Performance

Julie Denesha / KCUR

The Owen/Cox Dance Group, with pianist Kairy Koshoeva, performs its interpretation of The Goldberg Variations and brings its 2012-2013 season to a close.

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.

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.

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." 

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.

Richard Thompson @ The Folly

Apr 28, 2013

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.

'Kansas City Swing'

Apr 23, 2013

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.

Julie Denesha / KCUR

Love conquers all in "The Mikado," a comic opera by Arthur Sullivan and W. S. Gilbert introduced in London in 1885. The Lyric Opera of Kansas City presents the satirical comedy in five performances through April 28.

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.

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.

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.

courtesy American Heartland Theatre

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

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."

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

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.

Julie Denesha / KCUR

St. Patrick's Day is a cultural and religious holiday that takes place every March 17 – and it’s been embraced widely in America by descendants of Irish immigrants. Kansas City's celebration began early this year with the annual St. Pat’s Senior Ball.

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.

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.

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.

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


Steve Walker / KCUR

It's not often that two different theater companies with roots on both coasts converge in Kansas City. Yet that's the case this month at Kansas City Repertory Theatre. The TEAM from Brooklyn and Sojourn Theatre Company with connections to Portland, Oregon are mounting what's called a developmental production of a new play based on interviews over several months with many Kansas City residents.

Julie Denesha / KCUR

Choreographer Andrea Skowronek says after she creates a new work, she steps away and lets it have a life of its own. She says it then "becomes the dancer’s piece."  The annual event called "A Modern Night at the Folly” celebrates local choreography and dancers, brought together for one night of dance on the Folly stage.

Laura Spencer / KCUR

Composer Kirke Mechem grew up in Topeka, Kansas, but he's lived in San Francisco since 1963. He says he still considers himself a Midwesterner: "You can take the boy out of Kansas, but you can never take Kansas out of the boy."

Maggie Elliot / Unicorn Theatre

The world premiere of the play BlackTop Sky, opening this weekend at the Unicorn Theatre, marks a homecoming for its author.

Laura Spencer / KCUR

The dysfunctional family is an often-mined subject for drama, from the early Greeks to the present. The play "Housebreaking," by Jakob Holder, combines humor with an exploration of failed relationships and dreams.

Joseph Moran / Courtesy: The Juilliard School

The Kansas City Repertory Theatre on Thursday announced a $174,000 three-year playwright residency grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

The award is one of 14 Mellon residency grants. The Rep tapped award-winning playwright Nathan Louis Jackson, a native of Kansas City, Kansas, to join the artistic staff.

Julie Denesha / KCUR

Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol opens on a "cold, bleak, biting" Christmas Eve.

Kansas City playwright Ron Simonian had his first play produced in 1992 in a warehouse in the Crossroads District.

Opera superstar Joyce DiDonato won a Grammy this year for Best Classical Vocal Solo.

The Prairie Village native and mezzo-soprano was the star of a TV special titled "Homecoming" produced by Kansas City's KCPT and PBS Arts. The concert with the Kansas City Symphony at the newly-opened Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts was broadcast nationally, and now, she has a new disc out titled "Drama Queens," which she recorded in Italy in July.

The Mystery Of Irma Vep

Nov 12, 2012
KC Rep

Mummies, ghosts, and werewolves - oh my!  The new production at the Kansas City Repertory Theatre is a real scream.


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