Sunday, May 22, 2022

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The Culture Buzz

Greetings, Cultural Catalysts:


Quote of the Week 

“The whole country wants civility. Why don’t we have it? It doesn’t cost anything. No federal funding, no legislation is involved. One answer is the unwillingness to restrain oneself. Everybody wants other people to be polite to them, but they want the freedom of not having to be polite to others.” -Judith Martin, better known by the pen name Miss Manners, is an American journalist, author, and etiquette authority (b. 1938)

Featured Cultural Offering

APPLEFEST. Living History Farms. 11121 Hickman Road | Urbandale, IA 50322. Sep 28, 2019. Phone: (515) 278-5286Start/End Time: 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM. Price: $16/Adults, $9.50/kids, Free for members

THEATRE & Other Cultural Considerations:

CNA - Stop HIV Iowa
1.     Kellie Kramer is with Ben Hagen and 4 others. Kelli delivers a no-holds-barred cabaret show, “All Good Men Are Gay,” in the intimate confines of Noce. As Kelli says, “Wanna hear a story? I’ve got one to tell. Some talented people are helping me tell it.” Fri Sep 27 at Noce. Come!…/

2.     A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen opens Fri Sep 27 at the Stoner Theater. Iowa Stage Theatre Company will present this classic drama over the next three weeks, in repertory with the recent Broadway success, A Doll’s House 2, by Lucas Hnath, which opens the following weekend. Check the schedule, as many theatre folks are planning on catching both shows.

3.     Mom’s Gift opens Fri Sep 27 at Ankeny Community Theatre. In this comedy with a heart, Mom has been dead for 11 months and shows up at her husband’s birthday party as a ghost with a mission.

4.     Lost Girl runs through Sep 29 at the Franklin School Performing Arts Center, 48th & Franklin, Des Moines. Des Moines Young Artists’ Theatre tells this coming-of-age exploration of first love and lasting loss.

5.    A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder at the Des Moines Community Playhouse runs through Sep 29.

6.   Poetry reading, featuring poets Matt Hart and Leah Huizar at Beaverdale Books Thu Sep 26 at 6:00 PM.

7.   The very gifted Karen Cheong from Hawaii will be with us the first week of October.

If you are looking for answers to the challenges you have been going through recently be sureto check her out. FREE EVENT:  Special Meditation Around Town: Pure Land of Iowa Oct 2nd at 6 PM (No Registration Required). FREE EVENT: Common Thread: Plymouth Church Oct 3rd at 7 PM (No Registration Required).

Group Healing Presentation $15: Unity Church Oct 4th at 7 PM ( Register on Karen’s website: )

AUDITIONS and Cultural Engagement Opportunities:

  1. Auditions for Adore Us Line, Sun, Sep 29, 2019 2:00pm at the Iowa Stage Theatre Company rehearsal space, 111 – 11th Street, between Cherry and Mulberry Streets. The 2020 presidential candidates audition for an Iowa voter in this song-by-song parody of “A Chorus Line.” Written by Robert John Ford. Directed by Maxwell Schaeffer. First Rehearsal: November (date tbd). Performances: January 24-February 2, 2020. NOTE: We are not just looking for people who resemble the actual candidates but who can uniquely capture the essence of the candidate through voice, gestures, etc. We are not simply casting based on physical resemblance (or cliché impressions).
  2. Auditions for Auditions for A Christmas Story (the play) at the Ankeny Community Theatre building, 1932 SW 3rd Street, Sun Sep 29 at 6 pm, Sat Oct 5 at 9:30 am

  1. Auditions for The Dinner Detective. Sat, Sep 28, 2019 12:00pm at Embassy Suites. Audition for Des Moines weekly murder! The Dinner Detective is looking for performers to part of their rotating cast. Performances are typically on Saturday evenings at the Embassy Suites, just across the river in downtown Des Moines. Multiple people are cast, to allow for individual schedules and special events. Paid gig, improv skills a definite plus, and lots of fun to boot! And you might end up dead weekly!

  1. AuditionsThe Manic Monologues. Wed, Oct 2, 2019 6:00pm. Open Door Rep is holding open auditions for The Manic Monologues by Zachary Burton and Elisa Hofmeister. Directed by Susan Irish. Auditions will be conducted in 10-minute increments by appointment. Please register for a time at opendoorrep.comor directly via this link:

• If there are issues, please contact
• Audition form, sides and location will be sent via email to those who sign up, beginning 9/26
• You may be asked to perform a cold reading from the script as well
• Resumes and headshots are not required but are welcome. Please bring the audition form along with your list of all conflicts to the audition time.

First read through/cast meeting – Sun Oct 6 @ 1p.m. Performances – Fri/Sat Nov 15/16 @ 8 p.m. Sun Nov 17 @ 2 p.m.

From the Artistic Director, Josh Visnapuu: The Manic Monologues is a brand new work, developed at Stanford University, and Open Door Rep has secured the rights to the second ever performance. In the vein of The Vagina Monologues, this script takes on the stigma and taboo of mental illness, telling real stories that will challenge the audience’s assumptions on what it means to live with mental illness in today’s society.

We have a truly open audition for this – there are no presumptions in casting and welcome all ages, races, genders and sexual orientations. You will not see character descriptions/actor “types” needed on this notice: mental illness is non-discriminatory in its affliction, and we hope to be able to reflect that in the casting as best we can. It is also important to note that while we very much believe in sharing any financial benefit with our casts and crews, all profits from this show will be donated to NAMI of Greater Des Moines (National Alliance on Mental Illness).
We hope you can help us tell the story and push the conversation on this crisis forward.

More Info:

  1. Fall classes at Des Moines Community Playhouse. For full listing of the myriad of opportunities available for all ages please visit

LIVE MUSIC – 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.

Damon Fowler Sun Sep 29, 6pm, Lefty’s Live Music , 2307 University. $20/$15 for CIBS members. Damon Fowler’s guitar work has been compared to Johnny Winter and Jeff Beck, while his slide guitar has a hint of the late Duane Allman. He can play fiery guitar runs with the best of them, but it’s his lyrical work on lap steel and Dobro that makes him stand out among the legions of guitar heroes. On the strength of his hybrid of roots rock, blues, and sacred steel, the Florida native started wowing audiences with his musical exploits as a teenager, building a reputation as one of the hottest young players on the scene. Adding songwriting and vocal skills to his repertoire over the years has brought him many accolades, with critics extolling his originality and maturity as well as his technical guitar expertise.

ROAD TRIP – Worth the drive:

 “Prairie Art Exhibit” at the Wallace Centers of Iowa Country Life Center in Orient. This destination worthy birthplace of Henry A. Wallace currently features an art exhibit literally displayed among its 9-acre prairie. Offering two walking paths to follow, neither challenging, this provides visitors the chance to experience the prairie while also enjoying a range of artwork, each work presented on a 2’x2’ wood panel. 

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.
  1. Pageturners Bookstore, Indianola.
  2. Artisan Gallery 218, 218-5th Street, Historic Valley Junction, West Des Moines (select author events), 

Life Resource News:

This is a new, occasional offering to inform you about noteworthy events, books, resources to enhance your life.

  1. West Des Moines Public Library is holding an unprecedented pre-renovation BOOK SALE in their Community Room Fri-Sun, Sep 27 (9am-6pm), 28 (9am-5pm) and 29 (2-5pm). Cash/check only. All proceeds benefit the WDMPL Friends Foundation. If you want to clear out your shelves and have contributions, they will be accepted up to Sep 23. 

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. The Culture Buzz – John Busbee and associates have re-launched the website for The Culture Buzz, providing cultural adventurers a comprehensive overview of what The Culture Buzz does and offers. Included in this new site, by popular demand, is an archive library of favorite interviews and a new section of theatre reviews for Greater Des Moines theatre companies.
  2. 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:
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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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