The Sugar Grove Gatheringplace will be the setting this Saturday (and the following two - including spooky Halloween) for a new theater musical inspired by an international paranormal investigator's work on phenomenon reported in Iowa.
Based on investigated hauntings in Iowa as reported in the "Iowa Guide to Haunted Locations" by Chad Lewis and Terry Fisk, the original Iowa musical features grim reapers, axe murderers and aliens, among others, in "House of Iowa," a new production by Newton residents Elaine (Dailey) Mattingly and John Mattingly.
Playwright Elaine Mattingly and composer John Mattingly developed "House of Iowa" with the permission of the author. Though unwilling to provide great detail on the show's premise, the authors say "House of Iowa" features a young couple, anxious to start a family, purchasing their Iowa dream home only to find a "veritable spectral detention center."
The Sugar Grove Players, based out of Newton, playing 18 roles (both normal and paranormal), are the featured actors in the production. The actors include Maureen Korte of Urbandale, a professional international storyteller and director of the museum theater program at the Iowa State Historical Society; Sean Carlock of Newton, a former Ringling Brothers clown and current touring magician/clown; Amanda Mullen of Ankeny and Gary Kopsa of Newton.
The show features live music and effects performed by the musical's composer, John Mattingly, as well as dinner music by the jazz/rock combo The Grange Cats (Steve Norris and Steve McCombs of Pella and Mattingly).
The dinner theater shows will be presented at Sugar Grove, a restored 1870s grange hall and an official Silos and Smokestacks National Park Service Heritage Attraction, at 6:30 p.m. Saturdays Oct. 24, 31 and Nov. 7. The evening will include a four-course served meal, live dinner music, prize giveaways and Iowa wine and beer selections.
Reservations are required. Call the "House of Iowa" ticket line at 641-840-0972 for reservations and menu/pricing information or log on to www.sugargrove.com
"House of Iowa" will also be presented at the historic Stone City General Store on Friday, Oct. 30, at 8:30 p.m. Call Tris Langdon, owner/operator, at 319-310-3807 or e-mail email@example.com for reservations.