By Jared Curtis firstname.lastname@example.org
Upcoming shows in March
'James and the Giant Peach' presented by the Des Moines Playhouse
The Des Moines Playhouse Kate Goldman Children's Theatre, 831 42nd St.
Feb. 18 - March 6
Based on the book by Roald Dahl ("Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," "Fantastic Mr. Fox"), "James and the Giant Peach" is fun for all ages. After receiving a mysterious gift (a bag of glowing lights) from a stranger, James Trotter is taken on a magical journey of epic proportions. After the mysterious glowing light breaks free, a single peach grows on an old dead tree branch. But it doesn't stop growing, and soon, James, along with his new insect friends, embark on an giant journey filled with danger and excitement that takes them halfway around the world. Admission is $12-$15.
'The Lieutenant of Inishmore' presented by Mooncoin Entertainment and Locust Productions
Des Moines Social Club, 1408 Locust St.
March 10-13, 17-20
"The Lieutenant of Inishmore," is an unruly black comedy that follows an array of political terrorism in rural Ireland. The bloody and brute story follows Padraic, a member of the Irish Republican Army, on his return trip home to see his father and reclaim his beloved cat, Wee Thomas. But the cat has been killed, so the townsfolk prepare for the vengeance of Padraic, which will run deep and red. This is the fifth installment of the "The Martin McDonagh Project," and the final play showcased at the Des Moines Social Club's Blackbox Theater. Admission is $15.
Dan Sperry presents 'A Night of Shock Illusion'
Hoyt Sherman Place
Tuesday, March 15, 7:30 p.m.
Illusionist Dan Sperry brings his creepy magic and illusions to Hoyt Sherman Place. Sperry's career took off after he appeared on the fifth season of "America's Got Talent," and he finished as a semifinalist. His offbeat style and cutting edge brand of stage magic have gained him national recognition and the title of the "Most Original Magician" on FOX's "World of Magic Awards." Sperry has been described as "a Tim Burton character come to life," as he provides audiences with a captivating and slightly bizarre experience. Admission is $22.50 - $42.50.
'Next To Normal' presented by The Civic Center of Greater Des Moines
Civic Center Main Stage, 221 Walnut St.
From Michael Greif, director of the award- winning "Rent," comes "Next to Normal." Set to a groundbreaking and contemporary rock score, the story of "Next to Normal" unfolds around the troubled life of Diana Goodman, who struggles to balance the necessity of psychological treatment while dealing with the significant side effects of taking medication, trying to come to terms with the impact it has on her identity and facing the life-threatening risks of refusing treatment. Winner of three 2009 Tony Awards, "Next to Normal" is the most talked about new show on Broadway, having recently been chosen as "One of the year's 10 best" by major critics around the country. Admission is $20 - $58.50.
'Dirty Rotten Scoundrels' presented by The Des Moines Playhouse
Des Moines Playhouse, 831 42nd St.
March 25 through April 17
The Des Moines Playhouse will get downright dirty and rotten this spring as it presents "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" March 25 through April 17. The play, based on the 1988 film starring Steve Martin and Michael Caine, follows the trials and tribulations of two con men, Lawrence Jameson and Freddy Benson, living on the French Riviera. The men are completely different in their approach, but both are out to steal anything they can get their hands on. After meeting on a train, the two team up but soon realize the small French town is too big for both of them. A deal is made (whoever can steal $50,000 from a local heiress wins), and the loser has to leave town. If this production is half as funny as the movie, we're in for a big treat. Admission is $17 - $35. CV