MVLCT – Auditions for Roots – A New Play Festival

Auditions are coming up for MVLCT’s Roots: A New Play Festival. 

When: January 20 & 21 at 7:00 PM

Where:  Uptown Theatre in Mount Vernon’s First Street Community Center

What to bring:  Yourself!  All auditions will consist of cold reading and performing A/B scenes.

Show Dates: March 7,8,9, & 10

What is the Roots Festival? 

This year’s new play festival centers around the theme of Roots.  This idea has been expressed in numerous ways from the roots of evil to familial roots to the foundations of community theatre itself.  With eleven different plays from eleven different local Eastern Iowa writers, Roots: A New Play Festival is sure to be grounded in great midwestern theatre and stem plenty of theatrical ingenuity.  A breakdown of plays and characters is listed below:

All Evil Inc by Kelli Massey 

The dashing and daring Captain Man is in a dastardly duel with the Root of All Evil, but all is not what it seems.

1 Male Actor

1 Female Actor

Home by Eva Giacomo

Past becomes present as an event draws two ex’s together.

1 Male Actor

1 Female Actor

Ping Pong by Barbara Lau

Gender and race come to the forefront when an adopted daughter learns about her heritage.

1 Male Actor

2 Female Actor

Some Surprise by Amy White

A birthday doesn’t go quite as planned against the backdrop of the1920s … with Puppets

1 Actor

Not Doing Christmas by Kristin Schneider 

Sisters discuss plans for Christmas, but the talk quickly veers into the news of the day.

2 Female Actors

1 Male Actor

Loving Addison and Dealing with Teenage Angst in 1946: The Musical by Tristan Maynard

The show must go on even when a disgruntled actor steps in.

2 Male Actor

1 Female Actor

Weeding by Brian Tanner

Life Lessons in Gardening.

3 Male Actors (all 12 years old)

2 Female Actors

Mock Trial/Real Error by Elijah Jones

A father & son confront the past.

2 Male Actors

This is a Bad Idea by Grant Freeman

A wacky and weird community theatre selects their final show for their upcoming season.

2 Male Actors

3 Female Actors

Untitled Interview by Tony Craine 

An elderly woman learns of her family’s history.

I Male Actor

1 Female Actor

Memory by Chris Okishi 

Memory is a fickle beast, especially when you’re losing it.

2 Female Actors

Meet Me Where They Play the Blues – Eddie Piccard Jazz and The Busch Brothers

poster for Eddie Piccard Jazz concert

“Meet Me Where They Play the Blues!” That is the invitation from jazz musician Eddie Piccard.

The Eddie Piccard Quartet and the Busch Brothers will once again join forces at the First Street Community Center in Mount Vernon on Saturday, November 10, at 7:30 pm.

The program will likely include “Pete Kelly’s Blues,” “The St. Louis Blues,” “The Salt Lake City Blues,” and many other blues songs and traditional jazz numbers.

“The blues is quintessentially American,” Eddie says. “The music grew out of the songs of Afro-American slaves and field hands in the South. The blues contains so many emotions, including joy, sorrow, and determination. The words may at first sound down, but the music always brings you up.

We love playing for the audience that comes to the Mount Vernon events, and we know people will love hearing this music. It’s classic.”

Tickets for the performance are $15 and can be purchased at Bauman’s Clothing Store in Mount Vernon (319) 895-8692. They can also be bought at the performance.  Patrons are welcome to bring a favorite beverage and purchase a Community Center cup or bring a clean Community Center cup from home to use in the Theatre space.

Eddie Piccard Jazz plays hot traditional favorites and cool Shearing melodies, as well as warm Latin tunes.  Eddie will be on piano and vocals, Craig Dove on bass, Jon Wilson on drums, Rich Martin on vibes, and Dave Richter on guitar.

For this show they will be joined by the Busch Boys–Marty on trombone, Larry on trumpet, and Luke on clarinet.

The “Busch Boys”  are very happy to join the Eddie Piccard Quintet for this evening of music.  Larry Busch is a veteran of the Guy Lombardo, Wayne King, and the Al Pierson Orchestras.  He has been leading his own big band for many years and is currently the leader of the Dixieland Allstars.  Trombonist Marty has toured with Al Cobine, Johnny Mathis, Dick Jurgens, The American Vintage Orchestra, and the Larry Busch Big Band. Luke  has played with the Dixieland Allstars, the Mad City Funk, and his own SKA band.

Eddie Piccard Jazz and the Busch Brothers

logo for eddie piccard jazz

Eddie Piccard grew up in eastern Iowa, and began playing music on his grandmother’s piano. He left for larger venues in Chicago, Florida and on the west coast. But he came back to Iowa in the 1980s and has become a jazz icon in eastern Iowa since returning to his home state. Iowans remember fondly the jazz club Eddie and his wife Dallis opened on Mount Vernon Road in the 1990s. But Iowans weren’t the only ones to frequent Eddie’s place. Travelers from other states came to this club for the chic décor and the unforgettable nights of music. Jazz musicians stopped by, too, after finishing up a gig in the area. The club was forced to close because of road widening. Eddie now plays regularly all over eastern Iowa, as well as in the Chicago area and the Twin Cities.

Rich Martin’s career began in college where he was a drummer and a vibist. He took an extended break from performing to teach at Cornell College. But the music called him back and he began sitting in with Eddie’s trio fifteen years ago, while still teaching. He is now a full-time member of the group.

Dave Richter comes from Dubuque to perform in Meet Me in New Orleans. He is well-known in northeast Iowa as an accomplished guitarist, bassist, and banjo player. He performs in Iowa, Wisconsin, and the Chicago area.

Tim Crumley performs frequently with the Eddie Piccard Jazz Quartet, as well as a number of regional ensembles, including Ashanti, The Rusty Johnson Group, and the John Shultz Trio. Tim is a lyrical and sensitive drummer who is always engaged and engaging.

Beaker Brothers’ Halloween Concert

Doors open at the Uptown Theatre Friday, October 26th at 7:00 pm to mix and mingle with your friends and other costumed party goers.  The actual concert will start at 8:00 pm.

Yes you guessed it, costumes are strongly encouraged!  Help spread the word, let your friends know of this great way to enjoy Halloween with some live music.

BYOB if you use an Uptown Theatre cup – Each cup costs only $5.00.   Rumor has it that there will be free popcorn too!

Tickets are $15.

From their Facebook page:

We’re stoked to get back to the First Street Community Center.

This is a great venue for a party.

It’s short notice, we know, so help us spread the word. Costumes encouraged. BYOB, just pour it into a Community Center cup, ($5), and drink right in the theater!

Last time, it turned into a dance party with Beakers Freakers boogying on the stage with us. Fun!

For more info see the Beakers Brothers Band Facebook event page.

2018 Uptown Theatre Honors – Gala Celebrating the Arts

Collage of Johnny Krob, Mickey Woods, James & Catherine Kennedy, Beryl O’Connor and Damon Cole
Johnny Krob, Mickey Woods, James & Catherine Kennedy, Beryl O’Connor and Damon Cole

The A-Go-Gos, a Mount Vernon Volunteer Organization, proudly present the 2018 Uptown Theatre Honors – An Evening Gala Celebrating the Arts on Saturday, October 20, 2018 starting with a 6:30 pm cocktail hour and 7:30 pm for the show.

This year’s honorees are Johnny Krob, Mickey Woods, James & Catherine Kennedy, Beryl O’Connor and Damon Cole.

Tickets are $20 and an be purchased ahead of time at Bauman’s in Mount Vernon, or you call the Reservation Line (319) 895-8060. Tickets are also available at the door.

Come join us to celebrate these wonderful people and their contributions to the arts!

Starmites – A Rock Musical – performing in the Uptown Theatre

MVLCT's Poster for Starmites

Starmites is a delightfully over the top sci-fi 80’s rock musical that uses a fantasy world to drive home poignant lessons about the awkwardness of growing up when you don’t quite fit in.

Outsider, Eleanor Fairchild has built an imaginary world around the sci-fi comic books she collects. On the same day her Mom convinces her to give up her fantasy of becoming a superhero, Eleanor instead finds herself mysteriously thrust into the world of her favorite comic book, Starmites. She lands in the middle of the battle between evil villain Shak Graa, and the Starmites, guardians of Inner Space. She and the Starmites team up on a quest to keep power out of Shak Graa’s greedy hands.

Along the way they meet a colorful assortment of Bowie-esque villains including the flamboyant Diva, Queen of Inner Space and her Banshee warriors – Destiny’s Childish sirens.

Starmites’ music and lyrics are by Barry Keating.  It was first presented in 1980.  It opened off-Broadway in 1987 and on-Broadway on April 27, 1989, where it ran for 60 performances. It received six Tony Award nominations, including Best Musical.

According to the Starmites website:

With the timeless appeal of THE WIZARD OF OZ and LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, yet unique, STARMITES is exciting, touching, and great fun for the entire family.

Show Dates:

With multiple show dates you can pick the day and time that best fits your busy schedule:

  • Friday Oct. 5th at 7:30 pm
  • Saturday Oct. 6th at 7:30 pm
  • Sunday Oct. 7th at 2 pm
  • Friday Oct. 12th at 7:30 pm
  • Saturday Oct. 13th at 7:30 pm
  • Sunday Oct. 14th at 2 pm

Come see your favorite local actors!

The Cast of STARMITES, in order of appearance:

  • S’up S’up Sensaboi: Jasper Rood
  • Diggety Razzledazzle: Melissa Caminneci
  • Ack Ack Hackerax: Willa Martin
  • Starmite Ensemble: Irish Valentine
  • Spacepunk: Mia Huxley
  • Eleanor Fairchild / Bizarbara: Nikki Scheel
  • Eleanor’s Mother / Diva: Kami Zbanek Hill
  • Shak Graa / Trinkulus: John Zbanek Hill
  • Shotzi: Kelli Massey
  • Balbraka: Jenna Woodwick
  • Canibelle: Lisa Smith
  • Hollaback: Mimi Vukelich
  • Banshee Ensemble: Sydney Myers

Tickets are available at the performance and online.  Purchase tickets online here.

MVLCT logo

Auditions for Starmites – Mount Vernon-Lisbon Community Theatre

Starmites Auditions

Announcing auditions for the MVLCT Fall Show Starmites


Sunday, August 5th at 7pm
Monday, August 6th at 7pm


Uptown Theatre in the First Street Community Center


Prepare a minute of any song, to be sang acapella or bring a karaoke track if you want! This show is silly and over the top (think comic book come to life), so be ready to have fun! All casting is extremely flexible. See a part you’d like to play? Show us what you got! Can’t make it to auditions? Email gruesomejoe@gmail.com to set something up!

About the Show

Written By: Barry Keating and Stuart Ross (Forever Plaid)
Directed By: Joseph Williams
Music Director: Rebecca Fields-Moffitt
Show dates: Oct. 5 – 7th, 12th – 14th

Starmites, a delightfully over the top sci-fi 80’s rock musical, uses a fantasy world to drive home sweet and poignant lessons about the awkwardness of growing up when you don’t quite fit in. Outsider, Eleanor Fairchild has built a an imaginary world around the sci-fi comic books she collects. On the same day her Mom convinces her to give up her fantasy of becoming a superhero, Eleanor instead finds herself mysteriously thrust into the world of her favorite comic book, Starmites. She lands in the middle of the battle between evil villain Shak Graa, and the Starmites, guardians of Inner Space. She and the Starmites team up on a quest to keep power out of Shak Graa’s greedy hands. Along the way they meet a colorful assortment of Bowie-esque villains including the flamboyant Diva, Queen of Inner Space and her Banshee warriors – Destiny’s Childish sirens.

Character Breakdown

On Earth:
Eleanor Fairchild: An outsider who escapes the cruelty of high school by losing herself in the world of her favorite comic book heroes, the Starmites. She dreams of one day becoming a super hero herself. (Also plays Milady and Bizarabra – Must be able to distinguish between all three characters.) Think: Sarah from The Labyrinth mixed with Max from Stranger Things
Gender: Female
Age: 18 – 35
Scripted Vocal Range: Mezzo Soprano

Eleanor’s Mother: An unassuming woman who loves her daughter and awaits the day when she will grow out of her comic book craze. (Also plays Diva.)
Gender: Female or Male (plays female)
Age: 30+

In Inner Space:
Milady: Eleanor’s confident, self possessed alter ego and superhero of Innerspace. This girl could rule the universe, she just doesn’t know it yet. (Also plays Eleanor and Bizarabra). Think: Eleven from Stranger Things
Gender: Female
Age: 18 – 35

The Starmites: The over the top main characters of Eleanor’s favorite comic books. A band of space youths dedicated to fighting the deadly forces of the Universe. They include:

Space Punk: The hero, captain of the Starmites, and the heart throb of the Universe. He’s an 80’s heart throb, but totally a feminist. (Think: A cross between Steve Harrington from Stranger Things and David Bowie).
Gender: Male
Age: 18 – 35

S’up S’up Sensaboi: The organized and methodical member of the group. He/she plays by the rules.
Gender: Male or Female
Age: Any age

Digetty Razzledazzle: The bumbling show-off of the group. Openly expresses his/her feelings. Raps Hamilton style.
Gender: Male or Female
Age: Any age

Ack Ack Hackerax: The tough one. He/she is second in command.
Gender: Male or Female
Age: Any age

Shak Graa: Flamboyantly fabulous High Priest Of Chaos, determined to destroy both Earth and Innerspace. (Also plays Trinkulus)
Gender: Male or Female
Age: Any Age

Trinkulus: A reptilian minstrel, once slave to Shak Graa now serving as guide to the Starmites. (Also plays Shak Graa)
Gender: Male or Female
Age: Any Age

Diva: Imposing and powerful Queen of Innerspace (the name says it all), but also a loving and worried mother of Bizarbra. Think: Tina Turner combined with Winnie from ‘Hocus Pocus.’ (Also plays Eleanor’s Mother.)
Gender: Male or Female (will play female)
Age: 30+

Bizarbara: Awkward and shy daughter of Diva and the mirror opposite of Eleanor, she spends her days getting lost in comic books about earth and day dreaming of leading an ordinary life. (Also plays Eleanor and Milady).
Gender: Female
Age: 18+

The Banshees: These ladies are the Destiny’s Child of Inner Space and henchmen to Diva. Together they rock one of the most epic songs of the show, Ravenous. All Banshees will have lines/solo if the choose. (Think: The Sanderson Sisters from Hocus Pocus).

Gender: Any
Age: Any

Shotzi: Diva’s sergeant of arms.
Balbraka: She delights in terrorizing the Starmites.
Canibelle: She delights in devouring the Starmites.
Maligna: She delights in torturing the Starmites.

For more information on this and all of the Mount Vernon-Lisbon Community Theatre productions click on their logo below:

MVLCT logo
Mount Vernon-Lisbon Community Theatre

Live Theatre – Julius Caesar – The Mississippi Delta version – by the MVLCT

What do voodooism, prohibition, boxing, and plenty of blues music have in common?

Come on down to Mount Vernon and find out with this summer’s production of Julius Caesar. Set in the Mississippi Delta in the summer of 1931, this new take on an old classic blends Marie Laveau’s Voodoo Queen’s spiritualism with the Chicago Mob’s mentality to create a production unlike any you’ve seen before.

William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar tells the tale of power and corruption at the hands of supposed leaders. As Julius Caesar prepares to take the throne, a group of conspirators plot to overthrow this potential dictator in order to preserve the Republic. As the show progresses the limits of power, the strength of brotherhood, and the quest for vengeance are all tested.

Show Dates & Times

  • Friday, July 20th at 7:30 pm
  • Saturday, July 21st at 7:30 pm
  • Sunday, July 22nd at 2pm
  • Friday, July 27th at 7:30 pm
  • Saturday, July 28th at 7:30 pm
  • Sunday, July 29th at 2 pm


Seats vary from $12 – $15

The Cast

Come and show your support for the cast of the 2018 production of Julius Caesar:

Brutus – Nicole Klostermann
Cassius – Taylor Sedlecek
Antony – Stacey Jaegar
Casca – John Hill
Caesar – Scott Humeston
Octavius – Jasper Rood
Lucius – Sophia Andrews
Soothsayer – Quinnie Rodman
Decius/Messala – Logan Natvig
Cinna/Titinius & Others – Zach Vig
Portia/Pindarus & Others – Eva Giacomo
Calpurnia & Others – Lisa Smith
Metellus/Lucilius & Others – Mary Blacharski
Trebonius/Clitus & Others – Garrett Herring
Artemidorus/Servant & Others – Lynaea Kiefer
Cicero/Cinna the Poet & Others – Steve Weiss

This is a Mount Vernon-Lisbon Community Theatre production

Live Music – Phil Heywood – Fingerstyle Guitarist, Singer and Songwriter

photo of Phil Heywood
Phil Heywood

We are thrilled to have a live performance by award winning guitarist, singer and songwriter Phil Heywood on Saturday, June 9, 2018.  The show starts at 7:30 pm with doors opening at 7:15 pm.

Phil Heywood plays fingerstyle guitar with a bluesy swing and a bucketful of whatever it takes to turn an instrumental piece into an arresting lyrical narrative. His lucid playing encompasses the down-home rhythmic groove of a Mississippi John Hurt or Leadbelly, and the sheer fluidity and melodic flair of such contemporaries as Leo Kottke.

The internationally renowned Kottke handpicked Mr. Heywood to tour and perform duets with him. A soul-satisfying instrumentalist, Phil Heywood draws listeners in with his voice as well, singing in a warm, plainspoken baritone that blends smoothly with his rock-solid guitar work.

Recently Dave Moore and Phil Heywood have been sharing stages, trading songs and embroidering rich instrumental accompaniment on each other’s songs and melodies.

While born and bred in Mount Vernon, Iowa, Mr. Heywood has been based in Minneapolis-St. Paul since the mid-eighties, performing locally and regionally while also establishing himself in the greater guitar and acoustic music world.

In 1986 he won the National Fingerpicking Championship, and followed up a year later by winning the American Fingerstyle Guitar Festival Competition.

Phil has played on NPR’s A Prairie Home Companion with guitar legend Chet Atkins, performed with fellow acoustic guitar luminaries Peter Lang, Pat Donohue, Tim Sparks, and Dakota Dave Hull, and opened shows for such artists as Norman Blake, Greg Brown, John Renbourn, Chris Smither, and John Hammond.

Phil Heywood has recorded six CDs: Some Summer Day (1990), Local Joe (1996), Circle Tour (2000), Banks of the River (2003), You Got To Move (2008), and Rollin’ On (2014). What one inspired critic wrote of Local Joe applies equally to each of Phil’s CDs: “Acoustic guitar fans should consider this recording a must have…  Heywood gives us all something to enjoy for a long time.” (Music Reviews Quarterly)

Mr. Heywood will be available for phone interviews and other press inquiries in advance of the show by calling or texting Nancy Emrich Freeman at 847-256-0000.


Advance tickets can be purchased locally at Bauman’s and Helios, or online via Brown Paper Tickets.

Bauman’s of Mount Vernon is located at 124 1st Street SW, Mount Vernon, IA 52314.  You can call them for info and to reserve tickets at (319) 895-8692.

Helios Stitches ‘n Stuff  is located at 221 1st Street NE, Mount Vernon, IA 52314.  You can call them for info and to reserve tickets at (319) 512-3323.

Tickets can also be purchased at the door.

COST:  $5 Students / $20 General Admission / $50 VIP Seating

This will be an intimate concert in a relaxed setting.  Bring your own beverages into the theatre with the purchase of a reusable Uptown Theatre Sippy Cup ($5).

You can also reserve an early dinner before the concert at the Palisades Café, mention LilFest,  and receive the evening’s LilFest special.

Questions?  Call or text (847) 256-0000 or send email to: 3bearscottage@gmail.com

For more information see these websites:
www.LilFest.org          www.PhilHeywood.com