Arts Preview: Your Guide To More Than 50 Events This Fall

A lot of Iowans roll their eyes at the 1992 book and 1995 movie about a Madison County farm wife and the travel photographer she falls for just one muggy summer in the 60s, however the Broadway musical lets the middle-aged lovebirds sing in ways they never really had before. Composer Jason Robert Brown won a pair of Tony Awards for the Broadway production, which enjoyed a brief but critically acclaimed run last year, and hell conduct the national tour, which starts here in Iowa, since it should, before moving to Los Angeles and at least 15 cities after that.... Meantime, Des Moines Performing Arts has organized two Bridges-inspired competitions for photographers and songwriters. The winning photos will undoubtedly be displayed at Wintersets Coverered Bridge Festival, Oct. 10 and 11, and the Civic Center; the winning songs will soon be performed at a concert Nov. 17 at the Temple for Performing Arts. Nov. 28 through Dec. 5, Des Moines Civic Center. $35-$101. Utopia Des Moines playwright and lyricist Robert John Ford has racked up a number of hits over the last few years, including Six on Six: The Musical, about girls basketball, and Caucus! The Musical, which won national praise in 2012 and certainly will hit the stage again in January with an updated script. However, many of his funniest material ends up in UtopIA, a spoofy musical revue about Iowa that he freshens up from time to time with current events and timeless topics like the Vanilla Nice Hy-Vee bag boys and the Skywalking Dead. The next installment features 16 new numbers and four favorites from earlier shows. Dec. 10 through Jan. 2, Viking Theatre, Grand View University. $15-$28. ACTIVITIES TO DO APP: Download it for Android or iPhone. EVENTS CALENDAR: Full calendar listing on your computer or mobile device and add your events. ALSO: Broadway Bound, a comedy Neil Simon wrote about his family, from Repertory Theater of Iowa. Sept. 11-27, Des Moines Social Club. $25-$30 for adults, with discounts for seniors and students. Into the Woods, Sondheims fairy tale mash-up. Sept. 11 through Oct. 4, Des Moines Community Playhouse. $25-$45, with discounts for seniors and students. Marriage Can Be Murder, a dinner-theater mystery. Sept. 11-27, Winterset Stage. $27-$30. Nunsense, the initial of an entire series of musicals about singing sisters. Sept. 18-27, Ames Community Theater. $20. Deathtrap, a twisty tale about a playwrights ploy to steal a Broadway script. Oct. 2-18, Ankeny Community Theatre. $15 for adults, with discounts for seniors and kids. 42nd Street, the national tour of the 1930s Broadway classic about a small-town dancers big break. Oct. 4, Stephens Auditorium in Ames. $22-$67. Bad Jews, a fresh comedy around three cousins feud over their grandfathers inheritance, from StageWest. Oct. 9-18, Des Moines Social Club. $25-$30. Columbinus, an United states of america Theatre Project play concerning the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School in Colorado, in a staging from Des Moines Young Artists Theatre. Oct. 9-18, East High School. $18 for adults, with discounts for seniors, students and children. Junie B. Jones: The Musical, about the irrepressible star of childrens book series. Oct. 23 through Nov. 15 at the Des Moines Community Playhouses Kate Goldman Childrens Theatre. $15-$22. Barefoot in the Park, yet another Neil Simon comedy, which inspired the 1967 movie starring Robert Redford and Jane Fonda, from Tallgrass Theatre. Oct. 30 through Nov. 14, Rex Mathes Auditorium in West Des Moines. $17. DANCE Pilobolus