City Circle held its annual “Change of Seasons” party on January 27 at the North Ridge Pavilion in Coralville.
Many of our generous supporters were on hand, as well as friends and fans of the company, and members of the Board of Directors. The food and wine flowed, and when everyone was in the mood for the Big Announcement, Chris Okiishi welcomed all and introduced a very special guest, Queen Elizabeth II, who took over as Mistress of Ceremonies. As Her Majesty announced the planned shows, Carrie Houchins-Witt and Chuck Bogh, two popular City Circle actors, performed a number from each. To make sure their performances were not viewed as “early auditions” or “pre-casting,” they switched roles, to the delight of the audience.
Now we’d like to announce our upcoming season here.
It has been themed “The British Invasion,” with each chosen play and musical having to do with the British, or an Invasion, or both!
William Shakespeare’s Land of The Dead by John Heimbuch will kick off the season in October. This play tells the tale of a zombie plague in Elizabethan London, just as Shakespeare is premiering his play, Henry V at the newly-constructed (and strong enough to keep out The Afflicted) Globe Theatre. Yes, it is a mash-up of Shakespeare and Zombies, and it has humor, but is played very straight. Shakespeare fans and English teachers will welcome this grand opportunity to give their zombie-loving friends, family members and students a new perspective on The Bard. It will be directed by Patrick DuLaney.
For Christmas, we are presenting the beloved (and very British) musical, Oliver! with music and lyrics by Lionel Bart. Based on Charles Dickens’ novel Oliver Twist, Oliver! tells the story of a young orphan finding his way through the streets and workhouses of Victorian London. Full of popular songs and beloved characters, this is a large-cast musical that includes a children’s chorus. Director Elizabeth Tracey will bring Oliver! to life for the holiday season.
In February, we will bring you one of Sondheim’s darkest, but most delicious musicals: Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. With music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and a book by Hugh Wheeler, Sweeney Todd tells the tale of a vengeful English barber and what comes of his blossoming relationship with the lady who runs the pie shop downstairs. This special concert version will make for a thrilling Valentine’s Day weekend. Mark Christopher Baer will be our guest director.
The ultimate expression of a British Invasion is the rousing, funny, smart tale of the founding of our great nation: 1776, music and lyrics by Sherman Edwards and book by Peter Stone. This award-winning musical tells the story of John Adams, and his struggle to convince his colleagues to vote for independence and sign the declaration. We will welcome Pauline Tyer back as director of this crowd-pleasing show.
To close the season, the Teen Musical will be the classic, Kiss Me, Kate. This one is American, of course, being Cole Porter’s first “integrated” musical (meaning the songs were connected to the story) and his biggest hit. The story centers on a theatrical company that is producing Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew, which has a tumultuous central relationship that is reflected in that of the actors. This is one more way we’re hoping to bring Shakespeare to young actors and audience members!
We are very excited about the British Invasion season. Keep checking this website for updates on productions, auditions and special events.
We hope to see you on stage, back stage or in the audience for all of our upcoming productions.