Tuesday, July 27, 2021

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The Culture Buzz

Greetings, Cultural Catalysts:


There is a diverse and appealing array of cultural indulgences awaiting the Cultural Adventurer in Central Iowa. Leave the personal devices behind and savor the rich offerings that performing arts, exhibitions and more offer. Sally forth and reward yourself.

Featured Cultural Offering:

Kitten Bomb Comedy returns with their newest full-length improv show: Off Script – In Space! This talented group’s last show sold out, so get your tickets quickly to experience improv at its best. This show will be presented Fri Jun 7 at the Kum & Go Theater. Details and tickets: https://www.facebook.com/events/2383695055245992/?notif_t=plan_user_invited&notif_id=1558538383516579 

More Cultural Considerations:

  1. Willy Wonka Jr is being presented Jun 7-15 at Class Act Productions in Altoona. This abbreviated musical version of the popular children’s story is sure to delight the family. http://www.captheatre.org/main/2019wonka/
  2. Pyramid Theatre Company begins its 2019 season this weekend in repertory with Jiréh Holder’s Too Heavy for Your Pocket and August Wilson’s How I Learned What I Learned. This year’s season runs Fri Jun 7 through Sun Jun 16. http://pyramidtheatre.org/
  3. The Diary of Anne Frank opens Fri Jun 7 – Sun Jun 16 at Ankeny Community Theatre. This moving story based on the writings of a young girl in war-torn Europe, hiding from the Nazis, is not to be missed. http://www.ankenycommunitytheatre.com/2018-2019-season.html
  4. Silent Sky runs through Jun 16 at the Des Moines Playhouse. Lauren Gunderson’s 2015 play centers around the true story of the 19th-century astronomers. “Silent Sky” explores a woman’s place in society during a time of immense scientific discoveries, when women’s ideas were dismissed until men claimed credit for them. Social progress, like scientific progress, can be hard to see when one is trapped among earthly complications. https://www.dmplayhouse.com/events/silent-sky
Auditions and Other Participation Opportunities:

1.     Ankeny Community Theatre will hold auditions for A Midsummer Night’s Dream Sun Jun 9 and Mon Jun 10, 6:30 PM. Production dates are Aug 2-11. https://www.ankenycommunitytheatre.com/a-midsummer-nightrsquos-dream.html

Prep Iowa

2.     To all artists based in Iowa! Gain recognition in the Iowa Art Scene by entering the Polk County Heritage Gallery’s Iowa Exhibited XXXIV, the 34th edition of our juried art show. Don’t wait to submit your artwork. The call for artists’ entries is open from May 20 to Jun 7. Your artworks will be evaluated for inclusion in the upcoming exhibition. The jurors will be revealed in a few days! If you are fortunate, you can win a monetary award and the chance to be exhibited in the gallery from Jun 24 – Sep 6, 2019. Eligibility: To enter in the show, submitting artists must live in Iowa. Awards:  1 Best of Show – $350; 3 Merit Awards – $125 each; 3 Honorable Mention Awards – $75 each. Fees: -1 or 2 entries – $30; 3 entries – $40. ENTRY DEADLINE: Jun 7.

Greater Des Moines Music Tip:

This weekly tip is brought to you by Steve Vasquez of the Central Iowa Blues Society – www.cibs.org, for full calendar of live music in our region.

Sun Jun 9.  Anthony Gomes, Lefty’s, 2307 University Ave, Des Moines. 6pm. $20 (CIBS members get $5 discount). 

Contributing to making a better world:

Citizen Diplomacy Summit: Global Effect, Local Impact. Iowa Sister States and the Iowa International Center are pleased to announce that they are joining forces to co-host the Citizen Diplomacy Summit: Global Effect, Local Impact, to be held on Wednesday, June 19th at DMACC Southridge Center from 7:45am – 1:00pm. The Citizen Diplomacy Summit is an opportunity for those committed to connecting people across the globe to come together for purposeful dialogue around challenges and triumphs of working with international communities. The Citizen Diplomacy Summit offers a chance for cities, educational institutions, organizations, business, citizens, and other interested parties the opportunity to connect on common issues as well as to nurture a supportive global community in Iowa. The event’s opening session will feature Teta Moehs, Deputy Director of the Office of International Visitors, Department of State. Ambassador Kenneth Quinn will lead the lunch keynote panel will include insights and experiences from abroad. During the summit, community leaders will headline volunteer and resource development discussions. Registration for the event and more information can be found at https://citizen-diplomacy2019.eventbrite.com 

Worth the drive:

History Boy Theater in Jefferson opens Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein Fri Jun 7 – Sun Jun 16. Book a performance of his highly entertaining musical in historic Jefferson. Consider an overnight mini-vacation, and take in the quaint town square filled with restaurants, shops and more. This musical features a reprise performance in the lead role of Frederick Frankenstein by Charlie Reese, who won a Cloris Award for his performance in this role at the Des Moines Community Playhouse.


Greater Des Moines Independent Book Store Happenings:

The Culture Buzz shares many authors and their books with its audiences. We encourage you to visit your local independent book store regularly. The folks at these destination locations know books, and welcome the chance to help anyone connect with titles and subjects they seek. Check these sites, as their calendars are always filled with enticing activities and news.

  1. Beaverdale Books, Des Moines. http://www.beaverdalebooks.com/
  2. Plot Twist Bookstore, Ankeny. https://www.plottwistbookstore.com/
  3. Pageturners Bookstore, Indianola. http://www.pageturnersbookstore.com/
  4. Artisan Gallery 218, 218-5th Street, Historic Valley Junction, West Des Moines (select author events), http://www.artisangallery218.com/ 

Cultural Exploration Resources:

The Culture Buzz will begin including carefully vetted but comprehensive listings where you can do some advance online exploration before scheduling destinations in the region. These are two great websites to know about:

  1. Center Stage – John Busbee writes this Cityview monthly column. See what is happening on Central Iowa’s stages. Distributed throughout the region and available online. http://www.dmcityview.com/center-stage/2019/06/04/a-tribute-to-one-of-our-communitys-theatrical-finest/
  2. Art Beacon Des Moines is Central Iowa’s home for promoting the visual arts. Our calendar of events highlights exhibitions, art talks and calls for art. Subscribe to the Art Beacon Weekly, our online newsletter filled with links to the latest art happenings. Find us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. http://artbeacondesmoines.com/
  3. A Gentle Guide to Des Moines Theatre is Central Iowa’s source for knowing what productions by which companies are available when. In short, you can know what’s playing before it happens rather than after the fact. Timothy Rose created this site with its comprehensive theatre calendar for you, the cultural consumer. He includes articles and more, making this a worthy destination when curious about what’s happening in Central Iowa’s theatre scene. http://www.gentleguidedsm.com/

As always, I appreciate news and information from you out there in the cultural trenches and am ready and willing to pursue a story or interview to share with my audiences. ♦

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