Corn Stock Theatre and Willow Bend Theatrics will present the world premiere “A Deathly Development”, a virtual murder mystery running Friday, March 19 through Sunday, March 21.
Written by Kathy Chitwood and Whitney Chitwood and directed by Nyk Sutter-Downs, the plot follows a murder on the grounds of the Davisville Turkey Festival. The victim is Carrie Campbell, a prominent townsperson. Special Investigator Getz will call on the viewing audience to help solve the case. Presented in a documentary format, viewers will be able to watch footage of the interrogation of suspects along with narration.
Director and Corn Stock Theatre Manager, Nyk Sutter-Downs, said “This experience has been so unique and unlike anything I’ve ever worked on before. This show was designed to be produced within the limitations presented by the pandemic. The entire rehearsal process was conducted over Zoom and the cast has never been in the same room together; in fact, most of the cast members have never met one another in person.”
Sutter-Downs continued, “To this day, no one in the cast knows “WhoDunIt” and I purposely kept that secret throughout the entire process. That way, I was able to work with each character individually to flesh out their character’s motive and how they could have caused Carrie’s death. Personally, I can’t wait for their reactions once the true murderer is revealed!”
To keep the actors safe from COVID-19, the cast and crew were socially distanced and wore face coverings while filming. Also, all rehearsals were conducted virtually. Cast members include Trish Ballard, Jeff Craig, Nate Downs, David Fritz, Leigh Anne Hager, Julia McCammon, Kathy McCormick, Mary Ellen Milem, Jim Sullivan, and Daniel Sutter.
Corn Stock Theatre will present the beloved American classic holiday story of It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play one night only on Saturday, December 19th at 7:30 pm. The production transposes the holiday cinematic classic movie starring Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed with a clever twist thrown in: the story is staged as a live radio broadcast: Seven actors portray numerous characters, and sound effects are done by two Foley (sound effect) artists.
Director Anna Oxborrow has always loved the holiday classic and the lesson we learn from it when she stated, “It’s a Wonderful Life has a beautiful lesson behind it, that we should be grateful for the little things and more so, being grateful for the people in our lives and how they all affect our lives. There is a reason we are in each other’s lives.”
With COVID-19 constraints, the cast and crew adhered to maintaining social distance while rehearsing which actually worked well for a radio based script. Each of the seven actors were positioned at their own station and the two sound effect gurus working the Foley table were also staged away from the rest of the cast.
Jeramie Glass (George Bailey/young George)
Continued Oxborrow, “It isn’t often you get to see how a radio show is made and I hope this gives our viewers a glance into a radio show from the 1940’s.” Five of the seven cast members are playing multiple characters, but they all come into the radio studio with a base character (think actors playing actors who play actors) that viewers will get to know based on their nonverbal communication and how they set up their area.
The cast includes Nathan Irwin, Jeremy Glass, Greg Blume, Chris Peterlin, Megan Johnston, Celeste Matheson and Grace Blume. Sound effects Foley table gurus include Theresa Black and Kristin Whitaker.
“I hope the audience walks away knowing that they matter to Corn Stock Theatre and that they matter to the people who are in their lives,” reflected Oxborrow. Tickets are $18.95 ($15 plus a $3.95 service fee) and are available at https://bit.ly/cstwonderfullife
Corn Stock Theatre is adapting to the new reality where theatres aren’t hosting live performances due to COVID with a new Digital Play Series. Normally, Corn Stock would be preparing for it’s Winter Season where smaller audiences see performances in the Theatre Center. Tonight, “The Other Half” will premiere this new digital play series in lieu of the cancelled Winter Season with a live stream performance beginning at 7:30 pm. A second live stream opportunity will take place on Thursday, September 24 beginning at 7:30 pm.
An original play by Jonathan Lane, “The Other Half” is directed by Chris Peterlin and features Nathan Apodaca as Sora, Alexa Johnson as Pip, Megan Johnston as Mira’s Mind, Anna Oxborrow as Sora’s Mind, and Nyk Sutter-Downs as Pip’s Mind. Pip and Sora, two college freshmen who meet each other on their first day on campus, and soon a relationship begins to develop and blossom as they navigate the intricacies of life and the dating world with the help of their individual minds. This hysterical and touching play is like How I Met Your Mother meets Inside Out. Live streaming tickets are $10 for an individual code or $15 for a family code www.cornstocktickets.com
Additional shows making up the series include The New Hamlet on Saturday, October 3rd at 7:30 pm and Thursday, October 8th at 7:30 pm, Unidentified Human Remains on Saturday, October 17th at 7:30 pm and The War of the Worlds: The 1938 Radio Play on Friday, October 30th at 7:30 pm.
For more information, call 309-676-2196 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Looking for a special Valentine’s Day date this year for you & your sweetheart? There are many options in the Peoria area from super inexpensive and family oriented to a major romantic dinner. Check them out to see if one fits your situation.
Hy-Vee will be hosting a Daddy-Daughter Date Night on Tuesday, February 11 at their Sheridan Village location from 4 – 7 pm. Food will be provided by their Market Grille Express with a cost of $35 for a couple or $15 for additional guests. To reserve your spots, call 686-5920 and ask for Brian or Charlie.
Take your sweetheart to a five course Valentine’s Day Dinner at East Port Banquet Center (located at 703 Mariners Way in East Peoria) on Friday, February 14th beginning at 6 pm. Featuring an appetizer, soup, salad, filet mignon with bourbon sauce, breast of chicken with Tuscany cream sauce and steamed asparagus plus dessert, cost per couple is $90 or $110 with wine service included. Food provided by Barrack’s Hospitality Group. For reservations, call 309-692-3990. Register HERE to Win This Romantic Dinner Including Wine Service from ExplorePeoria.com!
The Untamed Chef (located at 7338 N. University in Peoria) is hosting a Valentine’s Meal from 6 – 8 pm on Friday, February 14th. It will feature an appetizer, salad bar, choice of entree – either an 8 oz. filet or stuffed halibut for $49.99 OR a stuffed chicken breast for $39.99 which both include garlic smashed potatoes and asian veggies plus dessert. Prices include both tax & gratuity. Space is limited, so call 231-0906 to make a reservation.
Dinner with Entertainment:
Catch Love, Sex & The IRS at the Barn III Dinner Theatre in Goodfield on Valentine’s Day or during its run Thursdays- Sundays through March 8. Featuring the Barn’s buffet dinner plus the show, on Thursdays through Saturdays, doors open at 6 pm and on Sundays, doors open at 12 pm. Now offering a full cash bar, tickets are $48 and are available by calling 309-965-2545 or visit www.thebarniii.com
Howlin’ on Water Dueling Pianos at The Waterhouse (located at 316 SW Washington St. in Peoria) is happening on Friday, February 14th and Saturday, February 15th beginning at 6:30 pm each night. Featuring a two entree buffet dinner, tickets are $40 for dinner and the show or $20 for the show only and are available at https://mkt.com/waterhousepeoria
Enjoy “My Funny Valentine with Judy Page and Friends” at the Betty Jayne Brimmer Center for the Performing Arts (located at 1327 East Kelly Ave. in Peoria Heights) on Friday, February 14th beginning at 6 pm. Featuring dinner, live music, dancing and dessert Judy Page is joined by musicians Mike Nellas (bass), Derel Monteith (keyboard), Jason Brannon (drums) and Dave Parkinson (sax). Songs will include At Last, Fly Me to the Moon, Save Your Love For Me, Embraceable You and more. A cash bar will be available throughout the evening with complimentary champagne at dinner plus a rose for sweetheart. Tickets are $50 per person and are available online at www.thebettyjayne.com
Live at the Five Spot at the Contemporary Art Center (located at 305 SW Water Street in downtown Peoria) will feature Dorann & the Soul Mystics on Friday, February 14 from 5:30 – 7:30 pm. Admission is $8 for members, $12 for non-members, $7 for student & senior members and $11 for student & senior non-members. With admission to Live at the Five Spot, you’ll receive a coupon for 15% off all Rhythm Kitchen entrees (which is located on the first floor of the same building) for full entrees only (drinks, appetizers and desserts are excluded). You can eat your food from the Rhythm Kitchen with unopened drinks you’ve brought with you during Live at the Five Spot or enjoy your meal afterwards in the restaurant. After the concert, enjoy drink specials at the Rhythm Kitchen while listening to PS Jazz Duo from 7 – 10 pm.
The Valentine’s Day Dinner & Dancing event at the Kickapoo Creek Winery on Friday, February 14 from 6 – 9 pm will include a four course dinner with dessert, Latin dancing and a bottle of wine (when you buy two dinners). Don’t worry if you’re a beginner, they’ll provide an instructor to learn the dances. Cost is $60 per person. Reservations can be made by calling 309-495-9463 or online at https://kickapoocreekwinery.com
It doesn’t get much more romantic than Shakespeare’s classic Romeo and Juliet which you can see at Corn Stock Theatre (located in upper Bradley Park) on Friday, February 14th and Saturday, February 15th beginning at 7:30 pm or Sunday, February 16th beginning at 2:30 pm. Tickets are $14 for adults & $10 for students through high school and are available at the Corn Stock box office, by calling 309-676-2196 or online at www.CornStockTheatre.com
Watch the classic romantic film, Casablanca, in the Giant Screen Theater at the Riverfront Museum on Friday, February 14 and Saturday, February 15 at at 7:30 pm each night. This wartime adventure of romance and intrigue features Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. Tickets are $8.50 for member adults, $7.50 for member senior citizens, $6.50 for member children and $10.50 for adults, $9.50 for senior citizens and $8.50 for children and are available online at http://www.peoriariverfrontmuseum.org
“Romance” will be the theme of the Peoria Symphony Orchestra Concert on Saturday, February 15th at the Peoria Civic Center Theatre beginning at 7:30 pm. Featuring The BraziLionaires as well as the annual After Party with Nathan Taylor & Friends, tickets range in price from $10 – $85 and are available by calling 309-671-1096 or online at https://peoriasymphony.org
The Riverfront Museum will present Romance Under the Stars in their Dome Planetarium on Friday, February 14th and Saturday, February 15th beginning at 8 pm each night. Featuring a romantic tour of the Cosmos exploring the current night sky and its romantic constellations plus you’ll visit some of the most breathtaking places in the Universe while enjoying a glass of wine and a small bag of chocolates. For ages 21 and over, cost is $15 for members or $20 for the public. Tickets are available by calling 309-686-7000 or online at www.peoriariverfrontmuseum.org
Get a look at the complicated, beautiful and sometimes bizarre courtship rituals of the animal kingdom with Romance at the Zoo at the Peoria Zoo on Saturday on Saturday, February 15th beginning at 2 pm. coffee and light refreshments will be served. Cost is $15 per person for ages 18 and up. Registration is required and may be done by calling 309-681-3559. For more information, visit https://peoriaparks.org
Lindsay Glazer: Love’s a B Comedy Show will be presented at the Broadway Lounge (located at 316 SW Washington Street in downtown Peoria) at 6:45 pm & 9:30 pm. Also featuring Charley McMullen and Holly Lynnea, a full bar and appetizer menu will be avaialble. Tickets are $20 for general admission seating and are avaialble at http://LindsayGlazer.com
Axe the Ex at Gone Axe Throwing (located at 1001 SW Washington St. in Peoria): This is dedicated to single folks who maybe had a not-so good break-up recently and who still have an “ax to grind” with their ex (sorry – I had to use that term here!). It runs from 4 – 10 pm on Friday, February 14th and you are asked to bring a momento to throw at (no pictures apparently) or you can buy a heart to write your ex’s name on with your donation going to a charity. There will be drink specials available along with other food that’s normally available. Sessions normally last 1.5 hours. Cost is $30 and you should probably reserve your spot and can be done online at http://www.goneaxethrowing.com
Fun Home was a musical produced as part of the 2018-19 Corn Stock Winter Season.
The Corn Stock Theatre Winter Season opens on Friday, October 11 with the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Performances will take place at the Corn Stock Theatre Center beginning at 7:30 pm on Friday & Saturday and at 2:30 pm the 2nd and 3rd weekends of October. The protagonist of the plot is a 15 year old who is autistic and struggles interpreting everyday life. He’s caught next to his neighbor’s dog which has been speared with a garden fork. Now that he’s under suspicion, he’s determined to vindicate himself by solving this mystery. His process of discovering the truth upturns his world.
The Corn Stock Theatre Center is located a little further into Bradley Park beyond the “Tent” location.
Many people are not aware that Corn Stock has productions in the winter. They assume that since the “Tent” is down for the season, the theatre is closed. These folks have obviously not driven a short way beyond the tent into the park to find the Theatre Center. It houses a black box theatre where the winter season as well as the Corn Stock for Kids shows are presented. The theatre is smaller, but still in the round like the tent.
Shows produced in the winter at Corn Stock are the types of shows you won’t see at the other community theatres. The shows produced here are generally not main stage content. They tend to be much more intimate partially because the stage is only a foot away from patrons. The content of the productions is also usually geared toward a more adult audience.
Which is actually the name of the 2nd show of this season [title of show]. It’s a musical about a couple of friends who decide to submit a show to a new musical theatre festival which is only 3 weeks away. A tribute to musical theatre, it’s the type of show you won’t see produced anywhere else in the Peoria area.
Out of Sight, Out of Murder was performed during last year’s Winter Season at Corn Stock.
Another title you probably won’t find at any other Peoria area theatres is 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche which will play as the 3rd offering for this winter season in January. The show takes place during 1956 when the atomic bomb sirens sound. Winner of the 2012 NYC International Fringe Festival as Best Overall Production, the show delivers hysterical laughs, sexual innuendos, unsuccessful repressions, and delicious discoveries.
The season finishes with a Shakespearian classic, Romeo & Juliet. The ultimate romantic story of lovers whose families do not approve is a timeless tragedy. If you’re looking for a unique date night that doesn’t inlcude Netflix again, this is a great option. The Corn Stock winter season shows deliver live theatre that prompts intelligent conversation.
Season tickets are $50 which is a $12 savings over individual tickets. Individual tickets are $14 for adults and $10 for students for all shows except [title of show] (a musical) which is $20 for adults or $14 for students. To buy tickets, call 309-676-2196 or buy online at http://cornstocktheatre.com