Alan Portner

Alan Portner 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.


MOST POPULAR ARTICLES
LAST 30 DAYS

BWW Review: A CHRISTMAS CAROL at Kansas City Repertory TheatreBWW Review: A CHRISTMAS CAROL at Kansas City Repertory Theatre
Posted: Nov. 25, 2018


BWW Review: THE NAKED MAGICIANS at Starlight TheatreBWW Review: THE NAKED MAGICIANS at Starlight Theatre
Posted: Nov. 17, 2018


BWW Review: A SPECTACULAR CHRISTMAS SHOW 2018 at Musical Theater HeritageBWW Review: A SPECTACULAR CHRISTMAS SHOW 2018 at Musical Theater Heritage
Posted: Dec. 12, 2018


BWW Review: SHEAR MADNESS at New Theatre RestaurantBWW Review: SHEAR MADNESS at New Theatre Restaurant
Posted: Dec. 14, 2018


LAST 365 DAYS

BWW Review: LAST DAYS OF SUMMER at Kansas City Repertory TheatreBWW Review: LAST DAYS OF SUMMER at Kansas City Repertory Theatre
Posted: Sep. 15, 2018


BWW Review: SWEENEY TODD at Kansas City Repertory TheatreBWW Review: SWEENEY TODD at Kansas City Repertory Theatre
Posted: Mar. 31, 2018


BWW Review: CATS at Musical Theater HeritageBWW Review: CATS at Musical Theater Heritage
Posted: Jun. 11, 2018


BWW Review: SOUTH PACIFIC at Theatre In The ParkBWW Review: SOUTH PACIFIC at Theatre In The Park
Posted: Jun. 24, 2018


BWW Review: ALWAYS... PATSY CLINE at New Theatre RestaurantBWW Review: ALWAYS... PATSY CLINE at New Theatre Restaurant
Posted: Oct. 5, 2018


BWW Review: SISTER ACT at New Theatre RestaurantBWW Review: SISTER ACT at New Theatre Restaurant
Posted: May. 4, 2018


BWW Review: NEWSIES at White TheatreBWW Review: NEWSIES at White Theatre
Posted: Jul. 9, 2018


BWW Review: SHEAR MADNESS at New Theatre RestaurantBWW Review: SHEAR MADNESS at New Theatre Restaurant
December 14, 2018

Now unfolding at New Theatre Restaurant in Overland Park is America's longest-running, non-musical, audience-involved, parody, murder-mystery play entitled Shear Madness. This show is deliberately beyond silly and peculiarly tailored to tickle local funny bones.

BWW Review: A SPECTACULAR CHRISTMAS SHOW 2018 at Musical Theater HeritageBWW Review: A SPECTACULAR CHRISTMAS SHOW 2018 at Musical Theater Heritage
December 12, 2018

Musical Theatre Heritage's annual Christmas Spectacular opened the weekend of December 7th for a run through December 23rd at the MTH Theater on the third floor of Crown Center in downtown Kansas City. An eight-person cast along with a four-piece orchestra combines traditional popular Holiday music with some less familiar selections chosen to display the unusual skillsets of this cast.

BWW Review: A CHRISTMAS CAROL at Kansas City Repertory TheatreBWW Review: A CHRISTMAS CAROL at Kansas City Repertory Theatre
November 25, 2018

Now in its 38th season, Kansas City Repertory Theatre's "A Christmas Carol" is as much an iconic Kansas City holiday tradition as is the annual Plaza lighting ceremony every Thanksgiving evening. Charles Dickens (Mark Robbins) once again spins his immortal 1843 ghost story of redemption as he himself performed it (solo) on stage for the last twenty-seven years of his life.

BWW Review: THE NAKED MAGICIANS at Starlight TheatreBWW Review: THE NAKED MAGICIANS at Starlight Theatre
November 17, 2018

Naked Magicians perform at Starlight Theatre indoors. That pretty much sums up the two Australian illusionists' adult comedy/prestidigitation ac

BWW Review: SCHOOL OF ROCK at Theater LeagueBWW Review: SCHOOL OF ROCK at Theater League
November 14, 2018

Audiences at 'School Of Rock, The Musical' (now playing at the Kansas City Music Hall) are in for an evening of fun. This production is pure entertainment highlighted by a dozen songs from the reigning King of musical theater, Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber. 'School Of Rock' onstage offers a lot to admire and much to enjoy including a ridiculously talented cast of mostly pre-teenagers.

BWW Review: CAMELOT at White TheatreBWW Review: CAMELOT at White Theatre
November 5, 2018

Now playing at the White Theatre inside the Jewish Community Center in Overland Park is their community theater production of Lerner and Loewe's 1960 classic 'Camelot.' Featuring a hidden away orchestra of twenty-three and a cast of seventeen 'Camelot,' is always a challenging project.

BWW Review: MADAMA BUTTERFLY at Lyric Opera Of Kansas CityBWW Review: MADAMA BUTTERFLY at Lyric Opera Of Kansas City
November 4, 2018

Lyric Opera's 'Madama Butterfly' as performed on the stage of the Muriel Kauffman Theater is extraordinary. Puccini's music remains transcendent even after one hundred fourteen years.

BWW Review: SHOW BOAT at Musical Theater HeritageBWW Review: SHOW BOAT at Musical Theater Heritage
November 3, 2018

Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II touched off an earthquake in Musical Theater with their 1927 musicalized version of Edna Ferber's 'Show Boat.' A new iteration of 'Show Boat' has shoved off from the dock inside the MTH Theater on the third level of Crown Center for what will be pleased audiences.

BWW Review: THE ORPHANS' HOME CYCLE at Metropolitan Ensemble TheatreBWW Review: THE ORPHANS' HOME CYCLE at Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre
November 3, 2018

Horton Foote's 'Orphans' Home Cycle' is a monumental project for any theatre company. Kansas City's Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre should be recognized for taking it on. It is the first time any company has attempted Foote's Opus since its short Broadway run ending in early 2010.

BWW Previews: THE ORPHANS' HOME CYCLE at Metropolitan Ensemble TheatreBWW Previews: THE ORPHANS' HOME CYCLE at Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre
November 2, 2018

Rarely produced in full, Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre (MET) presents the entirety of Horton Foote's nine-act Magnus Opus The Orphans' Home Cycle running in repertory through November 18, 2018. This massive production utilizes over 30 veteran performers from across the Metro KC area in 64 roles throughout the expansive production.

BWW Interview: Karen Paisley of THE ORPHANS' HOME CYCLE at Metropolitan Ensemble TheatreBWW Interview: Karen Paisley of THE ORPHANS' HOME CYCLE at Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre
October 31, 2018

Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre (MET), now located in the historic Warwick Theater on Main Street in Kansas City adjacent to the Plaza District presents 'The Orphans' Home Cycle' continuing in repertory until November 18.

BWW Review: OF MICE AND MEN at Kansas City Repertory TheatreBWW Review: OF MICE AND MEN at Kansas City Repertory Theatre
October 27, 2018

'Of Mice and Men' transports us to Steinbeck's world on the Monterey Peninsula of California during the Great Depression prior to World War II. It was (and still is) mainly an agricultural breadbasket area. As the play opens, two of these men approach a ranch in Soledad California. They are George Milton (Jake Walker) and Lennie Small (Rusty Sneary). George is a bright if uneducated man. Lennie is a giant, but agonizingly slow.

BWW Interview: Jason Chanos of 'OF MICE AND MEN' at Kansas City Repertory TheatreBWW Interview: Jason Chanos of 'OF MICE AND MEN' at Kansas City Repertory Theatre
October 26, 2018

Now directing his first major show for the Kansas City Repertory Theatre is Interim Artistic Director Jason Chanos. Chanos has been the Associate Artistic Director at the Rep since 2015 in addition to teaching acting at UMKC. He holds a BA from the University of Northern Colorado and an MFA from UMKC. Opening on Friday, October 26 (after a week in previews) is the UMKC/KCRep co-production of Steinbeck's 1937 "Of Mice And Men" at the Copaken Theatre inside the H&R Block Building in downtown Kansas City.

BWW Review: SWEAT at Unicorn TheatreBWW Review: SWEAT at Unicorn Theatre
October 22, 2018

Powerful story, top notch stagecraft, and excellent acting make the Unicorn production of 'Sweat' by Lynn Nottage a must see before you cast your ballot on November 6. 'Sweat' begins to explain divisions in the 2018 electorate and how they developed. The Pulitzer committee agreed and awarded this work the prize for drama in 2017.

BWW Review: IN THE HEIGHTS at Theatre In The ParkBWW Review: IN THE HEIGHTS at Theatre In The Park
October 7, 2018

"In The Heights" is Lin-Manuel Miranda's premiere effort at an entirely new way of telling a story through musical theater. "Theater In The Park's" fine indoor production of Miranda's "Heights" is a fine Kansas City area community interpretation of this 2008 four Tony award winner.

BWW Review: ALWAYS... PATSY CLINE at New Theatre RestaurantBWW Review: ALWAYS... PATSY CLINE at New Theatre Restaurant
October 5, 2018

'Always Patsy Cline' at New Theatre Restaurant in Overland Park is a delightful, two-hour sojourn into mid-twentieth century 'Country and Western' music. Patsy Cline was an early country singer who achieved crossover success and a very loyal listener following.

BWW Review: WEST SIDE STORY at Lyric Opera of Kansas CityBWW Review: WEST SIDE STORY at Lyric Opera of Kansas City
September 23, 2018

Lyric Opera of Kansas City steps off its 2018-2019 season with a bravura interpretation of 1957's "West Side Story." It is difficult to say enough good things about this Lyric Opera of Kansas City presentation.

BWW Review: RADIO GOLF at KC Melting Pot TheatreBWW Review: RADIO GOLF at KC Melting Pot Theatre
September 22, 2018

'Radio Golf' is the tenth and final work of African-American Playwright August Wilson's 'Century Cycle' of plays. This simple, yet representative production by KC Melting Pot Theatre is performed at the Just Off Broadway Theatre.

BWW Review: MOON FOR THE MISBEGOTTEN at Kansas City Actors TheatreBWW Review: MOON FOR THE MISBEGOTTEN at Kansas City Actors Theatre
September 18, 2018

The characters in Eugene O'Neil's "Moon For The Misbegotten," now being performed by the Kansas City Actors' Theatre at Union Station, are tours de force for serious actors and serious audiences. The story, while not autobiographical, follows the life path of O'Neil's brother James. They are, in some ways, similar to the tragic heroes of William Shakespeare and the tortured souls of Tennessee Williams.

BWW Review: ELEGY FOR A LADY at Open SpacesBWW Review: ELEGY FOR A LADY at Open Spaces
September 18, 2018

Elegy For A Lady is a tiny fragment of a play lasting no more than forty minutes, but also an insight into the mind of American playwright Arthur Miller. Instead of being performed in a traditional theater, Bob Paisley and Heidi Van inhabit their characters inside a tiny lady's boutique in the Crossroads among, rather than in front of, a tiny audience of about twenty people.



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