Playing the American Songbook


Forget about the history books, it’s the music of a time period that truly shapes and impacts the masses. Kansas City’s Quality Hill Playhouse live performance theatre is at the forefront of this historical effort, keeping the music of the past alive and relevant for Kansas Citians through music theatre. Quality Hill Playhouse holds a unique niche in the Kansas City music scene with presentations of music from the 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s in musicals (containing dialogue) and cabaret (original and arranged by Quality Hill Playhouse’s own artistic director J. Kent Barnhart) format.

Musical performances offer the audience a time traveler’s peek back to the thoughts and feelings of the day as conveyed through its most-beloved music. Each musical number includes accompaniment from a tuxedo-clad pianist/emcee who offers witty anecdotes and insight about each song performed by Kansas City’s finest professional singers. It should come as no surprise that the class and sophistication displayed within the 153-seat theatre also carries into the public bathrooms and the dressing rooms of the performers.


Timeless Appeal

Often the past and present collide. At Quality Hill Playhouse, that collision came in the form of a 2009 renovation that included the demolition of a restaurant and a series of inadequate, small bathrooms. Directed by Helix, Kansas City’s sought-after architectural and design firm, the collaboration included a series of choices designed to convey high-quality aesthetics through ageless, classic design.

“We want our guests to have a seamless experience from the music, set design, costumes and even the bathrooms,” Rick Truman, Quality Hill Playhouse managing director, said. “We even included a full-length, dressing room-style mirror so our guests can make sure they are stage perfect upon exit.”

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High-End Elements

A number of subtle, yet high-end touches give the bathrooms a classic luxury and timeless feel. Those elements include large ceramic floor tiles that mimic the look of wood grain, timeless subway-style tiles running floor to ceiling, adding an element of spaciousness, and recessed sinks and trash receptacles continue the streamlined appearance. Materials used on the walls and floors continue through the entryway to the theatre, adding presence and stature to the intimate setting.

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Re-live the good ole days by listening to songs from the great band leaders in the upcoming In the Mood presentation of Big Band’s finest songs. While you’re there, don’t forget to take a look at the facilities!

Check them out at their website.