Matt Falduto here, the former editor of this page.
The Iowa Theatre Blog may be gone, but I do want to let you know about a new endeavor I am embarking upon. For the last few years, I’ve been working in children’s theatre, mostly with Young Footliters. I wrote and directed a number of shows for them and it’s been fantastic.
So this summer I’ve decided to offer theatre classes to kids from 1st through 8th grade!
You can also follow my blog where I will post various theatre related thoughts that enter into my brain. Right now I’m doing a series on theatre games. What’s your favorite theatre game? Head over there and tell me in the comments.
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 freeproduction of Much Ado About Nothing I experienced on Sunday. (Yes, it’s free. You have no excuse to not go.) Continue reading →
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.
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 →
Iowa City – Before you even enter the theatre, you get the feeling that this show is going to be something special. Throughout the lobby is an amazing display centered around the subject at hand – the Holocaust in general and Anne Frank in specific. Taped off on the floor of the lobby is the size of the secret annex where the Frank family lived for two years in hiding. You stand within the tape marks and begin to realize how difficult it must have been. An incredibly detailed timeline adorns the walls as you walk down a corridor toward the playing area. Before you’re allowed in, two actors encourage you to be as quiet as possible, emphasizing another challenge Anne and the others had to face. A bookcase swings open and you are taken down a hall, up a couple of stairs and then you are in the theatre. As you take your seats, you realize you are incredibly close to the action. Those of us in the front row are inches from the actors. All of this adds up to an immersive theatre experience the like of which I have never experienced at the Iowa City Community Theatre before. The Diary of Anne Frank, directed by Rachel Korach Howell, is an perfectly created theatrical experience, emotionally raw and funny and heartbreaking. It’s what theatre should be, every single time. Continue reading →
Iowa City – Riverside’s latest production, Relativity by Mark St. Germain, asks the question, “Which is more important, to be a great man or to be a good man?” Greatness is personified by the character of Albert Einstein, perhaps the most brilliant scientist of the 20th century. However, we learn that Einstein, while certainly great, was never a good man, as he abandoned his wife and children. All of this comes out as Einstein is interviewed by Margaret Harding, who claims to be a reporter, though it’s pretty obvious in the first few minutes that there’s more to her than meets the eye. Continue reading →
Marion – Giving Tree Theater is one of the coziest theaters in the area. The audience gets to sit on couches and comfy chairs. Every seat has a good view of the action. And the owners – Richie and Heather Akers – are delightful hosts. No matter the show, I always enjoy myself when I arrive at 752 10th Street. That was certainly the case when I experienced Peter and Starcatcher last weekend. While there was one major flaw, overall the show was very funny and filled with engaging performances. Continue reading →
Theater has a long history of working for social and political change, as demonstrated recently by the Hamilton-Trump debacle in November, all the way back to the theater of ancient Greece and Rome. Uncommon Sense, the newest work by New York City based Tectonic Theater Project continues that long history as it brings its Gallagher Bluedorn commissioned work on autism to its stage, Saturday, January 21, 2017 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, January 22, 2017 at 2 p.m. Continue reading →
Coralville – Tomorrow night, Coralville audiences will experience a classic musical theatre show – Fiddler on the Roof, music by Jerry Bock, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick and book by Joseph Stein. Directed by Ian Zehren, and featuring scene stealing actor Chris Carpenter as Tevye, the show promises to be an excellent adventure at the Coralville Center for the Performing Arts. Continue reading →
If this was ever a year we need a distraction, it’s this year. And if you are looking for a distraction of the beautiful song and dance variety, Oster Regent Theatre’s production of I Love a Piano might just fill your need. Continue reading →