DES MOINES, Iowa — The Des Moines Community Playhouse is kicking off a new season in its 101st year. After more than a century in operation, the community theater will feature six shows on the main stage, four of which they have never done before.
Playhouse season tickets go on sale online or at the ticket office on March 15.
One play the Des Moines Community Playhouse’s Executive Director David Kilpatrick is particularly excited about is called Leaving Iowa.
“If you’ve ever taken a road trip with your family then you are absolutely going to love this one and laugh at this one. And it’s about highlights of Iowa, so you’re going to stop and you’re going to talk about Winterset, ‘home of the Duke’ is a quote from the play as well. They just meet a variety of characters throughout the state and they do it respectfully and with love and of course we also do like a little laugh at ourselves,” Kilpatrick said.
Last year’s Christmas show, Elf the Musical, was the Playhouse’s best-selling show to date. They are hoping to do the same with this year’s classic, A Christmas Story.
“A Christmas Story is with Ralphie, he’ll shoot your eye out, the quest for the BB gun. With all the classic moments from the movie but done of course with singing and dancing and a lot of fun,” Kilpatrick said.
Provided by the Des Moines Community Playhouse, here is a list of this year’s 2019 season, including the shows from the Kate Goldman Children’s Theater at the Playhouse:
A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder
Sponsored by Infomax Office Systems
Sept. 6-29, 2019
The knock-’em-dead, uproarious hit of the most-nominated show of the 2014 Broadway season!
Set in London in 1907, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder centers on Monty Navarro, a penniless clerk who learns after the death of his mother that he is ninth in line to inherit the earldom of Highhurst, controlled by the wealthy D’Ysquith banking family. After the imperious ruling Lord dismisses Monty’s claim of being a relative, the eight D’Ysquiths ahead of young Mr. Navarro begin dying in natural and unnatural ways. A single actor plays all the not-so-nice D’Ysquiths, which adds to the merriment.
Sponsored by Nationwide
Oct. 18-Nov. 3, 2019
How freaky would it be if you turned into your mother?!
Freaky Friday, a new musical based on the celebrated novel by Mary Rodgers and the hit Disney films, is a heartfelt, comedic, and unexpectedly emotional update on an American classic. By spending a day in each other’s shoes, Katherine and Ellie come to appreciate one another’s struggles, learn self-acceptance, and realize the immeasurable love and mutual respect that bond a mother and daughter.
A Christmas Story, The Musical
Sponsored by Corteva Agriscience
Dec. 6-23, 2019
We triple dog dare you to see this show!
Set in the 1940s in the fictional town of Hohman, IN, the musical follows 9-year-old Ralphie Parker and his quest for the Holy Grail of Christmas gifts: an Official Red Ryder carbine-action 200-shot Range Model air rifle. Rebuffed at every turn with a similar echoing response, Ralphie plots numerous schemes to achieve his desperate desire for the coveted BB gun. All the iconic scenes from the movie are here: Ralphie’s friend, Flick, getting his tongue stuck to the flagpole; his brother, Randy, getting dressed in his snowsuit; the bullies, Farkus and Dill; the leg lamp award; the bunny suit; the Chinese restaurant; Christmas dinner; and many others.
James and the Giant Peach
Sponsored by Nationwide
Jan. 3-19, 2020
Adventures this big don’t grow on trees!
A magical peach! An imprisoned boy! Giant talking insects! The incredible tale of James Henry Trotter will fulfill the fantasy of anyone who has ever dreamed of escaping to a new and exciting world. Roald Dahl’s story comes hilariously to life in this delightful dramatization that reveals the wickedness of some, the goodness of others, and the indecision encountered by many when they are faced with crises. James and the Giant Peach is high adventure for the whole family!
The Diary of Anne Frank
Jan. 24-Feb. 9, 2020
“Where there’s hope, there’s life.” – Anne Frank
Wendy Kesselman’s adaptation of the original, Pulitzer Prize award-winning script by Goodrich and Hackett draws from previously unpublished parts of Anne Frank’s real-life diary. For nearly two years, Anne, her father, mother, and sister, joined with the Van Daan family, hide in a secret annex space above her father’s former office in Amsterdam as the Nazis deport the Jews of Holland to their deaths. In her secret attic, Anne comes of age: she laughs, plays, fights with her mother, and falls in love for the first time. In spite of her oppressive circumstances and the horrors that surround her, Anne’s spirit transcends, as she voices her belief that “in spite of everything, people are truly good at heart.” Anne’s dynamism, her luminous spirit, and her story of resilience continue to resonate deeply, making her story as vital today as when her diary first was published.
Sponsored by Nationwide
Feb. 21-Mar. 8, 2020
Do you believe in fairies? Because they believe in you!
Of all the stories told about Neverland, Tinker Bell’s has gone untold. Until now. Witness the origin of one of the most famous fairies in literature, from her first encounters with cherished children’s characters like Peter Pan, Captain Hook, and Wendy Darling, to her triumph at the Battle for Neverland.
Singin’ in the Rain
Sponsored by Edward Jones
Mar. 13-Apr. 5, 2020
What a Glorious Feeling!
Silent movies are out. “Talkies” are in! Unfortunately for famed movie star Don Lockwood, his leading lady’s comically harsh and squeaky voice is ill-suited for the switch. When their next film is converted into a talking picture, the studio must bring in aspiring actress Kathy Selden to voice all of its female star’s speaking and singing parts. Sparks fly between Kathy and Don in this charming love story that will give everyone the same glorious feeling they get when singing in the rain.
Sponsored by Nationwide
Apr. 24-May 17, 2020
Rules are made to be broken.
On the outskirts of town stands a ramshackle house. It may not seem like much until you peek through the railings. Then there’s a horse on the porch, a monkey in the kitchen, and a freckle faced, red-pigtailed, whirlwind of a girl in mismatched stockings presiding over all! This is the domain of Pippilotta Delicatessa Windowshade Mackrelmint Ephraim’s Daughter Longstocking. She has what she needs to get by, and if she doesn’t she’ll make something up that will do the trick.
Sponsored by MidAmerican Energy
May 29-June 14, 2020
For anyone who’s ever been on a family vacation and laughed to tell about it.
Don Browning, a middle-aged writer, returns home to put his father’s ashes to rest. When Don discovers that Grandma’s house in now a grocery store, he has a new mission – to trek across Iowa to find a proper resting place – and he’s dragging his entire family along with him! Join Don and his family on a family road trip that will bring them face to face with colorful characters from a motormouth waitress to eccentric Civil War reenactors and more.
Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical
July 10-Aug. 2, 2020
Magical. Mischievous. Miraculous.
From the nonsensical mind of Roald Dahl comes this timeless tale of young Matilda Wormwood. Intellectually gifted, Matilda is unappreciated by her shallow parents and terrorized by tyrannical headmistress, Miss Trunchbull. The only person who sees her is Miss Honey, her teacher. But even Miss Honey can’t predict the extent of Matilda’s powers. Matilda’s courage and cleverness could be the school pupils’ saving grace!