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Backstage And Beyond

BUCKLE UP: After COVID-19’s bumpy stretch, Kansas City is in for the ride of a lifetime

The continued health of the arts in Kansas City has long been uppermost in our collective consciousness, and for months COVID-19 has kept us all preoccupied. Meanwhile, what is perhaps the most significant decision of the decade for our cultural future is already underway. Yet it has almost escaped notice. During the past 20 years […]

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FROM OUR TOWN TO YOURS: Kansas City Musicians Continue To Change The World

Ask anyone from Paris, London, or New York what they know of Kansas City music and they’re likely to mention jazz. But those of us who live here know that our contributions cover a range of genres, from pop to Country, Broadway to choral music, classical to hip-hop. “Kansas City has, throughout its history, has […]

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ART IN TIME OF CRISIS: Kansas Citians suggest balsam for wounded souls

The arts do more than console: They engage, stimulate, inspire. We asked a number of local performers, arts leaders, and community vanguards what energizes them during times of crisis. Specifically: “What album, song, artist, performance, or other work should we listen to or watch right now, and how has it given you solace and motivation?” […]

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COUNT THE WAYS: Six things you can do right now to support local arts groups (in the comfort of your own ‘quarantine’)

Nearly every day, arts-loving Kansas Citians receive notice that yet another performance has been canceled. As the Covid-19 virus has forced theaters and concert halls to go dark for the rest of the 2019-2020 season, we now begin to fear that even fall concerts are in question. Yes, these are unprecedented times in our history, […]

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PAWS IN THE ACTION: Pets both real and invented make their way onto local stages

If we could ever train animals to follow blocking and precise stage directions night after night, they might actually take over theater as we know it. Because nothing captures an audience’s attention the way a live animal does. Directors place animals onstage at their own peril, in fact: Once a dog or cat enters (or […]

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BALANCING ACT: Performing-arts groups battle daily to thrive and grow

Raising funds for the performing arts calls upon a whole toolkit of skills. You must come prepared not just with studies showing the benefits of arts to the community and to the minds of young people, but also with convincing evidence that society functions best when commerce, sports, and arts exist together in symbiosis. Most […]

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SHINE ON: Lyric Opera presents groundbreaking Stephen King opera

Note: Lyric Opera of Kansas City was compelled to cancel the final production of its season, an operatic treatment of Stephen King’s The Shining, because of the Covid-19 crisis. No further news has been announced as to a rescheduling, but please note that subscriptions for the 2020-2021 season (see below) are now on sale. In […]

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CAGED BIRDS: Tale of family conflict continues to reveal shared values

Note: Spinning Tree Theatre had to close its season early due to the COVID-19 crisis, and thus canceled its season-finale production of La Cage aux Folles. The 2020-2021 season (listed below) had already been programmed and licensed by this time. There is a possibility, however, that La Cage could appear “in a future season or as […]

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ODE TO JOY, PEACE, UNITY: Kansas City marks Beethoven’s 250th birthday with a fresh take

For some classical musicians and fans, celebrating Beethoven is a bit like celebrating air: It’s pretty much all around us, all the time. This year, as the world marks the 250th birthday of the most widely admired composer in Western history, many are seeking new perspectives on a man who has long been depicted as […]

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