Arts Corner

BOULEVARD OF DREAMS: MET’s upcoming move spurs growth of Main Street as KC’s ‘mini-Broadway’

By Paul Horsley
If there’s a sleeping giant among Kansas City theater companies, that genial beast appears to be on the verge of waking up, with a roar. The Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre has been doing increasingly excellent work for 12 seasons: classics and new works, comedies and ponderous plays that deal with racism, sexism, ageism, you name it. Or in the words of producing Artistic Director Karen Paisley, who founded the company, “masterworks and contemporary classics.

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BEHIND BARS: Lyric Opera takes a stab at problematic prison opera (review)

By Paul Horsley
Dead Man Walking is like the Clockwork Orange of opera. You might appreciate its artistic achievement, admire its remarkable attention to detail, even recognize its potential for redeeming social value. But you really don’t have fun, and at the end you find yourself asking whether you’ve gained anything from the grueling experience of sitting through it.

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DEATH, LOVE AND SPIRITUAL JOURNEY: Lyric Opera presents local premiere of true-story drama

By Paul Horsley
Opera since its beginnings has reveled in hot political topics, from the injustices of feudal society in The Marriage of Figaro to the hapless political prisoners in works such as Andrea Chénier and Tosca. Contemporary opera occasionally takes on controversial historical issues, too, crafting real-life events not so much to make political statements as to create effective works of art.

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TOP THIS, KC: Our Spring 2017 picks for some of the hottest events in music, dance, theater, jazz and more

By Paul Horsley
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FEBRUARY
8-19: Theater League/Kansas City Broadway Series; The Phantom of the Opera; Andrew Lloyd Webber’s multiple Tony Award-winning hit now tours in a new version by Cameron Mackintosh; ALSO: March 8-April 2: Beautiful; May 2-7: 42nd Street; May 30-June 4: Fun Home, which won the 2015 Tony Award for Best Musical. Music Hall or Kauffman Center. broadwayinkc.com.

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TALES AS OLD AS THE DEVIL HIMSELF: Local chamber group confronts Stravinsky classic head-on

By Paul Horsley
Often when you scratch the surface of something that seems utterly new, you find the oldest of sources underneath. The Lord of the Rings draws on Wagner and Norse legend, West Side Story is Shakespeare, and so forth. The piece that Igor Stravinsky and his collaborators called The Soldier’s Tale (L’Histoire du Soldat) was so innovative that even its authors didn’t know what to call it, and 100 years later it still baffles both the music and the theater worlds.

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