August 28, 2008

Theater, Dance Center Stage at Area Venues

By Dan Craft

It's not only the fall concert season that's heating up (see today's cover story on D1) - the curtains are parting on the autumn theater and dance front, too.

Following is a look at what's being staged between now and year's end at area theater and performing arts venues.

National tours- Sept. 19: Continuous City, 7:30 p.m.; progressive theater troupe The Builders Association returns with its latest fusion of theater and technology; U of I Krannert Center.- Sept. 26: Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, 7:30 p.m.; 30th anniversary performance by the legendary Chicago modern dance troupe; U of I Krannert Center.- Oct. 3-4: Playboy of the Western World and The Shadow of Glen, 7:30 p.m.; acclaimed Irish troupe Druid storms across the Atlantic with two signature works by John Millington Synge; U of I Krannert Center.- Oct. 3: Neil Berg's 100 Years of Broadway, 7:30 p.m.; touring revue of the biggest moments from Broadway's greatest hits featuring original cast members; Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts. - Oct. 4: Neil Berg's 100 Years of Broadway, 8 p.m.; see above; Sangamon Auditorium. - - Oct. 11: Chicago, 8 p.m.; the Roaring '20s musical about adultery, murder and other fun stuff; U of I Assembly Hall. - Oct. 11: It's Only Make Believe, 7 p.m.; new musical celebration of the life and times of rock and country legend Conway Twitty; Peoria Civic Center.- - Oct. 10: Compania Flamenco Jose Porcel, 7:30 p.m.; see Oct. 10 listing; Sangamon Auditorium.- Oct. 10: James and the Giant Peach, 3 p.m.: Two Bean Productions rendition of the Roald Dahl fantasy favorite; Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts.- Oct. 26: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, 3 p.m.: Theatreworks (the folks behind "Seussical") return with an adaptation of the C.S. Lewis classic at the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts. - Nov. 7: Nunsense, 7:30 p.m.; touring revival of the habit-forming comedy, starring "All i- Nov. 10: The Pajama Game, 7:30 p.m.; the first and probably last musical about factory unionizing; Sangamon Auditorium.- Nov. 11: The Pajama Game, 7:30 p.m.; see above; U of I Assembly Hall.- Nov. 19-20: Bebe Miller: Necessary Beauty, 7:30 p.m.; the famed choreographer's latest work, incorporating multimedia elements and more; U of I Krannert Center.- - Dec. 7: Ain't Misbehavin', 7:30 p.m.; 30th anniversary tour of the 1978 Eubie Blake musical starring "American Idol" alumni Ruben Studdard and Frenchie Davis; U of I Assembly Hall.-

Community Players- Sept. 4-20: Steel Magnolias, comedy-drama about the lives and loves of a group of Southern beauty parlor regulars.- Oct. 24-Nov. 9: Guys and Dolls, Frank Loesser's musical about what happens when a floating craps game intersects with the Salvation Army.

Conklin's Barn II Dinner Theatre- Sept. 11-Nov. 2: The Odd Couple, revival of the Neil Simon comedy classic, with Barn regulars Bob Lane Jr. and Pat Gaik in the title roles.-

Eureka College- Sept. 12-14: Winnie the Pooh, children's production with added activities and treats, Cerf Center.- Oct. 31- Nov. 8: Frankenstein, Tim Kelly's adaptation of the Mary Shelley horror classic, Pritchard Theatre.- Nov. 20-22: How I Learned to Drive, Paula Vogel's story of the relationship between a young woman and her uncle; Pritchard Theatre.

Heartland Theatre Company- Sept 4-21: Bill W. and Dr. Bob, Stephen Bergman and Janet Surrey's up-close-and-personal drama about the founding of Alcoholics Anonymous.-

ISU Theatre- Sept. 25-28: The Philadelphia Story, Philip Barry's classic comedy of high society manners, ISU Center for the Performing Arts.- - Oct. 24-Nov. 1: Dracula, Stephen Dietz's close adaptation of Bram Stoker's blood-sucking classic, ISU Center for the Performing Arts.- - Dec. 3-6: Yerma, Federico Garcia Lorca's story of the scandal and ridicule besieging a woman unable to conceive a child; Westhoff Theatre.-

IWU Theatre- Sept. 30-Oct. 5: In the Heart of America, Naomi Wallace's drama set between two different wartime eras - the Vietnam of 1969 and the Gulf War of 1990; McPherson Theatre. - Oct. 23-26: The Women of Lockerbie, Deborah Brevoort's drama about the impact on a small Scots village of the nearby 1988 terrorist bombing of a Pan Am plane; E. Melba Kirkpatrick Johnson Lab Theatre.-

Prairie Fire Theatre-

----------------------------------------------------------------- ------Box offices

Following are box office numbers for the venues mentioned in the accompanying fall theater preview: - Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts, Bloomington: (866) 686-9541 - Community Players, Bloomington: (309) 663-2121 - Conklin's Barn II Dinner Theatre, Goodfield: (309) 965-2545 - Eureka College Pritchard Theatre, Eureka: (309) 467-6363 - Heartland Theatre Company, Normal: (309) 452-8709 - ISU Theatre: (309) 438-2535 - IWU Theatre: (309) 556- 3232 - Millikin University Kirkland Fine Arts Center, Decatur: (217) 424-6318 - Peoria Civic Center, Peoria: (309) 673-3200 - Prairie Fire Theatre, Bloomington: (309) 454-5500 - Sangamon Auditorium, Springfield: (800) 207-6960 - U of I Assembly Hall, Champaign: (217) 333-5000 - U of I Krannert Center, Urbana: (217) 333-6280

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