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Center Stage

August 11, 2011

Upcoming shows in August

By Jared Curtis

‘Hairspray' presented by The Des Moines Playhouse

831 42nd St.

Through Aug. 7

Loveable, plus-size heroine, Tracy Turnblad, has a passion for dancing and wins a spot on the local TV dance program, "The Corny Collins Show." Overnight she finds herself transformed from outsider to teen celebrity. Can a larger-than-life adolescent manage to vanquish the program's reigning princess, integrate the television show and find true love while singing and dancing all without messing up her hair? Tickets are $20-$35.

The Iowa School of Burlesque

Des Moines Social Club, 400 Walnut St.

Aug. 7, 14, 28 (2 to 5 p.m.)

For more information, email

The Iowa School of Burlesque is Iowa's premiere burlesque university under the direction of headmistress, Phoenix L'Amour, who hosts a monthly show at Vaudeville Mews called "Burlesque, Baby!" Classes are taught in the Des Moines Social Club's Black Box Theater at the Kirkwood Building, 400 Walnut St. Admission is $15 per class or $50 for four sessions, with students learning about burlesque history, costuming, makeup, choreography, theatrical skill building and confidence building.

Classes on Aug. 7 include "Burlesque History 101," which introduce the history and origin of burlesque and its roll in popular culture as well as organizations, events and people that are keeping it alive; and, "Burlesque Costuming 101: Pasties and Tassels," which highlights basic construction of pasties, including different methods, materials and ways to construct. Classes on Aug. 14 include "Burlesque Hair and Make-up 101: Pin-up Hair and Make-up," which offers basic pin-up hair and makeup instruction and tips; and "Burlesque Dance 101," which includes basic instruction of classic burlesque dance moves like the "bump and grind," "shimmy" and "twirling" as well as learning a basic striptease routine to take home. Classes on Aug. 28 include "Burlesque Hair and Make-up 101: Stage," highlighting basic stage hair and makeup instruction, tips and tricks; and "Burlesque Costuming 101: Shimmy Belts and Breakaways," which teaches the different methods and materials used in the construction of making a shimmy belt and how to make it into a breakaway.

In October, five students will be accepted as apprentices to further their education and development in a six-week session where they will spend private time with Miss L'Amour to develop a character, costume and routine which will be showcased at a monthly revue of "Burlesque, Baby!" at the Vaudeville Mews. For more information, contact Phoenix L'Amour at or visit the school's Facebook page.

Auditions for ‘Caucus! The Musical' and ‘Utopia — The Iowa Musical Revue' presented by Right Brain Productions

Plymouth Congregational Church, 4126 Ingersoll Ave.

Sunday, Aug. 14

Open auditions for "Caucus! The Musical" and "Utopia — The Iowa Musical Revue," two shows by Robert John Ford, will be held on Sunday, Aug. 14 beginning at 6 p.m. More than 20 roles (men and women, ages 18-70) are available, and a stipend is provided for all cast members. Both musicals will be performed at the Civic Center of Greater Des Moines' Stoner Theatre throughout the month of December. "Caucus! The Musical" is an irreverent and hilarious examination of the Iowa Caucuses and how a wide array of candidates will do anything to win the votes of a "typical" Iowa farm family. "Utopia — The Iowa Musical Revue" features 16 independent sketches and songs that celebrate and poke a little fun at the unique people, places and traditions of the great state of Iowa. Complete audition information may be found at

‘Second Annual Iowa Improv Fest' presented by Comedy XPeriment

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

Aug. 19 - 20

Get ready to laugh as the Second Annual Iowa Improv Festival takes over the Civic Center's Stoner Theater. The two-night event features four Iowa-region improvisation troupes — Comics In Action, OM NOM NOM, 88 Improv and Comedy XPeriment — showcasing their talents. Each night, the four troupes will perform a 25-minute set, followed by an improv jam where all four troupes will combine for one final improvisation celebration. Tickets are $15 or $25 for an all festival pass. For more information, visit or CV

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