Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Hayley Besheer’s MADI Apparel is more than just great underwear

Posted By on Wed, Apr 15, 2015 at 8:44 AM

Hayley Besheer, in her West Side shop - SABRINA STAIRES
  • Sabrina Staires
  • Hayley Besheer, in her West Side shop

For Hayley Besheer, underwear is about more than just feeling sexy. The 26-year-old creator of MADI Apparel knows that an unrivaled pair of underpants can boost a woman’s confidence as much as a great haircut or a signature lipstick shade.

“Making women feel great about themselves is one of the main things we support,” Besheer said when I met with her and her intern, Joe Mercado, at MADI’s new West Side storefront, which opened with a First Friday celebration this month. “The MADI movement as a whole is about positivity and body awareness.”

Besheer exudes just that kind of calm self-assurance. On MADI’s opening night, she wore a poppy-colored skirt and matching lipstick, making the tall brunette easy to spot from across the room as she greeted her guests inside her clean, minimalist shop. Several varieties of black underwear were displayed on the glazed-wood table at the center of the room. Each style bore the name of an influential woman in Besheer’s life, and each made the case that MADI is the anti–Victoria’s Secret — no-frills, no-bullshit underwear that feels as good as it looks.

I first discovered MADI when I stopped by artful Crossroads lingerie shop Birdies March 5 for the brand’s retail release. (It had begun selling online last August.) An adorable, burrito-size dog surveyed the scene from an antique chair in the corner, and Besheer’s mom, Pam Besheer, thanked me for coming before I’d purchased anything. That easy warmth defines the MADI shopping experience.

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Thursday, April 9, 2015

Back to the Future co-writer and producer Bob Gale brings the classic into the present

Posted By on Thu, Apr 9, 2015 at 1:14 PM


This year’s Kansas City FilmFest is going back in time with the man who made time travel in a DeLorean conceivable.

In honor of the 30th anniversary of Back to the Future, co-screenwriter and producer Bob Gale is presenting a new Digital Cinema Package 2K version of the film at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 18, at Cinemark Palace on the Plaza, as part of the Kansas City FilmFest (April 16-19).

“Having supervised the post-production as well, this DCP looks better than the movie ever looked in the theater,” Gale tells The Pitch. (After the film, Gale will take part in a Q&A with the audience.)

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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Talking with Gilbert Gottfried about juggalos and podcasts ahead of his shows at the KC Improv this weekend

Posted By on Wed, Mar 25, 2015 at 2:04 PM

Gottfried visits KC Friday through Sunday.
  • Gottfried visits KC Friday through Sunday.

There are, most would agree, quite enough comedian-hosted podcasts in the world today. So at first blush, it sounded a bit sad that veteran comic and actor Gilbert Gottfried was promoting one of his own — an old-timer hopping on a trend way, way too late.

But it turns out that “Gilbert Gottfried’s Amazing Colossal Podcast” is not a contrived attempt by an aging Hollywood comedian to reach a digital millennial audience. It’s instead an aging Hollywood comedian talking to other aging Hollywood types, many of them even older than Gottfried is. (He’s 60.) 

What that amounts to is Gottfried listening to war stories from comics, actors, writers, singers, show-runners and other Hollywood players dating back decades. Guests so far have included Henry Winkler, Weird Al Jankovic, Dick Cavett, Micky Dolenz and Adam West.

Gottfried appears at the KC Improv this weekend — two shows on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. (More info here.) We rang him up for a quick chat last week. (His voice is more relaxed offstage.) 

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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Going Clear and four other True/False 2015 musts

Posted By on Wed, Mar 4, 2015 at 11:57 AM

Get a look at The Look of Silence at True/False
  • Get a look at The Look of Silence at True/False

In 2008, shortly after receiving the Best Documentary Oscar for Taxi to the Dark Side, director Alex Gibney told the crowd at the True/False Film Festival in Columbia, Missouri: "This is my first stop after that event in Hollywood. I looked at that as a warm-up to True/False."

For people who want to see some of the most essential, enlightening and entertaining movies out there, True/False has indeed become a major event, one that's just two hours from Kansas City. Co-conspirators David Wilson and Paul Sturtz, marshaling an army of volunteers and professionals, have consistently been ahead of everybody else when it comes to spotting movies destined for big conversations and major awards. In years past, they've offered first looks at Man on Wire, The Act of Killing and Searching for Sugar Man

This year's crop includes yet another must-see lineup. If you can get into these five, do it.

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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Streetside: Everyone has an agenda for the Nelson-Atkins’ ambitious improvement agenda

Posted By on Wed, Feb 18, 2015 at 10:30 AM

A Weiss/Manfredi architect patiently absorbs a cascade of neighborly opinions.
  • A Weiss/Manfredi architect patiently absorbs a cascade of neighborly opinions.

Talk about urban planning long enough — as about 75 citizens did recently as part of a community meeting organized by the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (held at the Bancroft School, at 4300 Tracy) — and you begin to see certain civic blights and unexamined potential hiding in plain sight.

Why, for instance, is the intersection of Main Street and Emanuel Cleaver II Boulevard so congested and so pedestrian-unfriendly, and how could it be improved? What could be done to better connect the Nelson to the equally iconic Country Club Plaza? How could Troost — just as close to the Nelson as the museum is to the Plaza — become part of a reimagined district? Why is there no development along Brush Creek? Why is the museum buying nearby historic houses, and does that chip away at the fabric of the Rockhill and Southmoreland neighborhoods? Can Volker Park, nestled in a prime location but underutilized outside the handful of events held there each year, become more vibrant and appealing?

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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

KCMO’s ‘The Art of Data’ seeks artists to visually illustrate city data

Posted By on Tue, Feb 17, 2015 at 7:25 PM

Make the city some data-driven art, get paid.
  • Make the city some data-driven art, get paid.
Click in this spot right here, and you will find yourself perusing a variety of charts and maps illustrating data compiled by the city of Kansas City, Missouri — homicide rates, citizen satisfaction surveys, estimated economic impact of the streetcar, life expectancy by zip code and other generally dry pieces of civic information.

The idea behind “The Art of Data,” an upcoming exhibition conceived by the city, is to turn those data points into works of art.

It’s part of a joint effort between the city’s new Office of Culture and Creative Services (directed by recently appointed Megan Crigger) and the Office of Performance Management. The OPM was created in 2010 and is headed up by Julie Steenson and Kate Bender, who obtain and analyze the above-mentioned reams of city data, and then present coherent findings geared toward improving city efficiency.

“In going to conferences and meetings across the country, we’ve observed that data visualization has become a real kind of art form,” Steenson says. “You talk to people in larger cities, and you find that it’s an increasingly effective way to engage with the community. We were getting ready to celebrate our [the OPM’s] five-year anniversary and thought, 'What if we tried turning some of our city information into art?'”

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Thursday, February 12, 2015

Here's the 2015 True/False Film Fest lineup

Posted By on Thu, Feb 12, 2015 at 10:35 AM

Western, a portrait of two border towns, is slated to screen at T/F.
  • Western, a portrait of two border towns, is slated to screen at T/F.
The True/False Film Fest, Columbia, Missouri's annual documentary film festival, celebrates its 12th year next month, from Thursday, March 5, through Sunday, March 8. 

Yesterday, the festival revealed the 2015 lineup. Here are some films that we thought looked promising:

Best of Enemies, a look at the relationship between public intellectuals William F. Buckley and Gore Vidal in the 1960s. 

Field Niggas, a study of life at 125th Street and Lexington, in Harlem, New York. 

Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, which assembles drawings, demos and journals from the Nirvana frontman. 

Going Clear, a probe into the world of Scientology, from director Alex Gibney (Client 9, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room). 

Tales of the Grim Sleeper, about a True Detective-like search for a south-central Los Angeles serial killer. 

The Case of Pekosinski, in which a Polish chess master stars in a biopic of his life. 

Cartel Land, an examination of the drug wars in Mexico and the United States. 

Honestly, they all look pretty great. Full list below:

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Monday, February 9, 2015

Fifty Shades of Grey parody opens Tuesday at Starlight Theatre

Posted By on Mon, Feb 9, 2015 at 1:56 PM

So steamy.
  • So steamy.

The film version of Fifty Shades of Grey, a bondage-themed erotic novel that has sold approximately 900 trillion copies and which Sir Salman Rushdie says is so poorly written that it makes Twilight look like War and Peace, hits theaters this weekend. Just in time for Valentine's Day — oh, the humanity!

This Important Cultural Milestone is being accompanied by a cascade of related diversions: thinkpieces, academic studies and, as of tomorrow evening, satire, when 50 Shades! The Musical Parody opens at Starlight Theatre. 

Starlight is enclosing its outdoor stage for the run of the show, something it has never done for a public performance.

What is this thing? It is, according to Starlight, "a hilariously naughty satire that explores the steamy relationship between Christian Grey and Anastasia Steel, as seen through the eyes of a trio of girlfriends at a book club meeting. As the women devour the novel, the characters' affair comes to life before their eyes. Who needs staid book club fare when a book like this can be so…stimulating?! The laugh-out-loud musical features a sassy original score, with such songs as 'Open Your Book,' 'I Don’t Make Love' and 'There Is a Hole Inside of Me.'" (They mean hole like "orifice.")

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Thursday, February 5, 2015

Nelson-Atkins to hold community meetings about its proposed cultural district this weekend

Posted By on Thu, Feb 5, 2015 at 3:20 PM

Bold plans to be discussed this evening, Saturday morning.
  • Bold plans to be discussed this evening, Saturday morning.

Last year, the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art revealed the results of an ambitious master plan it had commissioned that would expand the museum's presence in the neighborhood. It amounts to a new cultural district that would stretch from 39th Street to 55th Street, from Main Street to Paseo Boulevard. It would tie together the Nelson, UMKC, the Plaza, the Kemper Museum, Rockhurst University and the Kansas City Art Institute, among other institutions, via new pedestrian bridges, green spaces, redirected traffic and new construction.

Potentially exciting stuff! But also: Who will pay for this? Who will build it? What existing groups, businesses and organizations will be negatively disrupted by such an expansion? What should a project like this look like? Etc. Lots of unanswered questions at this point. 

Which is why the museum is hosting what it's calling a "charrette" over the course of the next three days. A charrette is a fancy foreign word for "an intense period of design and planning activity," according to the Nelson. In other words, you can go listen to people talk about this plan, and also offer your thoughts on it. Everybody is invited, and all opinions are welcome. 

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Comedian John Mulaney is coming to the Midland this spring

Posted By on Wed, Jan 21, 2015 at 4:08 PM


If you're looking to kill an hour with some stand-up comedy on Netflix, may we recommend John Mulaney's 2012 special New In Town? Mulaney is a co-creator of Bill Hader's terrifyingly decadent Stefon character on Saturday Night Live, but Mulaney's stand-up is more quotidian and observational, like a modern, Midwestern version of Jerry Seinfeld. 

We haven't yet seen Mulaney, his new TV show on FOX, but even though it's getting mixed reviews, we'll be giving it a strong benefit of the doubt based on New in Town

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