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Paul’s Perspective

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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BEST OF SPRING 2020: Choice moments in music, theater, and dance

FEBRUARY 7-9  Kansas City Symphony; Zukerman Plays Beethoven’s Violin Concerto; Michael Stern has invited the great American artist to help inaugurate the Symphony’s dual celebration of Beethoven’s 250th birthday and what would have been the 100th birthday of Michael’s father, Isaac Stern, who discovered Pinchas Zukerman as a 13-year-old Israeli wunderkind and brought him to […]

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IN REVIEW: Ballet opens season with recent works and new ‘Carmina’

Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana lends itself to the stage partly, perhaps, because the composer actually intended it to be performed as a sort of theatrical pageant, with sets, costumes, and even movement. And because so much of its rhythmic energy suggests dance, it’s hardly surprising that the score has proven a favorite among choreographers. Many […]

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REVIEW: Lyric’s wittily absurd ‘Abduction’ rides on fine performances

Even the oddest of retellings of Mozart operas can make for a satisfying evening if the peerless music is executed beautifully enough. Stage director Alison Moritz and her design team are to be applauded for their whimsical reinterpretation of The Abduction from the Seraglio, which they have set not in an 18th-century Turkish palace-harem but […]

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BACKSTAGE AND BEYOND: Best of Fall 2019

AUGUST  Through August 25: Kansas City Actors Theatre; A Doll’s House; Ibsen’s classic may be 140 years old but the struggle of its lead character, Nora, with domineering patriarchy has lost little of its relevance. KCAT’s production, which stars Hillary Clemens, is presented in conjunction with the Unicorn Theatre’s production of Lucas Hnath’s “sequel” (see […]

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Paul Horsley’s Best of Summer 2019

Each year Kansas City’s cultural landscape becomes a little less predictable and a little more intriguing. In addition to several full-blown summer series that didn’t even exist a decade ago, this year the city offers some brand-new groups you may not know about yet.   MAY-JUNE Through June 9 Kansas City Actors Theatre; Morning’s at […]

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Best of Spring 2019: Music, theater, dance, and more

Some day we hope to live in a world where we don’t need to refer to “women composers” or “women playwrights.” (How about just “composers,” “playwrights”?) But for now, let’s just celebrate the fact that 2019 looks to be the Year of the Woman, at least as far as KC’s performing-arts scene goes. Never in […]

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BEST OF HOLIDAYS: Performances help to spice the wassail

At no time of the year is the abundance and generosity of Kansas City’s performing-arts scene more apparent than during the holidays. So get thee to a show: Fancy dress not required! Here are some suggestions for things to see and hear between now and the end of the year. NOVEMBER 6-December 30 The Coterie […]

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BEST OF FALL: Our picks for music, theater and dance

One of the strengths of the Kansas City arts community is that it takes to heart the notion that art is for everyone. The arts are not elitist: They form the heart and soul of our civilization: We forget that at our peril. KC’s 2018-2019 season begins with a fall rich in live presentations ranging […]

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