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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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.

WSU hits the ground running with Second Stage Theatre's production of Love Me or Leave Me, the 2019 winner of the Wichita State University Playwriting Contest. The competition was founded by Dr. Bela Kiralyfalvi in 1974, when he was a professor of theatre at the university. Dr. Kiralyfalvi taught acting, playwriting, and script analysis, and developed a class on improvisation, as well. He also served as the Director of the School of Performing Arts until 2003. 

The Kechi Playhouse is putting Living on Love onstage Fridays through Sundays from September 6 to the 29th. This two-act farce from Joe DiPietro is actually a re-working of the play Peccadillo, by Garson Kanin. 

Music Theatre Wichita, courtesy Moonlight Theatricals

Music Theatre Wichita is closing out its season with the much-anticipated production of In the Heights, the award-winning musical with lyrics and score by Lin-Manuel Miranda and book by Quiara Alegria Hudes.

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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.

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