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Comment Archives: stories: Arts: Stage

Re: “The effects of Kansas City Actors Theatre on Paul Zindel's Marigolds

Excellent review! I saw this play last night and it affected me deeply. Here are comments I sent to some friends which echo the insights expressed in this review:

The thing about this play is that it is horribly depressing yet fascinating. The single mother of two daughters considers herself a crazy failure (true!) and is very abusive to them, going so far as to forbid her daughter whose refuge is school & science from going to school on some days and deliberately killing their pet rabbit. There is a lot of yelling. Yet it it is so impressive (won a Pulitzer prize) simply because it is so true to this underside of regular life. While watching it I thought what am I doing listening to this crazy nonsense yet I woke up this morning very rejuvenated by the uncensored jolt of reality.

Plus the acting was so good and the actors LOOKED so much their parts, the mother slouching around sloppily with her half-colored hair scraggly in old house dresses and bathrobes. The science-minded daughter was plain and retreating and the sister a loud-mouthed shrew. What a bunch of characters. Yet the science daughter's belief in a better future through science blew through all the crap. (The name of the play has to do with a science experiment in which she is growing irradiated marigold seeds and studying the mutations - she wins first prize which sets up a big conflict for the mother's persona. The mother ends up not going to the competition but staying home and killing the rabbit as a way of punishing everyone for her failures..).

An amazing example of the ways the director downplays the family's disfunction and present it in the light of this family's "normal" is the lack of reaction, in the end, on the part of the daughters to the rabbit's death. As if the mother is simply a fact that is there and cannot be changed.

No wonder this play is just about sold out, as I found out when I looked into going to see it again and bringing another friend into its atomic pattern.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Jeanne Bojarski on 08/29/2014 at 6:03 PM

Re: “Stage Q&A: Vi Tran talks about his upbringing and how he raised his own Son

This Q&A isn't meant to be a review of Vi Tran's new, in-progress work. Rather, it's a vehicle for learning more about the man behind the persona, as well as about his process. Actors put themselves out there emotionally, which, to me, seems difficult enough. When performers — male or female — add physical exposure onstage, I'm curious to know the process, thinking or feeling that went into that choice. In a conversation about process, I'd have been remiss not to ask Tran about his choices in such a circumstance.

Posted by Deborah on 08/13/2014 at 6:19 PM

Re: “Stage Q&A: Vi Tran talks about his upbringing and how he raised his own Son

Mr. Tran is trying to tell the story of his current show and families stuggles and the Pitch wants to talk about that time he got his dong out on stage last year. Stay classy.

For what it's worth I've seen this production (The Butcher's Son) and it is a powerful and moving. What it lacks in costume and choreography it more than makes up with music, heart, and SUBSTANCE.

1 like, 2 dislikes
Posted by Geronymous on 08/13/2014 at 3:53 PM

Re: “Spinning Tree romances Sondheim with A Little Night Music

Hi, "???," thanks for your comment. No argument here on Night Music's fine design team--no one should be "blamed" for equipment malfunction, but it's certainly something I think a sound designer would want to be aware of and address for future audiences if there's an issue. As I said, this is something I've noticed at other Off Center productions this season, which makes me wonder if this might be an ongoing issue (short, etc.) with a pesky piece of equipment.

I do actually have a background (and degree) in technical theatre, and I'm keenly aware that wigs and costumes can create minor flubs and rustling. That wasn't the culprit at Sunday's performance.

Best of luck with the rest of the run--you should feel proud to be involved with such a quality production.

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Liz on 05/14/2014 at 6:46 PM

Re: “Spinning Tree romances Sondheim with A Little Night Music

I would just like to point out that one should endeavor to have some background in technical theatre before they put the blame on the sound designer. A Little Night Music had an excellent sound designer and engineer mixing the actors and the band throughout. However, there are factors that cannot be controlled. An actor's wig could get in the way of the mic, causing the sound you heard or the mic could get bumped. Any number of things could contribute to what you heard and I think it's unfair for you to automatically find fault with the sound designer. Next time, get some perspective on the elements you're critiquing before you start pointing fingers. Thank you.

Posted by ??? on 05/14/2014 at 3:49 PM

Re: “Before heading to NYC, Jonathan Jensen answers our Stage Questionnaire

Jessica's a great talent, and I'll miss seeing her on the KC stage. Best of luck to both!

Posted by Liz on 04/28/2014 at 11:15 AM

Re: “Heartland Men's Chorus executive director Rick Fisher answers our Stage Questionnaire

As Rick stated, this chorus is really so much more than just a chorus. Many have joined the chorus looking for an entrance into the gay community and have found it to be their primary source for friendships and relationships. There are also several straight who sing with the chorus because they identify as allies or enjoy the range and variety of the programming and appreciate the high performance standards. The combination of those standards and the repertoire make it unique.

7 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by dajawood on 03/26/2014 at 11:04 AM

Re: “The Unicorn's Grounded doesn't quite have it all

I saw this show at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and thought it was fantastic. Although I missed taking in the production here in KC I have enjoyed reading the reviews about the show. The point in your review that you refer to as a "perhaps unintended message" is interesting and a theme I did not pick up on. It's possible it's due to my male point of view. However, I think we all understand that men and women are not equal to one degree or another, no matter how much we stress that point. Our bodies are different and have some different functions, at least as far as genetic birth is concerned. Man does not equal woman and woman does not equal man.

Perhaps the most interesting perspective on that theme is that Brant derived his female character and point of view from authentic interviews with women in the military - women who have experienced childbirth while serving in the armed forces. To that end, I give him the benefit of the doubt that there is realistic truth in the extreme emotional tendencies and actions or Pilot's character during the climax of the production. And knowing that I have a strong emotional connection to my own son and that many men have experienced post-traumatic stress from careers in military service and I had no trouble connecting to Pilot's character during her story, or understanding her duress in her assumed connection to her target and the target's family in the climax of the play.

Thank you for sharing your thoughtful and generous review.

- Jordan Fox

Posted by Jordan on 02/14/2014 at 5:15 PM

Re: “Bill Burr on doing theaters, berating Philadelphians, and topping his last hour

I agree with the original commenter. What I watched from Burr on YouTube was nothing that anyone should EVER be proud of. First point, we admire comedians for their comic genius. The type of insults that Burr hurled at Philly were nothing more than things I came up with in 7th grade (and I "improvised" these insults one after another). He insulted the NFL team for Philly- big whoop. He said "Suck a d***" over and over- wow, pure comic genius there... How can I buy my tickets now for the show a year from today? Secondly, Burr's actions should have started a riot. Near the end of his "genius" rant, he started saying he would like to get a gun and start shooting people. This man has no place on that stage at that point and should be barred from returning. People should have been storming the stage... but, unfortunately, Americans have become soft and pliable. We all know very well that if we, as average citizens, said those things, we would be locked up and interrogated. Third, it's a shame to see anyone look up to Burr for these actions. That rant was foul! Bill won me over before on skits about feminism and women, but this undid it all. I won't be paying any attention to this clown anymore.

0 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Tyler Smith on 11/20/2013 at 11:37 PM

Re: “The Rainmaker weathers well at MET

We're very happy to hear of MET's production and we invite cast and crew to post on the Facebook page of the play's author, N. Richard Nash. http://www.facebook.com/nrichardnash We're especially interested in the cast's stories about what happened behind the scenes and personal reminiscences. Enjoy the production, one and all!

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Jennifer Nash Flower on 10/02/2013 at 12:34 PM

Re: “Venus in Fur brings the whip down at the Unicorn, and it feels good

My wife definitely sauntered. Great Play.

Posted by Earney on 09/16/2013 at 6:06 AM

Re: “Venus in Fur brings the whip down at the Unicorn, and it feels good

Two great actors in a very provocative play. Beautifully directed too.

Posted by Charles on 09/11/2013 at 2:37 PM

Re: “Bill Burr on doing theaters, berating Philadelphians, and topping his last hour

I was there that night in Philly. I did like Bill Burr going to the show. If someone would have told me before the show that Rich Vos would kill it, and Burr would get his ass handed to him. I would have never believed them. The boo's were all Burr's FAULT. He knew the crowd he was going up in front of, but yet he comes out with a bunch of lame stuff, "how about that name Hitler" & "Cheeseburger" jokes. F@*king pathetic. The material may be good for 50year old couples & bachelorette parties, but not for O&A crowds. Opie got it all WRONG, Burr didn't turn the crowd. The where giving him a standing ovation because he was DONE. He sucked that night, and Burr knows it! You can tell that night affected him badly. The O&A gang love to talk about that night, and how Burr handled the Philly crowd. But this is completely false. Truth is Burr was destroyed in front of 10,000 people. Burr know this and hates to talk about that night in Philly. Because he was destroyed in front of the biggest crowd he had ever performed in front of. So, Opie stop spinning it, Burr got his ass kicked in Philly because he sucks, not because we were drunk

4 likes, 11 dislikes
Posted by hblackb on 08/14/2013 at 12:03 AM

Re: “Start your Fringe Festival with these shows

So excited about the lineup this year! Go Fringe!

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Cnaughtin on 07/18/2013 at 7:19 AM

Re: “Is Bill Maher a "Christ-hating, half-Jew, half-pedophile, rape-enabling Catholic"? We report!

Bill Maher is a National Treasure.

May God bless him.

0 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Jerry Howe on 07/11/2013 at 9:06 AM

Re: “The Death of Cupid doesn't dilute Lysistrata

Thank you for calling out the stage manager! Well done, Alex.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by John Rensenhouse on 07/03/2013 at 11:10 PM

Re: “Bill Burr on doing theaters, berating Philadelphians, and topping his last hour

"It's like you're visiting an island, and they're giving you messages to tell the rest of the world." Lol'd.

2 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Santiago Belandres on 04/24/2013 at 5:16 PM

Re: “Bill Burr on doing theaters, berating Philadelphians, and topping his last hour

Bill Burr is the fucking man.

10 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by bobo on 04/24/2013 at 1:37 PM

Re: “Bill Burr on doing theaters, berating Philadelphians, and topping his last hour

https://www.facebook.com/groups/366907440080568/

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by smokingplatypus on 04/24/2013 at 1:51 AM
Posted by sharla bubbber on 04/15/2013 at 11:51 PM

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