Hearne: Starlight Theatre to Soar with Concerts in Wake of Last Year’s Coup

chelsea_handler_wallpaper_2-otherAll eyes are on Starlight Theatre following a coup last year…

A questionable coup that sent the capable Denton Yockey packing. Yockey was the successor to Bob Rohlf, the dude who teamed with former Kansas City Chiefs head guy Jack Steadman to save the iconic outdoor theater and preserve a Kansas City institution.

Among other issues, insiders say Starlight’s difficult-to-get-along-with board wanted more concerts to go with the five live theater events Starlight puts on every summer.


Mission accomplished on the concerts…

However all eyes are on fixed the bread and butter musicals Yockey reportedly booked prior to his departure.

TERMINATOR 3 PREMIEREThe season tips off with the Wizard of Oz (been there done that), We Will Rock You (Rock of Ages lite?), Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (1968 called and wants its musical back), The Sound of Music (critics barbecued NBC’s TV version in December) and Blue Man Group (more than 30 percent of the people on Trip Advisor rate the show as average to terrible).

Winner, winner, chicken dinner?


Queens of the Stone Age

Queens of the Stone Age

“The Wizard of Oz is a tour,” says Theater League main man Mark Edelman. “Plus it’s an Andrew Lloyd Webber thing, so it’s new and it should do well.”

Joseph may be a little long in the tooth, “But that’s what Starlight’s for,” Edelman says. “Joseph is a highly popular, family show. Don’t forget that Joseph is based on the Bible and it follows the story of Joseph pretty closely until the Pharaoh comes out like Elvis Presley – that gets pretty silly.

willie-nelson-3“We Will Rock You is the odd duck there. It’s the music of Queen, but it tells a story, kind of like Mama Mia. It’s been around a long time but it’s just coming to the states for the first time because the British don’t come here. So it’s an American production.

“And the Sound of Music is a classic – it’s Rodgers & Hammerstein‘s greatest musical ever and it’s a Starlight production, so they’ll make some money on it.”

Last but not least…

“Blue Man Group is great,” Edelman says. “It’s smart. It’s clever. It’s mostly non-verbal, the sound is always great and they do a great job with the technicals. It’s a family show. It’s going to be interesting to see how they do all their stuff outdoors. Like they float giant balloons into the audience and spray stuff on the crowd. And they use a lot of bananas – bananas are a big part of the show and you need to get a certain quality of banana – like 40 pounds per show.”

130816-Arcade-FireEdelman expects Starlight to have a successful 2014 season.

“In order their business will be, Sound of Music, Joseph, Wizard of Oz and Blue Man group,” Edelman says. “And We Will Rock You could bring in a lot of Queen fans.”

One Republic

One Republic

As for concerts, Live Nation has come through with a slew of heavy duty shows – 15 to date.

They range from Chelsea HandlerSarah McLachlan, Pat Benatar, James Taylor and The Backstreet Boys to Arcade Fire, Queens of the Stone Age andWidespread Panic. From STYX & Foreigner, Willie Nelson & Alison Krauss, Journey & Steve Miller Band, Chicago & REO Speedwagon to OneRepublic, Alabama and Ray LaMontagne.

Stay tuned…


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2 Responses to Hearne: Starlight Theatre to Soar with Concerts in Wake of Last Year’s Coup

  1. Bob says:

    That is quite the airbrushed picture of that Handler chick.

    And the QOTSA pic you used is quite dated. This is the current line-up.


    And WSP is always a fun time.

  2. hot harley says:

    great lineup….journey might do well with miller…
    but blue man group for a week…give me a break!!!!!
    sarah McLachlan….whats she gonna do…sing her famous song while
    they show the sad pics of dogs in shelters…that’s gonna be enlightening.
    styx: old as dirt
    foreigner: they’ve been in kc more than Lonnie…old…worn out…
    and just another way to siphon a few bucks from the classic rock
    Chicago/reo: boring.tired. they’ll proably sell 10k but couldn’t they come
    up with some new fresh acts?
    starlight is old…the weather plays a big factor…the shows are retreads…
    plays are worn out….maybe they need someone like glaze or aeg to take
    over starlight and brighten the place up…
    but because of the race riots at the free zoo fiasco…will be interesting to
    see if whites go out to starlight and get their cars broken into and
    starlight needs a makeover…not a simple redo…
    get someone in there (maybe fritz) to light the old outdoor jjoint up.
    theres got to be more talent coming thru kc than this crop of
    senior citizens masquerading as current style musicians….
    jame taylor/bentar…they were here last year weren’t they…can’t they
    find some new acts to bring in? this is getting zzzzzzzzzz boring!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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