District Theatre changes season lineup


Share
Posted Online: July 03, 2013, 10:25 am
Comment on this story | Print this story | Email this story
By Jonathan Turner, jturner@qconline.com
The musicals "Little Shop of Horrors," "Ragtime" and "Young Frankenstein" have been pulled from The District Theatre lineup later this year, and in their place are the classic courtroom drama "Twelve Angry Men," the revue "Let's Face the Music" and the new one-man show "The Agony and Ecstacy of Steve Jobs."

"Lower than anticipated ticket sales, skyrocketing prices, a myriad of other factors, not to mention the general nature of show business has made it nearly impossible to proceed with business as usual," Tristan Tapscott, the theater founder and artistic director, wrote in the District's "Reasons to be Pretty" program. The moves were necessary to stay in business, he wrote.

"We still want to do quality shows, but make sure we can actually afford to do them," Mr. Tapscott said this week. "It's so expensive to produce a musical."

Royalty costs dramatically have risen in the past few years, and it's typically much more expensive to a produce a musical versus a play, and a newer versus older musical, he noted. Those costs must be paid up front, before any tickets are sold.

The "new vision," which presents a greater variety of plays and musicals, was planned anyway for 2014, but Mr. Tapscott and the board of the nonprofit theater just moved it up. "This is a cost-cutting measure to make sure we're still here," he said.

"We looked at our projected expenses and revenue and made the decision to unveil our newvision for the District Theatre immediately," board president Matt Mercer said. That new vision included changing some of the lineup for the rest of the year and partnering with other arts organizations, he said.

The new offerings begin in August, with "Twelve Angry Men"; "Let's Face the Music," a musical revue featuring Gershwin and Porter songs in September and "The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs" (featuring Ed Villareal on the late Apple genius) in early October. The rest of the year includes the previously scheduled "Rocky Horror Show" in late October, Shakespeare's "The Tempest" in November and the musical "A Christmas Carol" by Mr. Tapscott and Danny White in December.

Earlier this year, the musical "Rent" didn't do as well as expected, and Mr. Tapscott said it's hard to gauge what will succeed. The District's biggestsellers last year "Parade," "Company," and "A Christmas Carol," he noted.
















ARC








 




Local events heading








  Today is Thursday, April 17, the 107th day of 2014. There are 258 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: Journeymen shoemakers of Rock Island struck for higher wages yesterday morning, asking 25 percent increases. Employers have acceded to their demand.
1889 -- 125 years ago: Lighting struck wires of the Merchants Electric Light Co. during a furious storm, and many Rock Island business houses were compelled to resort to gas as a means of illumination.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Members of the First Church of Christ, Scientist, decided to erect a new edifice at a cost of about $60,000.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Willard Anderson, junior forward for the Augustana College basketball team, which won 17 out of 22 contests, was elected captain of the quintet.
1964 -- 50 years ago: John Hoffman, Moline, president of the Sac-Fox Council of Boy Scouts, will be honored for his 50 years in scouting by members of the council at a dinner Thursday evening.
1989 -- 25 years ago: The Quad-Cities has what is believed to be the area's first elite-class gymnast. It's the stuff upon which Olympic competitors are made. Tiffany Chapman, of Rock Island, not only has earned the highest possible gymnast ranking, she won the honor at age 11.






(More History)