×
Subscribe

Subscribe Today

Save almost 50% off the newsstand price!

In addition to receiving 26 issues of The Independent Kansas City’s Journal of Society, your subscription will include our annual publication, the Charitable Events Calendar and a subscription to our e-newsletter, The Insider.

Questions about your current subscription? Contact Laura Gabriel at 816-471-2800.

Backstage And Beyond

AMERICAN HORROR STORY: KC Ballet takes on modern shocker

By Paul Horsley Many of us still remember the jolt of our first reading of Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery,” the 1948 short story that begins so amicably in Small Town, USA, and ends with the brutal stoning of a randomly chosen citizen by her fellow villagers. Choreographer Val Caniparoli remembers his own horror when reading […]

Read More
MEMORIES OF WAR: Symphony pulls out stops for Britten masterpiece, as an early participant reminisces

By Paul Horsley Music lovers often fantasize about what it must have been like to attend the first performance of a huge masterpiece, or indeed to have taken part in one. For the musicians involved, it’s often not apparent at the time whether the piece has “clicked” or not. In May 1962 at Coventry Cathedral […]

Read More
STIFF UPPER DECK: Lyric Opera recruits UK director for quintessentially British comedy

By Paul Horsley We think of England as a sort of motherland for the Gilbert & Sullivan operettas, and indeed for more than a century the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company was the standard-bearer for “authentic” performance of these works. But during this same period these “plays-with-songs” also became staples of companies the world over, and […]

Read More
FAIRY-TALE PLUS FILLER: KC Ballet presents full-length classic for first time in its history

By Paul Horsley The Sleeping Beauty is a ballet with a bit of something for everyone: There is some actual storytelling in the middle, with a dashing Prince revivifying a comatose ballerina-Princess with a kiss, and there’s a cornucopia of classical ballet of the most rigorous kind in the outer sections. The Kansas City Ballet’s […]

Read More
ANATOMY OF A CANCELLATION: Operatic duo saves the day for Harriman-Jewell Series when choir’s tour collapses

By Paul Horsley One of the marks of a great arts presenter is the ability to jump into the breach at a moment’s notice when crises arise. The Harriman-Jewell Series’ had originally announced that a highlight of its current season was to be a visit by the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University Choir, a group of […]

Read More
BOULEVARD OF DREAMS: MET’s upcoming move spurs growth of Main Street as KC’s ‘mini-Broadway’

By Paul Horsley If there’s a sleeping giant among Kansas City theater companies, that genial beast appears to be on the verge of waking up, with a roar. The Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre has been doing increasingly excellent work for 12 seasons: classics and new works, comedies and ponderous plays that deal with racism, sexism, ageism, […]

Read More
BEHIND BARS: Lyric Opera takes a stab at problematic prison opera (review)

By Paul Horsley Dead Man Walking is like the Clockwork Orange of opera. You might appreciate its artistic achievement, admire its remarkable attention to detail, even recognize its potential for redeeming social value. But you really don’t have fun, and at the end you find yourself asking whether you’ve gained anything from the grueling experience […]

Read More
DEATH, LOVE AND SPIRITUAL JOURNEY: Lyric Opera presents local premiere of true-story drama

By Paul Horsley Opera since its beginnings has reveled in hot political topics, from the injustices of feudal society in The Marriage of Figaro to the hapless political prisoners in works such as Andrea Chénier and Tosca. Contemporary opera occasionally takes on controversial historical issues, too, crafting real-life events not so much to make political […]

Read More
TALES AS OLD AS THE DEVIL HIMSELF: Local chamber group confronts Stravinsky classic head-on

By Paul Horsley Often when you scratch the surface of something that seems utterly new, you find the oldest of sources underneath. The Lord of the Rings draws on Wagner and Norse legend, West Side Story is Shakespeare, and so forth. The piece that Igor Stravinsky and his collaborators called The Soldier’s Tale (L’Histoire du […]

Read More

Check out The Independent’s Arts Calendar, here.

Read More
WHAT A CITY NEEDS: Actor-director galvanizes community for bold new venture

By Paul Horsley Minneapolis has one. Even Detroit has one. Berkeley has one, and so does Washington, D.C. Winston-Salem, Fort Worth and St. Louis all have one: So why doesn’t Kansas City? Well, now it does. Until 2016 our city didn’t have a full-time professional African-American theater company. The Black Repertory Theatre of Kansas City […]

Read More
SOUL OF DANCE: Choreographer draws upon wide stylistic range to create unique, at times startling, dance

By Paul Horsley Ronen “Roni” Koresh’s background in dance is clearly defined, yet his quirky, dynamic choreography remains difficult to categorize. He studied ballet, jazz, folk dance and contemporary styles in his native Israel, danced with the second company of Martha Graham’s Batsheva Dance Company in Tel Aviv, and made a beeline to New York […]

Read More
LIKE NO ONE IS WATCHING: Quality Hill explores dance’s contribution to musicals

By Paul Horsley What is it about a song that makes you want to dance? That’s the big question J. Kent Barnhart and his collaborators at Quality Hill Playhouse hope to answer in their brand-new “I Got Rhythm,” which rusn through February 19th at the intimate little theater on 10th Street downtown. Of course there […]

Read More
BE STILL, MY HEART: Harriman presents KC’s favorite singer in bellicose new project

By Paul Horsley Can music change the human heart? Mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato believes it can, and the Prairie Village native has devoted a substantial part of her international career to projects that further this tenet. In addition to being one of the great singers of our time, Joyce has produced a series of award-winning recordings […]

Read More
JOLLY HOLIDAY, AND MERRY: A season for music, dance and theater

By Paul Horsley Beginning in just a few days, Kansas City will be offering holiday programs of all sorts, so no sitting around the house with year-end blues! Get on your feet, get up and make it happen, as Gloria Estefan might say! Here are a few of the more notable choices. . NOVEMBER 18-December […]

Read More
IN REVIEW: Lyric Opera delivers a ‘Figaro’ of polished sophistication

By Paul Horsley The Lyric Opera of Kansas City’s The Marriage of Figaro, which runs through November 13th, bears the marks of a master director: Its fluid, natural interaction of characters, its moments of sly but seldom overplayed wit, and its sharp focus on essential characters at essential moments all keep the mind and the […]

Read More
LOVELY LUDWIG, LIVE: Pianist brings immediacy to old music by playing it as if it were new

By Paul Horsley When Robert Levin plays Beethoven’s Third Piano Concerto with the Kansas City Symphony in November, you can be sure of one thing: His interpretation will be different not only from any other pianist’s but also from any other performance he himself has presented of the piece. One of the leading exponents of […]

Read More
FIDELITY, MUTUAL: Lyric Opera’s new ‘Figaro’ brings world-class team to joint commission

By Paul Horsley Everyone loves the romantic comedy in which Daddy gives up his dalliance with the spicy younger woman when he realizes it’s Mommy he really loves after all (while the kids beam with delight). If this plotline has a source it might well be Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro (with its libretto by […]

Read More
WHAT’S IN A VERSION? Chorale tackles unconventional Brahms project

By Paul Horsley Many musicians would give their E-string for a chance to resurrect Mozart or Beethoven or Brahms for an hour or two, just to ask them some burning questions that have been left to historical speculation. Wolfgang, did Salieri really poison you? Ludwig van, did you honestly intend the ridiculously fast tempos implied […]

Read More
THOU ART TRANSLATED: KC Ballet presents full-length adaptation of Shakespeare comedy

By Paul Horsley For four centuries, Shakespeare’s plays have served as an inexhaustible inspiration for literature, operas, films and even Broadway musicals. And as the world commemorates the 400th anniversary of the bard’s death this year, we are more sharply aware than ever of the adaptability of his works. In no realm is the process […]

Read More
WHO TO CRY FOR? KC Rep ‘scales down’ Broadway hit, to considerable effect

By Paul Horsley A fresh take on a familiar Broadway musical can be invigorating, but such an endeavor has its perils. The Kansas City Repertory Theatre’s “reimagined” version of Evita, which opened September 16th, is a scaled-down production that allows the viewer to focus on the songs, the text and the personal drama of the […]

Read More