Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Staycation alert! Best singers in town, coldest A/C, former 8 Tony award blockbuster BIG RIVER, at Crown Center's Musical Theater Heritage thru Sunday! Kids attend free. Plus free movie night on First Fri.

Do you and your date--or entire family--need a great night out, a "staycation"?  Something that gives you goosebumps?  And not just because their A/C is set at 67??  My playwright/Hollywood promoter friend Bill Doty is my guru for music and theatre and film.  When it's good, he sees performances multiple times.  We agree: "KC is remarkable for its talent for singers and actors.  Much better than Denver, rivaled in the Midwest only by Chicago."  

Note: Kids come free, if you sit in the more affordable side seats, which are great: I know from experience.  You are close to the action!   Get tix here.  Today.  Since you won't be seeing Hamilton till 2018, for $1200 a ticket, LOL.

Doty's latest pick?  He writes, "Go see BIG RIVER, at Crown Center's Musical Theater Heritage, on the 3rd floor of Crown Center Shops.  Their concert-style performance is THE best performed piece of  exciting, fast-paced theatre I’ve seen in years (or ever).  

BIG RIVER is an absolute killer – in which every single song is a show stopper.  

Concert-style performances allow the Director to choose fantastic voices – not having to worry about “selling” the tune, marching back and forth to use the entire stage, using props, painted sets and so forth.  

These performers, including Kip Niven, are absolute virtuoso’s – the likes of which we’d like to see on Broadway.  Incidentally, this show could be picked up and put on Broadway, as it stands, without changing a word.

BIG RIVER is a musical that I had seen once before by the national company, based on Mark Twain’s 1884 book “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.”   It's the first musical the late Roger Miller ever wrote and, he said at the time, the most difficult music he ever wrote.  Musical Theater Heritage Founder and Executive Producer George Harter said that the first production won 7 Tony Awards and then the revival garnered another 9 nominations and won another Tony for Excellence in Theatre.  So that's as many nominations as Hamilton got.

'Big River' is described as one of the few, if not the only American musical in the Eighties to rise above a failing Broadway, invaded by Andrew Lloyd Webber’s smash hits, the “Jesus Christ Superstar,” “Evita,” “Phantom...,” “Joseph/Technicolor Dreamcoat,” “CATS” phenomena and the venerable “Les Miserables” (Schonberg-Boubil).  {Doty should know.  He spent a dinner in London seated next to Andrew Lloyd Webber, and was offered house seats to CATS.}
I will be going again.  “Big River” will play through this Sunday, June 26 on Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun’s.  If you like theatre and haven’t seen this one – you haven’t seen what theatre can be... The Best!"
Tell 'em Tracy and Tony sent must call box office to get the free kid deal.
Plus, now Musical Theater Heritage has a FREE event on First Fridays, including July 1:
Since you'll already be in the Crossroads, hot and thirsty since the galleries are very chintzy with the wine any more, enjoy the free parking at Crown Center, find the 3rd floor of Crown Center SHOPS, buy a drink and sit down and watch free movies--the shorts.  Perfect for your attention span!  And remember to bring a scarf or wrap or jacket, because the A/C is incredible.  Did you see Snowpiercer, where Tilda Swinton put the man's arm out the hole in the ice train for 7 minutes???  Freezing cold like that!!....MTHKC even keeps blankies on a shelf, if you forget.

First Friday Film Festival - Kansas City
 - 2016 is the inaugural season of the FIRST FRIDAY FILM FESTIVAL. FREE TO THE PUBLIC, short film festival recurring every first Friday, after most of the galleries have closed. The doors to the venue and bar open at 8:30pm, the screening begins at 9:30 and runs until 11pm. Admission is always FREE. Seating is first come, first served.  You may reserve a free seat in  Ha, much better than fighting the downtown rowdies for a seat in a noisy bar.  

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