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Latest Robert Trussell Stories

2008-07-24 03:00:41

By Robert Trussell, The Kansas City Star, Mo. Jul. 24--Kyle Hatley, Kansas City Repertory Theatre's assistant artistic director, has boldly declared his presence at this year's KC Fringe Festival by directing two eccentric, creative and decidedly grim plays that sprang from his creative imagination. Each proves interesting enough to whet a viewer's appetite for more. "Watering the Grave" is an audacious attempt to retell Aeschylus's "The Libation Bearers" as a "blues/folk" musical. The...

2008-07-23 03:00:00

By Robert Trussell, The Kansas City Star, Mo. Jul. 23--Your humble theater critic caught the first of several burlesque shows at this year's KC Fringe Festival on opening night and the results were more or less what you might expect -- comical, cynical, satirical, sexy and not very polished. The show is "Ms. B.D.U. 2008," a production of Burlesque Downtown Underground, whose "Naughty Knickers" was a hit at last year's festival. As the title suggests, this year's edition is a send-up of...

2008-07-23 03:00:40

By Robert Trussell, The Kansas City Star, Mo. Jul. 23--Well, I made the right call by venturing into the Just Off Broadway Theatre for the opening night of the KC Fringe Festival. There I encountered a most remarkable musical play by a group of fringe-circuit players based in Austin, Texas. "L'Ange Avec Les Fleurs" isn't the first and certainly won't be the last theater piece to remind the viewers at every turn that they are, in fact, watching the muscle and sweat of make-believe, but...

2008-07-20 03:00:29

By Robert Trussell, The Kansas City Star, Mo. Jul. 20--The All-Star Burlesque Weekend this month in Las Vegas produced a flurry of wire stories. Many of them focused on Tempest Storm, the 80-year-old burlesque queen who in the 1950s was known for her fleshy sexuality and ability to excite male fantasies. Storm still performs, and as she strutted her stuff at the Burlesque Hall of Fame's annual weekend, the audience watched her with respect, amazement and awe. One of those watching was...

2008-07-20 03:00:28

By Robert Trussell, The Kansas City Star, Mo. Jul. 20--Vanessa Severo never thinks about it. But she does. Her friends never think about it. Except they do. Audiences rarely notice it. When they do, they don't care. When theatergoers turn out for "The Coppelia Project" at this year's KC Fringe Festival they will see a side of Severo they've probably never seen. The 30-year-old actress was born with only a thumb on her left hand. In childhood she became skilled at hiding it. As...

2008-07-13 03:00:17

By Robert Trussell, The Kansas City Star, Mo. Jul. 13--Of all the actors and directors in Kansas City, Mark Robbins probably has more direct experience with the plays of Brian Friel than anyone else. In the early 1980s he played Owen, a central character in "Translations," at what was then the Missouri Repertory Theatre when Friel's historical drama was still a new play. He made his directing debut in Unicorn Theatre's 1997-98 season with Friel's three-character monologue play "Molly...

2008-06-27 12:02:43

By Robert Trussell, The Kansas City Star, Mo. Jun. 27--It's always refreshing to encounter a piece of audacious theater that actually works. Paula Vogel's "Desdemona, a Play About a Handkerchief" is plenty audacious but director John Rensenhouse and three talented actresses ratchet up the audacity quotient significantly in the first production of the summer from Actors Theatre KC. Vogel's piece is basically a feminist response to Shakespeare's tragedy. She speculates on the kind of...

2008-03-09 06:00:18

By Robert Trussell, The Kansas City Star, Mo. Mar. 9--Bruce Roach is a busy man, busier than most local theater artists. "It's kind of embarrassing when I think about it," the veteran actor said recently. "But I'm not gonna fight it." In the last couple of years Kansas City audiences have seen Roach as the verbose Welsh officer Fluellen in "Henry V," Friar Lawrence in "Romeo and Juliet," Kenneth Tynan in "Orson's Shadow," a hapless killer in "The Lieutenant of Inishmore" and the sheriff...


Word of the Day
call-note
  • The call or cry of a bird or other animal to its mate or its young.
'Call-note' is newer than 'bird-call,' which originally referred to 'an instrument for imitating the note of birds' but now also refers to 'the song or cry of a bird.'
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