Posts by gentleguide

  • Jingles & Dragons

    Jingles & Dragons logoOk, here’s an upcoming event that’s a bit different from the usual theatre stuff covered on the Gentle Guide. While there is a story and the outline of a script here, anything can happen when local role-playing game podcasters Des Moines & Dragons presents Jingles & Dragons, live at the Basement Bar on December 21. What you can be sure of is a raucous crowd and audience participation in a wild adventure fit for the yuletide season… with a twist.

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  • Winter Dozen for 2019

    SnowflakeWinter is upon us, and for Iowa that typically means much colder weather. Some people love it, some hate it, and the rest of it just try to get through it. But one of the things that warms my heart is the incredible slate of theatre we all have to look forward to in the coming three months, and the wonderfully satisfying shows opening up where we can settle in, warm up, and enjoy. With that in mind, here’s a dozen shows (and a bonus event) you might want to check out soon.

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  • You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown

    Charlie Brown book reportGood Grief!! Ankeny Community Theatre is presenting the musical You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown beginning Friday, December 7. All the familiar characters are here, singing and dancing their way through their eternally young and innocent world. Whether it’s Snoopy extolling the virtues of Suppertime or Schroeder spreading the word about Beethoven Day, everyone can find Happiness with the Peanuts gang.

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  • Elf - the Musical

    Bad468b2 42b5 4685 a1a0 902ab973a9a6The Des Moines Playhouse opens their holiday family-friendly mainstage musical next Friday, and this year they’re going all in on the yuletide merriment. Elf - the Musical opens Friday November 30, and runs weekends up until the day before Christmas Eve. The story of Buddy the Elf and his discovery of the world beyond the North Pole is a great modern tale using familiar traditions to show all of us how wonderful holiday spirit can be.

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  • Theatre Thanksgiving

    Turkey on stageThe annual celebration of Thanksgiving is next week, and as is typical there is no new theatre opening up that weekend. People are too busy with families, or shopping for their holiday gifts, or just sleeping off their overeating from Thursday. But it is also typical at this time for each of us to at least examine, just a little bit, the things we are thankful for during the last year. With that in mind, here are some theatre gifts I’m grateful for over the past months.

     

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  • Nice Work If You Can Get It

    Nice Work logoThe magical tunes of George and Ira Gershwin have been staples for years, but it was only in the last decade that they’ve been brought together as the framework for the Broadway musical Nice Work If You Can Get It. Drake produces their fall semester extravaganza beginning next weekend, featuring song and dance galore, and laughs that never go out of style.

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  • Clue - the Musical

    Clue cast promoAlmost everyone grew up with the family board game Clue. Determining the Suspect, Location, and Weapon used in Mr. Boddy’s murder was a delightful introduction to sleuthing and mysteries. Not even the performers know “whodunit” when ACTORS in Ames brings the board game to life in their production of Clue-the Musical opening November 15th.

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  • Mary Poppins Jr.

    Poppins Jr logoThe tale of the practically perfect nanny Mary Poppins comes to Class Act Productions (CAP-Altoona) and their youth theatre beginning November 2. It’s an occasion to be noted, both for the fact that they celebrate the beloved nanny’s birthday (one of the P.L. Travers original stories notes her birthday is November 1), and also commemorates that Mary Poppins Jr. is the 100th production by the Altoona group over its dozen year history.

     

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  • Legally Blonde Jr.

    Legally Blonde Jr.The path to success, let alone love, is sometimes difficult. The trick is to find your own way. Starting October 26, Des Moines Young Artists’ Theatre (DMYAT) presents Legally Blonde Jr. Based on the movie and the hugely successful Broadway show, the path of heroine Elle Woods is both an inspiration and an affirmation for many of the young women involved in the show.

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  • The Rocky Horror Show 2018

    Rocky Horror 2018 Kata KlysmicHow do you reinvent something that subverted expectations in the first place? That’s the goal of Kata Klysmic Productions latest endeavor, their yearly October “tradition” of presenting The Rocky Horror Show. And since I’ve often described Kata Klysmic as “the most subversive theatre group in town”, you can bet there will be some very creative and surprising elements in this year’s presentation.

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  • Noises Off!

    F52cb1ae 5b1b 430b b824 08fe37cbd7d6One of my favorite comedic shows is the “play within a play” Noises Off! Newton Community Theatre is presenting their version of this wonderful romp for two weekends beginning October 12. A classic farce about putting on a show called Nothing On, there are mistaken identities, prop problems, and a set that is almost the star of the show itself. 

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  • Billy Elliot

    2819f03c 7b8e 47a3 839c 81c705df5dbfAfter a summer away from home, the Des Moines Playhouse starts their centennial season with a production of the musical Billy Elliot. It’s about a boy who loves to dance, and how he deals with friends and family who don’t necessarily share his dreams. Opening October 5, it’s the first show in the newly remodeled mainstage space at the Playhouse, which is the culmination of even more dreams.

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  • Fun Home

    Fun Home artworkIowa Stage kicks off their second season next week with a production of Fun Home. Winner of the 2015 Tony Award for Best Musical, it is a surprising show of emotional depth and richness of character. Told as a memory play, it is the true story of author/artist Alison Bechdel and her years growing up. We see her at three different ages, examining her own coming of age and her relationship with her family.

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  • The Fall Dozen for 2018

    95c3fe5e 4193 4c3d 9ae5 fc6ba2585347It’s time for another preview of the coming fall theatre season in the area. Here’s some of the fantastic productions you might want to check out coming soon! With everything from farce to  mystery to award-winning musical and drama, you’ll find it here at the Guide. Go enjoy it all!!!

    Here’s what’s happening locally in the next few months:

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  • 7-11 Theatre Project 2018

    A4b04895 b7f0 4cd1 bbfd c68960c052d1The 7-11 Theatre Project is now over a decade old, and still surprising people. Various groups sign up for the event, and they get a week to create a completely new, original theatre piece on a brand new set they’ve never seen before, performed in competition for prizes and awards.

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  • Death of a Salesman

    0297e7dc f2ee 441c b10a 8942f7f74118A “classical education” is a bit of a cliché, but here’s a theatrical twist on it. Opening next weekend is Death of a Salesman from Roosevelt Repertory Theatre, a new group made up of Roosevelt High School teachers, students, and other creative individuals from the area. Birthed out of their Advanced Theatre class, it’s a chance to explore this incredible play from a variety of points of view and experience levels.

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  • Setting the Standards

    209ae16c 4abb 455e 9b74 d0f1a1ad9d5bThis weekend is the annual Cloris Awards ceremony, spotlighting the best of community theatre in Central Iowa. While it’s a great time to gather and celebrate the amazing productions and talent that have graced local stages over the past year, it’s also a time to join together, reflect, and plan for the future. There’s one project in particular that all theatre organizations in the area will hopefully address, to make certain that our quality and growth continues.

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  • Late-Nite Cabaret: Charlie Reese

    095ac4a9 bb38 4c8a 995e d1a0b8378c9eAlmost exactly two years ago, Noce Jazz/Cabaret started their Late-Nite Cabaret series. Once every month or so, they feature a cabaret evening with one of Des Moines best theatre performers in a setting reminiscent of New York’s 54 Below and other intimate concert spaces. Their first choice for this experiment was local favorite Charlie Reese, who returns to the Noce stage next week for another musical visit, full of laughter, music, and fun.

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  • Intimate Apparel

    9d5144aa 01d9 4ddc b92b 5f612c3f8dc9Next Friday at the Stoner Theatre, Pyramid Theatre Company opens their production of Intimate Apparel. Written by two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage, Intimate Apparel is a show that Pyramid’s Artistic Director Tiffany Johnson had been wanting to present to Des Moines audiences from the very start of the organization’s history.

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  • King Arthur’s Quest

    4cc0fb97 2029 43eb 8258 fae21f725777The quest for theatre groups in the summer is typically about how to get children involved. Whether it’s a big summer musical or some type of theatre instruction, it’s all about the youth. This year, Carousel Theatre in Indianola is partnering with Missoula Children’s Theatre to create King Arthur’s Quest, with two performances on August 11th. And like all good quests, it has been a satisfying adventure so far….

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