Weekender Central Iowa! 80/35 | A Thousand Acres | Matilda the Musical


Your weekly editor-curated arts compendium

Festival season continues in full force this weekend, kicking off with DMMC’s 80/35 and including options for comedy lovers, book lovers and even taco lovers! Also: Jane Smiley chats about ‘A Thousand Acres,’ her novel that inspired the new opera at DMMO (opening night is sold out, but you can catch later dates), and Gateway Dance Theatre continues celebrating their 50th, with a revival of their 2016 commission, ‘Shakuntala.’ Top pick? Experience the “Revolting Children” of ‘Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical’ at the Playhouse for warm fuzzies and infectious tunes.

Des Moines Botanical Garden

Music in the Garden

Jul 7 – 6:30pm

Don’t miss Music in the Garden, the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden summer concert series presented by EMC Insurance Companies. Concerts will be held live and in person in the outdoor Koehn Garden

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Western Gateway Park


Jul 8 – Jul 9 – 5:00pm

80/35 is a two-day music festival in the heart of Des Moines, Iowa.

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Teehee's Comedy Club

Chicago Comedy Showcase

Jul 8 – 7:00pm

Teehee’s is getting occupied by some of the best comedians from the other side of the river.

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Val Air Ballroom

As I Lay Dying with Whitechapel, Shadow of Intent and Brand of Sacrifice

Jul 8 – 7:00pm

As I Lay Dying with Whitechapel, Shadow of Intent and Brand of Sacrifice at Val Air

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Des Moines Community Playhouse

Matilda the Musical

Jul 8 – 7:30pm

Magical. Mischievous. Miraculous. From the nonsensical mind of Roald Dahl comes this timeless tale of young Matilda Wormwood.

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80/35 Afterparty with STRFKR and The Undercover Dream Lovers & Das Kope

Jul 8 – 9:00pm

STRFKR 2022 Tour: 80/35 Afterparty with The Undercover Dream Lovers & Das Kope

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Valley West Mall

Indie Author Book Expo

Jul 9 – Jul 10 – 11:00am

Join us as we kick off our 7th year of being Iowa’s biggest book expo!

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Principal Park

Taco and Margarita Festival

Jul 9 – 11:00am

Taco and Margarita Festival at Principal Park

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Sheslow Auditorium

Creators in Conversation: An Afternoon with Jane Smiley

Jul 9 – 1:30pm

Celebrated author Jane Smiley will join members of the Opera creative team to reflect on the musical and dramatic setting of her book.

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Westminster Presbyterian Church


Jul 9 – 7:30pm

Shakuntala tells the story of a young woman, Shakuntala, who was raised in a secluded abbey, or ashram, and falls in love with a monarch, whom she meets in the forest.

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Paul Lichty Jazz Orchestra

Jul 9 – 8:00pm

Paul Lichty Jazz Orchestra performs at Noce

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Reiman Gardens

Garden Art Fair

Jul 10 – 10:00am

Reiman Gardens is proud to host our 19th annual Garden Art Fair. Come enjoy the work of new and returning artists who will be displaying and selling their garden and nature inspired art.

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Iowa State Capitol

Iowans for Reproductive Freedom

Jul 10 – 12:00pm

Now is our moment to come together and speak up for abortion access.

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Beaverdale Books

Meet the Author: Mary Gordon & Candace Camling

Jul 10 – 2:30pm

Bring the kids to meet author Mary Gordon and illustrator Candace Camling as they share stories about their work and the fascinating sites featured in their book.

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