Arts Corner

REVIEW: Actors Theatre and UMKC Theatre collaborate for “Oh, What a Lovely War!”

“Oh, What a Lovely War!” is a curious piece of theater, a combination epic musical, black farce and history lesson that does not preach but still manages to “bring home” the horrors of war—in this case World War I. The Kansas City Actors Theatre production that opened on February 17th, a collaboration with UMKC Theatre and the National World War I Museum, is played with enthusiasm and youthful energy by more than a dozen Pierrot-costumed student actors.

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LYRIC OPERA BRINGS DONIZETTI COMEDY TO THE STAGE

REVIEW: Lyric Opera takes on comedy of romance, duty and intrigue
Donizetti’s The Daughter of the Regiment is perhaps more sentimental comedy than farce, though the wanton absurdities of its plot invite elements of silliness. The Lyric Opera’s production of the 1840 bel canto classic plays it somewhere in the middle, and the result is an entertaining evening with strong singing and a generous portion of well-grounded comedic action.

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A NIGHT AT THE SYMPHONY

REVIEW: Kansas City Symphony presents premiere of appealing new work
Adam Schoenberg’s American Symphony adopts an accessible style but does not stray so far into a Hollywood idiom that it grows cheesy. The agreeable new piece, a Kansas City Symphony commission, received its world premiere on March 4th at the Lyric Theatre, with the Symphony led by music director Michael Stern.

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STEPHEN COSTELLO DEBUTS AT THE HARRIMAN

REVIEW: After variable start, tenor impresses in second half of American recital debut

Tenor Stephen Costello possesses a natural, rich-auburn voice with a durable top, a pleasantly feathery lower register, a sweet head-voice that can shift into full voice with fetching ease, and a big capacity for warm pathos. The American artist, who made his Metropolitan Opera debut in 2007 and won the Richard Tucker Award in 2009, seems destined for a big career.

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