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Up to Date
3:08 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

The Weekend To-Do List, March 7-9, 2014

The Monster Drawing Rally features artists drawing for an hour before selling their creations to benefit a scholarship fund.
Credit waltarrrrr / Flickr-CC

Want to get rid of the post-Mardi Gras blahs? Check out Brian McTavish's Weekend To-Do List for March 7-9, 2014.

Golden! Girls Gone Wild!!! (Late Night Theatre returns with cross-dressing satire of TV’s “The Golden Girls”), opens at 8 p.m. Friday with performances through March 31 at Missie B’s, 805 W. 39th, Kansas City, Mo. Tickets: $18 (816-235-6222)

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Dance
12:54 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

'Dracula' Choreographer On The Beauty And Danger Of The Count

Logan Pachciarz, as Bram Stoker's Count Dracula, glides through his Transylvanian castle.
Julie Denesha KCUR

It's been nearly 120 years since the publication of Bram Stoker's gothic novel Dracula. But his tale of the Count, who stalks living creatures and survives on their blood, continues to this day to be interpreted and popularized in theater, television, film, and dance. This season, the Kansas City Ballet is staging choreographer Michael Pink's Dracula, based on Stoker's classic work.

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Performance
10:12 am
Thu February 20, 2014

Inmate Makes The Most Of Borrowed Time In 'When I Come To Die'

Will Cobbs (as Damon Robinson) reads a letter sent to a family member that was returned to him unopened.
Don Ipock Kansas City Repertory Theatre

A prisoner on death row, for a decade, prepares to die. But, then something goes wrong on the morning that's supposed to be his last - the lethal injection is not lethal. That's the premise of the production, When I Come to Die, at the Kansas City Repertory Theatre.

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Dance
5:00 am
Wed February 19, 2014

Kansas City Ballet's 'Dracula' Visits The Dark Side

Choreographer Michael Pink (center) observes Geoffrey Kropp (as Arthur) and Laura Hunt (as Lucy) as they glide by working on a scene from 'Dracula' at the Todd Bolender Center for Dance and Creativity.
Julie Denesha KCUR

Many ballets often depend on the concept of tension, whether in the muscles of the dancers or the story itself. That may be even more evident in the Kansas City Ballet's production of Dracula, opening this Friday.

In bringing the iconic character to the stage, the company is venturing to its dark side with a production that is the first in the Ballet's history to come with parental discretion advised. 

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Performance
4:00 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

[VIDEO] In This Scene...'Journey’s End'

Charles Fugate, as Lieutenant Osborne, and Matt Leonard, as Captain Stanhope rehearse in the J.C. Nichols Auditorium, National World War I Museum.
Credit Julie Denesha / KCUR

Set in 1918, in the British trenches of Saint-Quentin, Aisne, R.C. Sherriff's Journey’s End tells the story of commanding officers Captain Stanhope and Lieutenant Osborne, as they discuss the impending battle in the officers' dugout.

The production, directed by Mark Robbins, is a collaboration between Kansas City Actors Theatre, UMKC Theatre, and the National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial.

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Performance
1:04 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Starlight Names Rich Baker As New President And CEO

In March, Richard (Rich) Baker starts as the new president and CEO of Starlight.

After nearly 30 years with Fox Associates, in St. Louis, Mo., Richard (Rich) Baker will take on a new role as president and CEO of Starlight Theatre in Kansas City, Mo. in March.

Fox Associates owns and operates the 4,500-seat Fox Theatre, as well as MetroTix, an online ticket broker, and Fox Theatricals, which runs Briar Street Theatre in Chicago, Ill.

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Performance
8:29 am
Fri January 31, 2014

Meet The Mean Girls From Salem, Massachusetts, Circa 1692

Alisha Espinosa (as Tituba), Emily Phillips (Mercy Lewis), Nicole Greenberg (as Abigail Williams), Emily Shackelford (as Ann Putnam), Jessica Jensen (as Mary Warren) & Hannah Thompson (as Betty Parris) in 'Afflicted.'
Credit J. Robert Schraeder / Courtesy the Coterie Theatre

For more than three centuries, Salem, Mass., has been linked to the infamous witch trials. In 1692, at least 20 men and women died after being convicted of witchcraft; it was then considered a crime punishable by death. Hundreds more faced accusations.

A new production at the Coterie Theatre, Afflicted: Daughters of Salem, provides the story behind the girls — the accusers, who started it all.

Afflicted is written by Laurie Brooks, a longtime Coterie collaborator. She says the play is "not easy. It’s subtle, it’s complex. It's about relationships."

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Performance
5:00 am
Fri January 24, 2014

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

Actor Carla Noack plays a fighter pilot caught between war and suburbia.
Credit Julie Denesha / KCUR

The one-woman play, Grounded, by George Brant, explores the destructive power of modern warfare through the eyes of a female combat pilot. After an unexpected pregnancy, she's reassigned to a windowless trailer in the Nevada desert as the desk pilot of a military drone.

The Unicorn Theatre's production marks the third in a series of "rolling world premieres" presented by members of the National New Play Network, dedicated to the development of new work.

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Performance
3:55 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

Kansas City Friends Of Alvin Ailey Seeks National Stage In 30th Year

Kennedy Center president, Michael Kaiser, stands with KCFAA executive director, Tyrone Aiken. Kaiser was brought in as a consultant.
Credit Laura Spencer / KCUR

It was 30 years ago this year that Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey was created as a second home for the New York-based Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, a modern dance company founded in 1958.

To mark this milestone, the Muriel McBrien Kauffman Foundation on Friday issued a challenge grant. At $375,000, it’s the largest grant in the history of the Friends of Alvin Ailey.

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Dance
6:23 am
Fri December 20, 2013

An 'Explosive' Dancer Performs As The Nutcracker

Winston Dynamite Brown, a native of Kansas City, Mo., returns to the Owen/Cox Dance Group to perform the role of the Nutcracker.
Julie Denesha KCUR

This year, the Owen/Cox Dance Group is bringing its annual jazzy adaptation of The Nutcracker and the Mouse King to the Polsky Theatre at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kan.

Returning to perform in the production is a powerful dancer with an explosive name: Winston Dynamite Brown. A frequent guest artist with the group, Brown says he relishes his role as the Nutcracker.

Growing into an explosive name

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Performance
9:00 am
Thu December 5, 2013

The Kid Actor's Perspective Of 'A Christmas Carol'

During a dinner break, actors Andrew Stout and Cam Burns talk, joke around, and play games.
Laura Spencer KCUR

The Kansas City Repertory Theatre’s annual production of A Christmas Carol has a large cast, including about three dozen children and young adults. Rehearsals start in early November, and the hours can be long and demanding. There are song lyrics, and sometimes lots of lines to learn. It’s a challenging job for the young actors - and for the staff charged with keeping track of them.

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Performance
5:00 am
Wed December 4, 2013

Unicorn Theatre's 'Clybourne Park' Looks Into A House Divided

(from left to right): Brian Paulette, Jessalyn Kincaid, Janae Mitchell, and Mykel Hill as two couples exploring race relations in 'Clybourne Park.'
Credit Cynthia Levin / Unicorn Theatre

This week, the Unicorn Theatre opens the play Clybourne Park, which has the distinction of winning the 2012 Tony Award for Best Play and the Pulitzer Prize. Its two acts take place in the same house 50 years apart, and examine with equal humor and drama all the varying shades within the phrase, "There goes the neighborhood."

A house divided

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Performance
8:13 am
Fri November 29, 2013

[VIDEO] In This Scene...'The Santaland Diaries'

This season, the Kansas City Repertory Theatre has added a second show to their holiday schedule. The Santaland Diaries is a dark comedy written by David Sedaris and adapted for the stage by Joe Mantello. The one-man show is a prickly retelling of Sedaris’ stint as a Macy’s elf during the Christmas season.

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KC Currents
8:00 am
Sat November 23, 2013

How Janelle Monae Discovered Her 'Inner Weirdo' In Kansas City

Janelle Monae credits her Kansas City Kansas roots for helping develop her music, writing, personal style and passion.
Credit Marc Baptiste / Courtesy of Atlantic Records

At 28, rising pop star Janelle Monae has collaborated with musical royalty, like Erykah Badu and Prince. Last summer, she was featured in Fun’s runaway hit We Are Young, and recently played Saturday Night Live, with songs from her new album Electric Lady, which debuted as number 5 on Billboard’s 200

But the Kansas City, Kan., native had her first local headliner at the Uptown Theatre on November 15. It was a boisterous, sold-out party attended by dozens of her family members and former teachers.

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Performance
4:38 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

'The Magic Flute' Reimagined

In 'The Magic Flute' a comic tale of love buffeted by the forces of good and evil. Kathryn Lewek, plays the Queen of the Night.
Julie Denesha KCUR

The Magic Flute, by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, first premiered in Vienna in 1791. A comic tale of love buffeted by the forces of good and evil, the opera is a singspiel, including both spoken dialogue and song.

For the Lyric Opera of Kansas City's production, artist and ceramicist Jun Kaneko, based in Omaha, Neb., designed the fanciful set design and costumes.

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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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Up to Date
9:48 am
Fri September 27, 2013

Triple Threat: Dance Companies Join For Performance

Megan Horton, Shane Tice, Latra Wilson dance as part of the Owen/Cox Dance Group.
Credit Charles Stonewall/owencoxdance.org

It's the ultimate collaboration for three dancing companies in Kansas City. The Kansas City Ballet will join forces with Owen/CoxDance Group and Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance to present a triumvirate of original work .

On Friday's Up to Date, we talk about why this collaboration is so groundbreaking and what it means for dance culture in the city.

Guests:

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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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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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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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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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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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