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2014 Summer Arts & Entertainment Guide- Theater


The live theater season might slow down in the summer, but that doesn’t mean you won’t get the opportunity to see some great shows coming to the Des Moines area. From comedies to dramas, there’s a play or musical performance to match almost any taste. Experience the talent of both local and national touring actors taking stages from auditoriums to coffee shops to backyard gardens. And new this year, the Des Moines Social Club’s Kum & Go Theater offers an eclectic bag to mix in the basement bar space of the old Firehouse and the second-story outdoor patio.


May 23-June 8 — “Boeing Boeing”

“Boeing Boeing” is a farce playing at the Des Moines Community Playhouse at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sundays from May 23 – June 8.

“Boeing Boeing” is a farce playing at the Des Moines Community Playhouse at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sundays from May 23 – June 8.

Des Moines Community Playhouse, 831 42nd St., 277-6261,

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Travel back to the 1960s where the happy-go-lucky Bernard has a flat in Paris and three fiancées — all stewardesses and all oblivious to one another. But when a faster new Boeing jet ruins his schedule, Bernard finds himself dealing with all three of them in town at the same time. He struggles with keeping his stories straight in order to carry on his scandalous charade. $20-$36.


June 6-22 — “A Funny Thing Happened On the Way To the Forum”

Ankeny Community Theatre, 1932 S.W. Third St., 964-5007,

Inspired by ancient Roman playwright Plautus (251–183 BC), this comedic musical tells how a slave named attempts to win his freedom by helping his young master seduce a girl. The plot weaves in elements of farce, puns, slamming of doors, cases of mistaken identity and disguise and by making fun of social caste issues. $12-$18.


June 6-22 — “Avenue Q”

StageWest, Civic Center’s Stoner Theater, 221 Walnut St., 246-2300,

Puppets, people and purpose — that’s what audiences will see in the adult-oriented “Avenue Q” this summer. The musical comedy is a long-running Broadway hit, earning Tony Awards for best musical, score and book. It’s the story of Princeton, a recent college grad who moves to New York and meets an eccentric group of people — and puppets. Through a series of amusing relationship- and work-related woes, they’ll help him find his purpose in life. $38.50.


June 10-15 — “We Will Rock You”

“We Will Rock You” will show at the Civic Center June 10-15.

“We Will Rock You” will show at the Civic Center June 10-15.

Civic Center, 221 Walnut St., 246-2300,

This hilarious hit musical by Queen and Ben Elton is already in its 11th year of production in London and still breaking box-office records. Hits such as “Another One Bites The Dust,” “We Are The Champions” and the obvious “We Will Rock You” will have audiences jamming on air drums and guitars throughout the show as a pair of rebels attempts to break free from the computer-generated music of the future, during a time when live rock is outlawed. Laugh and sing along, as they fight to break free from the conformity and bring rock ‘n’ roll back to the world.


June 11-13 — “Tempestuous”

Shakesperience Festival of the Classical Performing Arts, Simon Estes Amphitheater

Bring wine, food and friends to enjoy a free night of fine arts under the stars for the Iowa Shakespeare Experience’s award-winning annual festival. This year’s production is a music- and dance-infused adaptation of “The Tempest,” one of Shakespeare’s greatest romances. The festival also includes ballet, poetry, a string quartet and — new this year — an intermission opera show featuring Marie Schmidt, who performs in shows across America and Europe.


June 12-15 — “The Merchant of Venice”

Salisbury House, 4025 Tonawanda Drive, 274-1777,

Repertory Theater of Iowa brings a night of classic dramatic comedy for Shakespeare on the Lawn at Salisbury House and Gardens. Pre-order food and beverages from Catering DSM, spread out a blanket and have a picnic before the show. Ticket prices range from $15-$25.

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June 13-29 — “How to Succeed In Business Without Really Trying”

Ames Community Theater, 120 Abraham Drive. Ames, 292-2073,

In this satirical work about big business, a young window washer with big ambitions manages to climb the corporate ladder using the advice of a self-help book. The nine-time Tony Award-winning musical comedy offers morally questionable decisions and a rocky romance. “How to Succeed” won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1962, after receiving rave reviews at its original production. The Daily News praised it as “the definitive musical about high life in the city.”


June 20-29 — “Fences”

DMSC, Kum & Go Theater, 900 Mulberry St., 369-3673,

This emotion-filled play explores the life of Troy Maxson, a former baseball star in the Negro leagues now working as a garbage man barred from the major leagues because of his race. “Fences” displays poignant themes that give its audiences a touching experience. A reviewer from the New York Post wrote, “I wasn’t just moved. I was transfixed.” DMSC has an invited preview scheduled for June 19. $15-$20.


July 11-Aug. 3 — “Shrek”

Des Moines Community Playhouse, 831 42nd St., 277-6261,

You know the story: A misunderstood ogre comes to the rescue of a strong-minded princess who struggles with a dual life while being held captive. And a fairy tale world wouldn’t be complete without a few little pigs, a sassy gingerbread man, a fire-breathing love-struck dragon, a wooden Pinnochio who’s sexual orientations is always in question and a friendly yet annoying donkey sidekick. Prepare to laugh as you revisit the land of Duloc with Shrek and Fiona — a family-friendly hit that people of all ages will enjoy.


Aug. 1-17—“Come Blow Your Horn”

Ankeny Community Theatre, 1932 S.W. Third St., 964-5007,

Buddy, 21, decides to leave the nest and settle into a bachelor pad and live the swinging ’60s lifestyle with his older brother, Alan, a ladies’ man, living it up in the Big Apple. But Alan discovers real feelings for one of his bed buddies, so when she leaves him, he falls apart, finding he has grown desperate for companionship while Buddy comes into his own playboy phase, $10-$15.


Aug. 8-17 — “Spring Awakening – The Musical”

DMSC, 900 Mulberry St.

This rock musical based on the controversial German play, which was banned in Germany due to its blatant displays of abortion, homosexuality, rape, child abuse and suicide, as such real-life topics are discovered by late-19th century teenagers experimenting with their sexuality.


Aug. 21-23 — “Evita”

Civic Center, 221 Walnut St., 246-2300,

The Tony Award-winning musical tells the true story of Eva Peron, who started in the slums of Argentina and became the adored First Lady and a champion for the poor. Although she was one of the world’s most powerful women, her greed, ambition and fragile health made her story a tragic one. A must-see hit, Vogue called it “sumptuous, elegant and breathtakingly romantic.” CV






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