What's Happenin': Thursday, April 3, through Wednesday, April 16 Print
Lifestyle - Noteworthy Events
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 01 April 2014 06:00

Damon FowlerMusic

Damon Fowler

The Muddy Waters

Sunday, April 6, 6 p.m.

 

Singer/songwriter and blues guitarist Damon Fowler, who plays Bettendorf’s The Muddy Waters on April 6, is a Florida native whose exceptional musicianship has allowed him to share stages with the likes of Jeff Beck, Buddy Guy, Gregg Allman, Jimmy Vaughn, Jimmy Brown, Johnny and Edgar Winter, and Little Feat. But his amassing of national plaudits and citations? A major feat.

For instance, following a recent Chicagoland concert, radio’s Juke Joint Soul program stated, “Fowler’s heavy helping of swamp rock and slide blues guitar conjured up a huge lighting storm. Having full command of his voice as an equal instrument to his guitar, Fowler can just as easily croon you to sleep as he could belt out a jump-blues or a Credence-like swamper.”

AllMusic.com wrote: “Damon Fowler’s swampy mix of blues, bayou R&B, country, rockabilly, sacred steel, and swing has, at its best, a taut, precise, and haunting tension underlining Fowler’s gently hoarse, easy, and naturally flowing everyman vocals.”

NoDepression.com insisted, “Fowler’s music is a primal, atavistic sound that makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up,” while ChicagoBluesGuide.com lauded the artist’s “well-placed lead- and slide-guitar licks,” adding that “it is obvious that he has mastered the art of blues- and swamp-rock performance and writing.”

Reviewing Fowler’s most recent solo-CD release – this past January’s Sounds of Home – GratefulWeb.com called the album “raucous, moving, and fulfilling” and raved, “From the fiery, heartfelt blues of ‘Thought I Had It All’ to the soothing, soul rendering gospel of ‘I Shall Not Be Moved,’ this is an effort worthy of a start-to-finish listen, bursting with fresh originality.” Twangville.com, meanwhile, said that Fowler’s latest “employs his beefy guitar sound and rugged vocal talent to paint a vivid musical portrait of the South,” while OffBeat.com simply stated, “When it comes to a record such as Sounds of Home, a listener should not want to change a thing.”

And in its 2013 “Best of Tampa” poll, Fowler was named “Best Guitarist ... and Slide Guitarist ... and Lap-Steel Player ... and Dobro Player” by Creative Loafing magazine.

Wow. Nearly 300 words of praise lifted solely from online sources. Guess who else could work for Creative Loafing?

Damon Fowler’s 6 p.m. area concert s is presented by the Mississippi Valley Blues Society, and more information on the night is available by calling (563)355-0655 or visiting TheMuddyWaters.com.

 

 

Ballet Quad Cities' Spring Is in the AirDance

Spring Is in the Air

Adler Theatre

Saturday, April 12, 1:30 and 7:30 p.m.

 

The centerpiece of Ballet Quad Cities’ springtime presentation Spring Is in the Air – being performed at Davenport’s Adler Theatre on April 12 – is the legendary Igor Stravinsky ballet The Rite of Spring, which had its world premiere in Paris just more than 100 years ago. If you know nothing about this ballet, or its original choreography by Vaslav Nijinsky, the title for Stravinsky’s opus may bring to mind warm breezes and butterflies and daffodils. Parisian audiences in 1913, however, would surely have disagreed.

“When it premiered, people were shocked and appalled by what they saw,” says Ballet Quad Cities Artistic Director Courtney Lyon, who is choreographing her company’s area-premiere take on Rite of Spring. “They expected to see what they were used to seeing in a ballet: tutus and pointe shoes and a narrative. And they expected to hear a certain kind of music. But this wild, pounding, shrieking music was so raw and disturbing to people’s ears, and the dancers wore these long tunics with long, heavy wigs and crazy makeup ... . There were actually riots in the theatre.”

Consequently, given the immediate reaction to Stravinsky’s and Nijinsky’s avant-garde experiment (subtitled “Pictures of Pagan Russia in Two Parts”), Lyon says, “There’s always been a fascination with this piece of music.” And she adds that the process of creating new movement for the piece’s staging – which boasts live accompaniment by Orchestra Iowa – has been equally fascinating.

“It’s been a very collaborative process,” says Lyon. “When I started on this last year, I did a lot of research into rituals and customs – what it is that binds societies. Like birth. So on the first day in the studio with the dancers, I said, ‘Okay, everyone, get really close together, and get as close to the floor as you can.’ Because I had the image of the dancers coming from the earth – like being born from the floor, or blossoming from something.

“And it’s just kind of evolved from there,” she continues. “Because the music is so earthy and raw and natural, and this group of dancers has been working together since last September, they can kind of tell when one dancer will move and another has to follow ... . It’s kind of like a moving sculpture that’s being crafted. We’ve been discovering what shapes we could make, and then layering that on top of the music.

“I do, though, have the last five minutes left to choreograph,” says Lyon during our March 27 conversation, “and in most versions, that’s when the human sacrifice happens. So we’re still waiting to see what happens there.” She laughs. “It’s TBS. ‘To be sacrificed.’”

For tickets to the Adler’s 1:30 or 7:30 p.m. stagings of Spring Is in the Air – which, in addition to The Rite of Spring, will feature performances of choreographer Elie Lazar’s Tehilah – call (800)745-3000 or visit BalletQuadCities.com.

 

 

Ally Zahringer, Laila Haley, Zach Hendershott, and Kayla Lee in Willy WonkaTheatre

Willy Wonka

Prospect Park Auditorium

Thursday, April 3, through Sunday, April 6

 

(Sung to a melody that should be fairly obvious.)

 

Oompa loompa, do-ba-dee-do,

I’ve got a Music Guild show for you!

Oompa loompa, do-ba-dee-dun,

It’s Willy Wonka! It should be fun!

 

There was a book written by Roald Dahl,

That be-came a movie beloved by all.

Then, Johnny Depp’s came in two-thousand-five.

Now you can see it on ... stage ... live!

April third through April sixth!

 

Oompa loompa, do-ba-dee-doons,

So many costumes! So many tunes!

Oompa loompa, do-ba-dee-dast,

And Bill Marsoun di-rects a great cast!

 

Wonka is played by one Zach Hendershott;

As Char-lie, the sweet Laila Haley they’ve got!

Plus, Steve TouVelle – Heidi Pedersen, too ... !

And who will fall in choc- ... -late ... goo?

Logan Ewing’s Augustus!

 

Oompa loompa, do-ba-dee-dan,

“I Want It Now!” and, of course, “Candy Man,”

And more that you’ll sing along to –

Like the ... oompa ...

Oompa loompa do-ba-dee-do!

(Do-ba-dee-do!)

 

To reserve your own golden tickets for Quad City Music Guild’s performances of Willy Wonka – running at Moline’s Prospect Park Auditorium Thursday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. – call (309)762-6610 or visit QCMusicGuild.com.

 

 

St. Ambrose University presents The Importance of Being EarnestTheatre

The Importance of Being Earnest

St. Ambrose University

Friday, April 11, through Sunday, April 13

 

From April 11 through 13, St. Ambrose University’s theatre department will be presenting Oscar Wilde’s farcical-comedy classic The Importance of Being Earnest. And for the role of the play’s imperious dowager Lady Bracknell, director Corinne Johnson has cast the helmer of Broadway’s Tony-winning The Boy from Oz – and the show-saving creative consultant for Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark – Philip Wm. McKinley.

If you really need reasons to reserve tickets beyond seeing McKinley in drag, I guess I can continue.

Ever since its 1895 London debut, The Importance of Being Earnest has been one of the most frequently revived and adored of all stage comedies – a tale of mistaken identity, romantic entanglements, and the trials of burdensome social conventions that has resonated with audiences through the generations. (Earnest has enjoyed nine Broadway productions to date, and was Tony-lauded as recently as 2011.) Its characters – from best friends and rival suitors Algeron Moncrieff and John Worthing to the stuffy governess Miss Prism – have become beloved cultural archetypes, and will be embodied at St. Ambrose by such gifted performers as Jordan McGinnis, Chris Galván, Brooke Schelly, Becca Brazel, and Shannon Rourke.

And, of course, Wilde’s play is such a treasure trove of sensational dialogue that a listing of its most enjoyable lines could cover the What’s Happenin’ section five times over. In lieu of that, how about my listing just five of its best? To prep for St. Ambrose’s latest, try your hand at this quiz: Which one of the following is not a quote from The Importance of Being Earnest?

 

1) “All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does, and that is his.”

2) “I never change, except in my affections.”

3) “If I am occasionally a little over-dressed, I make up for it by being always immensely over-educated.”

4) “If you ask me, people rely too much on sex in relationships anyway.”

5) “The truth is rarely pure and never simple.”

6) “To be natural is such a very difficult pose to keep up.”

 

 

The Importance of Being Earnest plays at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 3 p.m. on Sunday, and tickets are available by calling (563)333-6251 or visiting SAU.edu/galvin.

 

 

Answer: 4. That’s actually a line from a Golden Girls episode titled “The Impotence of Being Ernest.” Please don’t ask me how I know that.

 

 

What Else Is Happenin’ ...?

 

MUSIC

Thursday, April 3 – Philip Glass. Concert with the master composer, with VIP tickets including a pre-show reception and post-show meet-and-greet. Englert Theatre (221 East Washington Street, Iowa City). 7:30 p.m. $25-100. For information and tickets, call (319)688-2653 or visit Englert.org.

Friday, April 4 – Those Poor Bastards. Gothic-country musicians in concert, with opening sets by the Blind Staggers and Pork’s A$$ Pig. Rock Island Brewing Company (1815 Second Avenue, Rock Island). 9 p.m. $10. For information, call (309)793-4060 or visit RIBCO.com.

Friday, April 4 – The Head & the Heart. Concert with the Seattle-based indie-folk rockers. Englert Theatre (221 East Washington Street, Iowa City). 8 p.m. $20-25. For information and tickets, call (319)688-2653 or visit Englert.org.

Friday, April 4, and Sunday, April 6 – Nova Singers: American Genius. Cellist Carolyn Suda and pianist Ian Moschenross join the professional vocal ensemble for compositions by Eric Whitacre, Jonathan Dove, and others. Friday: First Congregational Church of Moline (2201 Seventh Avenue, Moline), 7:30 p.m. Sunday: Knox College’s Kresge Recital Hall (2 East South Street, Galesburg), 4 p.m. $15-18. For information and tickets, call (309)341-7038 or visit NovaSingers.com.

Saturday, April 5 – Bedroom Shrine. Quad Cities band performs in support of its new record No Déjà Vu, with opening sets by Chrash and Skye Carrasco. Rock Island Brewing Company (1815 Second Avenue, Rock Island). 9 p.m. $10 advance tickets, For information, call (309)793-4060 or visit RIBCO.com.

Saturday, April 5, and Sunday, April 6 – Quad City Symphony Orchestra. The final Masterworks concerts of the season, featuring mezzo-soprano Adriana Zabala and Mahler’s Symphony No. 3. Saturday: Adler Theatre (136 East Third Street, Davenport), 7:30 p.m. Sunday: Augustana College’s Centennial Hall (3703 Seventh Avenue, Rock Island), 2 p.m. $10-55. For information and tickets, call (563)322-7276 or visit QCSymphony.com.

Saturday, April 5 – William Elliott Whitmore and The Pines. Singers/songwriters perform a concert in the 2014 Mission Creek Festival. Englert Theatre (221 East Washington Street, Iowa City). 8 p.m. $20-23. For information and tickets, call (319)688-2653 or visit Englert.org.

Friday, April 11 – Davina & the Vagabonds. Jazz, blues, and roots musicians in concert. The Redstone Room (129 Main Street, Davenport). 8 p.m. $10. For information and tickets, call (563)326-1333 or visit RiverMusicExperience.org. For a 2013 interview with singer/pianist Davina Sowers, visit RCReader.com/y/davina.

Friday, April 11 – Sones de México. Touring Mexican musicians perform a concert in Hancher Auditorium’s Visiting Artists series. Englert Theatre (221 East Washington Street, Iowa City). 7:30 p.m. $10-30. For information and tickets, call (319)335-1160 or visit http://www.Hancher.UIowa.edu.

Saturday, April 12 – Samantha Fish. Blues musician in concert, with an opening set by Marbin. The Redstone Room (129 Main Street, Davenport). 8:30 p.m. $10. For information and tickets, call (563)326-1333 or visit RiverMusicExperience.org.

Saturday, April 12 – Neil Sedaka. Chart-topping pop singer/songwriter in concert. Riverside Casino Event Center (3184 Highway 22, Riverside). 8 p.m. $42-62. For information and tickets, call (877)677-3456 or visit RiversideCasinoAndResort.com.

Sunday, April 13 – Big Daddy Weave. Contemporary Christian musicians in concert, with opening sets by Group 1 Crew and Tim Timmons. Adler Theatre (136 East Third Street, Davenport). 6:30 p.m. $17-32. For tickets, call (800)745-3000 or visit AdlerTheatre.com.

Sunday, April 13 – Iowa Blues Challenge: Preliminary Round. Concert event featuring 30-minute sets by Phineas J’s, The Harris Collection, The Mercury Brothers, and Concrete Slim & the Sidewalks. The Muddy Waters (1708 State Street, Bettendorf). 6 p.m. $5-8. For information, call (563)355-0655 or visit TheMuddyWaters.com.

Monday, April 14 – Clint Black. Multi-platinum-selling country musician in concert. Englert Theatre (221 East Washington Street, Iowa City). 8 p.m. $45-70. For information and tickets, call (319)688-2653 or visit Englert.org.

 

THEATRE

Friday, April 4, through Saturday, April 12 – Lear. The Prenzie Players’ reverse-gender take on Shakespeare’s King Lear, adapted and directed by J.C. Luxton. QC Theatre Workshop (1730 Wilkes Avenue, Davenport). Thursdays through Saturdays: 7:30 p.m. pre-show, 8 p.m. show. Sunday: 1:30 p.m. pre-show, 2 p.m. show. $10. For information and tickets, call (309)278-8426 or visit PrenziePlayers.com.

Friday, April 4, through Sunday, April 13 – Jesus Christ Superstar. The City Circle Acting Company of Coralville’s production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s and Tim Rice’s rock opera, directed by Liz Tracey. Coralville Center for the Performing Arts (1301 Fifth Street, Coralville). Fridays and Saturdays 7:30 p.m., Sundays 2 p.m. $12-27. For information and tickets, call (319)248-9370 or visit CityCircle.org.

Friday, April 4, through Sunday, April 13 – The Lord of the Underworld’s Home for Unwed Mothers. A stage re-imagining of the Demeter and Persephone myths. Muscatine Community College’s Bob Roach Little Theatre (152 Colorado Street, Muscatine). Fridays and Saturdays 7:30 p.m., Sundays 2 p.m. $3-5. For information, contact David Lane at (563)288-6037 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Saturday, April 5, through Saturday, April 19 – Stuart Little. Family musical adapted by Joseph Robinette from the book by E.B. White. Old Creamery Theatre (39 38th Avenue, Amana). Saturdays 1 p.m. $8.50-9. For information and tickets, call (319)622-6262 or visit OldCreamery.com.

Wednesday, April 9 – Hair. The counterculture musical smash in a Broadway at the Adler presentation. (136 East Third Street, Davenport). 7:30 p.m. $37-57. For tickets, call (800)745-3000 or visit AdlerTheatre.com.

Thursday, April 10, through Saturday, May 10 – Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing. Family comedy based on Judy Blume’s children’s-book series, directed by Marc Ciemiewicz. Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse (1828 Third Avenue, Rock Island). Scheduled Tuesdays and Thursdays through Saturdays at 10 a.m. and/or 1 p.m. $8.50. For information and tickets, call (309)786-7733 extension 2 or visit Circa21.com.

Thursday, April 10, through Saturday, April 19 – Crossing Acheron: The Tragedy of Antigone. New adaptation of the Greek tragedy, directed and adapted by guest artist Laura Winton. Scott Community College Student Life Center (500 Belmont Road, Room 2400 through Door 5, Bettendorf). Thursdays through Saturdays 7 p.m. $7 at the door. For information, e-mail Steve Flanigin at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Thursday, April 10, through Saturday, April 19 – Slaughter City. Naomi Wallace’s poetic drama, directed by Meredith Alexander. University of Iowa’s David Thayer Theatre (200 North Riverside Drive, Iowa City). Wednesdays through Saturdays 8 p.m., Sunday 2 p.m. $10-17. For information and tickets, call (319)335-1160 or visit Theatre.UIowa.edu.

Friday, April 11, through Sunday, April 13 – Pippin. Stephen Schwartz’s Tony Award-winning musical comedy, directed by Dino and Tina Hayz. The Center for Living Arts (2008 Fourth Avenue, Rock Island). Friday and Saturday 7 p.m., Sunday 2 p.m. $10. For information and tickets, call (563)340-7816 or visit CenterForLivingArts.com.

 

COMEDY

Thursday, April 3 – Southern Fried Chicks. Comediennes perform in their “Cage Free Comedy Tour.” Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse (1828 Third Avenue, Rock Island). 7 p.m. $27.50-32.50. For information and tickets, call (309)786-7733 extension 2 or visit Circa21.com.

Sunday, April 13 – Miranda Sings. Touring performance with actress, singer, and comedienne Colleen Ballinger. Englert Theatre (221 East Washington Street, Iowa City). 7 p.m. $26-50. For information and tickets, call (319)688-2653 or visit Englert.org.

 

MOVIE

Tuesday, April 8 – Mexico: The Bad, the Great, & the Ugly. A screening in the World Adventure Series, presented by filmmaker Bill Behrenbruch. Putnam Museum (1717 West 12th Street, Davenport). 1, 4, and 7 p.m. $6.50-8.50. For information and tickets, call (563)324-1933 or visit Putnam.org.

 

VISUAL ARTS

Saturday, April 5, through Sunday, April 13 – Young Artists at the Figge: Bettendorf. Exhibit featuring the works of student artists. Figge Art Museum (225 West Second Street, Davenport). Tuesdays through Saturdays 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Thursdays 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Sundays noon-5 p.m. Free with $4-7 museum admission. For information, call (563)326-7804 or visit FiggeArt.org.

Tuesday, April 8, and Wednesday, April 9 – The Gallery of Giving. Two-day exhibition event displaying works by local artists submitted by, or partnered with, a local charity. Kaplan University (1801 East Kimberly Road, Davenport). 3-7 p.m. For information, call (563)468-7941 or e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Wednesday, April 9, through Friday, April 25 – Art Department Faculty Exhibition. Exhibit featuring the work of full-time faculty members Kathryn Anderson, Renee Meyer Ernst, Clea Felien, Joseph Lappie, and Kristin Quinn. St. Ambrose University’s Catich Gallery (2101 Gaines Street, Davenport). Mondays through Fridays 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Free admission. For information, call (563)333-6444 or visit SAU.edu/catich.

 

EVENTS

Friday, April 4 – The Monuments Men: Saving Europe’s Treasures. Art historian Jeff Mishur tells the story of the massive effort to save and repatriate stolen objects during and after World War II. Butterworth Center (1105 Eighth Street, Moline). 7 p.m. Free admission. For information, call (309)743-2701 or visit ButterworthCenter.com.

Friday, April 5 - CCKMA (Cancer Can Kiss My A**) Charity Event. Seventh-annual fundraiser featuring guests speakers Dr. David Bender and Dr. Michael Goodheart of the University of Iowa Gynecologic Oncology Department, plus raffle prizes, silent-auction items, a live auction, a 50/50 drawing, and more. Quad-Cities Waterfront Convention Center (2021 State Street, Bettendorf). 5-11 p.m. $25 advance tickets, ages 12 and under free. For information, visit CCKMA-qc.org.

Monday, April 7 – Magical Mystery Show. An evening with Las Vegas magicians Garry and Mihaela Carson, with all proceeds benefiting the outreach facility Lydia Home/Safe Families. Davenport Central High School’s Kahler Auditorium (1120 Main Street, Davenport). 7 p.m. $10-12. For information and tickets, call (563)322-0382 or e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Friday, April 11 – Mad Scientist Ball. Event featuring a tour of the new STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) center, science demonstrations, live and silent auctions, hors d’oeuvres, beer and wine, and a cash bar. Putnam Museum (1717 West 12th Street, Davenport). 7 p.m. $125. For information and tickets, call (563)324-1933 or visit Putnam.org.


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