Thursday, April 16, 2015

Footliters' Pinocchio - Only Two Performances This Weekend!

Coralville - The Young Footliters will present Carlo Collodi's Pinocchio, as adapted by Kathryn Schultz Miller, this Friday April 17 at 7:00 PM and Saturday April 18 at 2:00 PM at the Coralville Center for the Performing Arts. The production features performers in grades K-4 and is directed by Jean Grewe. Tickets are $5 for youth and $7 for adults.

According to director Jean Grewe, "It has been a total joy and blessing working on this show! The kids are acting, building the sets, and working as running crew; they have really been involved in every part of the show, and are having a great time doing it! And the parents have really stepped up as well - costumes, props, set, working backstage, helping in the Green Room, you name it, they did it!"

Tickets are available through the CCPA Box Office at 319-248-9370.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

A Review of Billy Bishop Goes to War

by Gerry Roe

Amana - At the talk-back after the first performance of this production, one of the first questions from the audience asked if Billy Bishop was a real person. As the actor responded (and as I knew from a little preparatory reading), Billy Bishop was indeed a real person, a Canadian pilot who flew fighter planes in World War I and again in World War II. Bishop lived from 1894 to 1956 and was Canada’s leading flying ace.

Billy Bishop survives in a play by John Gray in collaboration with Eric Peterson who provided music as accompaniment and as songs. I have to admit I didn’t expect this. I had anticipated Billy singing songs of the period such as It’s a Long Way to Tipperary and, perhaps, the Canadian national anthem (years before the current anthem, O Canada). Instead, there was musical support brilliantly provided by Andrew Crowe, accompanist and narrator. Crowe’s musical talents are impressive, not only on the piano but on the harmonica and violin. He also supports Vaughan Irving (Billy Bishop) in some of the songs. Irving and Crowe bring Billy Bishop vividly to life on the tiny stage of Old Creamery Theatre’s Studio Theatre.

A Review of Housebroken

by Matthew Falduto

Iowa City - Of all the theatre adventures an actor could embark upon, a solo show is perhaps the most daunting. One of the most wonderful aspects of acting is its collaborative nature. When you're acting with someone, you get to feed off of their energy, build a scene together, connect in a way that 'real life' does not always allow. A solo show is completely different. You are on your own. Every eye in the theatre is on you the entire time. It takes guts, incredible stage presence, and endurance. Fortunately, Iowa City is lucky enough to be home to a shining solo star - Megan Gogerty. Her newest show, Housebroken, premiered last week at Riverside Theatre.The opening night performance was a joy to experience, filled with humor and a witty examination of some of the foibles of our lovely city.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Cornell College and NYC's Puppet Kitchen Collaborate on a New Show

Photo by Cornell student, Robyn Covnot
Mount Vernon – The Department of Theatre at Cornell College is proud to announce their upcoming world premiere, Pictures at an Exhibition. This production was created through a two month collaboration between the Cornell College Department of Theatre and the New York City based theatre company, Puppet Kitchen. This family friendly production spins a tale of friendship, loss and adventure told through an extraordinary combination of puppetry, video and live performance. Directed by guest artist Emily DeCola, and featuring guest artist Eric Wright as Puppet Captain, this production was inspired by the paintings of architect and artist Viktor Hartmann and the music of Modest Mussorgsky.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

City Circle Presents Into the Woods April 24-May 3

Coralville - Venture back Into the Woods as City Circle Acting Company of Coralville presents the Tony Award-winning musical classic by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine, April 24-May 3 at the Coralville Center for the Performing Arts.

Follow a baker and his wife as they struggle to meet the demands of a vengeful witch so that they may have their hearts’ desire—a child of their own. On their journey in and out of the woods, they meet a woman fleeing a ball, a girl with extraordinary hair, a cow-sick boy, a sweet-loving granddaughter, a couple of princes, and at least one giant.

"I remember listening to the cassette tape of the original cast in 1987 before ever seeing the show on stage. I imagined what the show would look like--how the stories would be told in the theater. I'm thrilled to be able to work with this all-star cast to bring this vision finally to life,” says director Chris Okiishi. “Even though these are Fairy Tale characters and the stories are firmly based in the Brothers Grimm, I think our audiences will relate in a very real way to the characters' triumphs and struggles. And who hasn't wondered what happens after 'Happily Ever After'?"

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Black Hawk's Cast for Cat in the Hat Announced

Waterloo - The Black Hawk Children’s Theatre has cast 9 local young artists in their upcoming production of Dr. Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat. Production dates are April 17 & 24 at 7 pm and April 18 & 25 at 2 pm.

Julia Corbett is cast in the title role of THE CAT. She is a 9th grader at Peet Junior High. She is making her debut here at Black Hawk Children’s Theatre although she has acted previously with the Parabola Youth Theatre Group. Julia enjoys studying language and music.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Housebroken's World Premiere is April 10

Iowa City – The world premiere of Megan Gogerty’s solo show Housebroken opens this Friday, April 10 at Riverside Theatre and runs through April 26.

You might remember Megan's previous one woman shows, Feet First In The Water With A Baby In My Teeth and Hillary Clinton Got Me Pregnant, both of which she performed on Riverside's stage. Back in 2011, about Feet First... I wrote:

I have seen Megan perform many times in the past - she's fearless. It's clear from James Trainor's review that fearlessness continued in this show: "Gogerty's acting style is unabashed, heightened and resourceful... She throws herself completely into a bit, commanding the full stage with ease and energy." But it's not just her acting, but her writing that is fearless. In this show she dared to ask, "Is motherhood worth it? Do you regret it?" And according to one friend who saw the show, she did not provide a glib answer, but rather delved into the complexities of emotion involved in being a parent.

Billy Bishop Opens April 9

Vaughn Irving as Billy Bishop. Photo by Lily Allen-Duenas
Amana- Billy Bishop Goes To War opens April 9 and runs through April 26 on the Old Creamery’s Studio Stage, with shows on Thursdays and Sundays at 2:00 pm and on Friday and Saturday nights at 7:30 pm. There will be a special Saturday matinee on April 11 at 2:00 pm. There will not be an evening performance on April 11. The Old Creamery Theatre’s Studio Stage is and intimate venue that features classics and new, exciting, and fresh material as well located in Middle Amana at 3023 220th Trail.

From a rowdy, unruly, and impetuous youth to a respectable, venerated veteran, Billy Bishop Goes To War follows a boy’s journey into manhood. Canadian WWI fighter pilot, Billy Bishop, defies all expectations and becomes a top ace — a “ hero in the sky.” With laudable historical accuracy and catchy tunes, this play illustrates Bishop’s intimate thoughts about his odyssey through the turbulent trials and tribulations of war. Billy Bishop Goes To War is written by John Gray and Eric Peterson. The show stars Vaughn Irving as Billy Bishop and Andrew Crowe as the narrator and pianist.

Tickets are $30 for adults and $18.50 for students. Call the box office for tickets and information at 319-622-6262 or go here.

A review of Clybourne Park

by Matthew Falduto
Cedar Rapids - I love spaces like the Grandon Studio. It's a wonderfully intimate space that allows Theatre Cedar Rapids to present lesser known shows that might not sell out the huge auditorium located above. Shows like for colored girls... and Doubt, not to mention the annual Underground New Play Festival, play better in an intimate space like the Grandon Studio. Bruce Norris' Clybourne Park, a thought provoking play about race, is a perfect Grandon Studio show.

Friday, April 3, 2015

DC Players' Harvey runs April 10 and 11

Bloomfield - The Davis County Players have been hard at work on the 2015 spring play, Harvey, which will be presented Friday and Saturday, April 10 and 11 at 7 p.m. at the Iowa Theatre in Bloomfield.

Harvey is a three-act comedy written by Mary Chase and was first performed on Broadway in 1944. Chase received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for the work in 1945. It has been adapted for film and television several times, most notably in a 1950 film starring Jimmy Stewart. The most recent Broadway revival featured Jim Parsons, from the TV series "The Big Bang Theory." The play is appropriate for families and children and adults of all ages.