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Theater/Performance
3:54 pm
Mon March 5, 2012

Actor Jim Korinke Plays Against Type - And Gender

Actor Jim Korinke as Lady Bracknell in "The Importance of Being Earnest."
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.

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Headlines
7:32 am
Fri March 2, 2012

Top Of The Morning News: Friday, March 2, 2012

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

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The Theater
5:00 am
Fri March 2, 2012

'Hungry' At The Unicorn

L to R: Dina Thomas as Amy and Chioma Anyanwu as Bianca in Unicorn Theatre's world premiere of "Hungry" by Lia Romeo.
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.

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Opera
5:30 am
Thu March 1, 2012

Deborah Sandler Takes The Helm At Lyric Opera

Deborah Sandler has been appointed the new general director of the Lyric Opera of Kansas City as of July 1, 2012.

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

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Central Standard
12:30 pm
Wed February 29, 2012

The Great Immensity: The Fine Art Of Edutrainment

Rebecca Hart
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.

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Performance
11:30 am
Fri February 17, 2012

Kansas City Ballet Announces Retirement Of Veteran Dancer

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.

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Performance
5:00 am
Fri February 17, 2012

'The Great Immensity' Unites Theater And Investigative Journalism

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

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Headlines
7:46 am
Fri January 13, 2012

Top Of The Morning News: Friday, January 13, 2012

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

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Performance
5:00 am
Fri January 13, 2012

Bullying And Disability Inform New Play For Young Audiences

Actor Lorie Sparks and director Valerie Mackey
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

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Performance
3:19 pm
Tue December 27, 2011

Teenage Playwright Wins National Competition

Zachary Weaver, 19, of Overland Park, Kan. He's one of the winning playwrights of the 2011 National Playwriting Competition.
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.

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Central Standard
10:02 am
Tue December 13, 2011

Christmas Carol #31

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.

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Artists in Their Own Words
12:00 pm
Thu December 8, 2011

How Scrooge Actor Keeps "A Christmas Carol" Fresh

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.

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Theater/Performance
1:50 pm
Thu October 20, 2011

Married Couple in Life and on Stage in "God of Carnage"

Brian Paulette (as Michael Novak) and Cinnamon Schultz (as Veronica Novak) in Unicorn Theatre and Kansas City Actors Theatre?s co-production, "God of Carnage" by Yasmina Reza, translated by Christopher Hampton.
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.

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Performance
8:29 am
Thu October 13, 2011

Exploring Grief and Recovery Through "Magical Thinking"

Peggy Friesen stars in "The Year of Magical Thinking" by Joan Didion.
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.

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Performance
2:53 pm
Tue October 11, 2011

Actor Gary Holcombe Dies at 66

Actor Gary Holcombe

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.

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Opera/Performance
11:01 am
Wed September 28, 2011

Building the Lyric Opera of Kansas City's "Turandot"

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.

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Performance
2:42 pm
Wed September 14, 2011

"August: Osage County" Explores Family Dynamics with Flair

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."

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Performance
9:45 am
Thu August 18, 2011

KCAT Tackles Four Works by Harold Pinter

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.

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Performance
3:42 pm
Tue August 16, 2011

'Xanadu' Rolls into Starlight

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.

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Opera/Performance
1:43 pm
Wed March 16, 2011

Lyric Opera's General Director Evan Luskin to Retire

After a quarter century with the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Evan Luskin, the Lyric's general director, and previously, managing director, plans to retire in 2012.

Kansas City, Mo. – After a quarter century with the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Evan Luskin, the Lyric's general director, and previously, managing director, plans to retire in 2012.

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Opera/Performance
10:16 am
Tue January 25, 2011

Lyric Opera Announces Season in Kauffman Center

The Lyric Opera of Kansas City, one of the three resident companies at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, has announced its 2011-2012 season, its first in the new venue. As KCUR's Laura Spencer reports, the announcement began with a twist.

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Theater
8:36 am
Fri November 19, 2010

Cast of "Distracted" Experiences Learning Disability for Production

Director Cynthia Levin, and cast members Rusty Sneary and Zackary Hoar at Horizon Academy.
photo: Steve Walker/KCUR

In a world where multitasking and over-stimulation are seen as strengths, it's ironic but not surprising that 5 million American children suffer from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD. Lisa Loomer's play "Distracted" at the Unicorn Theatre follows a couple's search to get help for their troubled 8-year-old son.

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Theater/Performance
11:32 am
Tue November 9, 2010

Kansas City Ballet Announces Season in Kauffman Center

The Kansas City Ballet presents "Tom Sawyer - A Ballet in Three Acts" in its inaugural season at the Kauffman Center.
courtesy of the Kansas City Ballet

The Kansas City Ballet is the first of the resident companies to announce its inaugural season at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.

Kansas City, MO – When the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts opens in 2011, its three resident companies will include the Kansas City Symphony, the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, and the Kansas City Ballet.

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Theater/Performance
9:20 am
Thu July 29, 2010

Actors Revisit Roles in KC Actors Theatre's "True West"

There are many theatre roles - say, Romeo and Juliet - that should probably be retired from an actor's repertoire by the time they're 30. But what happens when actors return to roles they played much earlier in their careers?

Kansas City, MO – KCUR's Steve Walker visited with two Kansas City actors who are re-teaming this month in a Sam Shepard play they first appeared in 26 years ago.

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Theater/Performance
1:35 pm
Wed June 23, 2010

"American Idol" Meets" Ugly Duckling" in "Lucky Duck"

 

Update March 2012: The Coterie brought the show to New York for a run at the New Victory Theater. Reviews: Kansas City Star, New York Post, and  New York Times.

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Performance
9:46 am
Fri May 21, 2010

Production about Foreign Travel as Transformation with a Twist

photo: courtesy of Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre

If your travel budget is tight this season, Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre invites you to vicariously experience the glory and grandeur of Florence, Italy in its new show, "The Light in the Piazza."

Kansas City, MO – "The Light in the Piazza" won a 2005 Tony Award for its composer Adam Guettel. The grandson of the Rodgers half of musical legends Rodgers and Hammerstein, Guettel demonstrates that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. KCUR's Steve Walker reports.

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KCUR Arts
8:00 am
Thu March 4, 2010

The Unicorn's "Green Whales" Tackles Tough Subjects with Humor

Actors Vanessa Severo and Anna Safar in "Green Whales."
photo: Cynthia Levin, courtesy of Unicorn Theatre

Though the Unicorn Theater has always been quick to pounce on the most buzzed about plays in New York, it has actually launched many new plays. In fact, a quarter of the shows over the years have had their world premieres in Kansas City. The latest is called "Green Whales," and while it tackles tough subjects in comedic ways, it is giving everyone involved a voice in bringing this new play to fruition.

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Theater/Performance
12:30 pm
Thu February 4, 2010

'Broke-ology' at the Rep

An upcoming play at the Kansas City Repertory Theatre studies the art of being broke and staying alive.

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KCUR Arts
2:58 pm
Fri September 11, 2009

Moises Kaufman Tackles "Into the Woods" At The Rep

When Eric Rosen, the artistic director of Kansas City Repertory Theatre, asked noted playwright and director Moises Kaufman to pick a musical he'd like to direct here, at the top of the list was Stephen Sondheim's "Into the Woods."

Kansas City, MO – Moises Kaufman sat down with KCUR's Steve Walker to talk about how a director puts his own stamp on a musical, and his own venture into the woods.

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Performance
2:34 pm
Fri September 11, 2009

An Interview With Tony Award Nominee Moises Kaufman

Director Moises Kaufman at a rehearsal of "Into the Woods"
Don Ipock Courtesy of Kansas City Repertory Theatre

From a glance at the cast of characters who populate the Stephen Sondheim musical "Into the Woods" - among them, Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, and Jack in the Beanstalk - one could assume that the show is a romp for audiences of all ages. But a deeper look reveals that its inspirations include Bruno Bettleheim and Carl Jung, both of whom defined classic fables and fairy tales with a much darker palette.

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