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Winter Arts & Entertainment Guide


From legendary concerts to award-winning musicals, we’ve got everything you need to plan your next outing.


“Fifty Shades of Grey”50 shades
Feb. 13
Directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson, starring Dakota Johnson, Jennifer Ehle and Jamie Dornan
Rated R

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, a romantic movie to see with your significant other. Well, it depends on what “romantic” means to you. Based on the erotic novel by the same name, “Fifty Shades of Grey” is more kinky bedroom scenes than touching love story. If you’ve read the books, you probably already have the movie release date saved on your calendar. If you’ve been living under a rock and have never heard of it, here’s your warning: Do not watch this movie with parents, siblings, grandparents or anyone else you would be uncomfortable talking to about your sexual exploits. It was rated R for “unusual content,” because even the Motion Picture Association of America didn’t know what to think of it.


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March 13
Directed by Kenneth Branagh, starring Cate Blanchett, Lily James, Helena Bonham Carter and Richard Madden
Rated PG

Live-action Disney movies are popping up more and more often — think “Maleficent” and “Mirror Mirror.” This year’s latest will be everyone’s favorite: “Cinderella.” The story has been retold a dozen times in movie form, so the question with this one lies in why audiences should spend the money to see it. For starters, Helena Bonham Carter (“Harry Potter,” “Sweeney Todd”) takes a break from her darker roles as the beautiful fairy godmother. The trailer shows a more colorful version of “Ever After,” and the mice don’t seem quite as cute as in the original movie. But viewers can expect several twists throughout the film, including a glimpse at Ella’s (her name in the new version) mother and a different meeting with Prince Charming. The end appears to be more ominous than before, which might just make the ticket price worth it.


March 27
Directed by Susanne Bier, starring Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper and Toby Jones
Rated R, 109 minutes

Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper are back together again (at least on the big screen), this time as newlyweds running a timber business in North Carolina. Another movie adaptation, “Serena” takes place in the 1930s during the Great Depression. It tells the story of George Pemberton (Cooper) and his wife Serena (Lawrence). When Serena learns that she can’t have children, George struggles to find a way to maintain his business in the future. The movie has already been released in London and France, and it has earned little fanfare in the U.S., although judging this duo’s previous work together, it is likely to be a good one.


“The Avengers: Age of Ultron”Avengers
May 1
Directed by Joss Whedon, starring Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner, Scarlett Johansson and Mark Ruffalo
Not yet rated

What’s the best way to kick off a summer of blockbusters? One that involves all your favorite superheroes. The first movie left S.H.I.E.L.D. in ruins, and while the Avengers need a break to recover, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) makes an attempt to bring a dormant peacekeeping program back to life. Enter: Ultron. Thought to be their answer to bringing peace to humanity, Ultron turns on the Avengers when it decides humans are the enemy. The Avengers must team up once more to defeat Ultron, an artificial intelligence program that is both self-aware and self-teaching. Along with the familiar faces, we’ll be introduced to Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), his twin sister the Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany).


“Pitch Perfect 2”Pitch-Perfect-2
May 15
Directed by Elizabeth Banks, starring Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Brittany Snow, Hailee Steinfeld and Skylar Swanson
Rated PG-13

The long-awaited sequel to everyone’s favorite musical comedy if finally within reach. “Pitch Perfect” reached mega-hit status with its hilarious one-liners, eccentric characters and solid music content — you know you still listen to that “Cups” song on the regular. The Barden Bellas are back — with all of the old stars reprising their roles, not to mention some fresh faces on board — this time preparing to enter an international a cappella competition. The only catch: No American group has ever won before. “Pitch Perfect 2” promises everything it gave us in the first movie: a lot of laughs and great musical mash-ups — but hopefully no more projectile vomiting.




Echosmith plays the Iowa State University M-Shop on Tuesday, Feb. 10, at 8 p.m.

Echosmith plays the Iowa State University
M-Shop on Tuesday, Feb. 10, at 8 p.m.

Iowa State University Memorial Union M-Shop
Tuesday, Feb. 10, 8 p.m., $12-$20

Los Angeles-based alt-pop band Echosmith hits the small stage at Iowa State’s Memorial Union venue after finding big success in 2014 with the hit single “Cool Kids.” Working its way up to mainstream music fame, Echosmith has been named MTV’s “Artist to Watch” and VH1’s “You Oughta Know” Artist for the year. Big things await the distinctive-sounding family band, which is made up of four siblings: Jamie (vocals/guitar), Sydney (vocals/keyboard), Noah (vocals/bass) and Graham (drums). Ahead of them will be The Colourist, a band from Orange County, California, who released a self-titled album in March 2014 and played at Coachella in 2013. At tickets this cheap, you’d be crazy not to make the trip.


John Mellencamp
Des Moines Civic Center
Sunday, Feb. 15, 7:30 p.m., $43-$120

Grammy Award-winning John Mellencamp makes his first appearance at the Des Moines Civic Center since 1984 as part of his “Plain Spoken” tour. Mellencamp was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008, but he didn’t take that as an excuse to slow down. At 63 years old, Mellencamp has been producing music since his first hit in 1979, “I Need A Lover.” With the purchase of a ticket to his Des Moines show, guests receive a digital copy of his latest release, “Plain Spoken.” This tour marks Mellencamp’s 22nd full-length album, to be promoted in 80 cities in North America this year. It’s been a long wait for Des Moines fans, but Mellencamp always promises

Kalin & Myles
Saturday, April 11, 7 p.m., $15-$75

Kalin White and Myles Parrish are another California-based musical talent coming to Des Moines this year. The young duo takes the stage at Wooly’s to perform their pop-hip hop hybrid sounds. The two guys met at a movie theater in 2011 and soon began creating music together. Their first hit, “More Than Friends,” was met with an overwhelming response when they released it online, and they produced their debut EP, “Chasing Dream,” in 2012. Kalin and Myles performed on the Teen Nick Top 10 New Year’s Eve Special and are currently on tour promoting their latest EP, “Dedication.”



‘The Lion King’

He Lives in You: Jelani Remy as “Simba” and the ensemble in “He Lives in You” from “The Lion King” National Tour.

He Lives in You: Jelani Remy as “Simba” and
the ensemble in “He Lives in You” from “The
Lion King” National Tour.

Des Moines Civic Center
April 28 – May 17

Having a rough week? Here’s our problem-free philosophy: Check out “The Lion King” this April at the Civic Center. The award-winning best musical takes viewers through the Disney classic in a way that’s sure to leave them feeling thankful that this childhood memory has been brought to life. Director Julie Taymor uses visual imagery and costumes that transform the cartoon into an art form and displays the African pride lands in a majestic, yet somehow realistic way. Songs such as the Oscar-winning “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” and “Circle of Life” are featured in the show. Group tickets and VIP packages available. Hakuna matata.

‘Little Women’
Kum and Go Theater – Des Moines Social Club
Feb. 20 – March 1
Adults $18, students and seniors $15, children $10

Based on the novel by Louisa May Alcott, “Little Women” is set in Civil War-time New England and follows four sisters (pretty Meg, practical Jo, shy Beth and vain little Amy) who, along with their mother and housekeeper, await their father’s return from war. Each sister has a very different personality and character traits, and each has different aspirations in life. Nonetheless, through trying times they remain a close and caring family.

‘The Great Gatsby’
Montana Repertory Theatre at Stephen’s Auditorium
Feb. 12

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s most well known novel, “The Great Gatsby,” comes to life as the Montana Repertory Theatre performs the adaption by Simon Levy. Follow the rollercoaster of a love story between the romantic Jay Gatsby and the dangerous Daisy Buchanan through the fun-loving and upbeat lifestyle of the roaring 1920s. Still, the pearls, short dresses and even shorter hair of the party era cannot distract from the tragedy and havoc-wrecked heart of the notorious Gatsby. Come along for the ride as this American classic is revived and displayed for the audience to appreciate once again.



‘The Departure of the Argonaut’

Francesco Clemente’s creation of 34 color and 16 black-and-white prints represents the story of a young man’s diary through World War I.

Francesco Clemente’s creation of 34 color
and 16 black-and-white prints represents
the story of a young man’s diary through
World War I.

Feb. 27-May 17
Des Moines Art Center
4700 Grand Ave.

A showcase of prints by the Italian artist Francesco Clemente (1952) comprises one of the most visually compelling artist’s books produced in the second half of the 20th century. Both color and black-and-white prints respond to a wartime diary written in 1917 by Italian writer and artist Alberto Savinio (1891-1952). Savinio composed his text as a young army recruit during World War I. Clemente create these double-spread lithographs for the first English translation of Savinio’s diary, published in 1986. While Clemente’s prints don’t illustrate the text in a literal way, they are a dazzling journey to the very heart of Savinio’s work. The Des Moines Art Center presents this exhibition, organized by Amy N. Worthern, with a lecture by Worthern at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 26 in the Levitt Auditorium.

‘Trees: A Different View’
Through March 31, free for members, $5 for adults, $4 for seniors
Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden
909 Robert D. Ray Drive, Des Moines

Take a moment away from the busy life in the city to enjoy the smaller things with this exhibit by Jeana Maier. Maier grew up in tree care, and her favorite expression of drawing has culminated in works of small, often overlooked views of nature. She takes photos in the fall and spends time drawing them during the winter. This showcase gives viewers a different look at something that seems so simple, yet has a major significance in the world.


‘Making Art Public’
Through June 30, free admission
State Historical Society of Iowa
600 E. Locust St., Des Moines

This exhibit showcases both the history and beauty of public art around Iowa through photographs, museum artifacts and original artworks that highlight the beginnings of public art in the state. It emphasizes significant artists such as Grant Wood, major themes and the creative process. Through “Making Art Public,” visitors will gain an appreciation of the connections between public art and their own natural and cultural heritage, and how this art has become part of the fabric of Iowa colleges and communities.



Iowa Energy basketball

The Iowa Energy play next at Wells Fargo Arena on Saturday, Jan. 31 at 7 p.m. against the Oklahoma City Blue.

The Iowa Energy play next at Wells Fargo Arena on Saturday, Jan. 31 at 7 p.m. against the Oklahoma City Blue.

Wells Fargo Arena

The Iowa Energy started the 2014-2015 season off strong with three back-to-back wins but didn’t hold their perfect record long, falling in the next four games. Reaching the midway point of the season, the Energy’s record is close to half and half. Their next game is Jan. 29 against the Fort Wayne Mad Ants at 6 p.m.

The Energy sponsors many different events and is in affiliation with many local businesses. Events in February include Ladies Night on Feb. 7, Education Celebration on Feb. 10 at 10:30 a.m., Hoops & Hops presented by El Bait Shop on Feb. 25 at 7 p.m., and Guys Night Out sponsored by Whiskey Dixx on Feb. 27. For events occurring in March and April, visit the Iowa Energy website.


Iowa Energy remaining home schedule:

Jan. 31 — vs. Oklahoma City Blue — 7 p.m.

Feb. 7 — vs. Fort Wayne Mad Ants — 7 p.m.

Feb. 10 — Sioux Falls Skyforce — 10:30 a.m.

Feb. 25 — Erie BayHawks — 7 p.m.

Feb. 27 — Sioux Falls Skyforce — 7 p.m.

March 8 — Reno Bighorns — 4 p.m.

March 20 — Fort Wayne Mad Ants — 7 p.m.

March 23 — Delaware 87ers — 7 p.m.

March 28 — Canton Charge — 7 p.m.

March 29 — Canton Charge — 4 p.m.

April 1 — Westchester Knicks — 7 p.m.

April 4 — Maine Red Claws — 7 p.m.


Des Moines Buccaneers hockey
Buccaneer Arena

This season, the Buccaneers are leading with a great record and hoping to hit the milestone record of most all-time regular season victories. The current 15 victories puts the team at a 28.9 percent power play, and they have been near the top of the power play stats most of the season. For the first time in about nine years, the Bucs went into the holiday break in the top four of their division, and are looking to keep the success going in the second half of this season. This is the Des Moines Buccaneers’ 35th season of play, with only two other teams — the Sioux City Musketeers and the Waterloo Blackhawks — having been in existence longer.

The Bucs have a full season this year, packed with games and plenty of promotions. Events include the Fenders Cycle T-Shirt giveaway on Feb. 6, Hockey Weekend in America Feb. 20, the Fourth Annual ARL Doxie Dash on Feb. 21, college night on Mar. 6, Kaplan University’s Dash for Cash event Mar. 7, and fan appreciation night on Apr. 11. Check the team’s website for a full list of events.


Des Moines Buccaneers remaining home schedule (puck drops at 7:05 p.m. unless otherwise noted):

Feb. 6 – vs. Bloomington Thunder

Feb. 15 – vs. Sioux Falls Stampede, 5:05 p.m.

Feb. 20 – vs. Cedar Rapids Roughriders

Feb. 21 – vs. Dubuque Fighting Saints

Feb. 27 – vs. Lincoln Stars

March 6 – vs. Lincoln Stars

March 7 – vs. Lincoln Stars

March 13 – vs. Madison Capitols

March 17 – vs. Fargo Force

April 10 – Bloomington Thunder, 7 p.m.

April 11 – vs. Tri-City Storm


Fight for Air Climb
March 22, 8 a.m. – noon
Des Moines Marriott Downtown, 700 Grand Ave.

The Fight for Air Climb is a unique fundraising event for the American Lung Association. It takes place in large skyscrapers, stadiums or arenas and involves climbing multiple flights of stairs. Participants can race each other to the top of the buildings, or they can walk and meet new people. Either way, participation means funds being raised for lung cancer research, advocacy and education. The event is held in support of those who suffer from lung cancer, asthma and for people who can’t breathe on their own. Participants can register as individuals, as a team, or join an existing team. Every event costs $25, and you can buy a decal for $15, which also goes toward the organization. Events include virtual climber, gym and fitness challenge, individual law enforcement in full gear, law enforcement relay, individual firefighter in full gear, firefighter relay, one building climb, two building climb, three building climb, and four building climb. Participants are also asked to add a fundraising goal and make additional donations.


Flock to the Rock – Redpoint Top Rope Competition
Feb. 27-28, Climb Iowa

Flock to the Rock is a competition series by Climb Iowa where competitors race to climb a rock wall. It is done in teams and features three different divisions: recreational, intermediate and advanced. Open climbs are also featured. The advanced climbers will be almost three stories high in the air. Climbers compete at different levels of difficulty with separate courses labeled with numbers based on difficulty. Adults start climbing around 5 p.m. and children start around 7 p.m. The results of the competition are displayed around midnight. The cost is $45.


JAM Brands Rolling Prairie Challenge
Feb. 14, Iowa State Fairgrounds

This rock star-themed cheerleading and dance event competition is returning to Des Moines as a part of the Great Lakes Championship Company’s Get Loud tour. This GLCC event is known for family-friendly events that include anyone and everyone who is willing to participate. It is interactive and fun for everyone involved. This LOUD event is divided into all teams, crossover teams, and special needs teams. There are cheer and dance individuals, dance duets, dance trios, partner stunts and stunt groups competing. Teams are also welcome and may compete as exhibitions teams, level four and six cheer teams, open dance teams, collegiate teams and parent teams. Everyone is welcome and everyone is encouraged to get LOUD. CV


Mark the calendar

Drake Women’s Basketball vs. Wichita State
Feb. 1, Drake University – Knapp Center

Hog Wild Winter Hike
Feb. 1, 1-2 p.m.
Brown’s Woods, Brown’s Woods Drive.

Snowshoeing in the Sculpture Park
Feb. 6, John & Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park

2015 IHSAA State Wrestling Tournament
Feb. 19-21, Wells Fargo Arena

Girls High School State Basketball Tournament
March 2-7, Wells Fargo Arena

Iowa Deer Classic
March 6-8, Iowa Events Center

Boys High School State Basketball Tournament
March 9-14, Wells Fargo Arena


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