Pyramid Theatre, DMPA Team Up For Musical

Tiffany Johnson, Pyramid Theatre Company’s producing artistic director, will co-direct “The Gospel at Colonus,” a new musical presented in partnership with Des Moines Performing Arts.

This went on our calendar the moment we heard about it: Pyramid Theatre Company and Des Moines Performing Arts are partnering to present the musical “The Gospel at Colonus” Sept 17-19 at Riverview Park’s amphitheater. Based on Sophocles’ tragedy “Oedipus at Colonus,” the show is set at a Black Pentecostal service and features a lively score of gospel and blues music. Focusing on themes of forgiveness, love and redemption, the production—which debuted on Broadway in 1983—translates the 2,400-year-old Greek myth into a modern-day Christian parable that explores Black music, pain and joy.

One reason we’re confident “The Gospel of Colonus” will be riveting: It’s being co-directed by the dynamic duo of Ken Matt-Martin, a Pyramid co-founder who is now artistic director at Chicago’s Victory Gardens Theater, and Tiffany Johnson, Pyramid’s producing artistic director. The show begins at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 17 and 18 and 5 p.m. Sept. 19. Attendance is free; go to dmpa.org or pyramidtheatre.org for more information.

In another innovative collaboration, Pyramid will partner with Des Moines Metro Opera and the Des Moines Art Center to present a 20-minute version of “American Apollo” in July 2022 as part of DMMO’s 50th anniversary season. The opera focuses on Thomas Eugene McKeller, a Black model who served as inspiration for iconic portrait painter John Singer Sargent. DMMO will present the world premiere of the full-length version of the opera during its 2024 season.

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