What's Happenin': April 13 - 26, 2010 Print
Lifestyle - Noteworthy Events
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 13 April 2010 06:00

Grant Wood's Fall PlowingExhibit

The John Deere Collection at the Figge

Figge Art Museum

Saturday, April 24, through Sunday, October 24


On April 24, the Figge Art Museum opens its newest gallery exhibit, The John Deere Collection at the Figge. And I think I can reasonably guess what you're thinking: Won't all that green make for a pretty monochromatic experience?

Ah, but that's where you're wrong! The Figge's latest exhibition is not, as you may have presumed, a photographic array of tractors and combines, but rather a series of artworks on loan from Deere & Company's private art collection, all acquired during the mid- to late 20th Century, and now being displayed to the public for the first time.

Among the exhibit's inclusions are Grant Wood's famed painting Fall Plowing (pictured) and pieces from the artist's Fruits of Iowa series. But what's particularly noteworthy about the collection is that the displayed works - including oils, works on paper, photography, textiles, and sculpture - were obtained from all the continents where Deere & Company conducts its global business (North and South America, Asia, Europe, and Africa) and showcases, in addition to Wood, such noted international artists as Edward Curtis, Joan Miro, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Rufino Tamayo, Sofu Teshigahara, and Matazo Kayama.

Eventually, all of the featured works will be hung in the Figge's permanent galleries, but for the time being, this stunning collection of pieces will be on collective display from April 24 through October 24. Six months may seem like a lengthy amount of time, but remember that nothing runs like a Deere ... exhibit.

For more information on The John Deere Collection at the Figge, contact the museum at (563)326-7804, or visit FiggeArtMuseum.com.


David VanderveldeMusic

David Vandervelde

Rock Island Brewing Company

Thursday, April 22, 7 p.m.


Performing in a Daytrotter-sponsored concert, indie-pop singer/songwriter David Vandervelde plays the Rock Island Brewing Company on April 22, and you might think a fortysomething journalist would have every reason to feel envious of this 25-year-old artist's success.

After all, this Michigan native did begin his professional career at the age of 14, playing guitar in the metal band Fable, and recording two albums with the group before his 17th birthday.

Then, at 18, he began to produce demos for local musicians in his basement studio; upon hearing his demo for chanteuse Brie Stoner, executives from the Fonic Records label not only signed Stoner but hired Vandervelde to co-produce her debut CD with former Wilco guitarist Jay Bennett.

This collaboration led to Vandervelde playing on Bennett's albums Bigger Than Blue and The Magnificent Defeat, which in turn led to the release - at age 22 - of Vandervelde's debut CD, The Moonstation House Band, composed of songs he'd written and performed in Bennett's studio.

With Rolling Stone extolling the album's "reverb-drenched roots rock driven by Vandervelde's shaggy vocals and guitar," Vandervelde earned more critical acclaim with his sophomore effort, 2008's Waiting for the Sunrise, which PopMatters.com lauded for Vandevelde's "smooth and light" vocals and the "sparkling tracks that strongly make Vandervelde's case for the relevance of nostalgia-rock."

So yes, at age 25, this frequently touring musician has already amassed considerable fame and praise, and given his talents as both singer/songwriter and instrumentalist - the man plays guitar, piano, drums, bass ... - is poised to have an even brighter future. But honestly, I'm not envious of his musical success. Not at all.

I'm envious of his hair.

David Vandervelde plays RIBCO with opening act Ghostfinger, and more information on the concert is available by e-mailing This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and visiting Daytrotter.com.



Quartet San FranciscoMusic

Quartet San Francisco

First Presbyterian Church of Davenport

Saturday, April 24, 7 p.m.


For the final performers in the organization's 2009-10 Visiting Artist series, Quad City Arts has booked the exceptional talents of chamber musicians Quartet San Francisco, an ensemble composed of violinists Jeremy Cohen and Alisa Rose, cellist Michelle Djokic, and viola player Keith Lawrence. But it probably isn't wise to expect an evening of stuffy, highbrow fare when the group plays Davenport's First Presbyterian Church on April 24, considering that Cohen - the group's leader and founder - proudly lists TV's The Dukes of Hazzard among his professional highlights.

To be sure, many of Quartet San Francisco's accomplishments are estimable, and even downright intimidating. As five-time Grammy Award nominees - with three citations in the "Best Classical Crossover Album" category and two in the category of "Best Engineered Album, Classical" - the musicians have played dozens of national and international venues and festivals since the group's 2001 debut, including sets at the Berklee College of Music, New York's Troy Music Hall, the Manhattan School of Music, and even Buenos Aires' legendary Café Tortoni.

Yet with a repertoire that runs the gamut from jazz to tango, from pop to funk, from blues to bluegrass, and from swing to showtunes, Quartet San Francisco is handily redefining chamber music for the 21st Century. The group's 2007 CD, Whirled Chamber Music, in fact, features interpretations of the works of musical icon Duke Ellington, jazz great Chick Corea, and even composer Raymond Scott, whose works will be familiar to anyone who's whiled away too many hours watching Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies shorts. The results, writes All About Jazz, may not appeal to purists, but "that's fine - they can stand guard at the gates, defending the sacred boundaries of chamber music, while music lovers with more open ears clink their glasses and enjoy the party."

Quartet San Francisco's public party stars at 7 p.m. at the Davenport church - located at 1702 Iowa Street - and more information is available by calling (309)793-1213 or visiting QuadCityArts.com.



Ballet Quad Cities' CarmenDance


The Capitol Theatre

Saturday, April 17, and Sunday, April 18


As a longtime fan of the organization, it's always a little sad to reach the end of a Ballet Quad Cities season. But this year, it's literally tragic, as the area's professional dance company presents one of the most beloved and heartbreaking of all tragedies in Carmen, choreographer Deanna Carter's take on Georges Bizet's operatic masterwork.

Running at Davenport's Capitol Theatre at 7:30 p.m. on April 17 and 2 p.m. on April 18, Carmen tells of a young gypsy woman's involvement in an ill-fated love triangle, and against the magical strains of Bizet's score, delivers an unforgettable saga of passion, jealousy, and romantic obsession. With frequent Ballet Quad Cities collaborator Carter at the helm, this tale of untimely death is sure to be given vibrant stage life by its cast of graceful and exhilarating talents, and will no doubt thrill audiences regardless of whether they're familiar with the tale or are making their first acquaintances with Carmen's world of seduction and intrigue.

Which category do you fit into? Try matching the following Carmen characters with their roles in the story; match 'em correctly and win a prize!

1) Don José

2) Escamillo

3) Mercedes

4) Micaëla

5) Morales

6) El Remendado

7) Zuniga


A) a gypsy

B) a village maiden

C) a smuggler

D) a bullfighter

E) Corporal of the Dragoons

F) Captain of the Dragoons

G) Officer of the Dragoons


Carmen will be staged alongside encore performances of Ballet Quad Cities' short pieces Ash to Glass and Unknown Love, and more on the Capitol Theatre productions is available by visiting BalletQuadCities.com and TheCapDavenport.com.

Answers: 1 - E, 2 - D, 3 - A, 4 - B, 5 - G, 6 - C, 7 - F. Did you correctly guess them all? Congratulations! You're now entitled to see the show at the special pricing of $22 for adults, $15 for seniors, and $10 for students! Did you miss a few? Too bad. You'll have to pay the regular price. Which, I understand, is also special.

Jackie Madunic and Angela Rathman in Marvin's RoomTheatre

Marvin's Room

Richmond Hill Barn Theatre

Thursday, April 15 through Sunday, April 25


"What's the matter, Mike? Why are you crying?"

"Aw, Jeff, I just wrote my What's Happenin' piece on the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre's forthcoming production of Marvin's Room, running April 15 through 25 ... ."

"Oh, right. That's the Scott McPherson play about the two sisters who reunite to cope with their dying father, their dotty aunt, one sister's leukemia diagnosis, and the other sister's teenage son, who was committed to a mental institution for setting fire to his mom's house. As I recall, there was a 1996 movie version with Meryl Streep, Diane Keaton, and Leonardo DiCaprio. Sad stuff, huh?"

"No, no, no. It's actually hilarious. The New York Times even called Marvin's Room 'one of the funniest plays of the year, as well as one of the wisest and most moving.'"

"Oh. So are you crying because of the Richmond Hill production itself? Doesn't it look good?"

"Are you kidding? It looks great. It's being staged by frequent area director/technician Jennifer Kingry, it stars Jackie Madunic and Angela Rathman - two of my favorite local performers - and it also features such talents as Sandy Stoltenberg, Bill Hudson, Eric Noyd, and real-life brothers Jordan and Jared Lipes, who play brothers in the show."

"Oh. Okay. So why are you crying?"

"I was just remembering how Jennifer told me, in no uncertain terms, that she wasn't going to change the gender of the leads just so I could audition for them. I mean, I would've been great in one of those parts! It's totally unfair!"

" ... "

"Don't you think?"

"You were so much less irritating when you were just reviewing theatre ... ."

Marvin's Room runs Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 4 p.m., and tickets are available by calling (309)944-2244 or visiting RHPlayers.com.

What Else Is Happenin'


Saturday, April 17 - Davenport Chordbusters' Route 66 : A Musical Journey from Chicago to L.A. The men's a cappella ensemble performing songs including "King of the Road," "Meet Me in St. Louis," and "California, Here We Come." Palmer College of Chiropractic's Vickie Anne Palmer Hall (1000 North Brady Street, Davenport). 7:30 p.m. $15. For tickets and information, call (563)340-8743.

Sunday, April 18 - Pamela Reese Smith. Jazz vocalist and educator performs as part of Polyrhythms' Third Sunday Jazz Matinée & Workshop Series. The Redstone Room (129 Main Street, Davenport). 3 p.m. all-ages workshop: $5/adult, children free; 6 p.m. concert: $10-$15, students free. For tickets and information, call (563)326-13333 or visit Polyrhythms.org.

Friday, April 23 - David Cassidy. Broadway star and Partridge Family pop idol in concert. Quad-Cities Waterfront Convention Center (1777 Isle Parkway, Bettendorf). 7:30 p.m. $30-$45. For tickets and information, call (800)843-4753 or visit Bettendorf.IsleOfCapriCasinos.com.

Saturday, April 24 - The Antlers. Indie rockers in a concert sponsored by Daytrotter, featuring opening act Phantogram. Rock Island Brewing Company (1815 Second Avenue, Rock Island). 8 p.m. For information, e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit Daytrotter.com.

Saturday, April 24 - John McCutcheon. Nationally renowned folk singer in concert. Davenport RiverCenter (136 East Third Street, Davenport). 7 p.m. $12-$20. For tickets, call (800)745-3000 or visit RiverCtr.com.

Saturday, April 24 and Sunday, April 25 - The Road Home: American Folk Songs & Spirituals. Concert with the Nova Singers, under the direction of Dr. Laura Lane, with songs including "Amazing Grace," "There Is a Balm in Gilead," and "Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child." Saturday - Knox College's Kresge Recital Hall (2 E. South Street, Galesburg). 7:30 p.m. Sunday - First Congregational Church of Moline (2201 Seventh Avenue, Moline). 4 p.m. $10-$15, students free. For information, and tickets, call (309)341-7038 or visit http://deptorg.knox.edu/novasingers.



Thursday, April 15, through Saturday, May 8 - Miss Nelson Has a Field Day. Musical-comedy follow-up to Miss Nelson Is Missing, based on the popular children's book and directed by Kimberly Furness. Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse (1828 Third Avenue, Rock Island). Morning and matinée show-only performances Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. $8. For information and tickets, call (309)786-7733 extension 2, or visit Circa21.com.

Thursday, April 15, through Sunday, April 18 - Wilson's Duo. Pulitzer Prize-winner Lanford Wilson's one-acts Home Free and This Is the Rill Speaking, directed by Dan Haughey. Black Hawk College - Building 1, Room 306 (6600 34th Avenue, Moline). Thursday through Saturday 7 p.m., Sunday 2 p.m. $4-$6 at the door. For information, call (309)796-5419 or visit BHC.edu.

Friday, April 16, through Sunday, April 18 - Oedipus Rex. Sophocles' classic Greek tragedy, directed by Dan Rairdin-Hale. St. Ambrose University's Galvin Fine Arts Center (2101 Gaines 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 http://Web.SAU.edu/galvin.



Friday, April 16 - Luna Negra Dance Theater. Works by Latino choreographers, in a presentation in the Hancher Auditorium Fine Arts Series. Englert Theatre (221 E. Washington Street, Iowa City). 7:30 p.m. $35-$40. For tickets and information, call (319)335-1160 or visit Hancher.uiowa.edu.



Thursday, April 15 - River Readings at Augustana: Daniel Woodrell. Author of the award-winning Winter's Bone reads from his works, with a reception following. Augustana College's Wallenberg Hall (3520 Seventh Avenue, Rock Island). 7 p.m. Free admission. For information, call (309)794-7823.

Monday, April 26 - River Readings at Augustana: Robyn Schiff and Nick Twemlow. Husband-and-wife poets read from their works, with a reception following. Augustana College's Wallenberg Hall (3520 Seventh Avenue, Rock Island). 7 p.m. Free admission. For information, call (309)794-7823.



Saturday, April 17 - Run for Renewal. Sixth-annual 5K run/walk and half-mile Treat House Trot for children, with proceeds benefiting Project Renewal's youth programs. Sister Concetta Park (Fifth and Warren streets, Davenport). 9 a.m. run/walk; 8:30 a.m. Treat House Trot. $16-$20 registration. For information, call (563)324-0800 or visit ProjectRenewal.net.

Thursday, April 22 - Stylin' Against Breast Cancer Luncheon & Fashion Show. Fifth-annual events sponsored by the Trinity Health Foundation, with proceeds benefiting local breast-cancer survivors and promoting education about breast cancer and health. Quad-Cities Waterfront Convention Center (1777 Isle Parkway, Bettendorf). 11:30 a.m. $25. For tickets and information, call (563)355-0746 or visit TrinityHealthFoundation.com.

Saturday, April 24 - River Action's Fish & Fire Fundraiser. Eighth-annual Earth Day event featuring a social hour, catfish dinner, silent auction, and the presentation of the 11th-annual Eddy Awards. Moline's RiverStation on Bass Street Landing (1601 River Drive, Moline). 5 p.m. social hour, 6 p.m. dinner and awards. $12-$30. For tickets and information, call (563)322-2969 or visit RiverAction.org.

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