Tuesday, October 21, 2014

DiNO-LIGHT at the CCPA


Coralville - The Coralville Center for the Performing Arts is thrilled to bring Lightwire Theater’s production of DiNO-LIGHT to the Coralville on Tuesday, November 11, with a public performance at 6:30pm and a special 12:30pm matinee for school groups.

Created by Corbian Visual Arts and Dance, DiNO-Light (also known as Darwin the Dinosaur) is a heart-warming original story that features a friendly dinosaur who wanders away from home and discovers a world of creatures who light up the darkness and help him find the true meaning of love. The story is told through electroluminescent puppetry, music, sound, and movement and has delighted children and adults around the world.

Almost, Maine at Cornell

Nick Barnes and Millicent Marter.
Photo by Haley Severance
Mount Vernon – The Department of Theatre at Cornell College is proud to announce its production of Almost, Maine, written by John Cariani. This romantic comedy has received world- wide acclaim with productions by over 70 professional companies since its Off-Broadway debut in 2006. Wildly popular in high schools, this is a story that may be weird enough to show us what Love is really all about. Cornell’s production is directed by Artist in Residence, Ron Clark of Iowa City’s Riverside Theatre.

Morning’s at Seven Opens on ITAC Stage on October 24 in Amana

Meg Merckens and Clark Skaggs
Amana - Paul Osborn’s classic American play, Morning’s at Seven, opens on Friday, October 24 for a three-week run on the Iowa Theatre Artists Company’s stage in Amana. Written in 1939, it has received two revivals on Broadway, the most recent one in 2002, with New York City papers describing the show as “absolutely entrancing” with “charm to burn.”

Set in the backyards of an “American town” in the late 1930s, the story revolves around the seemingly quiet lives of the four aging Gibb sisters, who have lived in close proximity to each other all of their lives. Osborn skillfully paints a sweetly funny portrait of the four sisters, their eccentric mates and quirky offspring and the long-held secrets that divide them but ultimately strengthen their family ties. Bringing this endearing, funny and “oh-so-familiar” family interaction to life is a cast of some of the strongest veteran actors in Eastern Iowa, along with two very talented young performers. Audiences in the Cedar Rapids area will recognize and enjoy favorite, local stage actors, Cherryl Thomason, Marty Norton, Jim Kern, David Morton and Susie Streit. Equally acclaimed are two actors from the Amana area, Meg Merckens and Tom Milligan. Two younger Iowa theatre artists, Robert Kemp and Jessica Murrillo, who hail from the Iowa City area, represent the up-and-coming stage talent of Eastern Iowa. It’s the largest non-musical cast in ITAC’s seven-year history to grace the theatre’s stage in Amana. Mike Cervantes of Cedar Rapids is making his directorial debut with this production. “We wanted to present a festive season of theatre this final year in our building, and choosing this particular production with such an outstanding cast of actors is turning out to be a perfect fit,” stated Producing Director, Tom Johnson.

Performances are Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:30 pm, and Saturday and Sunday afternoons at 2:30 pm from October 24 through November 9. Reservations are strongly encouraged for this three-week run in the intimate 99-seat ITAC theatre. Prices are $22.50 for Adults, $20 for Seniors (60 and up) and $10 for Students (through college). For reservations call: 319-622-3222 and for more information about ITAC, visit: iowatheatreartists.org.


Source: ITAC Press Release

Pandora's Circus at the CCPA

Coralville - Iowa circus performer, Laura Ernst, owner of the Iowa Circus Academy, has created and produced a unique cirque style show that will be hitting theaters all over Iowa and the Midwest starting in Nov of 2014.

This show is a Cirque-Style theater show inspired by Greek mythology that follows Pandora who opens the box full of vengeful spirits that drag her to the Underworld.

Halloween Costume Rentals at WCP

Waterloo – Find the perfect costume to go haunting in from your local costuming experts. The Waterloo Community Playhouse/Black Hawk Children’s Theatre makes costumes used in local productions available for rental, not only during the Halloween season, but throughout the year. Imagine the vast variety of costumes available from a community theatre in its’ 98th Season. The Costume Rental Shop at the Waterloo Community Playhouse/Black Hawk Children’s Theatre will be open extended hours to meet your Halloween costuming needs. Extended hours include: Saturday, October 25 at 1-5 pm, Tuesday-Friday, October 28-31 at 1-7pm and Saturday, November 1 at 1-5pm. The shop is located on the upper level of the Walker Building at 224 Commercial Street in Waterloo.

Camo! The Musical Cast

Iowa City - ICCT has announced the cast for its upcoming production of Camo! The Musical.

A group of hunters prepares for the fall season. Women gather to drink coffee and discuss men, marriage, their own camouflage, and a thing called Lamaze. The woods become magical as army-buddies reunite; brothers discover what they need most and for two outsiders, love blossoms. A comedy set in the early 1980’s, the themes and characters will be familiar to anyone who knows what a prune Kolache is.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Kimberly Akimbo Comes Together Beautifully

By Rachel Korach Howell
Photos by Bob Goodfellow

Jody Hovland as Kimberly; Frankie Rose as Jeff
Iowa City - David Lindsay-Abaire’s Kimberly Akimbo is chock full of the necessary humor humans must utilize in order to bear the weight of impending doom. Some may say the humor is too harsh at times. The love we hope to see is easily marred by a presentation that might not perfectly walk that line; nevertheless, you cannot deny the love that is deeply rooted within the language Lindsay-Abaire gives his characters.

Kimberly Levaco was born with a disease which ages her at 4x the rate of a “normal” human being. At 4 years old, she looks 16, and so on. We meet Kimberly on her 16th birthday, the picture of an old woman, the hopes of a budding teenager, with a wisdom and understanding of life forced upon her by her circumstances. Her parents are selfish, rude, angry, and - her mother especially - cruel to their daughter at times. She has only two friends: a nerdy dungeon master, who's a wizard with anagrams, and her quirky homeless aunt. Kimberly’s life may end soon, but she succeeds in teaching each character what it takes to truly live.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Uncle Vanya Timid But Effective

By Genevieve Heinrich
Photos by Elisabeth Ross

Julia Sears as Sonya; Brad Quinn as Mikhail
Iowa City - Dreamwell Theatre kicked off their '14-'15 season, "The Grand Delusion," last night with a thoughtful performance of the David Mamet adaptation of Chekhov's Uncle Vanya (tr. Vlada Chernomirdik). The show is an old classic that stands the test of time. The tensions and emotions inherent in any family, or group of people who has long lived together as family, bubble to the surface in agonizingly familiar ways. None of the character tropes in Vanya is new to the audience; each is an old friend or enemy or aspect of self. The language is fresh and engaging, tackling large philosophies and petty squabbles with equal deftness. This is a show that any theater lover should see at least once, and Dreamwell's production is a wonderful opportunity to do so locally.

Friday, October 17, 2014

An In Depth Look at Revival Theatre Company

Cedar Rapids - There's a new theatre in town! Revival Theatre Company presented its first show, Children of Eden, last month at Brucemore's Outdoor Stage. Dedicated to producing musicals, Revival has two more shows coming in 2014-15: Dogfight opening this month and Pippin in June. We had the chance to talk to Brian J. Glick, artistic director, about the company.


Why did you choose the name Revival? 

The whole idea of bringing musicals back to the forefront and showing audiences musical theatre that they maybe haven't ever seen or haven't seen in years, led to the name “Revival.” We are reviving shows, we are bringing back the classics and the rare gems and giving them new light in a corridor that maybe hasn't seen one of our productions.


Can you give us a little history on the theatre? Whose idea was it and how did it come about? Who is involved in the theatre? Do you have executive director, artistic director, board of directors etc? 

Cameron Sullenberger and I created Revival Theatre Company. I was living in New York at the time and through many phone conversations we kept talking about the shows we wanted to produce, knowing that whatever shows we did, they would be musicals. The idea to start a theatre company didn't come up in the initial conversations, but after many discussions about the things we wanted to do and how we wanted to go about doing them, we realized that it really is something of its own.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Xanadu Is Campy Fun, But Frequently Falters

By Sharon Falduto
Photos by Jackie Blake Jensen Photography


Victoria Vaughn as Clio; Skylar Matthias as Sonny
Coralville - Nostalgia for the recent past is big business, as musicals like Mamma Mia! have shown. Xanadu mines a similar vein for an audience who wants to reminisce about its youth, and maybe cringe a little along the way.

Xanadu is a labor of love for director Chris Okiishi. He admits to book problems in his director’s note, but tells us how he went to the movie five times in its opening week anyway. His love for the high concept musical shows in the details, but I fear his adoration may have blinded him to some of its weaknesses. Fortunately, the show is, if nothing else, a lot of fun.