January 10, 2017
Actor Antonio Sanchez is Birdman, one of several interesting productions upcoming at Hoyt Sherman Place. Before the show, you can enjoy dinner prepared by chef Katie Porter of the Wallace House and served in the venue's art gallery. 
DINNER, A SHOW AND SO MUCH MORE

When we caught up with Robert Warren over coffee yesterday, the Hoyt Sherman Place executive director was brimming with news that's sure to keep the venue firmly in the limelight this year. We were especially excited to hear that Hoyt Sherman is teaming up with well-regarded chef Katie Porter of the Wallace House to offer farm-to-table dinners before select shows. Porter will create locally sourced specialties for up to 40 guests, who will be served in the art gallery two hours before showtime. The first two dinners are set for Feb. 25, before pianist Jim Brickman's concert, and March 2, when "Birdman Live With Antonio Sanchez" will be presented. Watch this space and our Facebook page for additional details.

The dinners are just a start of what Hoyt Sherman is cooking up for 2017. Warren told us what else is in the works:
  • The organization expects to launch a capital campaign by early summer for a proposed $2 million renovation and expansion of the backstage area.
  • Hoyt Sherman will offer valet parking before shows, starting this Friday before a concert by country singer Josh Turner.
  • The roster of performances and events will continue to increase throughout the year; you can expect several new announcements every week. Just in the past week alone, the following shows were announced: magician Bill Blagg on March 3; singer-songwriter Jamey Johnson on March 5; classic rock band Kansas on March 31; country singer Vince Gill on April 8; plus a second show of Kristin Hensley and Jen Smedley, the women behind #IMomSoHard, on Feb. 6 (the Feb. 7 show sold out immediately).
Warren told us that some 1,000 tickets for both the Johnson and Kansas shows were sold within a day of going on sale last Friday -- not bad for a 1,250-seat theater. But also not surprising: Sellouts have been the norm at Hoyt Sherman since Warren joined the organization some 15 months ago. Overall, more than 73,800 people attended a Hoyt Sherman concert or event last year, a 20 percent increase over 2015. Average capacity was 90 percent. 

To keep up with Hoyt Sherman's lineup and to learn more about upcoming events, go to Hoyt Sherman's website. Read more about Warren and the revitalization of the venue in this dsm story.
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Silent Rivers designer Molly Spain describes her family's building of a 'strawbale home' near the Taos, New Mexico Rio Grand Gorge. A story about sustainable living, natural living and the spiritual and physical healing Molly's mom experienced in this beautiful and comfortable home. ... 

Prime rib, a favorite among Trostel's diners, calls for a hearty appetite and a big plate.
BIG PLATES GROWING AT TROSTEL'S DISH

By Wini Moranville
 
Some nights, a couple of appetizers will do the trick; other nights, you crave a more complete dining experience -- a gunpowder rib-eye, for instance. Now, you can enjoy either style of dining at Trostel's Dish in Clive, a spot that has been known mostly as a small-plates emporium. (Dish is a sister restaurant to Trostel's Greenbriar in Johnston.)
 
"For years our customers at Dish have told me they miss the Greenbriar prime rib or the gunpowder steak, but don't want to drive to Johnston," says owner Suzanne Summy. In addition to those two classics, she adds, Dish will also serve other popular Greenbriar entrees, including mac-and-cheese, New York strip steak, cedar-planked salmon and filet mignon.
 
Does this mean small plates are no longer a big deal at Dish?
 
"We have scaled back the small plates a little, but there are still 15 appetizers plus five pizzas and several lighter fare dishes that can be shared," Summy says. "I am mainly trying to give diners more choices. ... I feel younger diners don't want to be tied to a 'type' of dining."
 
Likewise, she says, Greenbriar -- once a mainstay for special occasions -- now offers plenty of easygoing choices, such as pizzas, entree salads and sandwiches, in addition to fine-dining entrees. Summy implemented these changes in recent years, while remodeling the bar and dining room for a more casual look.
 
Find Trostel's Dish at 12851 University Ave., Suite 400, Clive ; (515) 221-3474. Trostel's Greenbriar is at 5810 Merle Hay Road, Johnston; (515) 253-0124.
Find out just what these two are talking about in the new issue of dsm, available free at the launch party this evening.
DSM LAUNCH PARTY TODAY; STAND BY FOR FUN

Great news: dsm's new-issue launch party tonight is indoors! Yes, we pride ourselves on good planning. And we plan to see you between 5 and 7 p.m. Our party hosts are the good folks at the decorative-concrete showrooms of Speck USA. The address is 4100 Merle Hay Road, Suite D (behind Aspen Athletic Club). From Merle Hay Road, turn west on Aurora, then into the parking lot on the south side of the street.

The morning forecast indicated that the rain will be gone and the skies clearing through the afternoon. Yep, in the words of lyricist Lee Adams, "Gray skies are gonna clear up. Put on a happy face." And share that happiness with others at this dsm event. They're always fun and always free. 
Antiques appraiser Michaell Amosson will tell you what you have and what it's worth at the Iowa Home Show.
GET INSPIRATION, PRODUCTS AT IOWA HOME SHOW

Sure, we buy into the notion that "there's no place like home." But home ranks right up there with hairstyles on the list of things we want to change. If you're looking for creative solutions (residential only -- you're on your own with the hair), check out the Iowa Home Show at the State Fairgrounds this weekend: Friday, Jan. 13, 1-7 p.m.; Saturday, Jan. 14, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sunday, Jan. 15, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

Wander among home products and services offered by show vendors, and check out the how-to demonstrations by craftsman Tim McClellan from "Ellen's Design Challenge" on Saturday and Jennifer Bertrand, HGTV's "Design Star" winner, presenting affordable design ideas on Friday. 
   
But wait, there's more! Antiques guru Michael Amosson will appraise local treasures all weekend long -- for free. Bring in your cherished favorite to learn what it's worth. 

Admission is $7 for age 17 and up, $4 for ages 11-16; no charge for ages 10 and under. For more information,click here or call 816-676-0651.
Resistance is never futile so long as you have breath and a Dixon Ticonderoga No. 2 lead pencil in your fist.
LOCALS ON SAME PAGE AS 'WRITERS RESIST'

What began with an idea on social media in Florida has spread across the nation and into Iowa. Writers from Des Moines, Iowa City and Cedar Rapids are planning events as part of an international Writers Resist movement on Sunday, Jan. 15, the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. 

Writers are participating to share their commitment to the spirit of compassion, equality, free speech, and other democratic ideals. They'll be reading from selected works from 1 to 4 p.m. that day at Beaverdale Books, 2629 Beaver Ave. There 
will also be some open mic time with a five-minute limit. For more about the local event, including a list of participating writers, click here.

The founder of Writers Resist, poet Erin Belieu, grew concerned during the recent presidential campaign over public cynicism and how disdain for truthfulness had eroded democratic ideals. "Writers are acutely aware when the uses of language are empty," Belieu said when planning Writers Resist. "Whether you live in a red or blue state, or another country that cares deeply about the American experiment, there is no more important battle than our right to truth."
 
For more information, contact Kyle McCord, kfmccord@gmail.com     

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