The Summer 10

Img 0675Days are longer, warmer, and perhaps not quite as full of theatre, but it's also the time for those groups that do their one big show during the summer months. It's a trade-off that means a few more big-cast musicals, plus some special events that only happen while school's out and schedules are a bit clearer. Here's a list of ten shows coming up in the next few months that you can look forward to.

Img 041810 - The Music Man

The Des Moines Playhouse kicks off their 99th season with the most requested musical in their history. Set in Iowa with well-known songs like "We Got Trouble" and "76 Trombones", The Music Man will feature local favorites Brad Church and Katy Merriman. Performances are July 14 - August 6.



Img 5899 - The Vagina Monologues

Kata Klysmic Productions presents this series of female-oriented stories of struggle, success, and strength at The Garden Nightclub from August 17 - 20. Audition notices specifically mentioned looking for "self-identifying women... for all ages, races, and sexual identities." Hopefully there will be a terrific variety of performers and an entertaining and challenging night of theatre on tap.


Img 04648 - A Little Night Music

Part of the summer season for the Des Moines Metro Opera, this Stephen Sondheim masterpiece will be presented at the Blank Performing Arts Center in Indianola. DMMO's season also includes Puccini's Turandot and the sea-going tale Billy Budd. There are 5 performances for A Little Night Music, beginning June 24 and running on different days until July 8.


Img 03457 - Unnecessary Farce

An old-fashioned, door-slamming, misunderstanding, character-panicking, laugh-filled rollicking comedy. Sometimes, the depth of a show isn't nearly as important as the volume of laughter it creates. Ankeny Community Theatre says they're putting this show on from August 4 - 20 (assuming they can all find the right stage door!!)


Img 06066 - Guys and Dolls

This is, quite honestly, one of the very best American musicals ever written. A fun book, amazing melodies, and wonderful characters taken from the works of Damon Runyon and his world of funny gangster rogues and strong-willed women. Urbandale Community Theatre presents another stellar summer show, with last year's Cloris award-winner Dani Boal as Sister Sarah Brown and her real-life husband Michael Boal as love interest Sky Masterson, this is one not to miss!! Performances at the Urbandale High School Auditorium from July 21 - 30.


Img 0408Img 04075 - The Amen Corner /

Mississippi Goddamn

Pyramid Theatre Company moves to a new home for their shows this summer, now performing at the Stoner Studio Theatre inside the Des Moines Civic Center. Their "classic" show for this year is The Amen Corner, about a woman whose past suddenly resurfaces, affecting her family, friends, and those of her church. Mississippi Goddamn is a more contemporary show, dealing with how different generations react to real-life events in different ways, and how they try to understand each other's thinking. The two productions are essentially presented in repertory, with performances ranging from July 21 through August 6.


Img 03374 - Souvenir 

What is singing? What is art? And what's more important - perfect pitch, or the expression of the artist's soul? This "fantasia" portrays the story of Florence Foster Jenkins, a woman full of musical passion, but lacking, shall we say... accuracy in tonality? The amazing Gina Gedler will re-create her role, moving the show from the DM Playhouse a few years ago to the intimate cabaret space at Noce, with performances from September 1 - 10.


Img 05283 - The Wizard of Oz

This one is definitely NOT for the kiddies. Another daring show from Kata Klysmic Productions (who I've heard referred to as "the most subversive theatre group in Des Moines), it's the traditional Wizard of Oz story you likely grew up with, just more than a bit skewed. Innuendo, drag, and probably a bit of burlesque will all make an appearance during these shows at The Garden Nightclub, running from July 7 - 16.


Img 03432 - School of Rock

Still playing on Broadway, this musical adaptation of the Jack Black movie has been wowing audiences for the last few years, and Des Moines Young Artists' Theatre has secured the rights to do the full musical here in Des Moines at the Kum & Go theatre. The largest cast in DMYAT's history will be performing Andrew Lloyd Webber's score, all of them in their teens. In rehearsals now for performances July 21 - 30, I'm hearing great things about this one. School is definitely in session, get there!!


Img 05211 - A Chorus Line

The end of summer brings DM one of the best shows about theatre out there. This "musical about making a musical" is so very hard to cast, as it requires a group of "wannabe" performers who each get a star turn in the show. Needing singers who can act in a dance musical, every single person has to be a triple-threat performer. Director Megan Helmers has been holding pre-casting auditions this spring and summer to prepare possible cast members for what's ahead. Kudos to the DM Playhouse for taking on the challenge of this show, and I can't wait to see the magic they will create. Kiss today goodbye, point me towards tomorrow, and bring on the singular sensation of A Chorus Line, September 8 thought October 1.


Hey, lots of theatre companies have their season ticket drives going on during the summer, with great deals on their entire season's worth of shows. Get out there, support local theatre here in Central Iowa, and lock in some savings to boot!  Enjoy your summer, and enjoy some shows!!

Pyramid Theatre Company Noce Ankeny Community Theatre Des Moines Playhouse Des Moines Young Artists' Theatre The Music Man The Vagina Monologues Kata Klysmic Productions A Little Night Music Des Moines Metro Opera Unnecessary Farce The Amen Corner Mississippi... A Chorus Line School of Rock Wizard of Oz Guys and Dolls Urbandale Community Theatre Souvenir