theatre

Performance
6:41 am
Fri November 1, 2013

[VIDEO] Eboni Fondren 'Ain't Misbehavin' At Spinning Tree Theatre

Eboni Fondren in 'Ain't Misbehavin.'
Credit Julie Denesha / KCUR

In this scene, singer Eboni Fondren performs 'I've Got a Feeling I'm Falling' in Spinning Tree Theatre's production of Ain't Misbehavin' at Just Off Broadway Theatre.

"Ain't Misbehavin is a celebration of the music Fats Waller wrote, performed, and made famous during the 1930s Harlem Renaissance," says co-director Andy Parkhurst.

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Performance
5:00 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Kansas City Funeral Home Becomes Unconventional Theatre Venue

The site is funereal but not the play: (left to right) Katie Gilchrist, Jeanne Averill, and David Fritts in Kansas City Actors Theatre's 'Three Viewings' at Muehlebach's Funeral Home.
Credit Brian Paulette / Kansas City Actors Theatre

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.

Such is the case with Kansas City Actors Theatre's Three Viewings, a play set in a funeral home whose three-week run will perform at Muehlebach's Funeral Home.

Dearly departed

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Up to Date
11:56 am
Thu October 10, 2013

The Weekend To-Do List: October 11-13, 2013

"Wicked," the untold story of the Witches of Oz is on stage this weekend at the Music Hall.

“Wicked”: “Wizard of Oz” prequel about the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good 7:30 Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday, 2 & 8 p.m. Saturday, and 1 and 6:30 p.m. Sunday Music Hall, 301 W. 13th Tickets: Start at $30

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Performance
8:43 am
Thu October 3, 2013

Egads! Theatre Company Brings Fresh Blood To The Musical 'Carrie'

Chelsea Anglemyer and Tara Varney in a mother-daughter battle to the death in the musical 'Carrie.'
Credit Amy Whitmore / Egads! Theatre Company

While area theaters often stage shows with Christmas or Hanukkah themes around the year-end holidays, it seems October has taken a lesson from December. Currently at Crown Center, Coterie Theatre is offering a version of Dracula, while at Off Center Theatre, the Egads! Theatre Company is staging a bloody show with a notorious reputation - the musical version of Stephen King's horror novel, Carrie.

High school confidential

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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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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
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
5:19 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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Performance
7:32 am
Thu August 8, 2013

Kansas City Actors Theatre Hosts 'Picnic' To Celebrate William Inge's 100th Birthday

Actors (from left) Phillip Shinn, Kathleen Warfel, Kathy Kane, Jennifer Mays, Melinda McCrary, Mackenzie Goodwin and Chris Roady in the KCAT production of 'Picnic.'
Credit Brian Paulette / Kansas City Actors Theatre

Playwright William Inge, the Independence, Kan. native who went on to win a Pulitzer and an Oscar, would have turned 100 this year. To honor that birthday, Kansas City Actors Theatre is staging Picnic, set in the 1950s in small town Kansas. The rehearsal process has revealed that it's a play much deeper and darker than the company originally believed.  

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Performance
3:07 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

[VIDEO] In This Scene...'Picnic'

In this scene from 'Picnic,' Emily Peterson as Madge (from left) and Alisa Lynn as Millie are sisters preparing for a gathering.
Credit Julie Denesha / KCUR

In this scene from Picnic, 18-year-old Madge Owens (Emily Peterson), universally acclaimed as the "prettiest girl in town," and her 16-year-old sister, Millie (Alisa Lynn), discuss the upcoming Labor Day picnic.

Millie, a tomboy, is uncharacteristically wearing a dress. As Madge paints her toenails, Millie interrogates her sister about how to handle boys.

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Up to Date
6:00 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

Dyan Cannon On Stage, Screen & Life

Dyan Cannon speaks with Steve Kraske on Up to Date.
Credit Beth Lipoff/KCUR

Heaven can wait for Dyan Cannon. The actress still has plenty she’d like to do, including a guest spot at the New Theatre Restaurant, starting later this month. 

On Tuesday's Up to Date, we talk with the three-time Academy Award-nominated actress. She’s also known for her three-year marriage to actor Cary Grant, who was 33 years her senior.

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Performance
11:08 am
Tue July 2, 2013

A New Executive Director For The Rep

Angela Lee Gieras has been appointed executive director of Kansas City Rep.

After conducting a nationwide search, the Kansas City Repertory Theatre has chosen Angela Lee Gieras as its executive director. This marks a newly created position for the nearly 50-year-old regional theater.

Scott Boswell is the chair of the Rep's board of directors and served on the search committee. In a release, Boswell says, "Angela (Gieras) has a strong background in theatre, not-for-profit strategy, finance and development."

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KC Currents
3:08 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

Radio Theater Lives On In Audio Books, Podcasts And Video Games

Credit Flickr/Bob DiBono

The golden age of radio drama might have been in the 1930s and 40s, but practitioners say the genre is alive and kicking in podcasts, audiobooks, and even video games.

Next weekend, Kansas City will host Hear Now: The Audio Arts and Fiction Festival, which will draw old-timey radio voices as well as younger producers. 

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Central Standard
2:58 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

'Spamalot' Opens At Starlight This Weekend

Do you hear the sound of coconuts? Or is that the hooves of a horse? It's actually the cast of Spamalot coming into town to perform the musical version of Monty Python and the Holy Grail at Starlight Theater. Starlight decided to add the musical to its summer schedule after frequent requests from members and theater goers at Starlight.

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Performance
5:00 am
Thu May 30, 2013

As American Heartland Theatre Winds Down, Debra Bluford Reflects On Her Career There

Debra Bluford, as Miss Abigail, makes a face of disapproval of modern dating methods.
Julie Denesha KCUR

New theater companies and performance spaces are increasingly popping up in Kansas City. So when the American Heartland Theatre announced it was closing its doors in August, it was a startling development, especially to an actor like Debra Bluford, who has spent a good deal of her acting life there.

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Performance
5:00 am
Fri May 10, 2013

A Puppet Festival Of Colossal Proportions

Heather Nisbett-Loewenstein directs a massive puppet in preparation for the show.
Julie Denesha KCUR

This Sunday, the lawn of The Nelson Atkins Museum of Art will be transformed into the main stage for the larger-than-life puppets of StoneLion's puppet pageant "Mother’s Day for Mother Earth." 

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Performance
4:32 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

'A Christmas Story, The Musical' Gets Tony Nod

Actor John Bolton originated the role of The Old Man in the Rep's 2009 production and also appears on Broadway.
Don Ipock Kansas City Repertory Theatre

"A Christmas Story, the Musical" received three Tony nominations, including one for Best Musical. The work had its world premiere at the Kansas City Repertory Theatre in 2009.

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Cyprus Avenue
4:24 pm
Sun April 28, 2013

Richard Thompson @ The Folly

Richard Thompson

On June 6 Cypress Avenue will feature Richard Thompson at the Folly Theater in Cypress Avenue Live. This week on program, we look at Thompson's storied recording career.

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Central Standard
9:54 am
Tue April 23, 2013

'Kansas City Swing'

Kansas City's role in the integration of baseball is a popular subject these days. The recent release of 42, the movie about Jackie Robinson's integration into Major League Baseball premiered in Kansas City, home of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, this month. UMKC Theatre is also tackling the subject with the debut of its play Kansas City Swing.

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Performance
4:06 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

[VIDEO] In This Scene...A Storm Is Brewing In Baseball

Rob Karma Robinson, as Satchel Paige.
Julie Denesha KCUR

The play Kansas City Swing is set in Kansas City in 1947 when the nation was on the cusp of great change.

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Performance
5:00 am
Tue April 16, 2013

'Bud, Not Buddy' Explores Racism And The Depression With Young Audiences

Eboni Fondren (as Miss Thomas), Granvile T. O’Neal (as Mr. Jimmy), Elijah E. Murray (as Steady Eddie), and Aaron Branch (as Bud "not Buddy" Caldwell ) in 'Bud, Not Buddy.'
J. Robert Schraeder courtesy of Coterie Theatre

Traditional ideas about theater for young audiences can get stuck in a library full of mischievous animals and recycled fairy tales. But the Coterie Theatre -  named by Time magazine as one of the top five theaters for young audiences in the United States - strives to be more adventurous, as in its new show for elementary school students that discusses jazz, the Depression, and racism.

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Performance
12:01 am
Fri April 12, 2013

After 26 Years, American Heartland Theatre Goes Dark In August

The American Heartland Theatre's executive director, Lilli Zarda, and director of production, Paul Hough. The theatre goes dark at the end of the season.

It was an unexpected announcement on April 4 that the American Heartland Theatre on the 3rd level of Crown Center would close after 26 years.

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Performance
9:39 am
Fri April 5, 2013

American Heartland Theatre To Close At End of Season

Production still from 'Life Could Be a Dream'
courtesy American Heartland Theatre

The American Heartland Theatre announced Thursday it would close in August at the end of its 26th season.

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Performance
5:00 am
Fri March 29, 2013

[VIDEO] 'Sunday In The Park With George'

A detail from "A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte" by Georges Seurat.
Julie Denesha KCUR

Musical Theater Heritage opens their 11th season with the Kansas City premiere of Stephen Sondheim's "Sunday in the Park With George." The musical explores the intense single-mindedness of artist Georges Seurat during the creation of "A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte."

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Up to Date
6:00 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

An Art & Theater Fusion

A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grand Jatte buy Georges Seurat

Take a stroll through an art gallery, and you just might find yourself humming a Sondheim tune.

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KC Currents
4:37 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

Pat Jordan On The Future Of Arts In KC

Pat Jordan, Co-Chair Mayor’s Task Force for the Arts, is recognized by the crowd at the "Envision Arts & Culture KC" kickoff meeting in January 2013.
Julie Denesha KCUR

The co-chair of the Mayor’s Task Force for the Arts is a woman who’s been a formidable presence in Kansas City’s art scene since the early 90s. 

Pat Jordan is best known for leading the revival of the 1912 Gem Theatre on 18th and Vine.   She’s also opened galleries and organized arts programs for youth. The Missouri Arts Council recently recognized Jordan’s contributions by awarding her the “Leadership in the Arts” award.

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Performance
5:00 am
Wed March 13, 2013

The Living Room's Minimalist 'Carousel' Revived At KC Rep

The cast of 'Carousel'
Don Ipock Kansas City Repertory Theatre

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical Carousel is revered by many for its artfully woven tapestry of story, song and dance  -  including Time magazine, which in 1999 named it the best musical of the 20th century. Currently at Kansas City Repertory Theatre is a re-creation of a production that premiered nearly two years ago at a downtown performance space, where Carousel was viscerally staged in a way that both respected the material and deconstructed it to pieces.

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Central Standard
6:36 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

Eat This!

Food can be fun, but the issues surrounding food can be perplexing and polarizing.  The new play, Eat This! from UMKC professor Stephanie Roberts explores these contentious issues using 12 actors playing 50 different roles.

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Performance
5:13 am
Wed February 27, 2013

UMKC Theatre's 'Eat This!' Explores Journey From Farm To Plate

UMKC theater students Logan Black, Alisha Espinosa, and Jamie Dufault play a farmer, a conflicted eater, and a chef.
Courtesy UMKC Theatre

With the growth of the local food movement and a rise in urban farming, Kansas City diners are increasingly discriminating about what goes on their plates. Yet a good number of people don't delve any more deeply into their meal other than what's tasty and convenient.

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Central Standard
6:00 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Good People

Economic struggles, loyalty to friends and endless hopes of coming out on top in America. Those are the central themes of the play Good People, a 2011 Tony Award nominee for best play.  It recently was presented in St Louis, and now has a debut in Kansas City at the Unicorn Theater


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