What's Happenin': Tuesday, April 26, through Wednesday, May 11 Print
Lifestyle - Noteworthy Events
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 26 April 2011 06:00

Janiva MagnessMusic

Janiva Magness

The Redstone Room

Thursday, April 28, 8 p.m.


Acclaimed blues vocalist Janiva Magness performs at Davenport’s Redstone Room on April 28, and included among the performer’s many song titles are “Don’t Do It,” “That’s No Way to Get Along,” “Eat the Lunch You Brought,” and “I Give Up.” All things that our publisher, Todd, tells us at weekly staff meetings, but the words sound much nicer when Magness sings them.

Currently nominated for four 2011 Blues Music awards for her CD The Devil Is an Angel, Too – B.B. King Entertainer of the Year, Album of the Year, Contemporary Blues Female Artist of the Year, and Contemporary Blues Album of the Year – Magness is certainly no stranger to the blues, having lost both parents to suicide, and giving up a child for adoption, while still in her teens. Yet if her early years suggest a particularly tragic blues song, it’s one that wound up having a decidedly happy ending.

With her earthy, soulful vocals and reputation for electrifying live shows, Magness is considered one of the country’s foremost blues-music powerhouses and in 2009 became only the second woman (after Koko Taylor) to ever be named B.B. King Entertainer of the Year at the Blues Music Awards.

Her laurels include three awards for Contemporary Blues Female Artist of the Year and nearly a dozen additional Blues Music Award nominations. And in a welcome bit of synchronicity, music critics appear to agree with the organization; Midwest Record Recap stated that “Magness sets the proceedings on fire,” Blues Revue raved about her “incendiary vocal performances,” and the Philadelphia Inquirer wrote, “Magness sings superb, potent soul-blues with a scorching intensity.” If you’re planning to applaud the vocalist during her area engagement, be sure to bring along some oven mitts.

The 8 p.m. concert opens with a set by local musician Alan Sweet, and more information on the night is available by calling (563)326-1333 or visiting RedstoneRoom.com.



Billie Davids' MarilynEvent

Venus Envy Quad Cities

Bucktown Center for the Arts

Saturday, April 30, 6 – 11 p.m.


Ordinarily, if you have an itch that lasts five hours, you should consider making haste to the nearest emergency room. On April 30, though, an itch of this sort will be not only bearable, but closer to exhilarating, as the Bucktown Center for the Arts presents its seventh-annual Venus Envy Quad Cities. Themed “The Seven-Year Itch,” this free downtown festival will showcase regional female talents in the arts of music, dance, visual arts, and the written and spoken word, and will do so both on the four floors of Bucktown and on performances stages located outside the Davenport building.

More than 40 visual artists will have works on display and for sale, including the five selected as this year’s Venus Envy featured artists: Pamela Crouch, Haley Ellerbach, Brittany Klarkowski, Pamela Ohnemus, and Billie Davids. (It’s Davids’ Monroe painting Marilyn that accompanies this piece.)

Among this year’s musical performers are Emily Jawoisz, Kumari Keiko, the Zloti Village Chorus, the Quad Cities’ female ensemble Hersong, and the first two singers/songwriters to travel from outside the region for Venus Envy Quad Cities: the Des Moines-based Mary McAdams, and Tracy Walker from Cincinnati, Ohio.

Area musician/author Mona Ritemon will deliver readings of her poetry, while several other female authors from the Midwest Writing Center read from their own original works. Dance performances will be presented by the gifted artists of Destination Tribal, Luna Bonita, and Eclectic Tribal Bellydance. Tarot and fairy-card readings will be available on Bucktown’s third floor.

And in a piece of performance art, the Iowa City-based talents of the Dance Knots Project will present two performances of their work Log in / Time out, an eight-minute exploration of the world of online dating. I’m guessing it’s a work of fiction; my online dates never last that long.

Artworks from Venus Envy Quad Cities will remain on display at Bucktown through May 27, and for more information on the April 30 celebration, visit Venus Envy’s Facebook page or VenusEnvyQC.com.



Kat Martin, Jacquelyn Schmidt, and William Cahill in Our TownTheatre

Our Town

Augustana College

Friday, April 29, through Sunday, May 8


True story: In a 1946 issue of the Christian Science Monitor, it was reported that a production of Thornton Wilder’s theatre classic Our Town was shut down in the Russian sector of occupied Berlin “on the grounds that the drama is too depressing and could inspire a German suicide wave.” You gotta wonder: If the Russians were that concerned about it, just how depressing is this play?

The answer: a little. But it’s also funny and charming and profound, as audiences will discover when director Jeff Coussens stages this masterpiece in Augustana College’s Bergendoff Hall of Fine Arts from April 29 through May 8.

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for drama, Wilder’s visually minimalist, emotionally expansive work follows three early-20th Century days in the sleepy town of Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire. With running commentary provided by Wilder’s alter ego The Stage Manager, Our Town’s author explores universal themes of life, love, marriage, and death with beautiful specificity, and the play’s timeless appeal is evident in the many, many professional versions of the piece over the past seven decades plus.

There was Our Town’s 1938 Broadway debut (with most of the original cast recruited for the 1940 movie), and a 1944 Broadway revival featuring Montgomery Clift. A 1955 musical version on TV starred Frank Sinatra, Paul Newman, and Eva Marie Saint, and 1966’s Broadway revival boasted Henry Fonda, Ed Begley, and the Wicked Witch of the West herself, Margaret Hamilton.

The 1977 TV adaptation featured Hal Holbrook, Ned Beatty, and Robby Benson; Broadway’s Tony Award-winning 1988 revival starred Spalding Gray, Eric Stoltz, and Frances Conroy; the 2003 Broadway version showcased a Tony-nominated performance by Paul Newman.

And 2009’s off-Broadway Our Town – which, at 648 performances, was the longest-running production of Wilder’s play in history – found The Stage Manager being played by, among others, Oscar winner Helen Hunt, Oscar nominee Michael Shannon, and former and future Spinal Tap-per Michael McKean. Wow. After listing those talents, it seems almost pointless to mention that I also played The Stage Manager, when Coussens directed the show at Augie in 1989.


Our Town will be performed at 7:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 1:30 p.m. on Sundays, and tickets are available by calling (309)794-7306. For more information on the show, visit Augustana.edu/academics/theatre/department.



Ballet Quad Cities' CinderellaDance

Ballet Quad Cities’ Cinderella

Adler Theatre

Saturday, April 30, and Sunday, May 1


“Hey, Jeff!”

“Hi, Mi – . Oh, for the love of God. What are you wearing?”

“Pretty cool, huh? I thought I’d pop over to the Ballet Quad Cities office and audition for an understudy role for the company’s upcoming performances of Cinderella, playing April 30 and May 1 at the Adler Theatre! I figured, you know, I’ve been in a production of Cinderella before, and I’ve been in a Ballet Quad Cities production before ... !”

“Uh huh ... .”

“And trust me, Jeff, this show is going to be amazing! It’s a two-act version of the classic fairytale with brand-new choreography by Artistic Director Courtney Lyon, set to the classic score by the legendary composer Sergei Prokofiev!”

“Yes, I know ... .”

Cinderella has been hugely acclaimed and beloved by audiences since its debut in the mid-1940s, when the title role was first presented by the Russian dancer Galina Ulanova, considered one of the greatest ballerinas of the 20th Century! And with this new production’s vibrant costumes, magical sets, and talents including the 11 sensational members of Ballet Quad Cities’ professional dance company, this new Cinderella is sure to be an amazing experience for the whole family!”

“That’s all well and good, Mike. But what are you wearing? That can’t be the prince’s costume.”

“It’s not – it’s a stepsister costume. In past productions of the Cinderella ballet, the stepsisters have occasionally been played by men. Whaddaya think? Don’t I look great?”

“Well, I hope you break a leg.”

“Aw, thanks, Jeff! But I haven’t even auditioned yet ... .”

“No. Please break a leg before the audition.”


Saturday’s performance of Cinderella begins at 8 p.m., Sunday’s takes place at 2 p.m., and tickets are available by calling (800)745-3000 or visiting BalletQuadCities.com or AdlerTheatre.com.



Emily Baker and Andy Pavey in Alice in WonderlandTheatre

Alice in Wonderland

Nighswander Theatre

Saturday, April 30, through Sunday, May 8


Parents, please hand the paper over to any of your children in the vicinity. Much appreciated.

Hey, kids! Who’s up for taking a magical tumble down a rabbit hole?

I’m hoping the answer is “Me! Me! Me!” Because Davenport Junior Theatre is getting ready to stage its version of the Lewis Carroll classic Alice in Wonderland, running at the Annie Wittenmeyer Complex’s Nighswander Theatre on Saturdays and Sundays from April 30 through May 8.

Starring such wonderful young talents as Emily Baker (playing Alice) and performing brothers Andy Pavey (the White Rabbit) and Roger Pavey (the Dormouse), the hour-long show will feature all sorts of colorful costumes, exciting adventures, and memorable characters, with direction and a brand-new Alice in Wonderland script by Junior Theatre’s artistic director, Daniel D.P. Sheridan.

To get yourself in the mood for this sensational family treat, what say you test your Alice in Wonderland knowledge with a little word scramble? Rearrange the letters to form the names of Alice’s fantastical friends; the answers are listed below, but no cheating!











Alice in Wonderland plays at 1 and 4 p.m. on Saturdays and 2 p.m. on Sundays, and information is available by calling (563)326-7862 or visiting DavenportJuniorTheatre.com.



Answers: 1 – WHITE RABBIT; 2 – DORMOUSE; 3 – MAD HATTER; 4 – MARCH HARE; 5 – CHESHIRE CAT; 6 – TWEEDLE DEE; 7 – TWEEDLE DUM; 8 – QUEEN OF HEARTS. If you got at least one right, you and all of your friends and family members get to see the show for $5 each! And if you missed all of ’em ... well, if you ask really nicely, they might let you in for $5 anyway!



What Else Is Happenin’...?



Thursday, April 28 – Heartbreak Hotel: A Salute to Young Elvis. Famed Presley impersonator Robert Shaw performs “Hound Dog,” “Jailhouse Rock,” “Love Me Tender,” and other hits. Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse (1828 Third Avenue, Rock Island). 7 p.m. $22.50-27.50. For tickets and information, call (309)786-7733 extension 2 or visit Circa21.com.

Friday, April 29 – Swing-Time at Tanglewood. Annual spring concert under the direction of Lori Potts, featuring four- and six-part swing, jazz, and sacred arrangements. Tanglewood Hills Pavilion (4250 Middle Road, Bettendorf). 7 p.m. $20. For tickets and information, call (309)794-0106. For an article on the concert, visit RCReader.com/y/qcsingers.

Saturday, April 30 – First Festival. Performances by local youth bands the Crookes, FireSale, Fairhaven, and Jack Hill, with proceeds to benefit the River Music Experience’s Karli Rose Kell Music Scholarship Fund. Middle Park Bandshell (23rd Street, Bettendorf). 2-7 p.m. Donations encouraged. For information, call (563)326-1333.

Saturday, April 30 – Whitey Morgan & the 78’s. Honky-tonk musicians in concert, with an opening set by Bob Wayne. Rock Island Brewing Company (1815 Second Avenue, Rock Island). 9 p.m. $10. For information, call (309)793-4060 or visit RIBCO.com. For a January interview with Whitey Morgan, visit RCReader.com/y/whitey.

Saturday, April 30 – The Harry James Orchestra. Big-band hits under the direction of Harry James’ lead-trumpet virtuoso, Fred Radke. Ohnward Fine Arts Center (1215 East Platt Street, Maquoketa). 7 p.m. $13-25. For tickets and information, call (563)652-9815 or visit OhnwardFineArtsCenter.com.

Saturday, April 30 – Tony Orlando. Concert with the legendary performer of “Tie a Yellow Ribbon” fame. Riverside Casino Event Center. (3184 Highway 22, Riverside). 8 p.m. $25-35. For tickets and information, call (877)677-3456 or visit RiversideCasinoAndResort.com.

Saturday, April 30 – Daytrotter Barnstormer Tour. Fourth-annual tour of Midwestern barns with indie musicians, featuring performances by Sondre Lerche, The Romany Rye, Guards, Keegan Dewitt, Hellogoodbye, Hands, ARMS, and Mike & the Moonpies. Codfish Hollow Barn (3437 288th Street, Maquoketa). 7 p.m. $15-20. For information, e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit Daytrotter.com.

Sunday, May 1 – Quad City Wind Ensemble: A 25th-Anniversary Celebration. Featuring guest conductor Andrew Mast, the world premiere of composer Roy Magnuson’s Colonel Davenport remembrance “To Have Seen the Worst ... and to Expect the Best,” and a flute solo by Grace Brasel, the first-place winner of the ensemble’s annual Young Performer’s Competition. St. Ambrose University’s Galvin Fine Arts Center (2101 Gaines Street, Davenport). 3 p.m. $8-10, students free. For information, call (309)507-2971 or visit Quad-City-Wind-Ensemble.webs.com.

Sunday, May 1 – Quad City Choral Arts: Spring Choral Collage Concert. Classical-music concert under the direction of Jon Hurty, with a guest appearance by the Augustana Youth Choir. St. Paul Lutheran Church (2136 Brady Street, Davenport). 7 p.m. $7-10, students free with ID. For information, call (563)326-3547 or visit QuadCityChoralArts.org.

Wednesday, May 4 – The Four Tops & The Temptations. Concert event with the Motown legends, rescheduled from winter. i wireless center (1201 River Drive, Moline). 7 p.m. $39.50-59.50, For tickets, call (800)745-3000 or visit iwirelessCenter.com.

Thursday, May 5 – Kenny Chesney. Country-music superstar in concert, with special guests Billy Currington and Uncle Kracker. i wireless Center (1201 River Drive, Moline). 7 p.m. $25-79.50. For tickets, call (800)745-3000 or visit iwirelessCenter.com.

Thursday, May 5 – Miller Time. Acoustic concert featuring Circa ’21 Bootleggers Laura Miller and Brad Hauskins and area musician Ben Holmes. Circa ’21 Speakeasy (1818 Third Avenue, Rock Island). 7 p.m. $10-12. For tickets and information, call (309)786-7733 extension 2 or visit Circa21.com.

Friday, May 6 - Quad City Flutes Unlimited Spring Concert. Themed "Gather at the River," with a program of river music from the Mississippi to the Danube. German American Heritage Center (712 West Second Street, Davenport). 7 p.m. Free, with donations benefiting the Red Cross Japan Tsunami Relief Fund. For information, call (563)322-8844 or visit QCFlutesUnlimited.yolasite.com.

Friday, May 6 – MercyMe. Multi-platinum-selling contemporary Christian musicians in concert, with openers Brandon Heath and Natalie Grant. Adler Theatre (136 East Third Street, Davenport). 7:30 p.m. $24-65. For tickets, call (800)745-3000 or visit AdlerTheatre.com.

Saturday, May 7 – Here Come the Mummies. Tightly wrapped ska, funk, and soul musicians in concert. Rock Island Brewing Company (1815 Second Avenue, Rock Island). 8 p.m. $20-25. For information, call 309-793-4060 or visit RIBCO.com.

Sunday, May 8 – Todd Snider. Accalimed rock, folk, and country musician in concert. Englert Theatre (221 East Washington Street, Iowa City). 8 p.m. $20. For tickets and information, call 319-688-2653 or visit Englert.org. For a 2009 interview with Snider, visit RCReader.com/y/snider.

Monday, May 9 – The Lettermen. Chart-topping pop legends in concert. Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse (1828 Third Avenue, Rock Island). 11:45 a.m. plated lunch and 1 p.m. performance: $48.36. 6 p.m. buffet dinner and 7:15 p.m. performance: $54.60. For tickets and information, call (309)786-7733 extension 2 or visit Circa21.com.



Friday, April 29, and Saturday, April 30 – Thirsty: Chicago’s Premier Improv Drinking Party. Comic skits, drinking games, and songs in the long-running Windy City favorite. Circa ’21 Speakeasy (1818 Third Avenue, Rock Island). 7:30 and 10 p.m. $15. For tickets and information, call (309)786-7733 extension 2 or visit Circa21.com.



Saturday, April 30 - HandmadeCity Spring 2011 Craft Show. Works by over 20 Midwest-based artisans and craftspeople, with a 7 p.m. after-party featuring live music by Centaur Noir, Chad Gooch, and ieatmyfriends. Rozz-Tox (2108 Third Avenue, Rock Island). Begins at 11 a.m. Free admission. For information, e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit RozzTox.com.

Saturday, May 7, and Sunday, May 8 – Beaux Arts Fair. Annual juried arts and crafts fair featuring live music, a children’s project area, a food court, and more. Figge Art Museum Plaza (225 Second Street, Davenport). Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Free admission. For information, visit BeauxArtsFair.com.

Saturday, May 7, through Sunday, August 21 - Water Views from the Figge Collection. Exhibit exploring and celebrating the beauty and diversity of water, featuring works in a variety of media. Figge Art Museum (225 West Second Street, Davenport). Free with museum admission. For information, call (563)326-7804 or visit FiggeArt.org.



Friday, April 29, and Saturday, April 30 – Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam. Monster-truck action for the entire family. i wireless Center (1201 River Drive, Moline). 7:30 p.m. $7.50-49.50. For tickets, call (800)745-3000 or visit iwirelessCenter.com.

Friday, April 29, and Saturday, April 30 – Vintage Torque Fest. Indoor and outdoor racing event, with vendors, an art show, live music, on-site camping, and more. 1212 East Quarry Street, Maquoketa. Friday noon-midnight, Saturday 9 a.m.-6 p.m. $5 spectator entry. For information, visit VintageTorqueFest.com.

Saturday, April 30 – Steve’s Old Time Tap Spring Chaser. Fifth-annual 5K walk/run benefiting the American Red Cross of the Quad Cities Area, with an awards presentation following for winners in numerous age divisions. Steve’s Old Time Tap (223 17th Street, Rock Island). 9 a.m. $20 registration. For information and to register, call (309)721-6378 or visit SpringChaser.com.

Sunday, May 1 – Yom HaShoah. The 2011 Day of Remembrance of the Holocaust, co-sponsored by the Jewish Federation of the Quad Cities, and featuring speaker Walter W. Reed and music by the Augustana College Chamber Singers. Temple Emanuel (1115 Mississippi Avenue, Davenport). 7 p.m. Free admission. For information, call (309)793-1300 or visit HolocaustEduQCA.com.

Saturday, May 7 – BeeRME for Music Fundraiser. Brews from local establishments, hors d’oeuvres, and live music by Bermuda Report in the third-annual fundraiser for music-education programming at the River Music Experience. The Redstone Room (129 Main Street, Davenport). 5-8 p.m. $18-25. For tickets and information, call (563)326-1333 or visit RedstoneRoom.com.

Saturday, May 7 – Derby Day. Annual horse-racing event sponsored by the Quad City Symphony Orchestra, with proceeds benefiting music-education programming for area youths. Rock Island Arsenal Golf Club (312 Gillespie Avenue, Rock Island). 2 p.m. $65. For tickets and information, call (563)322-7276 or visit QCSymphony.com.

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