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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You could be forgiven if you thought Tom Stoppard, at the age of 81, had given up writing for the stage, but you would also be wrong. Leopoldstadt is his latest and is set in 1900 Vienna, the Jewish quarter, and follows the fortunes of a successful Jewish family who have escaped the pogroms. 


When words are not enough, we turn to music to express our deepest, most complicated feelings. Bandstand, an original musical composed by Richard Oberacker, with lyrics and book by Oberacker with Robert Taylor, is just such a musical.

Tickets are going very fast for A Very Crown Christmas, onstage at The Crown Uptown. For the price of admission, audience members will select a buffet dinner, then see a musical revue that features the talents of several of our city's favorite performers. Join Madi White, Cindy Summers, Jenny Mitchell, Kyle Vespestad, Ryan Schafer, and John Bates, under the direction of Patty Reeder, in an evening of comedy, music, and fun. A Very Crown Christmas runs through December 28.

As we round the corner of Thanksgiving and head straight into the holiday season, you may be wondering how you're going to manage the sudden influx of calories, but fear not! Studies have shown that an hour of hearty laughter burns around 100 calories—that's about the same as vacuuming for 45 minutes or lifting weights for half an hour. So go ahead and indulge a little, then treat yourself to some comedy.

The Nutcracker season is in full swing.

Fans of science fiction and humor will be pleased to know the Orpheum Theatre is host to Mystery Science Theater 3000 Live: The Great Cheesy Movie Circus Tour. Based on the Peabody Award-winning television hit, the show features original host and creator of the show, Joel Hodgson, as well as trash-talking robots Crow, Gypsy, and Tom Servo, as they joke their way through the cheesiest movies the universe has ever seen.

Wichita State University's Opera Theater is teaming up with the university’s Wind Ensemble for the semi-stage premiere of The Path to Heaven. This one-act opera follows the changing fortunes of a family fighting to make it through the Holocaust. You can see it at Miller Concert Hall on November 15th and November 17th.

courtesy Wichita State University School of Performing Arts

From Wichita State University comes the Cole Porter musical Anything Goes, directed by guest artist Bradley Allan Zarr. The idea for a musical set on board an ocean liner came from producer Vinton Freedley. Freedley had left the U.S. to avoid creditors, and at the time, was living on a boat. He asked P. G. Wodehouse and Guy Bolton to write the book, and he wanted Ethel Merman to star in it.

Dan Norman / Courtesy Wichita Grand Opera

The Wichita Grand Opera is open for single tickets beginning Oct. 1. Their 2019-20 season includes All is Calm, The Christmas Truce of 1914; a Valentine-themed Big Band night; Don Giovanni; and Candide.

Andrew Lloyd Webber composed the score for Cats in 1977, setting to music the poems from T.S. Eliot's “Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats,” published in 1939. Cats began life in 1980 as Practical Cats, a song cycle, which is a set of individual songs that are meant to be performed in a particular order as part of a whole, each one contributing to the central theme.