Center stage

May 26, 2011 |

By Jared Curtis


Upcoming shows in May


‘The Shadow Box' presented by Tallgrass Theatre

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


‘Young Frankenstein' presented by The Civic Center of Greater Des Moines

Civic Center Main Stage, 221 Walnut St.

Through May 8


It's alive! The classic Mel Brooks film is alive and well as "The New Mel Brooks Musical Young Frankenstein" invades the Civic Center this spring. Audiences will enjoy all of their favorite moments from the 1974 classic film, as well as brand-new musical numbers for the stage, including "Transylvania Mania," "He Vas My Boyfriend" and "Puttin' on the Ritz." This re-imagining of the Frankenstein legend follows young Dr. Frankenstein as he creates a monster, but it doesn't go as smoothly as planned as the doctor runs into multiple scary and hilarious complications. Admission is $20-$66.


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

Kirkwood Building, 400 Walnut St.

Through 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. Celebrate the grand opening of the Kirkwood Theater with this dramatic tale. Admission is $10-$20.


‘Miss Nelson is Missing!' presented by The Des Moines Playhouse

Kate Goldman Children's Theatre, 831 42nd St. May 6-22


"Miss Nelson is Missing!" is a laugh-out-loud musical based on the popular "Miss Nelson" series. The story follows a classroom of unruly students, who treat their caring and loving teacher with complete disrespect including throwing spitballs during story-time and refusing to sit in their seats during math. Miss Nelson tricks her students by dressing up as a substitute teacher named Miss Viola Swamp and terrorizes them with piles of homework. The kids realize how good they had it before the sub and will do anything to get Miss Nelson back. Admission is $12-$15.


‘The Maria Project' presented by The Des Moines Social Club and The Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Kirkwood Theater, 400 Walnut St.

Friday, May 27,


"The Maria Project" is a compelling family story that begins in 1906 and follows the impact of a family secret over three generations. Using documentary footage, text and percussion, this groundbreaking solo piece uplifts and gives voice to the family stories in all of us. Admission is $20.


Stage Door Johnnies with Phoenix L'Amour

Vaudeville Mews, 212 4th St.

Saturday, May 28,


Get ready to shimmy and shake during a night full of Burlesque goodness as local burlesque queen Phoenix L'Amour takes the stage along with Chicago's only all-male burlesque group, the Stage Door Johnnies. Doors for this fun and entertaining show open at 9:30 p.m. with the show starting at 10 p.m. Admission is $10. CV


Caption: The Repertory Theater of Iowa presents "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" at the Kirkwood Theater, through May 15.