Al Portner is a retired career journalist and media executive. He has written for publication over more than 40 years. He has published daily newspapers in venues as far east as Washington DC, as far west as Honolulu HI, and a number of communities in between. His new book on the literary partnership of Ulysses Grant and Mark Twain will be available in 2018.
'Do you hear the people sing?' You will if you attend the 25th Anniversary edition of the 'Les Miserables' now on stage at the Kansas City Music Hall through Sunday, December 9. This is an absolutely credible recreation of the show that first hit London's West End theater district way back in 1985 and journeyed across the pond two years later. It has been running pretty much at full steam ever since.BWW Interview: Josh Davis of LES MISERABLES at Kansas City Broadway Series December 4, 2017
It is a first ever production of a new play simply titled 'Bastard' by Kansas City playwright and artist Tyson Schroeder presented at the tiny studio theater on the third level of The Living Room Theatre in the Crossroads area. Directed by Living Room co-founder Shawnna Jouragan, 'Bastard' is a screed on the tyranny of making art and the superficiality of those who pretend to appreciate it.BWW Interview: Ron 'OJ' Parson And AC Smith of FENCES at Kansas City Repertory Theatre part II October 13, 2017
Next up at Kansas City Repertory Theatre is a new production of August Wilson's Pulitzer Prize winning 1983 play 'Fences' at the KC Rep Copaken Theatre in downtown Kansas City with an exceptional cast. Directing 'Fences' is Ron OJ Parson Director/Resident Artist at Court Theatre of Chicago. AC Smith plays Troy Maxxson supported by Alfred Wilson as Troy's best friend and co-worker, Jim Bono.BWW Review: DRIVING MISS DAISY at New Theatre Restaurant October 6, 2017
If you are a lover of the 'Great America Songbook,' Kent Barnhart's latest amalgamation of familiar tunes, 'I've Got A Crush On You,' with their origins in the musical theater of the last century is for you. Barnhart, with his trademark, droll sense of humor, leads a devoted audience at Quality Hill Playhouse through a century of music that has long outlived the shows that first gave them birth.BWW Review: MEN ON BOATS at Unicorn Theatre September 22, 2017
Kicking off the Unicorn Theatre's 44th season is 'Men on Boats' by Jaclyn Bauhaus (in cooperation with the UMKC advanced MFA program). 'Men on Boats' is an interesting and mostly accurate exploration of John Wesley Powell's 1869 exploration of the Colorado River north of and into the Grand Canyon.BWW Review: GREY GARDENS at The Barn Players in Kansas City September 18, 2017
'Grey Gardens,' the 2007 character piece that originally featured a bravura turn and a Best Actress in a Musical Tony for Christine Ebersole, is the current, ambitious, fall offering from the Barn Players Community Theater in Mission through October 1. 'Grey Gardens' tells the story of a Mother and Daughter who struggle through a steep descent from American Aristocracy to poverty and health department threats of eviction from their Long Island mansion. It is a story we may never have heard except for that the Mother in our story was also Aunt to the late Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis.BWW Review: BETWEEN THE LINES at Kansas City Repertory Theatre September 16, 2017
World Premiere show keeps audience engaged and appreciate - may have a great future in New York