Win Passes to the Kansas City Screening of “Dark Phoenix”

Media Mikes has teamed up with their friends at 20th Century Fox to give (35) fans in Kansas City the chance to be among the first to see the latest X-men adventure, “Dark Phoenix.”

The film will be shown on Tuesday, June 5th at the AMC Barrywoods Theatre in Kansas City. It will begin at 7:00 pm

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

Kansas City Theater Review: “Rock of Ages”

ROCK OF AGES
Starlight Theater - Kansas City, Missouri
May 31, 2019

My first Broadway show was “42nd Street” in 1981. Yes, I’m old. But I’m also able to tell people that I saw Jerry Orbach on Broadway. And Julie Andrews. And Chita Rivera. But enough about me. I’ve seen plenty of shows in the past three-plus decades but I have never seen anything as fun and exciting as “Rock of Ages.”

Our story begins in the small town of Paola, Kansas. Yes, it’s a real town and, yes, it’s really small. My son’s baseball team used to play there every year and I remember the big hoopla when Walmart showed up! We meet Sherrie (Katie LaMark). She’s a small town girl…living in a lonely world. And her dream is to make it to Hollywood to pursue an acting career. Despite her parent’s disapproval she heads west and ends up on the Sunset Strip. She is soon mugged and is rescued by Drew (Anthony Nuccio). Drew works at the Bourbon Club, famous for helping launch the careers of many a band. Drew gets Sherrie a job and soon….well, you’ll have to see the show.

Drew (Anthony Nuccio) and Sherrie (Katie LaMark) share a dream of stardom.

I’ve been seeing shows at Starlight for years, and this was, by far, the BEST one I’ve ever seen there. I had only seen the film so I wasn’t prepared for my evening at the Bourbon Club. The music is all classic 80s rock and metal hits. Pretty much every band you can remember is represented. Except, ironically, Def Leppard, whose hit song gives the show it’s name. We are told by the Narrator (an amazing John-Michael Breen) that there is no Leppard in the show because the band wouldn’t license their music. Ironic, isn’t it?

The performances were also outstanding. As Sherrie and Drew, LaMark and Nuccio have a strong chemistry and an underlying sweetness that has you rooting for them. Both also have great voices. During “Oh, Sherrie” Mr. Nuccio held one note for an amazing 33 seconds, which brought the already enthusiastic audience to near euphoria. I would love to see him tackle the lead in “Jekyll and Hyde.” And extra credit to Ms. LaMark for dealing with a major technical glitch (her face mic was not working at the beginning of Act II and, with her character having to remain on stage for some time, delivered a strong performance using a hand-held microphone. Also credit to the tech crew because, in the few seconds she was able to go off-stage, the problem was corrected. Fine performances were also delivered by the supporting cast, with many in the audience falling under the spell of Sam Harvey, who plays quintessential (and problem child) front man Stacee Jaxx – which is possibly the coolest rock star name ever. And I would be remiss if I didn’t give a shout out to the kick-ass band that provides the music.

John-Michael Breen

I’m saving this paragraph for the highlight of the show – John-Michael Breen. He not only narrates the show but appears as the Bourbon Club’s sound guy, Lonny. Lonny loves three things. Rock and Roll and his Fogmaster 5000 fog machine are two of them. Mr. Breen gives the show the majority of it’s laughs and both the cast and the audience feed off of his enthusiasm. I will definitely keep an eye on his career and hope to catch him on stage in the future.

As I said in the beginning, I’ve seen some great Broadway shows, from “Phantom” to “Les Miz” – from “Cats” to “Spamalot – and “Rock of Ages” has definitely jumped onto my all-time favorites list.

Curtain Call

“Rock of Ages” is only in Kansas City through Sunday, June 2nd. For information on upcoming tour dates, click HERE.

Win Passes to the Kansas City Screening of “Men In Black: International”

Media Mikes has teamed up with their friends at Sony Pictures to give (25) random readers and a guest the chance to be among the first to see one of the summer’s most anticipated films, “Men In Black: International.”

The film starring Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson, Emma Thompson and Liam Neeson, will screen on Tuesday, June 11th at the Alamo Drafthouse Theatre in Kansas City, Missouri. The screening will begin at 7:30 p.m.

All you have to do is click HERE. (25) random entries will be selected and each will receive a pass for (2) to attend the screening. Good luck!

“Men In Black: International” opens nationwide on Friday, June 14th!

#MIBI

#MenInBlackInternational

#MIBIKC

*Disclaimer: Limit one entry per person. Void where prohibited. Screening is overbooked to ensure a full house. Seating is limited to theatre capacity and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Receiving a screening pass does not guarantee seating.  Theatre is not responsible for overbooking.

Win Passes to the Kansas City Screening of “John Wick: Chapter 3”

Media Mikes has teamed up with their friends at Lionsgate to give (50) readers and a guest the chance to be among the first to see the new Keanu Reeve's action film "John Wick:  Chapter 3 - Parabellum."   

The film will be screened on Tuesday, May 14th at the Screenland Armor Theatre in North Kansas City and will begin at 7:00 pm

To attend, all you have to do is click HERE. The first (50) people to do so will receive a pass for (2) to attend the screening. This is a first come/first serve giveaway. Once the (50) allotted passes have been claimed, the giveaway has ended. Good luck!

John Wick 3: Parabellum opens nationwide on Friday, May 17th.


John Wick 3: Parabellum
Screenland Armor Theatre, North Kansas City, MO
Tuesday, May 14th - 7:00 pm


Facebook:                                https://www.facebook.com/johnwickmovieTTwitter:                                   https://twitter.com/johnwickmovie
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Hashtag:                                  #JohnWick3  

Kansas City Concert Review: Little River Band

 
LITTLE RIVER BAND
Ameristar Casino - Kansas City, MO
May 3, 2019

Maybe it’s my age but to me the best music ever created was done so in the 20th Century.  Great music.  Great lyrics.  Amazing voices.  Today the majority of what I hear I can’t understand, even when it’s Autotuned!  Which made my first time listening to the Little River Band live so amazing.

If you grew up in the 1970s/80s (I graduated high school in 1978), then LRB was surely part of the soundtrack of your life.  Their musical gifts, and incredible harmonies, made songs like “Reminiscing,” “Lonesome Loser,” “Cool Change” and “The Night Owl” so memorable.

Now led by bassist/singer (and Kansas City native) Wayne Nelson, who joined the Australian band in 1979, the show was an amazing retrospective of both their greatest hits and some newer material.  Their song “The Lost and the Lonely,” from the band’s 2014 album “Cuts Like a Diamond,” a tribute to the troops, was well received, as was an extensive piano intro by keyboard maestro Chris Marion before the band played “Cool Change.”

An enjoyable evening was capped off by the band coming out front and greeting the fans, which I found to be a pretty incredible thing, especially after playing a 90 minute gig!  If you’re a fan of “classic” rock and pop, then LRB is a band you’ll want to catch.

For more information on their current tour, click HERE.

Win Tickets to the Kansas City Screening of “Poms”

Media Mikes has teamed up with their friends at STX Entertainment to give (50) readers and a guest the chance to be among the first to see the new comedy, “Poms,” in Kansas City.

The screening will be held on Wednesday, May 8th at the AMC Studio 28 Theatre in Olathe, Kansas and will start at 7:00 p.m.

All you have to do is click HERE. The first (50) people to do so will receive a pass for (2) to attend the film. This is a first come/first serve giveaway. When the (50) passes have been claimed, the giveaway is over. See you at the movies!

“Poms” Opens in Theatres on Friday, May 10th

@POMSmovie

#POMSmovie

Kansas City Theater Review: “RENT”

RENT

Music Hall – Kansas City, Missouri

April 29, 2019

The Broadway (and off-Broadway) stage has often been the place where a generation can speak without rebuke.  The 1990’s saw the production of two very important shows that shed light on the, at the time, the little discussed subject of AIDS.  The first show was Tony Kushner’s epic “Angels in America.”  The other?  Jonathan Larson’s “RENT.” 

Opening off-Broadway on January 25, 1996, “RENT” tells the story of a group of struggling artists (filmmaker, musician, performance art) living in the SoHo area of New York City.  Their goal is to present their art to the world without compromising – to not “give into” the man.  This week, the 20th Anniversary Tour is in Kansas City, with moderate success.

To me, the evening, like the show, was in two acts.  The first act, in this writer’s opinion, was slow, which is a word I normally would not apply to a musical where the cast moves non-stop while performing dozens of songs.  I’m not sure if it was opening night jitters, or bus-lag, but several of the characters just didn’t seem to be “into it” during the first act.  The performances were fine…it’s just that many seemed to be a beat behind.

Musically, the show is magnificent.  I’m sure everyone has heard “Seasons of Love” at least once in their life, and this song, which opens Act II, is performed with heart to spare.  Other favorites were “Santa Fe,” “Take Me or Leave Me,” and “La Vie Boheme.”  Highlights in the cast were Lyndie Moe as Maureen and Devinre Adams as Collins, who is my favorite character in the show. 

 Sadly, Jonathan Larson never saw “RENT” performed before a live audience.  On the morning of January 25, 1996, Larson died after two different hospitals mis-diagnosed a heart condition.  With his parent’s consent, the show went on that night.  For his work, Larson posthumously won 3 Tony Awards and the Pulitzer Prize. 

“RENT’ continues it’s run in Kansas City through Sunday, May 5th

Win Passes to the Kansas City Screening of “UglyDolls”

Media Mikes has teamed up with their friends at STX Entertainment to give (5) readers and three guests the chance to be among the first to see the new film “UglyDolls.”

The film will be shown on Wednesday, May 1st at the Cinemark Theatre in Merriam, Kansas and will begin at 7:00 pm

All you have to do is click HERE. The first (5) people to do so will receive a family four-pack of passes to attend the screening. This is a first come/first serve giveaway. Once the allotted passes have been claimed the giveway has ended.

Good Luck!

“UglyDolls” opens nationwide on Friday, May 3rd.

 

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Win Passes to the Kansas City Screening of “Long Shot”

Media MIkes has teamed up with their friends at Lionsgate Films to give (35) readers and a guest the chance to be among the first to see the new film, “Long Shot,” starring Seth Rogen and Charlize Theron.

The screening will be held on Monday, April 29th at the Cinemark Theatre in Merriam, Kansas and will begin at 7:00 pm

All you have to do is click HERE. The first (35) readers to do so will receive a pass for two to attend the screening. This is a first come/first serve giveaway. Once the allotted passes have been claimed the giveaway has ended. Good luck!

“Long Shot” opens nationwide on Friday, May 3rd.

20th Annual Planet Comicon Kansas City a Rousing Success!

PHOTOS BY DAN LYBARGER
The legendary William Shatner

I had just begun my position as Director of Marketing for Dickinson Theatres in early 1999 when I received a phone call from a gentleman named Chris Jackson, who explained to me that he had an idea for a local convention that would continue to grow into something amazing. Wanting to be involved, I sent Chris a lot of promotion posters (I’m thinking THE MATRIX, THE MUMMY, and STAR WARS: EPISODE I were included) to give away. Chris even arranged for one of the guests, actor Kenny Baker – he played R2D2 in the various STAR WARS films, to sign some posters for me to use as a giveaway. And so it began.

This past weekend, Chris’ vision, PLANET COMICON KANSAS CITY, celebrated it’s 20th Anniversary with another convention that cements PCKC as not only the best convention in the Midwest, but one of the best in the country.

“The Exorcist” star Linda Blair

The guest list was a virtual honor role of some of the biggest celebrities in film and television. Such icons as Linda Blair, William Shatner and Henry Winkler made appearances (this was Winkler’s first visit to Kansas /City since early
2010, when he graciously became the first ever interview for Media Mikes).

Mr. Shatner had been at PCKC in the past,but you wouldn’t know it from the legion of fans that lined up to greet him. Other celebrity guests included Oscar-nominee Chris Sarandon, PRINCESS BRIDE co-stars Cary Elwes and Wallace Shawn, “Super-men” Dean Cain and Tom Welling as well as well as WWE Wrestling Hall of Famer Mick Foley.

Chris Sarandon

Graphic art fans were also treated to a bevy of comic and graphic novel artists, and an amazing array of fans dressed as their favorite characters.

Members of the “Spiderverse” took the streetcar to the show
Mr. Henry Winkler

The vendor selection, as in the past, was varied, with tables offering pretty much everything for everyone.

This “League of Their Own” fan was there to see Lori Petty
COSPLAY was the theme of the day

All in all, it was an amazing weekend. I can’t wait to see what Chris Jackson has in store for the next 20 years!

 

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Win Passes to Kansas City’s Planet Comicon

Has it really been 20 years since Planet Comicon first appeared in Kansas City? Yes it has. I know because I’ve been to every one! And now we want to let some of our readers attend what has been described as “the best Convention in the Midwest!”

We are giving away (5) pair of passes to attend the convention on Sunday, March 31st. AND, we are giving away a pair of passes to attend all three days of the Con.

All you have to do is let us know below what celebrity guest you’d most like to meet at an upcoming Convention. Six random winners will be chosen and, from those six, one will be randomly chosen to wen the weekend passes. The others chosen will receive a pair of passes to attend on Sunday.

This giveaway ends at 8:00 pm on Wednesday, March 27. Winners will be chosen and will be emailed their passes. Good Luck!!

Win Passes to the Kansas City Screening of “The Hummingbird Project”

Meida Mikes has teamed up their friends at The Orchard to give (30) readers and a guest the chance to be among the first to see the new film “The Hummingbird Project.”

The film, which stars Jesse Eisenberg and Alexander Skarsgard, will be screened on Wednesday, March 27th at the AMC Studio 28 Theatre in Olathe, Kansas. The screening will begin at 7:00 pm

All you have to do is let us know in the comments below what film you are most looking forward to this summer. (30) random comments will be selected and they will receive a pass for (2) to attend the screening. The contest ends at 8:00 pm Monday, March 25th. Winners will be notified by email. Good luck!

Kansas City Theater Review: “Anastasia”

REVIEW by DAN LYBARGER

ANASTASIA Music Hall, Kansas City, MO March 12, 2019

If The Lion King and Aladdin work as stage plays because they remind audiences the joy they experienced watching the original animated movies, the makers of Anastasia succeed because the original 1997 cartoon, while enjoyable, isn’t a classic.

Don Bluth and Gary Goldman’s animated film has some gorgeous 2D animation, but their reworking of the legend of Anna Anderson, who falsely claimed to be Russian Tsar Nicholas II’s youngest daughter had a problematic story.

For example, the chief villain was an undead version of Rasputin (voiced by Christopher Lloyd), who had difficulty keeping his rotting body in one piece. Despite the G-rating the film had, it disturbed some of the children and even adults who watched it.

For those with stronger memories, the cartoon also incorporated some ideas from Anatole Litvak’s 1956 movie, with served as a powerful comeback for Ingrid Bergman, after her affair with Roberto Rossellini almost ended her career.


The new musical adaptation, which debuted on March 12 at the Music Hall in Kansas City, keeps some of the characters from the original tale but reworks the plot extensively. Thanks to playwright Terrence McNally (Love! Valor! Compassion!Master Class), Rasputin is gone, and a more credible antagonist has taken his place. This time around, the Bolsheviks are eager to stamp out rumors that the Grand Duchess Anastasia survived the chaotic mass execution that took place in 1918.

Nearly a decade later, a Party operative named Gleb (Jason Michael Evans) is trying to remove all traces of the royal family, but a pair of con artists named Dmitry (Stephen Brower) and Vlad (Edward Staudenmayer) are hoping to capitalize on whatever is left of the dynasty.

With the Soviet economy unable to deliver the prosperity the Revolution promised, the two hope that if they can find a suitable impostor to pose as Anastasia, they can collect a finder’s fee that will set them up for life in Paris. While streetwalkers of Leningrad can’t pass themselves as royalty the way Vlad can, a street sweeper named Anya (Lila Coogan) might.

She’s in Leningrad after having been discharged from a hospital in Odessa. She’s got no memory of her life before the Revolution, so it’s easier for Dmitry and Vlad to teach her how mingle at what’s left of the Russian court in Paris, and the amnesia conveniently explains why she hasn’t bothered to claim what’s left of the Romanov fortune.

Now, all the three of them must do is escape the draconian Leningrad authorities and convince the bereaved and highly skeptical Dowager Empress (Joy Franz) that Anya is the Grand Duchess.

Neither is a simple task.

The chief selling point of Bluth and Goldman’s cartoon was its gorgeous visuals, and the current production features several delicious bits of eye candy.

Thanks to sliding panels and rear projection, Anastasia leaps from the Tsar’s palace to an intimidating Bolshevik office to a moving train to the elegant streets of 1920s Paris. While Anastasia might have been enjoyable with the cast simply wailing and hoofing, the lightning fast scene changes and bits of action, keep the play moving briskly.

The play gains momentum in the second act as Vlad uses his old contact Countess Lily (Tari Kelly) to help him set up a meeting with the Dowager Empress. Now that the long exposition is over, the story becomes more engaging. It doesn’t hurt that Coogan can play both a princess and a waif with equal finesse and belts out Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Aherns’ songs effortlessly.

She may be small, but she can easily dominate the stage.

The cast handle Flaherty’s demanding score well, although it’s hard to imagine any of the tunes catching on outside of the play, although “Once Upon a December” is certainly haunting, especially with images of ghosts projected behind the actors.

As a lifelong obsessive over the fall of the Romanovs, I often have to remind myself to let movies and plays about them play on their own terms. Anna Anderson, who was the best-known impostor to pretend to be the ill-fated Grand Duchess, had some believers, but DNA tests in the 1990s proved she had no claim on the lost throne. Her dark and twisted odyssey would make a great movie or play, but it wouldn’t make much of a family musical.

That said, the story of an amnesiac princess is inherently engrossing because we all wonder if there is something more to our lives than our memories let on.

There is no mystery to whether any royalty emerged from the massacre alive, but there is a deep well of stories about the end of the dynasty. It’s seemingly inexhaustible.

Kansas City – Win Passes to Attend An Evening With Richard Dreyfuss

Long time readers know how much the Mikes love the movie JAWS. Well now we want to share that love with our Kansas City area fans by giving them the opportunity to an amazing evening “Jawing” with Academy Award winner Richard Dreyfuss.

“Jaws”
Richard Dreyfuss with his Oscar – named Best Actor of 1977 for “The Goodbye Girl”

The event, which will be moderated by Media Mike’s own Mike Smith, will be held on Thursday, April 4th at the Carlsen Center at Johnson County Community College. After the event, stay and enjoy a screening of the greatest film ever made (ok, I’m biased), JAWS.

Our friends at J & S Promotions has given us passes for (5) lucky readers and a guest to attend the event. All you have to do is let us know below your favorite Richard Dreyfuss film. Five random comments will be chosen and will receive a pass for (2) to attend the event. This giveaway will end on Sunday, March 31st at 6:00 p.m. Winners will be notified by email.

To purchase tickets to the event – including a Platinum VIP Package which puts you in the green room with Mr. Dreyfuss, click HERE. Good Luck!

“American Graffiti”

Win Passes to the Kansas City Screening of “US”

Media Mikes has teamed up with their friends at Universal to give (5) lucky readers and a guest the opportunity to be one of the first to see one of the most anticipated films of the year, “Us.”

The screening will be held on Tuesday, March 19th at the Cinemark 20 & XD Theatre in Merriam, Kansas and will start at 7:00 p.m.

FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN A PASS FOR YOU AND A GUEST TO THE ADVANCE SCREENING IN KANSAS CITY ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS COMMENT BELOW WITH THE TITLE OF YOUR FAVORITE HORROR FILM. (5) RANDOM ENTRIES WILL BE SELECTED. THE GIVEAWAY RUNS UNTIL 6:00 p.m. ON SUNDAY, MARCH 17th. WINNERS WILL BE NOTIFIED BY EMAIL WITH INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO CLAIM THEIR PASSES.

NO PURCHASE REQUIRED. 

US has been rated R (Restricted – Under 17 Requires Accompanying Parent or Adult Guardian) for violence/terror, and language.