On Stage

KMUW commentator Sanda Moore Coleman looks behind the curtain to give listeners (and play goers) a bit of history and perspective.

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Let’s talk melodrama—cue suspenseful organ music, please.

Almost everyone thinks they know what melodrama is, but the art form has taken many shapes over the years, influencing (and being influenced by) everything from the morality and mystery plays of the Middle Ages to Italy’s commedia dell’arte.

“A Tale of Mystery,” by Thomas Holcroft, was the first English play to be known as a melodrama. It was Gothic, in keeping with what was popular in 1802.

If you’re in the mood for A Little Night Music, you can catch it at Guild Hall Theatre, at St. James Episcopal Church.

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As you may have noticed, we’ve reached the time of year when musicals are most plentiful. This week, for instance, Music Theatre Wichita is staging a production of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.”