Classics Abound in Des Moines This March
Classic books are making a comeback - on stage, that is. From family plays based on books by E.B. White and Judy Blume to an epic musical based on a work by Victor Hugo, all kinds of books are coming to life on stage this month.
There are a couple of different family offerings this month. First out of the gate is the classic Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing. Based on the timeless book by Judy Blume, Tales follows the sibling rivalry between Peter and his little brother Fudge. Peter finds Fudge to be less than amusing, especially since Fudge seems to get away with everything. When Peter's turtle disappears he knows Fudge must be to blame, but will anyone believe what Peter says? Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing was originally published in 1972, but the sibling rivalry between Peter and Fudge is entirely relatable and will delight adults and children alike. Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing runs through March 16th at the Des Moines Playhouse.
The next great family option is Stuart Little, presented by the Dallas Children's Theater Company as part of Des Moines Performing Arts' Family Series. Based on the classic by E.B White, the stage adaptation will bring to life the tale of the extraordinary mouse Stuart growing up in an ordinary family. Stuary must learn to survive in the human world. Adventures abound, but at the heart of the story is Stuart's journey to understanding the true meaning of family, friendship and loyalty. Stuart Little will be presented on March 29th.
Another classic, albeit of a completely different color, rounds out the month. Les Miserables, now available to community theaters, will get the Des Moines Playhouse's stamp this month with a long run beginning March 21st. The epic musical, set during the French Revolution, chronicles the battle of good versus evil and the perils of revolution and romance set to the sweeping score by Claude-Michel Schonberg. Jean Valjean, unjustly imprisoned for nineteen years, has broken parole and is on the path to an honest life, but officer Javert is determined to bring the convict to justice. Bringing the classic to a community theater setting will surely create an entirely new fan base and will help to keep the musical playing around the world for years to come. Performances run through April 13th.
All three of these classic tales will leave you feeling inspired.Best of all, you can always pick up the books to keep the stories with you for years to come.