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"Ulysses S. Grant" to appear at Wieting Theatre Feb. 16

February 12, 2014
Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

The Wieting Theatre is pleased to have Ulysses S. Grant, 18th President of the United States and General and Commander of all the Union Armies and who is credited in achieving the Union's victory over the Confederates, come to our theatre and speak to us Sunday, Feb. 16, at 2 p.m.

Well, OK, it isn't the REAL President Grant, but Pete Grady, an Assistant Attorney General in Iowa since 1995, and writer and actor of "Unconditional Surrender: An Evening with President Grant." The cost of admission is $5. The show is under the auspices of the Marshalltown Community Theatre; and the proceeds for Mr. Grady's fee will go to the Marshalltown Community Theatre with the surplus going to benefit the Wieting.

The Wieting Theatre and Opera House is proud to partner with Pete Grady to bring this live show to the community.

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Pete Grady as General Ulysses S. Grant

This one man hour-long show "An Evening with President Grant" is a "visit" with Grant during the last year of his life as he writes his memoirs before he succumbs to cancer.

Because of unsuccessful business ventures after he left the presidency, Grant was strapped for cash. He knew that writing and publishing his memoirs, Memoirs and Selected Letters, was the only way he had to provide for his family.

The two-volume set sold 300,000 copies and eventually earning $450,000 for Grant's family.

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The show highlights his presidency, the war with Mexico, and his service in the Civil War. The show, also, uses power point slides that illustrate Grant's life and times and punctuates the dialogue. "Unconditional Surrender: An Evening with President Grant" is like the "Mark Twain Tonight" production by Hal Holbrook, or "Give "Em Hell, Harry" by James Whitmore. According to reviewer Mike Donahey from The Marshalltown Times Republican, "Grady knows Grant well--and this knowledge paid huge dividends during the performance. We got to know Grant as if we were talking to him at the kitchen table." Donahey also states, "Grady gave the audience just enough to whet its appetite for more."

Grady is a graduate of Waukon High School in 1971, where he was active in theatre. Since 2004, Mr. Grady has been very active at the Marshalltown Community Theatre, where he has been an actor, director, and member of the Marshalltown Community Theatre's Board of Directors. He has appeared in numerous shows including Foxfire, A Thurber Carnival, The 39 Steps, Arsenic and Old Lace, The Diary of Anne Frank, Oliver, and many other shows. His directing resume includes Doubt, A Parable, The Mock doctor, The Little Theater's Production of Hamlet, Dracula, the Musical?, and assisted in the direction of the Laramie Project.

One Monday, February 17, Mr. Grady will return to present his show to the South Tama 8th and 9th graders who have or are studying that period of history, and the 9th grade Meskwaki Settlement American History class. That show will be sponsored by STC's Friends of the Middle School.

The Wieting Theatre is excited about bringing Pete Grady's one man show to Toledo. We hope that history buffs of all sizes and ages come out for this show. Bringing live theatre to the community is just part of the Wieting Theatre and Opera House's mission.

(On a personal note from this writer, my maternal great grandfather and his brother, my uncle, fought at the Battles of Shiloh and Vicksburg. Although Iowa had only been a state for 15 years, 76,242 Iowa men served in the military. Over 13,000 died of wounds or disease. 8,500 Iowa men were wounded. In relation to its population, Iowa sent more men to fight than any other state. The Grand Army of the Republic or G.A.R. funded and pushed to construct the Iowa Soldier's Home, now the Iowa Veteran's Home, in Marshalltown. A Civil War Memorial to those veterans of Tama County can be found on our own court house grounds. I believe there is much history to be shared about the Civil War. The Wieting is proud to have Mr. Pete Grady.)



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