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

MUSIC THAT UNITES WHERE DOCTRINE CAN’T: Local Cathedrals see eye-to-eye on concert series

By Paul Horsley Episcopalians and Roman Catholics have had their differences over the centuries, conflicts that have at times engulfed their musical establishments as well, but locally the month of August has long been an “era of good feelings” between the two downtown Cathedrals, thanks to a concert series that is held alternately in both […]

Read More
SING YE OF SOLIDITY: Chorale’s new season continues on a road toward fiscal and artistic success

By Paul Horsley With several Grammy Awards to their name and an international reputation to uphold, Charles Bruffy and the 24-voice Kansas City Chorale certainly count as one of our city’s great success stories. The 2014-2015 season that begins this October will see an appearance by the international jazz and R&B singer Patti Austin; a […]

Read More
CAN’T SCHMAN’T: Actor-comedian recounts his own obstacles and triumphs in Fringe Fest show

UPDATE: One more show added to Malcolm Grissom’s run, at 8 p.m. Saturday August 26th. By Paul Horsley Since its beginnings in 2004 the KC Fringe Festival, which continues to grow like Topsy each year, has prided itself on an incredibly wide range of offerings: from theater to dance, comedy to puppetry, burlesque to world […]

Read More
THE MUSIC’S THE THING: Shakespeare Festival incorporates live music, to brilliant effect

By Paul Horsley Live music was an essential part of period performances of Shakespeare’s plays, but not until this year has it become central to the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival’s free annual performances in Southmoreland Park. Their presentation of the rare The Winter’s Tale, which runs through July the 6th, incorporates three live musicians […]

Read More
MEET AND GREET: Passion for friendly classical environment drives summer chamber season

By Paul Horsley Summers are increasingly busy times for music, theater and dance in Kansas City, but for nearly a quarter-century Summerfest has presented the most substantial summer offerings in classical music, by a long shot. It thrives for two main reasons: (1) top-drawer musicians, many from the Kansas City Symphony, who offer the best […]

Read More
MADE GLORIOUS SUMMER: KC performing arts groups vying for ever-growing summer audiences

By Paul Horsley Kansas City was once a sleepy place culturally during the summer, with a few notable exceptions. As the regular season began to overflow with events, that situation changed: KC Symphony members started playing chamber music, enterprising KC Ballet dancers began mini-festivals, the Fringe Festival took off, and theater companies began to offer […]

Read More
HERE TO STAY: Quality Hill Playhouse offers generous array of Gershwin’s amazing talents

By Paul Horsley Sometimes it’s the things that accidental geniuses do “on the side,” to pay the bills, that we most remember them for. George Gershwin, like many gifted American composers of the early 20th century, desperately wanted to be remembered for his achievements in “serious” classical music, but he had a gift for tossing […]

Read More
UNDER PRESSURE NO MORE (FOR NOW): Dance group founded by Kansan makes KC part of its final tour

By Paul Horsley The Harriman-Jewell Series has been responsible for several great artistic experiences during the current season, even in advance of its glittering 50th anniversary next year. We’ve already reported on the fascinating performances by Pinchas Zukerman with the Royal Philharmonic and by violinist Gil Shaham. Another program we’ll remember wistfully for some time to […]

Read More
DANCE TO THE MUSIC: KC Ballet’s Cinderella highlights fine dancing and a deathless musical score

By Paul Horsley The opening of Act I of Victoria Morgan’s Cinderella, which the Kansas City Ballet performs through May 18th, depicts a drab, oddly ambiguous scene that conveys the title character’s “before” life. Stage right is what appears to be a row of dingy shops, almost crooked enough to suggest the sets of The […]

Read More
CHEERIO, NOT GOOD-BYE: Wichita native shifts focus of world-renowned dance/art collective

By Paul Horsley When Trey McIntyre announced last year that he was all but disbanding his Boise-based dance troupe, which had been hailed as one of the most inventive American companies of the last quarter-century, the news caused considerable ripples in the dance world. Granted, the 10-member company was only one component of the Wichita […]

Read More
BATS IN THE BELFRY: Lyric’s Fledermaus offers fine singing, excellent scenic design, firm direction

By Paul Horsley Die Fledermaus is a surprisingly difficult opera to bring to the stage, deceptively simple on the surface yet filled with comic subtleties and a sort of effortless graciousness that has to be “just right.” The Lyric Opera of Kansas City’s new English-language production that opened April 26th, directed by Tomer Zvulun in […]

Read More
IF THE SLIPPER FITS: Ballet’s ‘Cinderella’ also features local premiere of essential Prokofiev score

By Paul Horsley Yes, the Kansas City Ballet will be mustering enormous forces for its production of Victoria Morgan’s magnificent Cinderella that opens here May 9th, with the 28-member company, the six apprentices of KCB II and some 90 children from the Ballet School. But at the center of this maelstrom is something audiences might […]

Read More
TOMER AT THE BAT: Lyric Opera’s ‘Fledermaus’ director talks about opera, comedy and a life in the theater

By Paul Horsley We tend to think of Die Fledermaus as a champagne-soaked romp filled with catchy tunes and the infectious dances for which Johann Strauss, Jr., is known. But the piece has a darker side. Dr. Falke is miffed, mightily miffed, at his friend Eisenstein for leaving him drunk on the public square—dressed in […]

Read More
RUSSIA, GERMANY, BRITAIN AND BEYOND: Harriman series brings pianistic giant for a second visit

By Paul Horsley His playing has been called “blistering” and “arrestingly novel” and he has been declared “potentially one of the greatest pianists of the 21st century.” But Yevgeny Sudbin, who performs on the Harriman-Jewell Series on April 26th, does not concern himself with such things. His focus is on his lifelong passion and obsession: […]

Read More
CLIBURN TRIBUTE CONCERT: Program Notes Now Available Online at the Park University website

By Paul Horsley The Van Cliburn Tribute Concert presented this Friday at the Kauffman Center promises to be one of the highlights of the musical season. It features music by Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff, Cliburn’s own favorite composers, and by Park University ICM Director and internationally renowned composer Ingrid Stölzel. Among the performers are ICM artistic […]

Read More
HIGH AND LOW MEET ON BROADWAY: MTH’s tribute honors one of America’s great polymaths

By Paul Horsley Even during his lifetime, Leonard Bernstein delighted in being a sort of Great American Conundrum. Known as a “triple threat” in his youth, the pianist-conductor-composer made a mark on history as the first American-born conductor of the New York Philharmonic, and later as a serious composer of symphonies, concertos, choral and chamber […]

Read More
CLIBURN AT THE KAUFFMAN: Park University’s music program hosts tribute to pianistic icon

By Paul Horsley Anyone who was lucky enough to get to know the American pianist Van Cliburn, who died last year at the age of 78, learned two things quickly. First, from earliest childhood he was a lover of all things Russian, a trait that was made plain to the world when he won the […]

Read More
SURPRISED BY HER OWN VOICE: Five Questions for Soprano Katie Van Kooten

By Paul Horsley Since making a huge impression here as the Countess Almaviva at the Lyric Opera’s of KC’s Marriage of Figaro just a few years back (in the company’s last production in the old Lyric Theatre), soprano Katie Van Kooten has rocketed to the top of the opera world. Now in her vocal and […]

Read More
MIMÌ AND THE STAGES OF LIFE: Lyric explores why Puccini’s classic gets us all where we live

By Paul Horsley La Bohème is a cradle-to-the-grave kind of opera. No matter where you are in life, it has something to offer. “Each time you revisit this piece you see a whole different aspect of it, and I think that’s probably its greatest strength,” says Linda Brovsky, who directs the Lyric Opera’s production of […]

Read More
GOLDEN, DELICIOUS: Harriman-Jewell Series unveils impressive 50th anniversary season

By Paul Horsley The dazzling legacy of the Harriman-Jewell Series is defined not just by its milestones, such as tenor Luciano Pavarotti’s world recital debut in 1973 or the inaugural performance by legendary Balanchine dancers Patricia McBride and Edward Villella. It is defined by the loving care with which the late Richard Harriman, Series co-founder […]

Read More
‘NINE,’ MEIN HERR: Classical giants dish out Germans, Austrians and a buffet of others

By Paul Horsley Within the space of a month, from January 16th through February 15th of this year, no fewer than nine major classical instrumentalists performed in Kansas City: violinists Pinchas Zukerman, Gil Shaham and Nicola Benedetti, pianists Garrick Ohlsson, Leon Fleisher, Jean-Yves Thibaudet and Luis Fernando Pérez, cellist Colin Carr, and percussionist Martin Grubinger. […]

Read More