Category Archives: Music

Review: Something Rotten! At Des Moines Performing Arts

Don’t let the title Something Rotten! fool you.  This touring Broadway musical makes for an extremely funny theatrical experience.

It’s anything but rotten… and is a great way for the Des Moines Civic Center to kick off the 2017-18 Willis Broadway Series.  My wife and I were fortunate enough to be invited to opening night, Tuesday, October 17, 2017.Something Rotten! is set in the 1590’s.  No, that’s not a typo. It really does take place in the 1590’s.  A time when William Shakespeare was “rock star” famous… and two aspiring playwright brothers wanted a little piece of that fame.

They set out to make a name for themselves by creating the very first theatrical production to combine song and dance with acting. That’s right, they were attempting to make the world’s first musical.

Something Rotten! is brilliantly written and laugh out loud funny.  I honestly can’t remember the last time my wife and I laughed so hard. We weren’t alone either.

The nearly sold out, opening night audience was laughing right along with us and was quick to reward the cast with a  standing ovation during the curtain call at the end of the night.If you’ve never been to a musical before and don’t really know much about Shakespeare you’ll enjoy this show.  On the other hand, if you’re a fan of musical theatre and have a general knowledge of Shakespeare you will absolutely love this show.

There are so many jokes, musical riffs, and borrowed lines from popular musicals that hardly a moment goes by without a laugh.  In fact, I’d really like to see this show again sometime because I’m sure there are some that I missed.

The talented singing and dancing was an equal match to the comedy.  This show is loaded with lots of great music and the actors performed it all flawlessly, all while in most cases dancing too. If you’re a fan of tap dancing, like I am, there’s a scene that you will really enjoy!

There are a few swear words sprinkled in but they are well timed comedically and aren’t over the top.  A lot of the humor is innuendo-based so younger theatre-goers might not get it all.

While there’s nothing inappropriate I’d say this show is best suited for middle school aged kids and older.

If you’re looking for a two-hour diversion from the world… one that will have you laughing and leaving with a smile on your face… Something Rotten! is the show for you!

Something Rotten! runs through Sunday, October 15th and the Des Moines Civic Center. You can learn more about the show and get tickets on the Des Moines Performing Arts website.

***Disclaimer – I was provided with free press night tickets.  All opinions are my own.

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Memory Monday – Missing Tom Petty

Today has been a roller coaster of emotions.  I woke to the news of the mass shooting at a Jason Aldean concert in Las Vegas.

Then in the afternoon, we learned Tom Petty had been found at his home in cardiac arrest and was removed from life support.  There were confirmed reports of his death that were later recanted.  Then a final word that he had indeed passed.

As I thought about Tom Petty this afternoon I was reminded about the time I almost saw him in concert.  I was 16, his song Free Fallin’ was a new radio hit, and someone in my school had won tickets on the radio and couldn’t go.

My buddy and I thought it’d be fun concert so I bought the tickets for $20 a piece.  When I got home I realized that I shouldn’t have bought them.

You see, back then, concerts were a special event. Not a regular occurrence… and in my area, the big ones were always held at Hilton Coliseum in Ames.  That was doable.  It was less than an hour from my house and my friend knew Ames well.  His family were Iowa State fans and made many trips there to see the Cyclones play.

The thing is our tickets weren’t for a show in Ames.  They were for Iowa City.  A town that was 2.5 hours away and a town we weren’t familiar with.  We knew we’d never be able to convince our parents to let us go so we sold the tickets.

This was well before social media.  There was no posting about tickets for sale online.  I actually had to ask around.  It took some doing but a teacher ended up buying them.  He said it was a great show.

I’ve seen a lot of concerts over the years but I never did make it to a Tom Petty show… and now I never will.

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What I’m Into Right Now – September 2017

These monthly “What I’m Into” posts are some of my favorites.  It’s a chance for me to reflect on what’s going on in my life and share some of my favorite things.  So… here’s the latest!

What I’m Into Right Now – September 2017

Midland – I’m a big fan of this band.  They’ve got a cool retro 70’s sound that I really like.  Their harmonies remind me a little bit of the Eagles.  Someplace I saw their sound described as “California Country”.  I’d say that’s pretty accurate. Their songs “Drinkin’ Problem” and “Check Cashin’ Country” are 2 of my favorites.

Carhartt Shorts – I’m lucky enough to have a job where I can wear shorts if I want to… and I want to whenever I can.  After all… you can’t see what I’m wearing through your radio.

I recently found the perfect style/fit from Carhartt and have a couple pairs now.  They’re comfortable and look great. I’ll probably be wearing them into October.

Getting Organized – During the Summer we back off from our schedules and routines.  Now that the kids are back in school I’m ready for some structure and organization.

Crockpot Recipes – I’m ready for Fall and have started researching new recipes to try.

Grilling – Whether it’s for steaks, frozen pizza, quesadillas, or turkey burgers… I’m firing up the grill every chance I get.

What are you into right now?

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