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Arts & Entertainment / Curtain Call with Lory Lacy
Published 11/14/2008 - 1:00 a.m. CDT

November 7th-November 23rd, 2008
The Barn Players

Reviewed By Lory Lacy


I really feel sorry for prostitutes sometimes...and that disturbs me. From Jack the Ripper, to the sad state of affairs in Les Miserables, to countless episodes of Law & Order, it’s hard not to figure out that they have a timeless, built-in victim mentality. Jekyll & Hyde races through the duality of one-man’s psyche and the juxtaposition of societal roles the female characters play in the story.

Published 11/07/2008 - 5:00 a.m. CDT

Crazy for Crazy for you!

November 1st-November 16th, 2008
Lewis & Shirley White Theatre, The Jewish Community Center

By Lory Lacy

Okay, I was a little confused. For a second. Crazy for You, the George and Ira Gershwin musical presented by CenterSeason at The Jewish Community Center, was written in 1992. But…but…the featured songs, including jazz standards like “Someone to Watch Over Me”, “I Got Rhythm”, “Embraceable You”, and “They Can’t Take That Away from Me”, have been around since the dawn of time! Oh, and George died in the 1930’s and Ira died in the 1980’s, so…then I read the program. It is a re-write of Girl Crazy, a musical written in the ‘30’s. Yikes, I could have had a V-8 smacking myself in the head!

 
Published 10/27/2008 - 11:13 a.m. CDT

October 17th-November 9th, 2008
Spencer Theater, UMKC

Review by Lory Lacy

Being black in America is a way of life highly scrutinized in this year of Obamania. The KC Repertory Theater’s presentation of Radio Golf steps in and resonates with the implications and possibilities that are surfacing in Americas’ evolving socio-political landscape.

The basic story line is about a wealthy, golf-nutty African-American man, Harmond Hicks (Kevyn Morrow), who is in charge of a redevelopment project in a run-down neighborhood in Pittsburgh in 1997. He has gone to Cornell, been brought up with money, and seemingly has enough power to run for mayor. Until he runs headlong into a couple of characters who smack him between the eyes with his history and his conscience.

Published 10/01/2008 - 10:23 a.m. CDT

Closing weekend: October 3rd-5th, 2008
The Barn Players Community Theater

Reviewed by Lory Lacy
Once again, the level of talent in Kansas City floors me. A New Brain, an autobiographical musical about a professional composer’s woes concerning writer’s block and impending brain surgery by William Finn, is a fun ride through the grooves of someone’s brain during a life-changing event. I adored him…and wanted to steal his boyfriend.

Published 09/12/2008 - 5:00 a.m. CDT

Les Mis
Edward Watts as Enjolras leads the people through the streets of Paris in “One More Day”. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

September 10, 2008
Starlight Theater

Set in dismal 1800’s France, Les Miserables, is the story is of a petty thief, Jean Valjean, just finishing a hefty sentence for his crime of stealing bread. A policeman, Javert, pursues the man relentlessly, forcing him to live right under the copper’s nose as someone else.

The lead, Rob Evan as Valjean, was great but…all my favorite performers were pure evil or the recipient of a lethal bullet. Well, their characters were, anyway. Jenny Fellner, who played the unfortunate daughter of two tastily evil swindlers, the Thenardiers (Cindy Benson and Laurent Giroux), gave the most emotionally riveting performance of the night. She sang like a dirty street angel and acted like her life depended on it. I could have listened to her sing all night.

Published 08/15/2008 - 6:00 a.m. CDT

Broadway veteran Lewis J. Stadlen stars as dairyman Tevye. (Photo: Jim Herren/The Muny)

Reviewed by Lory Lacy

August 11-17, 2008 - Starlight Theater

The Starlight opened its one-week run of Fiddler on the Roof to perfect weather and a good-sized crowd for a Monday. Tevye, a Jewish father of five girls in Czarist Russia, waxes philosophical about the choices his girls make in their quests for love and the consequences that ensue. Not one of the daughters chooses a match that a father would have made for her, yet, when the constable comes to kick the cast out of town, it becomes clear that love was just as good a reason as any to choose a mate.

Published 07/11/2008 - 6:00 a.m. CDT

By Jerome Stark

Audience members of "Mighty Muddy Murder" find themselves attending the show in such restaurants as The Hereford House, being ushered to a room which becomes a "passenger car" of a train bound for Kansas City. As a few courses of some very savory food are served, audience members visit with roving actors, learn identities, relationships, and a very interesting story line.

Published 10/10/2008 - 9:25 a.m. CDT

Angela Cristanello as Barbara. Photo by J. Robert Schraeder/Coterie Theatre

October 9th-29th, 2008
Off Center Theater, Crown Center

Reviewed by Lory Lacy

Halloween season is here, and you don’t want to miss the deadly fare at the theater! Night of the Living Dead, presented by The Coterie Theater, is based on the original film of the same title by George Romero and John Russo. Not a lot of plot, but campy gore abounds.

Published 09/14/2008 - 9:25 a.m. CDT

September 4-21, 2008
Off Center Theater Crown Center

Reviewed by Lory Lacy

A three-character drama about life in 1960’s South Africa, A Lesson from Aloes is a complex drive though the desolate attempt to carve out an existence in the context of political resistance and shotgun oppression.

Piet Bezuidenhout (Gary Neal Johnson), an Afrikaner farm boy turned bus driver descended from Dutch settlers of the 17th century, nurses aloe plants native to South Africa in his dusty backyard. His wife, Gladys (Peggy Friesen), descended from the British who took over control of the country in the 1700’s, writes about her life in diaries, many of which were confiscated by the police, causing her to have a nervous breakdown.

Published 08/27/2008 - 1:58 p.m. CDT

Katie and Nathan
Katie Gilchrist as Maire and Nathan Darrow as Lt. Yolland in Translations by Brian Friel. Presented by Actors Theatre KC and directed by Mark Robbins. (Photo: Don Ipock Photography)

Translations

Review by Lory Lacy

August 30-31, 2008
City Stage at Union Station

Let me start with…wow! I have been officially wow-ed by the Actors Theater of Kansas City’s production of Translations, set in 1800’s Ireland as the English are in the process of uniting all the lands of Great Britain by mapping the areas under its rule and standardizing, aka Anglicizing, the names of rivers and towns. Most of the play is set in a hedge school, an impromptu educational “system” set up in barns by local scholars to afford the people of the smaller towns a modicum of education. The conflict is in that most of Ireland speaks Gaelic in that era, and English is the language of progress sweeping the land. The change in language also serves as a signal that assimilation might erase the traditions of the area.

Published 07/11/2008 - 6:04 p.m. CDT

By Jerome Stark

Once upon a time, when Arthur Godfrey was big on TV and folks' tastes for country rhythm and blues, and grand ol' opry were just a bit simpler...a great lady of the era arose. Someone has said the gentle songstress from Virginia made "her emotions leap up from the deepest recesses of her heart" and at her final 1963 performance in Kansas City, Kansas, just before her tragic death in an airplane accident, "her emotions were never more aglow."