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Backstage And Beyond

The stars came out on May 12th, as the Kansas City Ballet bid farewell to its longtime artistic director, William Whitener. He departs this June 30th after 17 years at the company’s helm. A reception was held in the Kauffman Center’s Brandmeyer Hall after the Ballet’s season finale: Among the several hundred attendees were board […]

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NINE FOR THE NINE THAT DRESSED SO FINE: Harriman-Jewell Series presents Cantus Cantus is an all-male a cappella ensemble consisting of nine singers who perform a most eclectic mix of music from all eras and genres. The group’s Harriman-Jewell Series debut on May 16th – bumped from its February date because of mounds of snow […]

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Unicorn’s production of Potok adaptation is golden My Name is Asher Lev became a classic work of American fiction virtually from the day it came out in 1972, and Aaron Posner’s theatrical adaptation of it is every bit as potent. I can remember reading Chaim Potok’s novel as a Baptist kid in Kansas and feeling […]

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To be a serious ballet company these days you can’t just do an endless series of Swan Lakes: You’ve got to push things forward. The Kansas City Ballet in its current form has rarely flinched from risky artistic choices, works that might have left us scratching our heads at times. At the season finale that […]

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You’d be hard-pressed to find an American artist in any field as interesting and engaging as Karole Armitage. The Wisconsin native, who grew up partly in Lawrence, learned classical ballet initially and absorbed the work of George Balanchine at the Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève before becoming a dancer with the legendary Merce Cunningham. […]

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Almost every singer has a “breakthrough” moment, when he or she lands the right role at the right time and scores a deep impression with public and press. For Irish-born mezzo-soprano Tara Erraught that moment came in March 2011, when she was called upon at the last minute to fill in for an ailing Vesselina Kasarova in the role […]

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When a ballet audience gasps audibly at the sheer “look” of a piece, before the dancers have made a single move, you know you’re in for a ride. When the curtain went up on George Balanchine’s Serenade, the opening piece of the Kansas City Ballet’s final 2011-2012 production, the translucent azure lighting and ballerinas frozen in […]

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Gary Neal Johnson is one of Kansas City’s most respected actors, best known as Scrooge in the KC Rep’s A Christmas Carol. But his experience has ranged widely, and he is currently performing his first Willy Loman in the Rep’s Death of a Salesman, directed by artistic director Eric Rosen. We had an intriguing chat with Gary about […]

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If you really want to know who Richard Wagner is, The Flying Dutchman is a good place to start. For not only is this the first opera in which the composer began to experiment with the revolutionary musico-dramatic ideas that would later transform opera as we know it, but it is also a German opera of its […]

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