Chanticleer Theater is having its last show at 830 Franklin Ave. In 2020, the theater company is moving to a brand new location at the new Hoff Family Arts and Culture Center, 1001 S. Sixth St.
To celebrate the history of the theater located in the hills of Council Bluffs, the theater is giving one last show at the location at 830 Franklin Ave. building called “Farewell to 830,” written by a group of Chanticleer’s stakeholders. In March, the company’s next production, “The Music Man,” will be at the new theater.
The history of the theater goes back to 1952 when a group of community volunteers wanted to put on theatrical productions for the community. There were nine people who got the ball rolling to establish a community theater: Norm and Louise Filbert, Allen Brown, Barbara Brown, Helen Tinley, Marge Mellum, Jack and Sue Condon, and Bea Seidler.
The shows were short one-act plays that were performed for community meetings. The goal was to raise money for full-length productions. The first full-length production, “The Man Who Came to Dinner” was performed in 1953, and was presented at T.J. High School for three nights.
After that production, the group of citizens put on three plays each year. In 1958, “I Remember Mama” was presented in the ballroom of the Chieftain Hotel.
In 1961, the Old City Auditorium was the site of the group’s productions. The theater finally got a home of its own in 1963 at 830 Franklin Ave., located in the hills off Bennett Avenue.
In the spring of 1964, the theater produced “Long Day’s Journey into Night,” and the musical “Wonderful Town.” The lead actor in both of those shows was Terry Kiser. He is now a professional actor and starred in the “Weekend at Bernie’s” movies.
On Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, and Sunday afternoon Nov. 14-17, the last show at the theater will be a salute to all of those years of productions. There have been more than 300 shows produced by Chanticleer Community Theater. Stories about the theater and the great music sung will make for a fun-filled evening.
The show is directed by Dwayne Ibsen; Jerry Gray is the musical director and Cheryl Langer is accompanist for this very special show honoring all the volunteers and productions the theater has done. Kris Rutz is sound designer for the show. “Farewell 830” will feature many veteran and talented performers who have worked many productions over the years.
Songs will include: “Happily Ever After,” “The Impossible Dream,” “Over the Rainbow,” “Bosom Buddies,” “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” “It’s a Grand Night for Singing,” “Before the Parade Passes By,” and more.
The cast has many talented actors and actresses including: Terry De Benedictis, Steve Gillespie, Rose Glock Garrett Higginbotham, Peggy Holloway, Ariel Ibsen-Bauer, Boyd Littrell, Sarah Myers, Glenn Prettyman, Shelly Rutz Mendicino, Denise Putman, Julie Twohig, and Janet Ratekin Williams.
Ticket prices are $25 for adults; $20 for seniors ages 60 and older; and $15 for children and students. Curtain times are 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and matinee at 2 p.m. Sunday.
Celebrate this historical event, “Farewell to 830,” at Chanticleer. Call the box office at 712-323-9955 to make reservations.