Monday, April 17, 2006

Theater / Show Blogging

I'm woefully behind in theater blogging, so here's the latest scoop:


From the lovely Angie Toomsen, I've gotten the press release on the new Violet Island concert:


CEDAR RAPIDS With four new members recently voted on the island, the eclectic and intelligent Violet Island returns to award-winning CSPS on April 22nd, 2006 for the first time since two packed nights in the spring of 2004.

Violet Island creates lively and sophisticated pop/rock/jazz with influences including Peter Gabriel, Alanis Morissette, Sarah McLachlan, John Mayer and many others. Their sound is surprisingly accomplished for so young a band, and depends heavily on proficient percussion, rock and jazz guitar, swirling keyboards, gorgeous vocal harmonies and intelligent, impressionistic lyrics. Of the band's first CD, One or Nothing, Gazette music critic John Kenyon writes, "The resulting mix isn't really rock, falling closer to soundtrack music that blends rock, jazz, New Age, and other genres. The blend of electronics with more organic instruments makes the songs sound modern and homespun, accurately reflecting the lyrical questions about relationships and comfort."

The April 22nd show will be the first time Violet Island has played to a corridor crowd since 2004. Original lead vocalist Angie Toomsen and original percussionist Delayne Stallman revamped the group last fall, bringing on board keyboardist Garrett Thielking, guitarist Tony Brown, bass player Danny Oline, and additional vocalist Sara Snowdon. The CSPS show will also feature Jay Ramsey on sax, Austin Taft on auxiliary percussion. Minneapolis pianist and songwriter Ben Cook-Feltz will open.

In support of Cedar Rapids premiere non-profit arts venue, Violet Island will give one free cd to any audience member who brings three friends to the show.

Violet Island
Saturday, April 22nd, 8 pm
CSPS 1103 Third St SE Cedar Rapids
$10 advance $12 day of show $8 students

For tickets call 319-364-1580,write to, or check out for list of locations.

For more information about Violet Island:

I'm definitely going to hit this one - the band is completely awesome and Angie has the most gorgeous voice. If you're in CR, be sure to check it out.

Then, in swinging over to the Comics In Action website, I see the guys are performing again next Thursday:

Thursday, April 27 (DooZey's) - Why haven't you been to DooZey's?!?! This place has got it all! Great atmosphere, great drinks, great food, and now a full compliment of entertainment now including Comics In Action! We gave the DooZey's audience a little taste of the Comics In Action magic and they loved it so much...So we scheduled a show there! You might even see some piano accompaniment in our show! Lower Level Lindale Mall where Happy Joes used to be. The show starts at 8:00pm but get there at 7:30pm to get a good seat and try an item off their fantastic menu! See you down at DooZey's!!!

I'm telling you, this is good stuff, and I'm definitely going to catch the show.

On the local front, we are lucky enough to have a Jeff Shields musical AND a Michael Stokes musical going up roughly the same time period. Talk about theater overload. Here's the scoop:

Book and Lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner
Music by Frederick Loewe
Adapted From Bernard Shaw's play Pygmalion
and Gabriel Pascal's motion picture

Directed By Jeff Shields

April 28, 29, May 6 at 8pm
April 30, May 7 at 2:30pm

Tickets on sale now through the Englert Box Office.


Book by Joe Masteroff
Based on the play by John Van Druten and
Stories by Christopher Isherwood
Music by John Kander Lyrics by Fred Ebb

Directed by Michael Stokes

April 21, 22, 23 and 28, 29, 30, 2006
Fri/Sat at 8 pm, Sun at 2:30
at Oakdale Hall Auditorium

Even though the film was one of biggest successes of the 1970s, the stage is still the best place to see this sizzling tale of pre-war Germany and a small, decadent Cabaret. Arguably Kander and Ebb’s greatest legacy. Wilkommen! Bienvenu! Welcome!

Produced by Special Arrangement with Tams-Witmark, Inc.
(For tickets, see the City Circle Acting Company website)

I know people in both shows, and I'm very impressed with the talent we've got lined up here. I'm so definitely going to have to hit both of these.

Also, for those of you who aren't in the loop, Iowa City Community Theatre is hosting it's fiftieth anniversary party:

50th Anniversary Celebration on April 29, 2006

The Iowa City Community Theatre is celebrating its 50th Anniversary Season at the University Athletic Club, April 29, 2006. A cash bar will be open at 4 pm with a buffet dinner (prime rib and chicken, vegetarian also available, plus cherry’s jubilee) from 5 to 7 pm. The cost of $35 per person covers the dinner, dessert, and service. Formal announcements will be sent out to our membership and officers, past and present, as well as the cast and crew of the previous 50 years of productions. If you have memories and/or stories to share, please send them by e-mail attachment to or telephonically to (319) 338-0443. We also would like pictures related to the theatre and its participants over the years. If you have any to share, please contact me at or (319) 338-8823 or Barbara Buddin at or (319) 338-0443.

I'm on hiatus for the moment, though I'm so tempted to do the next thing that comes down the pike. However, I'm not totally out of the game. I just finished an unarmed combat class with Rage Theatrics. (Check out the video of Nate and Aaron's final fight on the webpage. Very cool.) Another class starts this Sunday, this time with toys . . . here's mine:

It was just delivered yesterday. Look out, I'm armed and dangerous.

Though the dangerous part is mainly a function of not knowing what the hell I'm doing.


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