Friday, November 24, 2017

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Posted November 01, 2017in Center Stage

Sincere, sassy and seductive

Not your grandma’s Tupperware party Few trademark names have the brand identity as Tupperware. This chameleonic icon can be found in cupboards, refrigerators and workshops across America. Burp it, pop it, rim it, drop it — the seemingly indestructible material pressed into a veritable cornucopia of shapes and purposes continues

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Posted October 04, 2017in Center Stage

We’ve never seen such ‘choices’ like this

World premiere at Des Moines Playhouse Through playwright Karen Schaeffer’s productive pen flows a rare wit and a penchant for comedy. She epitomizes the saying, “The harder I work, the luckier I get,” as the Des Moines Playhouse playwright-in-residence prepares for the world premiere of her latest stage work, “Choices.”

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Posted September 06, 2017in Center Stage

More than three make for great ‘company’

Noce Sondheim’s pivotal musical returns for Des Moines audiences Two’s company, as the saying goes. The first show out of the chute for the new creative merger, Iowa Stage Theatre Company, pairs it with “Company,” a bold musical that epitomizes the mission of this new local producer: “Iowa Stage Theatre

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Posted August 02, 2017in Center Stage

Cloris Awards recognize metro’s best

Community awards unite, celebrate region’s theater Unfurl the red carpets. Let the spotlights blaze. The 2017 Greater Des Moines Cloris Leachman Excellence in Theater Awards will be presented in the grandeur of Hoyt Sherman Place at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 27. The third annual Cloris Awards recognize the best

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Posted July 05, 2017in Center Stage

An opportunity like nowhere else

The night of the last election, I stayed up reading James Baldwin. His work from the 1960s seemed the best way to grapple with my own moment — and apparently lots of others felt the same. Baldwin has recently enjoyed a resurgence. There’s even a documentary, celebrating his essays, novels

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Posted June 06, 2017in Center online exclusive

Zesty and full of hairpin turns

The biggest takeaway is the brilliance of the lyrics. “The Last Five years” uncorks 15 songs in 90 minutes, all by the Tony-winner Jason Robert Brown, and any one of them can snap your head back with some startling combo of wisecrack and heartbreak. A few even toss in something

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Posted May 31, 2017in Center Stage

An epic anniversary, with music off the chain

Des Moines Metro Opera (DMMO) may be nearing the half-century mark, but it’s still open to fresh thinking. One of its three major productions this summer — “Billy Budd,” a masterwork from Benjamin Britten — will premiere an orchestration no one has used before. For the 1951 original, Britten let

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Posted May 18, 2017in Center online exclusive

Shock and awe

StageWest is going out with a bang. The fireworks of “Hir” put an exclamation point on the company’s final year, before it’s absorbed into the larger Iowa Stage Company. This comes after 20 years of “bold, challenging” work, as called for in StageWest’s mission. Always frank, often very funny, and

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Posted May 03, 2017in Center Stage

A fresh cocktail for theater arts

Playhouse board of directors implements a three-legged leadership stool John Viars is happy to break down the numbers. “When I began here, we did six shows a year and employed two folks full-time,” says the man who’s run the Des Moines Playhouse since 1982. No longer, however. “Now we’ve got

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Posted April 05, 2017in Center Stage

Songs, shadow and sharp pangs, with a passel of awards

Robert Petkoff doesn’t worry about bringing what might be the weirdest musical ever made to Des Moines. He recalls that when he toured with “Spamalot,” a few years back, he found the Civic Center audience was “really on the ball.” A New York native who’s played on Broadway and in

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