Orpheum ready to deliver quality entertainment in 2018

As Marshalltown moves into the summer season, Orpheum Theater Director Bob Untiedt believes the downtown facility has something to offer that encompasses all interests.

At the top of the list is the third edition of “Live After 5,” a 10-week series of different musical groups who perform each Friday night in the Orpheum parking lot beginning June 22 and continuing through Aug. 24.

A new concept for the Orpheum back in 2016, “Live After 5” has proven successful the past two years.

“I think with this third season, word has gotten out, and we’re excited about this 2018,” said Untiedt, who listed the complete performance schedule beginning with blues group Malcom Wells & The Two Timers on June 22 and wrapping up the season with classic rock/blues group Inner Lite on Aug. 24.

Untiedt said this year the timeframe of the free event has been extended. Happy hour will begin at 5:30 p.m., but the different bands each Friday night will not begin their performances until 6 p.m., continuing through to 7:30 p.m.

“This makes sure we have shade for everyone during the entire concert, as well as allowing people more time to get here after work,” Untiedt said.

A complete list of the “Live After 5” acts can be found on the Orpheum’s website at: https://mcc.iavalley.edu/about-mcc/campusfacilities/orpheum-theater

Untiedt said he’s hopeful that with increased interest, the Orpheum can draw, on average, 300 people per performance for the “Live After 5” concerts.

But there’s more than just the Friday night music series.

A new movie club that has been formed and their first effort — presenting the sing-along version of the 1978 musical “Grease” — will take place at 6:30 p.m. June 8 (tickets are $10).

“It’s three guys, all retirees, who wanted to do something different,” Untiedt said.

There are other events including the Stebens Children’s Theater presenting a tribute to The Andrew Sisters on June 9, as well as Iowa Poet Laureate Mary Swander sharing “Discussions, Readings & Maybe a Banjo” at 7:30 p.m. June 14.

Untiedt said corporate sponsors, grants, individual donors and fundraisers, including last month’s “18 Men Who Cook” event, hosted by the Friends of the Orpheum Board, is making the Orpheum more viable.

That event, he said collected roughly $10,700 after expenses, and helps to fund events like free movies for every elementary school students in Marshalltown, defray costs for bands and other performers and help make improvements to the facility’s sound system.

Untiedt said in 2017, the Orpheum saw roughly 7,800 people attend events there. In 2018, he’s hopeful that the numbers will surpass 10,000.

“We want this to be known as a place for people. who work and live in Marshalltown, where they have a good time,” he said.

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Contact Jeff Hutton at 641-753-6611 or jhutton@timesrepublican.com