Kansas City Theater Review: “Sister Act”


  • AUGUST 16, 2022                


Over the past couple decades there have been a number of Broadway musicals that have been based on popular films.  “Hairspray,” “The Producers,”  “Beetlejuice,” “Rocky,” and “Young Frankenstein” are just a small fraction of the shows that have hit the Great White Way – with new productions of “The Nutty Professor” and “Mr. Holland’s Opus” currently previewing in smaller cities.  Some have gone on to Great success, while others have faded away.  One of the better ones has just arrived in Kansas City.


Based on the very popular 1992 film that starred Whoopi Goldberg, “Sister Act” is the story of lounge singer Delor1s Van Cartier (an excellent Tamyra Gray), auditioning to perform in a club owned by her gangster boyfriend, Curtis (Benjamin H. Moore) on Christmas Eve 1977.  However, despite her obvious talent, she is told she is “not ready” to play the club yet.  This does not phase Deloris, whose dream is to be a star.  She knows she has the talent and the desire.  She just needs the opportunity.  When Deloris accidentally walks in on Curtis and his henchmen immediately after they have killed someone, she runs to the police, who decide that the best thing to do is to hide Deloris where no one would think to look for her.


Smartly written, with a great score by multiple Oscar-winner Alan Menken and Grammy award winner Glenn Slater, “Sister Act” is a combination of laughs and music.  Ms. Gray brings a belter’s voice and a Catskill veteran’s comic timing to the role of Deloris and genuinely makes it her own.  Other outstanding turns by Mr. Moore, Anne Tolpegin (Mother Superior) and Susana Cordon (Sister Mary Robert) are accompanied by a supporting cast that keeps the show moving swiftly. 


If there was one drawback to the evening, it was one that had nothing to do with the performances.  In each city, local “celebrities” appear on stage in the silent role of the Pope and on opening night we were treated to Kansas City Mayor Quentin Lucas in all of his Papal glory.  Unfortunately, due to some local political issues, some idiots in front of the stage felt the need to stage a protest, causing security to escort them out and taking the fun out of the closing number. 


That aside, I highly recommend you catch “Sister Act” when it comes to your town.  It is, dare I say, a divine evening at the theater.


“Sister Act” runs through Sunday, August 21 at Starlight Theater in Kansas City. 

Win Passes to the Kansas City Screening of “Second Act”

Media Mikes has teamed up with their friends at STX Entertainment to give (35) readers and a guest the chance to be among the first to see the new film “Second Act” before it opens in Kansas City.

The film will be shown on Tuesday, December 18th at the B&B Overland Park Theatre in Overland Park, Kansas and will begin at 7:00 p.m.

To attend, all you have to do is click HERE.  The first (35) to do so will receive a pass for (2) to attend the screening.  This is a first come/first serve giveaway.  Once all (35) passes have been claimed, the giveaway has ended.

Good luck!

ACT OF DEFIANCE To Kick Off North American Summer Tour With Armored Saint

ACT OF DEFIANCE To Kick Off North American Summer Tour With Armored Saint

ACT OF DEFIANCE — featuring within its ranks the talents of Chris Broderick (ex-Megadeth), Shawn Drover (ex-Megadeth), Matt Bachand (Shadows Fall, Times Of Grace), and Henry Derek (Scar The Martyr) — will kick off their North American summer tour on 7/2. The journey begins in Denver, Colorado where the band will play the first of four headlining shows before joining Armored Saint on their previously announced Symbol Of Salvation tour beginning July 10th in Poughkeepsie, New York. See all confirmed dates below.

7/02/2018 Streets Of London Pub – Denver, CO
7/06/2018 Rockhaus – Dundee, IL
7/07/2018 Cheers – South Bend, IN
7/08/2018 Hard Rock Café – Pittsburgh, PA
w/ Armored Saint:
7/10/2018 The Chance – Poughkeepsie, NY
7/11/2018 Sellersville Theater – Sellersville, PA
7/13/2018 The Gramercy Theatre – New York, NY
7/14/2018 Brighton Music Hall – Boston, MA
7/15/2018 Petite Campus – Montreal, QC
7/16/2018 The Brass Monkey – Ottawa, ON * ACT OF DEFIANCE only
7/17/2018 Mod Club – Toronto, ON
7/18/2018 The Cambridge @ House Of Blues – Cleveland, OH
7/20/2018 Shelter – Detroit, MI
7/21/2018 Reggie’s – Chicago, IL
7/22/2018 Shank Hall – Milwaukee, WI
8/16/2018 Count’s Vamp’d – Las Vegas, NV
8/17/2018 Parish @ House Of Blues – Anaheim, CA
8/18/2018 The Regent – Los Angeles, CA

ACT OF DEFIANCE released their latest studio album, Old Scars, New Wounds, via Metal Blade Records in September of 2017. The record debuted at #20 on the Billboard Top New Artist Albums Charts, as well as #58 on the Canadian Hard Music Charts upon its first week of release. Gushed Alternative Press of the record, “Fans of the band’s 2015 debut, Birth And The Burial — as well as AOD guitarist Chris Broderick and drummer Shawn Drover’s previous stints in Megadeth — will be blown away by the record’s instrumental dexterity and topical urgency…”

Preview and purchase Old Scars, New Wounds via metalblade.com/actofdefiance.



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Act of Defiance’s Matt Bachand talks about the bands new album “Old Scars, New Wounds”.

Matt Bachand is probably best known for his work with the heavy metal band Shadows Fall however since 2014 he has been a member of the band Act of Defiance which features former Megadeth members Shawn Drover and Chris Broderick along with former Scar the Martyr front man Henry Derek. The band is set to release their second full length album titled “Old Scars, New Wounds” and Media Mikes had the chance to speak with Matt about the release, his switch to bass guitar and the plans prospective tour plans.

Adam Lawton: Can you tell us a little bit about the band’s new album “Old Scars, New Wounds”?

Matt Bachand: Everything was different for us this time around with this record. With the first record Chris and Shawn wrote a majority of the album and they did it pretty quickly. They went from not having a band at all to having a record out in a matter of months. When I came in the material was pretty much done. I did write some bass lines around things which was a bit different from me but it was fun to be doing something different. This time around we had a good chunk of time to work the material and provide input. We all wrote a bunch of stuff for the album and you can definitely tell that this is a band no and not just a project.

AL: Can you talk about the decision to record separately from one another?

MB: That was done more by necessity than anything. We didn’t have a budget that would allow us all to travel and stay in one place while we recorded so we worked on things in each of our own locations. With all of us living in different parts of the country the cost would have been astronomical just for travel not to mention studio time. Once everything was done we sent it to Dave Otero for mixing and after a few tweaks everything was sounding good. Dave was awesome to work with and gave us a great sounding product.

AL: What has the transition from guitar to bass been like for you?

MB: I had known Shawn for a long time going back to when Shadows Fall toured with King Diamond and he was a tech for them. He knew I played bass in a cover band around where I am from and also knew that Shadows Fall was going to be taking a break for awhile so they gave me a call. Even though I had played bass in a cover band I had never really written music from a bass perspective. I think part of the appeal for me in wanting to do this was it was something different from what I had been doing. On that first record I was basically just writing and playing around what had already been written. I was focusing on now being apart of the percussion section as opposed to just riffing. With the bass playing off of what the drums are doing I really wanted to make sure I locked in with Shawn first.

AL: What are the plans for the band to tour behind the release?

MB: We are trying to pull some things together as we speak. We had a few things lined up but unfortunately they have fallen through so we are working as quickly as we can to remedy the situation. In the mean time we are working on some play through videos and things like that to keep things moving and to keep everyone involved with the band.

AL: Has there been any talk of Shadows Fall coming out of hiatus any time soon?

MB: Everyone is super busy right now so we haven’t really talked about it. Jason is playing with Overkill and Jon is with Anthrax and I am doing this project so everyone has a lot going on right now. A couple other guys in the band have families now so we have to figure out the timing. After 20 years of being in a band life eventually gets in the way so everyone has slowed down. Nothing is out of the question for us to play again it just has to be the right time for everyone.

For more info on Act of Defiance visit https://www.facebook.com/actofdefiancemusic/

Film Review “The Act of Killing”

Directed By: Joshua Oppenheimer
Rated: R
Running Time: 1 hour 55 minutes

Our Score: 4.5 out of 5 stars

There have been books, movies, TV shows and news pieces about some of the darkest parts of life. Serial killers, mass murderers and rapists have all been documented in some medium when they’re alive and even in post-mortem. We loathe these people, but there’s a unique entertainment about them. Subconsciously, it delves into a dark primal part of our brain while consciously reassuring us that we would never do it and why we should never do it. “The Act of Killing” is a delicious, bitter treat. It’s a morbidly engrossing documentary that gives the viewer a rare insight into evil.

The movie tells us that, in the mid-60’s, there was a cleansing in Indonesia. After the army overthrew the government, it decided to purge, what it believed to be, communists. Death squads were formed and people were tortured and interrogated across the country. What followed was a personal form of execution through strangulation and throat slashing. As for the number of people killed…uncertain. The movie had it’s own figures, but my own research after the viewing have revealed an unbelievable and conservative number below 100,000 while some bleak numbers have stated the amount of dead could be well into the millions. This movie follows Anwar Congo a wanna-be gangster who went from scalping tickets outside movie theaters to murdering over 1,000 people.

With such a horrific event, there are plenty of angles director Joshua Oppenheimer could have taken. Instead he has approached Anwar with a simple proposition. Fictionalize the murders you committed. Re-imagine those terrifying events for our cameras. The movie follows this proposition as well as the making of the re-enactments. This method is actually quite brilliant. Instead of investigating through a series of questions and deciphering the truths and lies, Oppenheimer has played to one of Anwar’s loves: movies. By having Anwar be the star of his own movie about his life, he gets a more real approach and truly sees things through the monster’s eyes. It also allows Anwar to relive and reveal some buried truths through his visualizations.

Along the way we meet some of Anwar’s old buddies, who get together and act like a couple of old fraternity brothers, joking and laughing. But instead of reminiscing about parties and girls, it’s torture methods and cold-blooded murder. We see a gambit of different personalities. From men who feel a form of remorse for their actions to others who are obviously selfish and continually ignore what they’ve done and constantly justify their actions. Anwar is the perfect centerpiece for this movie because at times he represents both of those extremes. Through an aged grin he shows the director around an area where he squeezed the life out of hundreds. Then at times he’s quiet and unspoken with a regret lingering in his eyes. At one point you’ll even get a dirty feeling as you feel slightly sympathetic towards him in one instance towards the end. You might even find yourself wanting to smile or chuckle at some scenes because of how absurd they feel.

This is a soul crushing film. I found myself disheartened and unsure if I enjoyed it because it was such a bleak and unsettling experience. But the more I reflect on it, the more I see a silver lining. You’ll notice if you sit through the credits, there’s a lot of “Anonymous”. That’s because many of the people who helped work on this film live in Indonesia. They live in fear of repercussions from the paramilitary that still festers in the streets and in the government. But there’s a certain bravery behind wanting to speak out. Not because you feel it’s wrong, but because you’re willing to admit the mistakes your own government has made in the past. It’s also a small reassurance that some of the men we meet do feel remorse and realize what they’ve done is wrong. “The Act of Killing” is certain to invoke an array of emotions, stun many people into dead silence and raise plenty of ethical and moral questions. Everyone will take away something different, so I’ll go ahead and tell you the line that still sticks with me days later: “War crimes are defined by the winners.”


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Blu-ray Review "InuYasha: The Final Act – Set 1 & 2"

Starring: Kira Tozer, Kappei Yamaguchi, Richard Ian Cox, Satsuki Yukino, Kôji Tsujitani, Hôko Kuwashima
Directors: Yasunao Aoki
Rated: Unrated
Studio: Viz Media
DVD Release Date: November 20, 2012/ February 12, 2013
Run Time: 325 minutes per set

Series: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 1.5 out of 5 stars

“InuYasha: The Final Act ” is an anime series that draws inspiration from the last volumes of author Rumiko Takahashi’s popular mangas. “InuYasha” one of the most successful anime titles of the 2000’s. The origianl series end of its run (September 2004 in Japan and October 2006 in the U.S.) after 167 episodes and four movies. This final act series picks up right and picks up after left the series ended abruptly. This Sunrise produced series game this show the ended it deserved with this 26-episode series. “The Final Act ” is a real answer to many fans prayers. Viz Media is releasing this series in two separate sets each with 13 episodes.

What is the best part of “InuYasha: The Final Act” is that it will not only appeal to the most longtime InuYasha fans but it should also be able to win over a new group of fans. The characters and plot design is well formed so that you are able to figure out is going on without the having seen the prior series.  Obviously, if you are a fan you will appreciate that the Japanese dub returns with most of its principal cast.  Though the English dub was a different story. The major change is Kira Tozer taking over the role of Kagome, since Moneca Stori has retired from voice acting. After an episode or two I got used to her voice taking over. Michael Daingerfield, know best for Johann Trinity in “Mobile Suit Gundam 00” does a great job taking over for Sesshomaru.

Set 1 Official Premise: Kagome is an ordinary schoolgirl who finds her destiny linked to the half demon Inuyasha and the powerful Shikon Jewel. In their quest to restore the shattered Shikon Jewel, Inuyasha and Kagome face their ultimate enemy, the demon mastermind Naraku. Meanwhile, Sesshomaru learns the truth behind his sword Tenseiga, and Kikyo discovers a secret that could defeat Naraku. With the jewel nearly complete and in enemy hands, the race to collect the remaining shards intensifies, and an epic battle is brewing on the horizon.

Set 2 Official Premise: Kagome finds her worlds colliding as she struggles to both fight alongside Inuyasha in the past and pass the exam to get into her high school of choice in the present. But with her spiritual powers sealed away, how will she purify the Shikon Jewel before Naraku can absorb it forever? As the battle enters its final stages, Inuyasha and his friends find their strength, loyalties and will to live pushed to impossible limits. And in the end, the final key to Naraku’s and the Jewel’s destruction may lie in nothing more—and nothing less—than the trust between a half demon and a girl from the future.

“InuYasha: The Final Act” comes well presented on Blu-ray thanks to Viz Media. The episodes look sharp with their 1080p transfer in 1.78:1 aspect ratio.  The colors really jump off the screen and line detail is sharp. The audio tracks included are DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 with both the original Japanese and English dub. I would like to say that both tracks are equally impressive. I usually prefer the original Japanese track but the English dub also delivers.  The dialogue and action are well represented. Kaoru Wada returned for the musical score from the previous series and delivers again with a very effective, dramatic and well-orchestrated score. I loved both of the closing songs “With You” by AAA and “Diamond” by alan.

Despite how much I loved this series and the Blu-ray release, I was not a fan of the special features.  There are various production art gallery and various storyboards included on both sets. When it comes to animation, I love seeing artwork. Lastly, there are various Japanese trailers along with their translated credits. I would have loved to see some featurettes on the comparison between the manga and the new series.  Also I would have loved to see some commentary tracks from the English dub discussing taking over for the original cast and their experiences working on the series.

Film Review “Act of Valor”

Starring: Assorted Navy Seals, Alex Veadov and Nestor Serrano
Directed by: Mike McCoy and Scott Waugh
Rated: R
Running time: 1 hour 51 mins
Relativity Media

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

I have a confession to make here. During my entire time in the U.S. Army I feared for my life for exactly 5 hours. I was very fortunate to serve in a time where the world was relatively peaceful. Thirty years later, sadly, things have changed.

Made with the cooperation of the Department of Defense, and purporting to feature real active duty Navy Seals in its cast, “Act Of Valor” gives an unprecedented look into the lives, both in uniform and out, of the bravest of the brave. The story concerns a terrorist plot to smuggle undetectable suicide vests into America. Assigned to foil the plot is a tight knit group of men and women just like you or I. If you passed them on the street or saw them in the grocery store with their families you wouldn’t blink twice. But unlike you or I, when the time comes to go to work they do it with the knowledge that they may never see those families again. They’ve made the ultimate sacrifice so, if necessary, they can make the ultimate sacrifice.

The story is pretty standard as military films go. Bad guy wants to hurt us. We do our best to stop him. But here the camera takes you into the middle of the battles. Almost silent in their movements, the Seals move with the efficiency of a well oiled machine. Yes, the film is action packed…if you’ve ever played “Call of Duty” you’ve seen it…but somehow seeing these Seals react to each situation is sobering. The exhilaration of playing a game is gone and you’re hit with the fact that war has consequences.

On October 6, 1981 Egyptian President Anwar Sadat was assassinated. My unit in Germany was put on alert and at 1030 in the morning we headed out to what I was sure was certain war. Five hours later they told us to come home. The scariest five hours of my life. “Act of Valor” is a film dedicated to those who face their fears twenty four hours a day.

Media Mikes Hosting Advance Screening for “Act of Valor” in Kansas City

Media Mikes is happy to be hosting an advance screening of Relativity Media’s upcoming film “Act of Valor,” starring Alex Veadov, Roselyn Sanchez and Nestor Serrano.

The screening will taking place on Wednesday, Feb 15, 2012 – 7:30pm — at the AMC Main Street Theatre in Kansas City. Follow the instructions below if you would like a chance to win tickets.
1. Tickets are available first come first serve to the first 25 people to leave a comment below or email us.
2. One code will be emailed to those people which will admit 1 person and 1 guest to the screening.
3. You will need to register at http://www.gofobo.com/rsvp to receive your tickets.

Passes are limited and are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

“Act of Valor” opens nationally on Friday, February 24, 2012

Official Trailer for “Act of Valor”

MediaMikes and Relativity Media is pleased to present the Official Trailer for their upcoming action-packed thriller ACT OF VALOR, starring active duty Navy SEALs. 


Directors: “Mouse” McCoy, Scott Waugh
Writer: Kurt Johnstad
Cast: Active Duty Navy SEALs, Roselyn Sanchez, Alex Veadov, Jason Cottle, Nester Serrano
Producers: Mike “Mouse” McCoy, Scott Waugh
Executive Producers:  Jason Clark, Max Leitman, Michael Mailis, Jay Pollak, Lance Sloane, Benjamin Statler, Thomas Tull
Official SIte: http://actofvalor.com/
An unprecedented blend of real-life heroism and original filmmaking, Act of Valor stars a group of active-duty Navy SEALs in a powerful story ofcontemporary global anti-terrorism. Inspired by true events, the film combines stunning combat sequences, up-to-the minute battlefield technology and heart-pumping emotion for the ultimate action adventure.

Act of Valor takes audiences deep into the secretive world of the most elite, highly trained group of warriors in the modern world. When the rescue of a kidnapped CIA operative leads to the discovery of a deadly terrorist plotagainst the U.S., a team of SEALs is dispatched on a worldwide manhunt. As the valiant men of Bandito Platoon race to stop a coordinated attack that couldkill and wound thousands of American civilians, they must balance their commitment to country, team and their families back home. 

Each time they accomplish their mission, a new piece of intelligence reveals another shocking twist to the deadly terror plot, which stretches from Chechnya to the Philippines and from Ukraine to Somalia. The widening operation sends the SEALs across the globe as they track the terrorist ring to the U.S.-Mexico border, where they engage in an epic firefight with an outcome that has potentially unimaginable consequences for the future of America. 

Be sure to visit ACT OF VALOR on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ActOfValorMovie and Twitter http://twitter.com/#!/actofvalorfilm