Best DSM Kids’ Theater for Spring 2019 – dsm4kids.com

Best DSM Kids’ Theater for Spring 2019

Our spring event coverage continues with a look at the most promising family shows opening this season on Des Moines stages. There are lots of fantastic family shows with options for all age groups, including a few shows that are perfect for first-time theatergoers. It sounds like we can look forward to an exciting spring theater season in Des Moines!

The one thing all of these shows have in common? You can take the kids to see them without dipping into their college funds—most of our recommendations are $25 or less.

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

Your spring theater guide for Des Moines families:

March

Judy Moody & Stink: The Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Treasure Hunt – Kate Goldman Children’s Theatre

Des Moines Playhouse, Des Moines

February 22 – March 10, 2019; Show times are Friday at 7:00 pm and Saturday and Sunday at 1:00 PM and 4:00 pm.

Appropriate for ages 5 and up.

Tickets are $19 -$23.

Based on the hit children’s book series by Megan McDonald, Judy and Stink take up a swashbuckling adventure on “Artichoke” Island. Finding concealed clues, unlocking secret codes and solving tricky puzzles, will Judy and Stink be able to find the hidden treasure?

Monty Python’s SPAMALOT Young@Part

CAP Theatre, Altoona

February 22 – March 10, 2019; Show times are Friday and Saturday at 7:00 pm and Sunday at 2:00 pm

Appropriate for ages 5 and up.

Tickets are $15 Adult, $12 Senior; $10 Student.

After a rather silly bit of miscommunication leads us briefly to Finland, our king and his ever-faithful squire Patsy begin to search for knights to accompany him on his Quest. He finds his first in the unlikely guise of Dennis, a hideous local mud farmer. After convincing the locals that he is the king by conjuring the Lady of Lake to prove it, Dennis is transformed into Sir Galahad. The rest of the knights are found far and wide and The Lady of the Lake and her Laker Girls, send our stalwart band on their way. They meet up with an unforgettable slew of outrageously kooky characters and musical hilarity ensues as Arthur and the Knights make their journey.

The Lion in Winter – Iowa Stage Theatre Co.

Kum & Go Theater in the Des Moines Social Club

February 22 – March 3, 2019; Show times are Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm and Sundays at 2:00 pm.

Appropriate for ages 10 and up.

Tickets are $35 Adults, $20 Students and $30 Senior.

Sibling rivalry, adultery, and dungeons – “The Lion in Winter” is a modern-day classic. Playwright James Goldman also wrote the screenplay for the classic film version starring Katherine Hepburn, Peter O’Toole, and a very young Anthony Hopkins. Comedic in tone, dramatic in action – the play tells the story of the Henry the Second, his brilliant queen Eleanor of Aquitaine, and their scheming children, who are locked in a free-for-all of competing ambitions to inherit a kingdom. As Queen Eleanor says, “Every family has its ups and downs,” and this royal family is no exception.

Fin M’Coul – Friday Fun Day

Des Moines Playhouse, Des Moines

Friday, March 1, 2019; Showtimes are 9:30 am, 10:45 am and 1:30 pm.

Appropriate for ages 4-6.

Tickets are $6.

Once upon a time, Ireland’s glens and woods were filled with fairies, leprechauns and giants, including the legendary Fin M’Coul. Will he and his wife Oona be able to outwit the giant bully, Cucullin? Find out in this classic Irish folk tale. Don’t forget to wear your green!

Rock of Ages – Willis Broadway Series

Civic Center, Des Moines

March 8-10, 2019; Friday at 7:30 pm; Saturday 2:00 and 7:30 pm and Sunday 1:00 and 6:00 pm.

Appropriate for ages 13 and up.

Tickets are $36.00 – $101.00.

Broadway’s Best Party is turning up the volume to ten! “Rock of Ages” Tenth Anniversary Tour is blazing across North America! Featuring the music of hit bands such as Styx, Poison, Twisted Sister, and Whitesnake among many others, this Tenth Anniversary production features a dynamic new cast revisiting the larger than life characters and exhilarating story that turned “Rock of Ages” into a global phenomenon.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest – Carousel Theatre of Indianola

Better Homes and Gardens Innovative Real Estate Office, Indianola

March 14-17, 2019; Showtimes are Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:00 pm and Sunday at 2:00 pm.

Appropriate for ages 15 and up.

Adults $12, Students $8. Tickets can be purchased at the door.

A charming rogue who contrives to serve a short sentence in an airy mental institution rather than in a prison. This, he learns, was a mistake. He clashes with the head nurse, a fierce martinet. He quickly takes over the yard and accomplishes what the medical profession has been unable to do for twelve years; he makes a presumed deaf and dumb Indian talk. He leads others out of introversion, stages a revolt so that they can see the World Series on television, and arranges a rollicking midnight party with liquor and chippies. For one offense, the head nurse has him submit to shock treatment. The party is too horrid for her and she forces him to submit to a final correction: a frontal lobotomy.

Underneath a Magical Moon – Wellmark Family Series

Temple Theater, Des Moines

Saturday, March 16, 2019; Showtimes are 11:00 am and 1:00 pm.

Appropriate for ages 5 and up.

Tickets are $12.

Underneath a Magical Moon is set in an ordinary back garden where three children, Wendy, John and Michael, do a sleep out, one summer evening. However, it’s a full moon, and Wendy just can’t get to sleep, and she begins to tell her brothers the story of Peter Pan. Slowly but surely, they are drawn into the famous tale. They become Peter himself, the villainous Captain Hook, Tinkerbell, a bunch of Lost boys, a crocodile and a gaggle of Mermaids. They fly, they swim, they sail and fight battles, and conjure up Neverland in their own back yard.

Cinderella– Lunch n’ Laugh

CAP Theatre, Altoona

Saturdays, March 16, 23, 30 2019; Showtime is 11:00 am

Appropriate for ages 3 and up.

Tickets are $10 for children and $16 for adults.

Come join us for this humorous, musical twist on the classic fairytale after a kid and family friendly lunch in our theatre. Poor Cinderella!  Life with her stepmother and stepsisters is work, work, work. Well until her Fairy Godmother shows up.  Let this tale whisk you and your special child into a fun land of imagination.

Catch Me if You Can – Mainstage

Des Moines Playhouse, Des Moines

March 22 – April 14, 2019; Show times are Wednesday through Saturday at 7:30 pm and Sunday at 2:00 pm

Appropriate for ages 12 and up.

Tickets are $29 -$46.

The charm. The con. The chase. With nothing more than his boyish charm, a big imagination, and millions of dollars in forged checks, precocious teenager Frank Abagnale, Jr. embarks on an exhilarating journey over the country. The show begins with Frank trapped at the Miami International Airport by his longtime rival, FBI Agent Carl Hanratty. Frank uses this opportunity to tell his side of the story, starting with the escape from his childhood home to conning careers as a pilot, a doctor, and a lawyer. Nominated for four Tony Awards in 2011, “Catch Me If You Can’s” source material comes from the 1980 autobiography of Frank Abagnale Jr. that inspired the 2002 film of the same name starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks. The true-story told with upbeat music and an unforgettable adventure is sure to excite audiences.

Pete the Cat – Youth Matinee Series

Stephens Auditorium, Ames

Thursday, March 26, 2019; Show times are 10:00 am and 12:30 pm. 

Suggested grade levels PreK – 3rd Grade.

Tickets are $4.

Can a groovy blue cat and the most organized second grader on earth ever be friends? Pete the Cat is sent to live with the Biddle family to learn his manners – and boy are they square! But life is an adventure no matter where you wind up for Pete, who gets the whole family rocking – almost. When young Jimmy Biddle draws a blank in art class during the stressful last week of school, it turns out Pete is the perfect friend to help him out. Join Jimmy and Pete as they both learn little something new about inspiration on an adventure of friendship, all the way to Paris and back in a VW Bus.

The Sound of Music

Stephens Auditorium, Ames

Thursday, March 29, 2019; Show time is 7:30 pm. 

Appropriate for ages 5 and up.

Tickets start at $35. 

The Tony, Grammy, and Academy Award winner for Best Score, The Sound of Music, will play Stephens Auditorium on March 28. The spirited, romantic and beloved musical story of Maria and the von Trapp Family will once again thrill audiences with classics like “My Favorite Things,” “Do-Re-Mi,” and “Climb Ev’ry Mountain.” A pre-show dinner is available for this performance.

Eat Your Heart Out – Tallgrass Theatre Company

Rex Mathes Auditorium, West Des Moines

March 29 – April 14, 2019; Friday and Saturday at 7:30 pm

Appropriate for ages 13 and up.

Tickets are $20.

Alice and Gabe are desperate to adopt a child. Nance, a single mom just starting to date, struggles to connect with her teenage daughter, Evie. And Evie wishes her best friend, Colin, could fall for her rather than just trying to fix things. With both humor and aching insight, these lives are woven together in a tale of parental hopes and fears, and of hearts consumed by longing.

Best DSM Kids’ Theater for Spring 2019 – dsm4kids.com

April

Diary of a Worm, a Spider & a Fly – Youth Matinee Series

Stephens Auditorium, Ames

Friday, April 5, 2019; Show times are 10:00 am and 12:30 pm. 

Suggested grade levels Kindergarten – 5th Grade.

Tickets are $4. 

Insects rule in the diaries of unlikely best friends: Worm, Spider and Fly. Worm eats his homework, Fly believes she has superpowers, and Spider can’t wait to grow up and molt. This production, based on the books “Diary of a Worm, Diary of a Spider, and Diary of a Fly”, by Doreen Cronin, promotes eco-consciousness, earth science and tolerance of others. You might just find that a bug’s life is not all that different from your own in this joyful, hip musical.

Kiss Me, Kate – Main Season

Ankeny Community Theatre, Ankeny

April 5-14, 2019; Show times are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm, and Sunday matinees at 2:00 pm.

Musical Comedy – Rated PG

Tickets are Adult $20, Senior (60+) $17, Child (grades K-12) $15.

Passions run high as leading lady Lilli Vanessi and her ex-husband, actor/director Fred Graham, battle onstage and off in a production of Shakespeare’s “Taming of the Shrew.” With romance, comedy, sophistication, and behind-the-scenes high jinks, “Kiss Me, Kate” combines the irreverent humor of two brilliant writers: Cole Porter and William Shakespeare. Musical numbers include “So In Love,” “Wunderbar,” “Tom, Dick or Harry,” “Too Darn Hot,” “Brush Up Your Shakespeare,” “I Hate Men,” “Always True to You (In My Fashion)” and “Another Op’nin, Another Show.”

Gruesome Playground Injuries – Iowa Stage Theatre Co.

Kum & Go Theater in the Des Moines Social Club

April 5-14 2019; Show times are Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm and Sundays at 2:00 pm.

Appropriate for ages 15 and up.

Tickets are $35 Adults, $20 Students and $30 Senior.

The New York Times called “Gruesome Playground Injuries” by Rajiv Joseph  “Mystical, arresting, and provocatively amusing”. Over the course of 30 years, the lives of Kayleen and Doug intersect at the most bizarre intervals, leading the two childhood friends to compare scars and the physical calamities that keep drawing them together. The New York Times calls playwright Rajiv Joseph “an artist of original talent.” Variety says “This wondrous and strange two-hander finds as much humor as horror in the play’s bizarre events.”

Hello Dolly!

Civic Center, Des Moines

Tuesday April 9 – Sunday, April 14, 2019; Show times are Tuesday through Friday at 7:30 pm, Saturday at 2:00 and 7:30 pm and Sunday at 1:00 pm and 6:30 pm.

Appropriate for ages 6 and up.

Tickets are $40.00 – $169.00.

Tony Award®-winning Broadway legend Betty Buckley stars in “Hello, Dolly! – the universally acclaimed smash that NPR calls “the best show of the year!” Winner of four Tony Awards including Best Musical Revival, director Jerry Zaks’ “gorgeous” new production (Vogue) is “making people crazy happy!” (The Washington Post). Breaking box office records week after week and receiving thunderous raves on Broadway, this Hello, Dolly! pays tribute to the original work of legendary director/choreographer Gower Champion – hailed both then and now as one of the greatest stagings in musical theater history. Rolling Stone calls it “a must-see event. A musical comedy dream. If you’re lucky enough to score a ticket, you’ll be seeing something historic. Wow, wow, wow, indeed!”

Snow White – Friday Fun Day

Des Moines Playhouse, Des Moines

Friday, April 12, 2019; Showtimes are 9:30 am, 10:45 am and 1:30 pm.

Appropriate for ages 4-6.

Tickets are $6.

Snow White is banished from the kingdom by a queen who is jealous of her beauty. Things look up for her when she happens upon a small cottage in the forest. Will she remember the most important rule? Whatever you do, don’t open the door!

Treasure Island – DM Young Artists’ Theatre

Stoner Theater, Des Moines

April 19 – 28, 2019; Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 pm; Saturday and Sunday at 2:00 pm

Appropriate for ages 10 and up.

Tickets are $24.50

It’s a dark, stormy night. The stars are out.Jim, the innkeeper’s granddaughter, opens the door to a terrifying stranger. At the old sailor’s feet sits a huge sea-chest, full of secrets. Jim invites him in–and her dangerous voyage begins.

Proof – Studio Series

Ankeny Community Theatre, Ankeny

April 25-28, 2019; Show times are Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 pm, and Sunday at 2:00 pm.

Drama – Rated PG-13

Tickets are $10

On the eve of her twenty-fifth birthday, Catherine, a troubled young woman, has spent years caring for her brilliant but unstable father, a famous mathematician. Now, following his death, she must deal with her own volatile emotions; the arrival of her estranged sister, Claire; and the attentions of Hal, a former student of her father’s who hopes to find valuable work in the 103 notebooks that her father left behind. Over the long weekend that follows, a burgeoning romance and the discovery of a mysterious notebook draw Catherine into the most difficult problem of all: How much of her father’s madness—or genius—will she inherit?

Ella Enchanted – Kate Goldman Children’s Theatre

Des Moines Playhouse, Des Moines

April 26 – May 19, 2019; Show times are Friday at 7:00 pm and Saturday and Sunday at 1:00 PM and 4:00 pm.

Appropriate for ages 5 and up.

Tickets are $19 -$23.

A fairy tale with girl-power! As a baby, Ella was given the “gift” of obedience by a fairy named Lucinda. Growing into a teenager, she must keep this a secret as schoolmates play tricks on her to do whatever she is told. Trying to find a way to break the spell, Ella encounters an evil stepmother and her two unpleasant daughters and saves a handsome Prince Char and his knights from an ogre, leading to a friendship between the two. Based on Gail Carson Levine’s 1997 novel of the same name, with themes including determination and independence, you don’t miss this girl-power spin on the Cinderella story that’s a fairy tale like no other.

The Crucible – Youth Matinee Series

Stephens Auditorium, Ames

Tuesday, April 23, 2019; Show times are 10:00 am.

Suggested grade levels 9th-12th+.

Tickets are $4.

No one is safe as a reign of terror rips through 1692 Salem, Massachusetts. Led by Abigail Williams, a group of girls who claim to have seen the Devil hurl out charges of witchcraft, sending those who won’t confess to the noose. When the accusing finger points to his wife, John Proctor is forced to confront his past and determine his future. Arthur Miller’s searing drama, inspired by the McCarthy era, comes to vivid new life in the National Players’ bare-knuckle staging. A piercing look at what can happen when truth is bent to political convenience, “The Crucible” is a powerful story for our time and for all time.

Rent

Stephens Auditorium, Ames

Saturday, April 27, 2019; Show time is 7:30 pm. 

Appropriate for ages 15 and up.

Tickets start at $35. 

The Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning Broadway masterpiece, RENT, will hit the stage during its 20th Anniversary touring production. A re-imagining of Puccini’s La Bohème, RENT follows an unforgettable year in the lives of seven artists struggling to follow their dreams without selling out. With its inspiring message of joy and hope in the face of fear, this timeless celebration of friendship and creativity reminds us to measure our lives with the only thing that truly matters—love. A pre-show dinner is available for this performance.

Butterfly: The Story of a Life Cycle  – Youth Matinee Series

Stephens Auditorium, Ames

Monday, April 29, 2019; Show times are 10:00 am.

Suggested grade levels Kindergarten – 4th.

Tickets are $4.

Celebrate the magical life cycle of the Monarch butterfly as larger-than-life puppetry is used to illustrate the microscopic world of insects. This production offers a magnified look at metamorphosis through the eyes of Mari the Monarch as she grows from a tiny egg to a beautiful butterfly! Hudson Vagabond Puppets, with support from the Jim Henson Foundation, incorporate dance and narration and bunraku-style puppetry to illustrate how Mari survives and thrives with the help of many friends.

School of Rock

Civic Center, Des Moines

Tuesday April 30 – Sunday, May 5, 2019; Show times are Tuesday through Friday at 7:30 pm, Saturday at 2:00 and 7:30 pm and Sunday at 1:00 pm and 6:30 pm.

Appropriate for ages 11 and up.

Tickets are $40.00 – $149.00.

“School of Rock”is a New York Times Critics’ Pick and “an inspiring jolt of energy, joy and mad skillz”. (Entertainment Weekly). Based on the hit film, this hilarious new musical follows Dewey Finn, a wannabe rock star posing as a substitute teacher who turns a class of straight-A students into a guitar-shredding, bass-slapping, mind-blowing rock band. This high-octane smash features 14 new songs from Andrew Lloyd Webber, all the original songs from the movie and musical theater’s first-ever kids rock band playing their instruments live on stage. Vanity Fair raves, “Fists of all ages shall by pumping!”

May

Shen Yun: 5,000 Years of Civilization Reborn

Civic Center, Des Moines

May 7-8, 2019; Showtime is 7:30 pm.

Appropriate for ages 5 and up.

Tickets are $84.50 – $154.50.

Back in ancient China, people once held that their magnificent culture was a gift from the heavens. Art was a way to explore this connection between humankind and higher realms. Today, Shen Yun is reviving this tradition. Through the universal language of dance and music, Shen Yun weaves a wondrous tapestry of celestial paradises, ancient legends, and modern heroic tales, taking you on a journey through 5,000 years of authentic Chinese culture.

Anne of Green Gables – Youth Matinee Series

Stephens Auditorium, Ames

Thursday, May 9, 2019; Show times are 10:00 am.

Suggested grade levels 2nd-6th.

Tickets are $4.

When you imagine, sometimes you find what you need. When you imagine, you find a home. Matthew Cuthbert and his sister Marilla want a boy to help with all of the chores around their farm on Prince Edward Island. They are certainly not expecting Anne Shirley, a headstrong and vivacious orphan with little more than a tattered carpet bag and a big imagination. Based on Lucy Maud Montgomery’s beloved novels, this heart-warming musical follows Anne on her unlikely journey to find the family and home she’s always wanted.

Goldilocks and the Three Bears – Friday Fun Day

Des Moines Playhouse, Des Moines

Friday, May 10, 2019; Showtimes are 9:30 am, 10:45 am and 1:30 pm.

Appropriate for ages 4-6.

Tickets are $6.

Goldilocks has been very naughty. She has eaten the bears’ porridge, broken their chairs, and messed up their beds-and all of this without even knocking! Will the bears get home in time to catch her in the act?

Disgraced  – Iowa Stage Theatre Co.

Kum & Go Theater in the Des Moines Social Club

May 10-19, 2019; Show times are Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm and Sundays at 2:00 pm.

Appropriate for ages 13 and up.

Tickets are $35 Adults, $20 Students and $30 Senior.

Winner of the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for drama. Amir Kapoor is a successful Pakistani-American lawyer who is rapidly moving up the corporate ladder while distancing himself from his cultural roots. Emily, his wife, is white; she’s an artist, creating work influenced by Islamic imagery. When the couple hosts a dinner party for Amir’s colleague and her curator husband, what starts out as a friendly banter escalates into something far more searing and damaging. The New York times calls the play “…a continuously engaging, vitally engaged play about thorny questions of identity and religion in the contemporary world.”

Did we miss something?  Please let us know at nicole@dsm4kids.com.  And, Find more fun things to do this season in our Spring Fun Guide.

 

What show are you excited to take your kids to? Let us know in the Comments section below.

Featured photo source Andrew Lloyd Weber’s School of Rock The Musical.  Photo by Matthew Murphy.

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