In a continuation of the entertainment goal that Larry and Cindy Sloan have set for their business, The Talent Factory, this fall they plan to “provide a variety of entertainment, in the hopes that everyone will be able to find a show that appeals to them.”
On the heels of a very risque Girls Night Out show this week — a first-ever adult ladies show at the Factory — Larry Sloan said, in looking at the line-up for the rest of this month and into late November, there are some really great family-appropriate shows coming up.
“Most of our shows are family-oriented,” he said. “Our shows are usually appropriate for children and yet sophisticated enough for adults to enjoy. Occasionally, we have a comedian with some adult content or some adult language but that is still usually acceptable for mid to late teens. Some shows are a little more expensive and younger children may not understand the value of classic acts, such as acts from the ’60s and ’70s, but the lyrics are still family-friendly,” he said.
First up this fall, “We have a Christian Hip Hop artist and group — Johnathan Stone and Transparent Artists Group — coming up this Saturday,” Sloan said. Some people heard a little bit of what this show will include when they listened to the performers on the marquee of the theater during Lincoln Highway Days. “We have not done Hip Hop or Rap music before,” Sloan said, and he explained more fully. “It isn’t that I didn’t like the music, but rather because I didn’t like the message most seemed to have in common — disrespect, violence, profanity, etc.”
But the Transparent Artists are different. “These entertainers have a positive message, delivered in music that young people like,” Sloan said. And as they showed at Lincoln Highway Days, they offer great talking points between their songs that can inspire and motivate young people to live a more Christian life.
There is also comedy coming this fall. “We’re bringing back Tom Mabe and his ‘Mabe In America’ tour on Oct. 20. This guy is hilarious with his ‘down home’ comedy,” Sloan said. Mabe, for those who aren’t familiar, is the consummate prankster, and a large part of his entertainment is through his “Revenge on the Telemarketer” phone pranks.
Also on the calendar, and just in time for Halloween, is illusion. “Jackson Rayne is a world-class master illusionist and holds many Guinness world records as the best escape artist in the world,” Sloan said. “He’s also a very sought-after motivational speaker. He is hugely in demand all over the world and is a frequent performer in Vegas and as a favor to Cindy and me, he’s coming for a Halloween show Oct. 27. He won’t be bringing a bunch of large stage tricks with this show, but rather escape tricks, street magic tricks and light stage illusions.”
In terms of cost to see Rayne, Sloan said the show is very affordable since he’s traveling so light for it.
Sloan said the recent program lineup has included many first-time acts for The Talent Factory, as they’ve brought in entertainers from Branson and Las Vegas like the Neil Diamond and Karen Carpenter tribute artists, the Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley show, Tonic Sol Fa and The Temptations Revue. “That’s only the beginning,” he said. “Coming up we have the three-hour Trilogy Tribute Tour (that honors Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and the Doors), The Four Tops Tribute, CJ Ryder & The Past Masters (featuring ’50s and ’60s rock and roll), Midwest Rock and Soul (from the ’60s, Do Wop era), The Des Moines Magic Club and the Justo Hijo show with six Des Moines magicians.
Following all of that, the Sloans will get into one of their favorite seasons of the year, Christmas. “We love our holidays,” Sloan said. “On Dec. 1, we are having the Regular’s Christmas show, and with a few new faces, it promises to be great. On Dec. 8, we have Sandy Clark’s Christmas, which is always a great show. She has added new artists, and the lighting and effects will be stunning. On Dec. 16, we are bringing back the Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley show, with Elvis and Johnny doing Christmas songs and Gospel music. Both Elvis and Johnny had huge religious and gospel upbringings. Joseph Hall and Paul Eve will appear as Elvis and Johnny and will amaze and astound the audiences.”
The Talent Factory has now been in business for over five years, and for over four of those years, “we’ve been bringing nationally known acts to Nevada,” Sloan said. He looks back on some of the things that have happened with the business. “We started out our first year with just local and regional acts, as well as our own Talent Factory Regulars. We moved to nationally known entertainers under a year later. We’ve added computerized lighting, backgrounds, theatrical haze and we constantly are upgrading our lighting and effects, as well as our sound systems. We’ve replaced our heating and cooling systems, repaired or replaced roofing and renovated the backstage and the lobby areas. Almost every artist we’ve had appear has raved about the beauty of this historic theater and the fabulous acoustics.”
The future, and especially this coming fall, looks bright. “We are booked through the end of the year and have gotten bookings as far out as April and May of 2019,” Sloan confirmed. “We have always tried to be a contributing member of the community. Since the beginning, we have tried to offer the community the best quality shows, for the best prices. We have tried to serve the community by doing fundraising events, charities, free shows and offering the use of the theater at extremely reasonable prices. We keep our concession prices much lower than you would find at any similar venues. We pride ourselves on bringing in some of the best entertainment in the country at small-town, Iowa prices.”
If you want to take a closer look at the shows that are coming up this fall and Christmas season, go to www.iowatalentfactory.com.