Cedar Rapids area acting troupes plan big for new seasons

Something familiar, something peculiar — something for everyone is what several area arts organizations are hoping they’ve programmed for their 2017-18 seasons.


Theatre Cedar Rapids, 102 Third St. SE, will kick off its new season with the retro-rockin’ musical, “Grease.” It opens Sept. 15 in the Auditorium, paired with a sock hop for the troupe’s annual Curtain Raiser celebration. Two other fundraisers will be sprinkled throughout the season, building on various show themes.

Because of contractual obligations, the family holiday show title is being kept under winter wraps until April 4, but Artistic Director Leslie Charipar hinted to folks gathered at the theater Thursday night that it’s a musical local audiences know and love.

Here’s the lineup and opening dates for the Mainstage and Grandon Studio shows:

• Mainstage: “Grease,” Sept. 15; family musical TBA, Nov. 17; “Wild Party,” Jan. 26, with a 1920s speak-easy party; “The Diary of Anne Frank,” March 9; “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” May 4, 2018; “Heathers the Musical,” June 29, 2018, with a 1980s-themed party.

• Grandon Studio: Studio Improv, three sets of performances opening Sept. 21, April 19, 2018, and July 12, 2018; “Dead Man’s Cellphone,” Oct. 20; Holiday Cabaret, Nov. 24; Underground New Play Festival, Feb. 8; “Bent,” March 16; and “Fuddy Meers,” June 1, 2018.

• Tickets: Series subscription packages go on sale April 4. More details will be available through the Box Office, (319) 366-8591 or Theatrecr.org

TCR guests also met the organization’s new executive director, Katie Hallman, whose first day on the job Thursday ended with a reception in the lobby following the season announcement.

The Lisbon native has worked all over the country, but is no stranger to TCR, having appeared as Sandy in “Grease” in July 2005. She earned her undergraduate degree from Luther College in Decorah and her master of arts in music business from New York University in New York City. She has worked in arts management and producing capacities in Minneapolis, New York and Washington, D.C., and is leaving her post as managing director at a professional nonprofit theater in New Orleans.

“I’m glad to be serving this community that raised me,” she told the cheering crowd of TCR volunteers, staff, board members and friends.


The Old Creamery Theatre, 39 38th Ave., Amana, is opening its 2017 season with a studio show on the main stage. “Underneath the Lintel,” a mystery starring Patrick O’Brien, will run March 30 to April 9.

• Mainstage: “Making God Laugh,” April 20 to May 14; “Million Dollar Quartet,” June 8 to July 2; “Guys on Ice: The Ice Fishing Musical,” Aug. 3 to 27; “Footloose,” Sept. 7 to Oct. 1; a new musical, to be announced April 1, will run Oct. 12 to Nov. 12; “A Christmas Carol,” Nov. 16 to Dec. 17. Times: 2 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays; 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; $31 adults, $19.50 students, $12 student rush.

• Studio Stage on the Mainstage: “Underneath the Lintel,” March 30 to April 9, on the main stage in Amana. Details: 2 p.m. Thursdays, Sundays, 7:30 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays; $26.

• Theatre for Young Audiences: “Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type,” April 29 to May 13; “Gruff! The Three Billy Goats Musical,” June 17 to July 1; “James and the Giant Peach,” Sept. 16 to 30; “Junie B Jones is not a Crook,” Nov. 25 to Dec. 16. Matinees on Saturdays and select weekdays, $10.

• Special events: Hank Williams Tribute, 7:30 p.m. May 20; That’ll Be The Day: A Tribute to Buddy Holly and The Crickets, 2 p.m. July 7 and 2 and 7:30 p.m. July 8; Penny Gilley, 2 p.m. July 20 and 2 and 7:30 p.m. July 21; Carpenters Once More, 7:30 p.m. July 29

• Information: Old Creamery Box Office, (319) 622-6262, or Oldcreamery.com


The opera theater will launch its 20th anniversary season by collaborating with Orchestra Iowa during Brucemorchestra X. The program will feature popular arias performed by guest soloists soprano Kirsten Chambers, mezzo-soprano Janara Kellerman, tenor Ta’u Pupu’a and bass Daniel Sumegi.

Chambers and Pupu’a, the former NFL football player who wowed audiences during January’s productions of “Cavalleria rusticana” and “Pagliacci,” will perform selections from the January 2018 production Puccini’s “Turandot.”

• Brucemorchestra X: Sept. 9, front lawn at Brucemore Mansion, 2160 Linden Dr. SE, Cedar Rapids; Orchestra Iowa’s season opener, also featuring Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with college and community choirs.

• “Turandot” by Puccini: Jan. 19 and 21, Paramount Theatre, 123 Third Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids; featuring the famous tenor aria, “Nessun dorma.”

• “The Ugly Duckling”: Cedar Rapids Public School District and community performances in January

• “Brigadoon”: June 2018, Brucemore’s outdoor amphitheater

• Information: Cr-opera.org


Giving Tree Theater, 752 10th St., Marion is rounding out its 2017 season by being one of the first theaters in the country to produce the musical “Fun Home,” following a national tour and its 2015 Tony wins for best musical, music, book, direction and leading actor on Broadway.

• Lineup: “Sense & Sensibility,” through April 2; “On Golden Pond,” April 21 to May 7; Great Stories Series, [word to your mother], May 13; “Love, Loss, and What I Wore,” May 19 to 21; “Fun Home,” June 16 to July 2; “You Can’t Take it with You,” July 7 to 16; “The Outsiders,” July 21 to 30; “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” Aug. 11 to 27; “The Elephant Man,” Sept. 1 to 17; “One Man, Two Guvnors,” Oct. 6 to 22; “Six Degrees of Separation,” Nov. 3 to 12; Great Stories Series [a show of gratitude], Nov. 17; “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever,” Nov. 24 to Dec. 17.

• Details: Givingtreetheater.com

l Comments: (319) 368-8508; [email protected]