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Alan Portner

Alan Portner

Al Portner is regional editor for Broadway World – Kansas City.  He is a retired career journalist and media executive who has written for publication over more than 40 years. Portner has published daily newspapers in venues as far east as Washington DC, as far west as Honolulu HI.




MOST POPULAR ARTICLES

LAST 30 DAYS

ANNIE Brings the Sun Out at White Theatre PhotoANNIE Brings the Sun Out at White Theatre
Posted: Jul. 15, 2021


BWW Review: DEAD RINGER at Musical Theater Heritage PhotoBWW Review: DEAD RINGER at Musical Theater Heritage
Posted: Jul. 10, 2021


LAST 365 DAYS

BWW Feature: AUSCHWITZ - NOT LONG AGO - NOT FAR AWAY at Union Station PhotoBWW Feature: AUSCHWITZ - NOT LONG AGO - NOT FAR AWAY at Union Station
Posted: Jun. 15, 2021


BWW Review: DIXIE'S HAPPY HOUR at Starlight Theatre PhotoBWW Review: DIXIE'S HAPPY HOUR at Starlight Theatre
Posted: Jan. 28, 2021


BWW Review: THE MUSIC OF MOTOWN at MTH (Virtual) PhotoBWW Review: THE MUSIC OF MOTOWN at MTH (Virtual)
Posted: Jan. 18, 2021


BWW Review: THE SPECTACULAR CHRISTMAS SHOW at Musical Theater Heritage PhotoBWW Review: THE SPECTACULAR CHRISTMAS SHOW at Musical Theater Heritage
Posted: Dec. 11, 2020


BWW Review: BROADWAY'S PRINCE at MTH At Crown Center PhotoBWW Review: BROADWAY'S PRINCE at MTH At Crown Center
Posted: Nov. 6, 2020


ANNIE Brings the Sun Out at White Theatre PhotoANNIE Brings the Sun Out at White Theatre
Posted: Jul. 15, 2021


BWW Review: DEAD RINGER at Musical Theater Heritage PhotoBWW Review: DEAD RINGER at Musical Theater Heritage
Posted: Jul. 10, 2021


ANNIE Brings the Sun Out at White Theatre
July 15, 2021

Now running on the stage of the White Theatre at the Jewish Community Center’s Overland Park campus is a very credible production of 1977’s “Annie.” It is the first new, full, live, Broadway Style indoor production to tread the boards of this very nice auditorium in sixteen months.

BWW Review: DEAD RINGER at Musical Theater Heritage
July 10, 2021

Live Theater has returned to Musical Theater Heritage with the World Premiere production of “Dead Ringer.” Starring in this one man tour de force is Canadian performer and Kansas City favorite Zachary Stevenson.

BWW Feature: AUSCHWITZ - NOT LONG AGO - NOT FAR AWAY at Union Station
June 15, 2021

Now open at Kansas City’s Union Station is a huge, new, historical exhibition. The exhibition is fronted by one of the freight cars that once transported hundreds of thousands of souls to the Auschwitz death camp in southeastern Poland between 1940 and 1945.

BWW Review: DIXIE'S HAPPY HOUR at Starlight Theatre
January 28, 2021

Dixie Longate is back, at least virtually, at Starlight Theatre.  It’s a far reaching, no holds barred, brave ninety minute performance. 

BWW Review: THE MUSIC OF MOTOWN at MTH (Virtual)
January 18, 2021

“The Music of Motown” is the third original cabaret show in a series of video streamed entertainments from Musical Theater Heritage in the wake of the great Covid-19 pandemic. Covid has eliminated live audience performances for the time being. Each new iteration becomes a little technically better than the one that preceded it. The music is always fine. This show is one R&B lovers should not miss.

BWW Review: THE SPECTACULAR CHRISTMAS SHOW at Musical Theater Heritage
December 11, 2020

A KC holiday treasures I always enjoy is the “The Spectacular Christmas Show” at Musical Theater Heritage. Covid-19 has forced the “Christmas Show” off the main stage, but it has has been re-incarnated virtually and not lost much on the “Spectacular” scale and lost nothing in musical performance.

BWW Review: BROADWAY'S PRINCE at MTH At Crown Center
November 6, 2020

MTH’s new virtual Musical Monday “Broadway’s Prince” is a delightful decompression from the all-consuming political drama that engulfs the country. “Broadway’s Prince” is a remembrance of the late, great, Broadway producer and Director Hal Prince. This production is a compendium of sixteen musical numbers from a selection of Prince’s shows sung by some really excellent, locally-based performers.

BWW Review: AN EVENING WITH RODGERS AND HAMMERSTEIN at Musical Theater Heritage
September 1, 2020

Fans of Musical Theater Heritage are in for a treat with a new, locally conceived and performed streaming remembrance revue featuring the iconic music of a?oeRodgers and Hammerstein.a?? This MTH production uses parts of the finished scenic design from the Covid cancelled production of a?oeCarousela?? originally scheduled for last spring. It is excellently videoed and sound engineered on the internet Vimeo platform.

BWW Review: AMERICAN SON at Unicorn Theatre
March 9, 2020

AMERICAN SON is a bold, intense, ninety minute study of race and law enforcement in America during the early twenty-first century.  How you interpret what you see depends entirely on who you are and your own preconceptions. 

BWW Review: THE GOLDEN GIRLS PARODY at Starlight Theatre Indoors
March 9, 2020


BWW Review: TITANIC (THE MUSICAL) at Barn Players
February 18, 2020

Barn Players production of TITANIC (The Musical) opened this past weekend at the Arts Asylum to full and appreciative audiences. TITANIC is a huge (pardon the play on words) Community Theater undertaking in all ways you might imagine it could be. TITANIC (The Musical) was written by Maury Yeston and Peter Stone. It won five Tony Awards, including Best Musical. The BARN PLAYERS production directed by Kipp Simmons is similarly complex but in different ways.

BWW Review: AN AMERICAN IN PARIS at Yardley Hall
February 16, 2020

A third evolution of the American classic AN AMERICAN IN PARIS took the stage at Yardley Hall inside the Carlsen Center at Johnson County (KS) Community College to an almost full audience of 1500 souls. AN AMERICAN IN PARIS has been reborn as an ambitious piece of modern musical theater. It first opened in Paris n 2014, then in New York, before journeying across the pond for engagements in London's west end. This particular production is the second iteration of a road company. This one is a Non-Equity tour produced by BIG LEAGUE productions.

BWW Review: CHURCH BASEMENT LADIES at New Theatre & Restaurant
February 15, 2020

It doesn't much matter whether you happen to be Lutheran, Catholic, another flavor of Protestant, Jewish, or Muslim. All places of worship surely have CHURCH BASEMENT LADIES like these.

BWW Review: COME FROM AWAY at Kansas City Broadway Series
February 12, 2020

COME FROM AWAY is a 2017 musical play that memorializes the best of how humans can react in the face of the 911 tragedy. It is both a testament and the best new musical in many years.

BWW Review: A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM at The White Theatre
February 11, 2020

William Shakespeare's 1595 comedy A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM is one of his most often performed light plays. Stripped down, it is a screwball romantic comedy of misdirection written across five acts in verse.

BWW Review: FOREVER PLAID at Musical Theater Heritage
February 9, 2020

FOREVER PLAID is a delightful stroll down memory lane for you. This new production designed at Musical Theatre Heritage inside Crown Center is a hoot and one of those “best in kind” experiences.

BWW Previews: VALENTINE'S Date shows in Kansas City
February 8, 2020

Still planning your special holiday evening out with your best girl or guy? Kansas City has lots to offer. There can be over four hundred places to hear live music in Kansas City and multiple opportunities to see a great stage show. Here are just a few of the stage shows available to you and your sweetie. Tickets are available on the websites of the named theatres.

BWW Review: THE OFFICE; A MUSICAL PARODY at Starlight Theatre Indoors
February 5, 2020

The Musical Parody of TV's THE OFFICE is for those who are devoted fans of the 2005 a?' 2013 NBC comedy series. This is an unauthorized version, but it is probable that the best audience members for the parody are those most steeped in the developmental history of how the source show came to be.

BWW Review: FUN HOME at Kansas City Repertory Theatre
February 3, 2020

FUN HOME (the musical) is, according to KC Repertory Theatre Artistic Director Stuart Carden, a?oethe most important new musical theater piecea?oe of the last decade. 2015 American Theatre Wing voters agreed by rewarding FUN HOME with Tony awards for Best Musical, Best Score, Best Book, Best Lead Actor, and Best Director.

BWW Review: BABEL at Unicorn Theatre
January 26, 2020

The World Premier engagement of Jacqueline Goldfinger's BABEL (as part of the National New Play Network) is enjoying its first, fully realized production at Kansas City's Unicorn Theatre in Midtown. BABEL is a fascinating, at times funny, and at times terrifying vision of a future that may not be very far off. The questions it poses do not unreasonably stretch technology and human impacts.



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