Performance

Don Ipock

It's no coincidence that the Kansas City Repertory Theatre's newest production, The Whipping Man, is on stage around the time of the Jewish festival of Passover.

Steve Walker / KCUR

It's been a decade since the Lee's Summit area has had its own community theater. A new company, called Summit Theatre Group, marks its debut with Bus Stop, the William Inge play set in a snowed-in roadhouse diner. 

Nick Heavican / Virgin Classics

Prairie Village native Joyce DiDonato just won a Grammy for best classical vocal solo and travels the world performing in opera houses far and wide as one of this planet's best-loved mezzo sopranos.

A daily digest of headlines from KCUR.

  • UMKC Business School Breaks Ground
  • Kansas Republicans Ready For Caucuses
  • Missouri House Votes to Protect Gun Owners
  • Workplace Discrimination Bill Heads To Governor Nixon
  • Opera Explores Nixon’s Visit To China
  • A Fan's Notes: The Madness of March

Laura Spencer / KCUR

It’s difficult today to imagine a time when the United States and China didn’t have trade relations or communicate at all. But, in 1972, President Richard Nixon’s visit to China, a once-demonized Communist regime, was heralded as “the week that changed the world.”

courtesy of American Heartland Theatre

At one point or another, most theater troupes buck tradition by employing the concept of non-traditional casting - that is, hiring actors to play roles written for a different age, gender or race. One example coming to Broadway in April is a version of "A Streetcar Named Desire" with an African-American cast. Playing with gender can be tricky, but American Heartland Theatre's current production of an Oscar Wilde classic features as the female lead the male actor Jim Korinke.

New Report Cuts Risk Of NBAF, School Board President Preps Others For Leadership & more: A daily digest of headlines from KCUR.

Cynthia Levin / Courtesy of Unicorn Theatre

The Unicorn Theatre has a long history of developing the work of new playwrights. In the last few years, the Unicorn has established a connection with the up-and-coming talent Lia Romeo.

The Lyric Opera of Kansas City today announced the appointment of Deborah Sandler as the new general director as of July 1, 2012.

The Great Immensity: The Fine Art Of Edutrainment

Feb 29, 2012
Don Ipock / KC Rep

Can any topic make a good song – even climate change? On this leap day edition of Central Standard, meet the cast from a musical mystery about the environment showing now at the Kansas City Repertory Theater.

Described as the "epitome of balletic grace," Kimberly Cowen is the one remaining Kansas City Ballet dancer hired by the late Todd Bolender, former artistic director. But, it's the end of an era.

Only this week has Kansas City seen any real sign of winter, while other parts of the world are experiencing record cold.

Laura Spencer / KCUR

Shakespeare's classic story of two star-crossed lovers has inspired musical, film and theatrical adaptations. It's also one of the most popular ballets.

A daily digest of headlines from KCUR.

A daily digest of headlines from KCUR:

  • Missouri Supreme Court Hears Redistricting Lawsuits
  • Brownback’s Budget Proposal Restores Some Arts Funding
  • New Play Tackles Bullying and Disability

photo: Steve Walker/KCUR

Schools across the country are grappling with how to address bullying, a problem that's provoked some teenagers to suicide.

Two area theaters for young audiences are staging plays about bullying this month, and in the case of a new play at Theatre for Young America, specifically tackling bullying against the disabled with a disabled actor in its cast.

Fresh Way of Addressing Bullying

If you hear the word opera and think of a stuffy art form - with horned helmets and a large singing lady - think again. A new opera, co-commissioned by the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, is based on Lois Lowry’s The Giver - a popular but controversial novel about a dystopian society.

Turning a Novel into an Opera

courtesy of Zachary Weaver

Thirty years ago, legendary Broadway composer Stephen Sondheim might have sensed that the pool of up-and-coming playwrights was a bit lacking and founded Young Playwrights Inc. Based in New York,  the program’s mission is to foster and mentor promising writers 18 and under. For the second year in a row, an Overland Park, Kan. teenager has made the cut.

Christmas Carol #31

Dec 13, 2011

Kansas City loves their winter dose of A Christmas Carol, and the KC Rep is always coming up with new ways to present the classic tale.

This year marks the Kansas City Ballet’s 39th annual production of The Nutcracker. It’s a holiday tradition, with a cast of more than 200, mostly children.

Click here to start/stop the audio version of this story.

Rebecca Smith, the stage manager, is the one charged with the herculean task of coordinating all of the students, dancers, costumes and props. Not surprisingly, she's hard to keep up with this time of year.

The KC Council's new redistricting map, KU's new football coach, inside "The Nutcracker," & more: A daily digest of headlines from KCUR.

Kansas City Repertory Theatre

In A Christmas CarolCharles Dickens depicted his iconic Ebenezer Scrooge as the original grumpy old man - someone whose mean streak is matched only by his unyielding pockets. That he becomes a gentler man by the close of the story is no surprise to anyone who's seen the Kansas City Repertory Theatre's production of the play over the past 31 years.

Photo: Cynthia Levin and courtesy of Unicorn Theatre

It's rare that a two-career couple finds itself at the same work site at the exact same time. But such is the case for the next several weeks for actors Cinnamon Schultz and Brian Paulette - married in life and on stage in the Kansas City premiere of "God of Carnage."

Kansas City, Mo. –
KCUR's Steve Walker reports on what happens when a happily married couple plays one whose union isn't so blissful.

photo: courtesy of Spinning Tree Theatre

Writer Joan Didion has built her career by turning her gaze outward. Whether exploring political turmoil in El Salvador or the back lots and bedrooms of Hollywood, Didion writes in a style referred to as literary journalism.

Kansas City, Mo. – Writer Joan Didion has built her career by turning her gaze outward. Whether exploring political turmoil in El Salvador or the back lots and bedrooms of Hollywood, Didion writes in a style referred to as literary journalism.

Kansas City actor Gary Holcombe, known for his dramatic, comic, and musical performances on many professional stages, died on Monday at the age of 66. A veteran of Broadway musicals, like "Big River," "South Pacific," and "42nd Street," Holcombe also starred as Oliver Warbucks in the national tour of "Annie."

Kansas City, Mo. – Gary Holcombe was raised in Kentucky. A move to New York to pursue a career as an opera singer turned into one in musical theatre, with roles in several Broadway musicals.

This summer's heat didn't affect the staff building scenery for the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, probably the first time in three decades. In June, the Lyric moved tools, lumber, and other items from an un-air conditioned space in the East Bottoms to a new production facility in the East Crossroads.

Kansas City, Mo. – KCUR's Laura Spencer visited on a hot day in July (the expected high was 101), and filed this report.

The age-old advice most frequently given to writers is to write what you know - and the one thing writers all have in common is that they all came from a family. Many classic plays have explored various family dynamics but few have dissected the relationship between mothers and daughters with quite as much flair and precision as "August: Osage County."

Kansas City Actors Theatre, or KCAT, has built a reputation for designing its seasons around a specific theme or playwright. In past years, the company studied marriage by mounting four different plays about it, and spotlighted Missouri-native Lanford Wilson by staging his three "Talley" plays.

Though movies made from Broadway musicals have seen a resurgence since the success of "Chicago," the current trend is to go in the opposite direction. There are presently 7 musicals on Broadway based on popular movies, with several more on the way. Playing Starlight Theatre this week is the musical "Xanadu," whose success in New York made it an exception to all the rules - and that's because its source is considered one of the worst movies ever made.

photo: Laura Spencer/KCUR

The Kansas City Ballet's first season in the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts opens in October with "Tom Sawyer: A Ballet in 3 Acts" (choreography: William Whitener, music: Maury Yeston).

Kansas City, Mo. – The sets for "Tom Sawyer," built by the Kansas City Repertory Theatre, were recently loaded into the Kauffman Center's Muriel Kauffman Theatre. KCUR's Laura Spencer stopped by to take a look.

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