Arts & Culture

Performance
9:17 am
Fri September 20, 2013

'The Capulets And The Montagues,' Love In A World Of Conflict

The Capulets gather in their fortress on the eve of battle with the Montagues.
Julie Denesha KCUR

The story of the rivalry between the Capulets and the Montagues is familiar to fans of Shakespeare. But a variation on the theme of the secret, doomed love between Romeo and Giulietta is explored in the Lyric Opera of Kansas City's production of The Capulets and the Montagues (I Capuleti e i Montecchi).

Vincenzo Bellini's opera premiered in 1830 and looked to early Renaissance sources for inspiration. Unlike Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, Bellini's work  focuses as much on the conflict between the families as it focuses on the bond between the lovers.

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Film
5:30 am
Fri September 20, 2013

Film Review: 'Thanks For Sharing' Barrels Through Addiction, Recovery, and Relapse

Mark Ruffalo (center) and Tim Robbins (right) share the woes of sex addiction in 'Thanks for Sharing.'

For a movie about addiction to work, it needs to get its hands dirty. Even if it ends with the sunniest sobriety imaginable, it has to earn it; it has to show a protagonist hitting rock bottom. Thanks for Sharing is such a movie.

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Visual Arts
5:00 am
Fri September 20, 2013

'Gard Blue' Fills Spencer Museum Of Art With Light

Gard Blue, 1968. Copyright James Turrell
Credit Florian Holzherr / Collection of Mark and Lauren Booth/Courtesy Spencer Museum of Art

The "thingness," or the physicality of light, has been a focus of exploration for artist James Turrell for five decades. This summer, three major exhibitions of Turrell's work opened in Los Angeles, Houston, and New York, where he turned the Guggenheim Museum’s rotunda into, what one critic described as, a "meditative spectacle."

At the Spencer Museum of Art at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Turrell's Gard Blue, a projected light work, dates to the 1960s, when the artist first started exploring the potential of light.

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KC Currents
4:41 pm
Thu September 19, 2013

Artist Paul Anthony Smith Mines History Of His Native Jamaica

Paul Anthony Smith, Market, 2013, unique picotage and spray paint on color print
courtesy of Joshua Ferdinand

Artist Paul Anthony Smith is riding the wave of early success. Just a few years after graduating from the Kansas City Art Institute, Smith was invited to do a one –person show at the ZieherSmith Gallery in New York.   Recently, Smith was listed by the Huffington Post as one of America’s top 30 black artists under 40. His paintings take a fresh look at the lives of everyday people in his home country of Jamaica.  

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Visual Arts
10:04 am
Thu September 19, 2013

KCUR At The Plaza Art Fair

Join KCUR this Friday, September 20 through Sunday, September 22 at the Plaza Art Fair! We're staffing a booth with KCPT Public Television 19 in the Experience ArtsKC section, located on Broadway between 47th Street and Nichols Rd.

Throughout the weekend, stop by and visit!

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KC Currents
9:18 am
Thu September 19, 2013

Controversial Statue In OP Raises Questions About Nudity In Art

Credit Julie Denesha / KCUR

The Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens has been home to a statue called Accept or Reject by Chinese sculptor Yu Chang since the fall of 2011. It's a bronze, mostly nude, headless sculpture of a woman taking a photograph of herself.

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Performance
5:00 am
Thu September 19, 2013

'Red Badge Variations' Updates Classic Novel To Present Day Afghanistan

(Left to right): Jacob Aaron Cullum (as Henry Fleming), Matt Leonard (as Wilson), Matthew Joseph (as JC), Jake Walker (as Doc), and Francisco Javier Villegas (as Tat) in Red Badge Variations.
Credit J. Robert Schraeder / courtesy of Coterie Theatre.

Between this month and next summer, The Coterie Theatre will unveil three world premieres, including a new play inspired by the classic novel The Red Badge of Courage. Playwright Melissa Cooper calls the play Red Badge Variations, and rather than revisit the book's Civil War setting, she was given the go-ahead to update it in order to tell the story of five soldiers serving in present day Afghanistan.

Soldiers' stories

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Visual Arts
11:38 am
Wed September 18, 2013

Charlotte Street's Julie Dalgleish On Bringing New 'Energy and Passion'

Charlotte Street Foundation's new executive director, Julie Gordon Dalgleish.
Credit Sabrina Staires / Courtesy of Charlotte Street Foundation

Her three-decade career working with arts and cultural organizations has taken her to cities across the country, and into Canada. But, for most of her adult life, Julie Dalgleish has been based in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area - until now.

Dalgleish moved to Kansas City in August, as the new executive director of the Charlotte Street Foundation, a nonprofit founded in 1997 by David Hughes – it provides fellowships, residencies, studios, and exhibitions for Kansas City artists. She talked about what encouraged her to make the move.

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Music Stories
10:47 am
Tue September 17, 2013

New Mix: Beck, Best Coast, Joanna Gruesome, More

Clockwise from upper left: Beck, Cate Le Bon, Arp's Alexis Georgopoulos, Best Coast
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 6:05 pm

On this edition of All Songs Considered, hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton share a brand new song from Beck. The new cut, called "Gimme," is the third single he's released since June and by far the strangest (i.e., best) of the bunch. None of the songs will be on the new full-length record Beck hopes to release before the end of the year.

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Visual Arts
2:53 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

James Turrell: On 'Gard Blue'

James Turrell at Rodin Crater, outside Flagstaff, Arizona. Copyright James Turrell.
Credit Florian Holzherr / courtesy Spencer Museum of Art

It’s been a summer of light for the arts world – and for artist James Turrell.

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Film
9:00 am
Fri September 13, 2013

Film Review: 'Hannah Arendt' Discovers In Nazi Trial The Banality Of Evil

Barbara Sukowa is a complicated and problematic writer in 'Hannah Arendt.'
Credit Courtesy of Heimatfilm

Political writer Hannah Arendt was born in 1906 into a family of German Jews, perhaps narrow justification for why the editors of The New Yorker deemed her the perfect candidate to cover the 1961 trial of Hitler henchman Adolf Eichmann. 

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Performance
5:00 am
Fri September 13, 2013

[VIDEO] In This Scene...'The Merchant of Venice'

Aaron Gotzon (from left), as Bassanio, listens to Khalid Johnson, as Gratiano.
Credit Julie Denesha / KCUR

In this scene from the Alcott Arts Center's production of Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, Bassanio (Aaron Gotzon), with borrowed money, plans to woo the wealthy Portia. Gratiano (Khalid Johnson) implores Bassanio to allow him to come along.

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Visual Arts
5:00 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Portraiture, In The Gallery And Online

Visitors to the museum can view two exhibitions - one online and one on the gallery walls.
Credit courtesy Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

How do you define portraiture today?

It’s a question posed by the exhibition About Face: Contemporary Portraiture at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art – and one explored by the nearly 40 photographers whose images are on display on the gallery walls. An online exhibition Making Pictures of People, keeps the conversation going outside the museum walls.

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Visual Arts
1:54 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

Philip Heying, Taking Portraits On Sept. 11

#1
courtesy of the artist

There are probably certain images that come to mind when you remember the September 11th terrorist attacks: the approaching plane, the two towers of the World Trade Center in flames, clouds of smoke, and people walking en masse across the Brooklyn Bridge.

Photographer Philip Heying is now based in Lawrence, Kan., and works as an adjunct instructor in the photography department at Johnson Community College.

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Performance
5:00 am
Tue September 10, 2013

[VIDEO] Designer Creates World Of 'The Capulets And The Montagues'

Production Designer Vita Tzykun checks costumes before a fitting session.
Julie Denesha KCUR

Lyric Opera of Kansas City's production of The Capulets and the Montagues (I Capuleti e i Montecchi) premieres later this month. It's the story of Romeo and Juliet, told by Italian composer Vincenzo Bellini.

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Dance
10:31 am
Sun September 8, 2013

Roanoke Park Hosts A Diverse Celebration Of Dance

Samarpita Bajpai performs 'Shiva's Dance,' a classical Indian dance from Andhra Pradesh, India.
Julie Denesha KCUR

A festive crowd gathered Saturday evening at Roanoke Park with blankets and lawn chairs for the 15th Annual "Dance in the Park" presented by City in Motion Dance Theater. Local companies presented a diverse range of dance ranging from modern to classical ballet, and East Indian to Afro-Brazilian capoeira.

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Performance
11:22 am
Sat September 7, 2013

Kansas City Ballet And Lyric Opera Open Doors To First Friday Crowds

Opening the fall performances to the First Friday crowd, Laura (Wolfe) Hunt and Kansas City Ballet company dancers perform during an open rehearsal the Todd Bolender Center for Dance and Creativity.
Julie Denesha KCUR

To celebrate the opening of the 2013-2014 season, Lyric Opera of Kansas City and Kansas City Ballet threw open their doors to scores of First Friday crowds. 

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Agriculture
2:22 pm
Fri September 6, 2013

Susan Werner's 'Hayseed,' An Ode To Agriculture

Chicago-based singer-songwriter Susan Werner has worked on concept albums before – from jazz standards to pop classics to Gospel music for agnostics. Her new CD, Hayseed, is described as "egg meets art," celebrating agriculture through music.

Susan Werner's roots are in Iowa; she grew up on the family farm near Dubuque. When her parents decided to move to town about a year ago, the idea of creating a musical tribute took shape.

Preserving stories, language, and characters in song

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Film
7:00 am
Fri September 6, 2013

Finding Human Connections And Artistic Pleasure During 'Museum Hours'

Bobby Sommer plays an introspective museum guard in Vienna open to new friends in Jem Cohen's 'Museum Hours.'
Credit Little Magnet Films

People visit the great art museums of the world hoping to find meaning by getting lost in the work. In Jem Cohen's lovely Austrian film Museum Hours, two solitary souls fall into a deep yet temporary friendship under the watchful yet passive gaze of subjects long dead but forever frozen in paint.

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Performance
5:00 am
Fri September 6, 2013

'Venus In Fur' Dissects Power Games Of Dominance And Submission

Vanessa Severo and Rusty Sneary play Vanda and Thomas, an actress and a playwright, in 'Venus in Fur.'
Credit Cynthia Levin / Unicorn Theatre

In its 40th year, the Unicorn Theatre continues its mission of bringing new American plays to Kansas City audiences. Among the themes explored this season are racial identity, family dysfunction, and, with its kickoff production, Venus in Fur, the ever-shifting power dynamic between men and women.

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Performance
5:00 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Artspace Exhibition Explores 'Performance Now'

Clifford Owens, "Anthology (Maren Hassinger)," 2011, HD video, 25 min., 35 sec.
Credit Courtesy of the artist

A traveling exhibition at the H&R Block Artspace, Performance Now, includes performance art from the last decade, with work by artists spanning generations, such as Marina Abramović, Yael Bartana, and Clifford Owens.

There’s a 12-hour performance of a 3 ½ minute aria; a slightly-scripted soap opera filmed in Ikea stores; and a Claymation film about urban violence. There are also re-performances, or re-creations of famous works from the past.

Performance art, then and now

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Music Stories
2:27 pm
Sun September 1, 2013

The Story Behind Tiny Horse's 'Ride'

A still from Tiny Horse's 'Ride.'

When news broke about the death of musician Abigail Henderson, the lead singer in bands such as the Gaslights and Atlantic Fadeout, some of the stories linked to a Tiny Horse music video directed by Mitch Brian and Todd Norris.

Tiny Horse started as a duo, including Henderson and her husband Christopher Meck, but it then expanded into a full band. In March 2013, Tiny Horse released an album called Darkly Sparkly. The song Ride was the first track on the EP.

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Music Stories
10:06 am
Sat August 31, 2013

'Siren' Silenced, But Abigail Henderson's Music Lives On

Abigail Henderson, a color image from the video shoot of Tiny Horse's 'Ride.'
Credit Mitch Brian

Friends and family will gather on Saturday to remember Abigail Hope Henderson. The musician died on Tuesday in Kansas City after a five-year fight with cancer. She was 36.

In some ways, her legacy will be interwined with her illness. 

Henderson was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008. She and her husband and bandmate, Christopher Meck, had been introduced to the idea of a health care collective for musicians in New Orleans. Her own diagnosis provided an impetus.

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Up To Date
12:55 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

Up To Date's Indie, Foreign & Doc Critics' 'Three To See,' August 30 - September 2

Credit Perdido Productions

Looking for a great film to see the weekend of August 30-September 2? Here's our critics' choices.

Cynthia Haynes:

  • Blue Jasmine
  • 20 Feet From Stardom
  • Blackfish

Steve Walker:

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Performance
5:19 am
Fri August 30, 2013

Legacy Of Paul Robeson Restored In KC Rep's 'Tallest Tree In The Forest'

Daniel Beaty as Paul Robeson in 'The Tallest Tree in the Forest.'
Credit Don Ipock / Kansas City Repertory Theatre

The Kansas City Repertory Theatre launches its new season this week with a history lesson wrapped inside a musical. Called The Tallest Tree in the Forest, it examines both the contributions and controversies of Paul Robeson, who at the height of his acting and musical career was perhaps the most famous African-American man in the world.

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Central Standard
12:37 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

New Islamic Art Exhibit At The Nelson

Credit Kayti Doolittle

When we hear about the Middle East and the cradle of Islam, many will no doubt think of news or politics-- about a war  in Syria or civil unrest in Egypt. But that would be only a partial picture. There are major cultural and artistic elements that have been created within the region.

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Visual Arts
5:00 am
Wed August 28, 2013

Exhibition Program Halted At KU Medical Center

Until recently, Dykes Library hosted rotating exhibitions, but the program is now closed. On Monday, the last day of Hawk Week, rows of tables were set up for an event for students.
Credit Laura Spencer / KCUR

After more than 20 years of showing rotating artwork, mostly of local artists, an exhibition program at University of Kansas Medical Center has closed. Officials say it’s the impact of steep cuts to state funding. And the KU Chancellor defended the school's commitment to free speech Tuesday. But others are calling it censorship. 

Inside and outside the library

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Up to Date
10:44 am
Tue August 27, 2013

Immigration: A Grown-Up Subject For Young Readers

Kansas City writer Angela Cervantes' latest book is "Gaby, Lost and Found"

The newest book by Kansas City author Angela Cervantes tackles a tough subject: what happens when immigrant families are torn apart. Cervantes' approach is different: the book is written for a young audience aged 8-12, and tackles a topic difficult and all-too-familar to many of her intended readers.

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Dance
10:31 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Kansas City Ballet Launches Second Company

KCB II dancers (from left to right): Rochelle Chang, Lark Commanday, Katya Duncan, Morgan Sicklick, and Meagan Swisher.
Credit Courtesy of the Kansas City Ballet

The Kansas City Ballet is joining other dance companies around the country – from Boston Ballet to the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater – to create a training ground for young dancers: a second company. 

Devon Carney, newly appointed artistic director of the Kansas City Ballet, described the second company, Kansas City Ballet II (KCB II), as a "natural next stage of development," based on the Ballet’s growth in recent years.

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Visual Arts
11:00 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Kansas Sculptor Jim Brothers Dies At 72

Jim Brothers' bronze sculpture called 'Citizen Soldier,' at the VFW national headquarters, 34th and Broadway, Kansas City, Mo.
Credit Courtesy of Leopold Gallery, Kansas City, Mo.

Lawrence-based sculptor Jim Brothers died on Tuesday after a battle with cancer. He was 72.

Brothers grew up in Eureka, Kan., a small town in the Flint Hills. He told the Lawrence Journal-World in 2004 that when he was growing up, art was not viewed as practical and he was "the only kid in that little school who drew."

An aunt encouraged Brothers to follow his passion; he attended Phillips University in Enid, Okla. and earned a bachelor's degree in fine arts.

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