2018: Family-Friendly Shows Coming to Des Moines Stages this Fall - dsm4kids.com

2018: Family-Friendly Shows Coming to Des Moines Stages this Fall

Now that summer is over, it’s time to think about what activities will entertain your family this fall. Luckily, Des Moines offers dozens of performances that will amaze and delight your kids. From professional productions to local children’s theater, here’s a list of some of the best shows of the autumn. Whether your kids are in the mood for a big musical likeAladdin” or a classic fable with a message like “The Ants and the Grasshopper”, we’ve got you covered—so sit back, relax, and enjoy the show!

Note: Dates listed are performance beginning and end dates. Please call for specific performance’s dates and times within those ranges, as not all performances take place on a daily basis.

Here’s 16 Fall Theater Shows for Des Moines Families:

October

The Illusionists

Stephens Auditorium, Ames
October 4, 2018; 7:30 pm
Ages 5 and up
Tickets start at $35
Stephens Auditorium welcomes “The Illusionists”, a mind-blowing spectacle that showcases the talents of five of the most incredible illusionists on earth. Audiences will witness stunning acts of grand illusion, levitation, mind-reading, disappearance, and for the first time ever in history, a full view water torture escape. This group of world-class performers has shattered box office records across the globe and dazzles audiences of all ages with a powerful mix of the most astonishing acts ever to be seen on stage.

This Is Not a Pipe Dream – Youth Matinee Series

Fisher Theater, Ames
October 5, 2018; 10:00 am
Grade levels: 3-8
Tickets $4 
Inspired by the life and work of the surrealist painter Rene Magritte, the story follows a young boy who wants to be an artist. Though his desire is dismissed by his father as “a pipe dream”, he is encouraged by his mother and begins a quest into the delightfully absurd magic-realism of Magritte’s famous paintings. A celebration of art, the imagination, and the ways in which they help us confront life’s traumas and mysteries.

Frankenstein – Main Season

Ankeny Community Theatre
October 5-14, 2018; Show times are Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 pm, Sunday 2:00 pm
Rated PG
Tickets start at $10
Victor Frankenstein, a brilliant young scientist, returns to his Swiss chateau to escape a terrible pursuer. No one can shake free the dark secret that terrifies him: not his mother, nor his fiancée, nor his best friend. Even the pleading of a gypsy girl accused of murdering Victor’s younger brother falls on deaf ears, for Victor has brought into being a creature made from pieces of the dead. The creature tracks Victor to his sanctuary to demand a bride to share its loneliness. Against his better judgement, Victor agrees and soon the household is invaded by murder, despair and terror.

Voices from Ellis Island– Youth Matinee Series

Fisher Theater, Ames
October 11-12, 2018; 10:00 am
Grade levels: 4-9
Tickets $4
The Gateway to America – the front door to freedom – the Island of Tears. From 1890 to 1930, Ellis Island was the first experience of life in America for millions of immigrants. First and second-class passengers who arrived in New York Harbor were not required to undergo the inspection process at Ellis Island. However, the process was far different for “steerage” or third-class passengers; they were transported from the pier by ferry to Ellis Island where they underwent medical and legal inspections. Pippa White brings their stories – amusing, frightening, inspiring and true – to life in this multi-media performance.

Disney Junior Dance Party On Tour

Civic Center, Des Moines
October 14, 2018; 3:30 pm
All Ages
Tickets start at $29
Are you ready to dance?!? Disney Junior Dance Party On Tour Presented by Pull-Ups® Training Pants! is an all new interactive live concert experience. Sing and dance along to Disney Junior’s greatest hits with your favorite characters. Kids of all ages and their families are all invited to the biggest dance party around! The Disney Junior Dance Party features: Live appearances by Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Vampirina, Elena of Avalor, Sofia the First, and Doc McStuffins; magical on-screen moments with Puppy Dog Pals, Muppet Babies, and the Lion Guard.

Love Never Dies – Willis Broadway Series

Civic Center, Des Moines
October 16-21, 2018; Tuesday through Friday 7:30 pm; Saturday 2:00 and 7:30 pm; Sunday 1:00 and 6:00 pm
Ages 12 and up
Tickets start at $40
The ultimate love story continues in Love Never Dies, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s spellbinding sequel to The Phantom of the Opera. The year is 1907. It is 10 years after his disappearance from the Paris Opera House and The Phantom has escaped to a new life in New York where he lives amongst the screaming joy rides and freak shows of Coney Island. In this new, electrically charged world, he has finally found a place for his music to soar, but he has never stopped yearning for his one true love and musical protégée, Christine Daaé.

The Ants and the Grasshopper – Friday FunDay

Des Moines Playhouse
October 19, 2018; 9:30 am, 10:45 am, and 1:30 pm
Ages 4-6
Tickets $6
The ants are busy, busy, busy all day long, working to gather enough food for the long, cold winter ahead. The grasshopper would rather play, dance and sing. What will happen when the icy winds blow?

Legally Blonde, Jr. – Des Moines Young Artists’ Theatre

Stoner Theater, Des Moines
October 26 – November 4, 2018; Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 pm; Saturday and Sunday at 2:00 pm
Ages 5 and up
Tickets start at $19.50
Based on the award-winning Broadway musical and the smash hit motion picture, Legally Blonde Jr. is a fabulously fun journey of self-empowerment and expanding horizons. When Elle Woods’ high school boyfriend, Warner, dumps her and heads to Harvard, claiming she’s not “serious” enough, Elle takes matters into her own hands, crafting a showy song-and-dance personal essay and charming her way into law school. Befriending classmate, Emmett, and spunky hairdresser, Paulette, along the way, Elle finds that books and looks aren’t mutually exclusive.

Something Rotten

Stephens Auditorium, Ames
October 30, 2018; 7:30 pm
Ages 8 and up
Tickets start at $35
Set in 1595, this hilarious smash tells the story of Nick and Nigel Bottom, two brothers who are desperate to write a hit play. When a local soothsayer foretells that the future of theatre involves singing, dancing and acting at the same time, Nick and Nigel set out to write the world’s very first musical!

November

Passing Notes – Studio Series

Ankeny Community Theatre
November 1-4, 2018; Thursday, Friday and Saturday: 7:30 pm; Sunday 2:00 pm​
Rated PG
Tickets $10

A narrator tells the story of his first love through handwritten notes written back and forth. Through reading the many notes, Matty and Mae discover love, experience the palpable joy of obsessive infatuation, they argue and fight, share a first kiss and some terribly embarrassing dancing, they break up and they get back together. All the while they forge an unbreakable friendship. Mae teaches Matty a lesson he’ll carry with him for the rest of his life: how to deal with the death of a loved one and eventually love again. The narrator assures us that even young love can be powerful and meaningful. Time is not promised to any of us and everything in life is fleeting, except love.

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever – Kate Goldman Children’s Theatre

Des Moines Playhouse
November 2-15, 2018:  Friday 7:00 pm; Saturday and Sunday 1:00 and 4:00 pm
Ages 5 and up
Tickets on sale late September
They showed up for the free cookies and stayed, much to the town’s dismay. From the best-selling children’s book, the Playhouse embarks on its 20th year of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. Perfect for young audiences, you won’t believe the mayhem – and the fun – when the Herdmans collide with the Christmas story head on! After the normal director of the local church’s Christmas pageant breaks her leg, a new director must take over. Stopping in for a visit after hearing about free snacks offered at the church, the Herdman kids, the most inventively awful kids in history, get cast in the show. Others involved in the show try to find a way to kick them out but when the show begins, will the Herdmans ruin the annual pageant or learn to share the true meaning of Christmas?

Mary Poppins Jr – Mainstage

CAP Theatre, Altoona
November 2-18, 2018; Friday and Saturday at 7:00 pm; Sunday at 2:00 pm
Ages 5 and up
Tickets start at $10
Based on one of the most popular Disney movies of all time from the stupendous stories of P.L Travers and the Broadway musical. The jack-of-all trades, Bert, introduces us to England in the early 1900s and the troubled Banks family. Young Jane and Michael have sent many a nanny packing before Mary Poppins arrives on their doorstep. Using a combination of magic and common sense, she must teach the family members how to value each other again. Mary Poppins takes the children on many magical and memorable adventures, but Jane and Michael aren’t the only ones upon whom she has a profound effect. Even grown-ups can learn a lesson or two from the nanny who advises that “Anything can happen if you let it.”

The Ugly Duckling – Wellmark Family Series

Civic Center, Des Moines
November 3, 2018; 10:00 am and 1:00 pm
All Ages
Tickets go on sale October 5, 2018
Lightwire Theater brings a classic tale to the modern stage in an unforgettable theatrical experience. Lined with electroluminescent wire, the beloved story of The Ugly Duckling plays out on stage through a cutting-edge blend of puppetry, technology and dance. With dazzling visuals, poignant choreography and the creative use of music ranging from classical to pop, this production brings this story into a new and brilliant light.

Cinderella

Stephens Auditorium, Ames
November 13, 2018; 7:30 pm
Ages 5 and up
Tickets start at $35
This lush production features an incredible orchestra, jaw-dropping transformations and all the moments you love–the pumpkin, the glass slipper, the masked ball and more–plus some surprising new twists! Be transported back to your childhood as you rediscover some of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s most beloved songs, including “In My Own Little Corner,” and “Ten Minutes Ago” in this hilarious and romantic experience for anyone who’s ever had a dream. A pre-show dinner is available for this performance.

Jack and the Beanstalk – Friday FunDay

Des Moines Playhouse
November 16, 2018; 9:30 am, 10:45 am, and 1:30 pm
Ages 4-6
Tickets $6
Take a boy, his mother and a misunderstood giant. Throw in some magic beans and a cow. Did we mention there’s a goose that lays golden eggs? Join us for this familiar tale, which tells us what happened…according to the giant!

Disney’s Aladdin – Willis Broadway Series

Civic Center, Des Moines
November 28 – December 9, 2018; Tuesday through Friday 7:30 pm; Saturday 2:00 and 7:30 pm; Sunday 1:00 and 6:30 pm
Ages 6 and up
Tickets start at $40
Discover a whole new world at Disney’s Aladdin, the hit Broadway musical. From the producer of The Lion King comes the timeless story of Aladdin, a thrilling new production filled with unforgettable beauty, magic, comedy and breathtaking spectacle. It’s an extraordinary theatrical event where one lamp and three wishes make the possibilities infinite.

 

Did we miss something?  Please let us know at nicole@dsm4kids.com.  And, find more to do this fall in our our weekly newsletter and on-line Calendar.

 

Is there a fall theatre show your family is excited to see? We’d love to hear!

 

Featured photo source Aladdin the Musical website.  Adam Jacobs as the title character and Courtney Reed as Jasmine in ALADDIN. Photo by Matthew Murphy.

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