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Feature Story

Winter Arts & Entertainment


There are dozens of places to go, things to do and events to see in the metro this season

In these harsh winter months, it can be tempting to curl up at home and not leave, but then you would be missing out on a myriad of events. Flip through to check out some of the Des Moines area’s happenings worth braving the cold for.


The frigid winter months are an ideal time to head to your favorite movie theater and see Hollywood’s latest offerings. Cozy up in a luxury lounger — now offered at numerous area theaters — and grab some salty, buttery popcorn and a soda to wash it down.

“Fifty Shades Freed”
Feb. 14
Directed by James Foly, starring Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan and Kim Basinger
The “Fifty Shades” films come to a close with the third and final installment, “Fifty Shades Freed.” The film picks up shortly after “Fifty Shades Darker” ends, finding Anastasia (Dakota Johnson) married to billionaire entrepreneur — who also has a well-documented BDSM fetish — Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) and working for one of his companies. Settling into life as Mr. and Mrs. Grey, the happy couple are thwarted by their past; Elena (Kim
Basinger), Christian’s scorned former dominate, and Jack, Anastasia’s former boss, are out for revenge.

“Black Panther”
Feb. 16
Directed by Ryan Coogler, starring Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong’o and Michael B. Jordan
Marvel’s latest comic book character to get a film treatment is Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman). Setting the stage for its own franchise, Black Panther first made an appearance in 2014’s “Captain America: Civil War.” Following Black Panther’s emergence in the Marvel universe, he returns home to the fictional African nation Wakanda and resumes his reign as King T’Challa. When his homeland is threatened, the king teams up with a CIA agent and springs into action as Black Panther to protect his people and prevent war.

“Tomb Raider”
March 16
Directed by Roar Uthaug, starring Alicia Vikander, Hannah John-Kamen and Dominic West
The “Tomb Raider” reboot provides the origin story of Lara Croft (Alicia Vikander) and finds her leading a normal life in east London. It has been years since she’s seen her adventurer father and learns of his (Dominic West) disappearance. Upon receiving the news, Lara uncovers a video message from him detailing Trinity and how she must stop it. She quickly sets out on a quest to end Trinity and find her father.

Prep Iowa

“Isle of Dogs”
March 23
Directed by Wes Anderson, starring Edward Norton, Bill Murray and Jeff Goldblum
Twenty years in the future, the Japanese archipelagos are overpopulated with dogs. When dog flu breaks out in the city of Megaski, the evil Mayor Kobayashi mandates that all dogs must be sent to garbage-filled Trash Island. Atari Kobayashi, a precocious 12-year-old, launches a rocket to fly to the island and rescue his dog Spots with the help of new canine friends.

“Ready Player One”
March 30
Directed by Steven Spielberg, starring Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke and Hannah John-Kamen
The year is 2045 and Columbus, Ohio, is the fastest-growing city. The world is overpopulated, and everyone’s favorite escape is a virtual reality game known as The Oasis. When the game’s creator dies, it is announced that he
left an Easter Egg in The Oasis, and the first person to find it gains control of The Oasis, along with a portion of the
billionaire’s fortune. Columbus teenager Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) soon finds himself at the top of the leaderboard and with a target on his back.


Add some culture to your outings this winter with any of the current and upcoming exhibits. This time of year can make it hard for anyone to find inspiration, and taking in art is the perfect way to get your creative juices flowing.

“Greater Des Moines Exhibited”
Ends Jan. 19
Polk County Heritage Gallery, 111 Court Ave.
This annual show exclusively features the work of artists in the greater Des Moines area, and the works run the gamut of mediums. Photography, sculpture, paintings and more can be viewed in one aesthetically pleasing experience. This year’s show juried show contains 73 works exhibited by 48 Iowans, with Guy Kyar’s “Good Samaritan” winning the Best in Show top honor.

“Drawing in Space”
Ends Jan. 21
Des Moines Art Center, 4700 Grand Ave.
There’s still time to catch the Art Center’s can’t-miss, awe-inducing, larger-than-life “Drawing in Space” exhibit before it leaves Des Moines. Featuring four separate works, each large-scale piece was constructed on site, out of tape, and is a one-of-a-kind installation designed specifically for the space. One work — “Tape Des Moines” — is interactive. Made entirely out of clear packing tape, visitors can crawl through life-size tunnels suspended in the air.

“The Irrational and the Marvelous”
Ends March 25
Des Moines Art Center, 4700 Grand Ave.
Take a closer look at the Dada art movement — an anti-art movement of sorts that began more than 100 years ago and challenged the concept of art — what was and what it could be. Dada also ended up paving the way for Surrealism art of the 1920s. “The Irrational and Marvelous” celebrates both these eras by showcasing the works of Dada artists like Marcel Duchamp and Hannah Höch and Surreal artists Roberto Matta, Dorothea Tanning and more.

Ends March 25
Des Moines Art Center, 4700 Grand Ave.
This stunning photography exhibit features photos of the people of New York City taken in the 1970s and is the work of photographers Larry Fink and Garry Winogrand. Winogrand’s body of work focuses on street photography of New Yorkers taken during the day, while Fink’s are of the Manhattan elite out and about at glamorous social events. Both photographers’ photos fall into the “snapshot aesthetic” — unaltered photos that embrace the mistakes that come with capturing a moment in motion.

“Wanderlust: Actions, Traces, Journeys 1967-2017”
Feb. 17 to May 13
Des Moines Art Center, 4700 Grand Ave.
“Wanderlust” is a compilation of work from regional, national and international artists in different mediums — including photography, drawing, sculpture, installations and film — spanning 50 years. The exhibit examines how artists engage in the world outside of their studio and includes work from Jane McFadden, Lori Waxman and Rachel Adams.



There’s plenty of live music and big names to get excited about in the coming months. Treat yourself and splurge on a ticket that’s not in the nosebleed section, and go ahead and get that killer concert T-shirt.

2018 Winter Tour Jam Spectacular
Friday, Jan. 26
Wells Fargo Arena, 730 Third St.
Rejoice! It’s that time of year again, when Christian music’s annual Winter Jam comes to Des Moines. This year’s jam-packed lineup includes Skillet, Kari Jobe, Building 429, John Crist, KB, NewSong, Jordan Feliz, Dan Bremnes, Mallory Hope, Westover and Nick Hall. The doors open at 6 p.m., and the music starts at 7 p.m. This show is general admission, and all tickets will be sold at the door for $15.

“Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone” In Concert
Feb. 2, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 3, 1:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Des Moines Civic Center, 221 Walnut St.
Whether you’re a Gryffindor, Slytherin, Ravenclaw or Hufflepuff, you can still enjoy the magical music — scored by John Williams — of “Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone,” performed live by the Des Moines Symphony Orchestra. The music is, of course, performed while the movie plays on a giant high-definition screen.

Miranda Lambert
Thursday, March 15
Wells Fargo Arena, 730 Third St.
Country music’s sweetheart Miranda Lambert rolls through with her “Livin’ Like Hippies” tour. Joining Lambert on tour are opening acts Jon Pardi and Ashley McBryde, who is making a special appearance. The name of the tour comes from the song “Highway Vagabond” from her most recent release, 2016’s double album “The Weight of These Wings.” The country powerhouse has won two Grammys, seven CMT awards and countless ACM awards since her 2005 major-label debut “Kerosene.”

Wednesday, March 21
Wells Fargo Arena, 730 Third St.
The Eagles’ seven studio albums have resulted in than 150 million albums sold worldwide since 1971. Check every Rolling Stone list: the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time and the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time; The Eagles are on them all. These are the important facts and figures to know when it comes to the Eagles. While founding member Glenn Frey passed away in 2016, Don Henley, Joe Walsh and the rest of the crew are carrying on with another tour.

Sunday, March 25
Wells Fargo Arena, 730 Third St.
New Zealand native Lorde burst onto the music scene with her hard-to-ignore hit single “Royals” when she was just a teenager, and followed it up with her polished album debut “Pure Heroine” at 17 years old. “Royals” later won an MTV award for “Best Rock Video.” Now 21 years old, she is on her second equally stunning album “Melodrama.” She is also known for her biting Twitter presence and a secret Instagram account where she reviewed onion rings with critiques such as “Good flavour on the crumb.”


Laughter is always in season. Thankfully, Des Moines has a few big names coming through to keep Iowans smiling until temperatures warm up.

Kathleen Madigan
Friday, Feb. 9
Hoyt Sherman Place, 1501 Woodland Ave.
Growing up in the Midwest and hailing from a large Irish Catholic family, Madigan’s upbringing serves as relatable and hilarious fodder for her standup routine, and is sure to be fair game on her “Boxed Wine and Bigfoot” tour. Madigan is a familiar presence on the late-night talk show circuit and SIRIUS-XM radio. She has numerous CDs and standup specials to her name.

Jeff Dunham
Sunday, April 8
Wells Fargo Arena, 730 Third St.
If ventriloquist comedy trips your trigger, then it is Jeff Dunham you must see. More than one million YouTube subscribers (racking up more than one billion views) agree. Dunham brings his unique brand of comedy and characters to the stage on his “Passively Aggressive” tour. Be forewarned, these puppets are not for kids.

Lewis Black
Saturday, April 14
Hoyt Sherman Place, 1501 Woodland Ave.
Angry? Frustrated? But still want to laugh about it? Lewis Black serves up enraged comedic brilliance on his “The Joke’s on US” tour. More than a comedian, Black has a long list of TV and acting credits, too.


The thrill of a live performance is hard to match. The singing, the dancing, the costumes; it’s a full-sensory experience that’ll pull you out of hibernation mode.

Jan. 26-28
Des Moines Civic Center, 221 Walnut St.
In an entirely unique stage performance, “Stomp” is an eight-member percussion group that pushes the boundaries of percussion. The members drum, stomp, hit, slap and play anything except traditional percussion equipment. Some of their pristine instruments include garbage cans, matchboxes and Zippo lighters. New additions to the routine include refined items like paint cans, inner tubes and tractor tires.

Jan. 26 – Feb. 11
Des Moines Community Playhouse, 831 42nd St.
Based on the Stephen King novel “Misery,” the play finds famous author Paul Sheldon stranded and unconscious after a car crash in the mountains. He wakes up in the home of his No. 1 fan, Annie Wilkes, who rescued and is attending to him. Annie gets ahold of Paul’s manuscript for the newest novel in his series, and is irate when she discovers Paul intends to kill off her favorite character, Misery Chastain. Annie forces Paul to write a new book and things get ugly, with Paul coming to the startling realization that his host intends to keep him captive.

“On Your Feet!”
Feb. 20-25
Des Moines Civic Center, 221 Walnut St.
Step inside the world of Emilio and Gloria Estefan as the splashy musical “On Your Feet!” goes back to the couple’s modest beginnings in Cuba and follows the story behind the multi-million record selling power couple. They travel to America, eventually find success with the Miami Sound Machine and become crossover pop music stars. Just as the Estefans achieve fame, they almost lose it all.

March 9-11
Des Moines Civic Center, 221 Walnut St.
“Chicago” is currently the No. 1 longest running American musical in the history of Broadway. Set in 1920s Chicago, the musical follows performers Velma Kelly and Roxie Hart after they’ve been sent to the county jail for murder — Velma for murdering her sister and husband after catching them romantically involved and Roxie for murdering the man she was having an affair with. The two women soon find themselves competing against each other in jail for everything from lawyers, to press coverage, and, ultimately, their freedom.

April 6-29
Des Moines Community Playhouse, 831 42nd St.
Nearing the turn of the 20th century, three different New Yorkers — a young musician from Harlem, a Jewish immigrant and an upper-class housewife — all pursue their version of the American dream. While their paths sometimes intertwine, they must separately navigate the waters of a tumultuous time and explore what it means to be an American. The storyline is complemented by music of the time, including the ragtime of Harlem and Tin Pan Alley, banjo playing, booming brass and waltzes in this emotional tale.

“Les Misérables”
April 17-22
Des Moines Civic Center, 221 Walnut St.
The famed French fable is based on the novel of the same name by French author Victor Hugo. Set in 19th century France, “Les Misérables” is the tale of French peasant Jean Valjean after he is released from prison after 19 years. Vowing to change his ways and pursue a better life, Valjean breaks his parole, assumes the alias Monsieur Madeleine and becomes a wealthy factory owner. Valjean later becomes the guardian of Cosette, the young daughter of one his former factory workers, promising to take care of her on her mother’s deathbed. However, a policeman named Javert has been searching for Valjean all these years and aims to capture him.


Basketball and hockey are in season, and Des Moines has plenty of both to go around. Take your pick of college or minor league games. There’s even a rodeo, too.

Iowa Wolves remaining home games schedule
Jan. 5 vs. Sioux Falls Skyforce, 7 p.m.
Jan. 21 vs. Reno Bighorns, 4 p.m.
Jan. 24 vs. Rio Grande Valley Vipers, 7 p.m.
Jan. 27 vs. Texas Legends, 7 p.m.
Feb. 3 vs. Oklahoma City Blue, 7 p.m.
Feb. 6 vs. Memphis Hustle, 10:30 a.m.
Feb. 23 vs. Rio Grande Valley Vipers, 7 p.m.
March 4 vs. Erie BayHawks, 3 p.m.
March 16 vs. Austin Spurs, 7 p.m.
March 17 vs. Salt Lake City Stars, 7 p.m.
March 20 vs. Sioux Falls Skyforce, 7 p.m.

Iowa Wild remaining home games schedule
Jan. 6 vs. Manitoba Moose, 7 p.m.
Jan. 7 vs. Cleveland Monsters, 5 p.m.
Jan. 17 vs. Chicago Wolves, 7 p.m.
Jan. 19 vs. Bakersfield Condors, 7 p.m.
Jan. 20 vs. Milwaukee Admirals, 6 p.m.
Feb. 9 vs. Chicago Wolves, 7 p.m.
Feb. 10 vs. Rockford IceHogs, 6 p.m.

Feb. 12 vs. San Antonio Rampage, 7 p.m.
Feb. 18 vs. Texas Stars, 3 p.m.
Feb. 19 vs. Texas Stars, 7 p.m.
March 11 vs. Manitoba Moose, 3 p.m.
March 19 vs. Rockford IceHogs, 7 p.m.
March 23 vs. Grand Rapids Griffins, 7 p.m.
March 24 vs. Grand Rapids Griffins, 6 p.m.
March 30 vs. Tucson Roadrunners, 7 p.m.
March 31 vs. Tucson Roadrunners, 6 p.m.
April 3 vs. Cleveland Monsters, 7 p.m.
April 6 vs. Chicago Wolves, 7 p.m.
April 10 vs. Rockford IceHogs, 7 p.m.
April 13 vs. Milwaukee Admirals, 7 p.m.

Des Moines Buccaneers remaining home games schedule
Jan. 5 vs. Team USA U17, 7:05 p.m.
Jan. 6 vs. Team USA U17, 7:05 p.m.
Jan. 20 vs. Omaha Lancers, 7:05 p.m.
Jan. 21 vs. Cedar Rapids, 7:05 p.m.
Jan. 26 vs. Sioux Falls Stampede, 7:05 p.m.
Jan. 27 vs. Green Bay Gamblers, 7:05 p.m.
Feb. 9 vs. Cedar Rapids, 7:05 p.m.
Feb. 9 vs. Lincoln Stars, 7:05 p.m.
Feb. 18 vs. Muskegon Lumberjacks, 7:05 p.m.
Feb. 23 vs. Waterloo Blackhawks, 7:05 p.m.
Feb. 24 vs. Tri-City Storm, 7:05 p.m.
March 2 vs. Sioux Falls Stampede, 7:05 p.m.
March 3 vs. Tri-City Storm, 7:05 p.m.
March 16 vs. Sioux Falls Stampede, 7:05 p.m.
March 17 vs. Lincoln Stars, 7:05 p.m.
March 23 vs. Sioux City Musketeers, 7:05 p.m.
April 1 vs. Dubuque Fighting Saints, 5:05 p.m.
April 6 vs. Omaha Lancers, 7:05 p.m.
April 7 vs. Omaha Lancers, 7:05 p.m.

Drake Men’s Basketball remaining home games schedule
Jan. 3 vs. Illinois State, 7 p.m.
Jan. 13 vs. Evansville, 2 p.m.
Jan. 20 vs. Missouri State, 3 p.m.
Jan. 24 vs. Loyola, 7 p.m.
Jan. 30 vs. SIU, 7 p.m.
Feb. 10 vs. UNI, 3 p.m.
Feb. 14 vs. Indiana State, 7 p.m.
Feb. 24 vs. Valparaiso, TBA

Drake Women’s Basketball remaining home games schedule
Jan. 12 vs. Indiana State, 7 p.m.
Jan. 14 vs. Evansville, 2 p.m.
Jan. 19 vs. UNI, 7 p.m.
Feb. 2 vs. SIU, 7 p.m.
Feb. 4 vs. Missouri State, 2 p.m.
Feb. 23 vs. Bradley, TBA
Feb. 25 vs. Illinois State, 2 p.m.

World’s Toughest Rodeo
Jan. 12-13
Wells Fargo Arena, 730 Third St.
www.hy-veetix.com ♦

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