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In Review

Circles can symbolize unity or closure, but they can also convey inertia, stasis, even claustrophobia. The Kansas City Repertory Theatre’s production of Kander & Ebb’s Cabaret at Spencer Theatre uses the circle to represent all of those things, by placing the action on a rotating central disc and seating the audience “in the round”—a configuration created by […]

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Performances of Baroque operas are rare enough, but rarer still are productions that take into account all aspects of 18th-century performance practice—not just historically informed singing and period instruments but also costumes, décor, gestures and stage direction that reflect what an audience of the period might have experienced. Normally one can hear such things only […]

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It takes mettle to write a play about turmoil in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where civil wars have brought years of rampant pillaging, murder and sexual abuse. Ruined is a problematic but gutsy play, and it won Lynn Nottage the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2009. (See the advance story on the play below, which we ran […]

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Richard Harriman would have been happy to see the activity on September 18 at the teeming Folly Theater. Harriman, who died in August of leukemia, had an eye for what was going to be the Next Big Thing in music, dance and theater. That’s how he made the Harriman-Jewell Series into a national presenting powerhouse. […]

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In the final moments of the Lyric Opera’s new production of Bizet’s Carmen, mezzo-soprano Sandra Piques Eddy came quite close to saving the whole show for me. She gave the groveling Don José (tenor Dinyar Vania) a look so filled with remorse, pity and regret that we forgave all of her cruel inconstancy — an expression so meltingly potent that […]

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Renée Fleming’s program on October the 9th was two recitals in one, the first a hugely intelligent exploration of the early-20th-century German and Austrian lied, the second a generous serving of mostly Italian arias that shone light on a variety of operatic heroines. It was a worthy demonstration of two dynamics of Renée’s character: the intellectual curiosity […]

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The Kansas City Chorale is in a remarkably good place these days, both institutionally and artistically. This week the multiple-Grammy-winning chorus of local professionals opened its 2010-2011 season with a concert of music by René Clausen, which I attended on October 19 at Asbury Methodist Church. I marveled at the uniformity and beauty of sonority — especially […]

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