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OffStage is a compilation of all the performing arts news for the Kansas City region, including Topeka, Lawrence, and Columbia. For our calendar of show and audition listings, magazine archives, and a whole lot more visit www.kcstage.com
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Medea - KC Fringe Festival review by fluffysingler | KC Stage Reviews

I had forgotten how talky these ancient tragedies can be, seeing as how they don't show violence onstage. However, given that limitation and the constraints of having a small cast and a small stage, this production of Medea (not the Tyler Perry character) was well done. The actress playing Medea was particularly strong and carried the play well. I liked that they kept most of the players onstage most of the time and that the major characters doubled as members of the chorus as well. A few of the actors could use a little time to grow into their individual roles, but this is definitely a performance worth seeing. Take some time out of the Fringe to (re)introduce yourself to some good classical theatre.

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'Stairway to Kevin' features Fringe veteran Kevin Thornton's 1-man standup show | examiner.com

'Stairway to Kevin'  features Fringe veteran Kevin Thornton's 1-man standup show | examiner.com | OffStage | Scoop.it

For a fun stand-up event the Kansas City Fringe Festival, check out Stairway to Kevin, a 40-year old musical comedian who fleshes out his past with stories of individual successes and failures in an hour-long new routine presented at the Jerome Stage in The Unicorn Theatre.

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KC Fringe Festival opens with hilarity, quirkiness and variable results | KansasCity.com

KC Fringe Festival opens with hilarity, quirkiness and variable results | KansasCity.com | OffStage | Scoop.it
In its opening weekend, the 2013 editiion of the KC Fringe Festival, the annual summer arts festival, offered performances that were deverse and variable in quality. Here’s a sampling of what The Star's theater critic, Robert Trussell, saw.
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Wiccans in the 'Hood - KC Fringe Festival review by kellyluck | KC Stage Reviews

The Melting Pot, as a company, is a relatively new one. Still, it has managed to establish itself with a small coterie of very talented people. With this year's Fringe, they are presenting a new work, "Wiccans in the Hood", an interesting meditation on culture, class, religion, and consequences. more...

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Twisted Beats and Circus Feats - KC Fringe Festival review by vanfanivan | KC Stage Reviews

DISCLAIMER: My name is ? and I am afraid of clowns.

You read that correctly, I am one of the few people in the world that is terrified of clowns. So why did I choose this show? Because I believe we should broaden our horizons and that is what fringe is all about. more....

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Swoonie's Dream - KC Fringe Festival review by kellyluck | KC Stage Reviews

Dream logic is a curious thing. It is unbound by the logic and even physical rules of our universe. Somehow in our dreams concepts float and dance that we simply cannot conceive of in the waking world--at least, not in any legal state of mind. We stumble and grope in our waking-world reality to describe things that seemed so clear in the night, then sigh and make do with pseudo-surrealism and free association. In our dreams, we are all mad geniuses, but it does not translate well. more...

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The Submarine Show - KC Fringe Festival review by kellyluck | KC Stage Reviews

Now, take the word clown. Probably certain images pop up in your mind: top hats, red noses, grotesquely painted faces, balloon animals. Unnerving grownups looming over you, insisting that you call them "Uncle Bumpo". Add in awkward stifling birthday parties in some kid's backyard, inexplicable behavior a three-year-old cannot begin to understand, add a dash of John Wayne Gacy and you've got a recipe for developing a healthy dislike of clowns that will last the rest of your life.

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Sexy Me Street - KC Fringe Festival review by surlywench | KC Stage Reviews

It seemed like a good combination - well, at least a funny combination, but it didn't quite come together as perfectly as it might have. Part of the problem was not the performer's fault - the venue is not a great one, with the seating the way it is. Unless you're in the front two rows, or standing in the back, it's really hard to see more than half the show. And with dancing, that's... well, that's rather important. But I did not take off points for the venue, it's unfortunate but not their fault.

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Right Between the Ears - KC Fringe Festival review by SceneAlot | KC Stage Reviews

Done as a radio show on the stage, scripts in hand, six talented and versatile voice actors ran through a variety of sketches, some funny, some just plain odd, and some real duds. Stellar sound effects! If the show could consist of all this group's best sketches, it would sparkle and shine, but because it's a weekly-aired show, the quality of sketch writing fluctuates. On Saturday night, the material was only a solid B minus.

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Outta Beer and Outta Space - KC Fringe Festival review by kellyluck | KC Stage Reviews

Usually when the writer comes out before a play to explain himself, that's not what you would call a good thing. But in the case of But with Forrest Attaway and his "Outta Beer and Outta Space: A Redneck Galactic Adventure", it's only par for the course. more...

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Long Live the King - KC Fringe Festival review by luvfringefests | KC Stage Reviews

In short, treat yourself to some of the best of what international fringing offers our world.

Unfortunately, on its opening night of Sat the 20th, of the 10 rows of seating at the KC MET, the audience was at 50% capacity for Long Live the King. I’m guessing that since it's one of the couple of shows at this year’s Fringe that's $15, maybe price or its early 6 pm showing may have had a little to do with it. Certainly, it had nothing to do with the caliber of this interesting performance. more...

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IFC at the Fringe - KC Fringe Festival review by luvfringefests | KC Stage Reviews

If you only make time for feature films, you will never know what you are missing from artists that make short films (2-15 minutes). Feature films always have multiple options to be seen (dvd, second run, streaming…), but it’s easier to catch film shorts at fests (and sometimes the only option - because of logistics of arranging distribution for smaller productions). more...

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Extended 4Play - KC Fringe Festival review by ChaimEliyahu | KC Stage Reviews

The Fringe gives us all a great chance to see playwrights’ new work on stage — including the playwrights themselves. In just under an hour, we get four interesting — and interestingly related — scripts from four Kansas City writers, amusingly performed by seven local actors, well-directed by Philip “Bue Owl” Hooser and presented under the collective title, “EXTENDED 4PLAY: You Know You Want it.” more...

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Dangerous Liaisons opens at the Barn Players | examiner.com

Dangerous Liaisons opens at the Barn Players | examiner.com | OffStage | Scoop.it

Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Dangerous Liaisons), written by Christopher Hampton from the novel by Choderlos de Laclos, opened Friday July 19 at the Barn Players in Mission, Kan. The production is entertaining but does not appear to be up to the standards expected of the Barn Players. Possibly the play was a little too ambitious for the theater to attempt.

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'Lucky Streak' brings new twist to Manilow music and examines social problem | examiner.com

'Lucky Streak' brings new twist to Manilow music and examines social problem | examiner.com | OffStage | Scoop.it

Barry Manilow’s music in a whole new key and tempo with a modern spin help tell the story of a small town, simple-minded young man who sings mostly country/western music in a small town in Arkansas until circumstances force him to take the leap of faith and re-start his life in New York City in Lucky Streak at the Main Stage of the Unicorn Theatre..

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Two one-act plays of ‘Bernice/Butterfly’ offer humor and surprising twists | KansasCity.com

Two one-act plays of ‘Bernice/Butterfly’ offer humor and surprising twists | KansasCity.com | OffStage | Scoop.it
Two of Kansas City’s best actors bring their skill sets to “Bernice/Butterfly,” an intriguing pair of related one-act plays offering contrasting views of a dying small Kansas town.
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Victoria Martin: Math Team Queen - KC Fringe Festival review by surlywench | KC Stage Reviews

It's a drama about high school. And math. That kind of sounds like a recipe for a really horrible play, but it is so not that. Even people who don't like math (or didn't like high school) can enjoy this play, though they may not be as geek-happy as I was with the recitations of the first 52 digits of pi.

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Tormenta Quixotica - KC Fringe Festival review by vanfanivan | KC Stage Reviews

Probably one of the five best shows at fringe this year.

A must see winner!

Two thumbs up, five popcorn bags, and six silks.

I would be truly surprised if this show doesn't win the best of Bolender this year at fringe. It was the first sold out show I've been to this year. And for good reason. I have to wonder how many hours upon hours this group must practice every week. It went by professionally with no problems, technical or otherwise.

 

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The Submarine Show - KC Fringe Festival review by SceneAlot | KC Stage Reviews

A quintessential fringe show! Slater and Jaron are expert mimes and acrobats--they take the audience on an exciting journey, full of pathos and frivolity and hilarious fun! It's a wild ride! And make no mistake, the audience is on it too! I had a smile on my face the entire time! Good stuff!

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The Submarine Show - KC Fringe Festival review by luvfringefests | KC Stage Reviews

It was hilarious, but rating options don’t allow a 4.5 (or 1-10). Only gave it less than a 5 because at times had very minor difficulty keeping up with their physical, non-verbal performance.

Their show is unusual and will take you places. Strange places. Plus, they will skillfully entertain you with expressions, funny sounds, physical comedy, and audience participation.

This is the sort of show that some people will remember and still be talking about years later.

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Sexy Me Street - KC Fringe Festival review by luvfringefests | KC Stage Reviews

Burlesque and Sesame St?

Points for their creativity. Elmo, Cookie Monster, Snuffulupugus, as you've never seen them. I can see why it was a capacity show two nights ago.

I agree with the prior reviewer. If not in first two rows, even third row will miss parts of the show. As the person in the second row moved to dodge the person in the first row, I moved to dodge the moving second row, and so on.  Maybe get risers for their performance (and for the magic show that's also at Phosphor and probably would also benefit from being a bit higher)?

Very neat that KC burlesque teams (especially given the history of KC's historic Folly Theater) have revived the art of burlesque.

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Right Between the Ears - KC Fringe Festival review by kellyluck | KC Stage Reviews

Radio shows are rapidly becoming a lost art. With the exception of a few standouts in public media and satellite radio, there is really nothing in the US to match the variety of radio entertainment offered to this day in various other parts of the world, most notably the BBC. Fortunately, we have one of the exceptions here in the person(s) of Right Between The Ears, a show broadcast weekly on Kansas public radio stations and Sirius XM. Saturday night, they performed a show live at the Unicorn theater to be broadcast Sunday before a very appreciative crowd. more...

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Lucky Streak: A Musical - KC Fringe Festival review by SceneAlot | KC Stage Reviews

I wanted to like this show; I was intrigued by the Manilow concept. The reality, though, was hugely disappointing. The characters were one-dimensional; the acting wooden, and many of the songs were screamed, not sung. The story was so mundane and predictable, it was mind-numbing. With a running time of an hour-and-a half, you just wanted it to be over! And so many distractions, what with one of the main characters slipping in and out to play guitar in the band, and 20 or more scene changes! This over-ambitious play/musical employed around 15 earnest actors, singers, dancers and musicians (and one adorable dog) who worked hard but simply couldn't overcome the material. This one did not make it through the rain; it was a wet mess!

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IFC at the Fringe - KC Fringe Festival review by kellyluck | KC Stage Reviews

Kansas City has a small but thriving independent film group in the Independent Filmmakers' Coalition. This group of writers, videographers, and other creatives have been part of the local creative arts scene for quite some time now, and with the advent of prosumer video equipment their numbers are always growing. This year, as usual, they have put together a compilation of their efforts for the Fringe, with all-new selections making their public debut.

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Hey Minnie the Moocher - KC Fringe Festival review by kellyluck | KC Stage Reviews

"WHITE ONLY" read the sign on the wall as I entered the upstairs room at the Uptown Arts Bar for the Friday night showing of "Hey, Minnie The Moocher," a combination revue and historical breakdown on the golden days of the Harlem Renaissance and the Cotton Club, the nexus of Prohibition-era New York City jazz. more...

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