CIVIC CENTER: New Season Boasts 2 Tony Winners

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It’s not about what’s on stage…it’s about what’s on deck.

“I think this is one of the best lineups we’ve ever had,” says Jeff Chelesvig, CEO of the Des Moines Civic Center.

The new season at the Civic Center has the boss beaming.

“It’s very rare that we get the current Tony Award winning musical and play, that’s only happened once in our 32-year history.”

In October, the Broadway Series starts off with the 25th anniversary production of Les Miserables.

“That is one of the most popular musicals of all time and to be able to see it in this new production is really gonna be a thrill.”

If that’s the old favorite, then there’s no doubt what the new one will be.

“There’s no doubt it’s the Book of Mormon, which is the hottest show on Broadway.”

Book of Mormon hauled in nine Tony’s and it’ll be here in January on its first national tour.

“Book of Mormon…that’s going to be the big one for the year, I think, but War Horse, too?” asks season ticket holder, Cindy Fleischacker of Des Moines.

War Horse grabbed the Tony for Best Play. It debuts in Des Moines in December. In March, Chelesvig has something special.

“Jekyll and Hyde is a show that’s going to be going to Broadway," says Chelevig, "it’s going to be doing a national tour and the Civic Center is one of the investors in that show.”

The Civic Center invests in productions to gain a position on its national tour…a strategy that Chelesvig says works for cities like Des Moines.

“La Cage Aux Folles we presented this year, we had invested in the Broadway production the season before and we had the chance not only to perform it here but we opened the national tour right here in Des Moines.”

Civic Center fans say the place is making Des Moines feel bigger.

“Absolutely it does!" says Fleischacker. "Oh yeah, and every year, the productions get better, we get more unique, more exciting productions…”

“I love coming here," says Rick Haunsperger of Newton. "It’s very interesting, we’re lucky we can have it here in Iowa.”