Arts Corner

FAMILY TIES: Eternal ‘clash of clans’ shines in Lyric’s polished, beautifully sung production

By Paul Horsley
The operatic version of the Romeo and Juliet legend that Bellini and his librettist Felice Romani created from Italian sources predating Shakespeare is at least as action-packed as the bard’s telling, perhaps even more so. The Lyric Opera has devoted considerable resources to its production of this gripping bel canto opera, The Capulets and the Montagues, which opened September 21st at the Muriel Kauffman Theatre, and it shows.

read more


VENUS IN BLUE JEANS (WELL, BLACK LINGERIE): Unicorn offers choice one-acter for season opener

By Paul Horsley
Always look both ways before crossing, because sometimes the car that hits you comes from the place you least expect. The season-opening productions by the KC Actors Theatre and the KC Rep offered meaty subjects and impressive performances, but the show that I’ll most remember is the Unicorn Theatre’s Venus in Fur, thanks largely to a mesmerizing performance by Vanessa Severo playing an aspiring actress and God knows what else.

read more


BOY II MAN: Pianist remains rooted in classical soil while blossoming in new and intriguing ways

By Paul Horsley
Not every child prodigy makes it through adolescence to emerge as an extraordinary adult artist. One such musician to arrive recently at the “other side” is pianist Ji-Yong, who is quietly gaining attention as a brilliant pianist on the rise who has been willing to take some alternative roads toward his goal. “I’m a classical musician, which I intend to be the rest of my life,” the 22-year-old Korean-born New Yorker hastens to point out.

read more