Winter is a fantastic season for seeing theater in Des Moines. Our top theater picks for the coming months include an iconic musical, The Sound of Music and several selections from the Wellmark Familiy Series at the Civic Center, all of which cost just $10. Read on to find your family’s theatrical experience for this winter in Des Moines.
January 6 – 22, 2017; on stage at the Des Moines Community Playhouse. Narrated by her older sister, Beezus, Ramona Quimby takes us through the tumultuous times and family relationships laid out from the original Ramona book series by Beverly Cleary. In the end, Ramona discovers that life isn’t always fair; a lesson for the whole family! Showtimes are Friday at 7:00 pm; Saturday and Sunday 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm. Tickets start at $18.00.
A Year with Frog and Toad
January 14, 2017; on stage at the Des Moines Civic Center. Based on Arnold Lobel’s well-loved books and featuring a hummable score by Robert and Willie Reale, this whimsical show follows two great friends — the cheerful, popular Frog and the rather grumpy Toad — through four, fun-filled seasons. Waking from hibernation in the spring, Frog and Toad plant gardens, swim, rake leaves, go sledding, and learn life lessons along the way. Show time is 1:00 pm. Tickets are $10.00.
January 17-22, 2017; on stage at the Des Moines Civic Center. Mamma Mia! is the ultimate feel-good show that has audiences coming back again and again to relive the thrill. Now it’s your turn to have the time of your life at this smash-hit musical that combines ABBA’s greatest hits, including “Dancing Queen,” “S.O.S.,” “Super Trouper,” “Take A Chance on Me” and “The Winner Takes It All,” with an enchanting tale of love, laughter and friendship. 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. Tickets start at $30.00.
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby
January 27 – February 12, 2017; on stage at the Des Moines Community Playhouse. What would you do for true love? Jay Gatsby, a self-made millionaire, takes Long Island newcomer Nick Carraway under his wing and into his decadent world of obsession, greed, and danger. Gatsby hopes to reunite with Nick’s cousin, Daisy Buchanan. Showtimes are Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturdays at 7:30 pm and Sundays at 2:00 pm. Tickets start at $25.00.
Akeelah and the Bee
February 3-12, 2017; Des Moines Young Artist’s Theatre Presents: Akeelah and the Bee at the Kum & Go Theater in the Des Moines Social Club. Based on the beloved film, Akeelah and the Bee tells the story of an independent 11-year-old girl whose razor-sharp mind just might take her all the way from the Chicago projects to the finals of the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Shows are performed on Fridays at 7:30 pm, Saturdays at 2:00 and 7:30 pm and Sundays at 2:00 pm and Thursday, February 9th at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $18 Adults, $15 Students/Seniors and $12 Children; and can be purchased at http://www.midwestix.com/.
February 3-19, 2017; presented by Ankeny Community Theatre. The Fantasticks is a funny and romantic musical about a boy, a girl, and their parents who try to keep them apart. The narrator, El Gallo, asks the audience to use their imagination and follow him into a world of moonlight and magic. The boy and the girl fall in love, grow apart, and finally find their way back to each other after realizing the truth in El Gallo’s words that “without a hurt, the heart is hollow.” Show times are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm, and Sunday matinees at 2:00 pm. Ticket Prices: Adult $15, Senior (60+) $12, Child (grades K-12) $10.
The Sound of Music
February 7 – 12, 2017; on stage at the Des Moines Civic Center. The Hills Are Alive! A brand new production of The Sound of Music, directed by three-time Tony Award winner Jack O’Brien, is coming to the Des Moines Civic Center. The spirited, romantic and beloved musical story of Maria and the von Trapp Family will once again thrill audiences with its Tony®, Grammy® and Academy Award® winning Best Score, including “My Favorite Things,” “Do-Re-Mi,” “Climb Ev’ry Mountain,” “Edelweiss” and the title song. 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. Tickets start at $35.00.
February 10, 2017; Friday Funday at the Des Moines Community Playhouse. In this Clubhouse at the Playhouse favorite, a young child drops his mitten in the snow and does not realize it is missing. As woodland creatures seek warmth inside the mitten, it magically grows and grows! Theatre show for children ages four to six. This is an interactive theatre show for children ages four to six. Showtimes are 9:30 am, 10:45 am and 1:30 pm. Tickets are $6.00.
Lights, Camera, Math
February 17, 2017; Youth Matinee Series at CY Stephens Auditorium. Lights! Camera! Math! is a multimedia and educational production featuring the magical world of Danny Carmo! Danny used to think school and, in particular, math wasn’t for him. All he ever wanted to be was a famous magician!!! But when he knuckled down to learn all the tricks of the trade he realized that math was not only essential… it was the SECRET to a whole load of magic!!! Meant for kids in grades 3-6. Show times are 10:00 am and 12:30 pm. Tickets are $5.
Guys & Dolls
February 17 – March 5, 2017; presented by Class Act Productions. Set in Damon Runyon’s New York City, Guys and Dolls JR. follows gambler Nathan Detroit as he tries to find the cash to set up the biggest craps game in town while the authorities breathe down his neck; meanwhile, his girlfriend, nightclub performer Adelaide, laments that they’ve been engaged for 14 years without ever getting married. Nathan turns to fellow gambler Sky Masterson for the dough, but Sky ends up chasing the straight-laced missionary Sarah Brown. Guys and Dolls JR. takes us from the heart of Times Square to the cafes of Havana, but eventually everyone ends up right where they belong. Show times are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:00 pm and Sunday matinees at 2:30 pm. Ticket Prices: Adult $12, Senior (63+) $10, Student (18 and under) $8.
February 18, 2017; on stage at the Des Moines Civic Center. This production of Mother Goose is one of the best ways to introduce a young person to the wonder of hearing a live symphony orchestra. Join Joseph Giunta and the Des Moines Symphony in our sixth annual collaborative Family Concert as we transform the Civic Center. The orchestra will evoke Mother Goose musically as the actors evoke it dramatically, using masks, puppets, and movement. Show time is 1:00 pm. Tickets are $10.00.
February 24 – March 12, 2017; on stage at the Des Moines Community Playhouse. Based on the award-winning book by Louis Sachar, Holes tells the story of Stanley Yelnats, who continues his family’s curse of bad luck and finds himself at Camp Green Lake, convicted of a crime he didn’t commit. But this isn’t any ordinary camp; the boys are forced to dig day in and day out in search of historic treasure. Showtimes are Friday at 7:00 pm; Saturday and Sunday 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm. Tickets start at $18.00.
The Ugly Duckling
March 3, 2017; Friday Funday at the Des Moines Community Playhouse. The ugly duckling doesn’t look like the rest of the farmyard animals. When he leaves the nest to find out where he belongs, he meets some very “interesting” characters along the way. Theatre show for children ages four to six. This is an interactive theatre show for children ages four to six. Showtimes are 9:30 am, 10:45 am and 1:30 pm. Tickets are $6.00.
Winnie the Pooh
March 11, 18 and 25, 2017; Lunch n’ Laughs presented by Class Act Productions. Christopher Robin has decided to run away with his friends Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore, Tigger and the rest. For there is a mysterious rumor that Christopher Robin will be sent away to “Education.” Nobody knows exactly what that is, and besides, what would his friends do without him? They agree it’s best to run away … probably to the North Pole or South Pole. But as the situation becomes clearer, Christopher Robin isn’t quite so sure that running away is the answer. Suggested ages are 4 year olds to adults. Doors open at 11:00 am. Lunch starts at 11:20 am. Ticket Prices: Adult $16, Student (18 and under) $10.
Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles
March 12, 2017; on stage at the Des Moines Civic Center. Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles is a live multi-media spectacular that takes you on a musical journey through the life and times of the world’s most celebrated band. Featuring new songs & high definition imagery, this expanded Rain adds even more hits that you know and love from the vast anthology of Beatles classics such as “I Want To Hold Your Hand,” “Hard Day’s Night,” “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” “Let It Be,” “Come Together” and “Hey Jude.” Showtime is 3:00 pm. Tickets start at $29.50.
March 14-19, 2017; on stage at the Des Moines Civic Center. Jersey Boys is the musical about The Four Seasons: Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, Tommy DeVito and Nick Massi. This is the true story of how four blue-collar kids became one of the greatest successes in pop music history. They wrote their own songs, invented their own sounds and sold 175 million records worldwide – all before they were 30! Jersey Boys features their hit songs “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Rag Doll,” “Oh What a Night” and “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.” This show contains authentic, profane Jersey language and is recommended for ages 12+. Showtimes are Friday at 7:00 pm; Saturday and Sunday 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm. Tickets start at $35.00.
The New Mel Brooks Musical: Young Frankenstein
March 17 – April 9, 2017; on stage at the Des Moines Community Playhouse. Dr. Frederick Frankenstein (grandson of the infamous Victor Frankenstein) finally succeeds in creating a monster to rival his grandfather’s, but not without some hilarious complications. With the help of his hunchbacked side-kick Igor (“It’s pronounced Eye-gore”), a leggy lab assistant, Inga, and fiancée Elizabeth, Frederick sets to work back in Transylvania to finish what his family started long ago. Showtimes are Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturdays at 7:30 pm and Sundays at 2:00 pm. Tickets start at $25.00.
Ellis Island of Dreams
March 24, 2017; Youth Matinee Series at CY Stephens Auditorium. Ellis Island was the entry point to the land of dreams for countless immigrants from 1892 to 1954. Follow the stories of family trials, heartbreak, and triumphs and help reestablish the understanding that we are truly a nation of immigrants. Meant for kids in grades 3-12. Show times are 10:00 am and 12:30 pm. Tickets are $5.
A Delightful Quarantine
March 24 – April 9, 2017; presented by Ankeny Community Theatre. An extra-terrestrial “invasion” of the suburban, middle-class community of Susqua Creek Acres, Pennsylvania places its human residents and visitors under sudden house-bound quarantine. Secrets get revealed, conflicts erupt and recede, long festering wounds are dressed, and friendships and relationships terminated or reinstated. Show times are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm, and Sunday matinees at 2:00 pm. Ticket Prices: Adult $15, Senior (60+) $12, Child (grades K-12) $10.
Brown Bear, Brown Bear & Other Eric Carle Stories
March 25, 2017; on stage at the Des Moines Civic Center. First premiered in 2011, Brown Bear, Brown Bear and other Treasured Stories by Eric Carle brings together old favorites and new friends. The hour-long production showcases the imaginative blend of innovative puppetry and striking scenic effects that has won international acclaim for the Nova Scotia-based theatre. Show time is 1:00 pm. Tickets are $10.00.
The Man Who Planted Trees
March 26, 2017; at The Temple Theater. This multi-sensory theatrical adaptation of Jean Giono’s environmental classic tells the inspiring story of a shepherd who plants a forest, acorn by acorn, transforming a barren wasteland. As much a touching tale as it is a hilarious puppet show, The Man Who Planted Trees shows us the difference one man (and his dog!) can make to the world. Show time is 1:00 pm. Tickets are $10.00.
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What theater production is your family planning to see this winter in Des Moines? Tell us in the comments below!