Funny Bone Comedy Club's horseshoe-shaped stage braces itself for an oncoming whirlwind of hilarity delivered by a well-traveled cast of accomplished comics. The wildly expressive Greg Morton (April 25–29) uses his deep voice and malleable face to perform frighteningly accurate impersonations of Star Wars characters and to convey personal observations on various subjects, such as the obvious generation gap. Paul Mecurio (May 2–6), who won an Emmy as a writer for The Daily Show, turns up the volume with his raucous investigation of cultural disparities, fearlessly taking on issues of race and what he perceives as oversensitivity. Meanwhile, the suspender-clad Sandman the Hypnotist (May 23–27) transforms audience volunteers into the stars of the show during his hypnotism routines, which reach their comedic peaks with an impromptu Jerry Springer show and the frightening disappearance of reproductive body parts.
Originally opened in 1927, the Genesee Theatre slowly deteriorated over the course of the century until its closing in 1989. But starting in 2001, a $23 million cash infusion from the city allowed 120 volunteers to restore the theater to its Gilded Age splendor. Its elegant trappings include authentic wall fabrics, an exact replica of the original marquee, and a 2,200-pound chandelier that gently spotlights the grand lobby and every audience member passing underneath to show how everyone is a star if you really think about it.
Currently celebrating its 86th year, the Civic Music Association has established a tradition of education and ear candy that attracts some of the world's most renowned string strummers, key ticklers, and hot air blowers. Cantus, a nationally touring men's vocal ensemble, brings their baritones and basses to Sheslow Auditorium, where they will share their melodious brand of performance. This band of modern bards will sing selections from a diverse catalogue of musical styles ranging from chant and Renaissance rounds to folk and Benedictine monk punk. Exchange your Groupon for tickets at will-call on the day of the performance, or pick up tickets at the ticket office before the day of the event.
"Season Finale: Russian Spectacular" concludes the Des Moines Symphony's 73rd season and Masterworks series with three classic Russian pieces. Traverse the musical panorama of the world's most sprawling landscape with Rimsky-Korsakov's "Russian Easter Festival Overture" while snapping tourist photos of landmark trumpets. Russian ivory-tickler Ilya Yakushev will make the keys croon during Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto no. 2, while Shostakovich's mighty, brass-fueled Symphony no. 5 provides an auditory oeuvre to the season finale by celebrating the time-honored relationship between sorbet and soirees. Led by experienced conductor Joseph Giunta, the Des Moines Symphony Orchestra creates an evening of instrumental inspiration within the Civic Center of Greater Des Moines' 2,735-seat main hall, which is decked out with excellent acoustics, continental seating, and a cellist-sculpted bust of Bach hovering over every shoulder.
The Des Moines Community Playhouse offers exciting entertainment on stage, volunteer opportunities both on stage and backstage, and theatrical education programs for students ages 4 to adult. Founded in 1919, the Playhouse is one of the largest and oldest community theatres in the US.