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Review: Theater League’s ‘Memphis’ a brash, thought-provoking experience

Today at 1:22 p.m.

Despite the exuberant music, joyous dancing and obvious youthful fun, “Memphis,” the 2010 Tony-winning best musical, never loses track of its serious message about the destructive, corrosive nature of racism in 1950s America. This is not just a nostalgic jukebox musical.

  • For ‘War Paint’ star, real life imitates art

    For Alison Bridget Chambers, real life is imitating art – sometimes uncomfortably so – as she stars in “War Paint,” an original play by Bret Jones that is being given its world premiere at the Wichita Center for the Arts this week.

  • Wichita Symphony’s 2014-15 season to feature pianist Joyce Yang, opera star Samuel Ramey

    The Wichita Symphony Orchestra on Tuesday announced the schedule for its 2014-15 season, which starts in October.

  • Review: Forum Theatre presents delightful ‘Man of La Mancha’

    The Forum Theatre presents the classic “Man of La Mancha,” featuring Wichita’s own Ray Wills.

  • Performers say social messages in musical ‘Memphis’ are relevant today

    Joey Elrose figures that during the course of the 2½-hour running time of “Memphis,” the 2010 Tony-winning best musical that opens Tuesday in Century II as the final show this year for Theater League, he’s only off stage for about 7½ minutes.

  • Weekend events: Art at the Arb, ‘War Paint,’ ‘Songs from the Heartland’

    Art at the Arb, an annual festival of music, art and nature at Belle Plaine’s Bartlett Arboretum, is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday. The grounds, which are blooming with thousands of colorful tulips, will feature artists selling furniture, garden antiques, photographs, birdhouses and more. The Arboretum’s stage will stay busy both days with a diverse lineup of jazz, pop and bluegrass musicians such as Jerry Hahn, Sara Hickman and Lucky People. At noon on Sunday, Arboretum owners Robin Macy and Kentucky White will perform. The event also will feature several food vendors, including Mulvane favorite Luciano’s serving Italian food and also Freddy’s Frozen Custard. The event is from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and admission is $5 at the gate. For more information and directions to the arboretum, visit http://www.bartlettarboretum.com/.

  • Crown Uptown’s ‘I Love a Piano’ quite loveable

    You probably can already hum the tunes. You may even know all the words. But you’re still going to love “I Love a Piano,” Crown Uptown Theatre’s fresh and energetic take on more than 60 of Irving Berlin’s classic and beloved songs.

  • ‘Tosca’ full of scandal and intrigue

    Scandal didn’t originate on ABC, at least not as a signature story element. Long before Kerry Washington’s popular television show transfixed audiences with political intrigue, Giacomo Puccini was tapping into audiences’ desires to be sensationalized.

  • Together again: Actors reunite for ‘Man of La Mancha’

    After more than three decades of friendship that began in student productions at Wichita State University and continued through successful careers on Broadway, in London and Los Angeles, Ray Wills and Karla Burns are back home and together again.

  • 4 renowned singers to perform Beethoven’s Ninth with Wichita Symphony

    After 30 vocal performances of Beethoven’s Ninth, Peter Van de Graaff still gets excited about it.

  • ‘I Love a Piano’ revue to showcase 64 Irving Berlin songs

    As the story goes, legendary Broadway composer Jerome Kern (“Show Boat”) once said that Irving Berlin had no place in American music, he is American music.

  • Singing Quakers perform at Friends University

    Friends University choral group the Singing Quakers will sing folk, gospel and traditional songs at its annual Home Concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Both performances will be in Sebits Auditorium in the Riney Fine Arts Center. Tickets are $16 for adults and $13 for seniors and students. Tickets can be purchased on the Friends University website http://www.friends.edu/finearts or by calling 316-295-5677.

  • Exhibit will feature artwork of a Wichita Final Friday pioneer

    Christopher Gulick’s fixation with lines has landed him exhibitions in places like New York City and Berlin. There’s something about the way lines travel parallel, intersect and separate that resonates with him. This Friday, a collection of his mind-twisting kinetic sculptures and intricate drawings will be on display at Bob Schwan Studios. The opening reception is aptly titled “Re-Visit” and features works from the past 10 years.

  • The role of Beethoven’s final symphony in social change

    Beethoven’s colossal masterpiece has played an integral role in uprisings and social reforms from Tiananmen Square in China to the dismantling of the Berlin Wall. The work has drowned out oppressors, revitalized protesters, and inspired musicians.

  • Wichita artist’s works unlikely lessons for students in Indonesia

    After 24 years at Jakarta International School in Indonesia, Bindu Bammi was looking for a new way to introduce the elements of design to her eighth-grade students.

  • Review: Impact of ‘Hair’ lessens over time, but Theater League production can still soar with iconic songs

    Even after 46 years, when the cast of “Hair” bursts into the earnest, insistent and haunting finale, “Let the Sunshine In,” the moment can still leave you with goosebumps in its plea to bridge the generation gap. Some things about this Vietnam War-era “American tribal love-rock musical” are emotionally timeless.

  • Sunday Arts calendar (March 16)

    “Duck Hunter Shoots Angel,” comedy, 8 p.m. Sun., Wichita Community Theatre, 258 N. Fountain. Tickets $14, $12 seniors/military/students, $10 opening night. Call 316-686-1282.

  • Groundbreaking musical ‘Hair’ returns to Wichita

    None of the cast members of the national touring company of “Hair” – coming to Wichita this week – were even born when that “American Tribal Love-Rock Musical” changed the face of Broadway in 1968.

  • Weekend events: Laughing Feet Performers, ‘Hello Dolly’

    Laughing Feet Performers is having its spring variety show, “The World at Our Feet,” at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday ($10), and 2 p.m. Sunday ($8) at the Mary Jane Teall Theater in Century II, 225 W. Douglas. Laughing Feet was formed to foster relationships between individuals with special needs and their typical peers, and to give performance opportunities to people who usually wouldn’t have them. Tickets are available at www.wichitatix.com and 316-219-4849.

  • Romantic works in the air for Wichita Symphony Orchestra

    The Wichita Symphony Orchestra is getting “romantic.”

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