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

NO SECOND GUESSING: Classical pioneer brings solo Bach to Kansas City

One woman, standing alone onstage. No pianist, no music-stand: Just Hilary Hahn and her violin, creating miracles. That is what Harriman-Jewell Series audiences are likely to experience this October 13th, when one of the most gifted violinists of our time performs works from J.S. Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin. It’s difficult to think of […]

Read More
Best Of Fall 2023

Oh the weather outside is frightful(ly hot). But it won’t be for long, so take a close look at this fall’s diverse and provocative mix of music, dance, and theater: with representation from six of the world’s seven continents! (We’re still working on Antarctica…)  SEPTEMBER  6-24: Unicorn Theatre; Native Gardens; The Mexican-born Karen Zacarías, one […]

Read More
BUILDING FORWARD: Ballet School continues ongoing success story with new studios

Kansas City Ballet always seems to be building something. For decades, it engaged in refitting existing buildings to meet its day-to-day needs: from the Westport Allen Center to the National Cash Register building to a former warehouse at 16th and Broadway. In August 2011, it established an elegant home in the Todd Bolender Center for […]

Read More
CONQUERING CONCORD: Broadway musical confirms wide appeal of Alcott classic 

The impact of a book can often be gauged by the number and variety of adaptations it spawns. Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women was published more than 150 years ago, but it continues to feel like an archetypal portrait of at least one kind of American family. The Civil War-era tale of the struggling March […]

Read More
“‘TILL LOVE HAS ALL HIS RITES”: For theater couple, marriage just felt like the right thing to do

When Chelsea Rolfes accidentally came across a big blue envelope from Brilliant Earth in JT Nagle’s backpack, she panicked. She didn’t open it, thank heavens, because she knew that it almost certainly contained a receipt for the engagement ring that she had always dreamed of wearing. It also meant that JT, her partner of seven […]

Read More
FINDING BALANCE: Ballet’s new executive is here to serve

An executive director plays a less glamorous role in most arts organizations than that of the artistic director, but creative and imaginative thinking is essential to both jobs. Kansas City Ballet’s choice of David Gray as its new executive director was shrewd: The former publicist, arts consultant, and non-profit guru has written screenplays, a novel […]

Read More
WE HOLD THESE TRUTHS: LGBTQ performing-arts collective is ready to tackle big issues

Some of the most extraordinary inventions are born almost inadvertently, on the way to creating something entirely different. Even the Slinky was the byproduct of industrial springs manufactured to protect sensitive maritime instruments in rough seas. OUTside VoicesKC, Kansas City’s newest LGBTQ-friendly choir, was forged in a cauldron of change that has now produced one […]

Read More

Enjoy the best of Kansas City’s thriving arts landscape JUNE__________ June 2-4: Kansas City Symphony; Michael Stern conducts Mahler and Montgomery; Superstar Soprano Julia Bullock performs Jessie Montgomery’s newly commissioned Five Freedom Songs and joins the ensemble in Mahler’s Fourth Symphony; Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. Contact: 816-471-0400 or kcsymphony.org. June 3-4: Te Deum and […]

Read More

If you grow up in a home with a celebrated pianist for a mother and a world-renowned cellist for a father, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll at least consider a career in music. For Jun Iwasaki, there was never any pressure to pursue piano or cello, or any instrument for that matter. But the […]

Read More

There are many roads to a theater career. Andi Meyer prepared for her profession by way of several traditional routes: She studied theater as a teen in North Dakota and earned a bachelor of arts degree at UMKC Theatre. She was also a part of the award-winning radio show, Right Between the Ears, and in […]

Read More
A BIT OF EVERYTHING: Symphony’s associate conductor causing a stir

Gonzalo Farias may well be the busiest musician in Kansas City. The Chilean-born conductor, who this fall assumed the post of David T. Beals III Associate Conductor of the Kansas City Symphony, conducts dozens of concerts on the Family, Pops, Holiday, and Film + Live Orchestra Series, and he leads educational concerts that reach some […]

Read More

Naomi Tanioka’s career path from her native Sapporo, Japan, to Kansas City Ballet might seem like a long and winding road, but in the context of today’s dance world it makes perfect sense. Her training at Chida Toshiko Ballet Studio was marked by a strong emphasis in classical ballet, which is the best start to […]

Read More
DIVA DOGS: Local pets continue to energize Kansas City stages

Kansas City’s canines have a message for audiences of theater, opera, and dance: We are ready for our closeups. Some might ask, Why put a dog on the stage in the first place? But perhaps the real question is, Why do we do it so seldom? Think about it: Dogs love people, they love adulation, […]

Read More
TEN CENTURIES AND COUNTING: Students defy declarations of classical music’s demise

If classical orchestral music is dead, no one bothered to tell the nearly 400 Kansas City-area students who gather every Sunday at The Loretto to rehearse works by Strauss, Elgar, Respighi, Saint-Saëns, and Mahler. Not only do these youngsters show up willingly, they have already weathered a rigorous audition process to get here. Welcome to […]

Read More
TRAILBLAZING: Kansas City opens arms to woman conductor as her renown grows

Like many top orchestra and opera conductors, Carolyn Watson began her career on “the other side of the baton.” Having excelled as a young violinist in her native Australia, she studied at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and spent several years as an orchestral violinist, in her homeland and later in Europe. Returning to Australia, […]

Read More
TRAILBLAZER: Amaya Rodriguez

Life contains moments in which we are forced to steady our balance, draw a breath, and take a flying leap. Or as we say in ballet, a grand jeté. By her mid-twenties, Amaya Rodriguez had established a solid career as principal dancer of the National Ballet of Cuba, where she was the company’s top ballerina […]

Read More
THE ROUND PEG: The alchemy of collaboration continues to attract artists seeking the unexpected

There are reasons why artists find cross-disciplinary collaborations so invigorating. It’s a bit like a great chef preparing a meal with no recipe: When performing artists combine music, dance, visuals, or theater toward a common goal, they must rely on instinct and experience to guide them. The outcome is often unknown even to them until […]

Read More
ALL WORK AND NO PLAY: Lyric Opera finally brings the Torrances to town

This is an updated version of an article that appeared in The Independent in early 2020, shortly before the Lyric Opera had to postpone its production of The Shining: which it will now present this March. —P.H.  . The most terrifying thing on earth is the human heart. Thus the scariest parts of any horror story […]

Read More
PLAYING WELL WITH OTHERS: New program for young chamber musicians stresses collaboration and fun

Young classical musicians often dream of stardom. But the reality is that even if they make it to the big time, they will probably be playing with other musicians for much of their careers. Performers on strings, winds, or brass might be playing in an orchestra, and professionals on keyboard instruments will most likely be […]

Read More

Kansas City’s performing arts organizations have taken to heart the national push toward diversity and inclusion, and their commitment is reflected in this spring’s performances. Rarely have we seen such a variety of art and artists, genres and life-experiences, as in these programs.                     Playwrights Mashuq […]

Read More
THE MORE THINGS CHANGE: New play uses tender family story to address Kansas City’s racial history

Michelle Tyrene Johnson uses theater to tackle big issues. In more than a dozen full-length and longer one-act plays, and in numerous shorter works, she has often found that art can exert a greater impact than a simple recounting of facts. The Green Book Wine Club Train Trip, for instance, given a winning production by […]

Read More