The KC Fringe Festival, an annual event featuring actors, dancers, poets, storytellers, filmmakers, and visual artists, turns 10 this year. The festival offers about 50 theater performances, from R-rated to puppet shows for kids. And, KC Fringe often provides an opportunity for performers to try out new material.
It seems appropriate that Jesse Ray Metcalf, the writer of a new production called (Virgin.), would say: "This is my first time doing Fringe."
In Lucky Streak - A Musical, Bennie (Mandy Mook) flees to the women's shelter where she works in NYC after tragedy strikes in her own home. She receives comfort from close co-workers and friends, Lea (Lana Dealy) and Melanie (Victoria Barbee), who let her know that, to paraphrase Barry Manilow, she can also "make it through the rain."
Divas adorned with handmade, feathered headdresses paraded alongside comedy troupes wearing Groucho glasses on Thursday night outside the Spencer Theatre on the UMKC campus. This diverse array of performers walked on a carpet - more pink than red - kicking off KC Fringe Festival's ninth year.
It's no secret that the arts community is Kansas City is vibrant and dynamic, but like any arts community it takes a lot of work to get a play or musical, visual exhibit, fashion show or performance to get in front of the general public. As Cheryl Kimmi, Founder of Kansas City Fringe Festival put it, artists have to put their work through a lot of testing before a theater or museum will consider hosting it.
Though the 8th annual Kansas City Fringe Festival is increasingly drawing groups from out of the area, more than half of this year's 87 performance and film offerings originated with Missouri-based artists, while about a quarter hail from Kansas.
EXTENDED RUN: August 1 - 3, American Heartland Theatre. At performance spaces throughout the city, over 50 events make up this year's KC Fringe Festival, a celebration of the off-beat, nontraditional, and avant-garde.
When people think of stories about mortal men who create life from inanimate objects, Frankenstein and Pinocchio come immediately to mind. Less well-known is the 1870 ballet, Coppelia, about a creator of dolls who come to life.