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Backstage And Beyond

HEART OF THE COUNTRY: Local creators strive to make Kansas City a hub for film and television

When David Dastmalchian returned to Kansas City after a 20-year absence, to appear in the independent film he wrote, All Creatures Here Below, it was not just a homecoming. It was more like a revelation. The Shawnee Mission South alumnus and star of movies ranging from DC and Marvel Studio films to Blade Runner 2049, […]

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LOVE IS LOVE: As same-sex weddings gain acceptance, rampant growth shines on the horizon

Not all same-sex couples feel a pressing need to get married, but it begins to appear that most do. The United States is home to a half-million legally married gay couples, an increase of nearly 70 percent since the Supreme Court’s Obergefell v. Hodges decision ruled in 2015 that same-sex marriage was protected under the […]

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‘ONE GREAT GOOD TRUE THING’: Theater’s love-couples can school us in the art of romance

Theatergoers cherish a good love story. We look at some favorite couples from a range of English-language stage works, all of whom can teach us a thing or two about living and loving.   Cleopatra and Antony (Antony and Cleopatra); History’s first celebrity couple, Cleopatra VII and Marcus Antonius, have generated more “gossip” over the centuries […]

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MAHLER AND MOONLIGHT: Orchestra love stories begin with shared values

During a chilly December walk on the grounds of the National World War I Museum and Memorial, Duke Lee stopped, kneeled, and asked Rena Ishii for her hand in marriage. The proposal did not come as a huge surprise. Since Rena’s arrival in Town a year earlier, to fill a temporary post at the Kansas […]

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HIGH-STRUNG: As it celebrates 20 years, local chamber music organization gains momentum

Heartland Chamber Music is not just a festival and it’s not just a music program or a “violin camp.” It’s many things at once, and unless your child has been one of the 80 or so lucky string players admitted into the program each year, you might not fully appreciate the impact it is having […]

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A MOTHER’S WORRY: Chamber opera by two Kansas City-born women is exerting national impact

  Most mothers dread the day that their sons or daughters start to drive, but Black moms are especially fearful when their teenagers, and sons in particular, get behind the wheel for the first time. That fear helped spark the inception of a new chamber opera by two internationally known Kansas City natives, Soprano and […]

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START SPREADIN’ THE NEWS: KC Rep becomes first major arts group to announce a full 2021-2022 season

Before there was theater there was storytelling. And if we ever end up living in a dystopian world with a broken “grid,” we might find ourselves returning to that oral tradition, trading stories among the ruins. Fortunately, we still have theater, and in late April our city welcomed the announcement of the Kansas City Repertory Theatre’s […]

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BOLD NEW CAREERS: Musicians adapt abilities to fresh situations and needs

These days the primary qualification for achieving the American dream seems to be adaptability. Jessica Wakefield and Kevin Hao began preparing for their “first careers” as orchestral violinists in the way that most exceptional musicians do: she at the Juilliard School of Music and the Cleveland Institute of Music, he at the University of Washington […]

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FROM GRASSY FIELD TO CULTURAL HUB: Midwest Trust Center celebrates 30 years as primary force in local arts scene

Many of us still think of it as the new kid on the block. But for anyone tracing the development of the performing arts in the Kansas City region, watching the growth of the performance series at Johnson County Community College has been a bit like seeing an awkward adolescent become a strong, capable member […]

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