Posts by gentleguide

  • James and the Giant Peach

    33ec41c2 0930 4adc 84a9 1f922ca7a063The stories of Roald Dahl have delighted brave children and their loving families for over half a century, and many of those stories have been made into stage plays and musicals. In addition to DM Playhouse productions of Willy Wonka and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang presented a few years ago, and the upcoming Matilda this summer, the Kate Goldman theatre now presents the non-musical version of Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach, opening this Friday.

    Told with whimsical style and just a bit of dark comedy, James and the Giant Peach concerns the journeys of young James Trotter (played by Carson Klein). After the unfortunate demise of his parents, James must live with his Aunt Sponge (Kristina Linnane) and Aunt Spiker (Kerrie Lee), who are horrible caretakers. Through a series of somewhat magical encounters, he meets a number of friendly insects inside a Giant Peach, who accompany him on adventures through land, sea, and air. James discovers his own strengths, and thanks to his friends finds a world far beyond what he ever knew.


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  • Brilliant Traces

    F887df7a d129 485c 9553 bd16e5c63ac0Earlier this year, TheatreMidwest joined the ranks of area theatre companies with their first show, The Friendly Hour. In January, they start their second season of full productions with a presentation of Brilliant Traces, a comedy/drama that takes place in an isolated Alaskan cabin, where two strangers each discover there are better ways to live than just hiding from the world... and where emotional truths can finally be confronted.

    The character of Rosanna (played by Jami Bassman Ahart) stumbles into the remote cabin, after having runaway from her own wedding. It’s now been days, her car has finally broken down, and yet she’s still in her wedding dress, blindly just trying to escape her potential life and future. She meets Henry (played by Jami’s real-life husband Tom Ahart), the loner occupant of the cabin who has escaped his own life for the solitude of the wilderness. After more than a few struggles, the two seem to come to their own understanding, and perhaps their own version of love....


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  • Winter Dozen for 2020

    4d0448f1 42c9 4baa 8db0 d939c7d7f5f2Here we are again, with the Gentle Guide’s list of shows to look forward to coming up in the next few months. There are a few special things, including some regional premiere productions and a wide variety of show styles to choose from. Please, take advantage of the myriad possibilities provided by so many area theatre groups, and if something looks interesting to you, make the time to attend and support their efforts. The weather may be cold, but it’s a warm and inviting season of theatre up ahead. (Plus, a special announcement at the end of the list, featuring the return of a favorite event!!!)

    12 - BKLYN - the Musical

    Adb043ed 06c7 4171 93f6 f11d373c1fe9Road trip for the first show on the list, but I can’t skip this one (and it’s the only one that starts up in December!) History Boy Theatre in Jefferson always presents shows we don’t typically see very often here in Des Moines, so I want to make sure their production of BKLYN is noted. It’s an urban tale about a group of street performers, both telling their own personal stories, plus one about a woman who comes to the US to find the father she never knew. All performances are dinner shows, running the last weekend in December and the first weekend in January, with a special New Year’s Eve performance.

    11 - Baggage

    Bb17f6cd 39ac 45ed b11a 3facebf18bddSome relationships are just destined to be. And some are destined to be destructive. Sometimes people can’t decide which one they happen to be in at the time, let alone how it affects everyone else around them. Grand View College brings this comedy about trying to connect despite your history to the Viking Theatre for one weekend only, starting March 5.


    10 - Wonder of the World

    A2d7a6c2 b106 45ee 9617 2008cf120b65The final production of Tallgrass Theatre’s season is a visit to Niagara Falls, complete with a crazy cast of characters searching for answers and purpose. Laughs are as plentiful as the water for those met along the journey towards finding out what might have been. You never know what’s around the next bend, whether it’s the falls or something uplifting. Shows run at the Rex Mathes Auditorium from March 27 through April 13

    9 - Eurydice 

    C6ab2756 aaa4 41af bbd7 8dff506827daCarousel Theatre in Indianola presents this new version of the Orpheus myth for the first two weekends in March. The love story is brought into the modern day for an examination of its heroine and all the different ways her life and death are pulling in different directions. Carousel just keeps getting better and better, and this choice allows them to show yet another color to their dramatic palette.


    8 - The Cake

    77a86622 f541 4e0a b90e 80e837e52f1aFrom one of the writers of the TV drama This Is Us comes a new play about a wedding cake, promises made, and what marriage really means beyond the initial event. Iowa Stage returns to the Stoner inside the Civic Center from March 27 through April 5 to present this topical and moving production for the first time in the area.

    7 - Circle Mirror Transformation

    A85e5938 bc98 4956 8330 db762ddf1e24They say that theatre is a window into the soul. For a quartet of strangers, a drama class becomes a journey of self-exploration and conflict in this comedic drama from DMACC Ankeny. Searching for expression can also turn into a search for common ground. The free performances begin February 28 at their Black Box theatre on the Ankeny campus.

    6 - Wild Widow Poker

    72c95f23 09bd 4ed9 9462 03b79c7edf10A brand new play written by A’ndrea J. Wilson at Grand View University, this combined production from Grand View and Pyramid Theatre Company is guest directed by Tiffany Johnson. In 1963, four Chicago women must confront the rapidly changing outside world and decide how much they can ignore... and how and when to decide to do something courageous. Presented in the Viking Theatre at Grand View for 4 performances only starting February 20.

    5 - Brilliant Traces

    B24245df 87a1 407d 8d7f dd8cfc00d5b3TheatreMidwest brings its second full production to Des Moines with the two-hander Brilliant Traces. Appropriate fare for a frozen January, a runaway bride finds refuge in a remote and snowbound cabin. The owner of the cabin (and reluctant host) is also a runaway, from life and people... and these two isolated individuals must now try to find some common ground and understanding in the Alaska wilderness. The 2020 theatre year starts at the Viking Theatre at Grand View January 3 through 12.

    4 - The Boy at the Edge of Everything

    15f37364 bffa 4d15 a0a7 2c2606cda316The Iowa Premiere of this imaginative story comes from DM Young Artists’ Theatre. Young Simon becomes obsessed with discovering the Edge of the Universe, the dividing line between nothing and everything. But what he finds there is not what he expects... and his adventure will change more than just his own life. See the heartwarming story at the Stoner Studio Theatre beginning on Valentine’s Day, February 14.

    3 - Singin’ in the Rain

    5490af26 0925 4904 bcd9 ff6674a1ecc2Recognized as one of the great song-and-dance movies of all time, the MGM film has been reimagined as a stage musical. It graces the DM Playhouse mainstage opening March 13, with all the familiar tunes along for the ride. It’s a fun-filled romp sure to make you tap your toes and sing along, so grab your umbrellas and enjoy it all!


    2 - Other Desert Cities

    4585e327 b2f1 429b a0a3 28d2f9f666a6This year’s Dream Project from Tallgrass Theatre Company is Other Desert Cities, starring Kristin Larson. As the head of Grand View’s theatre program, she seldom gets to stretch her own acting muscles, but she’s taking the lead in this production about family secrets and what happens when they are revealed. This tight drama runs for three weekends beginning January 17 at the Rex Mathes Auditorium.

    1 - Adore Us! Line

    F2c98162 f3ec 43d0 a0f9 b77bd571949dRobert John Ford once again returns to the political arena, after his previous success with Caucus!-the Musical. Adore Us! Line is a song-for-song parody of A Chorus Line, with the numerous candidates “auditioning” for the typical Iowa caucus voter. With an all-star cast of many of Des Moines best and brightest musical theatre performers, this Iowa Stage production is sure to be an amazing treat (and there are rumors that a candidate or two might show up to see it as well!) Shows are at the Stoner Studio Theatre for the two weeks leading up to the actual Iowa Caucus, opening January 24 and running through February 2.


    Musical Theatre Karaoke is back in January!!!

    0ea80d04 effe 474b bf34 392781a29344And now, the announcement. There’s a new venue in the Drake area called xBk Live (named because co-owner Tobi Parks is an “ex-Brooklyn” native). Along with many local and regional singers and artists, she’s helping bring back my favorite night of the month, Musical Theatre Karaoke!!! It’s being combined with some of the features of the Cabaret nights formerly featured at Noce, with the help of local performers Charlie Reese and Madison Ray. The best news is that it will be held at a more accessible time, on Wednesday evenings starting at 7:30pm. We’ve got accompanist Francine Griffith on board, and it will be open to all ages. While xBk Live will sell alcohol as well as other drinks, they are licensed as a theatre and not a bar, so everyone is welcome. So, go find that sheet music and start practicing!! Beginning in January, Musical Theatre Karaoke will happen on the last Wednesday of every month (with the first one being January 29! Mark your calendars and come join us!!!!)

  • A Christmas Carol - A Ghost Story of Christmas

    E841833e b40b 45d4 8acc a1a502d88e41That’s a bit more of a title than you might be used to seeing for the yearly Iowa Stage production of A Christmas Carol. But even for a classic story of Ebenezer Scrooge, things sometimes change, and that’s what’s happening with this year’s presentation. Opening next weekend at the Stoner Studio Theatre inside the Civic Center, A Christmas Carol - A Ghost Story of Christmas is an entirely new production of the traditional story for Iowa Stage.


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  • A Christmas Story - the Musical

    Ce729960 5ede 42cf 97fc 5a5f396032abIt’s holiday time, and we all have fond (and occasionally not so fond) memories of family gatherings. Sometimes it is about gifts we give or gifts we want, other times dealing with those we’d rather avoid. But no matter what, Christmas brings out events both thrilling and memorable, the type of thing that is celebrated in A Christmas Story - the Musical, opening next week and running for the month of December at the DM Playhouse.


    Based on the stories of author Jean Shepherd (which were turned into the beloved holiday movie A Christmas Story), this stage version now also adds a delightful Tony-nominated score and songs by the acclaimed team of Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. Presented as a series of short memory vignettes, all the well-known moments from the movie are here, just as so many of us remember them.


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  • Theatre Thanksgiving 2019

    Aa994517 9af1 468b 98c2 73b90eed0374Last year I started a tradition here on the Gentle Guide that I’d like to continue. Since the weekend of Thanksgiving is typically devoid of theatre events (unless you call Uncle Joe falling asleep at the dinner table a “performance”), I’ve decided to just list a number of things that I’m personally thankful for in the Des Moines theatre scene over the past year or so.


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  • Pippin

    6749ebcb 3a90 480b a6bc 40a3bec3bde7Something extraordinary is happening at Drake next week, as the wonderfully talented musical theatre department presents Pippin! Starting next Thursday, Pippin is a timeless musical exploring the journey towards a fulfilling life, and how that search sometimes leads to incredible places... but what are you really searching for?


    It’s hard to believe that the original version of Pippin premiered on Broadway almost fifty years ago, from composer Stephen Schwartz and featuring the amazing choreography of the legendary Bob Fosse. A critically acclaimed and very different revival won four Tony awards when it brought a circus atmosphere theme to the musical in 2013, and every version of Pippin is new and unique. Ostensibly the story of young Pippin, the eldest son of King Charlemagne, the show is very much more an allegory about finding a purpose, and perhaps that one single shining moment we all desire.


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  • The Manic Monologues

    B5effa33 248b 4646 a15a e9ceedcca601Open Door Rep returns with a topical pop-up show that’s being performed for only the second time ever. The Manic Monologues is a series of scenes (developed at Stanford University in California) about the pervasive and often misunderstood topic of mental illness, and how it affects both specific individuals and the people around them. Open Door Rep is proud to be only the second group in the country to present this brand new show. A large and diverse cast has been assembled to tell these stories, and to share with the audience the many variations in mental illness (often unseen) that exist.

    Mental illness (and those who suffer from the various ways it manifests itself) is often spoken about in whispers, with uncertainty and suspicion. After all, most of us would like to consider ourselves “normal” people, and since the symptoms can represent many other things, the actual process of identifying mental illness, let alone going through any process to deal with it, is fraught with uncertainty and stigma. That’s why The Manic Monologues was created.


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  • DM Playhouse 100th Birthday Bash

    0a4a687f 35b3 40c3 998f 9ce3164bb108It’s a party! (Actually, two of them!!) The Des Moines Playhouse is delighted to invite everyone to help celebrate their 100th Birthday Bash, with a two-evening event. Next Friday, November 8th, is The Ultimate Cast Party, while on Saturday the 9th will be their blowout Celebration of the Century. Executive Director of the Playhouse David Kilpatrick and his staff have been working towards these evenings for quite a while, to honor and to remember their past and look forward to their future.


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  • The Little Mermaid Jr.

    35626ba1 1377 45ae b7b4 7b963b405321Thirty years ago, there was a renaissance at the movies. The Walt Disney Corporation released its beloved musical The Little Mermaid, based on the classic Hans Christian Andersen tale. In addition to jump-starting the Disney animation division, The Little Mermaid brought a whole new generation to the wonder of a certain brand of family-friendly storytelling. The movie also spawned a Broadway adaptation, which has been revamped into a young-people’s version of the tune-filled stage spectacular. In honor of the movie anniversary, Class Act Productions in Altoona is staging The Little Mermaid Jr. starting next Friday, November 1.


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  • Wait Until Dark

    D3091b16 93be 4d11 9ff5 c3a8d04a8418Next week, Tallgrass Theatre Company opens their season with a classic drama of suspense. Wait Until Dark is the story of a woman under siege, with con men trying to steal a specific item from her either by deception or force. Not only is she outnumbered, she has a definite disadvantage in that she’s blind... but when no one can see, she’s ahead of the fight.


    Originally written over fifty years ago, Wait Until Dark Broadway lead actress Lee Remick was nominated for a Tony, and a movie adaptation was filmed almost immediately. It starred Audrey Hepburn, who was nominated for an Oscar for the role of Susy Hendrix, the blind woman at the center of the show. This time around local favorite Maggie Harris portrays Susy, working with the amazing artists who make up the cast and crew of Tallgrass Theatre Company.


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  • Freaky Friday

    F829b6dd 9b49 4c06 8163 808b17e549afThe grass is always greener… or is it? That’s what a mother and daughter learn in Disney’s Freaky Friday, the next production coming up at the Des Moines Playhouse starting (appropriately) next Friday, October 18. This magical musical about being forced to live someone else’s life is even switching places with its location, moving from the Kate Goldman Children’s Theatre to the Mainstage at the Playhouse (due to the upcoming Century Celebration utilizing the Goldman space).


    Mother Katherine and daughter Ellie are played by Chelsea Haaland and Anastasia Deace (at least, to start!) In Freaky Friday, the characters spend a crazy day and night when they magically exchange bodies and lives, with Mom now in Ellie’s body having to deal with high school problems and social terrors, and daughter now in grown-up Katherine’s body trying to work through everything from parenting to planning a wedding. Directed by Megan Helmers, Freaky Friday is a classic “switching places” show, with fun tunes and production numbers gleefully added to the mix.


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  • A Midnight Dreary

    44bcd761 043c 4651 833b 2afc47106095We’re getting closer to Halloween, so it’s time for a few more nightmares. Specifically, those of Edgar Allan Poe. His life and work is portrayed in A Midnight Dreary, opening Friday October 11 from DMACC Ankeny. It’s a special project for Program Chair Carl Lindberg, and a show with an interesting and personal history.


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  • A Night of Lovecraft

    8c5b3326 4401 4c09 a96e bf87c7dbfb15For those who have discovered them, the fear-filled works of author H.P. Lovecraft are in a class by themselves. Known as one of the masters of literary horror, his worlds are full of unearthly monsters and primal scares. A new group up in Ames is putting on A Night of Lovecraft, 4 unique one-act tales featuring mystery, thrills, and terror on stage.


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  • A Doll’s House Parts 1 and 2

    857a1d8f a3ac 454d a600 86a38a1cfd4dWe’ve got a nice long article this week, because Iowa Stage is about to do something very special. The seminal play A Doll’s House was written in 1879, and is one of the most celebrated plays ever created. The sequel, A Doll’s House Part 2, was penned in 2017, earning a Tony award and 8 nominations. Iowa Stage is presenting both plays, in repertory, beginning Friday September 27 at the Stoner Studio Theatre inside the Civic Center.


    Iowa Stage is only the second theatre ever to present these shows this way. And honestly, they were the first one to announce they were doing so. Denver’s Center for Performing Arts then scheduled their performances for two weeks earlier, stealing a bit of Des Moines’ thunder! But that doesn’t diminish the impact of these productions, both the original show and the groundbreaking sequel.


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  • Lost Girl

    E717c828 e1ec 45af ac60 f7defcd9b0ccDes Moines Young Artists’ Theatre presents Lost Girl, opening next Friday September 20 at the Franklin Jr. High building. Their first show of the season, Lost Girl is essentially a sequel to the classic Peter Pan story, set six years after Wendy returns to the nursery and her home. But the setting, and the story told, are very different from J.M. Barrie’s original tale. Written by Kimberly Belflower, this new work is all about moving on, growing up, and becoming more than just a part of someone else’s story.

    (And stick around until the end of this article, there’s a special surprise from DMYAT and the Guide!)


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  • Kitten Bomb: Off Script - Scenic Route

    Scenic Route posterI don’t typically cover improv shows here at the Gentle Guide, but because of the direct link to theatre I wanted to put up an article about Kitten Bomb. This improv group has been around for a few years, but more recently they’ve begun to experiment with a longer-form show. Essentially, they’re creating an entire two-act comedy in the moment, with light cues, music, and a continuing storyline with emotional climaxes. Their next show is Saturday September 14 at the Stoner Studio at the Civic Center, with the subtitle of Off Script—Scenic Route.


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  • A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder

    832a6784 3b41 4c0e a8b5 34645cdee912In the delightfully comic A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder (opening September 6 at the DM Playhouse), we meet Monty Navarro, played by Zachary Smith. Born into poverty, Monty discovers after his mother dies that he’s actually a member of royalty, albeit distantly. He’s the ninth in line for an Earldom and the wealth it would provide. If only he didn’t have to wait for eight other people to die before he could become rich....

    If only.


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  • Fall Dozen for 2019

    Yes, I know it’s a little early for my fall list of what’s coming up in DM area theatre. But looking at what my upcoming schedule is for writing articles and such, I want to get the information out there. Plus, there are a couple of things happening THIS COMING WEEKEND that I want to make certain people know about, so I’m going to start the list right off with those... so here’s some of the great stuff coming up in this fall!!!


    #12 - The LAST Broadway Karaoke

    Noce is ending their monthly regularly scheduled Late-Nite Broadway Karaoke evenings, so this Saturday August 24 is your LAST chance to come be a part of what has been my favorite night of every month. Bring music, or choose from the many songbooks on hand, and then let the amazing Francine Griffith play the piano while you belt out a showtune! No cover, cash bar, and some of the most fun you’ll have, whether you sing or not. PLUS, the Gentle Guide is sponsoring THE CAST PARTY, right before the Late-Nite Karaoke at The Walnut bar/restaurant just west of Noce. Cast Party at 8, Karaoke at 10:30, time to celebrate, reminisce, and just have fun.


    #11 - The CLORIS AWARDS

    And the next day, on Sunday August 25, is the annual CLORIS Awards ceremony at Hoyt Sherman Place. Social hour starts at 5:30 and the show begins at 6:30. Hosted by Tiffany Johnson and Katy Merriman, it’s a celebration of area theatre, with many awards and musical  performances. (And, just as aside, I’m proud and humbled to be receiving an award this year for the Gentle Guide. So happy to be a part of this, and of the wonderful theatre community here in Des Moines.)


    #10 - A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder

    Come September is the opener of the DM Playhouse season, a wickedly funny musical about murdering your way to the top. Winner of the Tony award for Best Musical a few years ago, this show has some great musical numbers, inventive performances, and a story to die for... literally. (It’s also one of the reasons this website is called “A Gentle Guide”, as the touring production of it was one of the shows that led me to developing the calendar!) And the cast for this production is amazing, I highly recommend this one!!


    #9 - Lost Girl

    One of the first productions of this script anywhere comes from DM Young Artists’ Theatre, this time at the auditorium at Franklin Jr. High. Lost Girl is the story of Wendy Darling after her adventures with Peter Pan, and her search to move on after the time spent in Neverland. This time, it’s her story, and an important one for children of all ages. Lost Girl opens September 20 and flies for two weekends.


    #8 - A Doll’s House 1 & 2

    Produced in repertory by Iowa Stage, A Doll’s House brings to life the original play by Henrik Ibsen, as well as the modern sequel by award-winning playwright Lucas Hnath. The story of Nora and her life changing decisions in the original play are then turned on their head in the sequel, making the two shows a beautiful and haunting counterpoint to one another. Performances are at the Stoner Theatre (Iowa Stage’s new home this season) starting September 27th.


    #7 - A Night of Lovecraft

    Journey up to Ames if you dare, for an evening of otherworldly horror. Vagrant Fear Productions presents four one-act plays from the master of unspeakable dread, author H.P Lovecraft. Shows are at the Reliable Street building in northeast Ames for two nights only, October 4 and 5.


    #6 - The Rocky Horror Show

    Kata Klysmic does it again! In what has become a Halloween tradition, The Rocky Horror Show comes back to the stage at The Garden, this time for THREE weekends of shows. Join Brad, Janet, Frank, and all the rest for a truly stimulating time over at the Frankenstein place. Warm up your dancing shoes, prepare your lines and your props, and come join in the fun. It’s just a jump to the left....


    #5 - Wait Until Dark

    The spooky mood continues, although this is more about suspense than scares. Tallgrass Theatre opens their season with this classic drama about a blind woman and her struggles to foil a robbery of her home. With a taut, atmospheric script and clever presentation, this is a great show that consistently surprises. Shows begin at the Rex Mathes Auditorium in West Des Moines on October 25.


    #4 - Souvenir 

    Noce remounts their successful production from two years ago, again with Gina Gedler and Max Wellman. Gedler recreates her role as the “tonally challenged” Florence Foster Jenkins and Wellman as her accompanist Cosme. Based on a true story, this production will likely sell out again, so get your tickets to one of the six performances ASAP. It begins Saturday October 12.


    #3 - ‘night Mother

    Ankeny Community Theatre presents this two-hander as part of their Studio Series. Running for only one weekend and beginning October 31, it portrays a complicated relationship between a mother who’s trying to connect with the daughter she’s never understood, and the daughter who is tired of fighting. It’s a heavy drama, but carries a powerful message.


    #2 - I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change

    This is one of my favorite musicals, and I’m so glad that ACTORS up in Ames put it on their schedule this season. A cast of four play multiple parts in this look at the many stages of love, from first meeting and dating pitfalls, through marriage, family life, and love in the more mature years. With book and music from Tony winner Joe DiPietro, everyone will recognize a part of their own life in this show. Performances start November 14.


    #1 - Pippin

    Drake University’s fall musical is Pippin. Ostensibly the story of King Charlemagne’s son, it’s really an allegory about searching for meaning in life, and all the many ways we try (and fail) to achieve it. The Stephen Schwartz score is as bright and wonderful as it was when the show premiered fifty years ago, and the message is just as timeless. Add in the youthful exuberance of the talented Drake theatre squad, and you’ve got Magic to Do!!


    Bonus - My own CLORIS additions:

    I know we’re going to celebrate the Cloris Awards this weekend, but I wanted to give nods to a few more people whose performances I personally really enjoyed this past season. You can find this year’s nominees at the CLORIS Awards site here. Unfortunately, only so many can get nominated, but that doesn’t mean I can’t recognize some of the others. And I’m not constrained by a certain number. So, in addition to the terrific performances of the nominees, here’s some more people that impressed me with their work in the last year:


    Closer, Open Door Rep

    Proof, Ankeny Community Theatre

    Too Heavy for Your Pocket, Pyramid Theatre

    The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Carousel Theatre of Indianola


    Individual Performers:

    Brett Spahr, The Foreigner, Tallgrass Theatre

    Riley Devick, Passing Notes, Ankeny Community Theatre

    Lauren Malcomson, Elf-the Musical, DM Playhouse

    Sydney Allen, Ordinary Days, Tallgrass Theatre

    Noah Hackbart, Dog Sees God, DM Young Artists’ Theatre

    Deb Hade, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Carousel Theatre of Indianola

    Connor Ripperger, Catch Me If You Can, DM Playhouse

    Jess Richter, Catch Me If You Can, DM Playhouse

    Alison Buechler, Kiss Me Kate, Ankeny Community Theatre

    Heidi Mason, Disgraced, Iowa Stage Theatre

    Shelby Jensen, Silent Sky, DM Playhouse

    John Audlehelm, The Diary of Anne Frank, Ankeny Community Theatre

    Heidi Bibler, Private Passage, Iowa Stage Theatre


    And a special shout-out to the wonderful Stage Managers we have working in our theatre community, especially Lauren Dursky and Korey Williams who run so many of the great shows in the area!!


    Lastly, I’d love to thank everyone in DM Theatre Community and their appreciation of all the work I do here on the Gentle Guide. As the recipient of a special CLORIS Award this year, I’m grateful to be a part of this wonderful group of people, and I can honestly say that the last three years I’ve been creating this website have been the absolute best of my life. I love and appreciate you all.


  • 13 - the Musical

    F321a44f b59b 436a 80df 19491db6662eI am constantly amazed at how well our next generation of young performers have learned and developed in the theatre world. Growing up is hard enough, and being a creative person isn’t always as rewarded as those who are good at sports or other endeavors. And yet, thanks to groups out there like Des Moines Young Artists’ Theatre, there is opportunity and a welcome home for many. DMYAT’s newest production of 13 - the Musical in the Stoner Studio Theatre opens this weekend, and shows off a new crop of great performers.


    787f2699 ea4c 47e2 bef7 324649f628bbThis isn’t the first time that DMYAT has done a production of 13 - the Musical. They first mounted the show in 2013, and one of the cast back then was Glori Dei Filippone... and her younger sister Frankie Filippone is part of the current version. I’m happy to say that 2013 version of 13 - the Musical was the first show I ever saw at DMYAT, and I’m constantly amazed at the superb talent and opportunity afforded so many through this organization.


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