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STORMY, WITH A CHANCE OF RAINBOWS: QHP devotes program to American master with unique Kansas tie

Mention composer Harold Arlen’s name to music lovers and they’re likely to say, “Oh yeah, he was one of those old Broadway guys, right?” But then drop into the conversation such titles such as “Over the Rainbow,” “Stormy Weather” or “Get Happy” and watch faces light up. “Oh, that Harold Arlen.” To help showcase this […]

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ALL BY MYSELF: Unicorn brings pertinent one-person play to the stage

Some might say there are advantages to being the only actor in a play. You wield complete control over the pacing, you don’t have to worry about other players forgetting their lines, and in the case of most one-person shows, the action is finished in 90 minutes and you might even get to a restaurant before the […]

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NO STRANGERS TO THE GRAMMYS: KC goes large on 2018 nominations

Kansas City musicians scored extraordinarily well in the 2018 Grammy Award nominations announced on November 28th: seven nominations in all. Congratulations go to the Kansas City Symphony, KC’s mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, UMKC Conservatory Assistant Professor Zachary Shemon, and rap producer/songwriter (and KCK native) J. White. Topping the list is the Symphony’s disc of works by Adam […]

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A NEW CAROL: KC Rep creates more faithful adaptation of Dickens classic, as KC Ballet’s refreshed holiday favorite receives accolades

Change is almost always frightening, but when it comes to timeworn holiday traditions it can be as terrifying as realizing you left the Christmas turkey in the oven on “high” all night. For arts organizations whose popular yultetide fare provides a substantial chunk of annual revenue, tinkering with it can fill administrators and board members […]

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TRIO OF TITANS: KC-based megastar teams up with mentors for special moment

Hearing one musical giant at a concert is a great thing. Two, even better. But three, on the same program? Few events on this season’s calendar stand out quite as much as the appearance of Maestro Valery Gergiev on the Harriman-Jewell Series, with an ensemble from the Mariinsky Orchestra that he has built into a […]

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FOLLY JAZZ AT 35: Top-drawer guitarist opens milestone season as local series offers international lineup

Lee Ritenour might not know exactly what he and his ensemble will be playing when they perform here on October 28th, at the glittering Opening Night of the Folly Jazz Series’ 35th Anniversary Season. But that doesn’t mean they’ll be arriving unprepared. In fact, the legendary 65-year-old guitarist, who has played with everyone from Sinatra […]

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LOVE AMIDST THE TURMOIL: Rep enlists top director to steer Wilson production

Theater comes in all shapes and sizes, but the plays that stick with us tend to be those that hold up a mirror to our own joys and tragedies, our loves and weaknesses and ruined relationships. When August Wilson’s plays began to appear on prominent stages during the 1980s, many noticed immediately the birth of […]

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CAD OR VICTIM? Shattering Russian masterpiece opens Lyric Opera’s 60th-anniversary season

It’s true that many operas of the standard repertoire are drawn from stories that are implausible, overwrought or even downright ridiculous. Almost as often, though, composers find themselves setting literary masterpieces to music, and they are challenged to create a work that can at least function on its own terms, stand up to the mastery […]

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Email: Paul@kcindependent.com   Paul studied piano and musicology at WSU and Cornell University. He also earned a degree in journalism, because writing about the arts in order to inspire others to partake in them was always his first love. After earning a PhD from Cornell, he became Program Annotator for the Philadelphia Orchestra, where he learned […]

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