Fine Arts Theatres’ four venues surround moviegoers with classic silver-screen ambiance as they present the latest independent and mainstream film offerings. Lovingly refurbished neighborhood movie palaces such as the early-20th-century Rio Theatre now boast surround-sound digital audio, high-backed rocker seats with arm-mounted cup holders, and movie trailers acted out by gregarious ticket takers. In addition to flicks opening each week, Fine Arts Theatres hosts the Gathr Preview Series each Thursday at 7:30 p.m. The group also holds screenings for the annual Kansas International Film Festival, voted the Best Local Film Festival by readers of The Pitch in 2011, as well as a Latin American Film Festival every September.
Louis Bar and Laura Cantu have made a habit of competing on the world stage. As six-time French National champions and five-time World Finalists in Argentine tango and swing, they're more than capable of helming the educators at Louis & Company Ballroom Dance Studio. Along with the rest of the instructors, they teach three main dance styles and the various permutations contained within each. Latin classes cover the upbeat tempo and swinging hips of samba, cha-cha, and bolero, and the studio's ballroom classes celebrate slow and smooth elegance. Louis and Laura also lead protégés in the seductive duel that is tango, named for the tangerines that you typically hurl at dancers instead of applause.
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As the only NCAA Division I team in town, the University of Missouri-Kansas City Kangaroos not only dazzle with a fury of dribbles, dunks, and dishes in the basketball game, they also provide fun on-court games and promotions that involve Kasey the Kangaroo, cheerleaders, and the dance team. Cram the fam in the van and enjoy a night of thrills that don’t involve a tub of tear-filled ice cream and an oddly specific romance-horror film. A parking shuttle service uses golf carts to pick you up and take you back to your car, saving your precious steps for trips up and down the seating aisle, coaxing cheers from your fellow fans. Today's deal is good for one seat in the premium seating section of the intimate, 1,500-seat Swinney Recreation Center, getting you as close to the floor as possible without having an alley-ooping hoopster dunking in your nachos.
Spurred by a drive to instill children with a love for the arts and to build their self-esteem, professional actor Miles McMahon helms an array of educational programs at Theatre of the Imagination. He and his staff of local theater lovers build on more than 2,000 successful children's theatrical productions through creative summer camps, acting and performance classes, special workshops, and birthday parties for performers in prekindergarten through ninth grade. Miles writes a completely new work for each class and camp, using the script to immerse students in a cooperative, creative environment while freeing them from the pressures of lead roles, auditions, and autographer's elbow. Staff members can also conduct Movie Star Acting birthday parties, where they shoot a short film with the birthday child as the star.
Innovative director Kyle Hatley builds on the same revamped set and stage introduced in last year's 30th iteration of Kansas City Repertory Theatre's annual production of A Christmas Carol. Updated stage wizardry and elaborate costumes underscore the classic tale of Tiny Tim and Ebenezer Scrooge with a revolving stage, vivid projections, and a larger-than-life apparition originally hired to fix stuck rigging. Music adds poignant touches to the lessons of family values, hope, and redemption that unfold in the story of a bitter old man recapturing the Yuletide love he's missed.
Roller skates, rainbows, and glitter erupt in flamboyant fashion in Starlight Theatre’s production of Xanadu, a mythology-inspired camp-rock romp that raises eyebrows and elicits laughs from the audience as winged horses and Greek gods skate across the stage. Inspired by the 1980s cult-classic, Tony Award–nominated film of the same name, Xanadu tells the timeless love story of a man, his muse, and his roller disco. Sincere yet intrinsically campy, this parody unleashes a glitzy onstage discotheque populated by a roster of tuneful trolley-shoes, each sporting sparkling costumes while belting out memorable hits from the likes of Olivia Newton John and Electric Light Orchestra.