The Des Moines Playhouse has a new attendance champion: "The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid" is the number one non-musical in the theatre's 90-year history. Over the course of the show's three week June run, 6551 people visited the theatre, for a total attendance of 99.5% of capacity.


"The Thunderbolt Kid" was also, financially, the top-selling non-musical in Playhouse history, with $146,096 in ticket sales. The show is the fourth overall, financially, behind "Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story" (2008-09 season), "Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story" (2003-04 season), and the top-selling, "Disney's High School Musical" ($200,481 during the 2006-07 season).


"The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid" comes at the close of a popular and critically successful 2008-09 season. Sell-outs and virtual sell-outs this past year include "Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story," "Junie B. Jones and a Little Monkey Business," "Willy Wonka," and "Little House on the Prairie."


"The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid" had its world stage debut at The Playhouse, June 12-28. Adapted by John Viars from the international bestseller of the same name by Bill Bryson, the cast of 33 brought to life a story of growing up in Des Moines in the 1950s and 1960s.


John Viars, Playhouse executive director, and the show's adapter and director, said, "'The Thunderbolt Kid' was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that presented challenges and rewards unlike any we've had before, for staff, audiences, and volunteers."


"The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid" was sponsored by Farm Bureau Financial Services.


The Playhouse is Iowa's oldest and largest producing theatre. Located at the 42nd Street exit of I-235, the theatre has presented a full season of shows since 1919 and also offers a wide variety of educational experiences including classes for ages 4 to adult, theatre trips to New York, and volunteer opportunities onstage and backstage.


For more information on The Playhouse and its upcoming season of shows, contact The Playhouse ticket office at 515-277-6261.