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Tag Archives: KC Stage

The 10th season of Kansas City Fringe is in full swing.  Lots and lots and lots of wonderful theatre happening in KC!  You should check out some of my favorite people and plays if you can.  I’d recommend (besides my three shows at Off-Center Theatre, of course- I’m sure you’ve already seen them): Forrest Attaway’s Dirtlegs at Heartland Forum, and in the same space: Virgin and Sing, Sing, Sing and the Fishtank’s Red/Blue/Green Fish– all promise great things.  The Submarine Show at the MET is also wonderful!  A-Cop-Alypse at Just Off Broadway Theatre is sure to stoke your zombie fix.  And finally, I’ve been hearing great things about St. Nicholas and Bond.  There are many, many others that I haven’t yet had time to see, so splash out and tell me what’s up in the comments!

Here are some of the things people are saying about the shows I’m currently running (Dangerous to Dance With, Red Death, and More 4Play: Mmmmm):

RED DEATH by Daniel Doss and Bryan Colley
Robert Trussell at the KC Star says this about the opera:

[Daniel] Doss’ lush score… is darkly romantic, often returning to a haunting waltz-time motif…. Tenor Nathan Granner… as usual, is mesmerizing.  Soprano Devon Barnes is impressive…. this one shimmers, thanks to a delicate, evocative lighting design by Shane Rowse and elegant costumes designed and created by Varney and her collaborators. A cadre of dancers create dreamlike stage pictures. In essence, this piece is a 19th-century meditation on death, but the combination of music, dance, creative lighting and inventive costumes will linger in the viewer’s memory.

For the full review head here.

Lee Hartman of KC Metropolis added this:

The production values of Red Death put many other Fringe shows to shame…. Granner, at full volume for most of his singing, is convincing with his laissez-faire attitude and Barnes… is an equal match. … Red Death should be on your “to see” list for this year’s Fringe. It tries something new, albeit conservatively, but the performances and production are worthy of attention.

Full review here.

What about the people?  KC Stage reviews abound:

It seems every year at Fringe there comes along a show that I find myself wishing could be brought out to full length. This year, one such show is Bryan Colley’s “Red Death” –KellyLuck: 5 out of 5

At one point their frantic, almost jerky, movements gave the impression of many more dancers than there were. This was an effective contrast to the fluidly slow movements, particularly when Coleman Crenshaw as the Uninvited Guest drew attention merely by his intense stage presence. – Detailer: 5 out of 5

DANGEROUS TO DANCE WITH by Bill Rogers
Mr. Trussell also had this to say about Dangerous to Dance With:

…a talented cast, anchored by Victor Raider-Wexler as Harris. Raider-Wexler is one of the city’s best character actors, and he inhabits the role with gruff authority and a shrewd sense of comic timing….  Coleman Crenshaw is smooth and relaxed as Nick…. the writing is often witty. Overall this is an interesting, edgy example of comic playwriting.

For the full review head here.
KC Stage Reviews chime in with:

 [T]his play is so thought provoking, in order to understand and appreciate all of the philosophical points, you need to see the play twice. -AlanSKoalas: 5 out of 5

Nick has a very dry sense of British humor, which is perfect for Coleman, and a great foil to the broader humor in the play.  – Jewell: 5 out of 5

Victor Raider-Wexler stands out among the cast. He created a fascinating character, always consistent, truthful, and spot-on. Victor was adept at both comic timing and intense seriousness…. [Coleman Crenshaw] was interesting to watch and listen to. … his active listening and facial reactions were consistently good.  -Detailer: 3 out of 5

MORE 4PLAY: MMMMM by Various 
Finally: More 4Play: Mmmm.  Mr. Trussell, nor anyone at KC Metropolis has had a chance yet to see this one.  But KC Stage offers us a glimpse:

The “4Play” series of short plays on and about relationships (mostly) has quickly established itself as a KC Fringe staple. It is good to see that this is continuing, as this year’s crop brings us 4 plays inhabiting the same universe and even a little more besides.

First is “Desire” by Frank Higgins… A short but interesting listen, and worth a few chuckles.

Third is “Fishers of Men” by Schaeffer Nelson, in which an idealistic young missionary finds himself talking to a cynical gay man on religion, love, sex, and regret. An interesting one, this, more serious than its predecessors. I almost would have liked to see this one go further, but such is the nature of short plays. – KellyLuck: 4 out of 5

Check out KC Stage’s Fringe section for full reviews and details here.

I’ll post again with more reviews as they come.

Enjoy the Fringe!!  As always head to the KC Fringe website for schedules, details, and tickets!

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From KC Stage Online

Excerpts from Bob Evans’ review “Skillet Tag Knocks ’em Dead”.  Skillet Tag runs until Dec 22 at the Living Room.  Produced by Play On! Productions.  For tickets check this out.

For an evening full of laughter and offbeat characters,
line up early and do not hesitate to buy your tickets.
This show is the real deal. Crazy characters, masterful
actors, sharp script, crisp direction, a functional
set, good sound and lighting–all create one of the
zaniest shows to grace the Kansas City stages.

Play writer Pete Bakely set the unconventional team
building exercise in Kansas City. Here, his team from a
local greeting card company meet to engage in his
newest plan to weed out a weak link and sever his or
her relationship with the parent company.  No one knows
for sure whose job may be lost, but several have their
own ideas. Survival of the evening means every-man-for-himself.


And, undeniably, the most cherished and colorful of the
cast of suspects, Greg brings the hilarity from his
entrance onward. Coleman Crenshaw wears the character
well and his physical comedy, gestures, and facial
expressions keep the audiences laughing at him.  But,
beware, by watching only him, one can easily miss the
responses he elicits from the other cast members–which
are priceless. He gives their characters a lot for
action and reaction.  Still, when onstage, Crenshaw
draws the audience focus to him He’s wonderful as the
computer nerd who struggles with social settings and
personal relations.

After the first death, rightfully, the police appear.
And what would any comedy be without dysfunctional law
enforcement personnel? Suffice it to say the tandem of
Burns and Reynalds, played by Tim Alhenius and Devon
Barnes, take police parody to new heights. A non-
concerned Burns mishandles the crime scene, and when
Reynalds appears, her over-spirited reactions only
enhances the evening’s morbid terminations.  Though
smaller parts, each provided integral support to the
plot and help maintain the insanity.

Overall, the show bring laughter and smiles from the
onset through the final blackout. No one knows who dies
next or how murder manifests itself. Each instance
surprises the audience. Murder never brought more
laughs. The cast reacts well to each and every line,
and each character commands the stage with his or her
antics.


No secret, Coleman Crenshaw’s character steals the show
in his scenes.  He’s very talented with his physical
comedy and apt delivery. And when things seem to be
resolving toward an end, Devon Barnes brings new and
surprising twists to the story line. Nothing can
distract from the strength of the ensemble cast. They
enjoy the show, their characters, and their lines. The
audience sees the depth of the cast’s talent as the
story unfolds. Their interactions and physical comedy
enhance the evening.

If you have ever had to undergo the dreaded “team-building” process in a workplace, this show is not tobe missed. All the evil thoughts you may have had aboutthe exercise or the person who thought the whole thingup, come full circle when you see this. While you mayhave plotted someone’s demise, Skillet Tag acted outyour fantasies.

Please read Bob Evan’s full review on KC Stage.

Wow! Sitting down to write my thoughts on Heidi Van’s window play “Rubble” with original music by Peter Lawless was just that. After watching this amazing blend of dance, performance art, and music I was left breathless. THIS show is what Fringe is about: the delicate flow of story driven by the ethereal melodies that were weaved between the choreographed movement of the masked beings and slice of life surreal performance of the actors behind the window created a stunning work of art.

Watching the actions of Andy Perkins and Coleman Crenshaw as they performed the almost cog and gear actions of their “Daily Grind” behind the window was not only comical at times and a commentary on day to day life, but also a revelation on how sometimes something small can cause us to see the world in a brand new way. When Perkins’ character had that moment of realization and found his new world outside of his normal grind, he shows us the intrigue and curiosity of what ifs and how nows, as Crenshaw keeps ticking away only to get more ticked as his counterpart changes their normal rhythms.

While all this is happening behind the glass windows, masked beings strive and struggle to keep going, to survive and rebuild, to collect the pieces of lost hope and broken dreams. I have too few words to describe their actions: the heart only feels for them, not vocalize. When they move, they show the strain of the burden, the confusion of what to do next in an ordered timed stride. Watching the dance and pantomime of these performers left me breathless and as distracted as Perkins trapped behind the glass.

And then, Read More »