Stage & Theatre
News Releases - Stage & Theatre
Written by Megan Flanagan   
Tuesday, 06 August 2013 13:53

Production Features 16-Piece Orchestra and Stars Broadway Veteran Kristen Behrendt DeGrazia and International Opera and Theater Performer John Muriello


The Coralville Center for the Performing Arts will celebrate its second birthday with a special benefit production of Cole Porter’s Broadway hit Anything Goes.


On an ocean journey from New York to England, unlikely romance, comic mistaken identities, dancing sailors, good old-fashioned blackmail, eminently hummable songs, and unlikely happy endings come together for a fast-paced, fun, classic musical theater event.

This minimally-staged production features a 16-piece orchestra, placing the emphasis on Porter’s unforgettable music including It’s De-Lovely, Friendship, I Get a Kick Out of You, You’re the Top, and the title number. There will also be special dance numbers courtesy of Leslie Nolte and Nolte Academy. This production is directed by Josh Sazon, with music direction by Edward Kottick.

The Center will serve birthday cake to the audience following each performance.

Tickets ($22; $17 for students/seniors 55+; $12 for children 10 and under) are available by phone at 319.248.9370, online at, and in person at the CCPA box office (1301 5th Street) and Coralville Rec Center (1506 8th Street).  Special premium sponsor tickets ($50) are available for the August 23 performance and include premium seating, program recognition, and a pre-show reception at the Luxe Zone.  Patrons should call 319.248.9370 or visit the box office for those tickets.

This production is sponsored by Hills Bank.

Performers include Kristen Behrendt DeGrazia as Reno Sweeey, John Muriello as Moonface Martin, Megan Keiser as Hope, Joe Mosher as Billy Crocker, Megan O’Brien as Erma, and Ken Van Egdon as Lord Evelyn Oakleigh.  Brett Bordon, Trista Carlson, Jon Cryer, Jean Grewe, Emily Hill, Brian Lawler, Susan Manuel , Mike Nelson , Christine Pernetti, Glen Schmitz, Jerry Stamp, Raiden Takeuchi, Rex VanDorpeAudrey , Wagner, Teresa Wagner, Lisa Warren and Sheila Wayson round out the ensemble.

The orchestra includes Adam Balling, Dan Berkowitz, Melissa Brobston, Bill Colby, Laura Kastens, Laura LaComble, John Lake, William Laubengayer, Paul McNally, Ron Mirr, Tom Nelson, Nathan Platte, Suzanne Smith, Brad Thayer, Beth Villhauer, and Paul Weach.

Kristen Behrendt DeGrazia is a supporter of and frequent performer with Corridor area theatre. She has performed in 5 seasons of Iowa Summer Rep and many productions with Riverside Theatre.  Before moving to Iowa City, Kristen performed with various theatres in Chicago and spent 5 years performing on Broadway in musicals including Sunset Boulevard, Side Show and Les Misérables. She also toured the nation playing the role of Fantine in Les Mis. Kristen holds a B.F.A in Musical Theatre from the University of Michigan. Her favorite role (in which she co-stars with husband, Jordan DeGrazia) is that of Mom to Mason, Maia and Tess.

John Muriello has carried on a varied performing career in opera, operetta, musical theatre and concert work.  Stage credits include Tartuffe in Kirk Mechem’s Tartuffe, the Lecturer in Argento’s A Water Bird Talk, Ko-Ko in The Mikado, Marcello in La Bohème, Voltaire in Candide, Guglielmo in Così fan tutte, and Sir Toby Belch in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. Muriello has concertized in London at The Wigmore Hall and in Moscow at the Moscow Conservatory, as well as throughout the lower forty-eight.  Concert and oratorio solo credits include Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Vaughan William’s Five Mystical Songs, Orff’s Carmina Burana, and the Brahms Requiem. Muriello has performed with several contemporary music festivals, at the Union of Composers Autumn Festival in Moscow, the Banff Centre for the Arts in Canada, at the University of Michigan, the University of Iowa, and James Madison University. He has worked with the Skylight Opera Theatre, Opera Carolina, Lyric Opera Cleveland, L’Opera Français de New York, Ohio Light Opera, Seaside Music Theatre, Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre, and La Gran Scena Opera di New York (as Miss Sylvia Bills, America’s most beloved retired diva).  Muriello’s directing credits include H.M.S. Pinafore for Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre, and The Fantasticks, She Loves Me and A Little Night Music for the University of Iowa School of Music.

Owned and operated by the City of Coralville, the Coralville Center for the Performing Arts is dedicated to enriching the community and contributing to the vitality of Coralville by offering an accessible, affordable venue for a variety of performances, presentations, and public and private events.  The 472 seat theater opened August 26, 2011 and has hosted performances from City Circle Acting Company, Orchestra Iowa, Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre, Dan Knight, Lola Astanova, Lorie Line, Judy Carmichael, Jim McDonough, Nolte Academy of Dance, and many others.  Coralville schools are also able to use the Center free of charge up to three times per year; 16 school events took place at the Center in the 2012-2013 school year. The Center was named 2012 Member of the Year by the Iowa City/Coralville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.


U. S. Grant--the General--Arrives at Oakdale Memorial Gardens! PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Stage & Theatre
Written by Dustin Oliver   
Tuesday, 06 August 2013 10:52
Dan Haughey (hoi), professional actor and playwright from the Quad Cities, will perform his one act one-person show on Ulysses S. Grant in the Public Mausoleum at Oakdale Memorial Gardens in Davenport on September 14. The show, entitled MR. U. S. GRANT: A MAN AND A PATRIOT, focuses on U. S. Grant as the Civil War General.  Showtime will be 4:00 p.m., as a part of  Forget-Me-Not:

Victorian Day at Oakdale Memorial Gardens, which runs from 12 noon until 5:00 p.m. Tickets are $5.00 per person, or admission is included for patrons of Forget-Me-Not: Victorian Day at Oakdale Memorial Gardens.  

Mr. Haughey holds the M. F. A. degree in theatre arts from Southern Illinois University.   He has studied acting at the Florida State University-Asolo Conservatory for Professional Actor Training and is a 2013-14 Illinois Humanities Council “Road Scholar”.   Among his film and stage credits, he has toured MR. U. S. GRANT to schools, museums, and Civil War venues throughout the United States to include the National Park Service, The Lincoln Home auditorium, The War Memorial Museum of Virginia, the Tennessee Theatre in Knoxville, and the Market House in Galena, Illinois.  Grant’s Civil War era home is in Galena. This one-act play on March 23 features Grant’s rise to Civil War fame with reference to the famed soldiers of Union Army’s 2nd Iowa.  Charles Bracelen Flood, author of the book  Grant and Sherman and the award-winning Lee: The Last Years, says of Mr. Haughey’s performance "…I felt that it was an original and exceedingly worthwhile portrayal of a much misunderstood, underestimated man.  This is fine theatre: this is Grant as he really was."

For more information, contact Oakdale Memorial Gardens at 563-324-5121, located at 2501 Eastern Avenue, Davenport, IA 52803.  For more on MR. U. S. GRANT, go to or

From September 6 to 22, 2013, the Quad Cities hosts East West Riverfest, a community-wide, two week celebration of the arts, culture and heritage thriving on this bend of the Mississippi River. Over 300 events will take place at almost 100 various theaters, music venues, galleries, historic sites, museums, parks, and attractions on both sides of the river in the Quad Cities. For more information, visit or the official Facebook page.

This event is endorsed by the  State Historical Society of Iowa’s Iowa Civil War Sesquicentennial Committee. For more information on Iowa’s commemoration of the Sesquicentennial, visit

Why Everyone Needs an ‘Incapacity Plan’ PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Stage & Theatre
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Friday, 02 August 2013 13:50
3 Experts Share Tips for Protecting Yourself & Your Assets

Dementia has become the No. 1 cause of disability globally, according to the World Health Organization.

Stroke, which can also profoundly impair judgment and decision-making, stands at No. 2.

“This year, 7.7 million new cases of dementia will be diagnosed, and 15 million people will suffer a stroke,” says CPA Jim Kohles, chairman of RINA accountancy corporation, ( “By the time dementia symptoms become apparent, their competence may already be affected. Strokes, as we know, can be tragically sudden.”

While many people carefully plan for retirement and what will become of their estate after death, too few provide for that middle ground – incapacity, adds attorney John Hartog of Hartog & Baer Trust and Estate Law, (

“We should plan for incapacity, and if it never comes into play that’s wonderful,” says wealth management advisor Haitham “Hutch” Ashoo, CEO of Pillar Wealth Management, (

Incapacity planning ensures you’re able to speak for yourself in all decisions, from your medical care to financial affairs.

Here are three steps everyone should take, from the accounting, legal and financial perspectives.

• Get disability insurance. “The likelihood of something happening that affects your ability to work is high, so you really should carry disability insurance,” says accountant Jim Kohles.

How you pay for it can have different tax impacts. If you purchase it through your business, whether as owner or employee, you can take a tax deduction on the premiums. But that means any claims paid will be taxable. If you pay with post-tax dollars, any benefits are not taxable.

“The difference in saving taxes on $200 a month in premiums versus $5,000 a month in benefits is significant,” Kohles says.

Kohles also cautions that more new policies now are capped at 10 years of payments – not lifetime. So be sure you understand the terms.

• Have legal documents that clearly state your wishes. These include a durable power of attorney for financial affairs and an advanced health care directive for medical decisions, says attorney Hartog.

Name the people – the “agents” -- who will be responsible for implementing those decisions, and draw up a document that delineates their responsibilities and powers. Choose people in whom you have a great deal of faith and trust. “People need to remember they’re going to be vulnerable – you don’t want to pick someone if you have a quiver of doubt about them,” he says. One safeguard is to name an agent, and a second person to whom the agent must report. “Just the idea that you have to report keeps people honest,” Hartog says.

In some states, the government provides forms so people can prepare these documents themselves, although Hartog suggests at least consulting with an attorney.

• If you’re the “non-financial” spouse, become familiar with the financial plan. “Typically, one spouse is in charge of the finances, and the other takes a back seat, or even a no seat,” says wealth management advisor Ashoo. “The non-involved person needs to understand how the finances are arranged and planned, and he or she needs to be very comfortable with the family’s advisors.” This will prevent a nightmare during an already stressful time should the involved spouse suddenly become incapacitated.

Both spouses should attend meetings with the family’s advisors, even if one spouse doesn’t fully understand or isn’t interested in all the details. “If something happens, they will know who to call and what to do,” Ashoo says. “They’ll avoid a nightmare. That’s the peace of mind I want for my clients.”

All three experts stress the importance of having these provisions in place long before you think you’ll need them.

“Younger people have a higher chance of becoming disabled before they die, and they’re usually the people who haven’t planned for that at all,” says Kohles.

About John Hartog, Jim Kohles & Haitham “Hutch” Ashoo

John Hartog is a partner at Hartog & Baer Trust and Estate Law. He is a certified specialist in estate planning, trust and probate law, and taxation law. Jim Kohles is chairman of the board of RINA accountancy corporation. He is a certified public accountant specializing in business consulting, succession and retirement planning, and insurance. Haitham “Hutch” Ashoo is the CEO of Pillar Wealth Management, LLC, specializing in client-centered wealth management. All three are based in Walnut Creek, Calif., and advise ultra affluent families.

Patient-Provider Communication Important Factor in Anesthesia Safety Say Iowa’s Nurse Anesthetists PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Stage & Theatre
Written by Armentia Snyder   
Friday, 02 August 2013 13:39
NEWTON, Iowa – Open communication between patients and their anesthesia providers prior to surgery or other procedures helps ensure patient safety, according to the Iowa Association of Nurse Anesthetists (IANA), the professional association representing more than 350 nurse anesthetists in Iowa. The IANA is committed to promoting patient safety through patient education and robust patient-provider communication.

When preparing for surgery or other procedures involving anesthesia, patients often feel nervous and find they are unable to ask questions or share information when discussing their health and medical treatment with their surgeon or Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA). In some cases, this occurs because patients feel afraid to contradict what they consider to be their provider’s authority. CRNAs throughout Iowa are making an effort to remove such deterrents that often hinder candid communication between a patient and provider.

“It is imperative that patients realize they have a voice and providers are there to listen and meet their needs. One of the largest components in patient safety and education is open communication,” said IANA President Troy Anderson, CRNA. “As CRNAs, everything we do is driven by patient safety. Patients should always feel comfortable discussing their presurgical questions and concerns with their CRNA, whether the topic pertains to types of anesthetics, course of treatment, pre-and post-surgical anesthesia expectations, or anything else that comes to mind regarding their anesthesia care.”

CRNAs are the sole anesthesia professionals in 75 percent of Iowa’s hospitals, making them a vital healthcare resource to patients across the state. In addition, CRNAs are the sole providers of chronic pain management in 52 percent of Iowa’s hospitals, enabling pain patients to receive treatment close to home rather than having to travel great distances for care.

Since 2001, Iowa CRNAs have practiced without physician supervision, establishing a superior record of anesthesia safety and high-quality patient care that was confirmed by the 2010 study titled, “No Harm Found When Nurse Anesthetists Work Without Supervision By Physicians,” published in Health Affairs, the nation’s leading health policy journal. As advanced practice registered nurses, CRNAs work in every type of setting where anesthesia is delivered, and have the authority to prescribe medications used before, during, and after the administration of anesthesia. They are equipped to oversee every detail pertaining to a patient’s anesthesia care.

About the Iowa Association of Nurse Anesthetists
Founded in 1940, the IANA represents more than 350 CRNAs and student registered nurse anesthetists. In 2001, Iowa became the first state to “opt out” of the Medicare physician supervision rule.

Tipton’s Historic Hardacre Theater to Close Following Film Festival PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Stage & Theatre
Written by Hardacre Film Festival   
Friday, 02 August 2013 13:25

TIPTON, Iowa—It was announced this week that Tipton’s historic Hardacre Theater, which has been in continuous use as an opera house and movie theater since 1914, will close under its current management. This is effective after the 2013 Hardacre Film Festival’s conclusion Saturday night, Aug. 3. The film festival is Iowa’s longest-running film festival, celebrating its 16th year.

An announcement about the theater’s closing will occur during the festival shortly after 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 3. The festival will award the theater’s owner, Stuart Clark, in recognition of 16 years of supporting the festival and more than 20 years of keeping the theater running.

However, the Hardacre Theater Preservation Association is pursuing nonprofit status to purchase the theater and renovate it. Learn more at

What:    Hardacre Film Festival

Who:    Members of the Hardacre Theater Preservation Association and visiting filmmakers will be available for interviews.

When:    Friday and Saturday, Aug. 2 and 3. Stuart Clark will be presented with an award Saturday, Aug. 3, shortly after 3 p.m.

Where:    Hardacre Theater, 112 East 5th Street, Tipton, IA 52772

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