A Ranking of Amateur Productions Seen in 2008

Before we start, here is a definition of what qualifies for this list.

Any dramatic production done by an amateur theatre group in the state of Iowa during the year 2008. School plays do not qualify for this because I judge school plays in a different manner.

And now we begin.

1). Gypsy, Theatre Cedar Rapids at McKinley Middle School

1). Into the Woods, Waterloo Community Playhouse

3). Jungalbook, Black Hawk Children’s Theatre

4). The Rocky Horror Show, Theatre Cedar Rapids at their Lindale location

5). Enchanted April, Cedar Falls Community Theatre

6). The Odd Couple (female version), Waterloo Community Playhouse

7). Nunsense, Act I of Benton County

8). Bedroom Farce, Waterloo Community Playhouse

9). Henry and Ramona, Black Hawk Children’s Theatre

I decided to do this without a video because I felt as though that would be stupid.

Why are Gypsy and Into the Woods tied?
I am completely aware that Into the Woods and Gypsy are tied, but they were both superb productions deserving of the number one position. In addition, both productions were affected by the flooding in June, which caused Gypsy to be performed on a smaller stage with no orchestra pit. If I didn’t factor in that the flooding did affect the productions with either rehearsals or the space performed on, they would have had that spot. But I didn’t, and they still got that spot.

What is a children’s theatre production doing in the top five?
Well, the acting in Jungalbook was intense and heartwrenching. The transportation of the setting from a jungle gym to a ghetto also aided in the feel of the show. I really, really loved how they tagged the set for that show.

Why is this years production of The Rocky Horror Show at Theatre Cedar Rapids higher than last years?
I personally felt as though it was better. There were two things that bothered me, but I thought it was a good production. Although, the actor that played Frank N Furter last year could REALLY work those heels.

What is a show at Cedar Falls Community Theatre doing in the top five? Come on
Enchanted April was actually pretty good and I was impressed. The script dragged in some spots and there was something else that bothered me, but it was pretty good. Can’t I enjoy it?

No, you can’t.
Well, you suck.

Are there any shows you wish you had seen this year? Any shows that you wish you could get your money back?

Shows I wish I had seen: Several at Theatre Cedar Rapids, but that was back when gas was over $3 a gallon. And I do live quite a bit away from Cedar Rapids. In particular, Sex, Drugs, Rock and Roll and The Children’s Hour.

Betrayal done by a group in Cedar Rapids.

Unfinished Dreams at the Waterloo Community Playhouse. I keep hearing good things about it.

Coming Home done by Classics at Brucemore and several other amateur theatre groups in Cedar Rapids. It replaced their production of Lysistrata that I was looking very forward too. I was busy with Into the Woods at the time.

I didn’t see any shows that qualify for this list that I wish I got my money back after seeing.


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