theater

Arts & Culture
9:24 am
Fri December 12, 2014

Director's Cuts: Sidonie Garrett On 'I'll Eat You Last'

Donna Thomason as Sue Mengers in the Unicorn Theatre's production of 'I'll Eat You Last.'
Credit Cynthia Levin / Unicorn Theatre

Hollywood super agent Sue Mengers was never a household name. But, in the 1970s, she was considered the most powerful woman in show business. The play, I'll Eat You Last, opening this weekend at the Unicorn Theatre, shows that Mengers could be as vulnerable as she was cut-throat. 

Sidonie Garrett, the show's director, answered some questions about the show as part of our monthly series, Director's Cuts

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Arts & Culture
5:00 am
Sat November 15, 2014

With 'The Big Meal,' KU Theatre Students Bite Off A Lot

The cast of KU University Theatre's 'The Big Meal.'
Credit Courtesy of Lindsey Roesti

University of Kansas theater professor Peter Zazzali wanted to challenge his students. So, heading into Thanksgiving, they're putting on a play called “The Big Meal.”

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Arts & Culture
7:48 am
Fri November 7, 2014

Director's Cuts: Michael Grayman And Andy Parkhurst On 'Violet'

The cast of ‘Violet’ rehearses ‘On My Way’ at Just Off Broadway Theatre.
Credit Julie Denesha / KCUR

Now that it's in its fourth season, Spinning Tree Theatre is proud to be Kansas City's youngest Equity theater company. Though it doesn't always do musicals, it has built a reputation with them, including its current production, Violet, with a title character unlike any musical theater heroine audiences have ever seen.

Here’s the cast on the night of a recent rehearsal:

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Arts & Culture
8:37 am
Fri October 3, 2014

Director's Cuts: Ric Averill On 'The Nervous Set'

Thomas Picasso (Danny) and Seth Golay (Brad) sing of feeling sick of hearing songs about New York.
Credit Julie Denesha / KCUR

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of writer William S. Burroughs, an icon of the Beat movement.

Burroughs lived in Lawrence, Kan., from 1981 until his death in 1997.

As a way of honoring him, the Lawrence Arts Center is focusing some of its programming on Burroughs' work and influence, including a production of the 1950s musical The Nervous Set.

Here, Megan Birdsall sings one of the songs from the production called "Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most":

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Arts & Culture
6:37 am
Fri September 19, 2014

'Hardbody' Director Missy Koonce On Wanting To Marry A Musical

For Norma (Victoria Barbee), in the spotlight, and the other characters in the Unicorn's 'Hands on a Hardbody,' a truck is the key to a better life.
Credit Cynthia Levin

Hands on a Hardbody, the show now playing at the Unicorn Theater, isn’t particularly sexy. There’s a little bit of romance, but the “hard body” isn’t a person -- it’s a pickup truck on the lot of a fictional Nissan dealership in Longview, Texas. There, ten contestants try to keep one hand on the truck for as long as they can. The last person with a hand on the truck gets to drive it home.

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Performance
8:17 am
Fri September 5, 2014

Director's Cuts: David Cromer On 'Our Town'

Director David Cromer (at left), with the Rep's artistic director Eric Rosen, in a public conversation about 'Our Town.'
Credit Andi Enns / Kansas City Repertory Theatre

Our Town, the Thornton Wilder play about small town life in Grover's Corners, has been a staple of high school theater for so long, one would think its commercial prospects would be slim. 

But director David Cromer's 2009 production Off-Broadway was a smash hit, chalking up the longest run in its 76-year history. Cromer directs the current production at the Kansas City Repertory Theatre. 

David Cromer answered these questions as part of our monthly series, Director's Cuts

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Performance
12:22 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

PHOTOS: Getting Into Character At The Kansas City Renaissance Festival

Brianna Gray as Sybil Eden Everbrook.
Credit Julie Denesha / KCUR

The dew was still on the grass in a parking area next to the Kansas City Renaissance Festival grounds in Bonner Springs, Kan., early Saturday morning.

Performers started to gather, on this opening day, putting finishing touches on elaborate Tudor-era costumes and practicing 16th century speech and accents. They huddled in groups, catching up on the latest news, before checking in at the gate. 

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Up to Date
1:02 pm
Fri August 15, 2014

In The Studio With Actress Morgan Fairchild

Morgan Fairchild joins Steve Kraske in the studio.
Credit Beth Lipoff / KCUR

From Falcon Crest to Friends, Morgan Fairchild is a familiar face on the silver screen and in your living room. But what’s the secret to being a successful working actor?

On Friday's Up to Date, we talk about her life in front of the cameras as she joins us in the studio. We also take a look at how she spends her time away from Hollywood, being an activist and performing live on stage at places like the New Theatre Restaurant.

Guest:

  • Morgan Fairchild, actress
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Arts & Culture
5:31 am
Fri August 8, 2014

Director's Cuts: Sarah Crawford On 'South Pacific'

Musical Theater Heritage's cast of sailors sing 'There Is Nothing Like a Dame' from 'South Pacific.'
Credit Julie Denesha / KCUR

When the musical South Pacific debuted in 1949, it was considered radical for its treatment of issues of race and interracial romance. Opening this weekend is a production of the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic by Musical Theater Heritage, who've carved out a niche in Kansas City for the unique manner in which they stage their shows.

Here’s the cast on the night of a recent rehearsal:

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Central Standard
9:29 am
Wed August 6, 2014

Kansas City's Vi Tran Is 'The Butcher's Son'

Actor and musician Vi Tran has a new play based on his childhood experiences as a refugee in Garden City.
Credit Courtesy of Vi Tran

When Vi Tran was a young boy growing up in Garden City, Kan., his mother made the most of what the refugee family had. She would take rice and roll it into a ball, adding a little bit of soy sauce. 

“Honey, look,” she’d say. “It’s an egg, it’s a treat.”

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Central Standard
9:33 am
Tue August 5, 2014

Going To Kansas City: Off Broadway, Onto The Midwest

Tracy Terstriep Herber and her two kids Beau, 7, and Maggie,10, pose in front of the Kauffman Center.
Credit Tracy Terstriep Herber

  “Going to Kansas City” is a series that shares the personal stories of how people came to Kansas City — and why they stayed.

Tracy Terstriep Herber had a career on Broadway in New York City as a Radio City “Rockette” and performed in Will Rogers Follies and A Christmas Carol. She was also the understudy to the Tony Award winning lead “Ulla” in the Broadway hit The Producers. 

But once she had her first kid, and realized she wanted a second, she wasn't feeling the right balance of career and family life.

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Arts & Culture
7:45 am
Mon July 28, 2014

'The Sound Of Music' Director On Giving Back

"The Sound of Music" director Philip William McKinley (at right) listens to the cast run through the musical on Wednesday at Starlight Theatre.
Credit Laura Spencer / KCUR

A circus and theater director, Philip William McKinley's name has been linked to high-profile Broadway productions over the last decade, such as the Tony award-winning The Boy From Oz and Julie Taymor's controversial Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark. (He stepped in to direct in 2011 after producers fired Taymor due to delays and artistic differences).

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Arts & Culture
11:13 am
Fri July 18, 2014

KC Fringe Encourages Writers To Present New Work

In '(Virgin.),' Ellen Kirk plays an overprotective mother. Here, she holds a chastity belt as Matt Leonard, who plays the father, and Kenna Hall, as Mary Sue, look on.
Laura Spencer KCUR

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."

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