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Backstage And Beyond

FACETS OF AMERICA: The Rep’s new associate artistic director aims to bring theater to all Kansas Citians

Nelson T. Eusebio III’s distinguished career in theater began almost by accident. He was 15 and followed some girls into a room where auditions were about to take place, even though he had never acted before and had not prepared a thing. “I asked them what they were doing there, and they said we’re auditioning […]

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THE HEAT IS ON: Symphony completes first season of guest conductors

Few events in the life of an orchestra are as exciting or as unnerving as the transition to a new music director. The search is on for a conductor to step up to the podium that Michael Stern will vacate at the end of 2023-2024, and the season that the Kansas City Symphony wrapped up […]

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BEST OF FALL 2022

A brief look at some of the more promising offerings in music, dance, and theater   SEPTEMBER 6-25 Kansas City Repertory Theatre; Twelfth Night; The Rep’s new associate artistic director, Nelson T. Eusebio III, makes his local directorial debut with Shakespeare’s gender-bending “rom-com”: Viola, disguised as a young man, falls in love with the Duke Orsino, […]

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NAVO MEANS NEW / NAVO MEANS MUSIC: Performing-arts ‘collective’ vies for attention

Kansas City takes pride in the longevity of its major performing-arts groups, and this is as it should be. But sometimes we get so wrapped up in the celebration of a 30th anniversary here, a half-century jubilee there, that we forget that some of our most important organizations are still in the start-up phase. And […]

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KISS THE BRIDE, THEN EXIT LEFT: Top 10 stage weddings (that actually have happy endings)

In art, as in life, love usually triumphs. As a send-off for all of this summer’s Kansas City newlyweds, we found 10 famous onstage weddings (from the world of opera, theater, and ballet) that end in bliss. Enjoy!    Rossini: The Barber of Seville   The lovely Rosina is not just the “ward” of cantankerous old […]

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BECOMING ONE: Dance artists craft unprecedented ‘collaborative choreography’ for Moving Arts

One of the fixtures of the dance world today is the “mixed-repertory” program: A company presents works by various choreographers and prays the amalgam makes some kind of sense. But what if we were to create a single work crafted by multiple choreographers, who merge their creative energies into an organic whole? Such collaborations are […]

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Flight Paths And Footwear: Chance meeting on airport jetway sparks lifelong romance

Sometimes a single sartorial decision can bring about life-altering consequences. Brian Keith Gamble could not possibly have known, when he donned his 2015 Crestwood Red Mid Basketball Shoes for the flight home to South Carolina on Christmas morning 2015, that he’d be meeting a dazzling ballet dancer later that day.  And Kansas City Ballet Company […]

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METTLE FOR MEDALS: Winners of international competitions bring prestige to area music schools

Music competitions: High-stakes horse races, followed by lucrative prizes and worldwide fame, right? Well, not exactly. The competition of today has in fact become a sort of “second education” for artists striving to expand their technique, musicality, and repertoire. Because ultimately, competition results can be ephemeral: If a win does not result in a major […]

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MUSIC TO OUR EARS: Youth orchestra inspires hope, spurs students to broad-based achievement

When Darryl Chamberlain established the A-Flat Music Studio Inc. in 2016, he had several goals in mind. First, he believed that young people ages 10 and up should learn how to read music, through a fundamentals class, while learning to play an instrument. Because “when you play by ear it is based on your imagination […]

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