So I’m not really back regularly reviewing shows. But I saw Much Ado in the park on Sunday and I felt compelled to write.
Iowa City – “I don’t understand Shakespeare.”
I have heard this many, many times when I have cajoled friends or family to see a show by the Bard. I get it. Reading it is really challenging as the language is not what we’re used to and the references fly over our modern heads. But there is a reason these plays have lasted for hundreds of year when so much else has disappeared into the dustbin of history. Shakespeare’s plays examine universal truths such as love and honor that are still relevant today. And the funny ones are really, really funny. Which brings me to the excellent free production of Much Ado About Nothing I experienced on Sunday. (Yes, it’s free. You have no excuse to not go.)
I’ve decided to take a break from the Iowa Theatre Blog for now. I may return in the future, but as of right now I cannot give it the time or attention it deserves. Thank you for your readership all of these years.
See you at the theatre!
Matt Falduto, Editor
by Matthew Falduto
Photos by S. Benjamin Farrar
Iowa City – I’ve said it many times before, but it bears repeating – there is something magical about enjoying theatre in the outdoors, with chirping birds and a gentle breeze adding to the experience. The sun sets as the play progresses, which is perfectly appropriate for a tragedy like Macbeth, which was presented by Riverside Theatre on the festival stage in City Park last weekend. Continue reading
by Gerry Roe
There is a time machine at Old Creamery Theatre. Walk into the theatre, find your seat, and prepare to be transported. I dropped more than 60 years once the time travel began and when it stopped I was at Sun Records in Memphis, Tennessee, and the date was December 4, 1956 when rock and roll music took a major step forward (in spite of the belief held by many people that it was just a fad and would disappear from the record industry and the airwaves). That night four giants of music played together for the first and only time. The Old Creamery Theatre’s production allows us into that magic night to listen to Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Elvis Presley. Continue reading
By Toni Wilson Wood
May 23, 2017
The Hope Martin Stage at the Waterloo Community Playhouse bustles with the fine-tuned chaotic energy of the last run-through of Spamalot, the final show of the 100th season of Waterloo Community Playhouse is about to begin. This is the last rehearsal before ‘dry tech’, which, for those who haven’t worked behind the scenes in theater, is when all the designers and crews work without the actors there to put together all the lights, sound, set design and other designs aspects into their final places for the start of ‘tech week’–the run up to the opening night. The set and actors do not look the way they will once tech week is under way: there’s stage dressings half done and in various places, there’s rehearsal props in place and many of the actors are working half dressed as their characters. Warm-ups happen and almost immediately after, there is a search on for a fish. After some rushing around, actor Hunter Quint runs out and shouts, ‘I found fish on stage right!’ as he triumphantly hoists the stuffed fish in the air. Continue reading
by Phil Beck
Iowa City – Copenhagen, Dreamwell Theatre’s production of Michael Frayn’s Tony Award winning play, opened May 12 with a single question: “Why did Heisenberg come to Copenhagen?” The various possible answers, and their ramifications, form the basis of this erudite, Rashomon-like investigation into the past. In 1941 the German physicist Werner Heisenberg (Gavin Conkling) traveled to Occupied Denmark to visit his old mentor, Niels Bohr (Matthew Brewbaker) and his wife, Margarethe (Jessica Wilson). The purpose and substance of his visit has been debated ever since by both historians and by the principles themselves, who in the years following offered different accounts of what they talked about. Whatever it was, it had import for the whole world—the two Nobel Prize-winning physicists each worked on the development of the atomic bomb, Heisenberg (unsuccessfully) for Nazi Germany and Bohr for the U.S. team that created the bombs dropped on Japan in 1945. Continue reading
by David Pierce
Iowa City – The 37th Annual StarCon of Eastern Iowa, the region’s premiere science fiction convention, is going on this weekend in Exhibition Hall B on the Johnson County Fairgrounds. This year’s amazing lineup promises events including a costume contest, a talent show, a romance between feuding families, and the heist of a famous artifact. Okay, the heist of a kickball wrapped in gold foil. Continue reading