Four Reasons to See Quixotic in St. Joe on Saturday Night
The Kansas City Star
I. Because They’ll Be Close to Home
The Kansas City-based performing arts troupe had a breakout year in 2012. Last spring they were presenters at the prestigious TED conference in California, and won new fans at summer music festivals from Vermont to Vancouver. Quixotic performed for royalty at the gala grand opening of the new National Theater in Bahrain, and the group’s globetrotting continues 2013, with upcoming dates from Austin to Alaska.
Saturday night at 7:30, though, the troupe will perform much closer to home, in St. Joseph, Missouri. Working with a St. Joe-based arts group, the Robidoux Resident Theater, Quixotic will invade the Historic Missouri Theater — just a quick jaunt up I-29 for the group, and a much easier drive for hometown fans than a trip to, say, Alaska or Austin.
II. The Gorgeous Venue
Going would be worthwhile just to see the Missouri Theater. Built in 1927, now on the National Register of Historic Places, the Missouri is a rare gem – one of the country’s most beautifully preserved examples of a Silent Film-era movie palace.
But you won’t only be seeing the venue. You will see Quixotic. They use original live music, a cutting-edge light show, elaborate costumes and special effects for an immersive assault. They blend it all with a hybrid form of choreography; one mixing elements of modern and contemporary dance with aerial acrobatics to create works that function in three dimensions. That is, choreography on the vertical and diagonal as well horizontal planes.
III. Because Quixotic is KC and Vice-Versa
The reasons behind Kansas City’s current cultural renaissance are complex, ranging from the symbiotic relationship between Hallmark and Art Institute, to the sheer luck of having the Kauffman family live here. Whatever the causes, however, the city’s aesthetic has no doubt changed dramatically since we first became famous for jazz and bootleg liquor. That wide-open, gritty city of the Pendergast era is part of our proud past, certainly. For good and ill, though, the arts boom in KC today is less urban than urbane, driven by the much more genteel sensibility that emerged in the Crossroads. Quixotic is an almost perfect manifestation in microcosm of that sensibility. Precisely reflecting the scene and city they emerged from eight years ago, the group is softly but constantly innovative, always collaborative, with a fiercely independent, entrepreneurial streak. On stage, often bathed in pastel light, with lots of fiddle and ethereal vocals, they have an aesthetic that is sensual, but never erotic, passionate and essentially uplifting, yet tinged with hints of that quiet interior sadness known to anyone who has lived through winters on the prairie.
Finally, our last reason…
IV. Because it Won’t Cost Much
Tickets start at around $12. The most expensive seats are $40, meaning this flowery, high-energy production would make an inexpensive and terribly appropriate pre-Valentine’s Day date night. It certainly will be cheaper and easier than seeing them in Alaska or Austin. Or, for that matter, next month in Costa Rica, when the troupe will perform and hold classes at the week-long Envision Arts festival. The easiest thing, clearly, is to see the homegrown group close to home this weekend. Do that by calling the Missouri Theater box office for tickets at 816-232-1778, or by visiting the Robidoux Resident Theater website at http://www.rrtstjoe.org to learn more.