Posts by gentleguide

  • 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!!

    Continue reading

  • 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.

    Continue reading

  • 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.

    Continue reading

  • 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.

    Continue reading

  • 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!!

    Continue reading

  • 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. 

    Continue reading

  • 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.

    Continue reading

  • 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.

    Continue reading

  • 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.

    Continue reading

  • 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.

    Continue reading

  • Iowa Proud

    51d550c7 b8bc 40bd b0d9 5f67c18c0c72For those who have grown up here, Iowa has always been a special place. Playwright and composer Robert John Ford has lived and worked here in Iowa for years, and his observations have resulted in UTOPIA. Written with a keen eye and loving humor, UTOPIA presents sketches and songs sure to bring a knowing smile to audiences near and far.

    Continue reading

  • Theatre for the Young in Years

    3e45e4f4 6a7d 4f81 9177 05ec6b0f877dWe all started our theatre passion somewhere, and it’s wonderful when it can start with the very young. The Kate Goldman Children’s Theatre at the Des Moines Playhouse presents the first new production of 2018 with Elephant & Piggie:  We Are in a Play! The children’s book characters are brought to life with music and dance (and even some audience interaction). It’s a great way for the very young (and their loved ones) to come and experience a show.

    Continue reading

  • Saturday Showtime!

    1eabd7a1 36eb 4e3d bfa5 7ed121a2b415Des Moines has a thriving musical theatre community, with an amazing amount of talent and opportunity to perform that simply isn’t found in other cities our size. And even if you don’t have the schedule that allows for the time and dedication needed to put on a typical musical, there is still a place to get your showtunes on. Noce’s Saturday Late-Nite slot is a musical theatre lover’s dreamtime, with a chance to be a star yourself.

    Continue reading

  • The Winter 10

    Img 0360It’s about to turn chilly again here in Iowa, which is one more excuse to find a nice comfy theatre and go see a show! Here at the Gentle Guide, we’ve scanned the next three wintery months to find some of the performances you just might want to start making plans to see. There’s a large variety, from musicals and parodies, to dramas both classic and new. No matter what you’re interested in, there’s something you’ll love coming up in central Iowa.

    Continue reading

  • Ghosts of Christmas Carols Past

    333c615e d542 4bc0 b3a1 3d723aa6ccfaA tradition of the holiday season is A Christmas Carol. While no less than 5 different area groups are doing variations of the classic tale of Scrooge and his late night visitors this season, the real legacy version is being presented by Iowa Stage. Carrying on the tradition of years past from Repertory Theatre of Iowa, A Christmas Carol has more than its share of continuity and history.

    Continue reading

  • Embracing the Chaos

    Cea76fd6 489b 45b0 ab38 fe0f43071665Some theatre productions are designed like a carefully oiled machine - perfectly planned, and executed with no faults or error. Others are more welcoming of their imperfections, and use those moments as inspiration and creativity. But all theatre people have had that one show that seemed to be where disaster is the default for the show, where mistakes and mishaps are all you can see. And what you hoped to be a shiny present becomes A Christmas Chaos.

    Continue reading

  • Becoming Part of That World

    B72fe51a 26cc 4d2e a85e e51cd4dcdc09Disney’s The Little Mermaid is now a recognized classic, and the theatrical version helped start a Disney revolution on stage. The Des Moines Playhouse brings the underwater musical to children of all ages for the month of December. For two stars of this production, this is their first opportunity to be on the Playhouse mainstage, guided by the sure hand of veteran director Maxwell Schaeffer. For the young performers, it’s their chance to be, as the lyric goes, “part of that world.”

    Continue reading

  • The Truth of the Matter

    792b5fff f7f3 4f72 8511 238a11da5d19All we’re sure of is that an awful thing happened near Dead Dog Park. Was it a terrible accident? Or a deliberate act? An unfortunate fall, or was the young boy pushed from the fourth-story of an abandoned building? The cop says one thing, the family says another, and the boy in the hospital bed is too injured to talk. What really happened? What is the truth?

    Continue reading

  • Lonesome of the Road

    955a54d3 0674 4eb7 97ed 273d5b6bd92bThis year’s mainstage musical at Drake is Runaways, playing Thursday through Sunday, November 16-19. Taken from interviews with real life people impacted by the phenomenon, Runaways describes the experiences of those who find themselves far from their original homes, whether by choice or circumstance. 

    Continue reading

  • Music Weaver

    25d88e63 5896 415b 9fff 35bbfd3f0bbeThe Late-Nite Cabaret at Noce this weekend features local favorite Taylor Anne Weaver, performing for her second time in the theatre-oriented singing slot. Taylor has been incredibly busy this year with a significant number of ventures, and now gets to add one more. And while a great many people know how to sing, few can do it as well or as satisfyingly as Taylor. It’s been a part of her whole life, and this Saturday night she gets to share it again with everyone.

    Continue reading