Sunday, October 17, 2021

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The Culture Buzz

Greetings, Cultural Catalysts:


“Failure has a thousand explanations. Success doesn’t need one.” – Alec Guinness, Academy Award-winning actor (1914-2000)

Are you curious about where I find these quotes? Dr. Mardy Grothe is considered the foremost authority on quotations, and offers a weekly newsletter (free, quick read, always great content) and use his online “Dr. Mardy’s Dictionary of Metaphorical Quotations” to search for topic-referenced quotes. I’ll be interviewing Mardy soon about his forthcoming new book, “Deconstructing Trump.” 

Featured Cultural Offering

Cloris Awards Nomination Party. Thu Aug 8, free and open to the public. Come join the party as everyone at this event will be the first to learn about nominations for the 2019 Cloris Awards (Awards event Sun Aug 25 at Hoyt Sherman Place Theatre). Basement Bar at the Des Moines Social Club, below the Kum & Go Theater. Refreshments provided by Standing Ovation, leading playbill provider for most Central Iowa producers.

More Cultural Considerations:

Prep Iowa

1.     Ankeny Community Theatre continues its season-opening run of the classic Shakespeare comedy, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, through Aug 11. Lovers, magical creatures and a band of rustics providing plenty of comic interludes make this a most enjoyable theatrical romp.

2.     The Sound of Progress presented at the Stoner Theater in Des Moines Performing Arts’ Civic Center on Thu Aug 8 @ 7:00 PM and Sun Aug 11 @ 3:00 PM. Last year Reynolds Pamphlet (our adaptation of the musical Hamilton) sold out multiple shows, and we are thrilled to be bringing back the same team, and to be working with Des Moines Performing Arts (this year’s venue is the Stoner Theater) for this year’s production!

3.     Polk County Heritage Gallery’s Iowa Exhibited XXXIV, the 34th edition of their celebrated juried art show. Awards reception on Thu Aug 29. Exhibit closes Sep 6, 2019. 

Auditions and other Cultural Engagement Opportunities:

  1. Auditions for Ankeny Community Theatre’s production of ‘Night Mother will be held Sun Aug 18 and Mon Aug 19 at 6:30 PM. Cast Descriptions: Jessie,30-50 – Jessie has had issues both emotionally and physically in the past and it has taken its toll on her.  In the last year she has begun to take control of both her mind and body and on this night is determined to keep it.  She has a peaceful energy and a sense of purpose but she is very aware of the passing of time.  She is forth right and the most enjoyable/communicative she has ever been tonight. Thelma, 40-70 – Jessie’s mother.  She is the opposite of Jessie – talkative, always in control, a mentally sturdy woman.  This is her house and things are the way she wants them in her house.  
    They have lived together for a long time so there is a routine and comfort to how Thelma and Jessie interact.  We see both the good and bad interactions of this familiarity.
  1. Auditions for Tallgrass Theatre Company’s production of Wait Until Dark. * Auditions for adults will take place on Monday, August 26 & Tuesday, August 27 at 7:00pm
    * Auditions for the role of Gloria (10-12 year old girl) will take place on Tuesday, September 3 at 7:00pm.
    * NOTE: Please arrive 15 minutes early to fill out the required paperwork before your audition.
    Audition Structure:
    * No need to prepare a monologue.
    * Auditions will consist of cold readings from the script. Sides from the script will be provided to you for auditions. 
    * Please contact Tom Perrine (Artistic Director), at with questions regarding the script or requests to view the script in advance.

Greater Des Moines Music Tip:

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

Heath Alan. Fri Aug 9 @ 5pm. The Riverwalk Hub, 215 Water St. Des Moines. No cover.

Worth the drive:

The Faulconer Gallery in Grinnell at Grinnell College is a wondrous destination and less than an 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. Current column:
  2. Cityview – Central Iowa’s monthly printed and continually updated online resource to all things happening in your community, from arts & culture, to music, to civic and political discourse, to fascinating columnists and stories. Cityview is the reliable source for keeping you informed and engaged in the Greater Des Moines community and beyond.
  3. 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.
  4. 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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