Inside the Production

Here you will find articles, interviews, and information about the people and shows coming up in central Iowa.

  • Annie

    03fd744f 5dfc 446a 9082 19035f509311Based on the comic strip version of Little Orphan Annie, the musical theatre version of Annie has been around for more than 40 years now, with revivals and tours galore. The original Broadway show won seven Tony awards, and you can’t really go anywhere and not find the show and its music referenced in pop culture somehow. Starting this weekend, Urbandale Community Theatre (UCT) gets to present it in a brand new venue for shows, Franklin Jr. High in Des Moines. 

    The director for the Urbandale version of Annie is Kelsey Rae Moran. She’s definitely dedicated to this particular production considering she actually lives an hour away, where she’s a Vocal Music teacher as well as the head Speech and Drama Director at Adair-Casey/Guthrie Center Schools. So why is she so involved with a show that takes her so far from home?

     

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  • Disney’s Newsies!

    8b180a38 c288 4e98 bba3 919bfc4aa3caDid you hear the news? The Des Moines Playhouse opens their production of Disney’s Newsies! beginning this Friday, July 12. With a huge cast and some show-stopping dance numbers, Newsies is sure to be a treat for everyone! It’s been a world-wide whirlwind to put this all together, so read all about it!

     

    Disney’s Newsies! is based on the 1992 movie of the same name, and was turned into a stage musical in 2011. Originally only supposed to run for a limited time, the show became a huge hit on Broadway, ran for more than 1,000 performances, and spawned a filmed stage production/video release and beloved cast album. Many of the current members of the Playhouse cast are very familiar with the show through this exposure, and it even led one to audition from half a world away.

     

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  • A Summer in Iowa

    Lauridsen AmpitheatreIt’s time again for another seasonal list of shows that are coming up in the Central Iowa area. Summer is a great time for huge family musicals, Shakespeare, and the yearly offerings of the DM Metro Opera, not to mention our own annual celebration of theatre with the Cloris Awards. So here’s what to be on the lookout for in the next few months locally.

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  • Des Moines Metro Opera

    DMMO LogoThe summer season for the Des Moines Metro Opera starts this coming weekend. Known for world-class performances and an amazing outreach, the DMMO has been going strong for almost half a century, and this season is no exception. With three different shows running in repertory, there’s a variety for every opera fan, and for everyone who’s just curious and never had the experience.

    As has become practice for the DM Metro Opera season, the three shows each show off the form in different ways. Their first, La Bohème, would be considered the most “classical” production this year. For the more musical theatre oriented, they offer Leonard Bernstein’s Candide (featuring the showtune favorite Glitter and Be Gay. And lastly, they offer the modern Polish opera Wozzeck, a dreamlike emotional story very unlike what most think of when they hear the word “opera”.

     

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  • Love’s Labor’s Lost

    Labors dancingThe annual Summer Shortened Shakespeare presentation from DMACC Ankeny starts next weekend. Opening on Saturday June 22, Love’s Labor’s Lost will be staged at the Library building (Building 6) on the DMACC Ankeny campus. But this is no ordinary presentation of Shakespeare, as is evidenced right from the start. I mean, look at the boy band that just came to town!!!

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  • Macbeth

    Macbeth folioArguably the greatest play in the history of English literature, Shakespeare’s Macbeth is challenging and rewarding, both for the audience and the performers. Iowa Stage presents Macbeth for five evenings only staring this Wednesday June 12 and running through Sunday June 16. Part of their yearly Shakespeare on the Lawn series, it will be performed outdoors at the beautiful Salisbury House and Gardens.

    The story of Macbeth is one of ambition, alliance, doubt, and despair, all essential parts of the human condition. And although the play was written 400 years ago, it still speaks to the seductive nature of power, and the price paid by those in its proximity. Modern narratives use these building blocks to create their own expansive tapestries, and yet few have done it as effectively as Shakespeare.

     

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  • Silent Sky

    Silent Sky universeThe year 1900 was a time of discovery. There were still parts of the world that had yet to be seen with human eyes. But other eyes were looking to the vastness of space, and the multitude of stars above. Silent Sky presents young Henrietta Leavitt as she joins a team of women working on cataloging the observations of scientist Charles Pickering at the Harvard College Observatory. As he scanned the skies, the women would record the magnitude and positions of the stars from photographic plates taken from the telescope. After all, in those days, women weren’t even allowed to touch the telescope, let alone actually see the stars!

    But Leavitt and her friends didn’t just do copywork. As she managed the figures, she was able to note differences in stars as they moved through the sky, and discover patterns. With her math and science skills, she discovered a way to determine the actual distance from one star to another, and therefore from Earth to the stars. As she says in the play, “We can skip star to star across deepest space until we know... exactly where we are!”

     

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  • Iowa High School Musical Theatre Awards Showcase

    Showcase logo sizedThe future of Musical Theatre is in great hands... because there are literally hundreds of Iowa’s best high school performers about to descend upon the Des Moines Civic Center to share their talents and dreams. On Monday June 3, students from schools all over the state will be singing and dancing together at the Iowa High School Musical Theatre Awards Showcase, and soon some will even get a chance to strut their stuff in New York under the lights of Broadway.

     

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