What a way to start a weekend: sampling wine and food after work while supporting Des Moines Metro Opera.


Our vocabulary-builder Word of the Day: oenophile (a wine connoisseur). If that doesn't fit you already, you can get closer to being one at the Wine & Food Showcase next Friday, Feb. 16, beginning at 5 p.m. at the downtown Marriott.

Featuring nearly 40 of the finest restaurants, caterers, wineries and breweries in the area, the event includes a silent auction and has become Des Moines Metro Opera’s signature fundraiser. Proceeds support the opera company’s award-winning education and community engagement programs, which annually reach over 90,000 individuals. Tickets are $45 if purchased in advance, $50 at the door, $100 for the VIP Room.

Donated to Iowa Heart Ball: This table created from Iowa Capitol salvaged wood African Mahogany wood, saved from a trash bin, was lovingly crafted into this beautiful console table by Silent Rivers’ Tom Bloxham and Alex Schlepphorst. So it was appropriate that we donated it to Des Moines’ Heart Ball fundraiser, hosted by the American Heart Association. ...
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By Design present dsmDining —

Samuel Charles and Phoebe Adolphson will pop into Des Moines for dinner Feb. 19.


By Wini Moranville

Phoebe Adolphson and Samuel Charles of Cedar Rapids recently launched the restaurant group the The Kitchen Counter LLC. While the duo does not, at this point, have a bricks-and-mortar venue, they have been hosting pop-up restaurants in the past few months, including events at Cedar Rapids’ renowned Cobble Hill restaurant and the Lincoln Wine Bar in Mount Vernon.

They'll take over Harbinger on Feb. 19 with a pop-up dinner starting at 6 p.m. According to Adolphson, the four-course menu comprises “elevated family-style dishes,” encouraging diners to share a meal together. The meal will take inspiration from the Midwest region, including Czech and German traditions in Iowa. Dinner costs $45 per person (plus gratuity).

The name of their company—The Kitchen Counter—reflects the time they both spent growing up around kitchen counters in their homes. The two have worked extensively in restaurants in the Iowa City/Cedar Rapids area, Chicago and most recently, Denver. While in Denver, Charles was named a “Rising Star” by for his work in opening The Way Back, a well-received hangout for craft cocktails and progressive New American food. Adolphson worked in management at Lola Coastal Mexican, a high-volume, 240-seat venue.

Of course, we all know that a Denver pedigree is a good thing, right? After all, Joe Tripp (at Harbinger), Zach Gutweiler (at Reed’s Hollow) and Jacob Demars (at Marlene’s) have all done stints in the mile-high city.

In the future, Adolphson and Charles plan to open a restaurant—most likely in Cedar Rapids or Des Moines. It’s nice to know we’re in the running.

Tickets for the pop-up dinner must be purchased in advance. Click here to buy yours.

Making a modern statement
My client Amy came to me looking for a couple of gorgeous occasional chairs for her living room. Her goal was to maximize seating while making a statement. She also wanted to add a little privacy to her room since her front doors are made of glass. ... Read more »

Posters for the new season's shows reflect the dramatic nature of Pyramid Theatre Company's productions.


By Christine Riccelli 

“This is where it gets crazy, so buckle up.” When Ken-Matt Martin tells you that, you do it. That's because  Pyramid Theatre Company's dynamic executive director has a way of sweeping you along with him on his journey to bring innovative theater to Des Moines.

In this case, he’s referring to the Iowa premiere of Ike Holter’s “Prowess,” which will open Pyramid’s third season on June 8 at Stoner Theater. The “crazy” part is that, thanks to Martin, the show is an unusual endeavor for a local theater company: It will be co-produced with Brown University, where Martin is currently earning an MFA, and will open in Providence, R.I., before arriving in Des Moines.

“It’s exciting that we’ll be able to bring highly trained professionals out of New York to Des Moines,” says Martin, the show's director. “It’s a step toward our long-term goal of establishing Pyramid as a national organization with local ties and roots.” Part of the local link with “Prowess” is that it will include Karla Kash, a former Drake University professor who last fall joined the State University of New York at Albany.

“Prowess” follows a group of four Chicago friends who, as a result of being crime victims, join forces to become makeshift superheroes and vigilantes. Featuring fight scenes directed by Kash as well and dance and musical numbers, the show “fits our mission of doing a new work each year,” Martin says. “It’s a unique opportunity for us as a professional regional theater to push the envelope.” The show runs through June 17.

In addition to “Prowess,” Pyramid will present “Intimate Apparel” Aug. 17-26. Written by two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage and directed by Pyramid artistic director Tiffany Johnson, the show is set in New York in 1905 and focuses on the story of Esther, a seamstress who lives in a boarding house and sews undergarments for wealthy white patrons. Longing for a husband and a future, Esther plans to use the money she’s saved to open a beauty parlor where black women will be treated as royally as her white clients.

For the show, Pyramid is collaborating with Drake University on set and technical design. “Drake has a little-known jewel of a [theater] program,” says Martin, who earned his undergraduate degree there. "This is an opportunity for students to get experience and employment.”

Martin adds that “both shows are centered around women. In the times we’re living in now, we wanted to [present] works that feature women who take control of their own destinies.”

Something else to look for: Sometime when “Hamilton” is in town (June 27-July 15), the cast will host a benefit for Pyramid. “When I was in New York recently, I was catching up with Oskar Eustis—the lead producer of ‘Hamilton’ who also founded the Brown/Trinity Repertory theater training [program]—and started joking around” about the possibility of a fundraiser, Martin says. That casual conversation led to more serious conversations—and soon an event was in the works. When details are available, they’ll be on the Pyramid website.

It’s that kind of innovation, creativity and collaboration that earned Pyramid, which Martin and Jareh Breon Holder founded in 1915, the Standing Ovation Award at the Bravo gala last Saturday night.

2018 season tickets are $40 and go on sale March 1. Individual tickets are $15-$25 and will be available starting May 1. To learn more about Pyramid and the people involved with it, read “Leading Ladies” and "Pyramid Power" from the dsm archives.

"Defending the Caveman," opening at the Temple Theater Feb. 13, will have you reconsidering some of its sharper points.


Well, here's a riddle for you: How can a one-man show have three actors? Ponder that while we praise the insightful comedy "Defending the Caveman," the longest running solo play in Broadway history, coming to the Temple Theater Feb. 13-March 4

The Chicago Sun Times' description of "Caveman:" “Outrageously funny and surprisingly sweet exploration of the gender gap.” The show makes audiences laugh at themselves as it explores the ways men and women fight, laugh and love. Proving that these are universal themes, "Caveman" has been seen in 45 countries and translated into 18 different languages. Showtimes vary; tickets ranging from $28 to $55 are available here.

So back to our riddle: The show is here for three weeks with a different actor in the role each week. Ta-dah!

One of the engaging pieces from the collaborative work of Holly Vandeberg and Jeff Rider on exhibit at Polk County Heritage Gallery.


A creative alliance that began in a Build-a-Bear shop eight years ago has led to a gallery showing for artists Holly Vandeberg and Jeff Rider at Polk County Heritage Gallery (through Feb. 16). Their collaborative work expresses childlike whimsy in quirky subjects, from spider web patterns to your standard flying pig with an umbrella. And really, who doesn't want to see that? Other images suggest more thoughtfully curious themes. We'll be stopping by. The gallery is open weekdays from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 111 Court Ave. 

Jazz singer and pianist Dianna Krall has Des Moines on her current world tour.


Tickets are almost sold out to hear five-time Grammy winner Diana Krall at Hoyt Sherman Place on June 10. Explore more entertainment options with a pair of easy-to-use online calendars. We at dsm magazine and the Business Record maintain this calendar with handy filters so you can see just the types of events you're searching for. For even more categories, check Catch Des Moines.

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