What's Happenin': Thursday, April 12, through Wednesday, April 25 Print
Lifestyle - Noteworthy Events
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 10 April 2012 06:00

Big Bill MorganfieldMusic

Big Bill Morganfield

The Muddy Waters

Friday, April 20, 9 p.m.


Legendary blues musician McKinley Morganfield, better known by his nickname Muddy Waters, was born on April 4, 1913. Some 99 years and two weeks after his birth, the late great’s son Big Bill Morganfield will not only headline a local blues concert on April 20, but a concert taking place at the Bettendorf venue called The Muddy Waters. Man, that’s some kind of birthday acknowledgment. For my dad’s last birthday, I got him socks.

Considering that his first, independently released album was 1997’s Nineteen Years Old: A Tribute to Muddy Waters, the acclaimed blues vocalist and guitarist Big Bill Morganfield has obviously been celebrating his father’s musical output for some time. Yet genetics alone can’t be responsible for Morganfield’s 2000 W.C. Handy Award for Best New Blues Artist, or his numerous collaborations with Grammy-winning blues legend Taj Mahal, or the Chicago Tribune praising Morganfield’s “deep, rubbery voice” that “brings its own energy to and confidence to bad-boy blues anthems.”

With Guitar Magazine adding to the kudos, describing Morganfield’s 1999 CD Rising Sun as “an album that would have brought a smile to his father’s face,” area blues fans are sure to thrill to April 20’s performance with this critically revered, frequently touring artist. And Morganfield’s set at The Muddy Waters will not only find him performing songs from his father’s repertoire, but his own compositions, among them songs written for the blues man’s 2009 release Born Lover, and 2003’s Blues in the Blood, perhaps the most aptly titled Big Bill Morganfield CD of them all. He also released a 2001 CD called Ramblin’ Mind, but that one actually seems more like an aptly titled CD for me. If I were a musician. Though I wanted to be a musician. When I was nine. But then I also wanted to be an astronaut. Astronauts are cool ... .

Wait ... . What were we talking about?

Oh, yeah. Big Bill Morganfield’s April 20 concert at The Muddy Waters starts at 9 p.m., tickets are $5, and more information is available by calling (563)355-0655 or visiting TheMuddyWaters.com.



Temple GrandinEvent

Temple Grandin

Davenport RiverCenter

Thursday, April 19, 9 a.m.


On April 19, in a presentation sponsored by the Vera French Foundation, the Davenport RiverCenter will host a very special event in celebration of Autism Awareness Month: a lecture with famed author and advocate Temple Grandin.

Born in 1947 and diagnosed with autism in 1950, Grandin has emerged as one of the country’s most engaging and authoritative speakers, best known for offering a unique, first-person perspective on living with high-functioning autism, and for her tireless championing of animal rights, which has led to improvements to standards in slaughter plants and livestock farms worldwide.

The inventor of a life-changing “squeeze machine” designed to calm hypersensitive individuals, Grandin earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1970, a master’s degree in animal science in 1975, and a doctoral degree in animal science in 1989.

She’s the author of a New York Times bestseller titled Animals in Translation, and has also authored the acclaimed books Animals Make Us Human, Thinking in Pictures: Emergence Labeled Autistic, and The Way I See It: A Personal Look at Autism & Asperger’s.

She has been the subject of interviews in the New York Times, Forbes, and Discover magazine, and her work and life have been explored on such TV programs as 60 Minutes, 20/20, the Today Show, and Primetime Live.

And in 2010, Temple Grandin was listed in Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world, and discussed in the category “Heroes.” Boy, her story would probably make one heckuva TV movie, huh?

What? Her story was a TV movie? It aired on HBO and starred Claire Danes and won seven Emmy Awards? And Davenport’s Putnam Museum will offer a free screening of it on Thursday, April 12? Aw, man. So I guess this treatment I spent all afternoon writing is worthless now. Unless I stretched it out to make a TV series ... .

In any event, you can get more information on Temple Grandin’s local appearance, and a complete schedule of Autism Awareness Month activities, by visiting VeraFrenchMHC.org.



The District Theatre presents ParadeTheatre


The District Theatre

Friday, April 20, through Saturday, May 5


The latest production at Rock Island’s District Theatre runs from April 20 through May 5, and it’s the critically acclaimed, award-winning musical Parade. Isn’t that a cheery title?

Directed by District Theatre co-founder and producer Tristan Tapscott, the Quad Cities debut of this much-loved show features a number of outstanding, familiar area talents, among them Bryan Tank from the venue’s The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Sara Elizabeth King from the theatre’s Rocky Horror Show, Kelly Lohrenz from the its presentation of Chicago, and Erin Churchill, who performed in the Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse’s Cats, Grease, and Irving Berlin’s White Christmas. Those are some fun musicals, huh?

Parade boasts music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown, the gifted composer of Songs for a New World and The Last Five Years, the latter of which was staged at the District Theatre last summer. And the show’s book was written by Alfred Uhry, who received a Tony Award for his 1996 play The Last Night of Ballyhoo, and a Pulitzer Prize for Driving Miss Daisy, the screen adaptation for which also netted him an Oscar. Who doesn’t love Driving Miss Daisy?

Brown and Uhry both earned Tonys for their contributions to Parade, and their nominations were among the nine total that the show received in 1999. The production also scored big with the Drama Desk Awards – nominated for 13, the show won six, including a citation as Best Musical – and has been a constant hit with the critics, with the Los Angeles Times calling a recent revival “entrancing,” and The Guardian praising the show’s “fabulous score” and raving that Parade “packs a real punch.” How about that? Trophies and critical accolades!

So what are you waiting for? For tickets to Parade, call (309)235-1654 or visit DistrictTheatre.com. Enjoy! *


*Oh, yeah. The show is based on the true story of Leo Frank, a Southern Jew who was wrongfully imprisoned for raping and murdering a 13-year-old girl, and whose 1913 trial led to the reemergence of the then-defunct Ku Klux Klan. I didn’t want to bring the mood down by mentioning it. But still! Tonys! “Fabulous score”! Parade!



Van HuntMusic

Van Hunt

River Music Experience

Saturday, April 14, 7:30 p.m.


Grammy Award-winning soul, R&B, funk, and rock musician Van Hunt will play an April 14 concert in the River Music Experience’s Performance Hall, and the artist’s first national success came with a 1997 song that he wrote for Arrested Development singer Dionne Farris, titled “Hopeless.”

It’s hard to imagine what other circumstances would find “Van Hunt” appearing in the same sentence as “hopeless.”

A much-lauded singer, songwriter, and producer, Hunt received a Grammy for his contributions to 2007’s cover of Sly & the Family Stone’s “Family Affair,” and earned an additional nomination for his self-titled debut CD in 2004. But those laurels only suggest a fraction of Hunt’s popularity within the music industry, as this gifted vocalist and multi-instrumentalist – one equally adept at guitar, bass, keyboards, saxophone, and percussion – has also toured with the likes of Mary J. Blige, Alicia Keys, Coldplay, the Dave Matthews Band, and Kanye West, and, in 2002, found a rather influential manager in the form of American Idol’s Randy Jackson.

There’s also every indication that Hunt’s professional career is just beginning to reach stratospheric proportions, at least based on the reviews for his 2011 release What Were You Hoping For? Try matching the following snippets from Van Hunt’s raves with the publication doing the raving.


1) “The Atlanta-based singer-songwriter stretches the parameters of R&B with a refreshing lack of self-consciousness.”

2) “What makes What such a blast is hearing a talented craftsman indulge in his inner wild artist after years of playing it nice.”

3) “It’s catchy as hell – no mean feat when you’re dancing this eagerly on the cutting edge.”

4) “He mixes up forms of R&B and rock, bounces between and within the extremes of frisky funk and sparse ballads, and sings purposeful and sometimes pointed lyrics.”

5) “He’s come out swinging, strutting, dreaming, screaming the big questions, and making a gloriously triumphant f---ing racket.”


A) The A.V. Club

B) All Music Guide

C) Chicago Tribune

D) New York Daily News

E) Paste Magazine


Van Hunt’s River Music Experience set begins at 7:30 p.m. with an opening set by Rocco DeLuca, tickets are $10, and more information is available by calling (563)326-1333 or visiting RiverMusicExperience.org.



Answers: 1 – C, 2 – E, 3 – D, 4 – B, 5 – A. And shame on The A.V. Club for putting the word “f---ing” in print, a cheap, irresponsible journalistic practice that we here at the Reader would never even consid – . Oh. Um ... . Never mind.



What Else Is Happenin’... ?



Thursday, April 12 – Steep Canyon Rangers. Grammy Award-nominated, North Carolina-based bluegrass musicians in concert, with an opening set by Milltown. The Redstone Room (129 Main Street, Davenport). 8 p.m. $15. For tickets and information, call (563)326-1333 or visit RiverMusicExperience.org.

Friday, April 13 – Raise the Roof for the Youth. Annual concert benefiting Gilda’s Club of the Quad Cities, with performances by Esme, Just Chords, Orangadang, and Bacon. Rock Island Brewing Company (1815 Second Avenue, Rock Island). 6 p.m. $15-20. For information, call (309)793-4060 or visit RIBCO.com.

Friday, April 13 – Yellow Dubmarine. Dub-reggae tribute band performs from the Beatles’ catalog. River Music Experience 131 West Second Street, Davenport). 9 p.m. $10. For tickets and information, call (563)326-1333 or visit RiverMusicExperience.org.

Saturday, April 14 – Doo-Wop, Pop, & Barbershop. The Davenport Chordbusters’ 56th-annual “Youth in Harmony Fundraiser,” featuring a cappella music with the Chordbuster Chorus, A Touch of Fun, and Possible Side Effects. Assumption High School (1020 Central Park Avenue, Davenport). 7 p.m. $5-15. For information, call (563)340-8743 or visit TheChordbusters.com.

Saturday, April 14 – Celtic Crossroads. Concert performance with the acclaimed Irish musicians and dancers. Orpheum Theatre (57 South Kellogg Street, Galesburg). 7:30 p.m. $20-35. For tickets and information, call (309)342-2299 or visit TheOrpheum.org.

Saturday, April 14, and Sunday, April 15 – Drum Song. Spring concert with the professional vocal ensemble the Nova Singers, with guest percussionist Nikki Malley. Saturday: Knox College’s Kresge Recital Hall (2 East South Street, Galesburg), 7:30 p.m. Sunday: First Congregational Church (2201 Seventh Avenue, Moline), 4 p.m. $12-16. For tickets and information, call (309)341-7038 or visit http://www.Departments.Knox.edu/novasingers/concerts.

Sunday, April 15 – The Edgar Crockett Band. Jazz musician and his ensemble perform and educate in Polyrhythms’ Third Sunday Matinée & Workshop Series. The Redstone Room (129 Main Street, Davenport). 3 p.m. all-ages jazz workshop – $5/adults, children free; 6 p.m. concert – $10-15. For tickets and information, call (309)373-0790 or visit Polyrhythms.org or RiverMusicExperience.org.

Monday, April 16 – The Reverend Robert Jones. The Mississippi Valley Blues Society presents public concerts with the blues singer and multi-instrumentalist, as part of the “Blues in the Schools” artist-in-residency program. The Center for Active Seniors (1035 West Kimberly Road, Davenport), 11:40 a.m. River Music Experience (131 West Second Street, Davenport), 7 p.m. Free admission. For information, call (563)322-5837 or visit MVBS.org.

Monday, April 16 – Enzlin Mannerchor. Concert with the 35-member German male choir, sponsored by the German American Heritage Center. Upham Theatre on the Marycrest Campus (1300 West 12th Street, Davenport). 7 p.m. Free admission. For information, call (563)322-5489 or visit GAHC.org.

Monday, April 16 – Childish Gambino. Acclaimed hip-hop and rap artist in concert. University of Iowa’s Iowa Memorial Union Main Lounge (125 North Madison Street, Iowa City). 8 p.m. $25. For tickets, call (800)745-3000 or visit ScopeProductions.org.

Tuesday, April 17 – Cowboy Junkies. Concert with the acclaimed alternative-rock musicians. The Redstone Room (129 Main Street, Davenport). 8 p.m. $38. For tickets and information, call (563)326-1333 or visit RiverMusicExperience.org. For a 2008 interview with the band’s Alan Anton, visit RCReader.com/y/junkies.

Tuesday, April 17 – Straight No Chaser. Internationally renowned a cappella ensemble in concert, in a Broadway at the Adler presentation. Adler Theatre (136 East Third Street, Davenport). 7:30 p.m. $27.50-37.50. For tickets, call (800)745-3000 or visit AdlerTheatre.com.

Wednesday, April 18 – Too Slim & the Taildraggers. Blues and rock musicians in a concert presentation by the Mississippi Valley Blues Society. The Muddy Waters (1708 State Street, Bettendorf). 7 p.m. $8-10. For information, call (563)355-0655 or visit TheMuddyWaters.com.

Thursday, April 19 – Johnny Winter. Legendary blues guitarist in concert, with openers the Ellis Kell Band. The Redstone Room (129 Main Street, Davenport). 8 p.m. $30-35. For tickets and information, call (563)326-1333 or visit RiverMusicExperience.org.

Friday, April 20 – Foghat. Chart-topping musicians of “Slow Ride” and “Fool for the City” in concert. Quad-Cities Waterfront Convention Center (1777 Isle Parkway, Bettendorf). 7:30 p.m. $15-25. For information, call (800)724-5825 or visit Bettendorf.IsleOfCapriCasinos.com.

Friday, April 20 – Patio & Orangadang. Concert celebration of 4/20, featuring sets with the local musicians and a 10:30 p.m. hula-hoop contest. The Redstone Room (129 Main Street, Davenport). 9 p.m. $5. For tickets and information, call (563)326-1333 or visit RiverMusicExperience.org.

Saturday, April 21 – Jerald Daemyon. Concert with the acclaimed electronic violinist, with proceeds benefiting QC United's “Dreams Come True” program. Davenport North High School's Holzworth Performing Arts Center (626 West 53rd Street, Davenport). 8 p.m. $25-35. For information, call (563)386-3351 or visit DavenportSchools.org/north.

Sunday, April 22 – Iowa Blues Challenge Semifinals. Performances by The Mississippi Misfits, Serious Business, Phineas J’s, Judge #3, and Slack Man & the Smokin’ Red Hots, with two of the bands earning entry into the May 26 Iowa Blues Challenge Finals in Des Moines. The Muddy Waters (1708 State Street, Bettendorf). 5 p.m. $7-10. For information, call (563)355-0655 or visit TheMuddyWaters.com.

Tuesday, April 24 – The Band of Heathens. Acclaimed Americana, blues, and rock musicians in concert, with opener Lera Lynn. The Redstone Room (129 Main Street, Davenport). 7:30 p.m. $15. For tickets and information, call (563)326-1333 or visit RiverMusicExperience.org. For a 2010 interview with Band of Heathens singer/songwriter Ed Jurdi, visit RCReader.com/y/heathens.

Tuesday, April 24 – Sleigh Bells. Concert with noise-rock musicians Derek Edward Miller on guitar and Alexis Krauss on vocals. University of Iowa’s Iowa Memorial Union Main Lounge (125 North Madison Street, Iowa City). 8 p.m. $17.50. For tickets, call (800)745-3000 or visit ScopeProductions.org.



Thursday, April 12, through Sunday, April 22 – The Nerd. Popular farcical comedy by Larry Shue, directed by John VanDeWoestyne. Richmond Hill Barn Theatre (600 Hk Robinson Drive, Geneseo). Thursdays-Saturdays 7:30 p.m., Sundays 3 p.m. $8-10. For tickets and information, call (309)944-2244 or visit RHPlayers.com.

Thursday, April 12, through Saturday, April 21 – Don’t Talk to the Actors. Backstage comedy by Tom Dudzick, directed by Steve Flanigin. Scott Community College’s Student Life Center (Room 2400, 500 Belmont Road., Bettendorf). Thursdays-Saturdays 7 p.m. $7 at the door. For information, e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Friday, April 13, through Sunday, April 15 – A Midsummer Night’s Dream. William Shakespeare’s enchanted-forest comedy, directed by Daniel Rairdin-Hale. St. Ambrose University’s Galvin Fine Arts Center (2101 Gainest Street, Davenport). Friday and Saturday 7:30 p.m., Sunday 3 p.m. $7-11. For tickets and information, call (563)333-6251 or visit SAU.edu/galvin.

Wednesday, April 18, through Saturday, June 9 - $preading It Around. Comedy about well-to-do widows in a Florida retirement community. Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse (1828 Third Avenue, Rock Island). Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and April 18 and 19: 5:45 p.m. doors, 6 p.m. buffet, 7:15 p.m. pre-show, 7:45 p.m. show. Sundays: 3:45 p.m. doors, 4 p.m. buffet, 5:15 p.m. pre-show, 5:45 p.m. show. Wednesday matinées: 11:30 a.m. doors, 11:45 a.m. plated lunch, 1 p.m. pre-show, 1:30 p.m. show. $28.22-47.55. For tickets and information, call (309)786-7733 extension 2 or visit Circa21.com.

Friday, April 20 – Chronicles of Lincoln & Grant. Preview of the debuting historical play written by and starring Dan Haughey and Tom Swenson, running at the District Theatre in May. Butterworth Center (1105 Eighth Street, Moline). 7 p.m. Free admission. For information, call (309)743-2701 or visit ButterworthCenter.com.



Thursday, April 19 – Jaimy Gordon. 2010’s winner of the National Book Award for fiction reads from her works in a “River Readings at Augustana” presentation. Augustana College’s Wallenberg Hall (3520 Seventh Avenue, Rock Island). 7 p.m. Free admission. For information, call (309)794-7306 or visit Augustana.edu.



Friday, April 13 – Comedy for a Cause III: Last QC Comic Standing. Stand-up sets with the champions from the preliminary rounds, with all proceeds benefiting the Eastern Iowa Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. The Establishment Theatre (220 19th Street, Rock Island). 7 p.m. $10-12. For information, visit Facebook.com/DubStarQC.



Friday, April 13 – Take Back the Night. Annual, candle-lit fundraising walk to Ambrose Hall, featuring readings from sexual-assault and abuse survivors. St. Ambrose University’s Rogalski Center (518 West Locust Street, Davenport). 8 p.m. Donations encouraged. For information, e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit SAU.edu.

Saturday, April 14 – Rock 'n' Rainbow. A fundraising event to support the 2012 QC Pridefest, featuring musical performances by Nikki Lunden and Mark Ortega, body-art demonstrations by Sarah Robb and Heidi Sallows, and more. Generations Nightclub (822 West Second Street, Davenport). 7 p.m. $5 donation at the door. For information, call (562)477-4965 or visit QCPride.org.

Friday, April 20 – Fish & Fire. River Action’s annual fundraiser, featuring a catfish dinner, a silent auction, and the presentation of the 13th Annual Eddy Awards. Black Hawk State Historic Site’s Watch Tower Lodge (1510 46th Avenue, Rock Island). 5:30 p.m. social hour, 6:30 p.m. dinner. $12-35. For information and tickets, call (563)322-2969 or visit RiverAction.org.

Sunday, April 22 – 31st-Annual Quad Cities Holocaust Remembrance. Featuring a special program by Agnes Schwartz, survivor of the Budapest Ghetto. Tri-City Jewish Center (2715 30th Street, Rock Island). 7 p.m. Donations accepted. For information, call (309)788-3426 or visit TriCityJewishCenter.org.

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