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Reconsidering evil and salvation: TCR’s ‘Hunchback’ offers engrossing storytelling, exceptional vocals

The Hunchback of Notre Dame — directed by Angie Toomsen, assisted by Lisa Kelly and with musical direction by Janelle Lauer — opened Friday at Theatre Cedar Rapids (it runs through May 26; tickets are $25-52). With rich vocals from the first notes, a story of outcasts, sin and love was woven beautifully on stage. […]

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‘The entire universe’ is in TCR’s ‘Ada and the Memory Engine’

“…0 to 1. The entire universe is in their difference.” There is a whole world just waiting to be discovered and brought into being. There is spectacle in the unsuspecting. Complexity in the simple. An incredible potential for reality in the conjured. And sometimes, things happen to come into being because of a brilliant young woman who’s work languishes behind the scenes of a world maintaining the order of men. […]

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Five questions with: Playwright Zhen E. Rammelsberg

Zhen E. Rammelsberg’s journey inspired her to write ‘Black Box,’ an intimate theater piece that was recently read as part of a sold-out Chicago event called Our Perspectives: Asian American Play Readings. It was announced late last week that Black Box is one of the shows chosen for production in the Underground New Play Festival at Theatre Cedar Rapids this August. […]

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Falling in love with TCR’s ‘Shakespeare In Love’

Tom Stoppard’s ‘Shakespeare In Love’ was a hit on the screen — it garnered a small handful of Oscars for those involved. It makes sense that it would be translated back onto the stage. Thank goodness we have the opportunity to see this story play out in it’s actual wheelhouse. […]

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‘The Full Monty’ brings a red-hot night to Theatre Cedar Rapids

If you are looking for something to warm up these cold, cold days of mid-winter, look no further than Theater Cedar Rapids’ production of ‘The Full Monty.’ Directed by Cavan Hallman with costuming by Noel VanDenBosch, this production heats up the stage and the audience as it takes us from working class blues to one red hot night. […]

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TCR’s ‘My Fair Lady’ is a must-see

Some musicals you go to every time they come around. They are the classics that never disappoint. ‘My Fair Lady,’ directed at TCR by Angie Toomsen with music direction by Cameron Sullenberger, is no exception. The entire ensemble from cast to musicians to techies are to be commended on an outstanding performance. […]

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‘Fuddy Meers’: Telling stories one character at a time

Fuddy Meers Theatre Cedar Rapids — runs through June 17; tickets $19-24 What’s your story? Who do you allow to write the chapters of your life? Every day is, quite literally, a blank page for amnesiac Claire (Kristen Wilcox) whose husband, Richard (Duane Larson), patiently re-constructs her life for her every morning. David Lindsay-Abaire’s Fuddy […]

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A-List: Cedar Rapids sci-fi play is reborn on film

Cedar Rapids writer Rob Merritt has seen his play, The Summerland Project, premiered as part of the Underground Festival in the intimate Grandon Studio at Theatre Cedar Rapids, produced on TCR’s mainstage and staged by the Olathe Civic Theatre Association just outside Kansas City, Kansas. This month, he’ll see the film adaptation, Amelia 2.0, on the big screen. […]

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Five for Five Seasons: Five women at the helm of area arts and culture organizations

Gail Naughton has announced she will retire in June 2018 from the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library, an organization she has led since 2002. She is one of several female leaders who have been setting the course of some of the Cedar Rapids area’s most robust and innovative arts and culture organizations. Here are five of them. […]

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Flaherty and company elevate ‘Billy Elliot the Musical’ at Theatre Cedar Rapids

For a story set in Thatcher-era England, ‘Billy Elliot The Musical’ has surprisingly strong connections to Eastern Iowa. There’s Alex Ko, an Iowa City native who played the title character on Broadway. And there’s the late Basil Thompson, a renowned dancer, ballet master and instructor who taught in the University of Iowa Department of Dance, whose life story mirrors that of Billy Elliot (though the creators deny any connection). […]

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