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Backstage And Beyond

COUNT THE WAYS: Six things you can do right now to support local arts groups (in the comfort of your own ‘quarantine’)

Nearly every day, arts-loving Kansas Citians receive notice that yet another performance has been canceled. As the Covid-19 virus has forced theaters and concert halls to go dark for the rest of the 2019-2020 season, we now begin to fear that even fall concerts are in question. Yes, these are unprecedented times in our history, […]

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PAWS IN THE ACTION: Pets both real and invented make their way onto local stages

If we could ever train animals to follow blocking and precise stage directions night after night, they might actually take over theater as we know it. Because nothing captures an audience’s attention the way a live animal does. Directors place animals onstage at their own peril, in fact: Once a dog or cat enters (or […]

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BALANCING ACT: Performing-arts groups battle daily to thrive and grow

Raising funds for the performing arts calls upon a whole toolkit of skills. You must come prepared not just with studies showing the benefits of arts to the community and to the minds of young people, but also with convincing evidence that society functions best when commerce, sports, and arts exist together in symbiosis. Most […]

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SHINE ON: Lyric Opera presents groundbreaking Stephen King opera

Note: Lyric Opera of Kansas City was compelled to cancel the final production of its season, an operatic treatment of Stephen King’s The Shining, because of the Covid-19 crisis. No further news has been announced as to a rescheduling, but please note that subscriptions for the 2020-2021 season (see below) are now on sale. In […]

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CAGED BIRDS: Tale of family conflict continues to reveal shared values

Note: Spinning Tree Theatre had to close its season early due to the COVID-19 crisis, and thus canceled its season-finale production of La Cage aux Folles. The 2020-2021 season (listed below) had already been programmed and licensed by this time. There is a possibility, however, that La Cage could appear “in a future season or as […]

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ODE TO JOY, PEACE, UNITY: Kansas City marks Beethoven’s 250th birthday with a fresh take

For some classical musicians and fans, celebrating Beethoven is a bit like celebrating air: It’s pretty much all around us, all the time. This year, as the world marks the 250th birthday of the most widely admired composer in Western history, many are seeking new perspectives on a man who has long been depicted as […]

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MUSICAL ALCHEMIST: Kansas City-based composer creates magic from diverse elements

Ed Frazier Davis has the Latin word “SOLVE” tattooed on the inside of his right arm, “COAGULA” on the left. “To take apart and to put back together,” said the 30-year-old composer, describing what has been called the Alchemist’s Motto: dissolve and re-coagulate. “Which is what we do as artists: We take the elements, and […]

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THE NEXT STAGE: Ballet hires major talent to lead Second Company

One of the harshest moments in a dancer’s life is the moment when he or she realizes the spirit is more willing than the body. “It took me about four years to retire,” said Christopher Ruud recently, with a laugh. “I could still do it at 42, but it was past time for me to […]

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CALL IT WHAT YOU WILL: Singer wins hearts while defying categorization

Stacey Kent’s lush, limpid voice can melt your heart in an instant, it can transport you to Antônio Jobim’s Brazil or Jacques Brel’s Paris, or it can make you fall in love as if for the first time. Though she is considered a jazz artist (one critic called her vocalism “the epitome of jazz sophistication”), […]

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