March 11, 2014

What Folly!

Greater Des Moines women
kick it up at the 1996 Junior
League Follies.

By Kellye Crocker 


Catch performances by jazz crooner Max Wellman with Tina Haase Findlay, Ballet Des Moines and the soon-to-be-legendary "Synchro Studs," a male synchronized swimming troupe, at the Junior League of Des Moines' (JLDM) Follies, March 28 at Hoyt Sherman Place. With emcees Nick Renkoski, Des Moines Metro Opera marketing director, and Sabrina Ahmed, a WOI-TV reporter, "Capital City Celebrities" promises an evening of music, dance and comedy from local talents, including dsm social blogger Wicker Van Orsdel, the show's creative director.

JLDM members also take the stage, including Liz Lidgett, Lauren Burt, Liz Proctor, Lindsey Mollenhauer, Emily Toribio and Erin Bailey, who will channel their inner femme fatales in a scorching "Cell Block Tango" from "Chicago." A group dance to The Pointer Sisters' "Jump (For My Love)" is a crowd-pleasing holdover from the 1996 Follies, the last time JLDM high-kicked for a good cause. Today's high school seniors were in diapers then, and you'd have to go back to the Reagan years for the one Follies before that. Just saying: An opportunity like this doesn't hit Des Moines as often as the Iowa caucuses. Besides, the show benefits Lighthouse Host Homes, a Youth & Shelter Services program.

The Follies are co-chaired by Mollenhauer and Erica Axiotis. Buy tickets at the Hoyt Sherman box office or through Ticketmaster here ($30 or $75 VIP, includes post-show reception and preferred parking).


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Weeknight Dining Deals

On Monday nights, Baru 66 
offers a complimentary kir royale with any purchase. 

By Wini Moranville


We have a great community of food lovers who share terrific finds on my  All Things Food DSM - Wini Moranville Facebook page.

Case in point: In the past week, I asked readers to share their favorite weeknight specials at local restaurants, and I snagged some great leads. Below are highlights. If you've ever suffered from those "let's dine out but where?" blues, this list of Sunday through Thursday specials might make the decision a little easier.

Sunday nights: 

  • No corkage fee at Centro.

Monday nights: 

  • Half-price pizza and Peroni (the famed Italian beer) at Centro.
  • $5 burgers and martinis at Alba (in the lounge only).
  • Complimentary kir royale cocktail with any purchase at Baru 66.
  • "Winner Winner Chicken Dinner"--endless fried chicken, biscuits, white-cheddar mashed potatoes and coleslaw at Americana Restaurant & Lounge ($13; $8 for kids 12 and under).

Tuesday nights:

  • No corkage fee at HoQ.
  • All-night happy hour (including $1 oysters, $1 shrimp, $10 cheese-charcuterie plates and $5 specialty cocktails) at Django.

Wednesday nights:

  • Wine-Down Wednesdays (half-price bottles of wine) at Trostel's Dish.
  • Endless glass of wine (that is, $26 for any wine featured on the extensive by-the-glass menu) at Table 128.
  • Half-price wine at Trostel's Greenbriar Restaurant & Bar.
  • All-you-can-eat jumbo wings for $6.99 at Wellman's Pub and Rooftop (West Des Moines).

Thursday nights: 

  • Half-price bottles of wine at Proof.
  • No corkage fee at Café di Scala.

Keep in mind that most of these specials are dine-in only. Also, I focused on specials that run the entire evening. Of course, many restaurants have terrific happy hour specials, too, and I'll report on my favorites soon. Watch this space!

Holly Wist and Anonymous,
"there's something about you" (2014), acrylic on canvas.

Gallery Opening


Viaduct Gallery, the Des Moines Social Club's long-awaited art space, launches its first exhibit with a party March 14. "Interface," on display through April 13, explores human connection through paintings, prints, video, multimedia, sculpture, drawings and performance by 14 artists from Iowa, the Midwest, Boston and Austria, including local residents Holly Wist, Jon Pearson and Annick Sjobakken.

"The Social Club is about people interacting constantly, and there are so many subtleties to that," says Elise Goodmann, gallery director. "It's exciting to see the different ways the artists responded." Some of the artists will attend the reception, which runs 7-10 p.m. and includes music by DJ Tone Zone and refreshments in a Capes Kafé preview. (Although DMSC offers some programs at the firehouse at 900 Mulberry St., renovations continue. An official grand opening is scheduled May 10.)

Viaduct is sponsored in part by Grand View University. Up next at the gallery:

  • Grand View Juried Student Exhibit, April 18-May 11.
  • PedalArt Des Moines, May 16-June 1 (bicycle-inspired posters from more than 30 artists, each selling 30 prints for $30 apiece).

Find more information here.   -K.C.

Color Outside the Lines
The view outside: brown, brown, brown (stripped trees, matted grass, dirty snow/sludgy slush). Yawn. All the more reason, we say, to wake up your makeup and wardrobe with vivid, just-this-side-of-outrageous color combos. For inspiration and products, see "Bold Beauty" in dsm's March issue here.

Bonus: Watch Sara Brown and Kelsay Brueck of Runway Model and Talent transform from fresh-scrubbed pretty to fierce glamazon in this behind-the-scenes video by photographer Kari Shannon.
History Moves Forward
In a significant move to help preserve local history, the Internal Revenue Service recently approved the Des Moines Historical Society (DMHS) as a nonprofit. Now, donations are tax-deductible (retroactive to May 15, 2013), which has been a goal since the DMHS formed four years ago, President Sarah Oltrogge says.

The organization also hopes to operate a museum one day. "Many people confuse the State Historical Museum of Iowa as the 'Des Moines Museum,' but the focus there is statewide," Oltrogge says. "We want a place where Des Moines residents can be engaged in history specific to them." Future plans also include starting a scholarship for high school students and upgrading the Fort Des Moines II cabin.

The group is working to document Des Moines people, organizations, businesses, homes and other buildings that are more than 100 years old. Learn more here. Also, individuals can join the DMHS for $15 ($20 per household) here.

In other history-related happenings, the State Historical Museum celebrates spring break March 17-21 with two free, family-friendly programs (click here for more details):
  • Pedalpalooza (9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.): A multimedia exhibit on Iowa bicycling (including an 1869 model), plus activities.
  • Vault Tours (11 a.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m.): A peek at museum treasures currently in storage. 
Pictured: Ivan Penquite and Jack Musgrove in downtown Des Moines (Equitable Building steeple in the background). Inscribed: "With Love to Vera, from Ivan & Jack," from a scrapbook that was donated to the Des Moines Historical Society. -K.C.
Kellye Crocker

Kellye Crocker lives in Clive and writes fiction for teens and nonfiction for adults. A former Des Moines Register senior reporter and current dsm contributing writer, she's also written for Parents, Better Homes and Gardens and Glamour, among other national publications. Connect with her on Twitter: @kelcrocker.
Wini Moranville

Wini Moranville, author of "The Bonne Femme Cookbook: Simple, Splendid Food That French Women Cook Every Day," is a food, wine and travel writer who covers the dining scene for dsm magazine. Follow her at All Things Food DSM - Wini Moranville and catch her food segment on Fridays at 6:40 a.m. on KCWI-23's "Great Day" morning show.

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