Theatre students promise entertaining semester


Kyle Russell

Chelsea Berg (left) and Clarissa Gerrard (right) spin during the dance portion of the auditions for the musical “Sugar Babies”. Auditions were held on Jan. 21 and 22.

The Illinois Valley Community College’s theatre department has announced all the spring productions.

The lineup includes the original historical play, “Legacy,” co-written by director David A. Kuester and Megan Norlin. Kuester will also direct the IVCC Comedy Improv Team.

Musical theatre director Don Grant Zellmer will direct and choreograph “Sugar Babies – The Burlesque Musical,” as well as direct and choreograph the IVCC Show Choir for a themed revue.

“Sugar Babies” starred Mickey Rooney and Ann Miller in its Broadway run, and Zellmer worked extensively with Rooney in his touring show.

“I have been in and produced several productions of Sugar Babies,” Zellmer said, “and always found the show a riot – with terrific music. Working with Mickey and doing some of those sketches with ‘the Master’ really gave me a love of the old Burlesque comedy style.”

The show is a fast-moving revue that pays loving tribute to the comics, singers, and “Burly-Cuties” that sang and danced through this type of strictly American entertainment.

“Legacy” will be performed in conjunction with the Abraham Lincoln exhibit coming to IVCC March 24-May 1.

The historical drama is presented in the days of “Chitaqua” entertainment, then diverts to flashbacks during the Civil War era and features vignettes of characters with connections to the Illinois Valley such as Anne Dickey Wallace, General Wallace, and Abraham Lincoln.

The show was written by Kuester and Megan Norlin several years ago and will be adapted further to commemorate the Lincoln exhibit.

“We’re thrilled to have such a great reason to debut this show and to bring to life these fascinating characters,” said Kuester.