Arts News

Friday, 10-11 a.m.

Every Friday morning, Randy Stewart talks with artists, performers, directors and administrators from the area visual and performing arts scene, and presents a comprehensive calendar of arts events.

(Poster design courtesy MSU Tent Theatre)

After cancelling their entire live-performance season last summer due to COVID-19, Missouri State University Tent Theatre returns to action for their 59th season starting June 16—albeit indoors in Craig Hall Theatre, as the patio behind Craig Hall, where the tent has been erected all those years, is undergoing construction for the new John Goodman Amphitheater. Mark Templeton, Managing Director of Tent, visited KSMU’s “Arts News” to talk about the current season.                                                                       

(Poster design courtesy Springfield Little Theatre)

For the first time in—well, neither of us is sure how long it’s been, but almost certainly before the pandemic shutdown!—Lorianne Dunn, Education Director at Springfield Little Theatre, came to the KSMU studio to talk about the mainstage show closing SLT’s 2020-21 season, “Matilda The Musical”, opening tonight at the Landers Theatre, 311 E. Walnut, and running for the next three weekends.       

(Poster design courtesy Springfield Regional Opera)

Springfield Regional Opera will provide a rare opportunity next Friday, June 4th, at the Gillioz Theatre, with their one-night-only Missouri premiere performance of “The Real Ambassadors,” the jazz musical written early in the civil-rights era by jazz legend Dave Brubeck and his wife Iola, with the collaboration of another iconic jazz figure, Louis Armstrong.  Playing the Armstrong-inspired character “Pops” in SRO’s performance will be bass-baritone Dr. Todd Payne of the Missouri State University music faculty.

(Logo courtesy Springfield Little Theatre)

Chyrel Miller joined us on “Arts News” to talk about Springfield Little Theatre’s new production of an old favorite, the comedy-musical-cabaret show “Nunsense,” which she has directed.  Performances are scheduled May 6-23 live and in-person at the Landers Theatre, 311 E. Walnut, and available each night as an online stream. The show features book, music, and lyrics by Dan Goggin.                                       

(Logo courtesy Drury University)

The Drury University Theatre and Dance Department will present the final production of their 2020-21 season, the annual “Broadway Cabaret,” Wednesday April 28 through Sunday May 1st at 7:30pm each evening in Wilhoit Theatre on the Drury campus.  Director Josh Inmon stopped by KSMU’s “Arts News” to discuss the production.                                                   

(Poster design courtesy Missouri State University Theatre & Dance)

Lisa Brescia, Assistant professor in the Theatre and Dance Department at Missouri State University, joined us on “Arts News” to talk about the video-recorded musical she has directed for the department, “Working—A Musical.” It will be available online now through Monday April 26 at 7:30pm each evening.       

(Poster design courtesy ArtsFest on Historic Walnut Street)

Springfield Regional Arts Council had to cancel what would have been the 40th anniversary ArtsFest on Historic Walnut Street last year, due to the COVID-19 stay-at-home order.  So the 40th ArtsFest will take place this year, Saturday and Sunday May 1st and 2nd, in the Walnut Street Historic District, presented by Great Southern Bank.  Arts Council Executive Director Leslie Forrester joined us on “Arts News” to talk about it.                                                                                              

(Poster design courtesy Messiah Project, Inc.)

Local Christian performing arts organization The Messiah Project will finally present a couple of live performances this weekend, after what Executive Director Lindsey Robison called “a dry year” because of the pandemic.  The show is called “The Joy of the Lord is Your Strength,” with two 50-minute performances on Saturday, April 17, at 5:15 and 6:45pm, at All Saints Anglican Church, 2751 E. Galloway. The concert will feature music ranging from Vivaldi to Enya, with conductor Nathan Cornelius leading the Messiah Project chorus and chamber orchestra, with concertmaster Dr.

(Logo courtesy Drury University)

An innovative play exploring communication, and dealing with tragedy, is coming up next week from Drury University Theatre. It’s “God’s Ear” by Jenny Schwartz.  Drury Visiting Assistant Professor of Theatre, Haddy Kreie, joined us on “Arts News” to discuss the play.                                                                     

(Poster courtesy Springfield Ballet)

Springfield Ballet is preparing their revival of their “Cinderella” production from 2014, for performances live at the Landers Theatre, 311 E. Walnut, next Friday through Sunday April 16-18, as well as streaming online. We talked with Springfield Ballet Executive Director Ashley Walton and Springfield Ballet School principal, Maria Hall.                                     

“We are really excited to be able to provide this production,” said Walton. “We did it back in 2014, and are just honored to be able to bring it back this year.  

(Poster courtesy Missouri State University Brick City Gallery)

Maria Gerasimchuk-Djordjevic, Assistant Professor of Design in the Missouri State University Art and Design Department, visited us on “Arts News” to talk about a new poster exhibit that boasts both wide ranging subject matter and wide ranging origins. It's called “The World After Chernobyl and COVID,” and it opens next week at the MSU Brick City Gallery, 215 W. Mill Street in downtown Springfield.                                                                                                                                 

Photo: Drury University

Drury University Theatre’s third production of the 2020-21 season will open next Wednesday March 10: Shakespeare’s The Tempest, to be performed in Wilhoit Theatre on the Drury campus. Dr. Mick Sokol, Drury Professor of Theatre, directs this production, and joined us on “Arts News” to talk about the spooky, supernatural, and just plain fun elements in the play.   

(Poster design courtesy Springfield Little Theatre)

Josh Inman from Springfield Little Theatre joined us live in the studio on “Arts News” this morning to talk about SLT’s new production which opened last night, and is scheduled for a a two-week run at the Landers Theatre, 311 E. Walnut: the off-Broadway hit “Shout! The Mod Musical.”                                                                

“Yeah, we opened last night to a great crowd,” said Inmon, who directs the production. “By the end, they were dancing in their seats, and everybody was having fun singing along”—while staying socially distanced, of course!

(Poster design courtesy Springfield Contemporary Theatre)

Next week Springfield Contemporary Theatre will present the online premiere of the musical revue, “Fugitive Songs.”  The show’s director, Rick Dines, visited us on “Arts News” to talk about the production. It presents numerous separate characters who, Dines said, have one thing in common: they all have to “make a decision if they’re going to break away from the path they’re on, and head in another direction—or not.                                                                                           

(Poster design courtesy Springfield Regional Opera)

Springfield Regional Opera, the Gillioz Theatre, and Jeff Houghton, host of the local TV talk/variety show “The Mystery Hour,” will collaborate on a sort of old-fashioned radio show onstage at the Gillioz, focused on the art form of opera. They’re calling it simply “The Opera Hour,” and it will be performed live at the Gillioz Friday February 12th at 7:30pm, and with an online streaming version available a few days later—and, we’re planning on offering it in radio form here on KSMU at a later date.  I talked with SRO’s Music Director Dr.