This article was previously published in December 2007‘s issue of KC Stage Magazine.
With J. Kent Barnhart, it’s all about the intimacy. Sitting in a chair at the theatre of Quality Hill Playhouse, the intimacy almost is a third character in the room. Barnhart, wearing a black sweater with a grey stripe, is the ready host, and even with no one on the small stage (outside of the piano, bass, and drums), the space is comfortably intimate, almost homey. And that’s just the way Barnhart likes it.
Curtains,produced by The Barn Players
First, a caveat: I attended opening night of Curtains at The Barn Players not as a reviewer, so this is a lot looser and less structured than others I’ve written. I attended the production because I was vaguely familiar with the music, love Kander & Ebb, and wanted to see something new (at least to me).
Chris McCoy’s career can be summed up in his own words of being at the right place at the right time. “It’s funny you mention being lucky: I do kind of feel that I lucked into a lot of awesome experiences,” he says.
Pippin, produced by Kansas City Repertory Theatre
I came across Pippin when I was in college, and the show hit me to the core. From the breaking of the fourth wall to the anti-war/anti-establishment messages to the theme of trying to find out who you are and wanting to be extraordinary, the show took everything about stereotypical musical theatre conventions and made something new out of them. So, when I read that Rosen’s version of Pippin was going to be a different take, I was intrigued as to what I was going to see.
This review is by guest blogger timlovestheatre as we are currently experiencing technical difficulties posting it on KC Stage.
The Real Inspector Hound, produced by Kansas City Actors Theatre
What happens when a second string magazine theatre reviewer attends a show that is ABOUT a second string theatre reviewer attending a ridiculous whodunit murder mystery? It seems to me the only logical thing that could happen is that there is a tremendous comic book style noise like “Twang” or “Th-rap” and the very universe itself begins to unravel like a poorly made sweater. Gravity shifts, seas move, and mountain ranges collapse crushing the surrounding plains and lava begins to seep up from under the broken continental plates to destroy cities, towns, highways, and airports.
This review is by guest blogger Kelly Luck, as the show is currently not listed on KC Stage by the Unicorn.
The Motherf**ker With the Hat, produced by the Unicorn Theatre
Over the 38 years since its founding, the Unicorn Theatre has never been one to shy away from controversial material. With the inaugural performance of its 39th season, Stephen Adly Guirgis’ The Mother[censored] With The Hat, the Unicorn makes it clear this is not likely to change any time soon.
Spring Awakening, produced by Coterie Theatre
I was first introduced to the music of Spring Awakening while I was stage managing The Barn Players’ production of The Full Monty. There’s a metaphor in that somewhere about how sex and nudity is becoming more and more an ‘okay’ topic for the conversation that is theatre. However, the fact that the play it’s based on was written in 1891 shows how little we’ve actually come in over 100 years in the field of sex education and in discussing sex at all with our children.