2 D.M. arts groups relish new offices, new seasons

Michael Morain, mmorain@dmreg.com 11:24 a.m. CDT April 5, 2014

The StageWest Theater Co. and Civic Music Association both moved their offices into the Des Moines Social Club last month. Both announced their 2014-2015 seasons at separate events Friday night. And both are now waiting by the phone, just itching to sell season tickets to you, your family and 80 of your closest friends.

So let’s have a look, starting with StageWest (www.stagewestiowa.com), which will finish out its current season at the Des Moines Civic Center’s Stoner Theater before moving its productions to the Social Club next fall.

  • “Carrie: The Musical,” based on Stephen King’s thriller, starts things off with a shiver, right before Halloween. Oct. 10-16.
  • “Neighborhood No. 3: Requisition of Doom” blurs the line between video games and reality with a slash-’em-up story about zombies in suburbia. (It sounds nuts, but the Social Club staged a surprisingly effective production two years ago at the Kirkwood.) Nov. 7-16.
  • “The Baltimore Waltz,” by Paula Vogel, tells a 1990-era story of two siblings living in the shadow of AIDS. The production marks World AIDS Day. Dec. 5-7 at the Temple for Performing Arts.
  • “Cock,” about an out-and-proud gay man who falls for a woman, will raise at least a few eyebrows in the new year. Jan. 16-25, 2015.
  • “My Name is Asher Lev,” based on the novel by Chaim Potok, follows a young Jewish painter whose artistic career threatens to sever his ties to his family and his faith. March 20-29, 2015.
  • “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,” which swept last year’s awards season in New York, tells the tale of two ordinary, bickering, middle-aged siblings whose movie-star sister visits with her new boy toy (you guessed it: that’s Spike). May 8-17, 2015.

The Civic Music Association (www.civicmusic.org) has a busy schedule of its own, with weekly Belin Quartet concerts this summer at the downtown Des Moines Public Library and the Social Club courtyard, plus a jazz lineup at the Des Moines Arts Festival. Here’s how the association’s 90th season shakes out at Drake University’s Sheslow Auditorium:

  • The Los Angeles Guitar Quartet opens with the artistry and technical polish that has made them one of the best classical-crossover groups in the country. Sept. 26.
  • Fifth House Ensemble, a chamber group who dabbles with multimedia (graphic novels, fairy tales, theatrical narration), performs during a multiday residency with area students. Oct. 18.
  • Banjo star Bela Fleck and the string quartet Brooklyn Rider team up to play some of the hybrid sounds evident in their Impostor Concerto, which stirred up critical buzz with a recent recording. Nov. 13.
  • Spanish Harlem Orchestra’s “Salsa Navidad” set spices up the Christmas season like it did last year, at Carnegie Hall. Dec. 13.
  • Pianist Andre Watts visits for a straight-up classical program. He’s dazzled audiences nationwide ever since 1963, during his televised debut with Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic. Jan. 31, 2015.
  • Nnenna Freelon sings with Earl Klugh’s guitar for a night of jazz duets suited to the holiday. Feb. 14, 2015.
  • Pianist Ellis Marsalis and his trombonist son, Delfeayo, play some of the up- and down-tempo jazz standards they recorded on the landmark album “The Last Southern Gentlemen.” March 27, 2015.
  • Kurt Ellings sings from the Sinatra songbook with back-up from the local Turner Jazz Center Orchestra. He’s the one with the Grammy, so they’ll do it his way. April 24.