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Backstage And Beyond

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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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: […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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