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Backstage And Beyond

NEW WIGS ON OLD MUSIC: Local Baroque ensemble explores Versailles’ fresh excesses

At least once a year, some enterprising Kansas Citian comes up with an idea for an arts organization that has us slapping our foreheads saying, Why didn’t we think of that? Our Town has certainly seen no shortage of visiting early-music groups (thanks to the efforts of several well-established arts presenters), and smaller groups have […]

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HEY, LET’S PUT ON A SHOW: KCDF is fulfilling early promise, and then some

When Anthony Krutzkamp and Logan Pachciarz welcomed the audience to the Kansas City Dance Festival’s inaugural performance in June 2013, some doubted that such an endeavor could thrive in KC’s previously uneventful summer months. But these two former Kansas City Ballet dancers made it crystal-clear that KCDF was here to stay. “In our first curtain […]

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MYTH AS MUSICAL: Re-envisioned Persephone story embodies Fringe Festival’s adventurous spirit

When stories linger in our collective imagination for thousands of years, told and retold in ever-evolving versions, it’s generally because they’ve touched a nerve. In theater, tales from myth and historical antiquity continue to crop up largely because writers find they contain ever-current truths about the human condition. From Jean Anouilh’s Antigone to Cole Porter’s […]

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PIPES ALL AROUND: International musicians to descend on KC

If you think you’re up-to-date about music in Kansas City but have ignored the world of the pipe organ, you aren’t really seeing the whole picture. Our city now boasts three of the most prominent pipe organs in the country (those at the Community of Christ Auditorium and Temple in Independence, and the new Casavant […]

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NAME-CALLING AS ART FORM: HASF presents comedy of strong women, quirky men

It’s such common fodder for literature, stage and screen that it’s become almost cliché: two people who spend so much time exchanging verbal barbs that eventually their cohorts have to step in and help them realize they’re “made for each other.” From Pride and Prejudice to Bridget Jones’s Diary (not to mention Leia and Han, or […]

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LIBERTY & MUSIC FOR ALL: Choral ensembles stand up for tolerance, justice, artistry

It’s largely by coincidence that the Kansas City Women’s Chorus and the Heartland Men’s Chorus have scheduled their Summer Concerts on adjacent weekends. But it’s win-win for Kansas Citians who care about the intersection of music and social justice: Each of these programs addresses broader issues that can often only be expressed through music. On […]

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IN REVIEW: Lyric sings lovely Barber, splashing color and silliness into the mix

Is opera music, or is it theater? That the best answer to that question is “yes” is part of what makes this art form so intriguing: The struggle over whether “la musica” or “la parola” (the word) should prevail in opera has raged since its inception around 1600. As I watched the Lyric Opera’s production […]

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LOVE STORY AS SOCIAL CRITIQUE: KC Actors Theatre presents starkly relevant classic

Theater about economic disparities will always be current. From the master-servant dynamics of Shakespeare’s plays to close-to-the-bone American tales such as Death of a Salesman or even Stephen Karam’s recent The Humans, most of us can relate to plays in which the struggle to survive forms the very core of the drama. When Darren Sextro […]

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IN REVIEW: KC Rep produces fine ‘Sweeney,’ but is it time to discuss the ‘Sondheim problem’?

If you like Stephen Sondheim’s musicals, chances are you’ll enjoy the Kansas City Repertory Theatre’s finely outfitted production of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, which runs through April 15th at Spencer Theatre on the UMKC campus. Rep Artistic Director Eric Rosen, who directed the show, has a keen intuitive sense for staging […]

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