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Jan 19, 2012
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Winter Arts & Entertainment Guide

20+ ways to beat cabin fever in the Des Moines metro

By Jared Curtis and Amber Williams

Music Film Theater Outdoor

The weather hasn’t been as cold or snowy as we Iowans are normally accustomed to, and many of us have embraced the warmer temperatures with open arms. It might not feel like winter, but central Iowa has plenty of activities to keep us busy with or without snow. This is why we have again published our annual “Winter Arts & Entertainment Guide,” a four-page list to help get you to spring. Inside, you’ll find insight on music, movies, sports/outdoors and theater events that will help you shiver through the winter months. This isn’t an all-inclusive list, mind you, but there’s plenty to keep you busy until the flowers start blooming again.


By Jared Curtis

The Lemonheads

Vaudeville Mews

Tuesday, Jan. 24, 8 p.m., $15

Talk about a blast from the past. The last time I thought of ’90s alt-rock staples The Lemonheads was a few weeks ago while watching “Reality Bites” and front man Evan Dando pops up. The last time I actually listened to a Lemonheads album was when I was in high school and “It’s a Shame About Ray” and “Come On Feel The Lemonheads” were released. But that doesn’t mean they haven’t been busy. Dando has been making music under The Lemonheads moniker for years with his most recent release being a 2009 cover album, “Varshons.” But don’t worry, according to their website, the band will be releasing two albums this year including a random Sunday night recording Dando did of new acoustic songs called “Hotel Sessions” and “Laughing All The Way To The Cleaners – The Best Of The Lemonheads,” a career-spanning, 47-track double CD. Audiences will hear plenty of the band’s hits when they take over Vaudeville Mews.

Lady Antebellum

Wells Fargo Arena

Saturday, Jan. 28, 7 p.m., $27-$49.50

Lady Antebellum plays Wells Fargo Arena Saturday, Jan. 28.

Reigning CMA and ACM Vocal Group of the Year, Lady Antebellum has been on quite a ride since their hit “Need You Now” took over country radio and pop radio stations throughout the states in late 2009. The trio — Charles Kelley (lead vocals), Hillary Scott (lead vocals) and Dave Haywood (guitar, piano, mandolin and vocals) — has quickly risen

up the charts and become one of the most popular country acts touring today. The group returns (they played there in February 2010) to Wells Fargo Arena to promote their new album as part of the “Own the Night 2012 World Tour” on Saturday, Jan. 28, and they won’t be alone — opening the show is Thompson Square and former Hootie & the Blowfish front man Darius Rucker.

2012 Snowstorm Music Tour

Val Air Ballroom

Thursday, Feb. 16, 6 p.m., $35 in advance/$40 at door

Eclectic tours can offer quite a bang for the concertgoer’s buck. Not only do you get to see the band you paid for, you also are exposed to numerous other acts you might have never heard of. That’ll be the case in February when the 2012 Snowstorm Music Tour makes a stop at the Val Air Ballroom. Fans will enjoy a wide range of artists and genres including the vocoder skills of T-Pain, rap/rock hybrid Gym Class Heroes, Rhymesayers duo Grieves & Budo, the funky sounds of Cris Cab and the electro pop of Outasight. Regardless of your favorite genre of music, you’re bound to hear something you’ll enjoy. Besides, everyone needs a little more T-Pain in his or her life.

Metal Alliance Tour 2012

7 Flags Event Center

Wednesday, April 11, 4:30 p.m., $22 in advance/$25 at door

Metal fans will get their fix when the 2012 Metal Alliance Tour invades the 7 Flags Event Center on Wednesday, April 11. Seven bands including Devildriver, The Faceless, Dying Fetus, Job For A Cowboy, 3 Inches of Blood and Impending Doom will decimate the crowd with as much metal as they can handle. Local rockers Calous and 12 Days Silent will kick off the show. Each band will unleash its own brutal brand of metal music during this massive tour as fans listen to some of the heaviest music their ears will ever experience.


By Jared Curtis

‘The Divide’

Jan. 13, Rated R, 110 minutes

Directed by Xavier Gens

Starring Michael Biehn, Milo Ventimiglia, Lauren German, Michael Eklund and Roseanna Arquette
There’s nothing like a gritty, post-apocalyptic thriller to get the year started off right, and “The Divide” looks like it has all the necessary ingredients to get that done. Directed by Xavier Gens, whose first film “Frontier(s)” was a wild and gory ride, “The Divide” focuses on a group of survivors after a nuclear attack. As the bombs went off, a small group of survivors was able to find safety in a bomb shelter in the basement of their building. But they soon find out that the lucky ones died in the blast, as tempers flare and rations deplete. Adding to the paranoia and disappearing rations, radiation sickness also starts taking a toll on the survivors. Post-apocalyptic films are becoming more common, but “The Divide” looks especially good thanks to its strong cast led by Michael Biehn (“The Terminator,” “Aliens”), who is due for a major comeback. “The Divide” will leave audiences shocked and asking themselves what they would do in that situation.

‘The Grey’

Jan. 27, Rated R, 117 minutes

Directed by Joe Carnahan

Starring Liam Neeson, Dermot Mulroney, Frank Grillo, James Badge Dale and Ben Bray

From the outside, “The Grey” is a movie about Liam Neeson fighting off a hungry pack of wolves. But dig a little deeper, and there is much more to this film than furry creatures. Much like the highly underrated “Frozen,” audiences will likely scoff at the premise, but director Joe Carnahan (“Narc,” Smoking Aces”) knows how to ramp up the action and violence while keeping a bit of tenderness to his characters. Neeson leads a group of oil drillers who are heading home from their latest job in Alaska. But their plane crashes and with no rescue in sight, the remaining survivors pack up what little they can salvage and start walking. Soon they cross paths with a pack of hungry wolves and must decide who’s for dinner — the wolves or them. There’s a lot of buzz behind how badass “The Grey” really is, and it’s easy to see in the trailer as Neeson makes brass knuckles out of airline alcohol bottles. Don’t write “The Grey” off, because it may be one of the biggest hits of the early movie season.


Jan. 27, Rated R, 108 minutes

Directed by Oren Moverman

Starring Woody Harrelson, Steve Buscemi, Ben Foster, Robin Wright and Sigourney Weaver

Remember when Denzel Washington stunned critics and audiences alike when he gave a searing performance

as a dirty cop in “Training Day?” Well, Woody Harrelson’s performance as a dirty, crooked cop in “Rampart” will blow Denzel away. It’s so good, in fact, the film was actually released for one week in theaters at the end of 2011, qualifying Harrelson for a possible Oscar nomination. The story focuses on officer Dave Brown, a member of the despised CRASH anti-gang unit of the LAPD Rampart Division, which is considered one of the most corrupt police units ever. Along with his daily police work, Brown has to deal with family, two ex-wives and a corruption scandal that could end his career, leaving him with nothing. Harrelson is due for a juicy role, and “Rampart” appears to offer him that plus much more. “Rampart” will become the massive hit it deserves to be.

‘The Cabin in the Woods’

April 13, Rated R, 105 minutes

Directed by Drew Goddard

Starring Chris Hemsworth, Kristen Connolly, Brian White, Bradley Whitford and Richard Jenkins

Do not watch the trailer or read any spoilers about “The Cabin in the Woods,” because it truly is a completely different movie than how the title or poster promotes it. Sure, kids go to a cabin in the woods and horrible things happen to them, but it’s not what you’d expect. The film’s been finished since 2010, but due to MGM filing for bankruptcy, “The Cabin in the Woods” along with another Chris Hemsworth film, the remake of “Red Dawn,” were shelved with no announcement of release. But rumors started flying last year, and it was finally announced that this unconventional horror film would see the light of day. It should draw a lot of interest based on the “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” reunion of director Drew Goddard and writer/producer Joss Whedon, plus chicks love Hemsworth (“Thor”). If you want a tired, slasher flick, then this isn’t the film for you. But if you want your mind blown, then by all means, take a trip to “The Cabin in the Woods.”

‘The Avengers’

May 14

Directed by Joss Whedon

Starring Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo and Samuel L. Jackson

I enjoy getting excited about a summer full of superhero movies and, luckily, last year we had quite a few good ones (sorry, “Green Lantern”). And even though there isn’t as many being released this year as last, two of the biggest films will hit screens, “The Dark Knight Rises” and “The Avengers.” Marvel has taken on quite a task, trying to introduce a number of characters through its own films and then combing them all in a massive action film, but it’s going to pay off. And why shouldn’t it? You have Iron Man, Capt. America, Thor, the Incredible Hulk, Hawkeye and the Black Widow all in the same film. It might seem like overindulgence, but they fortunately have a master chef in the kitchen with director Joss Whedon. When an enemy that could destroy mankind emerges, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), the director of the international peacekeeping agency known as S.H.I.E.L.D. must assemble his team of superheroes. As they come together, they have one common goal: Destroy this enemy before it destroys us. May can’t get here soon enough.


By Jared Curtis

‘To Kill A Mockingbrid’

The Des Moines Playhouse

Jan. 20 through Feb. 5


Based on Harper Lee’s iconic novel, “To Kill a Mockingbird” follows the lives of a wide variety of characters in a small southern town in the 1930s. The story focuses on Scout, a young girl who is being raised by her widowed father, Atticus. She experiences a number of dramatic events that will shape her life to come thanks to her father, a lawyer who is defending a local black man who is accused of a crime.

An Evening With: Nick Offerman

Stephens Auditorium

Thursday, Feb. 2, 8 p.m.


“An Evening With: Nick Offerman” plays at Stephens Auditorium in Ames on Thursday, Feb. 2 at 8 p.m.

“I have cried twice in my life. Once when I was 7 and I was hit by a school bus and then again when I heard Li’l Sebastian had passed.” If you’ve never seen NBC’s “Parks and Recreation,” then you are truly missing one of the greatest characters ever created on TV — Ron Swanson. Played by Nick Offerman, Ron Swanson is a man’s man who doesn’t give a crap about anything except breakfast foods, woodworking and brunette women. Offerman will entertain audiences with a hodgepodge of ideas during his one-man show including humorous anecdotes, original acoustic songs, audience participation and wood working tips. (Offerman, much like his TV character, is a skilled wood-worker; visit “An Evening With: Nick Offerman” has all the ingredients to become one of the funniest nights of the year.

‘West Side Story’

The Civic Center of Greater Des Moines

Feb. 7 through Feb. 12


“When you’re a Jet you’re a Jet all the way, from your first cigarette, to your last dying day.” That’s right, Tony and Maria are coming to town, so grab your switchblade, roll your cigarettes up in your sleeve, and get ready to dance the night away with “West Side Story.” From the first note to the final breath, “West Side Story” soars as one of the greatest love stories of all time and is as powerful and poignant as ever. Along with story of two lovers from the wrong neighborhood, the show is filled with classic songs including “Something’s Coming,” “Tonight,” “America,” “I Feel Pretty” and “Somewhere.”

‘Bring It On: The Musical’

The Civic Center of Greater Des Moines

Feb. 28 through March 4

$20 - $59.50

Is there really a need for a musical version of “Bring It On”? Probably not, but we didn’t need the two or three straight-to-DVD sequels either, and we got them. Regardless of your opinion of the film, “Bring It On: The Musical” should bring plenty of smiles to the audiences as they become involved in an over-the-top rivalry between two high school cheerleading squads. This new musical comedy combines an exciting fresh sound, gravity-defying choreography and a thrilling story to create a show worth cheering for.


By Amber Williams


Price varies, Wells Fargo Arena

The 2011 NBA D-League Champion Iowa Energy has re-signed reigning league MVP Curtis Stinson for another season. The 6-foot-3 point guard most recently played in Slovenia prior to his return to the Energy. Stinson averaged 19.3 points, 9.8 assists and 5.7 rebounds last season for the Energy, and for that, he was named First Team All NBA D-League, and he earned the MVP honor from the league. During the Energy’s playoff run last year, Stinson averaged 24.4 points, 8.8 rebounds and 6.9 assists in eight games while leading the Energy to their first NBA D-League Championship.

With the help of their star point guard, the Energy recorded the best regular season record in league history each of the past two seasons; finishing 37-13 each year. Last season’s team also set the all-time league record for most wins in a season at 43 including the playoffs. Let’s see if they can top that as they finish off the season.

Iowa Energy remaining home schedule

(All games at 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Jan. 19 – vs. Dakota Wizards, 10:30 a.m.

Jan. 21 – vs. Tulsa 66ers

Jan. 22 – vs. Springfield Armor, 5 p.m.

Jan. 27 – vs. Austin Toros

Feb. 3 – vs. Dakota Wizards

Feb. 4 – vs. Dakota Wizards

Feb. 10 – vs. Dakota Wizards

Feb. 11 – vs. Idaho Stampede

March 4 – vs. Canton Charge, 4 p.m.

March 16 – vs. Canton Charge

March 18 – vs. Sioux Falls Skyforce, 4 p.m.

March 29 – vs. Canton Charge

April 3 – vs. Bakersfield Jam

April 7 – vs. Los Angeles D-fenders


Price varies, Buccaneer Arena

As of press time, the Bucs are 12-14. Root them on at the next home game on Jan. 20. Photo by Bryce Lohman

KCWI and Jasper County Winery are partnering up with the Des Moines Buccaneers and Bucs’ head coach Regg Simon for an event specially made for the lady fans out there. The first “Wine, Women and Hockey Night” will take place on Saturday, Jan. 21 at the Buccaneer Arena from 5 p.m. - 6:15 p.m. in Blackbeard’s Lounge prior to the Bucs’ game against Youngstown.

The event will include wine tasting run by Jasper County Winery, a special treat from Christopher’s Fine Jewelry and a hockey lesson from

Bucs’ head coach Regg Simon. The cost of the package is $20, which includes a ticket to the Bucs’ 7 p.m. home game, but for season ticket-holders, the cost is reduced to $5. To order a package, call 278-2827 or email

Des Moines Buccaneers remaining home schedule

(All games at 7:05 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Jan. 20 – vs. Youngstown Phantoms

Jan. 21 – vs. Youngstown Phantoms

Feb. 4 – vs. Tri-City Storm

Feb. 10 – vs. Sioux Falls Stampede

Feb. 17 – vs. Indiana Ice

Feb. 19 – vs. Waterloo Black Hawks, 5:05 p.m.

Feb. 25 – vs. Sioux City Musketeers

March 2 – vs. Muskegon Lumberjacks

March 3 – vs. Lincoln Stars

March 9 – vs. Fargo Force

March 10 – vs. Fargo Force

March 30 – vs. Sioux City Musketeers

April 6 – vs. Cedar Rapids RoughRiders

April 7 – vs. Omaha Lancers

April 13 – vs. Omaha Lancers

Iowa Bicycle Summit

Jan. 27-28, Iowa Events Center – Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center (formerly Veteran’s Memorial Auditorium)

The eighth annual Iowa Bicycle Summit brings hundreds of cycling enthusiasts to Des Moines year after year. The 2012 summit promises to be even better than ever by offering more exhibits, free advocacy workshops and new trail development sessions. The event will take place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day and is sponsored by the Iowa Department of Transportation and Iowa Bicycle Coalition.

The Friday, Jan. 27, sessions will feature a bicycle facility design workshop and a trail development workshop. Participants are welcome to attend sessions in either workshop. Engineers, planners, community officials, land managers, trail supporters, advocates and the public are invited to learn more about local rec trail development, an already proven attraction to the state. 

The Bicycle Facility Design workshop will be presented by the city bicycle coordinator of Portland, Ore., Roger Geller. His presentation will focus on the Urban Bikeway Design Guide by the National Association of City Transportation Officials. The trail development workshop will have sessions discussing trail maintenance, design and policy issues. 

The Saturday, Jan. 28 sessions will feature a variety of speakers presenting on topics including bicycle tourism, training, the Safe Routes to School Program, trails and travel, safety, consumer equipment and dirt. Also on Saturday, the Iowa Bicycle Summit will welcome a Consumer Bicycle Expo with more than 60 exhibitors expected to show the latest in bicycle gear, training, trails and events.

“If you want to plan your summer bicycling vacation, you need to visit all the trails showcased at the event,” said Mark Wyatt, executive director of the Iowa Bicycle Coalition. 

Registration is $150, and it includes summit materials, lunch and all breaks. The Saturday sessions are free, but lunch will not be provided. To register or for more information, go to or, or call Milly Ortiz at 233-7733 or Mark Wyatt at 309-2867.

(Following the summit on Saturday, the Iowa Bicycle Coalition and The Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa will hold a reception fundraiser at 8 p.m. at the Iowa Events Center – Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center. The 2012 RAGBRAI route will be announced at this event. The reception will feature a live and silent auction offering cycling items, door prizes and more. Tickets for the Saturday night event are $30 each and can be purchased online at All proceeds from the event benefit the Iowa Bicycle Coalition.)

BRR (Bike Ride Rippey)

Feb. 4, 10 a.m., Perry


About 20 miles down a four-lane highway northwest of Des Moines is a golden nugget rich with history and diversity. For cyclists, Perry is another hot spot boiling over with trails, sites and scenery, though that hot spot is cooled a bit during Bike Ride to Rippey, aptly dubbed “BRR Ride.”

The 35th annual 24-mile — round-trip from Perry to Rippey and back — bike riding event rolls on regardless of the weather. Known as the “Original WINTER Bike Ride,” throughout the years, BRR riders have experienced frigid temperatures and wind chills while plowing through a foot of snow and have also enjoyed spring like temperatures of 60 degrees. Attendance has grown every year with riders and guests hailing from all over Iowa and the country.

Hosted by the Perry Area Chamber of Commerce, BRR is a day of biking, prizes and entertainment. This year’s theme, “EmBRRacing the Chill,” was captured brilliantly by Cityview’s own avid bicyclist, BRR veteran of 26 years and award-winning cartoonist Brian Duffy.

BRR registration, the official start and other morning activities all take place in beautiful downtown Perry beginning with a public breakfast in the famous Hotel Pattee from 7-10:30 a.m.

Registration and pickup of materials for pre-registered riders will be in the TownCraft Building, 1122 Willis Ave., from 8 a.m. to noon.

The City of Rippey will also have plenty to offer in the way of refreshments and activities. For $25, riders may pre-register for the ride online at, or call the Perry Area Chamber of Commerce for a registration form. The cost increases to $30 the day of the ride. Registration includes: A 35th Annual BRR T-shirt; a traditional commemorative lapel pin; a ticket for a hot chocolate break midway to Rippey; a sag wagon; automatic entrance in a drawing to win $500 in Perry Bucks; admission to McCreary Center for swimming, sauna and whirlpool; plus coupons and discounts from area businesses.

Red Flannel Run

Feb. 11, Riverfront YMCA, 101 Locust St., Des Moines

The Red Flannel Run is a fun way to exercise outdoors in February. Photo by Dave Mable

If you ask TV characters Red Green and Tool Time’s Al Borland, flannel is never out of style… especially in Iowa in early February when it becomes useful garb for keeping runners warm during the annual Red Flannel Run. Even longer than the 3- or 5-mile race, this event has run for 23 years and it’s considered the kick-off of the foot-racing season in the metro, typically drawing more than 1,500 runners year after year.

The 24th annual race is open to individual or family participants, who can choose between a 3-mile or 5-mile race, starting at the Riverfront YMCA and finishing at the Embassy Suites on the River. For individual runners, adults must pay $25, if registered before Feb. 3, or $30 by Feb. 9, and youths age 12 and under must pay $15 by Feb. 9. Family registrants must pay $50 by Feb. 3 or $55 by Feb. 9.

Race-day registration and packet pick-ups are slated for 7:30-8:30 a.m., and the racing starts at 9 a.m. Post-race activities will be held at the Riverfront YMCA, including a free meal immediately following the run.

All runners and walkers are encouraged to wear a costume. “Celebrity” judges will determine the winners. Among the wacky costumes and awards this year are: Penguin Award (best dressed in red flannel), the Igloo Award (largest number of participants from one family racing together and dressed in red flannel) and the Iditarod Award (traveled the furthest distance to participate and dressed in red flannel).

Skywalk Golf

Feb. 11, 8:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Skywalk Golf has become a favorite downtown Des Moines event and has even been called one of the best wintertime celebrations. Each year, more than 1,200 golfers tee-off in the skywalks and compete for awards in new age divisions. And every golfer who scores a hole-in-one wins a prize. Skywalk Golf attracts golfers of all ages and skill levels, from avid golfers to people who have never picked up a putter. The event is benefiting the First Tee of Greater Des Moines, a non-profit project of The Golf Foundation of Iowa, located at Grand View Golf Course, 2401 E. 29th St.

Managed by the City of Des Moines Parks and Recreations Department, the property is a municipal 18-hole course located in a middle-income neighborhood. It is one of the oldest courses in the country, approaching its 110th anniversary. PGA Design Services, made available through The First Tee, has finalized a new design to add a driving range and practice facility and then re-route the course so that it will remain an 18-hole layout. The plan has been approved by city officials and is underway.

Registrants may sign up online for Singles, Doubles or Foursomes categories. Contact Angie Schwichtenberg at 286-4949 or for more information.

Other notable events

Iowa High School State Wrestling

Feb. 15-18, Wells Fargo Arena

Iowa Deer Classic

Feb. 24-26, Iowa Events Center – Hy-Vee Hall

CIRREM Gravel Road Race

Feb. 25, Cumming

Iowa Boys/Girls State Basketball Tournaments

Iowa Events Center – Wells Fargo Arena

Girls, Feb. 25; Boys, March 5 CV

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