DM Playhouse Presents HONORING PLAYHOUSE LEGENDS Today
Join the Des Moines Community Playhouse in Honoring Playhouse Legends today, July 20. The event begins at 4:00 PM with a cocktails and hors d'oeuvres reception. The program follows at 4:30 PM. Tickets for Honoring Playhouse Legends are $25 per person and may be reserved online at dmplayhouse.com or by calling The Playhouse ticket office at515-277-6261.
Begun in 2011 and leading to Playhouse's 100th birthday in 2019, the Legends celebration honors individuals whose talent and devotion over a long period of time displays the high standards of entertainment, professionalism, and quality that Des Moines audiences expect. Individuals being recognized in 2013 are Dale Berry, Jo Berry, Lenny Houts, and Phyllis Mumford. The Playhouse is also remembering the contributions of two actors who are no longer with us: Kathi Fieldsend and Henrietta Kagin.
Dale Berry has had many memorable roles at The Playhouse including Henry Higgins in "My Fair Lady," Dracula in "Dracula," and Billy Flynn in "Chicago." His first Playhouse show was in 1974, "The Clown Who Ran Away." Other shows include "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie," "1776," "South Pacific," "The Music Man," "The Philadelphia Story," and "Me and My Girl."
Jo Berry first appeared on The Playhouse stage in "The Sound of Music" in 1973. She has appeared in a myriad of shows since then, including "My Fair Lady," "Chicago," "Auntie Mame," "Cabaret," and "42nd Street." Among her iconic Playhouse roles are Nellie Forbush in "South Pacific" and M'Lynn in "Steel Magnolias."
Lenny Houts made his Playhouse debut as a youth in "The Music Man" in 1983. A favorite with musical theatre audiences, his shows include "West Side Story," "42nd Street," and "La Cage aux Folles." In recent years, Houts played the Emcee in "Cabaret" and Jerry Lukowski in "The Full Monty." He was nominated for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Musical in 2010 for his role as Freddy Benson in "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels," and received that award in 2009 for his role as Chad in "All Shook Up."
Phyllis Mumford has appeared in nearly 20 Playhouse shows since her debut in "The Sound of Music" in 1973. Mumford is a favorite of Des Moines area audiences with credits including "Play It Again, Sam," "A Streetcar Named Desire," "Vanities," "The Royal Family," "The Foreigner," "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," "Sylvia," "Steel Magnolias," "The Sisters Rosensweig," and "The Cemetery Club."
Kathi Fieldsend first appeared on The Playhouse stage in the 1988 production of "Cabaret." Her memorable roles include The Baker's Wife in "Into the Woods," Heidi in "The Heidi Chronicles," Adelaide in "Guys & Dolls," Evita Peron in "Evita," and Sylvia in "Sylvia." She also served on The Playhouse staff as marketing and development director. Fieldsend passed away in February 2010.
Henrietta Kagin made her stage debut in 1959 in "Our Town." While she appeared in several shows in the 1960s and 1970s, including "Sara and the Sax Man," "Gypsy," and "You Can't Take It With You," she is best remembered for her work backstage. She started with scenery and set painting, then moved to properties, make-up crew, and served as production manager for Theatre for Young People productions. Kagin passed away in October 1988.
The Playhouse is the nation's second largest and sixth oldest continuously operating community theatre. Located at the 42nd Street exit of I-235, the theatre has presented a full season of shows since 1919 and also offers a wide variety of educational experiences including classes for ages four to adult, theatre trips to New York and London and volunteer opportunities onstage and backstage.