Center stage

April 21, 2011 |

By Jared Curtis


Upcoming shows in April


‘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” 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.


‘[title of the show]’ presented by Stage West


The Civic Center’s Stoner Theatre, 221 Walnut St.

Through April 17


“[title of show]” is a musical about Hunter and Jeff who decide to write a completely original musical starring themselves and their attractive and talented lady friends, Susan and Heidi. Their musical, “[title of show],” gets into the New York Musical Theatre Festival and becomes a hit. Then it gets an off-Broadway production at the Vineyard Theatre and then the musical makes the big leap, going to Broadway. Admission is $22-$25.


‘Rock of Ages’ presented by The Civic Center of Greater Des Moines


Civic Center Main Stage, 221 Walnut St.

April 19-24


Get ready to bang your head as the classic sounds of the ’80s take center stage in “Rock of Ages.” Tony Award nominee and “American Idol” finalist, Constantine Maroulis, reprises his acclaimed performance as Drew in the First National Tour of the five-time Tony Award-nominated smash-hit musical “Rock of Ages.” Set in 1987, on the Sunset Strip, a small town girl meets a big city rocker and they fall in love to the greatest songs of the ’80s. The music covers a wide range of acts including Poison, Twisted Sister, Journey, Styx, Pat Benatar, Asia and REO Speedwagon. Admission is $20-$70 (due to the Easter holiday, the Sunday, April 24, 1 p.m. performance has been moved to Friday, April 22 at 2 p.m.).


‘The Shadow Box’ presented by Tallgrass Theatre


Rex Mathis Auditorium, 1401 Vine St., West Des Moines

April 22 – May 7


Winner of a Tony Award and the Pulitzer Prize, “The Shadow Box” tells the story of three terminal cancer patients who are living in separate cottages on hospital grounds. The three are visited and taken care of by family and close friends, and each of their harrowing stories offers audiences a different look at the impending end of life. Admission is $12, available at or at the door.


‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’ presented by the Repertory Theater of Iowa


Kirkwood Building, 400 Walnut St.

April 29-May 15


In a plantation house, a family celebrates the 65th birthday of Big Daddy. The mood is somber, despite the festivities, because a number of evils poison the gaiety — greed, sins of the past and desperate, clawing hopes for the future spar with one another as the knowledge that Big Daddy is dying slowly makes the rounds. Maggie, Big Daddy’s daughter-in-law, wants to give him the news before he passes that she’s finally pregnant by his favorite son, Brick, but Brick won’t cooperate. Swarming around Maggie and Brick are their intrusive, conniving relatives, all eager to see Maggie put in her place and Brick tumbled from his position of most-beloved son. Admission is $10-$20 (On Friday, April 29, there is a $25 admission for the grand opening of the Des Moines Social Club at the Kirkwood which includes a champagne reception.) CV


Caption: “Rock of Ages” takes over the Civic Center April 19-24