What's Happenin': April 15 - 28 Print
Lifestyle - Noteworthy Events
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 14 April 2009 07:09

Jacob Barton and Elizabeth Simpson in Take This House (and Float it Away)Change of State Performance Project

The Redstone Room

Thursday, April 16, 6 p.m.


On April 16, Davenport's Redstone Room plays host to the Change of State Performance Project, a collective dedicated to raising sociological and environmental issues through music, dance, theatre, improvisation, and the visual arts.

As stated on the organization's Web site (ChangeOfState.org), the traveling artisans have, since 2005, delivered "poignant and unsettling performances that unravel expectations of symmetry and the methodology of logic," and the group's area debut - featuring a trio of performance-art pieces sharing the common theme of water - finds Change of State presenting the following:

• Hoprock, a seven-minute piece that explores "vocal techniques and micro-tonality" through poetry and the "udderbot," an invented slide woodwind instrument composed of glass, water, and rubber.

• Water Finds Its Way, an eight-minute "collage of visual and audio imagery" that blends storytelling and vocal exercises to reveal "personal and cultural narratives of water as a metaphor for experience."

• And Take This House (& Float It Away), a tightly choreographed, hour-long absurdist comedy in which a flood threatens to wipe out suburban Sacramento, and an aging married couple attempts to stave off reality through the wife's fixation with newspaper headlines and the husband's obsessive research into "bird gestures."

Ah, the Redstone Room. Bringing audiences the same ol' thing day after day after day ... .

Tickets are $10 at the door, and for more information on Thursday's evening with the uniquely eclectic artists of the Change of State Performance Project, call (563)326-1333 or visit RedstoneRoom.com.



(clockwise from top left) Sara Potts, Ryan Mosher-Ohr, Jessica Benson, Kate Heiman, and Molly Todd in Five Women Wearing the Same DressFive Women Wearing the Same Dress

Village Theatre

Friday, April 17, through Saturday, April 25


Do you know what you'll be seeing at the Village of East Davenport's Village Theatre between April 17 and April 25? Do you? Five Women Wearing the Same Dress.

Those capital letters and italics aren't meant to suggest outrage, by the way. That's just the name of the play. It can be tough to tell with me, I know.

Yet before you find yourself muttering, "That's gotta be one helluva big dress," you should probably understand that the title isn't meant literally. Set during a wedding reception in Knoxville, Tennessee, this daffy comedy - the first presentation in the Riverbend Theatre Collective's 2009 season - concerns a quintet of bridesmaids who would seem to have nothing in common: the awkward, unhappy Georgeanne; the religious, naïve Frances; the mysterious, trashy Trisha; the sarcastic, pot-smoking Meredith; and the clumsy, out-and-proud Mindy.

The resulting fireworks led the New York Post to describe Five Women Wearing the Same Dress as a "wonderfully entertaining play" and the New York Daily News to call it "a fresh-as-a-daisy comedy, funny as can be." But since the show was written by Alan Ball - the American Beauty screenwriter who created HBO's Six Feet Under and True Blood - you probably shouldn't expect anything typical about this particular comedy; if the bride winds up being a vampiristic high-school cheerleader who converses with the dead, don't say you weren't warned.

More information on, and tickets to, Five Women Wearing the Same Dress is available by calling (309)786-1633 or visiting RiverbendTheatreCollective.com.



Alpin HongAlpin Hong

Iowa City High School

Friday, April 24, 7 p.m.


During a 2008 concert in Kalamazoo, Michigan, the renowned pianist Alpin Hong first wowed the audience with a sterling rendition of Rachmaninoff's "Prelude in C-Sharp Minor." He then dazzled the crowd with his stunningly nuanced takes on Bach and Chopin and Mendelssohn. And then, in an unprecedented display of grace, Hong performed his pièce de résistance: the second movement of the Super Mario Brothers video game soundtrack.

Throughout his career, this 32-year-old musician, educator, and gaming junkie has found a unique way to communicate musically with both adults and children - his touring appearances have found him playing piano and Tetris simultaneously - and on April 24, he'll display his talents in an Iowa City High School concert presented by the University of Iowa's Hancher Auditorium.

The musician comes armed with a master's degree from Juilliard, awards from the Stravinsky Piano Competition and the Concert Artists Guild International Competition, and New York Times raves for his "crystalline energy" and "remarkable breadth of colorization." But beyond his sterling technique, Hong has become legendary for the musical playfulness with which he attacks each composition, a gift that will surely be in evidence at Iowa City High, where Hong will perform, among other classical greats, Brahms' "Intermezzo in A Major from Six Pieces, Op. 118, No. 2," Liszt's "Concert Etude No. 3 in D-Flat Major," and Gershwin's peerless "Rhapsody in Blue."

Sounds incredible ... even though I'm still kind of aching to hear Hong's rendition of the theme music to Donkey Kong. Guess we know which side of the adult/child divide I land on, huh?

For tickets and information, call (319)335-1160 or visit http://www.hancher.uiowa.edu.



John GrangerJohn Granger

Centennial Hall and the Broadway Presbyterian Church

Thursday, April 23, 10:30 a.m. and 7 p.m.


Have you been experiencing a sense of emptiness since devouring J.K. Rowling's final Harry Potter installment? Are you finding yourself counting the days until the July 17 release of the Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince movie?

If so, then rejoice, all ye Quad Cities Muggles! On April 23, Rock Island will offer a double-helping of Potter mania, when noted Harry Potter scholar John Granger arrives to deliver two public lectures on the motifs and magic inherent in Rowling's beloved adolescent-wizard series.

Granger, the author of The Hidden Key to Harry Potter and Looking for God in Harry Potter, will first share his insights during a 10:30 a.m. convocation in Augustana College's Centennial Hall, in which the writer will discuss how Rowling's work is the shared text of this generation of readers, with special attention paid to her accomplishments in Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows.

And at 7 p.m. at Rock Island's Broadway Presbyterian Church, Granger will explore Harry Potter's place in nonsecular literature with his lecture "Why Reading Matters: Good Books & the Life of Christ," offering examples of religious themes not only in Rowling's works, but in the equally enchanted universes of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkein.

Information on Granger's Augustana visit is available by calling Pastor Richard Priggie at (309)794-7478, and for more on the author's Broadway Presbyterian appearance, call the church office at (309)786-2631.*


* You'll notice I didn't end this piece with a joke, because if I've learned anything over the last decade, it's that you do not joke about Harry Potter. I'm probably already in trouble for that cheeky reference to Muggles.



2009 Earth Week Fair2009 Earth Week Fair

QCCA Expo Center

Saturday, April 18, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.


The 2009 Earth Week Fair will be held at Rock Island's QCCA Expo Center on April 18, and if you look at the times posted above, you might wonder just how much environmental information and enjoyment can be shared with the public in a mere six hours.

You have no idea.

In this sixth-annual event, there will, as always, be plenty of edu-tainment for children and adults, including three terrifically informative Living Greener Workshops: "Energy & Your Home" with Kevin Klute of Energy Doctor, Inc., "Local, Sustainable Food in Your Kitchen" with Terry Tygrett of Oak Hill Acres Certified Organic Farm, and "Native Plants: Not Just for Prairies" with Kathy Hale-Johnson of Simply Native Nursery.

Yet the day will also feature more than three dozen local companies, organizations, and exhibitors offering eco-friendly demonstrations, displays, and games. To give you just a sampling of what's in store, try matching the participating exhibitor with the interactive activities they'll have for fair visitors - guess them all correctly and receive admittance to the Earth Week Fair completely free of charge!


1) Big Island Soil and Water Preservation Association

2) Family Museum

3) Habitat ReStore

4) Keep Rock Island Beautiful

5) Nahant Marsh

6) Partners of Scott County Watersheds

7) Quad City Botanical Center

8) Wapsi River Environmental Education Center


A) Make your own soil

B) Build your own greenhouse

C) View endangered animals from the region

D) Match rocks with their everyday uses

E) Fold and distribute newspaper hats

F) Create a junk sculpture from reusable materials

G) Discover the wonders of the wetlands

H) Find and identify water bugs


For more information on the 2009 Earth Week Fair, call (563)388-1403 or visit QCEarthWeek.org.




Answers: 1 - D, 2 - A, 3 - F, 4 - E, 5 - G, 6 - H, 7 - B, 8 - C. Did you get them right? Congratulations - you receive free admittance! Did you miss a few? Congratulations - you still receive free admittance! Everyone wins at the 2009 Earth Week Fair!



What Else Is Happenin'...?



Saturday, April 18 - Chamber Music Quad Cities Spring Concert. Featuring pieces by Beethoven, Schumann, and Mendelssohn, with Thomas Sauer on piano and Colin Carr on cello. Unitarian Church (3707 Eastern Avenue, Davenport). 7:30 p.m. $5-$10. For information, call (309)797-0516 or visit ChamberMusicQC.com.

Saturday, April 18 - 311. Omaha-based alternative ska-funk band. University of Iowa Field House (225 South Grand Avenue, Iowa City). 8 p.m. $32. For tickets and information, call (319)335-3395 or visit http://scope.uiowa.edu.

Saturday, April 18 and Sunday, April 19 - A Night in Vienna. Spring concert by the Nova Singers, performing works by composers including Haydn, Schubert, and Brahms. Saturday: Kresge Recital Hall (Knox College, Galesburg), 7:30 p.m. Sunday: First Congregational Church (2201 Seventh Avenue, Moline), 4 p.m. $10-$15. For information and tickets, call (309)341-7038 or visit http://deptorg.knox.edu/novasingers.

Sunday, April 19 - Semenya McCord. Jazz vocalist 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 for adults, children free), 6 p.m. concert ($10-$15). For information, call (563)326-1333 or visit RedstoneRoom.com.



Thursday, April 16 - Movin' Out. Broadway's Tony-winning dance musical, featuring music by Billy Joel and choreography by Twyla Tharp. Adler Theatre (136 East Third Street, Davenport). 7:30 p.m. $31.50-$51.50. For tickets, call (800)745-3000 or visit AdlerTheatre.com.

Thursday, April 16, through Sunday, April 26 - Steel Magnolias. Six Southern women share laughs and secrets in the Green Room Theatre's production of Robert Harling's dramatic comedy. Harrison Hilltop Theatre (1601 Harrison Street, Davenport). Thursday-Saturday 7:30 p.m., Sun 2:30 p.m. $15. For tickets and information, call (563)650-2396 or visit TheGreenRoomTheatre.com.

Thursday, April 16, through Sunday, April 26 - Laughing Stock. Charles Morey comedy about a summer-stock company's attempts to stage three rotating plays without proper time, money, or talent. Richmond Hill Barn Theatre (Richmond Hill Park, Geneseo). Thursday-Saturday 7:30 p.m., Sunday 4 p.m. $8. For tickets and information, call (309)944-2244 or visit RHPlayers.com.

Saturday, April 18, and Sunday, April 19 - Aesop's Falables. Davenport Junior Theatre's production of Edward Graczyk's "moral" rock musical. Nighswander Theatre, Annie Wittenmyer Complex (2816 Eastern Avenue, Davenport). Saturday 2 and 7 p.m., Sunday 2 p.m. $5. For tickets and information, call (563)326-7862.



Saturday, April 26, and Sunday, April 27 - Feel the Energy. Debuting presentation by Ballet Quad Cities, with choreography by Cleo Mack, Domingo Rubio, and Dominic Walsh. Adler Theatre (136 East Third Street, Davenport) Saturday 7:30 p.m., Sunday 2 p.m. $8-$22. For information, call (309)786-3779 or visit BalletQuadCities.com.



Friday, April 17, through Thursday, May 14 - 32nd Annual High School Invitational. Paintings, drawings, sculptures, ceramics, and mixed media from many of the Quad Cities' most promising artists. An awards ceremony will be held Friday, April 24, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Quad City Arts Center (1715 Second Avenue, Rock Island). Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Wednesday and Friday 10 a.m.-9 p.m. For information, call (309)793-1213 extension 109, or visit QuadCityArts.com.



Saturday, April 25 - 7th Annual Fish & Fire Fundraiser. Earth Day celebration featuring an outdoor planting event on the Davenport riverfront, a catfish dinner at the Rock Island Arsenal's Quarters One, and the presentation of the 10th Annual Eddy Awards. For the 9 a.m. planting, meet at River Action (822 East River Drive, Davenport) . 6 p.m. social hour, 7 p.m. dinner and awards presentation. $30 per person, $200 per table of eight, $250 per table of 10. For information, call (563)322-2969 or visit RiverAction.org.

Sunday, April 26 - Yom HaShoah. The 28th Annual Quad Cities Holocaust Remembrance, with speaker Ralph Troll, professor emeritus at Augustana College and childhood survivor of Nazi persecution. Temple Emanuel (1115 Mississippi Avenue, Davenport). 7 p.m. For information, call (563)326-4419.

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