Each week, Hoopla and the Iowa Cultural Corridor Alliance team up to showcase arts and culture events in Eastern Iowa. Below are the hidden gems:   Eulenspiegel Puppet Theatre Co. presents Freedom Star: Gertie's Journey on the Underground Railroad this Sunday, January 20, at the New Strand Theater, 111 E. Third St. in West Liberty. Eulenspiegel Puppet Theatre Co.  uses near life-size handheld puppets, rod puppets, shadow puppets and hand-dyed scenery to tell a dramatic and moving story, based on local history, of a young girl who escapes from a farm in Missouri and makes her way through Iowa on her way to freedom. A beautiful and exciting play, it uses specific local and regional history references, including information about John Brown during the years he spent in Iowa. It features live music with topical songs written and played by Ron Hillis, a highly regarded Iowa musician. Shows are at 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. Admission is $5 per person.   Riverside Theatre is proud to produce the National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere of The Exit Interview by William Missouri Downs this January and February and will share insider show knowledge with the public through a free Theatre Talk on Thursday, January 17, from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. at Riverside Theatre, 213 N Gilbert Street, Iowa City. The talk discusses how The Exit Interview confronts many timeless issues like "the meaning of life", as well as touching on a central issue in contemporary culture: random gun violence. Topics will also include discussion about the script’s variety of subjects, ranging from the possibility of meaningful faith, to the influence of a media-saturated culture. Miriam Gilbert, Department of English hosts the Thursday Theatre Talk with guests, Rev. Rob Dotzel, Pastor at Lutheran Campus Ministry and Gloria Dei, and Ron Clark, co-founder of Riverside Theatre and director of the production. All are welcome to attend this free event. Questions? Call: 319.338.7672.   Embrace passion this winter with Puccini’s La Boheme, directed by Stanley M. Garner. Join the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre for their inaugural performance at the gorgeous and newly renovated Paramount Theatre as part of Orchestra Iowa’s Fine Arts Series. Since its premiere in 1896, Giacomo Puccini’s opera, La Boheme has been universally loved, becoming one of the most frequently performed operas worldwide. The title of the opera translates to “The Bohemians” because the opera tells the story of young artists who must decide between love and wealth. The musical themes explore the intricacies of the characters’ desires, needs and struggles. The tenderness of Puccini’s music and the naturalism of the characters give audiences a unique and deeply moving opera experience. The timeless story of LA BOHEME was the inspiration for the popular, modern musical “Rent”. Shows are Friday, January 18 at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, January 20 at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $20-$55, available at 319.366.8203.   The Old Creamery Theatre Company invites you to enjoy dinner and Talley's Folly by Lanford Wilson this Saturday, January 19, at Bella Sala in Tiffin. Join them for a charming story about one evening in the courtship of two unlikely lovers. Laugh and cry along with Matt Friedman and Sally Talley as they learn to trust each other enough to reveal their most painful secrets and admit their true feelings for one another. Doors open at 5 p.m. for cocktail hour. Cash bar will be available. Dinner is at 6:00 p.m. and the show starts at 7:00 p.m. Cost is $45 per person; includes dinner and the show. Call 319.622.6034 for more information and to order tickets.   The Cedar Rapids Museum of Art (CRMA) is excited to announce the opening of their first new exhibition of 2013. Bertha Jaques: Botanical Prints and Photographs will open to the public this Saturday, January 19 at 12:00 p.m. Accomplished printmaker and photographer Bertha Jaques is perhaps best known for her prints of wildflowers and ferns. Jaques’ interest in environmental issues was only one way in which she was a pioneering woman artist. Not only did Jaques succeed in a field dominated by male artists, she helped popularize etching in America. The Cedar Rapids Museum of Art is fortunate to possess not only nearly every print Jaques created, but also several states of certain prints, which allows viewers to see the evolution of Jaques’ thought process within a single print. In addition, the collection contains many cyanotypes of botanical subjects as well as Jaques’ archive, filled with personal photographs, correspondence, and essays and lectures.