Hoyt Sherman Surges

Above: The theater at Hoyt Sherman Place seats 776 on the main floor and 476 in the balcony, often filled to capacity this past year.


One of our favorite gifts this year has been the ongoing transformation of Hoyt Sherman Place from sleepy to energized as an elegant and intimate venue for legendary entertainers as well as bright up-and-comers.

Executive Director Robert Warren starting shaking the cobwebs out of the place two years ago. By this time last year, Warren had doubled the number of performances (from 43 to 87) and told dsm, “I want to put Hoyt Sherman back on the relevance radar.”

He has certainly met that goal. The galleries and 1,252-seat theater at Hoyt Sherman Place host more than 300 events annually drawing over 90,000 people. This year, performers have included such diverse luminaries as Elvis Costello, Lucinda Williams, Lyle Lovett, John Hyatt and Chris Isaak.

More big names are slated in the months ahead, including comedian Kathleen Madigan and musicians Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn in February, and Three Dog Night, Jonny Lang, the NItty Gritty Dirt Band, John Hiatt and “Weird Al” Yankovic in March. Lewis Black performs in April, and the legendary Temptations in June. You can check Hoyt Sherman’s calendar here, as additional acts are added.

The community value is hard to miss. Just weeks ago, nonprofit Hoyt Sherman Place received an $85,000 “cultural enrichment” grant from Bravo Greater Des Moines, funded by local hotel-motel tax revenue. 

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