Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Justice!!!! Schlitterbahn to close and remove Verruckt death machine!!!

Verruckt slide at Schlitterbahn with the killer netting above innocent unsuspecting riders.  When the raft went airborn this summer, the hook and loop belts (not Velcro brand) gave way, expelling young Caleb Schwab into the netting, and decapitating him.  JocoPost.com was the first to report the decapitation.  Confirmed the news with an eyewitness and an investigator sworn to secrecy for fear of losing their job in law enforcement--due to the cozy relationship of county government and their big money-generating local business.  We shared the decapitation details with Tonyskansascity.com--and Tony shared it with the world.  For the first week, local TV refused to say the word "decapitation".  The public was so misled, families were still attending the water park as if this was some trivial accident, rather than a horrific and preventable death trap.

KCTV 5 reported it as their lead story at 6pm today.

The results of the investigation must have been brutal!  Waiting for more details tomorrow, but here is Steve Vockrodt's initial report in the STAR.   (Just last week, he and I had speculated on whether the report would be buried and the victims paid for their silence.)

KC STAR reports Verruckt removal, three minutes after TV5 broke the story at 6pm

Schlitterbahn can never compensate Scott Schwab's family for the decapitation of their sweet son, Caleb.  But this is the right thing to do.

That slide was a blight on the landscape.

Good riddance.

I hope someone goes after the man, the son of the original owners of the water park, and send him to prison.  This was his doing.  He was so desperate to be the lead story on XTreme Sports cable show that he committed to building the world's tallest water slide.  With insufficient planning and design time.  Without telling his family/business partners.  Without knowing how to do it safely.  And according to a local engineer, he ignored phone calls from a structural engineer who tried to warn him--the design was defective, and would kill ejected passengers.

More to follow.

TV5 breaks story: Schlitterbahn says Verruckt will be coming down

Thursday, November 10, 2016

OK, Hillary-in-mourning folks: Change the channel in your head! Last night for KIFF film festival, Glenwood Arts/Ranchmart. "Dying of the Light", Eagle Huntress, KIFF local shorts or The Kandidat, thriller about a Slovakian Presidential campaign!

All over town, I find folks in mourning for Hillary's loss.

To gain perspective, here's how to change the channel in your head.  Come to the final night of this town's best film festival, Kansas International Film Festival.  At Ranchmart South, 95th & Mission.

Here are my picks:

5:25  Dying of the Light
          (No, it's not about the meltdown of the Democratic party!!!)  It's an excellent documentary about the fact that movies (and cameras) are now all going electronic--being made digitally, without the special qualities afforded by photochemical film.  This compares to the paintings of The Masters being no longer painted in oil.  It's a funeral for the past.  See how I related it to the thoughts on instant replay in your head???

5:30pm  The Eagle Huntress
          This is a sneak preview, and will have more screenings, starting around December.  A 13 year old girl in Mongolia becomes the first female in her family's centuries' old tradition of hunting, using giant golden eagles, atop horseback.  In deep snow.  On the steppes of Mongolia.  Which is really really hard to do!!!!  Harder than being paid to be a protester on the Country Club Plaza.  You'll see some of the best cinematography ever captured on film.  Stop feeling sorry about America!  Stop being afraid.  This might be the perfect film for you--and any brainwashed children who are crying today!!!  Stop watching TV news networks and liar-for-hire pollsters try to explain how they quit reporting and actually tweeted out insults and campaigned rather than reporting on our elections!!

7:30 pm: KIFF Local #2
           See seven short films made by local filmmakers.  Maybe discover the next Steven Spielberg!

Getty image.  Melania is from Slovenia, not Slovakia, where KIFF film The Kandidat was filmed... but still--it's about a maniuplative Presidential campaign!  Art imitates life???  ps, I HAVE NO IDEA WHY SHE ALWAYS SQUINTS.

7:35pm:  The Kandidat
             A cynical black humor thriller, takes place in Slovakia during a presidential campaign.   Based on a novel about a manipulative game of promoting an unknown into the Presidency of a country.  Go figure:  Art imitating life!!!  This is why KIFF is such a terrific film festival.
 Ironically, and no part of this film, Slovakia is right next door to Slovenia, the home country of our next First Lady--Melania Trump!!!  (I guess we have four years to figure that one out.)

 For more details, see www.kansasfilm.org

Great food at KIFF cafe--I love Chef Kat Irons' special curried chicken salad on croissant with Sun Chips...

Sunday, November 6, 2016

CABARET: Wowsers at Musical Theater Heritage in Crown Center.

I love musicals--and so do many of the women who live with the good readers of Tonyskansascity.com.  And even those who sleep with the trolls there.   So here is a NO FAIL DATE NIGHT SUGGESTION for Tony's readers.  Courtesy of KC's local musical and theatrical expert, Bill Doty.

CABARET is one of those musicals you see again and again, not only if you have been out of touch for a long time (40+ years), but  to see how it is staged and performed.  Having been described as (Kansas City’s) John Kander and the late Fred Ebbs’ masterpiece, CABARET is one of  the best musicals ever to trod the boards.   Kander and Ebb (Cabaret, Chicago, Kiss of the Spider Woman) are already right there with the Sondheim,  Schonberg/Boubil (Les Mis...) and Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber as institutional forces in American musical theatre.  So, there you have them “Cabaret” and Kander and Ebb – venerable, indelible, incomparable.  Armed with that, you can take your seat.

Executive Producer Chad Gerlt and Artistic Director Sarah Crawfords’ just- opened Musical Theater Heritage (MTH)/Crown Center production of CABARET is an unqualified rave!
First, the concert-style musical format, a force unto itself, takes us to the madness of 1931 Berlin where we are constantly surprised and seduced.   Artistic Director Sarah Crawford’s masterful casting, directing and her use of the syncopated choreography of the late Bob Fosse (OMG, FOSSE!) are reason enough to get tickets now..  The play is sensitively enacted – as Nazism takes hold, we care about the storyteller (author Christopher Isherwood) as Cliff, his landlady, Fraulein Schneider, the androgynous emcee of club Kit-Kat Klub/his “girls,” and the unwieldy faux Brit, Sally Bowles.   
I’ll leave theatre-goers to see these consummate performances, this incredible story – except to say that they are all stunning – perfectly researched and imagined – brilliant and (oops, a slip) Stefanie Wienecke as Sally Bowles may be the best Sally you (or anybody) has ever seen.  

Doty postscript: I am booked to see CABARET at least two more times. 

Tracy adds:   
Bill Doty is not just some guy in a diner with an untrained ear and eye for theatre.  He has had dinner with Andrew Lloyd Webber in London.  He is a playwright with a current work in previews in NYC..."Children of the April Rain".  He worked in Hollywood and at the National Archives for 49 years--with all the Hollywood stars.  He's our version of Forrest Gump.  He knows everyone worth knowing.  Tennessee Williams once rang his doorbell at 8:30 in the morning, in his skivvies, holding out a coffee mug and asking: "Got vodka?"

And Doty buys his tickets.  These are not the rahrah writings of a reviewer sitting in the comped seats.  So when he says, this is the musical of the year, you can trust him.

For tickets to Cabaret 
at MTH/Musical Theater Heritage, 

You are Willkommen!!!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

HOT TICKETS! Win 2 free tickets to meet Ed Asner, Sunday night 5pm at KIFF/Ks Intl Film Festival, Glenwood Arts, Ranchmart South, 95th & Mission. See his doc: "My Friend, Ed."

KCK's loveable hometown movie star, Ed Asner, (aka Lou Grant on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, plus 101 other roles on film and TV), will be our town's version of Robert Redford at Sundance--at the 16th annual KIFF/Kansas International Film Festival running now thru Nov. 10.

About "My Friend, Ed":
Sunday, Nov. 6   one showing only!  5:05pm    

Special Events:
3:30 to 4:15pm            Autograph Party   (one item per person)
4:15 to 4:30pm            Media Interviews
4:30 pm                       Seating for the one showing.  
                                   Festival passes seated first, 
                                    {$60/see 18 possible films in one week. 
                                    Fri. Nov. 4-10 plus mingle all week: attend 2
                                    exclusive parties with filmmakers and stars}

5:05 pm                       Screening of "My Friend, Ed"
                                    55 min. documentary
6p-6:30pm                   QandA: Ed Asner; daughter Liza Asner, and 
                                   Sharon Baker, Director/Writer 

Tony is helping me and my favorite local film festival give away free tickets to selected films this year.
To win, send me a polite request via comment (not on Tonyskansascity but on www.jocopost.com).
You may log on, or click the link Tony provides, or click this blog in the RH column of Tonys site.

I will need your name and email address and phone number--so you can't just be anonymous.  Since I screen all comments first, I won't publish your info, just use it to see if I can score you two free tickets.

I will give away as many tickets as I can.
This one will be VERY popular.
If you win, I will immediately send you the form, and notify the Will Call Desk at the Glenwood Arts.  I will also let you know if you did not win FREE tix, but encourage you to buy them early, as they are selling FAST.
Winners will take your Confirmation Email (print out or just show your phone) to the Will Call in the vast underground theatre lobby Ranchmart South to pick up your tickets.  (You may park on the 95th St. side and walk down the 20 steps, or park in back, off 95th Ter. just east of Mission Rd.)
You may also buy extra tickets there --if it's not sold out.  Goin' fast!

Each of the 35 FULL LENGTH films at this year's KIFF film festival ONLY AIRS ONCE!!!
Tickets are not exchangeable for another film.  Five different indie films (docs, narratives or animations) are screened in the five auditoriums, one time only, at any given time.   Audience members vote on their favorites, to earn additional showings in the future.

This year a record number of filmmakers and performing artists are flying in for the festival.  It's a big deal in the independent film world.  The stars and producers will be partying in Westport, and mingling with fans and other movie producers at the Glenwood Arts, at the KIFF Cafe, where Kat Irons prepares gourmet food.  Paparazzi welcome.  So chew your curry chicken salad on croissant with your mouth closed--please!!!

In addition, KIFF President Brian Mossman has arranged for Sneak Previews one time only of three highly anticipated films that will not open for general release until Christmas!:
Friday, Nov. 4  "Jackie"     7:30pm  one screening only.  Stars Natalie Portman,
                                            drama, Jacqueline Kennedy AFTER JFK was assassinated

Sat, Nov. 5        "Lion"         4:45pm one screening only.  Stars Dev Patel.  True story.
                                              Six year old Hindu boy jumps train, can't get home.
                                              Adopted in Australia.  25 years later, uses Google Earth
                                              to view every train station in India.  Mom???

Sun. Nov. 6       "Neruda"    7:15pm, one screening only.  Right after Asner.
                                             An inspector hunts down Nobel Prize Laureate,
                                             fugitive Chilean poet Pablo Neruda.

The KIFF Festival is the best in Kansas City--like going to Cannes or Sundance, only you can still get tickets!  Independent films, animations, shorts and the three studio sneaks.

For details, go to www.kansasfilm.com

Here's the complete Ed Asner press release/bio

For more offers of free tickets, and info about the great indie films at KIFF, see our sister site: www.KcmoPost.com