On Stage

KMUW commentator Sanda Moore Coleman looks behind the curtain to give listeners (and play goers) a bit of history and perspective.

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Over time, the jukebox musical has gathered strength in its ability to entertain through nostalgia and solid scores of pop hits. 

Two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lynn Nottage, who won for Ruined in 2007 and Sweat in 2017, is the 2020 honoree for the Distinguished Achievement in American Theater Award, presented annually by the William Inge Theater Festival in Independence, Kansas.

courtesy Music Theatre Wichita

In July of 1975, a musical unlike any Broadway had seen before made its debut at the Shubert Theatre: A Chorus Line, directed by Michael Bennett, who also was co-choreographer for the show with Bob Avian. The musical is based on interviews with actual Broadway dancers, and uses their personal stories to introduce each character during an audition process.

Just in time for Riverfest is Mosley Street Melodrama's production of Gone with the Windwagon, an original script by local writer Carol Hughes that follows the tides of changing fortune for one Miss Annie Bellum. 

Riverfest is upon us: nine straight days of fun in our river city, from May 31 to June 8, with events designed to appeal to a variety of tastes. 

©NYPL for the Performing Arts


The Sound of Music is the last musical written by the team of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein. Nine months after it premiered on Broadway at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre in 1959, Oscar Hammerstein died from stomach cancer. The show was nominated for nine Tony Awards, and received five, including Best Musical and Best Performance by a Leading Lady for Mary Martin as Maria.


If you were alive and cognizant in 1971 and 1972, you probably owned the album “Tapestry,” by Carole King, or you knew someone who did.

Although Avenue Q was inspired by shows beloved by children such as Sesame Street and The Muppets, and although more than twice as many puppets than humans are featured characters, Avenue Q is definitely not a show for youngsters.

While most one-act operas have a shorter running time than operas with two or more acts, there are exceptions, notably Wagner's Das Rheingold, which runs more than two-and-a-half hours, and Salome, by Strauss, which plays for almost two hours. 

The musical Evita, with lyrics and book by Tim Rice and music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, began life as a rock opera concept album released in 1976.