Well, not exactly. Hancher Auditorium itself is still out of commission (and purportedly will never be in commission again--location, location, location!), so all of the 2009-2010 season productions will be held elsewhere. But still... It's BACK!!!
With that excitement-level in mind, I'd bet you really want to know what's on the books for "Hancher" this upcoming year!
Starting in early September (uhhh, September 11th, actually...), our university's Symphony Orchestra is playing with the Joffrey Ballet. The JB, based out of Chicago, is so cool, they've even had a movie based on them!: The Company (2003), a very odd, yet iconically cult movie starring Neve Campbell and James Franco. Joffrey is odd--just warning you--with their stark modern dances, intermixed with classical ballet interpretations; but I doubt you'll ever see dancers so athletic, so breathtakingly graceful and so zzzzzestfully filled with life. They're a regular soap commercial.
I'll admit, my mother thought Herb Alpert was dead (MOM!!!), but I'm pleased to tell you that the most-excellent trumpeter and his jazz-singing wife, Lani Hall, are hitting us on November 13th. Don't know who Herb Alpert is/was? He had an album called "Whipped Cream & Other Delights" back in the sixties. I'd be a fan for that reason alone.
Heading into 2010, on January 23rd, is a show entitled Thank You, Gregory: A Tribute to the Legends of Tap. A show of hands as to who recognizes the name "Gregory Hines", the late, great tapper! This performance showcases eight young hoofers (slang for "tap-dancer") dancing away to the choreography and in the style of some of the (as the title states) great legends of tap.
The big-name showcase piece for this season, though, will be Avenue Q, opening on Friday, March 26th, 2010. Let me gush a bit about this musical (yes, a musical): It won the 2004 Tony Award for Best Musical, Best Book and Best Score; it has puppets; it has puppets that swear and have sex! It's raunchy, it's sexy (...the cast is a little on the verge of having Multiple Personality Disorder, but that's hot, right?) and incredibly non-politically correct. And that's putting it mildly. The storyline is pretty basic, with a puppet/young man, who is a recent college grad with absolutely ZERO direction in life, renting a cheapcheapcheap apartment in New York, having sex, falling in love, getting dumped and struggling to maintain gainful employment throughout most of the show. ...Does this sound familiar, to anyone? Songs include: "The Internet is for Porn", "Everyone's a Little Bit Racist", and "What Do You Do With a B.A. in English?" It's a freaking riot.
All in all, there are eighteen acts going up in "Hancher" at several different venues. Said venues include, but are not limited to, the Civic Center of Greater Des Moines, Riverside Casino & Golf Resort, Iowa City's City High School, the Iowa Memorial Union, the Englert and the U.S. Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids. Ticket prices vary greatly--check Hancher's website, here, to order/reserve/do your ticket thang!