“There’s just something about Broadway.”
Some of the most rewarding moments at Des Moines Performing Arts is hearing our patrons share this with us time and time again.
It’s especially fun to hear this from someone who has just attended his or her first Broadway musical at the Des Moines Civic Center, when – right before their eyes on our main stage – they’ve experienced live professional theater direct from Broadway.
Perhaps it was a blockbuster like Wicked. Or Disney’s The Lion King. Or maybe the production that definitively put Des Moines on the Broadway map back in 1997, The Phantom of The Opera (back for a return engagement in September 2014). The list goes on.
Brilliant performances. Magical musical numbers. Jaw-dropping choreography. Together, these add up to memories that last a lifetime for young and old alike. Yes, there is just something about Broadway.
Not only do Iowans love their Broadway theater, but Iowa itself has a long, harmonious history with this unique American art form.
Some of Broadway’s most beloved musicals are woven with an Iowa thread. There was “T-R-O-U-B-L-E in River City” with Meredith Willson’s The Music Man. (Lovingly based on Willson’s home town of Mason City.) Rodgers and Hammerstein invited the world to Des Moines in State Fair. Dubuque has a starring role in The Pajama Game.
And now, Madison County takes center stage in the current Broadway production of The Bridges of Madison County, now playing at the Gerald Schoenfield Theatre in New York.
The road from Broadway to Iowa is remarkably short, thanks to theaters throughout the state that offer professional touring Broadway productions on their stages – including the Des Moines Civic Center, where the Willis Broadway Series is in full swing.
So next time you think about going to a Broadway musical, be reminded of River City’s tuneful nudge to Harold Hill and “give Iowa a try!”
Enjoy the show!
Barb Preuss, Des Moines Performing Arts
For more information on Des Moines Performing Arts, our shows, or to buy tickets, please visit www.DesMoinesPerformingArts.org.
Upcoming productions in the 2013-2014 Willis Broadway Series:
Winner of the 2012 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical, THE GERSHWINS’ PORGY AND BESS is heading to Des Moines April 1-6 in a stunning and stirring new staging, with a live 23-piece orchestra.
Winner of eight 2012 Tony Awards including Best Musical, ONCE is a truly original Broadway experience and will hit the Des Moines Civic Center stage April 22-27.
From London’s West End, the worldwide smash hit musical by Queen and Ben Elton comes to Des Moines for a limited engagement from June 10-15.
Following an acclaimed sold-out tour of the United Kingdom, Cameron Mackintosh’s spectacular new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s phenomenal musical success, THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, will come to Des Moines as part of a brand new North American Tour from Sept. 10-21.