This last season was a rough one—an apartment move I didn’t want, both of my grandmothers dying, and a more-stressful-than-ever school year. I’m afraid I didn’t end up reviewing as much I would have normally liked. But despite the tough stuff, I was still able to pick out some great shows for my top picks list on KCMetropolis.org:
• Soul legend Aaron Neville and his quintet giving a nostalgic and memorable concert at the Folly Theater presented by Cyprus Avenue Live, October 2013.
• Early-music icon Jordi Savall and his ensemble Hespèrion XII on the Friends of Chamber Music series, performing his latest project Honey and Blood: The Cycles of Life at the Folly Theater, October 2013.
• A fun, funky trip down memory lane thanks to The Wiz at the Coterie Theatre, November 2013.
• The Performing Arts Series at Johnson County Community College‘s headliners for its 2014 Jazz Winterlude festival: percussionist Teri Lynne Carrington and inimitable Latin jazz/Afro-Cuban trumpeter Arturo Sandoval, January 2014.
• Emerging classical violinist Nicola Benedetti on the Harriman-Jewell Series. I especially loved her performance of Prokofiev’s Violin Sonata No. 1 in F Major, Op. 80. February 2014.
• Jazz violinist Regina Carter sharing her deeply personal roots music in for a Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts presentation in Helzberg Hall, March 2014.
• Singer-songwriter-pianist John Legend giving a stripped-down, intimate concert in the Kauffman Center‘s Helzberg Hall, May 2014. (Click here for my blog post.)
• Heartland Men’s Chorus‘s season finale Vegas, Baby was an extravaganza of fabulous proportions. It was fun to hear a Liberace impersonator play “The Beer Barrel Polka” on piano—a clear nod to our shared home state, Wisconsin! June 2014.
• I was moved by Randy Noojin’s Woody Guthrie retrospective, Hard Travelin’ with Woody, on this summer’s Kansas City Fringe Festival, July 2014.
• Also on the Kansas City Fringe Festival, Kevin King’s Bad Auditions lived up to the hype, clearly deserving of its Best of Venue award and extended run at the Fishtank, August 2014.
Read my list of top picks with more thoughts and direct links to individual reviews at KCMetropolis.org: Editor’s Picks 2013–14 season: Kristin