JULY 12, 2016

Davida Williams and Aaron Smith are terrific on stage in "A Raisin in the Sun."

dsm Theater Review by Michael Morain
A great big batch of dreams definitely exploded -- spectacularly -- in the brand-new Pyramid Theatre Company's production of "A Raisin in the Sun," the 1959 classic by Lorraine Hansberry. On stage at Drake University's Fine Arts Center, the fictional dreams of the Younger family are on the line--dreams of a new house, better jobs and a brighter future-- and so, too, was the dream of the company itself, to launch a viable theater group for the production of both fresh and time-tested scripts by African-American playwrights. Read more
How to create the perfect outdoor oasis? Our design extends the client's deck and patio into the sun and integrates a hot tub for spa-like relaxation!
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Max Wellman is singing a new stanza in the song of his life, working mostly in Chicago.

Max Wellman, the face as well as the principal voice of the jazz club Noce, is expanding his range one again, with a focus on Chicago.

Wellman tells dsm that he will remain Noce's entertainment director but will sing in the Des Moines club only about once a month. He's moving his performance energies to Chicago, where he also plans recruit more talent for Noce's stage.

"It's a little bit complicated," he admits. Noce's management team will pick up more of his role as host at the popular club Wellman created with partners Bob and Maria Filippone. Noce opened last New Year's Eve.

"I'm looking forward to spending more time in one of the major jazz scenes," Wellman says. "And Noce will benefit from the connections I make in Chicago."

An eventual move for Wellman "was part of our planning from the beginning," he adds, noting that he will maintain a studio apartment in Des Moines.

"I have a long-term commitment to Noce and to Des Moines in general," says the singer who grew up here and had loyal fans even as a youth. 
To create this image, "If We Can't Blast Through, I'll Burn Through," Jordan Weber's media included spray paint plus asphalt, tar and dirt from Ferguson, Mo.

Innovative local artist Jordan Weber is featured in an exhibit opening with a reception from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, July 15, at Moberg Gallery on Ingersoll. Weber uses imagery from pop culture to create works that intend to shock viewers from their daily routine and increase their awareness and compassion to the world around them.

The new exhibit draws on galactic imagery as an analogy for interracial clashes at their most intensive point. Writing about the exhibit, Weber says, "Our world is, after all, positioned within this relentlessly brutal multi-universe where pure, constant destruction leads us to new life."

In this video, you can learn more about Weber, his work and his experience in Ferguson, Mo., which changed his perspective as an artist.
The courtyard of the Des Moines Social Club will be packed again in September.

The Des Moines Social Club will produce the first in what it plans to be an annual series of jazz festivals Sept. 2-3. It will include workshops, clinics, performances, and activities for all ages.

The music fires up Sept. 2 with the NOLA Jazz Band, the Lacona Trio, and a late-night jam session in The Basement (which is not included in festival pricing).

Saturday's performances, to be staged in the Social Club's colorful courtyard, include these groups:    
      * The Dick Oatts Quintet
      * The Bill Stewart, Peter Bernstein & Larry Goldings Trio
      * Ritmocano
      * Christopher's Very Happy Band
      * Synergy Nonet
Also scheduled that Saturday: a jazz brunch, a community stage in the Kum & Go Theater, and more late-night jam sessions.
Admission is $10 ($50 for a VIP pass); free for ages 10 and under.   
For more information,  click here.
Sounds of '80s rock will have you jumping too, along with cast members Hannah Stibbe, Zander Morales, Andrew Rubenbauer and Andrew Overton. Photo by Steve Gibbons.

The energetic and enduring "Rock of Ages" rocks the Des Moines Community Playhouse July 15 through Aug. 7. You know the story: Innocent kids go to L.A., get caught up in saving a music club and everybody sings the Dickens out of the '80s. Fun stuff.

Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays and at 2 p.m. on Sundays. Ticket prices vary from $25 to $45. Get them here
It isn't a sleigh and the reindeer are on summer break, but Santa is riding high.

Cyclists, form a team or pedal off on your own Saturday, July 16, with the Des Moines European Heritage Association's moonlit bicycle cruise through Clive and West Des Moines. The fun theme is Christmas in July, and lavish honors will be lauded on the best individual costume, best-decorated bike or helmet and best team theme. The ride is in support (and anticipation) of the Christkindlmarket in December. The ride begins at 9 p.m. Helmets, headlights and taillights are required. Registration is $35, which you can arrange here

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