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Paul’s Perspective

REVIEW: Rep storms into new season with wackily successful Shakespeare comedy

Shakespeare’s humor often stirs deep, mirthful reflection on the human condition and yes, sometimes it makes us laugh out loud. We don’t normally think of the bard’s subtle, fleet-footed humor as cause for continual belly laughs, and yet that’s pretty much how I reacted to the Kansas City Repertory Theatre’s raucous Twelfth Night, which opened […]

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SIBLING REVELRY: Two Kanneh-Masons will bring their magic to the Harriman

Pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason and cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason are two of seven highly gifted siblings from Nottingham, England, who are creating a worldwide sensation. Sheku is best known for his performance during the royal wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry in 2018. His elder sister, Isata, recipient of the 2021 Leonard Bernstein Award, is forging […]

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REVIEW: Lyric Opera’s Jobs opera is fascinating, frustrating, and fun

Because Steve Jobs brought us the iPhone, the iPad, iTunes, the Mac, and a host of other indispensable devices, there are always going to be retellings of his life. One of the more intriguing, if perhaps frustratingly incomplete, is that of The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs, the celebrated 2017 opera by composer Mason Bates and librettist […]

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REVIEW: Rep scores big with sharp commentary on race in America

The Royale is a powerfully crafted piece of theater that addresses an issue that is still with us. Marco Ramirez’ 85-minute play reflects on the legacy of Jack Johnson, the first Black prizefighter to win the Heavyweight Boxing Championship, a title he held from 1908 to 1915. But it is also a drama about a […]

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REVIEW OF ‘MEMPHIS’: Black Rep/White Theatre at the J collaboration wins the heart, sets the mind thinking

At the heart of Memphis lies a conversation about cultural veneration versus cultural appropriation. Based loosely on a real-life Memphis DJ who, during the early 1950s, began to spread the appeal of R&B to white radio listeners, this Tony Award-winning musical ran for 1,166 performances at New York’s Shubert Theatre before closing in 2012 and […]

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REVIEW: Lyric Opera finally able to present its innovative Amahl to live audiences

Most of us have experienced at least one extraordinary moment in our lives in which we feel we’ve been visited by a miracle: and perhaps we have been. Such a moment is at the heart of Gian Carlo Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors, which despite being a specifically Christian story contains fundamental truths that […]

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REIMAGINING THE CLASSICAL: Kansas City Ballet opens season with precision, playfulness, and a modern turn

Oh, how George Balanchine’s teachers back in Russia must have chafed at the finale of his Serenade, in which three women assert themselves through the most startling of means: After 20 minutes of perfectly turned-out, bun-headed classicism, they let down their hair, literally. And how cataclysmic this revolutionary moment can feel when this chilly classic […]

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Best of Fall 2021: Our picks

Many of the shows we are highlighting this fall are actually indoors! But always confirm your event a day or two ahead.   SEPTEMBER August 27-September 19 Kansas City Repertory Theater; Mary’s Wedding; First love strikes at the outbreak of World War I in Stephen Massicotte’s drama; National World War I Museum and Memorial south […]

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IN REVIEW: Ballet’s ‘Swan Lake’ becoming signature work of the Carney era

Devon Carney’s great affection for classical ballet stands front and center in his lovingly choreographed Swan Lake, which the Kansas City Ballet introduced here in 2016 and is currently revisiting. This newly refurbished version, with sets from Ballet West that are even more imposing and elaborate than those used the first time around, opened on […]

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