The Spring Dozen for 2018
- By gentleguide
- On Sat 17 Mar 2018
Warmer 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!!
12 – Neil Simon’s Rumors
Tallgrass Theatre Company finishes their season with this modern comedy of manners and miscommunication. Running from March 30 through April 14, four couples each have to deal with the fallout from an “incident” where the truth is uncertain, the questions keep coming, and no one expected a dinner party visit from the local cops. Who did what? Where and when? And who knows why? Find out what they’re all saying, and see if the Rumors are true!
11 – The Christians
Faith is about as personal as a topic as you can find. But what happens when Faith (with a capital F) becomes an institution? What changes? How does one stay true to their beliefs when multitudes are looking for answers that are individual in nature?Pastor Paul has a hard sermon to deliver, and not everyone is ready to hear what he has to say. Presented by Iowa Stage from April 13 through 22.
10 – Oklahoma
An incredible array of some amazing collegiate performers gets to shine in this classic American musical. The spring musical for ISU in Ames is always great, but they’ve got a terrific bunch of actor/singer/dancers in this one that will simply astound you. Come sing along, tap your feet, and just enjoy the musical that changed musicals back in the day. Everyone should see Oklahoma at least once onstage and here’s your chance, from April 5 – 8.
9 – A Few Good Men
You get your choice here, as two nearby theatre groups are each presenting versions of this military courtroom drama originally starring Jack Nicholson in the award-winning movie version. Ankeny Community Theatre is first, running from April 6 – 15, while Newton Community Theatre’s court is in session from May 18 – 26. Even with the same script, these could be incredibly different, and great in their own ways.
8 – A Piece of My Heart
A different military drama and the final show in Drake’s season. Experience the journeys of six women during the Vietnam War, and the different experiences they all had. Whether it’s about their uncertainties and concerns before their journey, or the realizations they discovered upon returning, each is profoundly touched in different ways. Performances are May 3 – 6.
7 – Peter Pan Jr.
Head towards the second star to the right and straight on ‘til morning… or just get to CAP – Altoona and see their production of Peter Pan Jr., running from June 8 – 17. All the songs you know and love are here, plus the wonderful characters and the infamous Captain Hook! Fun for the whole family and a great introduction to theatre for the younger set, Peter Pan Jr. will make you and yours believe you can fly!
6 – Hands on a Hardbody
Hop in your car and make the trip to Jefferson and History Boy Theatre Company as they present this incredible musical. Based on a documentary about a contest to win a brand new truck, it’s about the wildly different contestants and their efforts to be the last person standing… all they have to do is keep hold of their dreams, and also keep hold of the truck! Great music and a great show, and worth the trip! From June 8 – 17.
5 – Rapture, Blister, Burn
The grass is always greener… or is it? Two very different women who took very different roads to get where they are now… and wondering if they still have a chance at what the other found. Can fulfillment be found in a world where “having it all” may be too much for any one person to achieve? And ultimately would you know it when you got there? Iowa Stage presents a stellar cast in this modern day look at desires, destinations, and destiny, from May 10 – 20.
4 – 9 to 5: the Musical
June 8 – 24 brings this musical version of the Dolly Parton movie to ACTORS in Ames. Filled with songs written by Parton especially for this version, the story has changed slightly, but the adventures of three women battling their way through corporate glass ceilings and officious buffoons is still there, only now with terrific songs to add to the comedy. We all know this world, but it takes some special people to change it for the better. Watch them work their way to the top this June.
3 – Doubt: A Parable
Another faith-based story on the list, Doubt is presented as part of Ankeny Community Theatre’s Studio Series. This one is small, intense, and portrays the effect reputation can have on people… and how that reputation can be destroyed far, far too easily. They say truth is an absolute… but doubt is another story. The show runs from April 26 – 29.
2 – Ragtime
The DM Playhouse concludes their 99th year with the musical Ragtime. Telling three intertwined stories about different groups in the early 20th century New York, this is one not to miss if you are into musicals at all. With unique styles of music, beautiful period costumes and sets, and a story about what it means to find your place in a changing world, you will be changed as well. Performances are from April 6 – 29.
1 – Romeo and Juliet
The last show before summer is the traditional Shakespeare on the Lawn at the Salisbury House. The classic love story of Romeo and Juliet is presented outdoors in the majestic castle-like environment (complete with a balcony that I’m sure will come into play for this particular production!). It is the east, and Juliet is the sun… from June 14-17, presented by Iowa Stage.
BONUS – Iowa High School Musical Theatre Awards Showcase
Annually held the week after Memorial Day, the Des Moines Civic Center brings together some of the best High School performers in the state to perform for one night on the huge stage. Featuring some entire ensembles along with Triple Threat performers from schools from border to border, the night is filled with song and dance sure to make you smile. Plus, two deserving students will receive trips to New York City to be part of the National High School Musical Theatre Showcase, plus Broadway show tickets and the opportunity to work with leading performers currently on the Great White Way. Go experience the best of the best Iowa has to offer, and cheer on your favorites on Monday evening June 4.
A baker’s dozen list of shows to keep any theatre-goer both busy and happy! And a great way to celebrate the coming of spring! Whether your taste is comedy or drama, serious or silly, or if you just have a passion for the immediacy of live theatre, there’s something going on this season for you. Get out there now and go see a show!!!
Drake Ankeny Community Theatre ACTORS Des Moines Playhouse ISU Theatre Tallgrass Theatre Company Iowa High School Musical Theatre Awards Civic Center Iowa Stage Newton Community Theatre Rumors The Christians Oklahoma A Few Good Men Peter Pan Jr. CAP-Altoona Hands on a Hardbody History Boy Theatre Company Rapture Blister Burn 9 to 5: the Musical Doubt Ragtime Romeo and Juliet