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A morning at the theater

At least once a year, I try to get my girls to the Des Moines Civic Center to see a production. Their first show was “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and a couple of years ago we saw “Aladdin” when it was in town.

I had originally purchased tickets to see “A Charlie Brown Christmas” play in December. The date of the show kept sticking in my head like something else was going on, but I hadn’t written anything in my agenda so I was hoping we were OK. We were not.

About a month before the show I found out it was also the night of my oldest daughter’s concert. The time of the concert and show conflicted too much that I knew we wouldn’t be able to do both, which was pretty disappointing although her concert was very good.

I had been paying attention to see if any other productions would be coming in the next year we could go see. Luckily, “Wicked” is coming in June and I was able to snatch up some tickets during an early sale period.

I was still looking to see if there was anything else that might be interesting when I saw there would be a performance of a “Magic Tree House” story. The show was scheduled for a Saturday morning and tickets were very affordable. I decided it would be a fun little activity to do during the middle of winter and invited my mom along.

When the day came, we didn’t get all dressed up like we often do to go to the Civic Center. Instead, we wore more casual dress up outfits and our boots that click when we walk.

After parking, we took the Sky Walk right into the Civic Center and the girls even got a special program explaining the show and the history of the book series and its author. We reviewed the text until the lights started to dim signaling the beginning of the show.

I guess I should have read exactly what we were going to because I was not expecting it to be mostly rap singing, but it was a really fun way to hear a story. The performance had six actors who portrayed different characters throughout including the main characters Jack and Annie and William Shakespeare.

The girls knew the familiar parts from the book and loved the singing and dancing. It was interactive with the crowd clapping along and singing back, too.

One of my favorite parts was at the end when after taking their bows, the crew came back out to answer questions from the kids in the crowd. It was interesting to hear their backgrounds and how they ended up in Des Moines performing.

The show was great, the girls really liked it and it got me really excited to go see “Wicked” in the summer. I guess they should probably see “The Wizard of Oz” before we head back to the theater.

Contact Jamee A. Pierson at

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