Girl’s Room at BLT; Good/Bad News from CB

Three-Generation Cast in Bellevue

Girl’s Room all takes place in the bedroom of Katie Silver, played by Shelby Larson, as she rides an emotional roller coaster with her mother (Vanessa Larson) and grandmother (Kay Clark). Theater-goers are most likely to know the latter, given a long history of appearances by both Kay and husband Bernie Clark.

But they might not know that the trio, cast as three generations in the play by Joni Fritz at the Bellevue Little Theatre, are actually grandmother, daughter and granddaughter. They open Friday, Nov. 4, at 8 p.m., with all Friday and Saturday performances at 8 p.m., Sundays at 3 p.m. in the former movie theater on Mission Street in Olde Towne Bellevue.

Tickets are $15, $13 for seniors, $9 for students. Call 402.291-1554 during daytime hours.

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If you’re planning to catch the return of Spamalot or the first visit of Rain, the Beatles tribute concert, at the Orpheum the next two weekends, note that both arrive for only two days before moving on. Tickets for the Performing Arts offerings are available at the Holland Center.

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The opening of The Wedding Singer musical in Council Bluffs is good news, but not quite enough to outweigh the bad news about financial problems that threaten the future of that city’s Chanticleer Community Theater, second only to the Omaha Community Playhouse in longevity.

First, the upbeat: the Iowa Western Community College musical features a likeable Allen Bentley as the title’s Robbie and Kate Madsen is outstanding as Julie. She’s got the voice and the looks to land plenty of leading roles in the future. She even made the unlikely “Come Out of the Dumpster” seem like a cheery love song.

Add that director Moira Mangiameli, aided by Playhouse veterans Roxanne Nielsen as choreographer and Keith Hart as musical director, had a strong pit combo, with Hart on keyboard, to make the most of a so-so score.

Now the downbeat:  As a Bluffs native, I was proud of Chanticleer’s move into their own theater on Franklin Avenue back in 1964, but it’s hard to imagine the company created by Norm and Louise Filbert surviving in that awful barn of a building with its drafty auditorium accented by bat guano.

I’m sure Bob and Denise Putnam, the theater’s manager and board president, have joined others in looking at various alternatives. But it’s hard to believe the answer lies in raising enough funds to keep the current site viable. How about the black box at Iowa Western or a corner of one of the casinos?

 

Cold Cream looks at theater in the metro area. Email information to coldcream@thereader.com.

 

 

posted at 04:13 pm
on Sunday, October 30th, 2011

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