Rock Island’s Circa ’21 opens its first family musical of 2022 today, April 19, with “Grace for President.”
Running through May 14 and based on the beloved children’s book by Kelly S. DiPucchio, this delightful musical was praised by the Columbia Star as “an entertaining hit for all ages and audiences” and is being brought to life by a sensational team of professional talents, according to a Circa release.
Circa ’21 will present show-only performances of “Grace for President” on scheduled Tuesday and Saturday mornings and selected afternoons through May 14. Morning productions, with the doors opening at 9:30 a.m. and show beginning at 10 a.m., will take place on April 19, 22, 23, 26, 28 and 29 and May 3, 7, 12, 13 and 14. Afternoon productions, with 12:30 p.m. doors and 1 p.m. show are scheduled for April 30 and May 6, 7 and 12.
.In the star-spangled musical, our heroine Grace Campbell attends class one day to discover that the United States has never had a female president. “Where are the girls?” she asks, as her third-grade teacher rolls out a poster with all of our country’s presidents, all of them male. Frustrated by the lack of female faces in the White House, Grace decides she wants to be president herself, and inspires a school election.
Through the throes of campaigning and pep rallies, service projects and posters, Grace and her classmates discover what it takes to both be the best candidate and find the fun and hilarity in the weighty but wonderful world of politics.
An ideal family entertainment for an election year, “Grace for President” boasts a book, music, and lyrics by Joan Cushing, whose stage credits include a number of shows previously produced at Circa ’21, among them “Miss Nelson Is Missing,” “Junie B. Jones & A Little Monkey Business,” and “Diary of a Worm, a Spider & a Fly.”
Serving as director of the new production is Circa ’21 veteran Ashley Becher, who previously helmed “Seussical” and the dinner theatre’s current mainstage presentation “Just Desserts,” and also appeared in the holiday musical “Winter Wonderland.”
Grace is portrayed, in her Circa ’21 debut, by Audrey Seneli, whose other area credits include roles in the Spotlight Theatre’s “The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical” and Davenport Junior Theatre’s “The Wizard of Oz.” Circa ‘21 favorite Shelley Walljasper, is the show music director, and the cast is completed by Derrick Bertram, Emmett Boedeker, Marc Christopher, Sarah Hayes, Lexi Smith and Rachel Winter.
Ticket prices are $9.50 per person. To reserve your seats, contact the Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse at 1828 Third Ave., Rock Island, by calling 309-786-7733, Ext.2, or at circa21.com.