A Look Ahead — Mamma Mia

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July 12-September 23 — Mamma Mia at New Theatre Restaurant

On the eve of her wedding, a daughter’s quest to discover the identity of her father brings three men from her mother’s past to the door of the church. Featuring the #1 hits of legendary group ABBA, DANCING QUEEN, KNOWING ME-KNOWING YOU, TAKE A CHANCE ON ME, and many more. This Super Trouper musical comedy hit sold out 14 years on Broadway.

July 14 — Avondale United Methodist Church Book Club

The club meets at 10 a.m. in the Church Library, and is open to anyone that wants to come and discuss, or listen to the discussion of the book slated for the month.  For July it is Truman by David McCullough. Well, the second half of the book; being such a monumentally large biography, we have chosen to split our discussion – and the book – into two parts. Since McCullough divides the book into six parts, we discussed his parts 1 to 3 last month, with parts 4 to 6 in July.

July 15 — Rehearsals continue for Madrigalia Bar Nonne.

This isn’t an open to the public thing, but interested singers are always welcome to come and join rehearsals, and see if they might want to try out for this select group of period a capella musical performers. Rehearsals continue most Sundays through August, and then the group sings daily at the Kansas City Renaissance Festival at its grounds in Bonner Springs. Anyone interested in joining a rehearsal or the group, drop me a line and I will get you the necessary contact information.  I have been singing with this group since 1999.

July 21 — The Harlem Globetrotter Experience

July 21 & 22 at 5pm & 7pm

As the official juice drink of the Harlem Globetrotters, TUM-e YUMMIES is excited to bring you the ball handling wizardry, basketball artistry and one-of-a-kind family entertainment that thrills fans of all ages. Keep the fun going with the delicious fruity flavors of TUM-e YUMMIES available for purchase throughout the park.

During a 20-minute show performed twice each day near International Plaza, guests of all ages will be entertained by the Globetrotters ball-handling and shooting skills, crowd interaction, and unique brand of comedy.

Throughout their history that spans over nine decades, the Globetrotters have entertained more than 150 million guests, showcasing their vast array of talents in 122 countries on six continents.

The Globetrotters shows are included with Worlds of Fun admission.

July 27  -Aug 2 — Hairspray at Kansas City Starlight Theatre

Show Time: 8 p.m.
Gates Time: 7 p.m.

Duration: 2 hours 40 minutes, with intermission


Broadway’s Tony Award-winning musical comedy phenomenon, Hairspray takes you back to 1962 Baltimore, as 16-year-old Tracy Turnblad sets out to dance her way onto TV’s most popular show. Can a big girl with big dreams (and even bigger hair!) change the world…and still have time to win the boy she loves?

This mega-hit is piled bouffant-high with laughter, romance and enough deliriously tuneful songs to fill a nonstop platter-party. It’s the winner of eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical. As The New York Times says, “If life were everything it should be, it would be more like Hairspray. It’s irresistible!”

Contains adult language and subject matter.

 

Hairspray has been adapted for a variety of mediums, including a live televised version in 2016. It’s one of Broadway’s biggest hits, but parents should be cognizant that the stage version differs from the mainstream adaptations. We encourage patrons to use the notes below to help decide if the performance is right for themselves, their children and other patrons. The show contains:

Show content includes:

  • Slang/name-calling
  • Sensitive topics including race and segregation
  • Sexual innuendo and teenage pregnancy
  • Insensitivity toward body weight

August 14-19 — Love Never Dies at Kansas City Starlight Tbeatre

Show Time: 8 p.m.
Gates Time: 7 p.m.

Duration: 2 hours 20 minutes, with intermission


The ultimate love story continues in Love Never Dies, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s spellbinding sequel to The Phantom of the Opera. This story of boundless love, full of passion and drama, follows The Phantom of the Opera, one of the most successful musicals of all time that has been seen by more than 130 million people worldwide and won over 50 international awards.

The year is 1907. It is 10 years after the Phantom’s disappearance from the Paris Opera House, and he has escaped to a new life in New York where he lives among the screaming joy rides and freak shows of Coney Island. While he has finally found a place for his music to soar in this new, electrically charged world, the Phantom has never stopped yearning for his one true love and musical protégée, Christine Daaé.

Now one of the world’s finest sopranos, Christine accepts an invitation to travel from Paris to New York to perform at a renowned opera house. Her marriage to Raoul is suffering at the hands of his drinking and gambling, and they desperately need the financial rewards that America can give.

In a final bid to win back Christine’s love, the Phantom lures her, Raoul and their young son, Gustave, from Manhattan to the glittering and glorious world of Coney Island… not knowing what is in store for them.

Love Never Dies is a dazzling new production that takes audiences on a thrilling roller coaster ride of intrigue, obsession and romance. Be seduced by the beautiful, sometimes magical and poetic, sometimes joyful and, occasionally, melancholic score.

Contains adult subject matter; national tour recommends for ages 12+.

September 14-16 — Chicago at Kansas City Starlight Theatre

Show Time: 8 p.m.
Gates Time: 7 p.m.

Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes, with intermission


There’s never been a better time to experience CHICAGO, Broadway’s razzle-dazzle smash. This triumphant hit musical is the recipient of six Tony Awards®, two Olivier Awards, a Grammy®, thousands of standing ovations and now the title of No. 1 longest-running American musical in Broadway history.

CHICAGO has everything that makes Broadway great: a universal tale of fame, fortune and all that jazz; one show-stopping song after another; and the most astonishing dancing you’ve ever seen. It’s no surprise CHICAGO has wowed audiences from Mexico City to Moscow, Sao Paulo to South Africa. And now it’s coming to your town!

Whether you’re looking for your first Broadway musical, seen the Academy Award-winning film and want to experience the show live on stage, or seen it before and want to recapture the magic, CHICAGO always delivers!

Contains adult language and subject matter; national tour recommends for ages 13+.

Note: This is the one show at Starlight that Betsy and I ever walked out on when we saw it. 

Sept 26-Dec. 2 — Always … Patsy Cline at New Theatre Restaurant

Always…Patsy Cline is more than a tribute to the legendary country singer who died tragically at age 30 in a plane crash in 1963. The show is based on a true story about Patsy’s friendship with a fan from Houston named Louise Seger, who befriended the star in a Texas honky-tonk in 1961, and continued a correspondence with Patsy until her death. The musical play, complete with down home country humor, true emotion and even some audience participation, includes many of Patsy’s unforgettable hits such as CRAZY, I FALL TO PIECES, SWEET DREAMS, WALKING AFTER MIDNIGHT. The show’s title was inspired by Patsy’s letters to Louise, which were consistently signed “Love always… Patsy Cline.”

Sept 28-30 — The Illusionists and Kansas City Starlight Theatre

Show Time: 8 p.m.
Gates Time: 7 p.m.

Duration: 2 hours, with intermission


Direct from Broadway comes the world’s best-selling magic show.

The mind-blowing spectacular of THE ILLUSIONISTS – LIVE FROM BROADWAY™showcases the jaw-dropping talents of five of the most incredible illusionists on earth. This magical production has shattered box office records across the globe as it dazzles audiences of all ages with a powerful mix of the most outrageous and astonishing acts ever seen on stage. A non-stop show, THE ILLUSIONISTS is packed with thrilling and sophisticated magic of unprecedented proportions!

Suitable for all audiences.

 

 December 5-February 17 — Shear Madness at New Theatre Restaurant

SHEAR MADNESS is America’s most popular and longest running comedy (now in its 31st year at Washington D.C.’s prestigious Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts). More than 12 million people worldwide have seen the hilarious whodunit and there is no end in sight; its success just keeps going and going.

In this hilarious whodunit, a renowned classical pianist is murdered in her apartment above the SHEAR MADNESS beauty salon and you, the audience, along with Inspector Nick O’Brien, interrogate the suspects, evaluate the clues and solve the mystery. The wacky, spontaneous comedy never has the same ending twice, so you can see it again and again.

February  20-April 201– Biloxi Blues at New Theatre Restaurant

The laughter rarely stops in this Tony Award-winning “Best Play” that tells the story of Eugene Jerome and his experiences as a 19-year-old draftee who, with a handful of other recruits must endure ten weeks of boot camp and a tough as nails, hard-drinking platoon leader in the steaming swamps of Biloxi, Mississippi in 1943.

April 25-July 7 — The Buddy Holly Story at New Theatre Restaurant

It’s Back! One of our most popular productions of all time! BUDDY-THE BUDDY HOLLY STORY. This joyous musical tells the story of Buddy Holly’s short yet explosive career and features his classical hits: PEGGY SUE, THAT’LL BE THE DAY, NOT FADE AWAY, OH BOY, MAYBE BABY, RAVEON and many more. This show Rocks!

July -Sept. 15 — Joseph and the Amazing TechniColor Dreamcoat at New Theatre Restaurant

Based on the “Coat of Many Colors” story from The Bible’s Book of Genesis, this upbeat musical is filled with a cornucopia of musical styles. From country-western to calypso to bubblegum pop & rock ‘n’ roll, this Old Testament tale emerges both timely and timeless. With its family-friendly storyline, universal themes and catchy music, JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT is a musical theatre event not to be missed. From the composer of PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, EVITA, CATS AND SCHOOL OF ROCK.@

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Review: Driving Miss Daisy

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(Note: Recommend you start the video at the bottom to listen to the music while reading this blog.)

We attended the Wednesday matinee performance of Driving Miss Daisy at the New Theatre Restaurant in  Overland Park, KS. — as some of the youngest people there.

The matinees, and especially the Wednesday one, are the shows where the chartered groups, usually the 50+ crowd, blocks out the seats and the shows. Thus there are few cars in the parking lot, but the buses block the access to the doors. We parked easily in the parking lot, but had to go around the bus parked in the crosswalk to get to the steps leading up to the main door.

The dinner was everything that could be asked for of a buffet. In fact, we’ve reached the stage where one trip to the buffet tends to be enough to fill us up, though the one plate is usually full, and usually not balanced to a nutitionist’s satisfaction.

They waitstaff took orders for drinks. I got hot tea and Betsy her blended soda. I only got one pot of tea before my meal, and despite the pot being open and empty while they walked by during the meal, no one asked about more hot water. They did bring a refill during the intermission dessert course. It was so full putting in the tea bag made it splash all over me. And I only got one tea bag the whole evening, and apparently the flavor I chose only has enough in the teabag for one pot of hot water. My second pot of water was almost drinking straight hot water.

But the dessert was good. We tried the pecan pie. Each of us could have eaten one ourselves, but splitting one between us was all we really needed for a sweet taste.

But the review should say something about the show. Driving Miss Daisy. The show is really more a series of vignettes than anything plot driven. But the slices of life shown are well placed for humor and reflection on the events the present.

Emmy-Award winning actress Michael Learned plays the ascerbic personality of Miss Daisy to perfection, including the sense of her aging through the years, and her development of understanding. Charles Robinson (Night Court) effectively plays her friend, chauffer and foil in this witty series of vignettes. She never gets the best of him.

The play is one worth watching for the quality of the actor’s portrayals, and the writing. Dinner isn’t bad either, and despite my comments earlier, the waitstaff pleasant and efficient as well.

 

 

A Look Ahead …

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Here are the events coming up that we will be having something to do with, though not in every facet mentioned in the below writeups:

 

The Great Pumpkin Fest

Join us at Worlds of Fun for the ultimate fall festival – The Great Pumpkin Fest! This family-friendly event is all treats and no tricks and features special Halloween-themed activities for kids plus PEANUTS-themed rides and attractions in Planet Snoopy!

Halloween Haunt

As darkness falls, fear rises when the Overlord calls his army to transform the park into Halloween Haunt. All new in 2017, the Skeleton Crew brings a high-flying cirque-style show of talented acrobats with a team of skeletons to shock witnesses with electrifying acrobatic performances. Experience the thrills of your favorite rides and the chills of 13 Extreme Haunts as you navigate the fog-filled midways where over 400 monsters lurk to feed off your screams. All you fear is here select nights from September 16 through October 29.

Wine & Romance Delight

Wine & Romance Delight – September 30 & October 1

Kansas City Renaissance Festival

Indulge your sweet tooth this weekend at our Wine & Romance Delight! Participate in one of our many sweet events held all weekend including a Chocolate and Mead tasting.


Three Legged Race

Test your endurance as a couple while racing to the finish line! Held daily at 10:45am near the Washing Well Stage.


Wedding of the Century

 

Celebrate love! Witness couples renew their wedding vows or exchange them for the first time! The Wedding of the Century will be held Saturday on the Joust Track at 12:00pm.

 


Couple Water Balloon Toss

Calling all couples! Join us for the FREE Couple Water Balloon Toss held daily at 12:45pm. Located at the Washing Well Stage.


Costume Contest

Showcase your best garb in this week’s FREE costume contest! Held daily at 1:15pm at the Washing Well Stage.


Red Wine Sausage Eating Competition

Join us for a FREE Red Wine Sausage Eating Competition to see which couple can finish their bowl the fastest. Located at the Washing Well Stage at 2:45pm daily.


Newlywed Game

Test your knowledge! How well do you know your significant other? Find out at the FREE Newlywed Game! Held daily at 3:00pm at the Washing Well Stage.


Mr. Renaissance

Are you Prince Charming? Enter our handsome man contest at the Washing Well Stage! Held daily at 4:00pm.


Longest Kiss Competition

Held daily at the Washing Well Stage at 5:00pm!

 

Driving Miss Daisy

Sept. 27, 2017 – Nov. 26, 2017

New Theatre Restaurant

Daisy, a wealthy, acerbic widow, has wrecked another car. Her son decides she needs a chauffeur and hires an unemployed black man named Hoke. Daisy and Hoke dislike each other initially but over the course of 25 years, the two grow to become very dear friends. This funny, joyful play won the Pulitzer Prize and the film adaptation won four Oscars, including Best Picture.

Million Dollar Quartet

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Today was our first time at the New Theatre Restaurant in Overland Park, KS. The show was a matinee of the show “Million Dollar Quartet”. This will be a review/reflection on the experience of the New Theatre Restaurant and the show.

We drove to the theater, expecting to be able to find it relatively easy from what we knew of its general location. I can around the end and saw the main entrance on the west side of the building, only to be unable to get through to get to the parking, because a bus was fully blocking the way and preventing us from getting to the parking lot.

So we backtracked our course and eventually parked on the east side of the building, in the strip mall that lets out to Metcalf. We saw a sign for the New Theatre Restaurant and parked there, then tried to follow the signs to the theater.

Our tickets instructed us to “please use the right entrance”. but all we could find was the back door, not the “right entrance”. So we were walking around the building through an alleyway to get to the front of the building, intending to find the “right entrance”. Someone from the theater came out a door and told us we had gone by the entrance. I mentioned the need to find the right entrance, and he told us we had gone by it.

So we eventually went back to the back door and went in, found the main lobby, realized there were two doors in there to the theater itself — a left and right — and got in the line for the “right entrance”. But that theater guy still didn’t understand what I was talking about when he sent me back. And the tickets certainly weren’t written to make sense to someone who hadn’t been to the theater before.

But once we were in line (long), we got seated in a reasonable timeframe (smooth moving line).

We had seats in the Dress Circle (nosebleed section),  which really weren’t that far back, though somewhat close to the ceiling. We really aren’t interested in sitting too close to the stage. We need a moderate amount of distance (perspective).

Our table for two was fine, and we had a nice waiter, who took our drink orders and explained to us the pattern for the buffet, and how dessert orders are taken near the end of dinner for intermission.

Buffet opened at 11:40. We started at that time, and being in the middle of the room, didn’t get to the buffet before a moderate line had formed. We took 20 minutes to get through the buffet and back to our table. That was plenty of time to enjoy the courses, and go back for a final plate of fruit before the show.

They were very attentive to refills of Betsy’s soda, a little less attentive on refreshing the hot water for my tea.

During intermission, they were very efficient about bringing the desserts, which were as delectable as they looked. They were also very pleasant about processing the check unobtrusively.

And so to analyze the show.

Million Dollar Quartet is a show about the origins of four Rock and Roll greats: Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley. But what it really is about is the emotional journey of Sam Phillips, the owner of Sun Records and the one who discovered them all.  It is about a jam session between the four greats, the one time they were together, before they went on separate ways.

I enjoyed the show, especially the way they played Sam’s journey.  I believe people are supposed to key to the great songs of the period that they four sang during the session.  I enjoyed the music, but it isn’t my music, and so I didn’t get the buzz I think people are expected to get from the music of the show.

Even so the music was good. The plot wasn’t really very heavy, but it did carry the show. If you really enjoy the four artists of the quartet, you will probably have a really great time.

The experience was good enough for us to consider going back to another show sometime, possibly even do a season ticket.

A Look Ahead: Million $ Quartet

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This Thursday I am doing another quick “look ahead” post.

Snoopy’s Birthday

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The first item is today, Thursday, Aug. 10

Worlds of Fun

4545 Worlds of Fun Ave, Kansas City, Missouri 64161
Come help us celebrate Snoopy’s Birthday on Thursday after the 1:30 performance of Sally’s Rockin’ Dance Party! Cake will be served!

Million $ Quartet

The next item is July 6, 2017 – Sept. 24, 2017 at the New Theatre Restaurant.  I post it today, because we are going to the matinee this Saturday.

Million Dollar Quartet is the new smash-hit musical inspired by the famed recording session that brought together rock ‘n’ roll icons Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins for the first and only time. On December 4, 1956, these 4 young musicians gathered at Sun Records in Memphis for what would be one of the greatest jam sessions ever. Million Dollar Quartet brings the legendary night to life, featuring a score of rock hits including “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Fever,” “That’s All Right,” “16 Tons,” “Great Balls of Fire,” “Walk the Line,” “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On,” “Who Do You Love?,” “Matchbox,” “Folsom Prison Blues,” “Hound Dog,” and many more. This thrilling Broadway musical takes you inside the recording

 

Season Dining Update

And finally, we have the season dining plan update (which isn’t really a look ahead, but which I put here semi-regularly):

Total Price Paid $497.44
Total Number of Meals 417
Total Retail $4,364.36
Average Price Per Meal $1.19
Total Drink Price 29.64
Total number of drinks 406
Total Retail $452.50
Average Price Per Drink $0.07