cover story

August 26, 2010


By Michael Swanger

Though a few outdoor concert series remain in the coming weeks, it is time to bid farewell to the sounds of summer ... the soaking wet, hot and humid sounds of summer. While flood waters forced most shows at Simon Estes Amphitheater and Water Works Park to be moved to higher ground, and inclement weather affected attendance at a few other events, some of the biggest crowds of the year were spotted at outdoor concerts like 80/35, Lazerfest, Big Country Bash, KGGO Summer Jam and the Des Moines Symphony’s annual Pops concert.

And while we are eager to put the summer’s crummy weather in our rearview mirror, we are not happy to say goodbye to one of the staples of the Des Moines live music scene, Blues on Grand, which will close its doors in late October after 10 years of hosting shows by local and national blues artists. Like Hairy Mary’s closing a few years ago, its absence will be a noticeable void within the “scene” and whether the metro’s blues community will find a new home that will cater full-time to their musical needs remains to be seen.

So with the hope of a dryer, more weather-friendly and prosperous fall, we look ahead to concerts slated to play in Greater Des Moines during the next few months. A few big name performers will play some of the metro’s larger rooms between Labor Day and New Years Eve, as will several other veteran and up-and-coming acts in the clubs, ballrooms, auditoriums and centers.

Not to be forgotten, of course, is the wealth of local talent, which on any given night can be appreciated by live music fans at a nominal cost. What’s more, music fans will find shows of note not only in the usual places, but at some venues that often go unnoticed by mainstream fans and media, including churches, wineries and schools. Regardless of where you find it, support live music when and where you can.

The following is a sampling of shows, organized by venue or event that can be found throughout central Iowa through the end of 2010. It is not an inclusive list, as many shows have yet to be announced. But it’s a good start. Read Cityview each week for breaking music news, artist interviews (local and national) as well as concert reviews and photos. Also, be sure to visit Cityview’s calendar for the most comprehensive listing of concerts in central Iowa.


Ames City Auditorium
515 Clark St., Ames

Aug. 27 — Brandi Carlile, The Watson Twins
Dec. 4 — Central Iowa Symphony


Anchor Coffee House
Westminster Presbyterian Church
4114 Allison Ave.

Sept. 11 — Truckstop Souvenir
Oct. 23 — Skinny & the Bootleggers
Dec. 11 — John Gorka


Behind the Barn
Living History Farms, Urbandale
278-5286. 6-9 p.m.

Sept. 1 — Brother Trucker


Bike Down to I-Town
Downtown Indianola
6-10 p.m. Free

Sept. 17 — Cruize Control


Blue Moon Dueling Piano Bar & Restaurant
5485 Mills Civic Parkway
West Des Moines

Aug. 26-28 — Gary Pickus, Wiz, Todd Cutshaw
Sept. 1 — B.S. & the Liars
Sept. 2-4 — Papi Sorellis, Dave Hawke, Brad Heron
Sept. 9-11 — John Sacket, Jim Paquette, Wiz
Sept. 16-18 — Jacob Wolfson, CD Thomas, Dean Madonia
Sept. 22 — Flipside
Sept. 23-25 — Paul Hoeffler, Todd Cutshaw, Steve Winter
Sept. 30-Oct. 2 — Dave Hawke, Jeremie Malotke, Brad Heron
Oct. 20 — Flipside


Blues Before Sunset
East Locust Street in front of State Historical Building
Fridays, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Free

Sept. 3 — Matt Woods and The Thunderbolts


Blues on Grand
1501 Grand Ave.

Aug. 27 — Treble Clef Palette
Aug. 28 — Harper
Aug. 31 — Bob Pace Band
Sept. 1 — Matt Woods and The Thunderbolts
Sept. 4 — Grand Marquis
Sept. 7 — Bob Pace Band
Sept. 8 — JT Soars
Sept. 10 — Ronnie Baker Brooks
Sept. 11 — Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials
Sept. 14 — Bob Pace Band
Sept. 15 — Nick Curran
Sept. 17 — Stacy Mitchhart
Sept. 18 — Shawn Pittman
Sept. 21 — Bob Pace Band
Sept. 22 — Matt Woods and The Thunderbolts
Sept. 24 — Davina & the Vagabonds
Sept. 25 — Trampled Under Foot
Sept. 26 — W.C. Clark
Sept. 28 — Bob Pace Band
Sept. 29 — Tab Benoit
Oct. 1 — The Bel Airs
Oct. 3 — Charlie Musselwhite
Oct. 5 — Bob Pace Band
Oct. 6 — Matt Woods and The Thunderbolts
Oct. 8 — Johnny Rawls
Oct. 12 — Bob Pace Band
Oct. 13 — Matt Woods and The Thunderbolts
Oct. 15 — Corey Stevens
Oct. 19 — Bob Pace Band
Oct. 20 — Bruce Katz


Caspe Terrace
33158 Ute Ave., Waukee

Sept. 29 — Trio X
Oct. 12 — Jon Weber
Nov. 16 — Benjamin Herman Quartet


Civic Center of Greater Des Moines
221 Walnut St.

Dec. 20-21 — Mannheim Steamroller


Civic Music Association
Sheslow Auditorium, Drake University

Sept. 18 — Esperanza Spalding
Oct. 1 — Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet
Dec. 4 — Boston Brass & Brass All-Stars Big Band


DG’s Tap House
127 Main St., Ames

Sept. 10 — We Are Country Mice
Sept. 11 — Junk Poet
Sept. 12 — Murder By Death, Samantha Crain
Sept. 17 — Mark Mallman
Sept. 18 — Euforquestra
Oct. 2 — Jon Wayne & The Pain


Dale Valley Vineyard and Winery
Stuart, 523-2199

Sept. 4 — Trouble No More
Sept. 18 — Hold On Band


Drake University

Nov. 3 — Sonos
Nov. 10 — Nathan Angelo


El Bait Shop
200 S.W. 2nd St.

Sept. 1 — White Tornado
Sept. 5 — David Zollo
Sept. 8 — Brother Trucker
Sept. 12 — Dave Bess
Sept. 15 — Thankful Dirt
Sept. 19 — Monday Mourners
Sept. 22 — Uniphonics
Sept. 26 — Dead Larry
Sept. 29 — High Crest
Oct. 3 — Soapbox Prophets
Oct. 6 — Brother Trucker
Oct. 10 — Brothers Burn Mountain
Oct. 13 — Strong Like Bear
Oct. 17 — Omega Dog
Oct. 20 — Aquamarine Dream Machine
Oct. 27 — Crooked Mile
Nov. 3 — Brother Trucker
Nov. 10 — Can of Worms
Nov. 17 — The Mighty Short Bus
Nov. 21 — Lick It Ticket
Nov. 24 — Midwestern Remedy
Nov. 28 — Ron’s Neu Snacks
Dec. 1 — Brother Trucker
Dec. 5 — Dead Larry
Dec. 8 — High Crest
Dec. 15 — Truth Be Told
Dec. 19 — Omega Dog
Dec. 22 — Thankful Dirt


Flying Mango
4345 Hickman Road

Nov. 7 — Boulder Acoustic Society


Hessen Haus
101 Fourth St.

Sept. 4 — Barefoot Becky & Her Ivanhoe Dutchemen
Sept. 11 — Malek’s Fishermen


House of Bricks
525 E. Grand Ave.

Aug. 27 — ByItsRightName
Aug. 28 — The Anytime, History on Repeat, Android’s Dungeon
Sept. 1 — Midnight Suit
Sept. 4 — The Vandon Arms
Sept. 13 — Ardor
Sept. 17 — This or the Apocalypse, Destruction of a Rose, Korben Dallas & Marla Singer
Sept. 23 — Sponge, Lession 7, Come Unity, Superchief
Sept. 26 — Sex Slaves, The Knobs, Tanya Mayfield, Whiskey Meltdown
Oct. 1 — The Blinders (reunion)
Oct. 8 — Mooseknuckle
Oct. 13 — Ludo, There for Tomorrow, The Graduate
Oct. 30 — Marcato, World Under, Odium, Calous
Dec. 18 — Brother Trucker, Johnny Reeferseed & The High Rollers, Matt Woods and The Thunderbolts, Darren and Molly Matthews


Hoyt Sherman Theater
1501 Woodland Ave.

Sept. 26 — Tommy Emmanuel
Sept. 29 — George Winston
Oct. 3 — Rodrigo y Gabriela
Oct. 20 — Straight No Chaser
Oct. 29 — The Max Weinberg Big Band


Jasper Winery
2400 George Flagg Parkway

Aug. 26 — Boomerang
Sept. 2 — Bob Pace


Java Joes Coffeehouse
214 Fourth St. Free

Aug. 28 — Ben Korthas
Sept. 26 — Johnston Station Jazz Big Band

The Longest Yard
122 Fifth St., West Des Moines
Aug. 26 — Spam
Aug. 28 — Misfit Toys
Sept. 2 — The El Dorados
Sept. 4 — Mike Proffitt Band
Sept. 9 — Matt Woods and The Thunderbolts
Sept. 16 — Matt Biegger
Sept. 24 — Mike Aceto


The Maintenance Shop
Iowa State University Memorial Union
2229 Lincoln Way, Ames
(515) 294-2969

Aug. 27 — Egg, Polis, Sons & Heirs
Sept. 3 — The Envy Corps
Sept. 8 — Crooked Still
Sept. 10 — Gold Motel, Nuclear Rodeo
Sept. 18 — The Hood Internet
Sept. 19 — Dan Hicks & the Hot Licks
Sept. 23 — The Dangerous Summer, Into It. Over It.
Oct. 3 — Stephen Kellogg & The Sixers, Sara Watkins
Oct. 7 — The Poison Control Center
Oct. 8 — Patty Larkin, Birdsong at Morning
Oct. 9 — Oh My God, Christopher the Conquered
Oct. 15 — Megan James
Oct. 23 — Lulu LaFever
Oct. 27 — The Wood Brothers
Oct. 29 — Mae, Terrible Things, Windsor Drive
Nov. 4 — Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, The Lonely Forest
Nov. 13 — Catie Curtis
Nov. 14 — Dawes, The Moondoggies, The Romany Eye
Nov. 15 — Green River Ordinance
Nov. 19 — The Greencards


Mars Café
2318 University Ave.,

Aug. 27 — Jeremy Facknitz
Aug. 28 — Eric Sommer
Sept. 3 — Mary McAdams
Sept. 6 — Scented Vinyl with Mumford’s and Pennyhawk
Sept. 10 — Egg
Sept. 11 — Ricky Stein
Sept. 13 — Scented Vinyl with You Are Home
Sept. 17 — Crystal City, Why Make Clocks
Sept. 18 — Arin Eaton
Sept. 20 — The Seedlings
Oct. 8 — Loudray
Oct. 11 — Scented Vinyl with Unknown Component


Mother’s Pub
2900 West St., Ames
(515) 292-2301

Aug. 28 — Burning Sensations
Sept. 2 — Damon Dotson
Sept. 18 — Matt Woods and The Thunderbolts
Oct. 7 — Damon Dotson
Oct. 23 — Matt Woods and The Thunderbolts


Music in the Junction
Railroad Park, Valley Junction
West Des Moines
Thursdays, 6 p.m. Free

Aug. 26 — Matt Woods and The Thunderbolts
Sept. 2 — The Retro Rockets
Sept. 9 — Brother Trucker
Sept. 16 — Malcolm Wells & The Two Timers
Sept. 23 — Jonny & the Rectifiers
Sept. 30 — Boomerang


Music on Stage at the Art Center
Des Moines Art Center
4700 Grand Ave.

Oct. 2 — Mozaiques Chamber Ensemble
Oct. 29 — Jerusalem Quartet
Dec. 4 — Adaskin String Trio with Tom Galant


Penoach Winery
26759 N. Avenue, Adel

Aug. 27 — Chad Elliot
Sept. 17 — The El Dorados
Sept. 18 — Ortonville Circus, Shade Jones


Pella Opera House
611 Franklin, Pella

Sept. 18 — Leo Kottke
Oct. 26 — Gaelic Storm
Nov. 16 — The Lowes


People’s Court
216 Court Ave.

Aug. 27 — Stevie Ray Vaughan Tribute
Aug. 30 — Dirty Heads
Sept. 3 — Eddie Money
Sept. 7 — Devildriver
Sept. 8 — Great American Taxi
Sept. 10 — Damon Dotson Band
Sept. 11 — Floodplane
Sept. 15 — Roster McCabe
Sept. 17 — The Big Wu
Sept. 22 — Martin Sexton
Sept. 24 — Mindrite
Sept. 29 — Trampled by Turtles
Oct. 3 — Silent Civilian
Oct. 6 — Atmosphere
Oct. 7 — Les Nubians
Oct. 11 — The End
Oct. 12 — Fun.
Oct. 20 — Mushroomhead
Oct. 23 — The Nadas
Oct. 27 — Umphrey’s McGee
Nov. 12 — Cannibal Corpse
Nov. 13 — The Gracious Few


Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino
Altoona, Interstate 80, Exit 142
(800) 325-9015

Oct. 6 — Michael Bolton
Nov. 26 — Gary Hoey


Ritual Café
13th Street between Grand and Locust

Aug. 27 — Sister Speak
Sept. 4 — Luke Stutzman
Sept. 11 — Julie Loyd
Sept. 14 — Magic Mama
Sept. 15 — Camille Bloom
Sept. 17 — Steph Taylor and The State of
Sept. 18 — Nigel Egg
Sept. 24 — Art Stop
Oct. 2 — Gay in the Gateway
Oct. 6 — Brothers Burn with Thankful Dirt
Oct. 9 — John Burns
Oct. 21 — Songwriters in the Round
Oct. 22 — Sara Sample
Nov. 5 — Seth Glier
Nov. 18 — Songwriters in the Round


The Royal Mile
210 4th St.

Sept. 6 — Poetic Folkman
Sept. 13 — Aaron Short
Sept. 20 — Curry
Sept. 27 — Andy Fleming
Oct. 11 — Jeff Blanchard
Oct. 18 — Darren & Molly Matthews
Oct. 25 — Andy Fleming
Nov. 1 — Brian Holtz
Nov. 15 — John Burns
Nov. 22 — Molly & Darren Matthews
Nov. 29 — Charles Johnson
Dec. 6 — Aaron Short
Dec. 13 — Jeff Blanchard
Dec. 27 — Andy Fleming


7 Flags Events Center
2100 NW 100th St., Clive

Sept. 1 — Ted Nugent, Val Halla
Oct. 1 — Black Label Society, Children of Bodom, Clutch
Oct. 2 — 30 Seconds To Mars, Neon Trees, New Politics
Oct. 8 — Little River Band
Oct. 28 — Willie Nelson


Snus Hill Winery
2183 320th St., Madrid
(515) 795-3535

Aug. 27 — Cross Roads
Aug. 29 — The Rivieras
Sept. 3 — One Nite Stand
Sept. 4 — Bill Martin
Sept. 5 — Matt Woods and The Thunderbolts


Stephens Auditorium
Iowa State Center, Ames
(877) 843-2368

Oct. 24 — Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
Nov. 7 — Drumline Live
Nov. 9 — Further (Phil Lesh & Bob Weir)
Nov. 21 — Lorie Line
Dec. 3 — The Lettermen


Summerset Winery & Inn
15101 Fairfax, Indianola
$3. 961-3545

Aug. 29 — Tony Valdez & the Large Band
Sept. 5 — Big Daddy Blues
Sept. 12 — Freestyle
Sept. 19 — Erick Hovey Band
Sept. 26 — The El Dorados
Oct. 3 — Tony Valdez & Don Jaques
Oct. 10 — Malcolm Wells & The Two Timers
Oct. 17 — One Nite Stand
Oct. 24 — Fat Twosday Duo
Oct. 31 — Hot Tamale & The Red Hots
Nov. 7 — Old School
Nov. 14 — Tony Valdez & Don Jaques
Nov. 21 — Ashanti
Nov. 28 — Blues Bureau Trio
Dec. 5 — Hot Tamale & the Red Hots
Dec. 12 — Piranha Brothers
Dec. 19 — Tony Valdez & Don Jaques
Dec. 26 — Larry Berenguel & the Vida Sisters


Terrible’s Lakeside Casino
777 Casino Drive, Osceola
(877) 477-LAKE

Aug. 27-28 — Trent Wilmon
Sept. 24-25 — Johnny Lee
Oct. 22-23 — Mark Wills


Val Air Ballroom
301 Ashworth Road, West Des Moines

Aug. 26 — Sid Wilson
Sept. 28 — Bone Thugs ‘N’ Harmony
Oct. 1 — Band of Horses
Oct. 2 — Dic Youngs Revival with Richie Lee & Echo’s V
Oct. 4 — Passion Pit


Vaudeville Mews
212 Fourth St.

Aug. 26 — The Post Op Whores
Aug. 27 — Pain of Evolution, Doomsday Crush
Aug. 27 — Punching Betty, Fuzzy Blondes
Aug. 28 — Why Make Clocks
Aug. 28 — The Beaker Brothers Band, Sam Salamone
Aug. 29 — Slow Form of Suicide, Die Mutts
Aug. 29 — Canby, Pictures of Then
Aug. 30 — Coliseum, Burning Love
Aug. 30 — Sarah Jaffe, The Spring Standards
Sept. 1 — Call To Preserve, Stand United
Sept. 2 — Damion Suomi, Mary McAdams
Sept. 3 — Black Ambient Manifesto, Chris Ford
Sept. 3 — Mother Culture, Wrestling with Wolves
Sept. 4 — Dark Mirror, The Lords of Trident
Sept. 9 — Argent Ribbons, We Are Country Mice
Sept. 10 — Trevor Hall
Sept. 10 — Abalone Dots
Sept. 11 — Hayes Caril, Bonnie Whitmore
Sept. 12 — Judgement Day, Skin of Earth
Sept. 14 — Hot Hot Heat, 22-20s
Sept. 15 — Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., Luke Pettipoole
Sept. 16 — David Berkeley
Sept. 17 — All Tiny Creatures, The Autumn Project
Sept. 18 — The Open Letters, The Homestories
Sept. 18 — ZZZ Records 10th Anniversary ft. Cleo’s Apartment, Dresden Style, The Jerkels
Sept. 20 — Butterfly Bones
Sept. 21 — Dax Riggs
Sept. 22 — Star Fucking Hipsters, North of Grand
Sept. 24 — Maxilla Blue, Soulcrate Music
Sept. 25 — Tony Furtado
Sept. 25 — Blue Martian Tribe, Mooseknuckle
Sept. 26 — Scout Niblett
Sept. 28 — David Dondero, Darren Hanlon
Sept. 29 — Emmitt-Nershi Band, Mr. Baber’s Neighbors
Sept. 30 — Retribution Gospel Choir, Why Make Clocks
Sept. 30 — Stanton Moore Trio plus Anders Osbourne
Oct. 1 — The Strange Boys, Gentleman Jesse and His Men
Oct. 4 — Cobra Skulls, Strong City
Oct. 6 — Jason Reeves, Joe Brooks
Oct. 7 — Iwrestledabearonce, Sky Eats Airplane
Oct. 8 — Backyard Tire Fire, Monday Mourners
Oct. 9 — Agnostic Front, Mother of Mercy
Oct. 9 — Drew Andrews & The Spectral Cities
Oct. 12 — Hosannas, Seedlings
Oct. 28 — Joan of Arc, Love Songs For Lonely Monsters
Nov. 2 — Electric Six, The Constellations


Wells Fargo Arena
730 Third St.

Aug. 26 — American Idol Live!
Nov. 4 — Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Nov. 16-17 — The Rockettes
Dec. 4 — Carrie Underwood, Billy Currington, Sons of Sylva


West Towne Pub
4518 Mortensen Road, Ames
(515) 292-4555

Sept. 24 — The El Dorados
Oct. 15 — Thunderbird Kingsley
Oct. 22 — David Zollo
Nov. 12 — Salty View’s Acoustic Review
Nov. 19 — Brian Congdon
Dec. 3 — Matt Woods and The Thunderbolts CV



Take one last road trip

By Michael Swanger


Before the snow flies, and after you’ve exhausted almost all of your music dollars locally, you might consider one of the following shows worthy of a road trip in Iowa. Safe travels and don’t forget to encourage your friends out of town to come to Greater Des Moines to catch a show in return.

Aug. 28 — Warrant, Head East, Cinderlla, Meskwaki Casino, Tama
Sept. 2 — Train, Harrah’s Casino, Council Bluffs
Sept. 3 — Three Dog Night at “Fry Fest,” Coralville
Sept. 5 — Glen Campbell, Riverside Casino, Riverside
Sept. 16-18 — Iowa Women’s Music Festival, Englert Theater, Iowa City
Sept. 22 — Slash, Harrah’s Casino, Council Bluffs
Sept. 23-25 — Landfall Festival of World Music, downtown Cedar Rapids
Sept. 24 — The Charlie Daniels Band, Surf Ballroom, Clear Lake
Sept. 29 — Bleeding Through, Blue Moose Tap House, Iowa City
Sept. 30 — Alan Jackson, Tyson Events Center, Sioux City
Oct. 6 — Joan Baez, Englert Theater, Iowa City
Oct. 10 — Los Lobos, Surf Ballroom, Clear Lake
Oct. 15 — Buddy Guy, Surf Ballroom, Clear Lake
Oct. 27 — Third Day, TobyMac, U.S. Cellular Center, Cedar Rapids
Nov. 4 — Band of Heathens, Redstone Room, Davenport
Nov. 19 — John Michael Montgomery, Wild Rose Casino, Clinton CV



By Jared Curtis

Who’s ready for some theater? The fall is the unofficial start of the new season, and theaters around the metro are gearing up for some great shows. The Civic Center of Greater Des Moines kicks off its season with “9 to 5 The Musical” and follows that up with “Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s Mary Poppins.”

The Des Moines Playhouse already kicked off its season earlier this summer with “Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” but they are hosting two shows before the New Year, “The Drowsy Chaperone” and “Duck Hunter Shoots Angels.”

StageWest offers “Bill W. and Dr. Bob,” the true story of the two founders of Alcoholics Anonymous. This is the 75th anniversary of the founding of AA, and the production is sponsored by the Powell Chemical Dependency Center at Iowa Lutheran Hospital. StageWest’s regular season begins in October with “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.”

Also keep an eye on shows from Tallgrass (“Three Changes”), Repertory Theater of Iowa (“Agnes of God,” “The Woman in Black” and “A Christmas Carol”) and a plethora of shows being presented at the Des Moines Social Club including “Americana Absurdum,” “Pillowman” and “Blackbird.”

We will also say goodbye to CHANGE, which closes its curtain for the last time after the September performance of “The (Concluding?) Amazing Adventures of Nigel & Bridgette.”

The local talent is on par with touring productions, so regardless where you see a performance, you’ll be entertained. Don’t take my word for it, get out and enjoy the shows.


The Civic Center of Greater Des Moines
221 Walnut St.

Oct. 12 – 17: “9 to 5 The Musical”
Nov. 26 – Dec. 12: “Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s Mary Poppins”


Des Moines Playhouse
831 42nd St.

Sept. 10 – Oct. 3: “The Drowsy Chaperone”
Nov. 5-21: “Duck Hunter Shoots Angel”


Stage West
At the Civic Center’s Stoner Theatre

Sept. 17 – 26: “Bill W. and Dr. Bob”
Oct. 8 – 24: “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”
Dec. 3-12: “The Seafarer”


Grand View University’s Viking Theatre, 2811 E. 14th St.

Sept. 10-19: “The (Concluding?) Amazing Adventures of Nigel & Bridgette.”


Tallgrass Theatre Company
Rex Mathis Auditorium, 1401 Vine St. West Des Moines

Oct. 1-16: “Three Changes”


Des Moines Social Club
1408 Locust St.

Sept. 9-12, 16-17, 19: “Americana Absurdum” presented by Locust Productions
Oct. 7 – 16: “Agnes of God” presented by the Repertory Theater of Iowa
Oct 22-31: “Pillowman” presented by Mooncoin Prodcutions
Nov. 11-21: “Blackbird” presented by Locust Productions
Dec 9-23: “Christmas Carol” presented by the Repertory Theater of Iowa


The Repertory Theater of Iowa

Oct. 7 – 16: “Agnes of God”
Oct. 26 – 30: “The Woman in Black”
Dec. 9 – 23: “A Christmas Carol”


DMACC Huff Theatre
DMCC Campus, Building 6, 2006 South Ankeny Blvd., Ankeny

Sept. 9-10: “Hotel Paradise”
Nov. 18-19: “Radio Play”


Drake University
Theatre Department

Nov. 11 – 14: “Bare”
Dec. 2, 4-5: “Smoking Lesson”
Dec. 3-5: “The Prisoner of Second Avenue”


Simpson College
Theatre Simpson

Oct. 8-10, 15-17: “Betrayal”
Nov. 19-20: “The Learned Ladies”


Actors, Inc.
120 Abraham Drive, Ames

Sept. 17 – Oct. 3: “Harvey”


Iowa State University
Theatre Department

Oct. 1-3, 8-10: “Orpheus Descending”
Nov. 5-7, 12-14: “Arabian Nights”
Dec. 3-5, 10-12: “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown”


Iowa State Center
Season at Stephens Auditorium

Oct. 8: “Legally Blonde”
Oct. 22: “Spring Awakening”
Dec.10-12: “The Nutcracker Ballet”


Boone Community Theatre
Playhouse and Center for the Arts, 106 S. Webster St., Boone

Sept. 10-12, 17-18: “All the Kings Women”
Oct. 22-24, 29-30: “Sunshine Behind the Clouds”
Dec. 2-5, 11-12: “Finding December”



CHANGE hosts one last hurrah

By Jared Curtis

Formed in July of 2004, Theater…for a CHANGE or CHANGE mounted its inaugural production with the one-man show, “Clarence Darrow.” From then on, the theater company strived to bring unique voices and interesting ideas to local fans. In September CHANGE will host its final show, “The (Concluding?) Amazing Adventures of Nigel & Bridgette.”

“After six years and more than two dozen plays, almost two dozen tributes to television classics, several Shakespeare productions and the fringes and so forth, we are bringing the curtain down,” said Thatcher Williams, artistic director.

The number of local theater companies have continually grown over the years, and Williams is happy to see the numerous theater offerings throughout the area.

“When I started Theater ... for CHANGE in late summer 2004, the pickings for locally produced live theatre were, for the most part, the Des Moines Playhouse, the Drama Workshop, StageWest, the Ingersoll Dinner Theatre, Shakespeare at Salisbury House and a few independent productions here and there,” he said. “At about the same time we started, Tallgrass Theatre and Repertory Theater of Iowa (RTI) were being created, as well. Since then, we have seen Ingersoll close, the Drama Workshop go dark and merge into RTI. But Tallgrass continues to move forward, the Des Moines Social Club has come about with their in-house productions, Mooncoin has started, RTI has taken the lead at Shakespeare at Salisbury House, Iowa Shakespeare Experience has been founded and StageWest has expanded its season. You also see a growth of sketch comedy troupes, along with other independent theatre productions being mounted. So the growth I was looking for six years ago is occurring, and productions I wanted to see are being produced.”

In September, CHANGE will host its last show, the fan favorite, “The (Concluding?) Amazing Adventures of Nigel & Bridgette.” The show is described as “a mixture of ‘Fawlty Towers,’ a modicum of ‘Monty Python,’ a granule of ‘Good Neighbors,’ a dash of ‘Dr. Who,’ a pinch of ‘The Prisoner,’ a scrap of ‘Star Trek,’ Elvis Presley, Ouija Boards, alternate dimensions, overdue 17th Century library books, mysterious catacombs and of course, pirates.”

“We’re very glad that ‘Nigel & Bridgette’ will be the last production for CHANGE as we feel the show, from its creation to its conclusion absolutely embodies Thatcher’s vision for the company and CHANGE’s mission statement,” said co-creator Susan Gulbranson, who plays Bridgette. “While we’re saddened for the curtain on the company, we are excited for Thatcher’s upcoming endeavors and thrilled for the future of creative theater in Des Moines.”

Williams will now spend his time building and expanding the 711 Theatre Project.

“The focus in the coming years will be the 711 Theatre Project every June and all activities surrounding this theatre community event. It’s a chance for theatre artists to get together and build ideas off of each other,” Williams said. “CHANGE had a fantastic run, and we are thankful for all of the support and for all the fans that attended our shows. We’ve seen firsthand the blooming and growth of the artistic community, and it is a fantastic sight.”

CHANGE hosts its final show, “The (Concluding?) Amazing Adventures of Nigel & Bridgette,” Sept. 10-19. Tickets are $10-$12 available through www.midwestix.com or at the Viking Theatre Box Office. Enjoy Tuesday Thrifty Theatre for one night only on Tuesday, Sept. 14, with $5 tickets (tickets are only available at the box office the night of the performance). CV


Caption: CHANGE hosts its final show, “The (Concluding?) Amazing Adventures of Nigel & Bridgette,” Sept. 10-19. Tickets are $10-$12. For more information, visit www.theaterforachange.com or www.nigelbridgette.com.



By Matt Miller

Are you ready for fall? This summer has been an absolute scorcher when it comes to temperatures. Mix that with severe storms and flash flooding, and we can all agree that Sept. 23 — the first day of fall — can’t arrive soon enough. While summertime provided central Iowans with an array of events, be it participatory, spectator and everything in-between, fall has just has many, if not more, opportunities. The upcoming weeks and months are filled with recreational possibilities to keep you busy until those snowflakes start falling.

Here’s a look at some of the season’s best recreational opportunities in central Iowa.



Polk County Conservation Department

Sept. 9, 12 — Monarch butterflies are one of nature’s most beautiful creatures. Learn about their amazing life cycle and how and why they are tagged during Monarch tagging at Fort Des Moines Park, Shelter No. 1. The event runs from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 7 and 2 to 3:30 p.m. on Sept. 12. All ages welcome. Visit www.conservationboard.org or call 286-3000.

Sept. 18 — Want to give geocaching a try? Geocaching is a high-tech scavenger hunt using GPS. Learn the basics and try finding several geocaches hidden just for you in Easter Lake Park. GPS units will be provided. The pre-registration deadline is Sept. 10. Minimum age is 8. Admission is $5. The hunt runs from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at Easter Lake Park in Shelter No. 2.

Oct. 5 — Discover how Iowa was made at the Jester Park Lodge, 11407 Northwest Jest Park Drive. Learn about Iowa’s rocks, minerals and fossils. Then see how rocks tell the geological history of the state, how it was formed and why it looks the way it does today. All ages welcome. Visit www.jesterparklodge.com.

Oct. 27 — Music on the Mississippi Bus Tour. Spend the day enjoying classic oldies music floating down the scenic Mississippi River aboard the Celebration Belle. From 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Admission is $85, which includes transportation, lunch and entrance fees. Departure is from Prairie Meadows Parking Lot 1 in Altoona. Registration deadline is Sept. 27. Visit www.celebrationbelle.com.


Events and Festivals

Aug. 28 — Cityview’s Traveling Tailgate Party. It’s almost football season, so gather your friends and participate in Cityview’s inaugural Traveling Tailgate Party. Kickoff begins at 11 a.m. at Down Under, 8350 Hickman Road in Clive with beer, brats, burgers and games. From 1 to 5 p.m. participants will visit a number of participating sports bars including Down Under, Daytona’s, OverTime, Trophy’s, 4th Down and more. Wear your favorite team jersey. Prizes include a keg party at Down Under, tickets to the Iowa vs. Iowa State game and more. Advance tickets are $15 or $20 the day of. Register at www.dmcityview.com.


Sept. 4-5 — Latino Heritage Festival. The eighth annual Latino Heritage Festival will be held at the Des Moines Water Works Park. The festival includes music, exhibitors, talent search, children’s activities, poster contest, food, dance, live entertainment and the fourth Annual Latino Talent Search. The event is the largest Latino Festival in the state and is also the largest ethnic event. The festival helps celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. Admission is $5 for adults and children ages 3 to 12 are $1. Festival dates are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday. Visit www.latinoheritagefestival.org.


Sept. 4-6, 11-12, 18-19 — The Des Moines Renaissance Faire. Over the course of three weekends, the fifth annual Des Moines Renaissance Faire includes “Knights, Barbarians and Heroes,” “Scots, Britons and Irish” and “Pirates, Persians and Buccaneers.” Visit www.dmrenfaire.com.


Sept. 11-12 — 2010 Des Moines Kennel Club Dog Show. The Des Moines Kennel Club strives to improve the health, temperament and quality of purebred dogs. The two-day all breed show with obedience and rally will take place in the Varied Industries Building on the Iowa State Fairgrounds, East 30th and Grand Ave. Visit http://desmoineskennelclub.com.


Sept. 12 — Concours D’Elegance. Celebrating the art and design of fine automobiles, the second annual concours d’Elegance will feature classic era automobiles. Various Frank Lloyd Wright cars will be on display coinciding with the 2010 theme “Art and Design.” The museum will be open for tours throughout the day. The event runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is $15 for adults, youth ages 13 through college (with a valid student I.D.) are $5 and children ages 12 and under are free. Visit www.salisburyconcours.com.


Sept. 17-18 — Beaverdale Fall Festival. The Beaverdale Fall Festival Parade begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday at First Federated Church (48th and Franklin). The family-friendly event has rides, food, non-food vendors, music and fireworks. Visit www.fallfestival.org.


Sept. 24-25 — Des Moines’ Oktoberfest. The seventh annual Oktoberfest will be held on Fourth Street and will include tented beer gardens, Polka bands, authentic German food, contests and more. This year’s theme is “More German Zan Ever.” The Tapping of the Golden Keg will be held at 4 p.m. on Friday. Hours are 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. both days. Admission is $10. Visit www.oktoberfestdsm.com.


Sept. 24-25 — Artstop. Artstop is a cooperative event connecting The Historic East Village, Historic Valley Junction, Roosevelt Culture District, Heritage Art Gallery, Gateway West and Ingersoll Avenue. The two-day visual and performing arts event will feature special exhibits, art openings, performances, artists’ studio tours, lectures and other special events. Visit www.artstopinfo.com.


Sept. 25 — Drake Dogtown Festival. Admission is free and the event runs from 11 to 8 p.m. The event includes children’s games, youth basketball shooting, face painting, vendor booths, artwork, bicycle tours, hair show, bicycle show, beer garden and live entertainment.


Oct. 8 — Cityview Martini Fest. Save the date and visit West Glen Town Center to sample a number of martinis. The event runs from 5 to 9 p.m. and will include fresh cuisine, chic retail and live entertainment. Order tickets at www.dmcityview.com.

Oct. 8-10 — U.S. Cellular World Food Festival. This free festival is Des Moines’ premiere taste and entertainment event. The festival celebrates Iowa’s unique and diverse culinary traditions and is located in Des Moines’ East Village. Visit www.worldfoodfestival.org.


Oct. 13-15 — World Food Prize. The 2010 World Food Prize event will include the 2010 Borlaug Dialogue with the theme, “Take it to the Farmer: Reaching the World’s Smallholders.” The event also includes the 2010 World Food Price Laureate Award Ceremony to honor Rev. David Beckman, president of Bread for the World, and Jo Luck, president of Heifer International. The event begins at 7 p.m. The two will receive the prize for their landmark achievements in building two of the world’s most foremost grassroots organizations. Visit www.worldfoodprize.org.


Oct. 16 — Living History Farms’ Farmstasia: A Haunted Hoedown. This year’s theme is “Haunted Hoedown,” a festival of Living History Farms’ first fund-raising event held 40 years ago. The event, which runs from 6 to 9 p.m., is a casually elegant fund-raising dinner/auction, centered on the historic Flynn Barn and modern Visitor Center. Proceeds from the event will benefit Living History Farms’ education and outreach programs. Visit www.lhf.org.


Oct. 16-17 — Great Iowa Pet Expo. Promoting the health and well-being of Iowa’s companion animals, the Great Iowa Pet Expo is the state’s biggest celebration of pets, pet owners, pet stuff and more. Admission is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors, $3 for children ages 6 to 12 and children five and under are free. The event will be held at the 4-H Building on the Iowa State Fairgrounds. Visit www.greatiowapetexpo.com.


Nov. 24-28 — Blank Children’s Hospital Festival of Trees and Lights. The five-day event will be held at the Polk County Convention Complex. The event helps children and families in central Iowa through the support of Child Life and the Center for Advocacy and Outreach. Tickets are $5 and children ages 2 and under are free. Thus far, the Festival of Trees and Lights has provided more than $4.6 million in financial aid for childcare, special programs and projects. Visit www.festivaloftrees.com.


Nov. 26 — Holiday Lights Des Moines. Tis the season to be jolly as the Holiday Lights Des Moines welcomes in the season. The event runs from 4 to 7 p.m. with the “Flip the Switch” at 6:25 p.m., followed by fireworks. The event takes place at the Brenton Skating Plaza. Admission is free to attend and will include live entertainment, carriage rides, seasonal food vendors and an appearance by Santa Claus. Visit www.downtowneventsgroup.com.


Participatory events

Aug. 28 — Iowa Governor’s Cup Race/Walk. The annual fund-raiser, hosted by Gov. Chet Culver and Mari Culver, include a 5K run, 8K run, 5K walk and kid’s race. The event will include live entertainment, healthy competition and prize drawings for everyone racing. Registration is $30. Register at www.iagovcup.com.

Aug. 28-29 — Bike MS: Cruise the Cornfields 2010. One of five Bike MS (multiple sclerosis) events hosted by the North Central States Chapter, the two-day bike ride travels Iowa’s countryside from Ankeny (DMACC Building) to Marshalltown (Riverview Park). Details include $30 to register, which pays for all food, beverages and support on the ride; $200 minimum fundraising goal ($100 for riders ages 18 and younger). Riders will be treated to breakfast each morning, complimentary food and beverages, all while raising awareness and funds to create a world free of multiple sclerosis. Create a team, join an existing team, register as an individual or sponsor a rider at http://bikenth.nationalmssociety.org or call 270-6337.


Sept. 4 — Walk a Mile in Their Shoes walk-a-thon. The second-annual walk will take place from 9 a.m. to noon at Copper Creek Lake and Park in Pleasant Hill. All proceeds will benefit Hope Ministries’ programs and services to homeless men, women and children. Registration begins at 9 a.m. For more information and to register, visit www.hopeiowa.org.


Sept. 19 — Out of Darkness Walk. According to the Iowa Department of Public Health, suicide is the second leading cause of death for Iowans between the ages of 15 and 40. Help ongoing efforts with research, education and preventative initiatives by participating in the walk at DMACC Lake, Building No. 7 in Ankeny. The walk is one of five scheduled across Iowa between August and October. The event is scheduled from 1:30 to 4 p.m. To register, visit www.outofthedarkness.org.

Oct. 2 — Rip’s B.A.D. Ride. B.A.D. — Bikers Against Diabetes — is the motorcycle fund-raising ride and family festival of the American Diabetes Association. The event includes riding, entertainment, food, activities and more. Create a team, join a team or sponsor a biker at http://badride.diabetes.org.

Oct. 9 — Light the Night Walk. Coming together to raise funds for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, the 1.5-mil walk will take place in West Glen, 5525 Mills Civic Parkway. Check-in and the opening ceremony are at 5:30 p.m., and the walk begins at 7:30 p.m. Register at www.lightthenight.org.


Oct. 9-10 — Iowa Momentum magazine Honey Creek Fall Cycling Festival. Iowa Momentum magazine, and host, Brian Duffy, invite cyclists to Honey Creek Resort on Lake Rathbun for a weekend of bike rides. Rides include a 100-mile ride, 35-mile ride, kid’s rides and a couple of gravel road rides. Saturday morning includes registration and packet pick-up, the Midwest Gravel Road Marathon Championship and Metric Century races, kid’s trail ride, cocktail hour and dinner. Following dinner, a slideshow, entertainment and awards presentation take place. Sunday features a 35-mile ride around Lake Rathbun. Registration is $75 and covers two days of riding a buffet ticket for dinner on Saturday night. Call 255-7047 or e-mail dave@bikeworld.com. Visit www.tworiverstouringco.blogspot.com.


Oct. 17 — IMT Des Moines Marathon. Races include Kid’s Run, half marathon, five-person marathon relay challenge and Principal Financial Group 5K Road Race. Cityview’s “Best Running Event” hits the pavement again. Visit www.desmoinesmarathon.com.


Oct. 23 — Race for the Cure. Whether you’re celebrating survivorship or honoring those who have lost their breast cancer battle, participants raise awareness and funds needed to fight the life-threatening disease. Register as an individual, start or join a team. This year’s goal is $250,000. The 19th annual event will kick off at the State Capitol Grounds at Grand Avenue and East 9th Street. Visit www.komendesmoines.org.

Especially for kids


Oct. 2-3 —Living History Farm’s Family Weekend. The historic farm will treat guests to horse-drawn wagon rides; enjoy fruits of fall, make apple butter, crank the cider press and more. Music, children’s games and crafts will also be included. Visit www.lhf.org.


Oct. 21-24, 28-31 — Blank Park Zoo’s Night Eyes. The 20th annual Night Eyes creeps into Blank Park Zoo as participants dress in their favorite costume and trick or treat throughout the zoo. Tickets are $5 at the door and $4 for Zoo members. Children under age 1 are free. Visit www.blankparkzoo.com.


Oct. 21-24, 28-31 — Living History Farms’ Family Halloween Nights. The non-scary family event features horse-drawn wagon rides, marshmallow roast, jack-o-lantern displays and more. Admission is $5 per person or $4.50 for Living History Farm members. Visit www.lhf.org.


Dec. 31 — GuideOne ImaginEve. Forget the booze. Des Moines’ premier free, non-alcoholic family New Year’s Eve celebration will bring in 2011 safe and sound. The event, which runs from 4 to 8 p.m., will have inflatable rides, clowns, balloon artists, games, prizes, fireworks and more. Admission is free and takes place at Hy-Vee Hall. Visit www.downtowndesmoines.com/events.


Spectator Sports

Iowa Speedway
3333 Rusty Wallace Drive, Newton
(641) 791-8000
Sept. 19 — Iowa Speedway: Show ‘n’ Shine. The fourth annual Show ‘n’ Shine will take place at the Iowa Speedway. Car show set-up is from 10 a.m. to noon; car show is from noon to 5 p.m.; Charity Laps is 3 to 5 p.m. and awards begin at 4 p.m. Pre-register at www.iowaspeedway.com. Admission is $10 per carload and $25 for charity pace lap rides. Visit www.iowaspeedway.com.


Iowa Football
Kinnick Stadium
(319) 335-9327

Sept. 4 – vs. Eastern Illinois (11:05 a.m.)
Sept. 11 – vs. Iowa State (2:35 p.m.)
Sept. 25 – vs. Ball State (TBA)
Oct. 2 – vs. Penn State (7:05 p.m.)
Oct. 23 – vs. Wisconsin (TBA)
Oct. 30 – vs. Michigan St. (TBA)
Nov. 20 – vs. Ohio State (TBA)


Iowa State Football
Jack Trice Stadium
(515) 294-1816

Sept. 2 – vs. Northern Illinois (7 p.m.)
Sept. 25 – vs. Northern Iowa (6 p.m.)
Oct. 2 – vs. Texas Tech (TBA)
Oct. 9 – vs. Utah (TBA)
Oct. 30 – vs. Kansas (TBA)
Nov. 6 – vs. Nebraska (TBA)
Nov. 20 – vs. Missouri (TBA)


UNI Football
UNI Dome, all games are at 4:05 p.m. unless otherwise noted.
(319) 273-4849

Sept. 11 – vs. North Dakota State (6:37 p.m.)
Sept. 18 – vs. Stephen F. Austin
Oct. 2 – vs. South Dakota State
Oct. 23 – vs. Illinois State
Nov. 13 – vs. Missouri State


Grand View University Football
Williams Stadium, all games at 1 p.m.

Aug. 28 – vs. Black Hills State University
Sept. 18 – vs. Marian College
Sept. 25 – vs. Waldorf College
Oct. 9 – vs. Quincy University
Oct. 30 – vs. Iowa Wesleyan College


Simpson Football
Bill Buxton Stadium, all games at 1 p.m. unless otherwise noted.

Sept. 4 – vs. Bethel
Sept. 18 – vs. Loras
Oct. 2 – vs. Luther (2 p.m.)
Oct. 23 – vs. Coe
Nov. 13 – vs. Wartburg


Des Moines Buccaneers Hockey
Buccaneer Arena, home games are at 7:05 p.m. unless otherwise noted.

Oct. 1 – vs. Youngstown Phantoms
Oct. 9 – vs. Green Bay Gamblers
Oct. 15 – vs. Dubuque Fighting Saints
Oct. 22 – vs. Sioux City Musketeers
Nov. 5 – vs. Chicago Steel
Nov. 6 – vs. Cedar Rapids Roughriders
Nov. 12 – vs. Muskegon Lumberjacks
Nov. 13 – vs. Waterloo Black Hawks
Dec. 3 – vs. Green Bay Gamblers
Dec. 4 – vs. Lincoln Stars (TBA)
Dec. 17 – vs. Waterloo Black Hawks
Dec. 18 – vs. Dubuque Fighting Saints
Jan. 8 – vs. Tri-City Storm
Jan. 22 – vs. Muskegon Lumberjacks
Jan. 25 – vs. Cedar Rapids RoughRiders
Jan. 28 – vs. Fargo Force
Jan. 29 – vs. Indiana Ice
Feb. 4 – vs. Cedar Rapids RoughRiders
Feb. 12 – vs. Waterloo Black Hawks
Feb. 19 – vs. Indiana Ice
Feb. 22 – vs. Waterloo Black Hawks
Feb. 26 – vs. Sioux Falls Stampede
March 11 – vs. Team USA
March 12 – vs. Omaha Lancers
March 22 – vs. Cedar Rapids RoughRiders
April 2 – vs. Chicago Steel
April 5 – vs. Youngstown Phantoms
April 8 – vs. Team USA
April 9 – vs. Green Bay Gamblers


Iowa Energy Basketball
Wells Fargo Arena, all games are at 8 p.m. unless otherwise noted.

Nov. 20 – vs. Dakota Wizards
Nov. 22 – vs. Dakota Wizards
Dec. 1 – vs. Sioux Falls Skyforce
Dec. 5 – vs. Dakota Wizards
Dec. 10 – vs. New Mexico Thunderbirds
Dec. 12 – vs. New Mexico Thunderbirds
Dec. 17 – vs. Erie BayHawks
Dec. 23 – vs. Maine Red Claws
Dec. 25 – vs. Erie BayHawks
Jan. 16 – vs. Fort Wayne Mad Ants
Jan. 22 – vs. Reno Bighorns
Jan. 23 – vs. Reno Bighorns
Jan. 28 – vs. Rio Grande Valley
Jan. 29 – vs. Rio Grande Valley
Feb. 4 – vs. Sioux Falls Skyforce
Feb. 5 – vs. Utah Flash
Feb. 11 – vs. Dakota Wizards
Feb. 12 – vs. Dakota Wizards
Feb. 24 – vs. Sioux Falls Skyforce
Feb. 25 – vs. Sioux Falls Skyforce
March 6 – vs. Idaho Stampede
March 13 – vs. Erie BayHawks
March 18 – vs. Sioux Falls Skyforce
March 20 – vs. Fort Wayne Mad Ants


Farmers’ Markets

Ames Farmers’ Market — Through Oct. 30, Thursday 2-7 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m.-1 p.m. 526 Main St. www.amesfarmersmarket.com.

Downtown Farmers’ Market — Through Oct. 30, Saturday 7 a.m.-noon, Court Avenue District and 4th Street. www.desmoinesfarmersmarket.com, 286-4928.

Drake Neighborhood Farmers’ Market — Through Sept. 29, Wednesday 4-7 p.m., 25th Street and University Avenue (parking lot of First Christian Church), www.drakefarmersmarket.com.

Des Moines, East Farmers’ Market — Through Oct. 30, Tuesday 3-6 p.m., 3200 Delaware Ave. 288-1735.

Des Moines, Highland Farmers’ Market — Through Oct. 14, Thursdays 4-7 p.m. Sixth Street. 288-1735.

Ingersoll Farmers’ Market — Through September, Tuesday 4-6 p.m., 2700 Ingersoll Ave.
Johnston Farmers’ Market — Through September, Tuesday 3-7 p.m., 6221 Merle Hay Road.

Parks Neighborhood Market — Through September, Thursday 4-6 p.m., 147 E. Euclid St.

Uptown Ankeny Farmers’ Market — Through Sept. 15, Saturdays 8 a.m. to noon. Corner of S.W. Third Street and Maple Street. www.uptownankeny.org, 963-1897.

Urbandale Farmers’ Market — Through Oct. 6, Wednesday 4-7 p.m., 11121 Hickman Road. www.lhf.org. 278-5286.

Valley Junction Farmers’ Market — Through Oct. 30, Thursday 4-8 p.m., Fifth Street, West Des Moines, www.valleyjunction.com, 222-3642.

Waukee Farmers’ Market — Through Sept. 30, Wednesday 4-7 p.m., Triangle Park, Walnut and Sixth streets, www.waukee.org, 987-4522.

West Glen Farmers’ Market — Through Aug. 28, Saturday 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Avenue of the Arts (one street north of Mills Civic Parkway), www.westglentowncenter.com, 223-7885 or 564-7508. CV



The shows go on

Des Moines Renaissance Faire overcomes flooding to continue its fifth year

This month’s flash floods along Four Mile Creek have created a number of major headaches for homeowners and businesses, including Sleepy Hollow Sports Park. The 60-acre, year-round sports recreation complex has been inundated with flood water, leaving five feet of standing water in some places. While the water has receded, the problems it has caused have left those in charge of the annual Des Moines Renaissance Faire scrambling to make sure the grounds are ready for the cultural event.

“We experienced flooding in 2008, but nothing like what we saw a few weeks ago,” said Max Kenkel, general manager at Sleepy Hollow Sports Park. “Right now we’re cleaning up the mud and getting rid of the water marks. Granted, no one died or lost a home here, but at the same time, the buildings out here were constructed with flooding in mind. The floodwaters aren’t going to keep us away.”

That type of attitude displayed by Kenkel and others working diligently on the olde English castle town is what has made the event so successful. This year marks the fifth annual Des Moines Renaissance Faire (www.dmrenfaire.com), which is scheduled for the first three weekends of September — Sept. 4-6, 11-12 and 18-19. Celebrating European history and culture during that time period, the three weekend themes are “Knights, Barbarians and Heroes,” “Scots, Britons and Irish” and “Pirates, Persians and Buccaneers.” There will be a bevy of entertainment, food, beer, costumed characters, rides and much more.

“There’s something here for everyone,” Kenkel said. “There will be bawdy humor and women in tight corsets. But at the same time, we have a Children’s Realm with activities specifically for children and women. The Faire is special because it goes back in time so visitors can enjoy the past. There’s so much to do; there’s no way to see every show in one day.”

Faire officials state this year’s event will focus on the Burning Man tradition with fire juggling, fire dance, fire breathing and choreography with fire. Additionally, there will be more than 25 stage shows daily throughout the grounds, as well as hands-on activities, exhibits, demonstrations and more. Other highlights include more than 100 performances daily including pirate, juggling, magic, music and comedy. There will also be more than 300 costumed characters and 50 artisan merchants and food vendors. One large draw to the Faire are the national acts, including the equestrian jousting show “JoustEvolution.” Twelve members make up the Joust Evolution, which is in its fourth season of performances. It is considered one of the region’s best jousting, combat student and live equestrian spectacles.

“JoustEvolution” is one of our most popular events,” Kenkel said. “It’s a very well-attended event.”

National acts also scheduled to perform are the adult comedy fairy tale “Charming and Dashing,” the “Scrap-n-Wolf Fire Comedy” and the “Three Musketeers Show.”

Entering its fifth year, Kenkel says the Des Moines Renaissance Faire has found its niche among other Renaissance Faires throughout the United States.

“Minneapolis and Kansas City both have large Renaissance Faires,” Kenkel said. “I think I’ve seen license plates here from all but Alaska and Hawaii. That means people are hearing about the Faire and are enjoying it. This year is special, because even with the floods, the shows must still go on.” CV — Matt Miller



By Jared Curtis

After one of the worst film summers ever (except for “Inception,” “The Expendables” and “Piranha 3-D”), we finally have some good titles arriving in theaters this fall. There are plenty of sequels including “Jackass 3D,” “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps,” “Tron: Legacy,” “Resident Evil: Afterlife,” “Little Fockers,” “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest,” and the beginning of the end for Harry Potter and crew with “Harry Potter and The Deathly Hollows.” We finally see if Joaquin Phoenix really went crazy, or if it was all an act in the documentary “I’m Still Here.” And everyone’s favorite leading man, George Clooney, takes on the role of a hitman in “The American.” Add in Zach Snyder’s (“Watchmen,” “Sucker Punch”) animated opus “Legends of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole,” and there is something for everybody. Horror movies are always present in the fall, and this Halloween, theaters will be filled with films including “Skyline,” “Monsters,” “My Soul to Take (the return of Wes Craven?),” “Devil” and hopefully the last time we see Jigsaw in “Saw 3D.” Oh, and don’t forget about the unnecessary sequel to one of the most over-hyped movies of all time, “Paranormal Activity 2.” Don’t fret, there are plenty of films to be seen between the two best of the season (“Machete” and “Black Swan”).

I recommend checking out the following 10 films. An entire list of fall releases follows.


Sept. 3
Directed by Robert Rodriguez and Ethan Maniquis, starring Danny Trejo, Robert De Niro, Jessica Alba and Cheech Marin

Looks like “they fucked with the wrong Mexican!” From a fake trailer in “Grindhouse” to a full-length movie, Machete proves that the power of the fans is still prominent. Easily the best fake trailer (although Eli Roth’s “Thanksgiving” was pretty damn good) created for “Grindhouse,” Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino throwback to ’70s and ’80s sleeze, “Machete” struck a chord with audiences due to its over-the-top Mexploitation vibe and its leading man, Danny Trejo. Trejo has become one of the most recognizable character actors of his time, due to his tough guy attitude and the giant lady tattooed on his chest. And finally after years of playing second, third or fourth fiddle, he deservedly gets his time to shine. Trejo stars as Machete, an ex-federale who was hired to kill a senator. But he is doubled crossed and almost killed himself. After recovering, he heads out on a path of vengeance, destroying any man in his path. Along with Trejo, the cast is packed with great performers including Robert De Niro, Jessica Alba, Jeff Fahey, Michelle Rodriguez, Don Johnson, Steven Segal, Lindsay Lohan and Cheech Marin as Machete’s priest brother, who asks the Lord for forgiveness as he blasts bad guys with double-barrel shotguns. There won’t be a wilder ride this fall, so make sure to engulf yourself in the outlandishness that is “Machete.”


‘The Town’
Sept. 17
Directed by Ben Affleck, starring Ben Affleck, Jeremy Renner, Rebecca Hall and Blake Lively

Ben Affleck returns to the director’s chair for the first time since 2007’s “Gone Baby Gone” with another Boston-based thriller, “The Town.” The film follows Doug MacRay (Affleck), a long-time thief who is planning his next job with his crew including Jem (Jeremy Renner). He is also trying to balance his feelings for Claire (Rebecca Hall), a bank manager he took hostage in a previous heist. Since the crew wears masks, Claire never saw the face of her abductors, but Jem doesn’t like the fact that Doug is building feelings for her, since she is the lone person who could identify them to police. And to make matters worse, an FBI agent (Jon Hamm) is hot on the trail and looking for justice. The bank heist scenes reminded me of “Point Break,” which isn’t a bad thing. Affleck has had success behind the camera, so I’m all for taking a trip to “The Town.”


‘The Social Network’
Oct. 1
Directed by David Fincher, starring Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake and Rooney Mara

You’d be hard pressed to find someone who, in some way, is not connected to Facebook, the social networking king. But do you know how the site started? Or how the creator might have stolen the idea from someone else, becoming a billionaire in the process? The tagline for David Fincher’s (“Fight Club,” “Seven”) “The Social Network” says it all: “You Don’t Get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies.” In 2003, Harvard undergrad and computer programmer Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) sat down at his computer and created a global social network and changed the way we communicate by taking the college experience and putting it online. Six years and more than 500 million friends later, Zuckerberg became the youngest billionaire in history. But with his success comes both personal and legal problems, the likes he has never seen before.


‘I Spit On your Grave’
Oct. 8
Directed Steven R. Moore, starring Sarah Butler, Daniel Franzese, Chad Lindberg and Tracey Walter

The majority of remake films were perfect the first time, and there is no reason to tarnish their greatness. But there are a few films, if done right, that could use the upgrade. Last year’s “Last House On The Left” irritated me because the 1972 version was Wes Craven’s introduction to the world. Besides, its overpolished look ruined the grime and terror of the original. This year there are two remakes I’m still undecided on. The first is “Let Me In,” Matt Reeves’ (“Cloverfield”) version of the amazing 2008 Swedish film, “Let The Right One In.” I’m irritated because the original is so good, and the only reason I can think of for the American version is so people don’t have to read subtitles. Wake up America! The second remake I’m interested in is “I Spit on Your Grave.” I’m behind the retelling of the gruesomely sadistic 1978 film because the new director, Steven R. Moore, has balls. After numerous requests from the ratings board to cut down material to reach an R rating, Moore decided to release the film Unrated, which will hurt the number of theaters it opens in, but gives the film the true grit of the original. The film — about a girl who is brutally attacked, repeatedly raped and left for dead, but returns the favor with vengeance on the men who did her wrong — might not set well with some audiences. But hopefully “I Spit On Your Grave” will push the rating boundaries and make some money, teaching Hollywood not every movie needs a happy ending filled with gumdrops and rainbows.


Oct. 29
Directed by Gareth Edwards, starring Whitney Able, Scoot McNairy

Every season in my “10 Films to See” list, I hype a small film that is way off the radar. This year’s pick is a film from British director Gareth Edwards called “Monsters.” The film, made on a shoestring budget, follows Andrew (Scoot McNairy), a photojournalist searching for Samantha (Whitney Able), the daughter of his publisher in South America. But searching for her isn’t the hard part; it’s getting out of the area alive that’ll be a challenge. The back-story goes like this: several years ago, NASA found existence of alien life in our solar system. But when they tried to bring life back to Earth, the probe carrying it crashed between the U.S. and Mexico. This resulted in the rise of a dangerous race of aliens and a massive quarantine zone. The film was shot guerrilla style as the two characters road trip through the desolated land, trying to stay alive and avoid the aliens at all cost. The trailer looks amazing, and the scenes involving the aliens gave off the vibe of the creatures in “The Mist.” Although “Monsters” has some scary looking creatures, Edwards knows that strong and interesting characters make a movie better, and I’m looking forward to battling it out with “Monsters” this fall.


‘Due Date’
Nov. 5
Directed by Todd Phillips, starring Robert Downey Jr., Zach Galifianakis, Juliette Lewis and Danny McBride

Director Todd Phillips (“Road Trip,” “Old School”) returns with “Due Date,” his first film since “The Hangover.” Once again he teams up with funny man Zach Galifianakis, but this time he brings Robert Downey Jr. into the mix as completely opposite strangers who have to travel together so Downey Jr. can get home to his child’s birth in time. It has a “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” vibe, and Phillips seems to have a knack for making extremely funny movies. Add in a great supporting cast including Danny McBride, Jamie Foxx, Juliette Lewis, Alan Arkin, RZA and Matt Walsh, and “Due Date” will have you laughing long after the umbilical cord is cut.


Nov. 24
Directed by George Tillman Jr., starring Dwayne Johnson, Billy Bob Thornton, Tom Berenger and Moon Bloodgood

It’s about time Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson started playing the badass role again. For the last couple of years, he has been taking roles in more kid-friendly films instead of being the tough guy. “The Rundown” is a terrific action film, so I’m glad to see him crushing skulls again instead of kissing babies. “Faster” tells the story of Driver (Johnson), a recently released ex-con who sets out to avenge his brother’s death after they were double crossed in a heist years ago. While seeking revenge, he crosses paths with a veteran cop (Billy Bob Thorton) and an egocentric hit man (Oliver Jackson-Cohen), both looking to end his violent quest for justice.


‘Black Swan’
Dec. 1
Directed by Darren Aronofsky, starring Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Winona Ryder and Vincent Cassel

Darren Aronofsky (“The Wrestler,” “Requiem For A Dream”) is one of the best directors working today. The man has a vision like no other and has not made a bad film. His best, “The Fountain,” is a misunderstood masterpiece and was my pick for one of the best films of the decade (“Top 10 Films of the Decade,” Jan. 14). But with his new film, “Black Swan,” he has outdone himself. “Black Swan” is the tale of Nina (Natalie Portman), a ballerina in New York City. Her life is completely consumed with dance thanks to her mother, a former ballerina herself. But all the hard work pays off when Nina is chosen to replace Beth (Winonna Ryder) as the lead in Swan Lake. But a new dancer, Lily (Mila Kunis) catches the director’s (Vincent Cassel) eye, and trouble starts brewing. Nina fits the role of the white swan, innocence and grace, to perfection, but Lily personifies the qualities of the black swan, guile and sensuality, and the two begin a friendly rivalry. The pressure begins to build on Nina, and she begins to crack. The trailer is amazing, with hints at Nina’s madness and the lusty relationship between the two dancers. It gives off a Dario Argento vibe, whose classic horror film “Suspiria” revolved around a school of dance. But Aronofsky has gone further, creating a world of beauty and terror that captivated me from the moment I saw the trailer. Don’t miss “Black Swan.”


‘True Grit’
Dec. 25
Directed by Joel and Ethan Coen, starring Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, Josh Brolin and Hailee Steinfield

I’m not a huge fan of John Wayne, but he is the sacred cow in the remake game. So I was surprised when it was announced that Wayne’s film “True Grit” was heading back to the big screen with a new cast of characters. I assumed the worst, but actually got the best directors for the job — Joel and Ethan Coen. Jeff Bridges takes over the role of Marshal Reuben J. Cogburn, and his grizzled demeanor couldn’t be a better match. Cogburn is hired by a young girl (Hailee Steinfeld) to hunt Tom Chaney, (Josh Brolin) the man who killed her father. Soon they’re joined by a Texas Ranger (Matt Damon) who wants Chaney for his own reasons. The Coen Brothers know how to make a western (“No Country For Old Men”), and their choice to reteam with The Dude will really tie “True Grit” together.


Dec. 22
Directed by Sofia Coppola, starring Stephen Dorff, Elle Fanning, Michelle Monaghan and Laura Ramsey

Sofia Coppola (“The Virgin Suicides”) knows how to take a simple idea and turn into a beautiful film full of weight and substance. She turned a basic tale of man meets girl into an Oscar worthy film with “Lost in Translation,” and “Somewhere” seems like it could be of the same caliber. The story follows Johnny Marco (Stephen Dorff), a hard-partying Hollywood actor who lives the life of excess in the world famous Chateau Marmont. He gets a reality check though when his 11-year-old daughter (Elle Fanning) drops in unannounced, and his life totally changes.


Movie Release Schedule

Sept. 1
“The American” (d. Anton Corbijn, with George Clooney, Thekla Reuten and Violante Placido)

Sept. 3
“Machete” (d. Robert Rodriguez and Ethan Maniquis, with Danny Trejo, Jessica Alba and Robert De Niro)
“The Winning Season” (d. James C. Strouse, with Sam Rockwell, Emma Roberts and Rob Corddry)

Sept. 10
“I’m Still Here” (d. Casey Affleck, with Joaquin Phoenix)
“Resident Evil: Afterlife” (d. Paul W.S. Anderson, with Milla Jovovich, Ali Larter and Wentworth Miller)
“The Romantics” (d. Galt Niederhoffer, with Katie Holmes, Anna Paquin and Josh Duhamel)
“Expecting Mary” (d. Dan Gordon, with Olesya Rulin, Elliott Gould and Cloris Leachman)
“Legendary” (d. Mel Damski, with John Cena, Patricia Clarkson and Danny Glover)
“The Virginity Hit” (d. Huck Botko and Andrew Gurland, with Matt Bennett, Jacob Davich and Nicole Weaver)

Sept. 17
“The Town” (d. Ben Affleck, with Ben Affleck, Jeremy Renner and Jon Hamm)
“Jack Goes Boating” (d. Philip Seymour Hoffman, with Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Ryan and John Ortiz)
“Easy A” (d. Will Gluck, with Emma Stone, Penn Badgley and Amanda Bynes)
“Never Let Me Go” (d. Mark Romanek, with Carey Mulligan, Keira Knightly and Andrew Garfield)
“Alpha and Omega” (d. Anthony Bell and Ben Gluck, with the voices of Justin Long, Christina Ricci and Dennis Hopper)
“Catfish” (d. Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, with Nev Schulman)
“The Freebie” (d. Katie Aselton, with Katie Aselton, Leonora Gershman and Ken Kennedy)
“Devil” (d. Drew Dowdle and John Erick Dowdle, with Chris Messina, Bojana Novakovic and Geoffrey Arend)

Sept. 24
“Legends of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole” (d. Zack Snyder, with the voices of Hugo Weaving, Emile de Ravin and Ryan Kwanten)
“Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” (d. Oliver Stone, with Michael Douglas, Shia LaBeouf and Josh Brolin)
“Buried” (d. Rodrigo Cortes, with Ryan Reynolds, Samantha Mathis and Stephen Tobolowsky)
“Howl” (d. Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman, with James Franco, Todd Rotondi and David Strathaim)
“You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger” (d. Woody Allen, with Josh Brolin, Naomi Watts and Antonio Banderas)
“It’s Kind of a Funny Story” (d. Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, with Zach Galifianakis, Emma Roberts and Zoe Kravitz)
“Waiting for Superman” (d. Davis Guggenheim, with Geoffrey Canada, Michelle Rhee and Bill Strickland)
“You Again” (d. Andy Fickman, with Kristen Bell, Jamie Lee Curtis and Sigourney Weaver)

Oct. 1
“The Social Network” (d. David Fincher, with Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield and Justin Timberlake)
“Let Me In” (d. Matt Reeves, with Chloe Grace Moretz, Kodi Smit-McPhee and Richard Jenkins)
“Douchebag” (d. Drake Doremus, with Andrew Dickler, Ben York Jones and Marguerite Moreau)
“Freakonomics” (d. Heidi Ewing, Alex Gibney, Seth Gordon, Rachel Grady, Eugene Jarecki and Morgan Spurlock, with Zoe Sloane, Jade Viggiano and Greg Crowe)

Oct. 8
“I Spit on Your Grave” (d. Steve R. Moore, with Sarah Butler, Daniel Franzese and Chad Lindberg)
“Stone” (d. John Curran, with Edward Norton, Milla Jovovich and Robert De Niro)
“Down Terrace” (d. Ben Wheatley, with Robin Hill, Robert Hill and Julia Deakin)
“Inside Job” (d. Charles Ferguson, narrated by Matt Damon)
“Life As We Know It” (d. Greg Berlanti, with Katherine Heigl, Josh Duhamel and Josh Lucas)
“Nowhere Boy” (d. Sam Taylor-Wood, with Aaron Johnson, Kristin Scott Thomas and Sam Bell)
“Secretariat” (d. Randall Wallace, with Diane Lane, John Malkovich and Dylan Walsh)
“Tamara Drewe” (d. Stephen Frears, with Gemma Arterton, Dominic Cooper and Luke Evans)

Oct. 15
“Jackass 3-D” (d. Jeff Tremaine, with Johnny Knoxville, Steve-O and Bam Margera)
“Red” (d. Robert Schwentke, with Bruce Willis, John Malkovich and Helen Mirren)
“Conviction” (d. Tony Goldwyn, with Hillary Swank, Sam Rockwell and Peter Gallagher)
“Gerrymandering” (d. Jeff Reichert, with Ben Barnes, Gray Davis and Howard Dean)
“The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest” (d. Daniel Alfredson, with Noomi Rapce, Michael Nyqvist and Sofia Ledarp)

Oct. 22
“The Company Men” (d. John Wells, with Ben Affleck, Chris Cooper and Tommy Lee Jones)
“Hereafter” (d. Clint Eastwood, with matt Damon, Jay Mohr and Bryce Dallas Howard)
“Knucklehead” (d. Michael W. Watkins, with Kurt Doss, Raziel Jordan and Lurie Poston)
“Paranormal Activity 2” (d. Tod Williams, with Katie Featherston, Micah Sloat and Gabriel Liotta)

Oct. 29
“Monsters” (d. Gareth Edwards, with Whitney Able and Scoot McNairy)
“My Soul to Take” (d. Wes Craven, with Max Thieriot, Frank Grillo and Zena Gray)
“Saw 3-D” (d. Kevin Greutert, with Tobin Bell, Sean Patrick Flanery and Gina Holden)

Nov. 5
“127 Hours” (d. Danny Boyle, with James Franco, Lizzy Caplan and Amber Tamblyn)
“Due Date” (d. Todd Philips, with Robert Downey Jr., Zach Galifianakis and Jamie Foxx)
“Megamind” (d. Tom McGrath, with the voices of Will Ferrell, Tina Fey and Brad Pitt)
“Welcome to the Rileys” (d. Jake Scott, with Kristen Stewart, James Gandolfini and Melissa Leo)
“Fair Game” (d. Doug Liman, with Naomi Watts, Sean Penn and Ty Burrell)
“Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer” (d. Alex Gibney, with Eliot Spitzer)
“Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench” (d. Damien Chazelle, with Jason Palmer, Desiree Garcia and Sandha Khin)
“Wild Target” (d. Jonathan Lynn, with Bill Nighy, Emily Blunt and Rupert Everett)

Nov. 12
“Morning Glory” (d. Roger Mitchell, with Diane Keaton, Harrison Ford and Rachel McAdams)
“Skyline” (d. The Strause Brothers, with Eric Balfour, Donald Faison and Brittany Daniels)
“Tiny Furniture” (d. Lena Dunham, with Lena Dunham, Laurie Simmons and Grace Dunham)
“Unstoppable” (d. Tony Scott, with Denzel Washington, Chris Pine and Rosario Dawson)

Nov. 19
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows — Part 1” (d. David Yates, with Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint)
“Made in Dagenham” (d. Nigel Cole, with Miranda Richardson, Bob Hoskins and Rosamund Pike)
“The Next Three Days” (d. Paul Haggis, with Russell Crowe, Elizabeth Banks and Liam Neeson)
“White Material” (d. Claire Denis, with Isabelle Huppert, Christopher Lambert and William Nadylam)

Nov. 24
“Faster” (d. George Tillman Jr., with Dwayne Johnson, Billy Bob Thornton and Oliver Jackson-Cohen)
“Love and Other Drugs” (d. Edward Zwick, with Jake Gyllenhaal, Anne Hathaway and Hank Azaria)
“Burlesque” (d. Steve Antin, with Cher, Christina Aguilera and Alan Cumming)
“The King’s Speech” (d. Tom Hopper, with Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter)
“Tangled” (d. Nathan Greno and Byron Howard, with the voices of Mandy Moore, Zachary Levi and Ron Pearlman)

Dec. 1
“Black Swain” (d. Darren Aronofsky, with Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis and Winona Ryder)

Dec. 3
“Kids in America” (d. Michael Dowse, with Anna Faris, Michelle Trachtenberg and Topher Grace)
“Miral” (d. Julian Schnabel, with Freida Pinto, Hiam Abbass and Willem Dafoe)

Dec. 10
“The Tourist” (d. Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, with Johnny Deep, Angelina Jolie and Timothy Dalton)
“The Fighter” (d. David O. Russell, with Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale and Amy Adams)
“The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” (d. Michael Apted, with Ben Barnes, Skandar Keynes and Tony Nixon)
“The Tempest” (d. Julie Taymor, with Helen Mirren, Russell Brand and Djimon Hounsou)

Dec. 17
“TRON: Legacy” (d. Joseph Kosinski, with Jeff Bridges, Garrett Hedlund and Olivia Wilde)
“How Do You Know” (d. James L. Brooks, with Reese Witherspoon, Paul Rudd and Jack Nicholson)
“Yogi Bear” (d. Eric Brevig, with the voices of Dan Aykroyd, Justin Timberlake and Anna Faris)

Dec. 22
“Somewhere” (d. Sofia Coppola, with Stephen Dorff, Elle Fanning and Bencio Del Toro)
“Guiliver’s Travels” (d. Rob Letterman, with Jack Black, Jason Segel and Emily Blunt)
“Country Strong” (d. Shana Feste, with Gwyneth Paltrow, Tim McGraw and Leighton Meester)
“Little Fockers” (d. Paul Weitz, with Ben Stiller, Robert De Niro and Barbra Streisand)

Dec. 25
“True Grit” (d. Joel and Ethan Coen, with Matt Damon, Jeff Bridges and Josh Brolin)

Dec. 31
“The Debt” (d. John Madden, with Sam Worthington, Helen Mirren and Tom Wilkinson)
“Another Year” (d. Mike Leigh, with Jim Broadbent, Lesley Manville and Ruth Sheen)
“Blue Valentine” (d. Derek Cianfrance, with Ryan Gosling, Michelle Williams and Mike Vogel) CV



By Jim Duncan

Dire Fetes: fall exhibitions play grave tunes

For Des Moines’ art scene, fall is the sobering, back-to-work season that follows carefree summers packed with big festivals and light entertainments. This year’s autumnal calendar reinforces such sobriety with a barrage of deadly serious exhibitions.

Currently playing at Moberg Gallery, master painter Richard Kelley presents a pre-Apocalyptic vision of housing developments, traffic nightmares, mesmerizing women and escaped zoo animals. The Des Moines Art Center (DMAC) has a current show, “Kill Them Before They Multiply,” that is themed around visions of grave anxieties bonded by the common observation that growth, be it suburban sprawl or cell phone proliferation, is cancerous. Steven Vail Fine Arts’ continues its exhibition of deconstructed Scandinavian symphonies by Not Vital, a Swiss artist who cultivates his worldview in a mud hut in Niger.

More gravity is on the way, too. DMAC’s next major exhibition brings Jeanne Mammen’s street-smart visions of pre World War II nightclubs and prostitutes to Greenwood Park. By Halloween, her work will be joined there by an anthology show, “Bad Dreams,” that promises to be seriously disturbing. In late September, Olson-Larsen Galleries will premiere Sharon Booma‘s highly emotional paintings that attempt “to control the chaotic forces that control our lives.” The Cedar Rapids Museum of Art will feature “Goya’s Disasters of War,” with all the horror of war and none of its heroics nor romance.

As fall winds its way toward winter, lighter spirits begin to influence the muse of curators. Wendy Rolfe and Priscilla Steele will bring their earth goddess visions to Olson-Larsen. Frank Hansen’s latest pictorials on human frailty will follow Kelley at Moberg. Quilt Walk will keep Valley Junction in stitches and various artists’ studio spaces will host open houses during the holidays. Bill Luchsinger and Karen Strohbeen shall deck the holiday season with their latest meditations on beauty and prairie life.



(*APT* a special Art Pimp tout)


Recurring events & family attractions
• Thursday Night Art Walks in downtown Newton
• First Friday Art Walks, Fairfield Town Square


Special Events


Sept. 24-25
ArtStop (www.myspace.com/artstop, www.artstopinfo.com) A two-day visual and performing arts event, with shuttle busses to Valley Junction, East Village, Ingersoll, Gateway West and Roosevelt, but not Drake.

Oct. 1-3
Northeast Iowa Artists Studio Tour (Winneshiek County Convention and Visitors Bureau, (800) 463-4692, www.iowaarttour.com) Iowa’s original art studio tour takes places around Decorah‘s autumn majesty. APT.

Oct. 6-9
“Quilt Walk” Nine Historic Valley Junction merchants feature quilt-related exhibitions and demonstrations, and hosting opening receptions with artists.




Art Dive (1417 Walnut St., www.artdive.com) Des Moines’ original alternative gallery plans alternative exhibitions. Be surprised.

2AU (200 Fifth St., West Des Moines) Pearls reign this fall in Au’s effort to provide Art Deco comforts in a troubled year.

Finder’s Creepers (515 18th St. www.finderscreepers.com) Alternative to alternative.

Kavanaugh Gallery (131 Fifth St., West Des Moines, 279-8682, www.kavanaughgallery.com) Specializing in purchased estate collections, there’s no telling what you might find here.

Octagon Center for the Arts (427 Douglas Ave., Ames www.octagonarts.org)Usually a fabulous fiber art show each fall.

Susan Noland Studio Gallery (902 42nd St.) The psychological properties of gems are front and center in this master goldsmith’s repertoire.

Special Exhibitions

Olson-Larsen Galleries (203 Fifth St., West Des Moines, www.olsonlarsen.com)

Through Sept. 4
“Yuko Ishi, Ken Smith and Mary Merkel Hess” Ishi’s multimedia studies of birds are a bird watchers’ dream.

Sept. 24 — Nov. 27
“New Works by Sharon Booma” A rare one-person exhibit for Olson-Larsen. APT.

Oct. 22 — Nov. 27
“Kim Hutchison, Brian Roberts, Lee Emma Running”

Dec. 3 — Jan. 15, 2011
“Wendy Rolfe, Priscilla Steele”

“Small Works Show” Includes pieces by Carlos Ferguson, John Beckelman, Richard Black, Pat Edwards, Yuko Ishi, Amy Worthen. APT.

Moberg Art Gallery (2921 Ingersoll Ave., www.mobergga llery.com)

Through Sept. 18
“Richard Kelley” Des Moines‘ master painter creates his own magical world. APT.

Oct. 1 - Nov.13
“Frank Hansen” Hansen’s exhibitions are Des Moines most raucously attended as a range of folks responds to the artist’s blue-collar wit. Last year’s exhibit featured more than 60 new works and a movie premier. APT.

Nov. 19 through January 2011
“New Works by Bill Luchsinger & Karen Strohbeen” Creating their first prints in 1970, Karen and Bill were among the nation’s digital print making pioneers, even before David Hockney made it cool. The exhibit will showcase new work on paper, canvas and ceramic tile. APT.

Heritage Art Gallery (111 Court Ave., www.heritagegallery.org)

Through Sept. 10
“Charitable Print Trust” Robert Schulte leads a group of artists who create prints to sell and also to donate to non-profits and charities to use in their fundraising auctions. James Conn, Matt Welbourn and Jim Engler are also included.

Sept. 13 - Oct. 21
“Contemporary Fibers”

Oct. 25 — Dec. 2.
“Works by Mary Muller, Leslie Leavenworth, and Joyce Lee.”

Dec. 6 — Jan. 2011
“Greater Des Moines Exhibited 17”

Instinct Gallery at Des Moines Social Club (1408 Locust St., www.instinctgallery.com)

“Juried Photography Show”

“Creepy Crawlies” DMSC’s second annual Halloween themed show.

“Hybrid: Holly Jensen and Michelle Holley Installation”

Steven Vail Fine Arts (2880 Grand Ave., 309-2763, www.stevenvailfinearts.com)

Through October
“Not Vital — Dirigerer” Swiss artist paints impressions of great musical compositions by Sibelius, Grieg and Nielsen. APT.

“Fred Truck“ Anaglyph and 3D photographs.

“Sol Lewitt” Selected Prints from the Estate of Sol LeWitt.

January — March
“Chuck Close — Works in Edition”


Des Moines Art Center (4700 Grand Ave., www.desmoinesartcenter.org)

Through Aug. 29
“The Bike Riders — Danny Lyon” American photographer documents his years with the Chicago Outlaws biker club.

Through Sept. 26
“Kill Them Before They Multiply” Fifteen artists’ visions of viral growth, obsessive repetition, and overcrowding — from the colorful, beehive world of fast food courts, through traffic jams, people on cell phones and suburbia gone amok. APT.

Through Sept. 19
“Iowa Artists Exhibited” Fifteen artists ranging from performance diva Leslie Hall to realist oil painter Larassa Kabel. Des Moines’ Dan Weiss, Nate Morton and Benjamin Gardner represent the metro.

Sept. 10 — Dec. 12
“Jeanne Mammen” Working as a magazine illustrator in the years just before World War II, Mammen captured a world of nightclubs, street singers, fashionable cafes and prostitutes in her stylized and often critical images. APT.

Oct. 1 — Jan. 23, 2011
“Another Dimension: Sculpture Park Artists’ Prints, Drawings, and Objects” Works on paper by artists represented in the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park.

Oct. 8 — Jan. 9, 2011
“Bad Dreams” Drawn primarily from the Art Center’s permanent collections, “Bad Dreams” presents the imagery of nightmares, from literal depictions of our worst fears to surrealistic visions that inexplicably conjure up anxiety and unease. APT.

Ankeny Art Center (1520 S.W. Ordnance Road, www.ankenyartcenter.com)

Through September
“Robert Mullinex”

Teeple Hansen Gallery (108 W. Broadway, Ste. 206. Fairfield)

Aug. 6 — Sept. 18
“Four Dimensions” Fairfield artists Judy Bales, Manuel Coradin and Shannon Kennedy and Deborah Vanko of Des Moines show multi media works.

Brunnier Museum of Art (University Museums, 290 Scheman Bldg., Ames,
(515) 294-3342, www.museums.iastate.edu)

Through Aug. 2010
“Exquisite Balance: Sculptures by Bill Barrett” Sculptures recall fluid effortlessness of calligraphy and betray a positivism to which many viewers feel drawn.

Aug. 24 — Dec. 17
“Relationships: Drawn, Analog to Digital”

“The Observant Eye: Beth Van Hoesen”

“Mark Adams: Translation of Light”

“N.C. Wyeth’s America in the Making”

The Vesterheim (523 W. Water St., Decorah, www.vesterheim.org)

Through March 2011
“Pieces of Self: Identity and Norwegian-American Quilts” Expressions of family, religious, and ethnic identity in quilts from Vesterheim’s collection.

“2010: The International Year of the Nurse” Featuring WWII, Red Cross, and deaconess nurses.

Faulconer Gallery (Grinnell College, www.grinnell.edu/faulconergallery)

Through Sept. 5
“Harry Shearer: the Silent Echo Chamber” A who’s who of American politics and punditry in the moments before they go “live” on television.

Through Sept. 5
“Michael Van den Besselaar: Unconscious Optics” Paintings, resembling old Zenith and RCA televisions, freeze fleeting images once beamed into collective consciousness.

Sept. 17 — Dec. 12
“Culturing Community: Projects about Place” Projects will include an examination of attitudes towards work and a look at current and pending environmental issues facing the Grinnell community.

Through Dec. 12
“Young Pioneers: Lithographs from the Johnson-Horrigan Collection” Examines the role of children in works produced by the Soviet Artists Union in the early and mid 1970s.

University of Iowa Art Museum of Art (150 N. Riverside Dr., Iowa City, (319) 335-1727)
Sept. 2 — Oct.17
“Ere Ibeji: Yoruba Twin Figures from the Collection of J. Richard Simon” The exhibition includes more than 300 ere ibeji selected from the collection of J. Richard Simon, UI emeritus professor of psychology and industrial engineering, who taught at the UI for 42 years. The show is located in the Iowa Memorial Union’s Black Box Theater.

Cedar Rapids Museum of Art (410 Third Ave. S.E., Cedar Rapids), www.crma.org

Sept. 4 — Dec. 12
“Goya’s Disasters of War” All the gruesome horror of war without heroics or romance.

Oct. 9 — Dec. 31
“China: Insights. New Documentary Photography from the People’s Republic” Emerging and vanishing China, through the eyes of seven mainland photographers.

Nov. 27 — Oct. 9, 2011
“Earth Transformed: Ceramics from the Collection” Celebrates the growing section of decorative arts in the CRMA’s collection.

Jan. 22 — May 1, 2011
“Wizards of Pop!” More than 60 images from 13 picture and pop-up books reveal a variety of media and techniques in batik, marbleized paper mosaic, and delicate cut-paper, and pop-up books rendered in pencil, marker, watercolor, acrylic and linoleum block print.

University Museum (3219 Hudson Road, Cedar Falls, www.uni.edu/museum)

Sept. 13 — Dec. 23
“Object as Subject” It does itself, plus other tricks of self-absorption.

January 2011
“Our World in Focus” Clearing things up.

Blanden Art Museum ( 920 Third Aven.South, Fort Dodge, (515) 573-2316, www.blanden.org)

Through Sept. 22
“Iowa in Pastel — Mary Muller”

MacNider Art Museum (303 2nd St. Southeast, Mason City, (641) 421-3666, www.macniderart.org)

Oct. 29 — Jan. 8, 2011
“Marc Sijan: Being Alive” Hyper-realistic sculptures of Wisconsin artist. CV



Round Kick Gym

Best of Des Moines 2011

Fall Relish

Coupon Guide