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IN REVIEW: With a single program, the Kansas City Ballet has altered the tone of the performing arts in our community

Four women far upstage in pajama-like outfits skip in place, their limbs flying in precisely crafted, whimsical calisthenics. Downstage, a ballerina in red pointe shoes is dancing, now two ballerinas, and now with men, in a juxtaposition of classical and contemporary styles that appears all the more startling because of the ensemble’s placement in front […]

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HUMOR IN THE MIX: KC Ballet nabs world-renowned local hero for commission

David Parsons embodies the kinds of values and ideals that any Kansas City artist would do well to emulate. He is as comfortable hacking through weeds at the Leawood home of his hardy 91-year-old father, UMKC Emeritus Professor Stanley Parsons, as he is gathering accolades (with the New York-based company he founded in 1985) in […]

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WHAT CRISIS? Kansas City bucks national odds with ever-new, ever-fresh arts groups

If there really is a crisis in the performing arts in America, somebody forgot to send Kansas City the memo. In the past decade, our city has seen the formation of dozens of small non-profit organizations, from theater companies to chamber ensembles, dance groups to jazz orchestras, choruses to opera companies. And there’s no reason […]

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REVIEW: Visually appealing ‘Pearl Fishers’ entertains by embracing the opera’s conundrums

Contrary to popular opinion, Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers does not rely on a single beautiful duet: It has several quite lovely numbers and a few choruses that are worth your time. To be sure, taken as a whole this opera, which preceded the inimitable Carmen by 12 years, is a bit of a mess. Yet to […]

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BELIEVING IN DOG: Unicorn transforms one-man ‘short’ into full-length drama

Anyone who has owned a pet understands the ineffable bond that can form between human and animal. But what if your pet were instrumental in saving not only your life but the lives of hundreds of others, and had done so dozens of times? Perhaps only those who have served as military Search Dog Handlers […]

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‘BASTA!’ Heartland Men’s Chorus’ world premiere marks 50th anniversary of gay-rights milestone  

There’s only so much oppression that you can withstand before you finally burst out and shout: Enough! That’s pretty much what happened at the Stonewall Inn on June 28th, 1969, when one of the habitual police raids on the Greenwich Village tavern turned violent. The ensuing series of protests in and around the bar, which […]

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INNOCENCE LOST: Mezzo-soprano in Lyric’s ‘Così’ muses on the pleasures and perils of ‘being Dorabella’

Daniela Mack is by far one of the most thrilling young mezzo-sopranos of our time. Kansas City is privileged to have her join the Lyric Opera’s production of Così fan tutte, which plays at the Kauffman Center from March 16th through the 24th. (See our full preview article here.) Daniela’s bold interpretations are matched only […]

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ARE ALL WOMEN REALLY LIKE THAT? Lyric stages ever-controversial Mozart classic

Comedy is often most effective when it borders on the serious, when it delves into complex truths about human nature. Così fan tutte fascinates us not only because its score is “as consistently glorious and elevating as any ever written,” in the words of conductor-scholar Jane Glover, but because its sexual politics are as wittily […]

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FROM TARTINI TO TAOS: UMKC presents singular collaboration

Followers of contemporary classical music are accustomed to experiments in fusing Old World traditions with those of rock, jazz, folk, even hip-hop. These projects “click” only about ten percent of the time, at best, and when they do it’s often difficult to articulate exactly why. Listening to the Innova Recording of The River, a 60-minute […]

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