Center stage

June 30, 2011 |

By Jared Curtis


Upcoming shows in June


'Chicago The Musical' presented by The Civic Center of Greater Des Moines

Civic Center Main Stage, 221 Walnut St.

Through June 5


Broadway's razzle-dazzle smash "Chicago" takes over the Civic Center for four days, with John O'Hurley ("Seinfield," "Dancing With The Stars") starring as Billy Flynn. "Chicago" is the fifth-longest running production in Broadway history and is the winner of six Tony Awards and a Grammy. The show has everything you could want in a great theater-going experience including knockout dancing, an edge-of-your-seat story and one show stopping-song after another. Tickets are $20-$63.50.


'The Wedding Singer' presented by The Des Moines Playhouse

831 42nd St.

June 3-26


Based on the 1998 Adam Sandler/Drew Barrymore film, "The Wedding Singer" follows Robbie Hart, who lives in his grandmother's basement in New Jersey and sings in a wedding band circa 1985. His dreams of being a singer/songwriter are long gone, replaced now by a burning desire to find the right girl and settle down. When his fiancée leaves him standing at the altar, he becomes a wedding planner's worst nightmare, taking out his bitterness on stage until his eye and heart turn to a new friend, Julia. Tickets are $17 to $35.


'Victorian Voices: Sense & Sensibility' presented by the Repertory Theater of Iowa

Terrace Hill, 2300 Grand Ave.

June 3-4, 10-11


Written by actress and Repertory Theater of Iowa company member Kerry Skram, this new adaptation seeks to transfer to the stage Austen's wry wit and the complex, enduring characters of her 19th century world, a world fraught with the struggle between romantic emotionalism and common sense. Each evening will include a light pre-show supper before the performance and a dessert discussion afterward. Tickets are $55 with proceeds to benefit the Terrace Hill Foundation. Seating will be limited and reservations are required. Reservations may be made by phoning (515) 280-3450 or (515) 280-3980.

711 Theatre Project
Grand View University Viking Theatre, 2811 E 14th St.

June 10-11


On June 3, 18 troupes will be shown the set, given their required elements and then have seven days to produce their original short plays. On June 10-11, starting at 8 p.m., nine troupes each night will perform the new works. They are vying for more than $4,000 in cash, prizes and gifts. Tickets are $10 and on sale now through or $12 an hour before the show. For more information, visit or


'Reasons to be Pretty' presented by Stage West

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

June 23-26, July 7, 9


StageWest presents the first of three plays from Neil LaBute's "Beauty Plays." A love story about the impossibility of love, "Reasons to be Pretty" confronts America's obsession with physical beauty headlong when Greg, a working-class guy in a long-term relationship, inadvertently remarks to a friend that, compared to a pretty coworker, his girlfriend is "regular." This off-hand statement, a slip of the tongue, begins a downward spiral as the characters begin to experience insecurities in their own lives. Is anyone ever totally comfortable in his or her own skin? Tickets are $22-$25.


'In The Sawtooth' presented by StageWest as part of its Scriptease series.

First Unitarian Church, 1800 Bell Ave.

June 28


Winner of the Kennedy Center's 2007 National Student Playwriting Award, "In The Sawtooths" follows Oby, Nellie and Darin, who have been friends since high school. Now in their 30s, they have become busier in their lives, but one thing remains constant — their annual backpacking adventure in the mountains of Idaho. As their trip nears and all of the necessary preparations are made, their lives are suddenly shattered by tragedy. What ensues is a true test of an old friendship. Can Oby, Nellie and Darin remain friends as they desperately try to navigate through an immense and unexpected wilderness? The show starts at 7 p.m., and admission is free. CV