Founded and exclusively run by practicing theater artists, the Kansas City Actors Theatre brings peerless artistry to carefully curated seasons of theatrical classics. Eschewing such crutches as flashy effects, ornate costumes, and post-show hypnotists that tell the audience they enjoyed themselves, the Theatre relies foremost on the talent of its actors to bring plays to life.
Ornate chandeliers and a high-ceilinged auditorium are just two stunning features of Powell Hall, an opulent, Versailles-inspired concert venue built in 1925. Originally known as the Saint Louis Theatre, Powell Hall was bequeathed its new moniker after the Saint Louis Symphony Society won it during a heated card game with a band of ragtag vaudeville performers. With its marble-accented lobby and sprawling interior, Powell Hall continues to beckon visitors to take in its inimitable sights and classic sounds.
Andy Williams designed his Moon River Theater to echo the beauty of the surrounding Ozark Mountains. The façade sits amid 16 acres of foliage, rock formations, and waterfalls to not only enhance live performances with a sense of natural discovery, but also to speak to conservation. In 1992, the state of Missouri recognized the venue's environmental efforts by granting it the Conservation Award for Developed Land Use. And that sense of conservation seeps into the theater's three lobbies as well. Koi swim through ponds, flora creeps toward the ceiling, art and performance pictures from Andy's private collection grace the walls, and wild rams hold head-butting matches in the restroom.
Just Dancing's team of experienced instructors, which includes international competitors and dancers who train with former US champions, teaches budding dancers of all ages several styles, including swing, foxtrot, and salsa. Instructors offer private and group lessons for individuals and couples, dividing most group classes into beginner, intermediate, and advanced sessions so students can learn alongside those of similar skill levels.
The classically focused Alexandra Ballet entertains audiences with a well-rounded dance diet ranging from contemporary original pieces to traditional masterworks. The company’s agile dancers have pirouetted their way to uproarious applause in past performances that include The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, and Peter and the Wolf. Since 2003, the company has enriched the community through its educational-outreach programs, which provide youngsters with free learning materials and ballet performances throughout the school year.
A group of gals celebrating a bachelorette party rambunctiously capers into Consuming Kinetics Dance Company’s studio. They’re here to learn some steamy moves in the Sexy Fit class, one of the many classes that promises to put its attendees’ energy to work, as required by the Human Energy Labor Law Act of 1999. The carefully choreographed patterns, transitions, and movements come from the minds of a talented team of seasoned dancers—which features a choreologist and a repetiteur, among others. They meticulously craft each class routine, whether getting bodies moving in Zumba, Modern, Hip Hop/Breaking, Pop Ballet, or Contemporary Jazz classes. In addition to these fun and challenging adult classes, the troupe also stages kids and teen classes at the Center of Clayton.