What we’re reading
Equal Before the Law
by veteran Des Moines journalists Tom Witosky and Marc Hansen (University of Iowa Press, 2015). Thoroughly reported and engagingly written account that traces the story behind “Varnum v. Brien,” the 2009 Iowa Supreme Court decision that legalized same-sex marriage in Iowa. To read an excerpt, click here.
Dare to Dream, Dare to Act
by Des Moines businessman Terry Rich (Business Publications Corp., 2015). The well-known president and CEO of the Iowa Lottery shares the experiences and lessons he’s learned over the decades as a marketer and entrepreneur. To read more about Rich, click here.
Are You Fully Charged? The 3 Keys to Energizing Your Work and Life
by Tom Rath (Silicon Guild, 2015). The best-selling author of “StrengthsFinder 2.0” focuses on how to create meaning, improve relationships and stay healthy, at both work and home.
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
by Rebecca Skloot (Crown Books, 2010). Award-winning and riveting nonfiction work that chronicles how cancer cells taken from a poor black tobacco farmer in 1951—without her permission—became an immortal line of cells that remains the foundation of modern medical breakthroughs.
The Biggest Rolodex in Sports
by Des Moines sportscaster Larry Cotlar (United Graphics LLC, 2015). Memoir of Cotlar’s most interesting interviews and experiences from his broadcasting career.
What’s on our calendar for September and October
The exhibit “Laurel Nakadate: Strangers and Relations” opens, with a focus on the acclaimed photographer, filmmaker and video artist’s recent works. Through Jan. 24, 2016, Des Moines Art Center. Free admission; desmoinesartcenter.org.
Acclaimed jazz pianist Cyrus Chestnut and the Grammy-winning Turtle Island Quartet will perform music ranging from early jazz to Thelonius Monk. Presented by Civic Music Association. 7:30 p.m., Sheslow Auditorium at Drake University. $12-$50; civicmusic.org.
Venture “Into the Woods” in this musical that weaves together the stories of several classic fairy tales. Through Oct. 4 (dates and times vary), Des Moines Community Playhouse. $25-$45; dmplayhouse.com.
You’ll undoubtedly have the time of your life at “Dirty Dancing” (pictured), the hit musical that opens Des Moines Performing Arts’ 2015-2016 Broadway series. Through Sept. 20 (times vary), Des Moines Civic Center. $35-$127 (subject to change); desmoinesperformingarts.org.
Hear the premiere of Peter Hamlin’s “Symphony on a Stick,” a composition commissioned by the Des Moines Symphony that celebrates the Iowa State Fair, at the symphony’s season opener. The bill also includes Tchaikovsky’s “Piano Concerto No. 1.” 7:30 p.m.; also Sept. 27 at 2:30 p.m., Des Moines Civic Center. $15-$60; dmsymphony.org.
Honor the contributions of five inspiring Greater Des Moines immigrants and refugees at the “2015 Passport to Prosperity Awards,” presented by the Iowa International Center. 6 p.m., the Olmsted Center at Drake University. $50; iowainternationalcenter.org.
Celebrate the culmination of Metro Arts Alliance’s 40th anniversary year at the newly renovated and art-filled American Enterprise Group building downtown. Expect heavy hors d’oeuvres, drinks and entertainment. 7 p.m., 601 Sixth Ave. $100; metroarts.org.
Ballet Des Moines opens “Ovation: A Triple Bill,” featuring pieces by artistic director Serkan Usta, ballet mistress Lori Grooters and guest choreographer Ma Cong. “Ovation” celebrates Usta’s 10th year with the company. 7:30 p.m.; also Oct. 24 at 7:30 p.m. and Oct. 25 at 2 p.m., Hoyt Sherman Place. $15.50-$49.50; balletdesmoines.org.
Hear award-winning vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant (pictured), who has become known for her unique interpretations of unknown and rarely recorded jazz and blues compositions. Presented by Civic Music Association. 7:30 p.m., Sheslow Auditorium at Drake University. $12-$50; civicmusic.org.
Pulitzer Prize-winning author and former Iowa State University professor Jane Smiley will be the featured speaker at the 16th annual Iowa Author Awards Dinner. The event will honor this year’s author award winners: Neil Nakadate, Tim Johnston, William Friedricks and Claudia McGehee. Presented by the Des Moines Public Library Foundation. 5:30 p.m., Des Moines Marriott Downtown. $150; dmpl.org/foundation.
Network, socialize and be among the first to get your copy of the November/December issue of dsm at the unveiling event hosted by Holiday Inn Downtown. 5-7 p.m. (short program at 6 p.m.), 1050 Sixth St.; dsmmagazine.com.