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Backstage And Beyond

TALK AMONGST YOURSELVES: KCAT opens season with intimate dramas, spare means

By Paul Horsley Theater is like any form of communication in that it boils down to one thing: two people talking. With this in mind, Kansas City Actors Theatre has determined to devote its 11th season to “two-handers,” plays consisting of two characters who command the stage for an entire evening. True, economics might have […]

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THE ART OF BEING A KID: Performing-arts groups offer creative ways to expand your child’s purview

By Paul Horsley One of the fruits of Kansas City’s performing-arts community is an abundance of opportunities for young people. From orchestras to dance groups, children’s theater to music lessons of all kinds, our region is host to dozens of places where young folks can gain skills and learn the joy of playing, dancing, acting […]

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PRINCE SCHMINCE: Starlight hosts tour of Broadway ‘Cinderella’ that humanizes leads

By Paul Horsley What if we made a Cinderella in which, instead of a noble prince rescuing a desperate girl, we tell a tale of two people sort of rescuing each other? That’s just what playwright Douglas Carter Beane set out to do in his new version of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella, which was a […]

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‘SPRING’ IN JULY: Summerfest silver jubilee features big classics, favorites from 25 years

By Paul Horsley When it comes to chamber music, three’s already a crowd, and 13 is a veritable multitude. So when Summerfest Chamber Music Series began planning a “blowout” Gala to celebrate its 25th season, it didn’t have to go far in order to push the limits of this intimate genre. On July 25th this […]

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ARE WE THERE YET? Men’s choir takes on new challenges in a rapidly changing world

By Paul Horsley There’s a zephyr wind blowing through gay men’s choirs in America, and Heartland Men’s Chorus appears to have found just the right man to take it into this new era of acceptance and tolerance. On June 13th and 14th, Dustin Cates concludes his brilliant first season as the choir’s artistic director with […]

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SING IT, GIRLFRIEND: QHP program highlights vocalism of three great American women

By Paul Horsley They battled addiction, domineering lovers, pigeonholing Hollywood studios, and a music industry controlled by men who feared strong women. They suffered defeats, but more often they triumphed by placing a distinctive mark on everything they did. And it is their very struggle that makes us love them. Judy Garland (1922-1969), Barbra Streisand […]

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SENSE OF HUMORS: Ballet brings top stager to set ground-breaking Balanchine classic

By Paul Horsley Victoria Simon remembers first seeing George Balanchine’s The Four Temperaments when it was almost new, as a youngster studying at the School of American Ballet in the 1950s and, later, as a dancer with New York City Ballet in the ’60s. “It broke new ground,” she said recently of the 30-minute piece, […]

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HIGHER: Harriman continues stellar 50th with Bell, Denk, promises more for 2015-16

By Paul Horsley The Harriman-Jewell Series’ auspicious 50th anniversary season has been a wild ride, and it’s not over yet. Recently the Series presented two notable performances within a week of each other, a violin-piano recital by Joshua Bell and Sam Haywood and an orchestral program with the Academy of St. Martin in Fields and […]

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BEL CANTO, OR CAN BELT-O? Met tenor will bring freshness, classic vocal style to Harriman-Jewell Series

By Paul Horsley One of the opera world’s newest stars hails from the oldest of places. The singer whom the New York Times called “the real thing, a tenor who naturally combines plaintive sound with burnished intensity” grew up on Malta, a tiny island whose 7,000 years of history has included Greeks, Phoenicians, Romans, Arabs, […]

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