SEPTEMBER 27, 2016

A dramatic moment in the Loman family from "Death of a Salesman," with Thomas Gill (Happy), Mark Gruber (Willy), Kerry Skram (Linda) and Benjamin Sheridan (Biff).

dsm Review by Michael Morain 
Repertory Theater of Iowa places "Death of a Salesman" in the steady hands of director Brad Dell and a formidable cast, who take Arthur Miller's timeless script and twist it like a knife into the soft tissues of American optimism and basic human compassion.  

In this version, the role of Willy Loman belongs to Mark Gruber, whose natural feistiness balances the character's weary gloom. The New York salesman wasn't always a sad sack, but he deflated over the years, worn out by a career that never quite took off like he had planned. Kerry Skram plays his fiercely protective wife with a heartbreaking mix of strength and vulnerability.  

"Death of a Salesman" continues through Sunday, Oct. 2, at the Des Moines Social Club's Kum & Go Theater. $18-$33.
Rise & Shine! A Charming Renovation of a Vintage Bathroom 
From style-challenged to lovely, this small bathroom flaunts a custom-built wood vanity, penny-round floor tile, simple cast iron tub and classic white subway tile. ... Read More »
The deliciously devious Milk Money is all sweetness and innocence. Then it hits you.

By Wini Moranville
Christopher Diebel held a steadfast vision for the lounge of his restaurant, Bubba: The lounge had to be its own draw -- a captivating space unto itself and not merely a spot to wait for a table.
Soft seating arranged in conversation clusters, a glistening chandelier, and two-story windows overlooking 10th Street helped Diebel achieve that goal, as did a cocktail menu of creative takes on that Southern classic, the mint julep.

These days, however, we're inclined to like the lounge even better, thanks to a few recently unveiled cocktails. Our favorite of the newbies, of course, is the "Ms. Wimer," created in honor of dsm magazine founder Connie Wimer.
Patterned after Connie's favorite cocktail -- a classic Negroni (gin, sweet vermouth, Campari), the new cocktail mixes gin, extra-dry vermouth and Cocchi Americano (an aromatic Italian apéritif).
The trio of ingredients offers the same sort of refreshingly bitter and intriguingly herbaceous appeal of a Negroni, but with one key difference: While the Negroni is brilliant-ruby in color, the "Ms. Wimer" is a sparklingly elegant white-blond -- like its namesake. Diebel tells us he plans to introduce additional cocktails dedicated to local personalities -- perhaps two to four each year, he says. 
Other dashing new cocktails include a smooth Sweet-Tea Julep (with Tennessee bourbon and a brewed sweet tea), the Smoked Watermelon (with Mezcal, salted watermelon, lime and basil) and the dangerously sneaky (take our word for it) Milk Money. The latter tastes like a milkshake, but is made mostly of booze (Bailey's Vanilla Cinnamon, Kahlua, Crown Royale Vanilla and a splash of club soda).
Bubba is at 200 10th St., 257-4744;
ia magazine restricts its coverage to the area shown on this map.

Here at dsm magazine, we're very fond of inviting you to the "launch parties" where we unveil each new issue. It's fun to get together with readers to celebrate the stories about life in Greater Des Moines. But only one party each year thinks bigger! That's when we launch our annual statewide publication, ia magazine, which is full of great information from all over Iowa.

Today's the day! You're welcome to join in the jubilation, food and drinks -- and get a copy of the new issue for yourself. From 5 to 7 p.m. today, we'll be at Des Moines University's Student Education Center, 3200 Grand Ave. Brief comments and the ia unveiling will be at 6 p.m. We hope we'll see you there.  
The library returns "home" Friday to celebrate its 150th anniversary in the building it occupied through most of the 20th century, now the home of the World Food Prize.


When was the last time you waited 150 years for a party? Such patience will be rewarded at Book Ball 150, a celebration of the Des Moines Public Library's 150th anniversary. For those rushing to Dewey Decimal section 423 for dictionaries, the word for a 150th event is sesquicentennial.

What better place to celebrate such a fine word and worthy institution than the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates, a building that was long the home of Des Moines' main library? The sesquicentennial event, a benefit for the library foundation, is Friday, Sept. 30, from 6:30 to 11 p.m.

Special moments in the evening include a poetry reading by Jim Autry,
a recognition of former library director Elaine Estes and a presentation of the 2016 Iowa Author Award to Patricia O'Conner.

For tickets (starting at $200) and more information, click here. Read more about the library's evolution and its "virtual library," plus what some of our community leaders are reading, in this story in the current issue of dsm.
The hills are alive with the sound of music? So are the seas, the deserts ... it''s wild.

The Science Center of Iowa may expand your understanding of what makes music when "Wild Music: Sounds & Songs of Life," a hands-on traveling exhibit, reaches Des Moines next week.  

Through sensory-stimulating activities, visitors will not only hear the music that surrounds them every day, but they'll see and even feel it. Nature is filled with "musicians" that communicate with one another, from tiny insects to giant whales.

Highlights of the Wild Music exhibit include:
  • "Soundscapes" that allow you to explore sound and music that come from the ocean, the forest and the city. Learn to interpret spectrograms, or visual representations, of bird songs; learn what whale cries tell us; and experiment with how sound travels underwater.
  • The Jamming Room, a soundproof practice studio where you can use pre-recorded audio soundscapes, animal voices, percussion instruments and live vocals to compose your own songs.
  • The Bioacoustic Lab, where you can experiment with how the human voice works and how it compares with those of other animals.
  • The Power of Sound and Music Theater, which allows you to experience sounds from around the world.
Wild Music will be open daily through May 29, 2017. The exhibit is included with regular SCI admission and is free for members. 

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