Tag Archives: Jessica Palmer

Brigadoon Orchestra May Be “One of the Best Ever.”

SONY DSCEd Kottick, Music Director for ICCT’s Brigadoon invited me to lunch one day and we had a lively and informative discussion about Orchestras, Music Direction, and life within Iowa City Community Theatre. We talked about a great many things that day but the thing that stuck out for me the most was how passionately Ed felt about the role an orchestra plays in a musical and how excited he was about the group of people he had assembled for Brigadoon.

In a previous email he expressed to me that he had an orchestra that was “one of the best ever.”  Obviously, I couldn’t wait to hear about the team he had put together and Ed was eager to share.  Brigadoon takes place in the highlands of Scotland, and therefore Ed lead the discussion with a real, honest to goodness, bagpipe player in Craig Hazelbaker. To me, this set the tone for the entire orchestra; it was clear that the man in charge wanted authenticity and he was ready to present it.

SONY DSCEd, a Professor Emeritus of Musicology for the University of Iowa, has a long and respected career in Iowa City, with credentials, published books and an entire google-search of expertise. A valued member of our community, it should come as no surprise that he keeps things familial and close to home.  Violinists Don Gentzsch and William Gentzsch are father and son and cellist Christina Craig Gentzsch is William’s wife.  Two other husband and wife teams fill out the orchestra pit, Paul and Valerie McNally play trombone and clarinet, respectively, and Jim and Barb Reck on the Cello and Oboe.

There’s a recognizable reverence when he speaks of violinist Candice Wiebener, a recently retired conductor of the City High orchestra with a long and distinguished career.  “She is a legend,” says Ed.  He would know.

SONY DSCThe talent does not stop there.  The orchestra, conducted by Ed himself, is rounded out with Ronda Marshall (violin), Jennifer Hexom (violin), Michael Kimber (Viola), Gae Ellyn Gentzsch (Viola), Dan Berkowitz (Bass), Ron Mirr (Flute), Wes Habley (Clarinet), Pete Trotter (Bassoon), Paul Waech (Trumpet), Melissa Brobston (Trumpet), Jessica Palmer (Trumpet), Randall Aitchison (Horn), Lynn Conway (Piano), and Christine Augspurger (Percussion).

Brigadoon opens Friday, September 19 and runs through Sunday, September 28.  Tickets are available now at the box office or in advance right here.

Article by Jaret Morlan and All photos taken by Emily McKnight.

Man of La Mancha opens Friday!

Man of La Mancha 1-23

Friday/Saturday:   April 25-26 and May 2-3 @ 7:30pm
Sunday:  April 27 and May 4 @ 2:00pm
And by popular demand: Thursday, May 1 @ 7:30pm

All performances at Johnson County Fairgrounds, Exhibition Hall

Tickets:  online @ www.iowacitycommunitytheatre.com   or  call 319/338-0443
Adult  $18   /   Senior  $15   /   Student (13-college)  $15   /   Child (under 13)  $10

Please be aware that this show has adult themes and one scene of sexual violence


The musical Man of La Mancha is one of the great theater successes of our time. It has won multiple awards, including Tony awards for Best Musical, Best Composer and Lyricist and the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Musical. Its success is also validated by several revivals, national tours, a movie adaptation, and many translations worldwide.

This classic musical takes the form of a play-within-a-play. Based upon Cervantes’ work Don Quixote, it presents an iconic and poignant story of an old man whose power of imagination shows us how really believing in something can change our lives. Quixote’s tilting at windmills stirs our sense of adventure, and his ability to see the goodness in all people and situations inspires us to a better life.

Quixote’s intention to realize his dream and live up to his ideals make this musical perennially popular. In the song “The Impossible Dream”, Quixote contemplates his dedication to virtue, honesty, and bravery … even when faced with overwhelming adversity. In his own words:

This is my quest to follow that star, no matter how hopeless, no matter how far
To be willing to march into hell for a heavenly cause
To dream the impossible dream

Add to that the beautiful songs “It’s All the Same” … “Dulcinea” … “I’m Only Thinking of Him” … “I Really Like Him” … and “Little Bird.” Man of La Mancha will be a truly memorable performance, which will remain with you long after you leave the theater!

“Man of La Mancha” Cast List

DON QUIXOTE – Kehry Anson Lane
SANCHO PANZA – Larry Newman
ALDONZA – Heather Lawler
PADRE – Doug Beardsley
BARBER – Scott Strode
ANTONIA – Celene Kim
HOUSEKEEPER – Sarah Falcon
PEDRO – Daniel Kunce
MARIA – Jill Beardsley
FERMINA – Emily Basili
CHORUS/MULETEERS/GYPSIES  – Audrey Thompson Wallace, Katie Boothroyd, Heidi Biebler, and Glen Schmitz