Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Frost/Nixon Features Passionate Performances

By Toni Wilson Wood
Photos by Matthew R. Kerns

Thomas Carlisle as Nixon
Waterloo - Frost/Nixon, performed by Waterloo Community Playhouse, is an epic juggernaut that covers three years, various locations, and the verbal boxing match between David Frost, the British talk show host who was better known for his handling of models, not presidents, and President Richard Nixon, who was seeking a way to redeem himself without apologizing for something he felt was not something to apologize for.

Sound boring? You would be wrong. While this material could be considered dry, Peter Morgan, author of Frost/Nixon, took a huge amount of information and condensed it into something digestible. He created a text that clocks in at 2 hours (sans intermission) that feels much shorter than it actually is. There isn’t anything extraneous here. Every word, every actor has his place.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Dreamgirls Cast Soars Above Technical Difficulties

By Rachel Korach Howell
Photos by Len Struttmann and Shannon Struttmann

DiAndre Neville as Jimmy; Cameron Byrd as Marty
Cedar Rapids - TCR’s Dreamgirls is a musical mimicking the evolution of the Supreme’s: the cutthroat music business, the solid friendships overtaken by lights and glamour, the extra mile and the extra crap the African American musicians had to deal with to get noticed or even be able to take credit for their work, the girls who became strong women… It’s a lot. And it’s alllll in there, folks.

This show is centered around three phenomenal women, but we can’t get by without talking about the men who, circumstantially, ruin or enhance those ladies’ lives. DiAndre Neville works Jimmy. I love to see an actor sweat because I know that actor is working his/her darndest to give the audience everything they’ve got. He moves up and down the space, singing and dancing, in one of the most demanding performances in the show. His energy is unending and his vocals spot on. Marty (Cameron Byrd) brings a lot to the stage. His acting is subtle, strong, and honest, and that man can MOVE. Seeing him let loose during “Steppin’ to the Bad Side” in the first half of the show was a highlight for me. And I couldn’t help but smile when he popped up again in the second half. CC (Tevin Jones) also really surprised me. He is a soothing presence and it’s hard to dislike him even when he’s convinced to prefer Deena (Staisha Federick) over his sister, Effie (Alicia Strong). His singing is beautiful and he is another slick foot in the cast.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

ICCT Holds Competition to Select Plays for AACTFest

Iowa City - Iowa City Community Theatre is thrilled to announce that it will be returning to the AACTFest this year! The AACTFest is an opportunity filled to the brim with fun, collaboration, quick thinking, meeting oodles of like-minded thespians across the country, and being exposed to many hours of performance. The festival pulls together community theaters from across the nation to compete at a state, regional, and national level. It is a fun and unique experience that ICCT is eager to once again participate in.

Saturday, January 24th, ICCT is holding a competition to select a show to represent ICCT at the 2015 Iowa AACTFest competition. There will be two standalone shows from 3-6pm followed by three entries from the ICCT Love & Marriage production beginning at 7:30 pm. Tickets for the competition will go towards hotel and transportation costs associated with the AACTFest. All feedback provided by the stellar adjudicators will be open to the public, making each show a vehicle for new perspectives and learning for everyone in attendance.

Cost: $5 for the stand-alone competition pieces and $16 for Love & Marriage.

Date & Time: January 24th, 3-6pm/7:30pm-10:30pm

Location: Johnson Co. Fairgrounds, Exhibit Hall A. 4261 Oak Crest Hill Rd, Iowa City, IA 52246

Megan Gogerty
Jennifer Fawcett
Leslie Charipar

3:00pm Spot's Community by Taylor Cook
Directed by Catherine Shook
Spencer Hawk
Yannik Encarnação
Megan Henry
Therese Pechacek

4:30pm A Clean Escape by John Kessel
Directed by Jori Slodki
Genevieve Heinrich
Matthew Brewbaker

7:30pm Love & Marriage

1. Bridal Terrorism by Bill Rosenfield
Directed by Nate Sullivan
Brad Quinn
Sarah Falcon
Austin Wedemeyer
Kassia Lisinski
Mary Wedemeyer

2. Laundry & Bourbon by James McLure
Directed by Jen Brown
Assistant Directed by Sandy Goodson
Erin Mills
Audrey Thompson-Wallace
Valerie Davine Bills

3. I’m Herbert by Robert Anderson
Directed by Katie Boothroyd
Evie Stanske
Scott Strode

So come on down and support the teams, watch the shows, and observe the judging.

Source: ICCT

Dogs of Rwanda at the Englert

Iowa City - In the Raw returns to the Englert stage this Friday with Dogs of Rwanda.

Dogs of Rwanda is the story of David, a Midwestern teenager who travels to Uganda on a Christian missionary trip and finds himself on the border of Rwanda at the moment the country explodes in the 1994 Rwandan Civil War. Twenty years later when David releases a book about what happened on that trip, he gets a note from a friend that says, "You didn't tell them everything."

Giving Tree Theater Chooses First Donation Recipient

Marion - The Corridor’s newest performing arts venue and production company has chosen the human services non-profit organization Foundation 2 as the recipient of a portion of ticket profits for all nine performances of The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams.

Foundation 2 is a human services non-profit agency that offers crisis prevention and intervention programs to people of all ages. With services that include a 24-hour crisis hotline, a youth shelter, independent living options for youth, individual and family counseling, support groups, outreach programs and an after hours food pantry, Giving Tree Theater is humbled and happy to support this vital organization.

The production, directed by Heather Akers, will mark Giving Tree Theater’s first show, opening January 30, 2015 at 8:00pm, and will perform every Friday and Saturday (8:00pm), and Sunday (2:00pm) through February 15, 2015. The Glass Menagerie is Tennessee Williams’ beautiful poetic masterpiece, anchored by the aging southern belle Amanda Wingfield, who hopes for her son Tom to fulfill her dreams of finding the perfect “gentleman caller” for her shy and damaged daughter Laura. This character-driven story possesses some of the most beautiful imagery and dialogue in classic American stage plays. (PG, Family Drama) The production stars local actors Traci Rezabek as Amanda Wingfield, Hannah Spina as Laura Wingfield, David Schneider as Tom Wingfield, and Kyle Shedeck as Jim, the gentleman caller.

Giving Tree Theater LLC is committed to sharing profits with local human services organizations, as we shine a refreshed spotlight on truly great stories. In addition to The Glass Menagerie, Giving Tree Theater is set to produce Arsenic and Old Lace, The Miracle Worker, and Barefoot in the Park through May 2015, with additional details and titles to be announced soon. Additional information about auditions, ticket availability, and Giving Tree Theater can be found at www.facebook.com/givingtreetheater or www.givingtreetheater.com.

Source: Giving Tree Theater Press Release

Step Afrika! Comes to Coe

Cedar Rapids - Step Afrika!, one of the top 10 African-American dance companies in the United States, will integrate songs, storytelling and humor with audience participation in an upcoming Marquis Series event at Coe College. The performance will be held on Friday, Jan. 30, beginning at 7:30 p.m. in Sinclair Auditorium.

Tickets are $15 for the general public, $10 for students and seniors. Seating is available by calling the Coe College Box Office at 319-399-8600, Monday – Friday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Tickets will also be available at the door the night of the event.

Auditions for City Circle's Into the Woods

Coralville - "Into the Woods is Stephen Sondheim's beloved musical about what happens after "happily ever after."

Actors ages 12 and above are welcome to audition. Casting will be age appropriate. The mysterious man and narrator will not be double cast. The wolf and prince will be double cast. The cow will be cast with a human actor. There are also roles for up to five ensemble people who will double as stage crew and various characters.

Please bring sheet music in the correct key for a one-minute section of a song that shows your ability to communicate a character.

Auditions are Saturday, January 31 and Sunday, February 1 from 2pm-6pm at the Community of Christ Church in Coralville. Signups and more information here."

Source: CCPA newsletter

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Opens January 23

Coralville — "Nolte Academy will present a new musical production, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, January 23rd through January 25th, 2015, at the Coralville Center For The Performing Arts. The fourth in a series of musical productions presented by Nolte Academy for Corridor audiences, Snow White features local singers, actors and dancers from ages 6 to 19, who will perform with a live orchestra.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Love and Marriage Opens January 16

Iowa City - Opening this FRIDAY, January 16, The Proposal (directed by Christina Patramanis), a Chekhov play about a hypochondriac who tries to propose to his neighbor’s daughter and ends up with all of them getting into arguments. Bridal Terrorism (directed by Nate Sullivan), a woman shows up in a park in a wedding dress looking for a groom. Laundry & Bourbon (directed by Jen Brown), three women share gossip and their disappointment with their marriages. I’m Herbert (directed by Katherine Boothroyd), a conversation between an elderly couple with memory problems who tries to remember their former relationships.

Don Giovanni Opens January 16

Cedar Rapids - Indulge in Mozart’s tantalizing opera Don Giovanni at the Paramount Theatre, 123 Third Avenue SE, Friday, January 16 at 8:00PM and Sunday, January 18 at 2:00PM.

Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre’s new production of Don Giovanni, sung in Italian with English supertitles, is directed by William Ferrara with Orchestra Iowa Musicians directed by Daniel Kleinknecht; featuring baritone Christopher Burchett in the title role, baritone Lee Poulis as Leporello, and sopranos Danielle Talamantes (Donna Anna) and Veronica Mitina (Donna Elvira).