The Fall 10

Img 0879As the leaves start to turn and the weather changes, local stages start to heat up. Lots of theatre companies love to kick off their new seasons in the fall, meaning lots of terrific offerings to grab your attention. Here are some of the spotlight productions this fall you'll want to see!


10 - The 7-11 Theatre Project

Img 0875This is always a fun one! Multiple local groups get to create an entirely new eleven-minute play from scratch, all on a set and in a style that isn't revealed to them until a week before the performance! This year's kick-off meeting (and set reveal) for participating troupes was Friday September 15, with competition premieres set for this coming week on September 22 and 23. Selected performances and awards will be given on Sunday the 24th, and all events are at the Viking Theatre at Grand View. Presented by the Goldfinch Theatre Company.


9 - The God Committee

Ankeny Community Theatre begins their Studio Series with a drama about transplant patients waiting on news of their possible donor heart, and the decisions that have to be made to determine who may live or die. Produced in conjunction with the Iowa Donor Network, this one-act will be performed from November 2nd through the 5th.


8 - Hairspray Jr!

You can't stop the beat! Des Moines Young Artists' Theatre moves to their new performance home at the Stoner Studio Theatre inside the Civic Center, and takes us back to Baltimore in the 1960's. This dance-crazy musical is full of smart and fun songs and performances, and has a message still relevant today with its themes of integration and inclusiveness. Say "Good Morning, Baltimore" beginning October 30th.


7 - The Flick

The first regular play of Iowa Stage's inaugural season is The Flick, winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for drama. Conversations and observations on life, love, and the silver screen as seen by those who run an old movie theatre. Some get to star in their own life story... others are just the audience waiting for the credits. Opening at the Kum & Go Theatre at the Des Moines Social Club November 10.


6 - Runaways

Drake University's Mainstage musical for the year performs November 16 through 19 at the Harmon Fine Arts Center on campus. Based on true stories of youth of the streets in the late 1970's New York City, these tales of the lost (and occasionally found) souls still resonate with the current times, and everyone's search for a place to belong.


5 - Choices

Img 529Local playwright and actress Karen Schaeffer debuts her newest comedy, Choices. Laced with wit and wine, Choices tells the story of well-meaning friends Sami and Kat trying to set-up their widowed friend Liz, and the comedic (and competitive) escalation of their efforts to provide the perfect companion. Laughs abound at the Des Moines Playhouse starting October 13.


4 - The Rocky Horror Show

Presenting one of the most "out there" musicals in an even more "out there" way, Kata Klysmic Productions puts their own distinctive and daring spin on this cult classic. Reprising their successful production from last year, they literally are saying "Let's Do the Time Warp Again!" Featuring a midnight matinee and some surprising casting, Rocky comes alive at The Garden Nightclub beginning October 20 and (appropriately) running through Halloween weekend.


3 - On Golden Pond

Tallgrass Theatre Company gets to show the new technical improvements they've made (including a brand new lighting system) when they kick off their season with On Golden Pond. This gently dramatic tale is told with clever wit, understanding, and the strength of a life lived with love. Tallgrass returns to the Rex Mathes Auditorium in West Des Moines for three weekends beginning October 27th.


2 - Disney's The Little Mermaid

This year's big bright holiday musical at the Des Moines Playhouse transports audiences "Under the Sea", with Ariel, Sebestian, the evil Ursula, and all the beloved characters from this Disney classic. Make The Little Mermaid "Part of Your World" starting December 1st (thingamabobs not included!)


1 - Company

Img 867Stephen Sondheim's masterful showcase opens the new era of the Iowa Stage Theatre Company. Robert is at a crossroads on his 35th birthday,comtemplating his unattached state while surrounded by his cadre of loyal (and married) friends. Featuring some of the best musical theatre talent in Des Moines singing some of the best songs in the Broadway lexicon, I cannot recommend this show enough. Whatever you do, don't miss this one! Iowa Stage presents Company at the Kum & Go Theatre from September 22 through October 8.


And one more bonus FREE show.... DMACC Ankeny is presenting the eternally optimistic musical You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown at their black box performance space on campus starting October 13. Tickets are FREE, but reservations are highly encouraged. Email to join the Peanuts gang and their comic strip adventures.


So, there's lots of GREAT shows coming this fall, and even more are to be found if you check out our calendar listings here on the Gentle Guide website. Stars are shining brightly on so many area stages this season, so go enjoy the wonderful entertainment available. And I'll see you at the shows!!!


Drake DM Playhouse Ankeny Community Theatre Tallgrass Theatre Company Des Moines Young Artists' Theatre Kata Klysmic Productions 7-11 Theatre Project Iowa Stage Fall 10 Goldfinch Theatre The God Committee Hairspray Jr! The Flick Runaways Choices The Rocky Horror Show On Golden Pond The Little Mermaid Company You're a Good Man Charlie Brown DMACC Ankeny