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Thursday, February 9, 2017

Cowboy Brad Fitch brings the music of John Denver to Denison, Iowa.

"Cowboy Brad" Fitch, Estes Park, CO

Tribute show is Friday, March 24 at 7:30 pm

Join “Cowboy Brad” Fitch as he celebrates the music, messages, and memories of the great John Denver. You will be moved by his renditions of Denver’s classic melodies, performed with reverence, joy, and a lot of fun. From “Rocky Mountain High” and “Take Me Home, Country Roads” to “Annie’s Song,” this is an event not to be missed.

Raised in Estes Park, Colorado, this singer, songwriter and guitarist has been playing professionally since he was 15 years old. He has recorded 19 albums featuring his original music that reflects what he loves about nature and the western lifestyle.

Reserved seating tickets are $15 and may be purchased at the Donna Reed Foundation office by calling 712-263-3334 or by e-mail at info@donnareed.org. The Donna Reed Theater is located at 1305 Broadway in uptown Denison, Iowa.

Money raised by the concert will go toward the maintenance and operation of the Donna Reed Theater building.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The kids of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ are still friends 70 years later

Al Roker interviews the kids of "It's a Wonderful Life."
It’s been 70 years since the release of Frank Capra’s classic Christmas film “It’s a Wonderful Life,” in which a man named George Bailey sees what his town would have been like without him. At a museum dedicated to the film, TODAY’s Al Roker sat down with the three actors who played Bailey’s children, who are still friends today. Watch the December 19, 2016 Today Show interview.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Santino Fontana Stars in New Indie Flick

Santino Fontana
The Tony nominee and Frozen voice actor adds Impossible Monsters to his resume.

According to Playbill, actor Santino Fontana, whose most recent screen role found him in Rachel Bloom’s hit Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, just wrapped filming the psychological thriller, Impossible Monsters.

Fontana plays Dr. Rich Freeman, a psychology professor conducting an extreme sleep study. When one of the research participants is found dead, Freeman becomes a suspect.

This marks Fontana’s first leading film gig. The actor earned a Tony nomination in 2013 for his performance as Topher (a.k.a. The Prince) in Cinderella opposite Laura Osnes. He has also originated roles in Billy Elliot The Musical, the 2011 revival of The Importance of Being Earnest, and Act One.

Fontana also voiced Prince Hans in the smash Disney movie Frozen. He recently departed The CW’s Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. According to IMDB, he has another movie, Galileo, which recently wrapped filming and is set for a 2017 release.

Fontana was a 2000 Donna Reed Festival acting scholarship finalist.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Donna Reed Scholarship alumna opens in West Coast production of "Merrily We Roll Along"

Saycon Sengbloh

College Park, GA native has starring role in Stephen Sodheim musical

Broadway veteran Saycon Sengbloh, a 1996 Donna Reed Foundation national scholarship winner, is now in Los Angeles, starring in the Michael Arden-directed production of Stephen Sodheim’s masterwork Merrily We Roll Along. It runs November 23 - December 18 in the Bram Goldsmith Theater at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills, Calif.

This rarely staged Stephen Sondheim musical travels backwards in time to navigate the bumpy history among three friends - Franklin, Charlie and Mary - who begin their careers in show business together. The powerful and moving story, based on the Kaufman and Hart play, features some of Sondheim’s most beautiful songs including "Good Thing Going," "Our Time" and "Not a Day Goes By"

Sengbloh is an award-winning actress whose performance as Wife Number One in Eclipsed earned her an Obie Award and Drama Desk Award, and Tony nomination on Broadway. Sengbloh plays Nora in the upcoming feature film Double Play by Ernest Dickerson. Sengbloh also has starred in the Broadway productions of Holler If Ya Hear Me, Motown the Musical, Fela!, Wicked, Aida, The Color Purple, Hair and the RENT tour. 


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Free screenings of "It's a Wonderful Life" at the Donna Reed Theater, December 11

See It's a Wonderful Life as it was meant to be viewed – on the big screen.
On Sunday, December 11, the classic holiday movie, starring Denison native Donna Reed and Jimmy Stewart, will be shown twice – at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the Donna Reed Theatre. Free admission.


Bedford Falls display returns.

A miniature replica of Bedford Falls returns to the front window of the Donna Reed Heritage Museum for a winter showing. The HO scale replica was built by model building enthusiast from the Quad Cities area and was displayed for several years by the Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center in Davenport, Ia. before being donated to the Donna Reed Foundation.

Expanded museum exhibit on the making of It's a Wonderful Life opens. 
Stepping inside the museum, you will find an expanded exhibit featuring a variety of items from the Donna Reed Collection relating to the making of the movie. It includes a letter to pen pal Violet Lindsey mentioning the upcoming filming of the movie; daily call sheets detailing the daily shoot schedule; daily production reports tracking expenses and progress of the filming of a various scenes; Donna Reed's invitation to a screening of the movie from director Frank Capra; and the review of the movie which appeared in Variety. Of particular interest are photos of the new snow-making process developed especially for this film that replaced the practice of using painted cornflakes for falling snow.


Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Jared Grimes touring with “Carefree - Dancin’ With Fred & Ginger”

Hayley Podschun and Jared Grimes

2001 Donna Reed Foundation national scholarship recipient in dance.


"Carefree — Dancin' With Fred & Ginger" is a musical revue paying tribute to songs and style of Astaire and his co-star in a host of classic Hollywood musicals, Ginger Rogers. It includes such Gershwin classics as "Slap That Bass," but also songs by Cole Porter, Irving Berlin and others.

"We pay homage to Fred and Ginger," explains the show's leading man, Jared Grimes. "My character is a reflection of characters Fred would play in his movies — a guy who's looking to dance, release his frustrations and partner with a beautiful lady. We reinvent what he did and replicate what he did. We say 'Fred would have done this,' then try to do it. It's a wild ride down Memory Lane."

Grimes has toured with Mariah Carey and worked with Gregory Hines, Ben Vereen and Jerry Lewis. He was the associate choreographer for the Tupac Shakur musical "Holler if Ya Hear Me" and did an acclaimed "Singing in the Rain" routine in the 2015 "New York Spring Spectacular" at Radio City Music Hall. Before stepping into the shoes of Fred Astaire in "Carefree," Grimes won a 2014 Fred and Adele Astaire Award for outstanding male dancer.

Read BroadwayWorld.com story

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Donna Reed Festival alumnus to star in forthcoming independent film

Santino Fontana

Santino Fontana was acting finalist in 2000

Santino Fontana, the Tony-nominated Broadway actor who can currently be seen in The CW’s Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, stars in the forthcoming independent film Galileo, according to Deadline.com.

Galileo, according to the industry website, “follows an arrogant heir to a Mexican fast-food franchise that goes hunting for the next culinary big thing. He soon finds himself in a small New Mexican town, where foodies come from all over to salivate over the culinary treats of a local and feisty female chef."

Fontana has been seen on Broadway in Sunday in the Park with George, Billy Elliot: the Musical, Brighton Beach Memoirs, A View from the Bridge, The Importance of Being Earnest, Cinderella (Tony nomination) and Act One.