Sunday, October 24, 2021

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The Culture Buzz

The Culture Buzz


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:

This Fri Apr 19 Comedian of the Year Sebastian Maniscalco headlines the Hoyt Sherman Place Theatre as part of his Stay Hungry Tour. Although he may not have started his career in film, Maniscalco’s loyal fans will continue to see more acting roles from him in 2019 with a performance opposite Robert DeNiro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci in Martin Scorcese’s “The Irishman.”

More Cultural Considerations:

1. Treasure Island, presented by Des Moines Young Artists’ Theatre, opens Fri Apr 19 at the Stoner Theater and runs through Sun Apr 28.

Prep Iowa

2.       Ankeny Community Theatre will hold one performance only of their state-winning production of Dancing Lessons on Mon Apr 22 at 7 p.m. No ticket needed; a goodwill collection will be taken. This is for the AACT Region V Festival, April 26-28, in South Dakota. This production will represent Iowa in the festival. 

3. Closer presented by Open Door Rep through Apr 20 at Mainframe Studios. This provocative story about lust and long features a quartet of some of the region’s best performing artists, Emily Davis, Megan Helmers, Charlie Reese, and Josh Visnapuu. Open Door has built a strong reputation for creating a unique theatrical experience.

4. American Dreamer: The Life and Times of Henry A. Wallace. This solo performance by Tom Milligan will be presented as part of the Wallace Centers of Iowa programming at the 756 – 16th Street site in Des Moines’ historic Sherman Hill, Tue Apr 30 7:00-9:00 PM.

Auditions and Other Participation Opportunities:

1.     Auditions for Urbandale Community Theatre’s production of Annie(performances Jul 19-28) will be held Mon Apr 22 beginning at 6:30 pm at Franklin Jr High, 4801 Franklin Ave. Callbacks will be held Wednesday, April 24th.

2.     Des Moines Community Playhouse will hold auditions for Disney’s Newsieson Mon Apr 22 at 6:30 PM. For information about auditions and forms to complete, please visit:

3.     Art Beacon Digital Residency. Through Art Beacon’s Instagram, this advocacy and promotion group grants Iowa-connected artists and 1-2 week residency. Residents share their work and inspirations in daily posts. Artists are invited or selected from call submissions. Interested artists should contact:

Worth the Drive:

The Faulconer Gallery in Grinnell at Grinnell College is a wonderous destination and less than a hour to the east of Greater Des Moines. Anchoring the Bucksbaum Fine Arts Center, this gallery, under the masterful guidance of Director Lesley Wright, is an ever-changing exploration of visual arts and great presentations.

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.

2.     Plot Twist Bookstore, Ankeny.

3.     Pageturners Bookstore, Indianola.

4.     Artisan Gallery 218, 218-5th Street, Historic Valley Junction, West Des Moines (select author events),

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.

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.

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.

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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