Coon Rapids Community Players get feet wet with ‘Dames at Sea’

Dipping its toes into community theater waters, the newly-formed Coon Rapids Community Players presents “Dames at Sea.”

“Dames at Sea” is presented by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.
“Dames at Sea” is presented by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.

The tap-dancing musical comedy takes the stage weekends, Oct. 17 through Nov. 3 at the Coon Rapids Civic Center (11155 Robinson Dr., NW, Coon Rapids).

The musical – a show that pokes fun at the big splashy 1930s Busby Berkeley-style movie musicals – tells the tale of an understudy who leaves her small town in Utah, determined to make it big on Broadway.

She shows up at a 42nd Street theater and is cast in the chorus where she instantly falls in love with a sailor who’s got his sights set on becoming a Broadway songwriter.

But look out! A temperamental diva also has her eyes on the sailor and won’t let a naive little chorus girl steal her spotlight.

“The show is just hilarious and fun so almost everyone would enjoy it,” said Mike Ausmus, president of Coon Rapids Community Players and director of “Dames at Sea.”

Music direction for the production is by Karen Hillmann. Shawn McWhorter and Angela Cain are the choreographers.

Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at the door (cash or check only) or online at

Seating is limited, so advanced purchase is recommended.

Introducing the
Coon Rapids
Community Players

The Coon Rapids Community Players strives to provide a cultural and educational experience by producing high quality theater.

Ausmus and the theater board of directors formed the non-profit organization two years ago and began looking for a place to perform.

After looking high and low – and hearing many “no”s – the community theater finally found a stage at Coon Rapids Civic Center, then quickly finished the necessary IRS tax exemption paperwork and started planning for a fall production.

“We wanted our first show to be a smaller cast to keep it simple and also wanted to do a show that is not too overdone,” Ausmus said, describing the criteria used to select the opening act for Coon Rapids Community Players.

With its small cast (just six people) and fun, upbeat songs, “Dames at Sea” was chosen as the theater’s inaugural production.

“It was a hard show though because you really need six actors that are a triple threat,” Ausmus said. “That is they can sing, act, and dance – not only dance, but tap-dance. Tap-dancing adds another level of difficulty.”

Now that the show is set to open, its director is certain folks will love it.

“There are lots of big dance numbers, upbeat songs and flashy costumes typical of a big Broadway musical,” Ausmus said. “The show is just hilarious and fun so almost everyone would enjoy it.”

To learn more about the Coon Rapids Community Players, visit


Sue Austreng is at
[email protected]