Arts News

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 Springfield Little Theatre)

Just because the Landers Theatre on Walnut is currently closed for renovations, no one at SLT is taking time off, according to Artistic Director Beth Domann and Marketing Director Megan Buchbinder, who visited KSMU’s “Arts News” to catch us up on what’s happening.

(Poster design courtesy Springfield Little Theatre)

Springfield Little Theatre will present Kander and Ebb's now-classic musical "Cabaret" starting next weekend... not at their usual venue, the Landers Theatre—it’s under renovation at this time—but at Nathan P. Murphy's, 218 S Campbell Avenue. Dates are January 17-February 3.  We were visited on “Arts News” by the show’s director and choreographer Chyrel Miller; Lysander Abadia, who plays the Master of Ceremonies; and the two actresses alternating in the role of Sally Bowles through the show’s three-week run, Ellen Spann and Sally Trtan.

(Poster design courtesy Springfield Contemporary Theatre)

Springfield Contemporary Theatre at SCT Center Stage in Wilhoit Plaza, corner of Pershing & Jefferson downtown, presents the annual "Missouri Solo Play Festival" January 4-20, with three great solo performers appearing in repertory.  This is the third year of the festival, says Dr. Robert Bradley, who's directing the second show in the festival, "Chesapeake."  You may remember four shows in the festival last year--but one of them was actually a solo dance performance by MSU's Ruth Barnes.  This year it's back to three plays, period.

(Photo by Stephanie Austin, courtesy of

The Springfield Chamber Chorus, comprised of approximately 40 professional-caliber singers who “come together once a week” for rehearsals, “to make the highest level of choral music we possibly can,” according to conductor Christopher Brammer. The group presents a cappella performances of both sacred and secular literature.  They'll perform two "Welcome All Wonders" Christmas concerts this winter season: Saturday, December 15th, 7 pm at St.

(Poster design courtesy Springfield Contemporary Theatre)

“The Full Monty” meets “The Birdcage” in the Springfield-area premiere—indeed, the statewide premiere—of the music-filled comedy about singing your own song, “The Legend of Georgia McBride.” It opens tonight (Nov.30) at SCT Center Stage in Wilhoit Plaza, corner of Robberson & Pershing downtown.  The cast features Christina Gardner, Mark Gideon, Lavelle Johnston, Roland Netzer and Jon Sidoli.  Mark Gideon and director Rick Dines joined us on KSMU’s “Arts News.”

(Poster design courtesy Springfield Little Theatre)

In the spirit of not shooting your eye out, kid, Springfield Little Theatre invites you to their production of “A Christmas Story—The Musical,” based on the 1983 holiday movie favorite, which was based in turn on the stories of author/humorist/broadcaster Jean Shepherd.  Dates are November 23-December 9 at the Landers Theatre, 311 E. Walnut.  On “Arts News” we visited with director Chuck Rogers; Ryan Mattix, who plays “The Old Man” (aka Mr. Parker, Ralphie’s dad), and Chalmer Harper—himself a broadcaster locally at “The Wind” 88.3—in the role of “narrator/Jean Shepherd.”

(poster design courtesy Moxie Cinema)

The quarterly series “The Essentials” at the Moxie Cinema, 305 S. Campbell, takes place throughout the year, showcasing the “essential” films everyone should see on the big screen, organized under themes such as directors, actors, genres, and eras or movements.  This quarter it’s “Classic Comedies”, featuring some of the most iconic comedy films of the 1930s, 40s and 50s.  Mike Stevens from the Moxie stopped by to talk about the series. 

(Poster design courtesy Waverly House Gifts and Gallery)

Waverly House Gifts and Gallery, 2031 S. Waverly, presents the juried art show, "Dreams," and the gallery’s annual benefit silent auction for local organization A Sporting Chance on Thursday, November 8 from 5 - 8 p.m.  Eunice Wallar joined us to talk about it on KSMU’s “Arts News.”

(Photo courtesy Drury University Theatre)

Drury University Theatre's second production of the 2018-19 season is the musical "Godspell," directed by Josh Inmon, performed in Sunderland Studio Theatre in Drury's O'Bannon Hall—the intimate “black box theater” designed by former Drury Theatre faculty member, the late Dr. Robin Schraft, according to Inmon.  Performances are Nov. 7-10 and the 13th through the 17th all at 7:30pm.  Josh Inman visited KSMU to discuss the “Godspell” production on “Arts News” along with two of the show’s 11 actors: Jordan Mouser and Mitch Johnson.

(Poster design courtesy Missouri State University Department of Theatre and Dance)

The Missouri State University Theatre and Dance Department presents a new musical, "Amélie," based on the 2001 motion picture, Oct. 25-29 in Craig Hall Coger Theater, directed by Robert Westenberg. (The Thursday Oct.25th performance is already sold out, however.)

(Poster design courtesy Springfield Contemporary Theatre)

Celebrate the 200th Anniversary of Mary Shelley's classic novel with the Springfield-area premiere of Nick Dear's "very dark, very serious, very intense" stage version of "Frankenstein", presented by Springfield Contemporary Theatre at SCT Center Stage, corner of Pershing Street and Robberson Avenue in the west end of the Wilhoit Plaza building.  Equity actor Nathan Shelton directs the production and plays Victor Frankenstein, with Heath Hillhouse as The Creature.

(Program design courtesy Southwest Missouri Art and Craft Guild)

The Southwest Missouri Art and Craft Guild presents Art in the Park, a fine art and contemporary craft show and sale, the second weekend in October each year. Celebrating its 24th year, this year’s show will be held Saturday and Sunday October 13 and 14 in Sequiota Park, 3500 S. Lone Pine, under the sponsorship of The Springfield-Greene County Park Board. Admission is free and open to the public. 

(Logo design courtesy Drury University)

Drury University Theatre's first production of the season, the surreal, absurdist "Edward Gant's Amazing Feats of Loneliness" by Anthony Neilson, will open Wednesday Oct. 10 at 7:30pm in Sunderland Studio Theatre in Drury's O'Bannon Hall.  The production will run through Oct.13 with evening performances Wed-Sat at 7:30pm, with an additional matinee performance Saturday the 13th at 2:00pm.

(Poster design courtesy Friends of the Garden)

Central Bank and Central Trust presents “Sounds of Autumn,” a FREE concert series at 2:00 p.m. on Sundays in October at the Peace through People Pavilion located within the Dogwood Garden in the Springfield Botanical Gardens, 2400 S. Scenic Avenue.  Lexi Saner, Associate Director of Friends of the Garden brought Friends of the Garden Executive Director Lisa Bakerink and concert series volunteer coordinator Ric Mayer to our studio to talk about the series.

(Poster design courtesy MSU Media, Journalism and Film)

Springfield film-lovers have a chance to unite with audiences around the world to choose their favorite short film at the 21st Annual Manhattan Short Film Festival, Saturday Sept.29 from 7:00 to 9:30pm in Plaster Student Union Theater. Between now and October 7, more than 100,000 people around the world will view and vote for the film they like best — making this the only global audience choice film festival in the world.