Stage & Theatre
Monty Python’s SPAMALOT to Premiere at TLP PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Stage & Theatre
Written by Tina Stretton   
Monday, 18 March 2013 15:14
Mount Carroll--Executive Director James Beaudry and Timber Lake Playhouse, will present the first regional production of Monty Python’s SPAMALOT as part of TLP’s upcoming summer season. Lovingly ripped off from the classic film comedy MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL, SPAMALOT retells the legend of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table, their quest for the Holy Grail and features a bevy of beautiful show girls, not to mention cows, killer rabbits, and French people. Did we mention the bevy of beautiful show girls? The show that “raises silliness to an artform” (The Sunday Times), will open August 1, 2013 and run through August 11th.

The show has been a huge hit in a long run on Broadway and on three national tours, but it had it’s pre-Broadway premiere in Chicago, where its entire run was sold out before it began in late 2004. Beaudry confirmed that TLP was offered the rights to produce the show a full year ago, but had to keep mum about it until now. “Sean Cercone, director of professional licensing for Theatrical Rights Worldwide, contacted us and several other theatre companies in April 2012. We had a four-day window to make a decision and secure the rights, or the show would be unavailable because another national tour was going back out,” Beaudry said.

“So we made it happen. But the only catch was that we couldn't advertise the show until March 2013. When we announced the rest of the season last July, we were as creative as possible about selling the show without saying anything specific about it.” According to Beaudry, “It was quickly brought to our attention by some eager, Google-savvy subscribers, however, that the licensing company had our production listed on their website. We weren’t allowed to advertise, but we were allowed to encourage people to go on their own quest to find the information we weren’t allowed to tell. It quickly became the worst kept secret in the history of our company!”

The show that the New York Times calls a “no-holds-barred smash hit,” will star John Chase of Mount Morris as King Arthur. He has previously been seen at TLP in Working, Sunset Boulevard and Oklahoma!. Sharriese Hamilton (Working, ...Spelling Bee) takes on the Tony Award winning role of The Lady of the Lake, Brandon Jess Ford (All Shook Up, Sunset Boulevard, Boeing Boeing) returns to play Sir Lancelot, and James Beaudry returns to the TLP stage in the role of Brave Sir Robin. Rounding out the cast are newcomers Brandyn Day (Baldwin Wallace University) as Sir Galahad, Cody Jolly (Webster University) as The Historian, Elliot Marach (Millikin University) as Sir Bedevere and Matthew Webb (Savannah College of Art and Design) as Patsy. The new resident company of TLP fills out the ensemble.

The 52nd Season at Timber Lake Playhouse opens June 6, 2013 and includes A Chorus Line, Tuesdays With Morrie, The Music Man, Unnecessary Farce, Spamalot and ‘S Wonderful: The New Gershwin Musical. Subscriptions for all six shows are only $110. The Magic Owl Children’s theatre will also present The Hobbit and Seussical. More information is available at

Monty Python’s Spamalot performs August 1-11. Performances are at 7:30pm, Tuesday through Saturdays and there are 2pm matinees on Sunday and Wednesday. There is also a Saturday matinee performance on opening weekends at 3pm. Season subscribers and groups may reserve tickets immediately during regular business hours, 11am - 4pm Monday through Friday at 815-244-2035, or any time at Single tickets will go on sale May 20th.

Timber Lake Playhouse presents
Monty Python's SPAMALOT
Book & Lyrics by ERIC IDLE
A new musical lovingly ripped off from the motion picture "Monty Python and the Holy Grail"
From the original screenplay by Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin
Original Broadway Production produced by Boyett Ostar Productions,The Shubert Organization, Arielle Tepper Madover, Stephanie McClelland/Lawrence Horowitz,Elan V McAllister/Allan S. Gordon, Independent Producers Network, Roy Furman, GRS Associates, Jam Theatricals, TGA Entertainment, Live Nation
Directed by Derek Bertelsen
This program is partially supported by a grant for the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.


Theatre Cedar Rapids Now Accepting Submissions for 2013 Underground New Play Festival PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Stage & Theatre
Written by Mike Wilhelm   
Monday, 18 March 2013 15:09
March 18, 2013 - Cedar Rapids, Iowa - Theatre Cedar Rapids Accepting Submissions for 2013 Underground New Play Festival.

Continuing an annual tradition, TCR will hold the Underground New Play Festival during the fall of 2013. The Festival is currently accepting submissions of new plays written by playwrights residing in Iowa, or who have strong Iowa connections. TCR is looking for a wide variety of original plays which have never been produced or published.

Submissions can be ten-minute pieces, one-acts, or full-length plays. We welcome a wide variety of genres, from comedies to dramas to musicals, and pieces can appeal to a family audience, a strictly adult audience, or may be pieces geared specifically to a child audience.

Both established and experienced playwrights, as well as those new to the craft, are welcome to submit work. In addition to adult playwrights and directors, youth in grades 6-12 are encouraged to submit plays and apply to direct.

A blind copy of each play submitted will be read by a selection committee chaired by TCR's artistic director Leslie Charipar. Each piece selected by the committee will be produced by volunteer directors (also chosen by the committee) in the Grandon Studio theatre at TCR. Each Underground New Play Festival has been unique. Audiences are challenged by seeing new material and having an opportunity to participate in talkbacks with each piece's playwright, director and cast. Playwrights have the opportunity to see their work performed, and often rework material based on actor and director feedback. Those new to directing have opportunities to work with a cast and crew in producing a piece in a supportive workshop environment, and every Festival sees both new and returning actors onstage. The Festival is a true workshop experience for all participants.

Key dates for the 2013 Underground New Play Festival:

* May 6, 2013: Deadline for play submissions and director applications.
* May 31, 2013: Public announcement of the play titles selected and the names of each play's volunteer director.
* June 30, July 1-2, 2013: Actor auditions and callbacks for the Festival plays.
* September 2013: Underground New Play Festival performances.

For more information on submitting a play or applying to direct, please visit Additional questions regarding the Underground New Play Festival may be sent to TCR Education Coordinator Mike Wilhelm ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ).

The Life and Times of the Three Little Pigs opens March 30 at The Old Creamery Theatre! PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Stage & Theatre
Written by Shelley Klimes   
Friday, 15 March 2013 15:07
Amana – Can the three little pigs remember their survival skills as they go out into the world to make a living? Join Big, Tweeney and Wee and find out! The Old Creamery Theatre for Young Audiences presents a classic tale with an imaginative and musical twist in The Life and Times of the Three Little Pigs, opening Saturday, March 30 on the Main Stage in Amana.

The cast consists of Maria Bartolotta of St. Louis, MO, T.J. Besler of Manchester, Nicholas Hodge of South Amana, Jackie McCall of Marengo and Stacia McKee of Coralville. The Life and Times of the Three Little Pigs was written by Gene Mackey with original music by Cheryl Benge.

Shows are at 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 30 and April 6 and at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 13. Tickets are $8.50 per person and reservations are highly recommended. The Life and Times of the Three Little Pigs is  sponsored by Scheels with Kiss Country 96.5 as the media sponsor.

The Old Creamery Theatre Company is a not-for-profit professional theatre founded in 1971 in Garrison, Iowa. The company is celebrating 42 years of bringing live, professional theatre to the people of Iowa and the Midwest.

WOB to present Iowa Premiere of New Version of Cabaret PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Stage & Theatre
Written by Randal K. West   
Thursday, 14 March 2013 15:40

Way Off Broadway, Iowa’s only professional musical theatre company and the residential company at the Stephen Sondheim Center for the Performing Arts is delighted to announce their Iowa premiere production, the newest version of Cabaret which won the Tony for Best Revival. Cabaret is a musical based on a book written by Christopher Isherwood, music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb. The 1966 Broadway production became a hit and spawned a 1972 film as well as numerous subsequent productions including a major “re-think” revival in 1998, which WOB will present.

Cabaret is based on John Van Druten's 1951 play, I Am a Camera, which in turn was adapted from the 1939 short novel Goodbye to Berlin by Christopher Isherwood. Set in 1931 Berlin as the Nazis are rising to power, it focuses on nightlife at the seedy Kit Kat Klub and revolves around the 19-year-old English cabaret performer Sally Bowles and her relationship with the young American writer Cliff Bradshaw.  A sub-plot involves the doomed romance between German boarding house owner Fräulein Schneider and her elderly suitor Herr Schultz, a Jewish fruit vendor. Overseeing the action is the Master of Ceremonies at the Kit Kat Klub which serves as a constant metaphor for the tenuous and threatening state of late Weimar Germany throughout the show.

The 1967 original production won 8 Tony Awards including Best Musical and the Bob Fosse movie won 8 Oscars including Best Director. The 1998 version, which is what WOB is producing in its Iowa premiere, won 4 Tony’s, including Best Revival Nationally known pop music singer Lyric Benson will make her WOB debut as Sally Bowles and Jonathan Christopher will return after performing in WOB’s successful tour of “Plaid Tidings’ this past fall. Other WOB favorites include Robert Kemp as Cliff, Margaret Clair as Frau Schneider, Brendan Thomas as Herr Schultz, George Kelley as Ernst,  Natalie Saunders as Frau Kost, The Kit Kat Girls are played by Madeline Sloat, Noel Wotherspoon, Pricilla Marlar, Rebecca Frasier,  Sara Hawthorne, and Nina Benjamin.  Shawn David Walker and Brian Graziani as German Sailors, Mitchel Price plays Max and Gareth West is the Nazi youth.

Cabaret is produced by Paul Praither, will be directed and choreographed by Artistic Director Randal K West and musically directed by Shari Rhoads who will also conduct the live orchestra.

Cabaret will open at the Stephen Sondheim Center in Fairfield, Iowa on March 29 and also play on Saturday the 30th, both at 7:30pm. Another 4 shows run the following weekend Thursday-Saturday April 4-6 at 7:30pm and will close its Fairfield run at 2:00pm on Sunday April 7th. Following the Fairfield dates Cabaret will travel to the new Coralville Performing Arts Center for another two shows on April 12&13 both at 7:30pm. The Sondheim Tickets can be reserved by calling the box office M-F 12-6pm at 641-472-ARTS or going to The Coralville tickets can be reserved by calling 319.248.9370 or going to

Moline High School's Musical: Joseph and the Amazing Technocolor Dreamcoat PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Stage & Theatre
Written by M. McNeil   
Monday, 11 March 2013 12:03
With a cast of 80 and a complete orchestra, Moline High School students are putting on the ever-popular Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

(Moline, IL)  Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat] is a popular Andrew Lloyd Webber musical with lyrics by Tim Rice. The story is based on the "coat of many colors" story of Joseph from the Bible's Book of Genesis. The show has little spoken dialogue; it is completely sung-through. Its family-friendly storyline, universal themes and catchy music have resulted in numerous productions of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.  This month, 42 Moline High School student actors along with 38 elementary and middle school students, a supporting crew of dozens of students, and an orchestra of 15 will produce four shows for local audiences.  Dates of the show are March 14, 15 and 16 and the media will get a sneak preview of the show this week.

WHO:  Moline High School Students and the children’s choir
WHAT:  Media Preview of the MHS spring musical
WHEN:  Tuesday, March 12,  7:00 pm
WHERE: MHS Auditorium

There will be 4 performances-- Thursday, March 14 @ 7:30 PM; Friday, March 15 @ 7:30 PM; Saturday, March 16 @ 2 PM and 7:30 PM.   $6.00 for students; $8.00 for adults. Tickets are available at the door or in advance at the MHS bookstore. 309-743-8833
This show was the first Lloyd Webber and Rice musical to be performed publicly. Joseph was first presented as a 15-minute pop cantata at Colet Court School in London in 1968 and was recorded as a concept album in 1969. After the success of the next Lloyd Webber and Rice piece, Jesus Christ Superstar, Joseph received stage productions beginning in 1970 and expanded recordings in 1971 and 1972. While still undergoing various transformations and expansions, the musical was produced in the West End in 1973, and in its full format was recorded in 1974 and opened on Broadway in 1982. Several major revivals and a 1999 straight-to-video film, starring Donny Osmond, followed.

Musical Theatre Productions by the Moline High School Music Department

1961    Pajama Game
1962    Bells Are Ringing
1963    My Fair Lady
1964    Bye, Bye Birdie
1965    South Pacific
1966    The Music Man
1967    The Sound of Music
1968    How to Succeed In Business Without Really Trying
1969    Carousel
1970    Li’l Abner
1971    Guys & Dolls
1972    Pajama Game
1973    Hello Dolly
1974    No, No Nanette
1975    The Music Man
1976    Mame
1977    How to Succeed In Business Without Really Trying
1978    The King & I
1979    Hello Dolly
1980    Oklahoma
1981    Irene
1982    Li’l Abner
1983    Funny Girl
1984    Little Mary Sunshine
1985    The Sound of Music
1986    Hello Dolly
1987    The Music Man
1988    South Pacific
1989    Guys & Dolls
1990    How to Succeed In Business Without Really Trying
1991    Bye, Bye Birdie
1992    Oklahoma
1993    Cabaret
1994    West Side Story
1995    Mame
1996    Damn Yankees
1997    Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
1998    The Sound of Music
1999    Bye, Bye Birdie
2000    Once Upon A Mattress
2001    Grease
2002    Godspell
2003    Phantom
2005        Oliver
2006        A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum
2007        King And I
2008        Cabaret
2009        Beauty and the Beast
2010        The Music Man
2011        Bye Bye Birdie
2012        The Sound of Music
2013        Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Joseph Director, Ron May, has been involved in musical theatre for more than 40 years.  His experience began upon the recommendation of his college advisor.  May was urged to become more knowledgeable about musical theatre if he wanted to be a high school choral director.  Immediately after college, May was cast as Thomas Jefferson in the Quad City Music Guild’s production of “1776” and since then has performed additional leading roles in “Damn Yankees”, “Cabaret”, “Evita”, “Godspell”, among others.  As an educator, he has directed/produced more than 50 productions.  In addition to educational and community theatre settings, he has served as musical director for professional productions of “Hairspray”, “Legally Blonde-the musical”, “Whodunit? The musical” (world premiere at Circa 21), “The World Goes Round”, and countless other reviews and industrial musical shows.

It was doing a community theatre production of “The Sound of Music” where May met his wife of 36 years.  He and Cindy (a freelance choreographer) have collaborated in nearly all of his educational musical theatre productions.  They are both collaborating on this production.
Students of Mr. May have gone on to successful careers in professional theatre.   Former students have performed in “Miss Saigon”, “The Full Monty”, and “The Drowsy Chaperone” on Broadway and in national tours of “Peter Pan”.  Many former students are currently pursuing a career in musical theatre across the country.   Some current seniors are exploring acting, musical theatre and/or directing in part because of Mr. May’s influence.


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