Inside the Production

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

  • 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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