Edelman: KC Stages Offer Laughs When We Need ‘Em

Screen Shot 2016-02-10 at 4.09.33 PMISIS, Sam Brownback, the water in Flint— there’s a lot out there to make us frown or get down…

To the rescue come a pair of Kansas City’s best theaters, churning out laughter yuge-r than a Trump ego.

Have fun with these happy hits!

OUT OF ORDER, now thru Feb 14 at the New Theatre Restaurant, offers Brit farce king Ray Cooney in fine form — a three door/one window laughfest starring WKRP in Cincinnati‘s Gary Sandy as a philandering Senator who gets caught with more than his pants down. Under the able direction of Joe Fox, who learned his craft from that fine farce facilitator Dennis Hennessy, scantily-clad babes, dead bodies, a badgering bellhop  and more skullduggery than a Ted Cruz primary campaign keep things rolling merrily along. New Theatre favorite Craig Benton does a nice job as Sandy’s fixer, who just barley keeps all of Sandy’s balls in the air. Joining the beat-upon Benton are a talented cast of scenery-chewers, notably James Wright as a supercilious hotel manager and Alan Tilson as that fleecing factotum. These folks are pros and the laughter confirms it. Continue reading

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Lefsetz: The Bernie Sanders Revolution is Unfolding

Elvis-elvis-presley-8026764-485-512This is exactly what happened in 1964…

Elvis was king.

And then the Beatles wiped him off the map.

We had a decade of rock and roll. It had been whittled down to a formula. Sure, Bobby Darin had talent, but Fabian and the other Bobby – Bobby Rydell – were marginal players. But that was music, a sideshow.

And then…

A band with roots who didn’t believe in convention, who’d honed their sound off the radar, delivered an honest wallop that was undeniable.

And overnight the youth switched allegiance.

Could happen again. Probably will if Bernie Sanders is an indicator.

You know it’s not your mother’s world anymore when Gloria Steinem is on the wrong side of the issue. She famously told Bill Maher that young women were supporting Bernie because that’s where the young men were. Talk about no respect, Rodney Dangerfield‘s rolling in his grave. When the paragons of envelope-pushing are tone deaf as to what is going on your know you’re in the midst of a revolution.

The millennials were supposed to be pussies, whiners, coddled for life by their parents to the point they couldn’t survive on their own. Continue reading

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New Jack City: The NOT So Super Super Bowl Ads

imagesI was NOT impressed!

Is it just me or has creativity of the TV commercials produced for their initial airing during the Super Bowl been steadily going downhill? With this year’s batch being some of the poorest?

Here they come – the mighty corporate geniuses of commerce – green lighting some of the goofiest, silliest commercial concepts presented by their mega ad agencies.

Do you think some of those corporate business heads are intimidated by their (perceived as) hip agencies?

I think they are!

Think about it, a reported $5 million for a 30 second spot during the game.

And probably another million—give or take a couple of hundred thousand—for conceptuals, production and whatever else these agencies can tag on.

And that’s ALL we get?

So who’s REALLY the winner here?

For one the network is. And, of course, the ad agencies themselves are too. Continue reading

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Glazer: Super Bowl 50 — Was I Ever Wrong!

superman-kryptonite-lego-970x545Superman ran into Kryptonite at the Super Bowl 50!

Panthers QB Cam Newton  – the face of the NFL and MVP – was a no show. As was the entire Panther offense. Denver’s defense was so good, it didn’t need an offense. Manning threw for a Super Bowl winning team, record low of 141 yards. He had no touchdown passes and was sacked 5 times, yet the Broncos still WON a 24-10 upset shocker.

I was wrong, wrong and wrong on this game.

The Panthers dropped countless throws, made tons of stupid, bad plays, including six offensive pre-snap offsides and poor special teams play. Oh yeah, and a missed field goal and fumbles by Newton.

In fact, the two biggest mistakes of game were on Cam.

An early strip fumble courtesy of game MVP Von Miller went for a Bronco’s TD and a second one in the fourth quarter ended the game. For some odd reason, Newton didn’t even try and jump on his own fumble on third down deep in his own territory. The Broncos got the ball, scored and the game was over.

Denver’s Wade Phillips called a great defensive game. Continue reading

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Starbeams: Dirty Grandpa@ Cinemark Plaza, Wrong Super Bowl Bash & Village People

zac-efron-robert-de-niro-have-shirtless-contest-on-set-34Bomb sniffing dogs were called to Cinemark Theater on the Plaza after a bomb threat was made.  After several hours of sniffing, dogs were only able to identify Dirty Grandpa.

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Scientists now believe that ravens have the ability to read each other’s minds.  We already know that Cardinals have the ability to read the Houston Astros database.

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Top 5 Signs You’re at the Wrong Super Bowl Party:

#10.  Everyone shows up wearing Coldplay concert t-shirts.

#9.  They try to break the restroom decibel record.

#8.  Everyone takes a shot when a player gets a concussion.

#7.  Each year the party gets bigger…thanks to HGH.

#6.  It’s catered by Chipotle. Continue reading

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Lefsetz: NFL, Coldplay, Super Bowl Out of Touch

1391390683_bruno-mars-superbowl-halftime_2And the winner of the night?

HONDA! For offering free Uber rides home, at least in SoCal, where I was watching.

You make the most of an opportunity. The advertisements were so busy being clever that they missed their target. You want to make us believe in your product and want to use and buy it. But in an era where fame is everything and substance goes out the window it’s no surprise that Madison Avenue demonstrated cluelessness.

But the truth is our nation is in a mass upheaval.

That’s the essence of both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. We want the truth, authenticity and credibility, we want to be respected, and when you see only dollar signs we shrug and move on.

Sometimes you have to say no. All exposure isn’t good exposure. What was the chance casual Coldplay fans would be infected by the band’s performance and purchase tickets to their show? Close to nil.

Now the band has a stink upon it, relegated to second tier status in their own supposedly shining moment. They appeared to be smiling nitwits in a sea of humanity that resembled nothing so much as Up With People, the lame, safe, halftime show the NFL used to employ, when musicians abhorred the rules and regulations of sports, when they were all about rejecting cultural norms as opposed to embracing them for profit.

Football is a violent sport. What’s up with all the wimpy music? Continue reading

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Lefsetz: Football’s for Losers Like Coldplay

coldplay-chris-martin-2015-amas-billboard-650Why are we so concerned about kids in Flint, but give NFL players a pass?

Why are we up in arms about Michigan’s governor, but cry hosannas when a billionaire moves his football team to Los Angeles and Roger Goodell escapes unscathed?

It’s time for Coldplay to pull out of the Super Bowl.

Forget black actors at the Oscars, this is a much bigger deal. When are artists going to say they’re not going to participate in this barbaric enterprise where people are maimed for life?

Flint was about the money.

The NFL is about the money.

And playing the Super Bowl is about the money too. It not only raises your visibility/profile, it helps you sell tickets.

Is that the country we’ve evolved into, one wherein money is everything? Continue reading

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Glazer: Denver is Doomed

dfdc7b67883323b569e03590f76ff7efNow for the big game today…

We’ve all heard over and over that it’s Peyton Manning‘s destiny to win this championship and go out on top. And this year’s Super Bowl marks the introduction to America of the official No. 1 oe quarterback in the league, Cam Newton. That makes Newton the first ever Black quarterback to be perceived as NFL’s best.

No question, Newton is the NFL’s best.

This season proves it. With all the injuries and problems all the clubs had, Newton rose above it all and walked to the Super Bowl, nearly undefeated. He’s fantastic. At six foot four and 250 pounds of muscle and speed with a shotgun arm, nobody can equal his talent at quarterback anymore. Not even my favorite guy Tom Brady.

Brady, Manning, Brees and the past generation’s time has come to an end.

Brady might be able to get New England to the big dance one more time next year since the AFC has no other clear powers maybe the Steelers.

The Panthers however are a true offensive machine. Continue reading

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Glazer: Life After the Super Bowl

MV5BMjA2MTMyMjcyNV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwOTIzODYyNA@@._V1_UY317_CR103,0,214,317_AL_I got an email yesterday from Jimmie Walker

He was elated! CBS contacted him and asked him to be a celebrity guest on the Super Bowl program. Very nice, I was glad for him. Jimmie’s been high profile this past year with many awards and recognition of his years in television and film. He’s been named in the top 100 pop culture names. So watch for Walker today on the long broadcast somewhere.

He leaves San Fran and heads to Kansas City day after tomorrow to be at Stanford and Sons for Valentine’s week. See how we got that in? Hah. All true.

 

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Glazer: Porn Star to Grace the Stage @ Stanford’s Tonight

ron-jeremy-482x298Most Kansas City media are afraid to even have him on…

I’m talking about adult film legend Ron Jeremy. Ron has turned from adult films to mainstream movies like Reindeer Games with Ben Affleck. And this last year Ron decided to do stand up comedy. So far so good.

Jeremy has been doing mostly one night shows at clubs and casino’s on the West Coast. Now he beings his act to Kansas City and he’ll be live on stage at Stanford and Sons tonight.

Ron’s been working with Dante and Rebeka. Dante has become one of the top 20 comics with blazing hot shows. He first did his thing on NBC’s Last Comic Standing, where he met the beautiful Rebeka. And they’ve been a comedy team now for several years working all over the nation.

Dante become a writer/producer on Fashion Police with Joan Rivers and has co starred in many comedy films, like Inappropriate Comedy with Jamie Kennedy. Rebekah has made a career playing leads and co starring on Lifetime movies and a hit series called Eating Out.

Dante was doing well enough to be invited to host the Adult Video Awards for Showtime. It’s always been a great career builder with past hosts like Lisa Lampanelli, Dave Attell and Colin Kane. It was at the awards show that Dante met Ron Jeremy and they all decided to do comedy tour. Continue reading

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Jack Goes Confidential: Coen Brothers  Channel Vintage Hollywood

img5A new Coen Brothers movie usually ranks as an event with certain cinephiles…

And you know who you are!

Through the years the brother filmmaking duo of Joel and Ethan Cohen has taken on just about every genre imaginable.

From BLOOD SIMPLE, RAISING ARIZONA and FARGO, right through THE HUDSUCKER PROXY, TRUE GRIT, MILLER’S CROSSING and O BROTHER WHERE ART THOUGH.

And let’s not forget the great NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN!

Now with HAIL, CAESAR! the Oscar winning brothers tackle the near end of Hollywood’s Golden Era.

The year is 1951 and Capitol Pictures is still churning out the big productions. Matter of fact one of its biggest spectacles called HAIL, CAESAR! is currently shooting on the lot.

However things are beginning to crumble all around the once famous studio.

There’s Esther Williams-like swimming star Scarlett Johansson with an illegitimate child ‘situation.’

Cowboy sensation Alden Ehrenreich who can’t act his way out of a Western.

And competing twin gossip columnists who keep sticking their noses where they don’t belong. Continue reading

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Glazer: Battle of the 2016 Election Bulge Goes Forward

breitbart-2016-primary-post-image-trump-cruz-rubio-v1-640x480Nobody expected Donald Trump to win Iowa a few weeks ago…

He was just too outside the box for conservative and religious based Iowa. However, Trump’s gotten so much media coverage and the polls had him ahead going into Monday’s voting.

Yet Ted Cruz won the Iowa caucus 27% to Trump’s 24%.

Was it a fatal loss for the Donald? Maybe.

The bigger issue seems to be the strong showing by Marco Rubio who finished third not far behind with 23% of the vote.  Everyone else was pretty much a no-show.

As for Hillary Clinton, she didn’t lose but she didn’t really win either.

Upstart Bernie Sanders and Hillary were in nearly a tie with 50% of the vote each. Hillary has just a few more votes and was the close winner.

Do we really know what this means?

Observers feel that the real winners are Rubio and Sanders… for now.

If Rubio can win New Hampshire it might be his moment to take over. His conservative but somewhat moderate views are getting traction. His charismatic looks and Kennedy type youthful appeal serve him well. Most feel he will overcome Cruz from here on out, so his close numbers in Iowa were really a win for Rubio.

So where does Donald Trump stand?

Clearly the polls are not on target. Trump’s expected to do well in New Hampshire. And now it’s critical that he win that battle. If Rubio takes New Hampshire it’s likely the new momentum will carry him over Trump and Cruz.

However Trump is still the face to beat, but now he’s beatable. Continue reading

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Hearne: Trapped in a Time Warp (Almost)

newspaper--621x414I spend almost more time online than I do sleeping…

Maybe that’s a slight exaggeration, but you get the idea. I drive a 2016 Volkswagen GTI, listen to mostly alternative rock and engage in the ridiculous pastime of online dating.

In other words, I’m not exactly trapped in the past.

Then again, when I take my Airedale pup Charlie out every morning I travel back in time to an altogether different era when I pick up something called a “newspaper” in my driveway.

That makes me an anachronism.

There are any number of reasons for me not to engage in this outdated activity. For starters, I don’t need to and it’s bad for the earth.

I’m online all day anyway, so why deforest all those majestic mountains and waste all that energy delivering dated information to me when there’s no need to?

Ah, old habits can die hard. Continue reading

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Lefsetz: Hell Freezes Over

MI0000747508I now like “Heard It In A Love Song.”

I’m still shaking. I haven’t driven in snow that bad since the 1970s. Vail Pass is closed and I’m wondering whether to bother trying to make it to Telluride tomorrow, since they’re expecting 18-36 inches.

Now it didn’t snow all day. Well, there were a few flurries just before noon, but after that there was some sun. I wondered if the storm was just a myth, especially in ski country, they like to believe the flakes will fly.

And on the way to the airport it was RAINING! Now I’m sophisticated enough to know this is ultimately a bad sign, because as the night wears on the temperature drops and then you’ve got snow on top of ice, the worst of all possible worlds.

And Eagle County Regional Airport is at 6,540 feet. Downhill from Vail’s 8,150. And the temperature was in the mid-thirties. And visibility was good. So I was feeling confident, wondering if all my anxiety was ill-spent.

Kinda like the car rental.

Tempkins told me to go to Thrifty, he said they had the best deals. But no one was at the desk and Avis and Budget and Alamo told me they had no cars whatsoever.

I was just checking, because the Hertz website said they had no four wheel drives, I wanted a four wheel drive, I’d reserved a Chevy Venture, which comes in both iterations, front and all, but usually the rental fleet is just front so…

I went to Hertz.

I asked them about the Venture, whether it was two or four wheel drive.

They told me they hadn’t seen a Venture in months.

But they had my reservation.

They were gonna give me an SUV. And by time the clerk went through a few computer screens she told me I was gonna get an Infiniti, a QX80.

Now that’s living in style.

But that’s not what I got. Continue reading

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JACK GOES CONFIDENTIAL: ‘The Finest Hours’  Sea Disaster Drama Delivers!

finest-hours-movie-trailer-posterTHE PERFECT STORM it’s not, but there are similarities…

THE FINEST HOURS is the dramatization of the U.S. Coast Guard’s greatest sea rescue mission of all time

It’s the heroic, true story action thriller of the incredible 1952 small boat rescue of a giant crippled oil tanker that was split apart during impossible sea conditions.

This is about an against-all-odds mission to save nearly 30 sailors trapped inside the rapidly sinking ship off the coast of Cape Cod.

The young captain in command of the daring undertaking was Bernie Webber played in the film by Chris Pine.

And as viewers, we experience the mission from both sides.

The first being the Coast Guard’s play-by-the-rules approach to the nearly impossible rescue. The other from inside the doomed vessel where tanker engineer Raymond Sybert is deperately  trying to hold things together before help can reach them.

Sybert is portrayed in solid fashion by Casey Affleck. Continue reading

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Glazer: Don’t Look Now but Trump, Sanders Matchup Could Happen

sanderstrumpWhile Donald Trump is walking away with the Republican nomination, something else not expected is brewing…

Bernie Sanders according to most polls is now leading or tied with Hillary Clinton in Iowa and New Hampshire. Wow. Could this end up a Trump vs. Sanders presidential election? By the way, Trump is now well over 40% the leader in all Republican polls for the nomination.

Let’s face it a few months back Trump was more of an attraction than a real candidate. However his fame, the media attention and  the state of the nation have moved him to not only front runner status by a huge margin to win the Republican nomination, but a real shot at winning the white house. In a Trump vs. Hillary run off Hilary is behind in some polls or in a dead heat with the Donald.

And Sanders, who not that long ago seemed a throw away candidate is now FOR REAL. 

Funny thing, Hillary was seen as a shoe in for the White House against Obama until the very end as well. Until America fell for Barack and his presence and calmness and started not trusting Clinton. Continue reading

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Lefsetz: Individuality is Everything

jim-morrison-hair-style-the-doors-album-deathThe Doors could never replace Jim Morrison and Apple can’t replace Steve Jobs

They teach us to get along, tell us institutions are king, but the truth is America succeeds because it’s the land of rugged individuals with a vision who need to do it their way.

You see the true revolutionaries just can’t help themselves, they want their ideas to be realized. Anybody can get lucky once, but if you do it twice…

Did anybody expect Apple to burgeon after the passage of Steve?

There’ve been enough movies since his passing to completely assassinate his character, but people love his devices and those left in charge can’t seem to come up with a new one. I torched the Apple Watch, and now former New York Times technology columnist Walt Mossberg has too). And after app developers abandon it you’ve got a dead platform, kinda like Google Glass.

I still hope Apple gets it right, because I want something to believe in. I need something to believe in. Musicians used to fulfill this role before their goal was solely riches and fame, they keep telling us they’re entitled to success, but they don’t take a different road, they keep plying the one already trodden upon. Come on, did you ever hear the Doors song “The End”? Who came up with that stuff? We always want new people who can come up with stuff that will surprise and amaze us.

But millennials are all about getting along, being a member of the group.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates could barely have friends. He handed Microsoft to Steve Ballmer who nearly buried it. Buying the worthless Nokia. Only Gates could steer that ship.

We’re jealous of the envelope pushers, we keep criticizing them, saying they can’t get along. But they’re the ones we secretly lionize. Continue reading

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Starbeams: Broncomania, Bernie & Women’s Blue Chip Basketball

benandjerrysbernie22_600x400Tough week for local sports. Broncos head back to another Super Bowl.  KU loses to Iowa State. Mizzou quarterback is

#CharlieSheenWinning.

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The Chiefs are working on a plan to get their games broadcast on St. Louis television stations.  Now if we can just get people to drive across the state and wear red to one of our stadiums.

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Ben & Jerry’s has created an ice cream based on Bernie Sanders.  But KFC has one-upped them and put Bernie Sanders on all their signs.

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Kansas City has a new women’s professional basketball team.  The Kansas City Majestics play for the Women’s Blue Chip Basketball League.  Several players are signing contracts right now and are expected to make….dinner.

Kelly Urich hosts the morning show on The Point 99.7 FM

 

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Glazer: Keep Calm & Watch Out for Cam!

imagesThey were the oldest starting quarterbacks in an AFC Championship game ever…

But in the end, it was two great defenses that settled the outcome. Denver’s defense was just off the chain. With four sacks on Tom Brady and two interceptions. New England’s defense was just as good  – minus the interception – but it did get the one fumble that led to a score.

Peyton Manning was sacked three times. Neither quarterback was throwing all that well with all the pressure, but Manning surprised everyone by showing good velocity on his medium throws and not getting picked off.

The game came down to a missed extra point by the Pats from a kicker who only missed one in his entire career. Unreal.

In the end Brady did his usual drive to try and tie the game and send it into overtime. With just seconds left on the clock, he hit Gronk for what would have tied the game, but for the missed extra point earlier. Thus the Pats had to go for two and failed. End of game.

It was a great game. Denver and Manning went to their 8th Super Bowl tying New England, Dallas, Steelers and San Francisco. Continue reading

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Hearne: A Losing Battle for Hearts, Minds, Eyeballs

Screen Shot 2016-01-22 at 11.54.29 PMIt’s not easy being a daily newspaper…

Oh, it used to be.

Once the competition was out of the way and pretty much every major market had but a single significant publisher – the Star in Kansas City, the Journal World in Lawrence – it was like printing money.

Still is, albeit on a far smaller scale.

Where radio and television stations have had to duke it out with myriad competitors, once newspapers were established there was no direct competition. They might lose some biz here and there to radio or TV, but prior to the Internet the electronic media just couldn’t really compete.

Nor could they afford the staffing to provide anything approaching comprehensive local news coverage. Plus print readers could access their news anytime they wanted to, 24/7 once they laid their filthy hands on the ink stained rags.

However as the internet ramped up supplying instant news and updates, printed papers became less and less relevant. Something that oldsters clung to (and still do) as creatures of habit, the same as they cling to outdated fashions and beliefs.

Make no mistake, print’s still far and away where the profits are at.

That said, the handwriting’s on the wall and as the dinosaur print readers die off, younger consumers of news are looking online for their info. Unfortunately the internet profits just are not there – not enough to keep the ship of state at 18th and Grand afloat with what a dozen years ago was more than 2,000 employees versus the 400 or so today.

Meanwhile back at the ranch a tale of two cities is unfolding.

That of the Kansas City Star and Lawrence Journal World. Continue reading

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