Editor’s Weekend Calendar Picks, August 9 – 12

Time once again for weekend calendar picks from KC Studio editor Alice Thorson! This week, productions of two classic plays premiere and run through August: Kansas City Actors Theatre‘s take on Noel Coward’s “Blithe Spirit” and Musical Theater Heritage’s “The Producers.”  This evening, the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art hosts a town hall discussion on the subjection of migration. Saturday night, the Jazz Disciples perform at the Blue Room. And on Sunday afternoon, enjoy a free summer concert at Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral. For more events this weekend, visit Kansas City’s most comprehensive arts calendar at kcstudio.org/events.

Blithe Spirit

August 8, 2018 – August 26, 2018 | $28 – $47
H & R Block-City Stage

When successful novelist Charles Condomine hires a psychic as research for his new book, he ends up encountering the unexpected – the ghost of his first wife! Now he must balance his new (and very much alive!) wife with an increasingly incensed ghost in this witty comedy of manners from Noel Coward. Widely considered a theatrical masterpiece, and certainly Coward’s most spooky story, this smart and supernatural comedy is filled with rich characters, as well as a few spirited and theatrical surprises. Directed by Doug Weaver and featuring Jan Rogge, Cinnamon Schultz, Vanessa Severo, Coleman Crenshaw, Matt Rapport, Margaret Shelby, and Cheryl Weaver.


August 9, 2018 – August 26, 2018
Musical Theater Heritage

The cast is led by Ryan Hruza and Eric Morris in the roles of Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom, respectively. Additionally, Brooke Lacy joins the production in the iconic role of Ulla. The fourteen person ensemble includes Taylor Avazpour, Martin Buchanan, Al Burnes, Aime Lederman, Rebecca Munoz, Tim Noland, Mike Ott, Erica Punch, Stefanie Stevens, Andrea Strickler, and Francisco Javier “Pancho” Villegas.

The production is directed and choreographed by Broadway veteran DJ Salisbury with Music Direction by MTH Resident Music Director Jeremy Watson. The production features a scenic design by Tijana Bjelajac, lighting design by Shane Rowse, sound design by John Hileman, and costume design by Nancy Robinson.

“We’re so excited to collaborate with DJ on THE PRODUCERS. His ideas about bringing a traditionally big musical into our seven row theater are so fresh and innovative that I can’t wait to see how audiences react,” said MTH Executive Director Chad Gerlt.

Mel Brooks’ hit 1967 film as big Broadway musical once again sets the standard for modern, outrageous, in-your-face humor. It is the most decorated musical comedy in history, winning a record twelve Tony Awards

With a truly hysterical book co-written by Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan (Annie) and music and lyrics by Mr. Brooks, The Producers skewers Broadway traditions and takes no prisoners as it proudly proclaims itself an “equal opportunity offender!”

For Freedoms Town Hall: Migration

August 9, 2018 @ 5:00 pm | Free
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art

In partnership with For Freedoms, an artist-run Super PAC founded by Hank Willis Thomas and Eric Gottesman, Kemper Museum hosts a town hall discussion, moderated by Attorney Jessica Piedra, as a safe platform for topical conversations that seek to encourage a more active, collaborative, inclusive, and empathetic community.

Inspired by Franklin D. Roosevelt’s historic “Four Freedoms” speech outlining four essential human rights, this program explores freedom from fear through the subject of migration. Panelists were born outside of the United States and now live in the Kansas City metro area. Using a method called Question Bridge, the panelists—and anyone in the audience who self-identifies as an immigrant—will ask and respond to each other’s questions. The discussion will address both personal experiences transcending boundaries and finding community, and broader perspectives on how the movement of people influences society and culture over time. Audience members who do not self-identify as immigrants will be privileged listeners to this dialogue.

Jazz Disciples

August 11, 2018 @ 8:30 pm | $10
American Jazz Museum – The Blue Room

Saxophonist Gerald Dunn has been featured in bands with Illinois Jacquet and Bobby Watson. He plays an inventive, contemporary sound and knows how to capture an audience’s attention. Pianist Everett Freeman has toured with Oleta Adams, performing with a deliciously intricate yet fluid grace. There are few Kansas City jazz musicians whom drummer Michael Warren hasn’t backed. The Jazz Disciples give him unique opportunities to stretch. Bassist DeAndre Manning provides a solid footing.

Summer Music at the Cathedrals

August 12, 2018 @ 2:00 pm | Free
Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral

This August, we continue the tradition of sharing a series of Sunday afternoon concerts at 2 p.m. with our neighbors at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.

Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral presents Ohimé: a concert of secular works by Claudio Monteverdi. Singers Lindsey Lang, Suzanne Anderson, Jay Carter, Joseph DeSota and Joshua Lawlor will provide a seventeenth century window on the tribulations of love through 5part madrigals and works for smaller forces. This is a free event.

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