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In Review

The Kansas City Ballet’s current season is to some extent a tribute to its visionary artistic director, William Whitener, who bids farewell to the company this spring after 17 years here. The winter program that opened on March 15th at the Muriel Kauffman Theatre highlighted two important aspects of William’s legacy that will continue to echo for years […]

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When a ballet audience gasps audibly at the sheer “look” of a piece, before the dancers have made a single move, you know you’re in for a ride. When the curtain went up on George Balanchine’s Serenade, the opening piece of the Kansas City Ballet’s final 2011-2012 production, the translucent azure lighting and ballerinas frozen in […]

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GETTING WITH THE PICTURE: Lyric production of early Wagner milestone has ups and downs The Flying Dutchman is a tricky opera to get one’s head around, let alone bring to the stage, partly because its mythical story can easily come off as simplistic. A young girl, Senta, grows up infatuated with a fantasy-man whose portrait hangs, […]

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REVIEW: The Kansas City Ballet’s durable Nutcracker opens to acclaim The Kansas City Ballet’s The Nutcracker remains fresh partly because of a continual infusion of new talent that permits the production to evolve in subtle ways. For the 2012-2013 season nearly a third of the company dancers are new (eight out of 28), and though the premiere on December […]

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KC BALLET: Ladies with an attitude, fellows in Shakespearean mood The Kansas City Ballet’s current season is to some extent a tribute to its visionary artistic director, William Whitener, who bids farewell to the company this spring after 17 years here. The winter program that opened on March 15th at the Muriel Kauffman Theatre highlighted two important aspects […]

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So far the performances we’ve seen in this second Kauffman Center season have made it clear that the wildly successful first season was not a fluke: The sheer grandeur of the place seems to be spurring local performing arts groups to ambitious new heights. I call it the “Kauffman effect,” as performers in a world-class […]

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Mark Morris is one of the great innovators of American dance, but his works rarely have what you would call “the shock of the new.” In fact his choreography is so deftly and intuitively attuned to the music that it often has an almost organic feel to it, a naturalness that grows from both musicality and […]

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There are good reasons why Emanuel Ax is held in such high esteem in the American classical scene. He has an innate, “natural” musicality that seems to adapt to any period or style, he plays with extreme delicacy but can also tear into a thunderous fortissimo without banging, and he can “sing” you a melody as if […]

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It’s hard to say which opera is the most popular in the repertoire, but The Barber of Seville certainly ranks among the top five. This wittiest of comedies formed a fitting conclusion to what may have been the Lyric Opera’s most distinguished season so far – its first in the Kauffman Center – and the four originally […]

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