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: 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: WEST SIDE STORY at Lyric Opera of Kansas CityBWW Review: WEST SIDE STORY at Lyric Opera of Kansas City
Posted: Sep. 23, 2018


BWW Review: MY FAIR LADY at Musical Theater HeritageBWW Review: MY FAIR LADY at Musical Theater Heritage
Posted: Sep. 16, 2018


BWW Review: IN THE HEIGHTS at Theatre In The ParkBWW Review: IN THE HEIGHTS at Theatre In The Park
Posted: Oct. 7, 2018


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


BWW Review: RADIO GOLF at KC Melting Pot TheatreBWW Review: RADIO GOLF at KC Melting Pot Theatre
Posted: Sep. 22, 2018


BWW Review: MOON FOR THE MISBEGOTTEN at Kansas City Actors TheatreBWW Review: MOON FOR THE MISBEGOTTEN at Kansas City Actors Theatre
Posted: Sep. 18, 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: SOUTH PACIFIC at Theatre In The ParkBWW Review: SOUTH PACIFIC at Theatre In The Park
Posted: Jun. 24, 2018


BWW Review: CATS at Musical Theater HeritageBWW Review: CATS at Musical Theater Heritage
Posted: Jun. 11, 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: SISTER ACT at Barn PlayersBWW Review: SISTER ACT at Barn Players
Posted: Nov. 6, 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.

BWW Review: MY FAIR LADY at Musical Theater HeritageBWW Review: MY FAIR LADY at Musical Theater Heritage
September 16, 2018

Alan Lerner and Frederick Lowe's 1956 musical megahit 'My Fair Lady' opened last weekend at Musical Theater Heritage inside its three-venue Crown Center complex with a re-imagination by Kansas City's Heidi Van. This cast is multi-racial and sensitive to the modern relative roles of men and women in today's society.

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

The Spencer Theater, KC Rep audience roared its approval at the world-premiere, musical production of Steve Kruger's 1998 novel 'Last Days Of Summer.' In collaboration with Composer Jason Howland and Director Jeff Calhoun, Kruger's new play takes its first full scale step toward a hoped for long run on the Great White Way

BWW Review: LOVE NEVER DIES at Starlight TheatreBWW Review: LOVE NEVER DIES at Starlight Theatre
August 15, 2018

'Love Never Dies' is absolutely worth seeing. It is lush. The voices are beyond exceptional. Sets, costumes, and effects are haunting. The direction by Australians Simon Phillips and choreography by Graeme Murphy AO completely envelop the space allowed. The traveling pit orchestra conducted by Dale Rieling is as good as it gets. There are several, new, show stopping songs and lots of achingly beautiful echoes of the original Phantom score.

BWW Review: THE PRODUCERS at Musical Theater HeritageBWW Review: THE PRODUCERS at Musical Theater Heritage
August 12, 2018

Great theater requires a willing suspension of disbelief. 'The Producers' by Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan requires a willing embrace of 1940's Catskill schlock and shtick. That said, MTH's 'The Producers' is so much inspired silliness, so well performed, and so meticulously put together, it is tough to stop giggling and smirking and groaning at the awful, hysterical, politically in-correct, funny, one-liners. The Saturday night, Crown Center audience for 'The Producers' thoroughly embarrassed itself and was delighted to do so.

BWW Review: THE WIZARD OF OZ at Providence Hospital AmphitheaterBWW Review: THE WIZARD OF OZ at Providence Hospital Amphitheater
August 2, 2018

'The Wizard Of Oz' as produced by Kansas City's 'Theater League' in the cavernous outdoor concert venue now called Providence Hospital Amphitheater

BWW Review: MAMMA MIA at New Theatre RestaurantBWW Review: MAMMA MIA at New Theatre Restaurant
July 20, 2018

Donna Sheridan (Shanna Jones) was the lead singer in one of the early female power trios, 'Donna and the Dynamos,' back in the summers of love period in the late 1960s. She found the love of her life, Sam Carmichael (John Franklin), and lost him to a previous personal commitment while Donna and her crew performed among the Greek Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. That summer Donna had two rebound relationships with other men. All three relationships were documented in her diary. Donna became pregnant by whom Donna is not sure.

BWW Review: INTO THE WOODS at Theatre In The ParkBWW Review: INTO THE WOODS at Theatre In The Park
July 9, 2018

Johnson County's Community Theatre in the Park performs a top quality and charming version of Steven Sondheim's 1987 musical mashup of every fairy tale you have ever had told to you as a child. We've got Jack and the Beanstalk, Cinderella and her dysfunctional clan, Rapunzel in her tower, Little Red Riding Hood, her wolfy friend, a couple of princes, an odd looking guy never named but definitely related to Rumpelstiltskin, and even a mention of Snow White snoozing in her crystal casket surrounded by suspicious looking short guys.

BWW Review: NEWSIES at White TheatreBWW Review: NEWSIES at White Theatre
July 9, 2018

Two sold out audiences leaped to their feet in group appreciation of 'Disney's Newsies,' a co-production of the Jewish Community Center's White Theatre (in Overland Park) and The Coterie Theatre (normally operating out of Crown Center).

BWW Review: SOUTH PACIFIC at Theatre In The ParkBWW Review: SOUTH PACIFIC at Theatre In The Park
June 24, 2018

'South Pacific' at the huge 'Theatre In The Park' outdoor amphitheater is a super community theater rendition of the Rogers and Hammerstein 1949 ground-breaking classic. The scene is a tiny island on the stepping stone chain of Polynesian Islands being retaken by the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps following the Pearl Harbor attack on December 7, 1941.

BWW Review: MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING at Heart Of America Shakespeare FestivalBWW Review: MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING at Heart Of America Shakespeare Festival
June 21, 2018

The 2018 edition of the 'Heart of America Shakespeare Festival' offers a very nice production of Shakespeare's 1599 comedy 'Much Ado About Nothing.' 'Much Ado' is a comedy/farce in many ways similar to other Shakespearian comedies 'Taming of the Shrew,' and 'The Merchant of Venice.' All three plays depend on misdirection and romances somehow gone way awry.

BWW Previews: NEWSIES at White TheatreBWW Previews: NEWSIES at White Theatre
June 14, 2018

Next up at the White Theatre is a joint production with Crown Center's Coterie Theatre of Disney's Newsies; a live stage musical version of the 1992 musical film. Newsies recalls the real-life newsboys' strike of 1899.

BWW Review: SINATRA'S SONGWRITER at Quality Hill PlayhouseBWW Review: SINATRA'S SONGWRITER at Quality Hill Playhouse
June 12, 2018

J. Kent Barnhart's Quality Hill Playhouse trots out another of his patented cabaret style revues, "Sinatra's Songwriter." This revue celebrates Sammy Cahn, the longtime lyricist and songwriter for legendary crooner Frank Sinatra. If the well loved music of the long Sammy Cahn-Frank Sinatra collaboration pings at your heartstrings, then this cabaret show is for you.

BWW Review: CATS at Musical Theater HeritageBWW Review: CATS at Musical Theater Heritage
June 11, 2018

Musical Theater Heritage presents a super re-imagination of Andrew Lloyd Weber's 1982 'Cats.' This show is a two magical hours that will be savored by its audiences. Director Tim Scott has built a team of designers, actors, dancers, and musicians who would be tough to match on any stage. 'Cats' is total ensemble producing.

BWW Review: DIRTY DANCING at Starlight TheatreBWW Review: DIRTY DANCING at Starlight Theatre
June 6, 2018

This week at Starlight Theatre; 'Dirty Dancing.' If you are a die-hard fan of the 1987 film "Dirty Dancing," the live-on-stage version of the film might be the "Time of Your Life." For others, not so much.



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