The nonprofit Liberty Symphony Orchestra has dedicated 40 seasons to string-laden aural enrichment, staging the world's greatest compositions using the formidable talents of professional and amateur local musicians. Guest baton-wielder Dr. Phil Posey conducts the closing concert of the 2010-11 season, enlivening ears with Samuel Barber's cathartic Adagio for Strings before prompting a theater-wide round of air-bowing with Beethoven's rousing and beloved Symphony no. 9. Mouth along with the William Jewell College choir and North Kansas City High School A Capella Choir as they join the merry band of melody-makers for the symphony's memorable "Ode to Joy" before reenacting back-bending brass solos over a bevy of treats at a complimentary dessert reception. The LSO's ensemble takes the stage at the state-of-the-art, 725-seat Liberty Performing Arts Theatre, home to local plays, fitness competitions, and tuxedo-clad turtle races.
With more than 386 locations dotting North America, JCPenney Optical's ubiquity is matched only by its extensive selection of contact lenses and designer frames that includes brands such as Armani Exchange, Liz Claiborne, and Nicole Miller. Despite this wide reach, all lenses are cut at the same optical laboratory, ensuring a consistency of quality and a pretty good idea of where to look if your glasses run away from home. Each location has an independent state-licensed doctor of optometry, who can perform vision exams and help clients determine which type of vision correction will work best.
At Screenland, campy and classic are rarely mutually exclusive terms. The movie theater serves as a cinematic time machine, transporting spectators through the history of Hitchcock's mysteries and straight into the heyday of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Though it also shows current titles, its schedule is often beholden to audience whims—the Crossroads location hosts new independent films that are uniquely screened at this sole location. This dual devotion to cherished and modern flicks helped Screenland earn the 2012 Readers' Choice award for Best Movie Theater from the Pitch.
Even outside the projection room, nostalgia rules. More than 40 games, from Donkey Kong to Missile Command, test dexterity at the Crossroads location's retro arcade, where guests can purchase passes to play indefinitely or until Frogger finally flags down a cab. Photographs taken by former Kansas City mayor Dick Berkley accompany historical trivia in the adjacent gallery, and celebrity handprints mark the outdoor patio. Greeting cinephiles out front is a marquee salvaged from the Isis Theatre, just as it once greeted a young Walt Disney when he shared his early animations there.
Wedding receptions and corporate meetings alike have taken advantage of the theater's capacity for private functions. At both exclusive and public events, however, a full-service bar supplies guests with libations, cracking open bottles of Boulevard Pale Ale and Tallgrass Velvet Rooster.
For decades, JCPenney Portraits has welcomed families into its friendly studios, where professional photographers expertly photograph subjects of any age. Digital cameras, professional lighting, and a wide selection of backgrounds all work together to ensure a professional, personalized look for every family portrait, school picture, business headshot, or baby announcement. To customize the session even more, the staff also encourages guests to incorporate items with special meaning such as a baby blanket or a family heirloom. From a first baby portrait to senior pictures and engagement photos, JCPenney Portraits helps to preserve special family memories to come.
After the final flash, clients and a team member head to the viewing kiosk, where they can select their photos and customize them. Beyond traditional printed portraits, memories may also be preserved on high-resolution CD, gallery wraps, wall art, or through JCPenney Portraits' archival program, which allows clients to store and share their portraits online.
When he was a child, Michael Russell spent a lot of time in his father’s darkroom, watching and helping him develop photographs. As Russell grew into an adult, he still loved photography but opted to pursue a career in front of the camera as a television news reporter. Even as he interviewed celebrities, presidents, and wax statues of presidents, he found himself most engaged with shooting his own video, and with framing shots of natural landscapes and wildlife. He eventually would leave his broadcasting career to teach photography full time, and venture on expeditions to scenic vistas and art fairs. During Russell’s workshops, his picture-snapping protégés can pick his brain as they practice various photography concepts and sample professional lenses.
The DJ Experience works to make events memorable, providing clients with disc jockey and event planning services, including The DJ Experience and other custom DJ services. The DJ Experience simulates a real DJ experience for customers, teaching them popular DJ techniques through interactive coaching with a DJ. Customers get to dig through crates of vinyl records, use turntables to create their own mix songs, learn scratching, and record their own personalized CD. Their services were recently featured on Kansas City Live.