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 Regional Opera)

Springfield Regional Opera opens their new season celebrating the Leonard Bernstein centennial with a performance of "Trouble in Tahiti" tonight (Sept.28) at 7:30pm in Clara Thompson Hall at Drury University.  Opening the evening will be Samuel Barber's short (VERY short!) opera "A Hand of Bridge."

(Poster design courtesy Springfield Contemporary Theatre)

Springfield Contemporary Theatre's 2018-19 season continues at SCT Center Stage in Wilhoit Plaza, 302 E.

(Poster design courtesy The Gathering Tree)

Nate Schlueter, Chief Operating Officer for Eden Village, a project of The Gathering Tree, visited KSMU Friday to promote a fundraising concert and silent auction for the new project.  It’s called “Raise the Roof,” and will take place Friday August 24th from 6:30 to 11:30pm at The Complex, 307 Park Central East.  Hosted by Jeremy Rabe, the evening will feature live music and a silent auction. 

(Photo courtesy Missouri State University Tent Theatre)

This morning on “Arts News” we got to meet one of the professional Equity actors appearing during this 56th season of Missouri State University Tent Theatre.  Tracy Bidleman has already been seen as Mrs. Vernon-Williams in “Cry Baby the Musical,” and she’ll play the title role in the musical romp “The Drowsy Chaperone” starting July 11.

(Poster design courtesy Actors Theatre of Missouri)

Since 2013, Actors Theatre of Missouri has presented the works of William Shakespeare at the Springfield Art Museum with their "Shakespeare at the Columns" series at the Art Museum's outdoor amphitheatre--weather permitting, of course. Their Shakespeare plays are free and open to the public. Since their first production of "Romeo and Juliet," over 2,500 audience members have seen Shakespeare's works brought to life by Actors Theatre's actors, designers, and technicians.

(Poster design courtesy Springfield Contemporary Theatre)

Springfield Contemporary Theatre at SCT Center Stage in Wilhoit Plaza (corner of Pershing and Robberson downtown) opens its 2018-19 season TONIGHT (Fri June 8) with "A Grand Night for Singing," a musical revue featuring songs by two of musical theatre's greatest songwriters, Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, who created some of the most romantic music in the Great American Songbook.  Behind the plots, characters, carnivals and surreys with the fringe on top are beautiful stories about people falling in – and out – of love.

(Poster design courtesy Missouri State University Tent Theatre)

(Due to a technical glitch [mine!], I missed recording the first minute or so of Sarah Wiggins' live interview.)

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

Missouri State University Theatre and Dance presents the Spring Dance Concert: Parts of the Whole Thursday-Sunday May 3-6 in Coger Theatre. One of humanity’s most ancient art forms, dance has played an integral role in storytelling, ritual, ceremony, cultural identity, social bonding and creative self-expression. Blending artistry and physicality, myriad styles of dance movement have evolved and continue to emerge.

(Poster design courtesy Springfield Regional Opera)

Love... magic... destiny.  Springfield Regional Opera presents a much-loved operatic fairy tale for young and old, Mozart's "The Magic Flute", Friday and Saturday April 13 and 14 at 7:30pm at the Gillioz Theatre, 325 Park Central East.   I talked with SRO’s Artistic Director Michael Spyres about the production.  The well-known tenor is not performing in it (he just got back to Springfield from a stint singing the lead role of Vasco de Gama in Frankfurt Opera’s production of Meyerbeer’s “L’Africaine”)—but his wife AND his brother are both in “Magic Flute.”

(Poster design courtesy Queen City Voices)

Founded less than three years ago by Artistic Director Jonathan Raney, Queen City Voices promotes, through vocal and choral music, “equality and positive enrichment for the lives of (their) members, the Springfield queen city area and our community at large.”  The group’s annual Christmas concert, called “A Brassy, Classy Christmas,” will be performed in a FREE concert Sunday December 10 at 2:00pm in the auditorium of the Springfield Art Museum, 1111 E. Brookside Drive. Chorus Manager Amy Hoogstraet Safley visited KSMU to talk about the ensemble and the concert.

(Poster design courtesy Logan-Rogersville High School)

 

The always ambitious Performing Arts Department at Logan-Rogersville High School presents Disney’s “Aladdin Jr.” this weekend and next, for a total of six performances. After opening Friday night the 10th, the production runs Fridays and Saturdays at 7:00pm as well as Saturday matinees at 3:00 at the high school, 8225 E Farm Road 174, now through November 18.  Two of the production’s principals, Carly Katzin (Jasmine) and Jackson Samuel (Aladdin), visited our studios Friday morning along with the show’s co-director and musical director, Rebecca Barringer.

(Poster design courtesy Southwest Missouri Art and Craft Guild)

Many years ago the Springfield Park Board granted permission to the Southwest Missouri Art and Craft Guild to put on a small art and crafts festival in Sequiota Park in southeast Springfield.  23 years later, Art in the Park, the Guild's annual fine art and contemporary craft show and sale the second weekend of October, now hosts artists from all over the country—this year Alabama, Oklahoma and Kansas are represented in addition to Missouri and Arkansas artists and crafters.

(Poster design courtesy Springfield Contemporary Theatre)

Let’s do the Time Warp again! Richard O'Brien's cult favorite, "The Rocky Horror Show," Springfield Contemporary Theatre’s top-selling show, is back--as if for the first time—in a production directed by Nathan Shelton at SCT Center Stage in Wilhoit Plaza.

(Photo courtesy Limmie Pulliam)

It’s hard to believe, but Springfield Regional Opera has been in operation for 36 years.  And to open their 37th season, SRO is producing an opera I, frankly, never expected them to attempt, but have always wished they could produce: Verdi’s Shakespearean masterpiece Otello.  But they’ve found a cast that can sing the work—particularly the problematic title role—and a way to perform it as economically as possible: in a semi-staged concert version, with the orchestra on the stage.  And they’re only doing one performance: Saturday October 7th at 8:00pm in the Juanita K.

(Logo courtesy Sammy's Window)

Studio 55 Fine Arts Guild was organized in 1996 by Dr. Bradley J. Fisher, Missouri State University Emeritus faculty and coordinator for the MSU Gerontology Program.  Studio 55’s President Ramona Gist says Dr. Fisher “asked a group of older citizens to form a group of artists, and to encourage each other in their art. And that group has grown now to 128 members” representing all forms of visual art.  In fact, they’ve just this year changed their membership guidelines so that any artist age 18 or older is eligible to join.

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