By Matthew Brewbaker
GoGuide Magazine takes a look at local theater across the Corridor & and the state of Iowas
Matthew is Artistic Director of Dreamwell Theatre and has worked with many of the theatres in the corridor. Email events or suggestions for future articles to Dreamwellad@mchsi.com
Iowa City, IA – Welcome to a new year and new opportunities for art and entertainment. As we dig into the colder weather, we expect in February (as I write this we have an unusually mild January) it will be more important to find reasons to go outside and find things to do not involving binge watching television shows, reading books, and hiding under blankets with your pets until Spring arrives.
The good news is, whether you are in Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Coralville, or the Des Moines area, there is definitely some great theater to enjoy!
At Theatre Cedar Rapids, my friend Angie Toomsen is directing my new friend Mic Evans in A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, a fun musical by Steven Lutvak and Robert L. Freedman that is described as a funny song-filled mash-up of Clue, Agatha Christie, and Monty Python. Mic previously appeared as the Hunchback in their production of Hunchback of Notre Dame and Renfield in Dracula, and always brings amazing energy and talent to the stage. A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder runs from February 7th through the 23rd. Go to www.theatrecr.org for tickets and information.
Riverside Theatre will be presenting Mat Smart’s The Agitators, opening late January and running through February, directed by Chris Okishi. This play is the story of the long friendship between Susan B. Anthony and Fredrick Douglas from their days as early abolitionists throughout the rest of their lives. One of my favorite actresses in the area, Jessica Link, will be playing Susan B. Anthony, so needless to say, I can’t wait to see this. Checkout the show dates, tickets, and special talkback events at www.riversidetheatre.org.
Giving Tree Theater in Marion will be presenting a translation of a fun 50’s farce Boeing, Boeing. For those who had a chance to see TCR’s Dracula, it will be nice chance to see Jacob Kostiv perform without layers of makeup and special effects. He’s a talented actor and this looks like a fun show. Boeing, Boeing opens February 7th and runs through the 23rd. For tickets and more info go to www.givingtreetheater.com.
While considering your plans for February, it’s worth pointing out that in early March the Alvin Ailey Dance company will be coming to Hancher Auditorium at the University of Iowa on March 10th. This will be the first time they have performed on the new Hancher stage and this contemporary American dance company is always breathtaking and moving. Get tickets now for this one-night event at www.hancher.uiowa.edu.
As I think about the beginning of a New Year and the things I’d like to accomplish, I keep going back to something a dear friend and collaborator had done for as many years as I’d known him. It was very important him to continue to support live theater whether community, professional, or academic, even after his health made it too difficult for him to act or direct any longer. He always wanted to go to a new production on their opening nights, to be a part of that special energy that happens the first night performers get a live audience. I’d like to propose my readers find a new goal or tradition that will inspire you to experience more live theatre, be it opening night or matinees, or even just setting aside more time to enjoy the artistic product that so many in our community have given so much time and energy to create. GG