with 200 students from the ballet's school, ranging in age from 7 to 18, and the more than 20 dancers in the company.

Kansas City, MO – The Kansas City Ballet, in its school and in its company, reflects diversity. It's also making efforts to expand its student population to be more inclusive, as KCUR's Laura Spencer reports.

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KCUR News
9:52 am
Thu December 9, 2010

Johnson County Christmas Bureau Addresses Growing Need

The Christmas Shop is housed inside of a Steve & Barry's department store.
Andrea Silenzi

Olathe, KS – The Johnson County Christmas Bureau has opened its doors to their annual Holiday Shop at the Great Mall of the Great Plains in Olathe, Kansas. This is their 50th year creating a shopping experience for low income families around the holidays.

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Jazz/Blues
1:00 pm
Tue December 7, 2010

Pianist Harold O'Neal: Translating Martial Arts into Jazz

Harold O'Neal recently talked about his musical and extra-musical adventures of the past few years.

Kansas City, MO – Pianist Harold O'Neal's new album Whirling Mantis doesn't come out of the New York jazz clubs where he most often performs. Instead, the songs were largely inspired by the time he spent studying martial arts here in his hometown of Kansas City.

 

Related story:

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KC Currents
5:53 pm
Mon December 6, 2010

Where is Midtown Kansas City, Anyway?

Kansas City, MO – All day at KCUR, we announce the "weather in midtown." A listener recently wrote in to inform us that he doesn't think our studio, located at 48th and Troost, is located in what he considers midtown Kansas City.

That got us thinking, where is midtown, anyway? Is there a definitive answer?

KC Currents sent intern Aaron Couch out to look for a definition.

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KC Currents
5:31 pm
Mon December 6, 2010

Original Rules of Basketball to be Auctioned Off

Kansas City, MO – Two yellowed typewritten pages laying out the rules of one of the world's most popular sports will go on the Sotheby's auction block on December 10. The original 13 rules of basketball were written in 1892 by the Canadian-born physician, Presbyterian minister and physical education professor James Naismith.

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Visual Arts
12:14 pm
Fri December 3, 2010

Archie Scott Gobber's "SUPER POWER"

Archie Scott Gobber,"...Of My Own," 2010. enamel on canvas, 84 X 70 in.
courtesy of Dolphin Gallery

Archie Scott Gobber's work engages viewers as a partner in an ongoing dialogue. "Super Power" marks Gobber's first solo at the Dolphin since the gallery moved from the Crossroads to the West Bottoms.

Kansas City, MO – Archie Scott Gobber again takes a look at popular culture and politics, examining stark economic realities with gentle wit.

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Music
3:36 pm
Thu December 2, 2010

Howard Iceberg

Kansas City musician, singer and songwriter Howard Iceberg shares stories of his life, his work and his music.

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Performance
10:37 am
Thu December 2, 2010

Lee's Summit Teen Reflects on Broadway Debut

Elaine Stritch and Katherine McNamara in "A Little Night Music" on Broadway.
photo: courtesy of Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Many Kansas City theater fans visit New York every year to catch shows before they tour or are produced by local companies. Those heading there this month have the opportunity to see the revival of Stephen Sondheim's "A Little Night Music," starring two of the theater's most revered performers, Elaine Stritch and Bernadette Peters, as mother and daughter. And four times a week, playing the youngest member of that clan, is Lee's Summit native Katherine McNamara.

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Visual Arts
1:42 pm
Wed November 24, 2010

Kansas Sculptor Arlie Regier's Stainless Steel Creations

A close-up of Arlie Regier's "Hemisphere."
photos: Laura Spencer/KCUR

Stainless steel is an elegant medium. It's an alloy of metals, including chromium and nickel. A local master of the material says he's hanging up his hat, at least for now.

Kansas City, MO – Stainless steel is an elegant medium. It's an alloy of metals, including chromium and nickel. A local master of the material says he's hanging up his hat, at least for now.

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StoryCorps
5:41 pm
Mon November 22, 2010

StoryCorps in KC: Susan Wilson and Sharmelle Winsett

Kansas City, MO – At StoryCorps recording booths across the country, friends and loved ones interview each other about their lives. Each Tuesday during Morning Edition, we'll bring you a story from the MobileBooth in Kansas City. Sharmelle Winsett brought in her mother Susan Wilson, KCUR's own Co-host of KC Currents. She also serves as the Associate Dean at the UMKC School of Medicine. They talked about how being bi-racial impacted her coming of age.

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KC Currents
9:54 am
Fri November 19, 2010

Church Opens Fitness Center to Combat Health Problems

Fitness technician Derek Wilson leads a workout for children in the Calvary after-school program. Photo by Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR.

Kansas City, MO – Reverend Eric Williams of Calvary Temple Baptist Church in midtown has worked for a long time on health issues in the African American community. A few years ago, he says he was tired of seeing people suffering and dying from health problems related to obesity and lack of exercise. So his church formed a non-profit and eventually built a gym right next door. The Calvary Community Wellness Center opened in 2008.

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Theater
8:36 am
Fri November 19, 2010

Cast of "Distracted" Experiences Learning Disability for Production

Director Cynthia Levin, and cast members Rusty Sneary and Zackary Hoar at Horizon Academy.
photo: Steve Walker/KCUR

In a world where multitasking and over-stimulation are seen as strengths, it's ironic but not surprising that 5 million American children suffer from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD. Lisa Loomer's play "Distracted" at the Unicorn Theatre follows a couple's search to get help for their troubled 8-year-old son.

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KCUR Arts
10:53 am
Thu November 18, 2010

Reaching Out to Uninsured Artists

Because many artists are self-employed or work jobs that don't provide insurance, they often fall through the cracks when it comes to health care.

Kansas City, MO – Because many artists are self-employed or work jobs that don't provide insurance, they often fall through the cracks when it comes to health care. With the recent overhaul in the nation's health care system, by 2014, most Americans are required to have health insurance or face a fine. A national organization has a goal of insuring every artist, as KCUR's Laura Spencer reports.

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Story Corps
3:25 pm
Tue November 16, 2010

StoryCorps in KC: Mary and David Warm

Mary and David Warm, recorded in the StoryCorps MobileBooth, Kansas City, Mo.

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Jazz/Blues
8:13 am
Thu November 11, 2010

Syl Johnson: Soulful Like Marvin, Funky Like James

Unlike Marvin Gaye or James Brown, Johnson never had massive success, in spite of a prolific career. A new box set, Syl Johnson: The Complete Mythology, compiles more than 80 recordings from the late 1950s through early 1970s.

 

November 10, 2010

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Music
3:05 pm
Wed November 10, 2010

Soprano Brenda Harris on Preparing for Bellini's "Norma"

Brenda Harris, as Norma, and the company in Lyric Opera of Kansas City's production of "Norma."
photos: Karen Almond

For the first time in its history, the Lyric Opera of Kansas City is presenting Bellini's tragic bel canto opera "Norma." It's the story of a woman who betrays her sacred vows for love; she's then betrayed by her lover's infidelity.

Kansas City, MO – Before a recent rehearsal, KCUR's Laura Spencer met up with soprano Brenda Harris who's tackling the title role of Norma, one that's been described as both "grueling" and "vocally tortuous."

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Theater/Performance
11:32 am
Tue November 9, 2010

Kansas City Ballet Announces Season in Kauffman Center

The Kansas City Ballet presents "Tom Sawyer - A Ballet in Three Acts" in its inaugural season at the Kauffman Center.
courtesy of the Kansas City Ballet

The Kansas City Ballet is the first of the resident companies to announce its inaugural season at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.

Kansas City, MO – When the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts opens in 2011, its three resident companies will include the Kansas City Symphony, the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, and the Kansas City Ballet.

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Music
9:02 am
Tue November 9, 2010

AfroCubism: Giants At Play, United By Music

The creative minds behind Buena Vista Social Club have guided an effort by Cuban and African musicians to create a new album, AfroCubism. Deep history underlies the musical interplay on the record, as well as a surprising number of similarities.

 

 

 

Listen to the Story and Selected Cuts from the Album

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Music
12:44 pm
Mon November 8, 2010

Hilliard Ensemble: Improvising With Jan Garbarek

The Hilliard Ensemble and Jan Garbarek (center) say they decide nothing before playing a piece.
? Paolo Soriani/ECM Records

A choral group known for its early-music repertoire and a saxophonist steeped in the art of improvisation may not be the most likely musical partners. But the Hilliard Ensemble and Jan Garbarek have worked together since 1993. Officium Novum is their latest collaboration.

 

LISTEN TO THE STORY

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Music
12:08 pm
Mon November 8, 2010

Tracy Bonham: A '90s Rock Star, Reborn

The Grammy-nominated singer has just returned with an album reflecting her new outlook on life.

 

A lot has changed in Tracy Bonham's life since the release of her last album in 2005.? She moved back to Brooklyn, N.Y., married Rolling Stone executive editor Jason Fine and even picked up yoga. All of those changes are reflected on her latest full-length album, Masts of Manhatta.

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KC Currents
11:26 am
Mon November 8, 2010

Hindu Community Celebrates Diwali in Shawnee

Photo by Alex Smith / KCUR.

Kansas City, MO – We're in the middle of the five-day Hindu celebration of Diwali. On Saturday, some 2000 people gathered at the Hindu Temple and Cultural Center to celebrate with the region's biggest-ever Diwali party.

Earlier last week, KC Currents' Alex Smith went to temple to find out more about the holiday known as the "festival of lights."

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Visual Arts
12:57 pm
Fri November 5, 2010

Europeans Viewed "Through African Eyes" at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

Ben Kane Kwei Sowah (Ghanaian). Fantasy Coffin (Mercedes Benz), 1996. Wood, glass, metal, paint. National Museum of Funeral History, Houston

For more than 500 years, African cultures have responded to European contact with a range of emotions - from admiration to resentment.

Kansas City, MO – An exhibition at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, "Through African Eyes," tells the story from the African point of view, through more than 90 artworks: bronze sculptures, photographs, wooden masks, paintings, and other objects made of ivory, metal and textiles. KCUR's Laura Spencer reports.

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Story Corps
12:12 pm
Fri November 5, 2010

StoryCorps in KC: Jeanie Schiefelbusch and Richard Schiefelbusch

Jeanie Schiefelbusch brought her father, Richard \"Dick\" Schiefelbusch

Kansas City, MO – At StoryCorps recording booths across the country, friends and loved ones interview each other about their lives. Each Tuesday during Morning Edition, we'll bring you a story from the MobileBooth in Kansas City.

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Kemper ARTcasts
8:35 am
Tue November 2, 2010

Kemper ARTcast: Marc Swanson in Context

Marc Swanson, Mockup for Descent of Civilization (Bison Memorial), 2010

Marc Swanson's "Descent of Civilization (Bison Memorial)" is on view to the public at the northeast corner of 9th and Broadway, in downtown Kansas City. Here, Swanson talks about his influences and process.

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Story Corps
12:59 pm
Mon November 1, 2010

StoryCorps in KC: Jessica Farmer and Lydia Friz

Kansas City, MO – At StoryCorps recording booths across the country, friends and loved ones interview each other about their lives. Each Tuesday during Morning Edition, we'll bring you a story from the MobileBooth in Kansas City. Friends Jessica Farmer and Lydia Friz talked about a loosely planned bicycle trip they took from Topeka to Salina for a festival. They shared some of the challenges and lessons they learned along the way.

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