Major improvements are in store for both groups as well. CAP-Altoona added a modern, more efficient lighting system in the last year, and is gaining new projection equipment this season. The Playhouse is embarking upon a major capital upgrade to their mainstage auditorium, after recently revamping their green room and other facilities.
But before all that, we get new shows to see!!!
Silly and Soaring
Class Act Productions in Altoona bills itself as "theatre for children, by children." Their family mainstage productions will kick off this November with Seussical-The Musical Jr. Attendees will revisit all their old Dr. Seuss favorites like The Cat in the Hat, Horton the Elephant, and even the Grinch in this colorful and tuneful show.
Their second show is The Sound of Music. Filled with familiar classic songs like "Do-Re-Mi" and "My Favorite Things", this is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. Performances will be in February through early March.
Next June sees CAP soar into adventure with Peter Pan Jr. The story of the boy who "won't grow up" is perfect for the kid inside all of us, so head off to Never Never Land for rousing adventure next season.
Class Act Productions also presents two "murder-mystery" dinner theatres each season. These interactive shows are designed for the grown-ups instead of the kids, and act as fundraisers for the rest of the season. This year's shows are "decade-themed", with That 70's Murder Mystery in the fall, and the music-filled Rock and Roll... and Die! featuring an 80's theme.
Finally, CAP also presents their Lunch and Laughs series, designed for the wee ones (4 and up). In December will be the presentation of A Winnie-the-Pooh Christmas Tail, and in March will be climbing to the clouds with Jack and the Beanstalk.
More details and specific calendar listings will be added to the Gentle Guide as they become available.
Classic and Original
Entering its 99th season, the Des Moines Playhouse has a wide variety of entertainment in store for play-goers. Whether you're into beloved classic musicals, tense dramas, or new and original comedy, there's a show for you in the new slate at the Playhouse.
The season marches in with the Iowa favorite The Music Man. Starting in July, this perennial classic is one of the Playhouse's most requested musicals, and the return of trouble right here in River City is a welcome sight for many patrons!
In September we get a peek behind the curtain into the audition world for dancers hoping to land a spot in A Chorus Line. Every performer has a story, and those tales and the souls telling them are exposed in the harsh glare of the spotlight in this Tony-winning show.
Local favorite Karen Schaeffer, who wrote the well-received Girls' Weekend from a few seasons ago at the Playhouse, returns with the World Premiere of her new comedy Choices. Recent widow Liz has a number of well-meaning friends, each ready to set her up with what they believe is the perfect guy. But how should Liz choose, especially with the friends all trying to nudge her in different directions? Choices takes the Mainstage in October.
Running from the start of December right up to Christmas Eve, this year's family holiday presentation is Disney's The Little Mermaid. This movie classic was turned into a hit Broadway musical, and now graces the Playhouse with both familiar and new songs. Ariel, Sebastian, the villainous Ursula, and all the rest are waiting "Under the Sea" for you!
At the end of January is Misery, based on the book by Stephen King. Made into an Oscar-winning movie, this stage adaptation is a terrific thriller and a taut and tense tale of adoration turned into terror. And who will survive this dark confrontation?
The final show of the Mainstage season, debuting in April, will be Ragtime. Especially relevant in the current social atmosphere, the intertwining stories of people of different races, classes, and beliefs at the turn of the century shines as a portrait of America, and the ways we all combine to find good no matter how difficult the fight.
Start 'em Young
The Kate Goldman's Children's Theatre at the Playhouse will be presenting three shows in the upcoming season. A Little House Christmas is based on the well-known book series by Laura Ingalls Wilder, and will be onstage in November.
Another "book-to-play" adaptation is Elephant and Piggie's "We Are in a Play!" Coming in January, this musical production is taken from a number of stories in the modern children's series by Mo Willem.
And starting in late February, there seems to be trouble for the students of Miss Nelson's class at school. They've just been stuck with an evil new substitute teacher, and they want "nice" Miss Nelson back. But what can they do? Miss Nelson is Missing!
Again, more details and specific calendar listings will be added to the Gentle Guide as they become available. Until then... GO SEE A SHOW!!!