Arts Corner

WHO TO CRY FOR? KC Rep ‘scales down’ Broadway hit, to considerable effect

By Paul Horsley
A fresh take on a familiar Broadway musical can be invigorating, but such an endeavor has its perils. The Kansas City Repertory Theatre’s “reimagined” version of Evita, which opened September 16th, is a scaled-down production that allows the viewer to focus on the songs, the text and the personal drama of the Tim Rice/Andrew Lloyd Webber collaboration, which was originally conceived as a rock “concept album” and later staged: in 1978 in London and in 1979 in New York.

read more


TO THINE OWN SELF BE TRUE: Lyric Opera fills fairy-tale classic with clowns, Hollywood idols, gingerbread

By Paul Horsley
Updated versions of well-known operas work best when they remain true to their concept from beginning to end. Director Doug Varone’s version of Hansel and Gretel is set in Depression-Era New York, and that’s fine: The 19th-century rural poverty of Humperdinck’s story translates relatively easily into urban poverty in the 1930s. Instead of a house of sweets, here the kids yearn for Hollywood stardom.

read more


MAGIC, PLEASE: KC Actors Theatre offers fresh, modern take on American classic

By Paul Horsley
When 17-year-old Blanche DuBois caught her husband in flagrante delicto with an older man, she impulsively lashed out at what she called his “degeneracy” (“You disgust me!”). The beautiful young man, whom Blanche loved desperately, went out into the yard and blew his brains out. Such an early trauma could screw with anybody’s head: Blanche was an especially sensitive child, and she never fully recovered from the shock.

read more