Inside the Production

Here you will find articles, interviews, and information about the people and shows coming up in central Iowa.

It’s a Wonderful Wife

F0080626 7c48 43d0 b2f7 80dcde31c6ddChicago performer Jamie Shriner arrives at the Kum & Go Theatre at the Des Moines Social Club next week with her original one-woman musical Wife Material. She wrote it after eloping in January 2017, and discovering matrimony isn’t so much about the “wife” part, but about the “material” part… and figuring out exactly what you need to be made of to make it all work. Especially when your hubby is an ocean away….

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Always Faithful

Ef7e45a1 f680 4a87 846d 6bf822d38a37The Marine Corps official motto is “Semper Fidelis”, which is Latin for “Always Faithful.” In Newton Community Theatre’s upcoming production of A Few Good Men, the military code of conduct in the Marine Corps is examined in detail, and it’s not a place where everyone would be comfortable. But comfort isn’t the goal, it’s about being true to ideals and honor. Not everyone can live up to that, but it’s still worth striving for.

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Moving the Line

801458d3 d6e3 4745 92f5 dd51e46cc66dIn Rapture, Blister, Burn (being presented by Iowa Stage at the Kum & Go Theatre starting May 10), friends confront their choices in life, each wondering what might have happened if they’d followed another path. But some paths are chosen, and others are decided upon because of outside influences. Director Kristin Larson and her cast dramatize those journeys, and wonder how you get from here to there when the world keeps moving the finish line.

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Pieces of the Past

54feb2fd 97a6 40a2 a4c8 41501a247bb3Drake University’s final show of the school year is A Piece of My Heart. Set during and after the Vietnam War, it follows the stories of six women and their interactions with the war. No one is ever prepared for what that kind of monumental conflict will mean when one has to confront it for the first time... let alone the toll it takes on the self, loved ones, and even complete strangers in the years afterwards.

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Shadow of a Doubt

436102ba 5303 4f9b 9ba3 dbde2291f7efAnkeny Community Theatre presents Doubt – a Parable as part of their Studio Series from April 26 through 29. Set in a Catholic School in 1964, it concerns the possible actions of Father Flynn (played by Brad Church). Flynn is the priest in charge of the school… and some are concerned about his behavior towards one of his students. It becomes not just a battle for one student or one career. It’s about how all of us have to decide how we put our faith in others, and in ourselves.

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It Takes Two

2a58b17c ce60 4861 b88b 537989ab899dDes Moines Young Artists’ Theatre (DMYAT) has been going strong now for a decade, presenting interesting and challenging shows for young performers anywhere from elementary age to those just about to enter college. They’re having a pair of fundraising events to showcase some of their stellar youth alongside a few of the bright lights of other theatre groups here in Des Moines. The show is called Duets, and performances are April 22 and 29 at Noce Jazz/Cabaret.

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The Bells of Notre Dame

6e235c86 d270 467d af11 2c6e03316245The above title is a song from the stage musical version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame. You may be familiar with the original Victor Hugo novel, or perhaps with the Disney animated adaptation from 1996. The recently created stage musical is a combination of the two, darker than what Disney did with the property, but with many of the songs from that version and new music written just for the theatre. The new Hunchback is an amazing show… and even more amazing is the opportunity for area youth to perform it for the first time in Iowa.

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Shaking the Foundations

A64693fe f9bb 47ae 889b 3792e423aa0bNext weekend sees the opening of The Christians. Iowa Stage is presenting this modern drama at the Kum & Go Theatre, looking at faith and belief systems and how they relate to human interaction in our current times. The Christians isn’t about debunking faith, or reaffirming a religion centuries old. It’s about what we believe about ourselves and each other, and how we fit those ideas into a world that’s changing at an amazing rate.

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The Sound of the Community

6da86355 c1ba 4dcd 9153 0e6904f05bbcThe musical Ragtime opens April 6 at the Des Moines Community Playhouse. It tells the stories of people from three different cultures all attempting to make a home in New York City at the beginning of the last century, filled with tuneful songs in the diverse styles of those times. And the man who brings it all together for this production of Ragtime is the Playhouse’s longtime Musical Director, Brenton Brown.

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Have You Heard...?

A6c1103d 5598 4b42 9a94 31c2b2af3028This coming weekend sees the premiere of the final show in Tallgrass Theatre Company’s season, Neil Simon’s Rumors. A comedy of manners and misinformed party guests, the hilarious farce is based on certain characters concealing information, often less than successfully. Conversely, Tallgrass Theatre is trying very hard to do the exact opposite when it comes to their theatre offerings. Spreading the word about their productions is a lot more than just starting a “rumor.”

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The Spring Dozen for 2018

0f4aa9b6 1b1a 4015 833a 91914c0942d8Warmer weather heralds a new list of productions on the horizon. Typically I feature ten upcoming shows for the season, but there are so many great shows in the next few months that I expanded the list to twelve (and still ended up combining a few!) The hard part is finding time to see them all! Here’s a list of some of the terrific theatre coming your way very soon here in Central Iowa!!

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F-E-S-T-I-V-A-L

227bcd50 3cd8 4641 866c e9851ebff6f9Next weekend, Simpson College will present their production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. While the public will enjoy this offering on Friday through Sunday like other shows in their season, an additional performance of Spelling Bee will take place on Monday afternoon. This will form the centerpiece of Simpson’s 21st Annual High School Theatre Festival.

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From Indianola to Buffalo

3b619130 fa86 4f84 bd54 7b7c02f79d62Beginning March 8th and running through the 11th, Carousel Theatre in Indianola will take an evening trip to upstate New York with their production of the Ken Ludwig farce Moon Over Buffalo. Best known as the vehicle that brought comedy legend Carol Burnett back to Broadway, Moon Over Buffalo is a love letter to theatre fans everywhere, and especially to the wonderful actors who get to bring this farcical romp to life.

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Stamp of Approval

9cf7dfe5 75e5 4e39 a0a9 1f7ed7715424Ever heard of Mauritius? It’s a tiny island country in the middle of the Indian Ocean. The “Blue Mauritius” postage stamp (issued when Mauritius was still a British colony) is one of the world’s oldest and rarest, and worth a fortune. And the play Mauritius (being presented next week by DMACC Ankeny) concerns possession of a valuable stamp collection, and the shifting alliances and choices the desperate characters make to get what they want.

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No Box Necessary

522557e4 815e 43b2 91f5 a6e7813d193eHedwig and the Angry Inch is a journey unlike almost any theatre experience out there, and in the hands of Kata Klysmic Productions, their presentation is likely to be creative, unusual, and anything but mundane. In other words, combine Hedwig and Kata Klysmic, and (as Director Emily Davis puts it) you’re not just thinking “out of the box.” You’ve completely removed the box from the equation!!

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The Von CAP Family Theatre

7e2614d5 4d2d 4609 9730 90ef4e20925eYes, I know it’s the story of the Von Trapp Family Singers featured in the beloved favorite The Sound of Music. But when CAP-Altoona (Class Act Productions) puts on a show, it’s always a family affair. Their upcoming production (starting February 16) is, as usual, filled with kids.... many of whom have gotten their parents and other loved ones involved as well. 

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The History of Butterflies

C4070fdf 9deb 49b6 be4a 5eb70a25c406Des Moines Young Artists’ Theatre has never shied away from stories with hard truths. I Never Saw Another Butterfly (opening at the Stoner Theatre on February 9) is about one of the harshest events of human history, the World War II internment of German political and religious prisoners. In the Theresienstadt (Terezin) concentration camp in Czechoslovakia, thousands lost their lives and families were torn apart. And still hope persisted, thanks to... butterflies.

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Behind the Curtain

Bce684c2 ecd5 44c2 a271 e5d9afb14bd9Lots of things going on in the local theatre scene lately, but many of them may not be apparent to the typical patron in the fifth row seat. Most of what is happening is behind the scenes, but it affects what kind of shows you’ll be seeing and where they will happen. So here’s a bunch of different news items that you might want to be aware of.

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The Icing on the Sledgehammer

1aad550a d51c 4357 8c94 40437e3f61d8The suspense-thriller Misery (based on the book by Stephen King and subsequent Oscar-winning movie) is the latest offering by the Des Moines Playhouse. Opening January 26, this stage adaptation features some of the best and most experienced talent in the city, bringing to life a tale of obsession and desperation. Micheal Davenport, Preshia Paulding, and director John Viars combine to create an intense journey into a world of tension and terror.

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Designing a Dream

A7ae5b9b 203c 4961 99af da6cd5b5a1adTallgrass Theatre Company opens their production of Stop Kiss on January 19. A riveting and emotional play with great characters and social relevance, the show is also this year’s Dream Project at Tallgrass, Stop Kiss marks the first time in the history of the Dream Project that the featured show was chosen from a proposal by the design team. Designers Ty Klobassa and Erica Spiller saw an opportunity to put their vision in place and create a unique and special presentation.

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