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|What's Happenin': Thursday, August 16, through Wednesday, August 29|
|Lifestyle - Noteworthy Events|
|Written by Mike Schulz|
|Tuesday, 14 August 2012 06:00|
Next to Normal
Friday, August 24, through Sunday, September 9
Occasionally, I’ll recommend an emotionally wrenching movie or play to friends and family members, and invariably, after they’ve sobbed their way through the entertainment, they’ll hit me with “Why didn’t you tell me I’d need tissues for that thing?!” Well, the District Theatre is opening Next to Normal on August 24, and while I haven’t yet seen this musical on-stage, its Broadway soundtrack is also emotionally wrenching. If you listen to the CD, though, I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t require tissues. It requires a freakin’ squeegee.
Time will tell if director Bryan Tank’s District Theatre production does, too, but the show certainly has all the makings for a soul-satisfying sob-fest. The winner of three 2009 Tony Awards and the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama – it being among only eight musicals in history to receive Pulitzer recognition – Next to Normal employs rock, power ballads, and lyrically haunting refrains to tell its tale of the Goodmans, an upper-middle-class family whose matriarch suffers from a steadily worsening bipolar disorder. With her conflicted husband, anxious daughter, and mysterious son at her side, Mom wrestles with personal demons while attempting to secure a “normal” life, resulting in what the New York Times called a “brave, breathtaking musical” and “a work of muscular grace and power.”
With Next to Normal’s six-person cast featuring District Theatre veterans Sara King, Steve Lasiter, Kelly Lohrenz, Tristan Tapscott, Michael Tallon, and James Fairchild, Tank’s actors have absolutely exquisite material to work with here, and rest assured, not all of that material is grim; Tallon, for instance, plays a sweetly goofy stoner in the production, and one of my favorite songs in the show is actually a peppy comic number from Act I titled “It’s Gonna Be Good.” I’ll grant you, though, that that one isn’t quite as strong as the “You Don’t Know”/”I Am the One” trio, or the heartbreaking “So Anyway,” or the climactic “Light,” which I’m currently listening to ... .
Aw, damn it ... . Where’s my squeegee?
Next to Normal runs from August 24 through September 9, and information and tickets are available by calling (309)235-1654 or visiting DistrictTheatre.com.
The Muddy Waters
Friday, August 24, 9 p.m.
(Sung to a popular ditty from The Graduate. Feel free to harmonize.)
And here’s to you, oh Tad Robinson,
Blues fans love you more than you will know. (Woh, woh, woh)
Your last CD, Mr. Robinson,
Back in Style made critics shout “Hooray!”
(Hey, hey, hey ... hey, hey, hey)
Raised in New York City, and a smash in Chicago
(Singing with Dave Specter & the Bluebirds),
He’s a gifted vocalist on soulful, bluesy fare.
Most of all, he blows a mean harmonica.
Coo, coo, ca-choo, Mr. Robinson,
You’ve a six-album discography. (Hee, hee, hee)
We ask you please, Mr. Robinson,
Make some more before we start to cry.
(Hi, hi, hi... hi, hi, hi)
Seven nominations from the Blues Music Awards,
Rave reviews from Mojo and from Downbeat –
Laugh about it, shout about it ... what is there to lose?
You can now play anywhere you choose!
Where have you gone, Mr. Robinson?
Oh, hey – the Muddy Waters booked your set! (What a get!)
Your fans rejoice, Mr. Robinson!
The twenty-fourth of August is the day!
(Hey, hey, hey! Hey, hey, hey!)
Tickets to Dan Robinson’s August 24 concert at Bettendorf’s The Muddy Waters are $5, and more information on the night is available by calling (563)355-0655 or visiting TheMuddyWaters.com.
Helpful Tips on Appearing More Intelligent Than You Actually Are
Aoife O’Donovan, the lead singer and songwriter for the progressive bluegrass/string ensemble Crooked Still, will perform a special concert at Rock Island’s Rozz-Tox establishment on Wednesday, August 22, treating local audiences to the gorgeous, evocative vocals and serenely confident presence that led USA Today to proclaim her “the newest darling of the Americana set.” But if you’re wanting to see and hear O’Donovan’s talents in person yet aren’t fully familiar with the indie-folk artist herself, here are five ways to fit in amongst Rozz-Tox’s Wednesday-night crowd without feeling totally out-of-the-loop.
1) Know some of Aoife’s musical background: A Massachusetts native, O’Donovan spent numerous childhood summers in Ireland studying Celtic folk music and dance, went on to study contemporary musical improvisation at the New England Conservatory, and, at age 18, co-founded Crooked Still with her bandmates in the summer of 2001.
2) Know where you’ve heard Aoife’s songs and with whom she has performed them: Also a member of the female folk trio Sometymes Why, O’Donovan’s compositions have been heard in the TV series True Blood and Private Practice and in the feature film Get Low, and she has shared stages with the likes of the Boston Pops, the Utah Symphony Orchestra, and legendary cellist Yo-Yo Ma.
3) Know what music reviewers have said about Aoife: Among O’Donovan’s critical plaudits, many garnered for her 2010 solo EP debut Blue Light, the Washington Post has praised her “crystal-clear vocals,” the Huffington Post labeled her “exquisite,” and AllMusic.com raved about her “luminous” singing and “saintly upper register.”
4) Know how to pronounce “Aoife”: It’s EEF-ah.
5) Know how to use her name in a sentence: Say to a friend, “I’m going to see that amazing singer Aoife O’Donovan at Rozz-Tox on August 22, and Aoife were you, I’d join me.” And then duck, because your friend will no doubt take a swing at you for that awful joke.
The World Goes ’Round
Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse
Thursday, August 16, through Thursday, August 30
As a former member of the Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse’s performing wait staff The Bootleggers, I’m always psyched to see one of the group’s full-length musical revues. As a two-time actor for the wonderfully gifted (and just-plain-wonderful) director Jim Hesselman, I’m always psyched to see one of the visiting artist’s Circa ’21 productions.
On August 16, the Rock Island theatre will debut its production of Kander & Ebb’s The World Goes ’Round, a musical revue featuring the Circa ’21 Bootleggers, directed by Jim Hesselman.
That sound you just heard was my heart skipping a beat. Though with the amount of sodium in my diet, that’s been happening a lot lately ... .
But still! Booties! Hesselman! Kander & Ebb! What’s not to love?! A two-act showcase featuring some of the finest works in the composers’ show-tune canon, 1991’s off-Broadway smash The World Goes ’Round earned three Drama Desk Awards, including Outstanding Musical Revue, and was the recipient of rave reviews, with the New York Times calling it “a handsome, tasteful, snazzily staged outpouring of song and dance that celebrates all the virtues of the Kander-Ebb catalogue.” And those songs and dances are sure to sound and look dazzling, with the show’s participants including Circa ’21 favorites Bret Churchill, Marc Ciemiewicz, Jennifer Diab, Laura Hammes, Brad Hauskins, Andrea Moore, Sara Nicks, Jan Schmall, and Rodney Swain.
Yet how well-versed are you in both Kander & Ebb’s song catalogue and show catalogue? Let’s find out! Try matching the famed K&E tune with the movie or stage musical in which it appeared.
1) “And the World Goes ’Round”
3) “The Grass Is Always Greener”
4) “Isn’t This Better?”
5) “We Can Make It”
6) “Maybe This Time”
7) “Coffee in a Cardboard Cup”
C) New York, New York
D) The Rink
E) Funny Lady
F) 70, Girls, 70
G) Woman of the Year
The World Goes ’Round will be staged in show-only, 7 p.m. performances on August 16, 21, 23, and 30, and information and tickets are available by calling (309)786-7733 extension 2 or visiting Circa21.com.
Answers: 1 – C, 2 – A, 3 – G, 4 – E, 5 – D, 6 – B, 7 – G. Hmm. Now that I think about it, maybe it’s the coffee in the cardboard cups that’s making my heart skip those beats ... .
What Else Is Happenin’... ?
Friday, August 17, and Saturday, August 18 – River Roots Live. Annual music festival featuring the outdoor Rib Fest, educational workshops and presentations, and Better Than Ezra, Tonic, and Keller Williams with the Travelin’ McCourys headlining more than a dozen bands. LeClaire Park (River Drive and Ripley Street, Davenport). 11 a.m. gates. Free admission to 5 p.m.; $5 after 5 p.m. For information, visit RiverRootsLive.com.
Friday, August 17 – Adam T. Tucker Tribute 2 McGraw. Country artist pays tribute to Tim McGraw’s greatest hits. Quad-Cities Waterfront Convention Center (1777 Isle Parkway, Bettendorf). 7:30 p.m. $10-15. For information, call (800)724-5825 or visit Bettendorf.IsleOfCapriCasinos.com.
Friday, August 17 – Hugh Laurie with the Copper Bottom Band. Concert with the musician and star of TV’s House and his ensemble. Englert Theatre (221 East Washington Street, Iowa City). 8 p.m. $35-45. For tickets and information, call (319)688-2653 or visit Englert.org.
Saturday, August 18 – In the Flesh. Pink Floyd tribute band performs an all-ages outdoor show, weather permitting. Rock Island Brewing Company (1815 Second Avenue, Rock Island). 8:30 p.m. $8. For information, call (309)793-4060 or visit RIBCO.com.
Saturday, August 18 – Signal Path. Acclaimed electronica musicians in concert. The Redstone Room (129 Main Street, Davenport). 10 p.m. $10. For tickets and information, call (563)326-1333 or visit RiverMusicExperience.org.
Saturday, August 18 – The Franti Project: The Music of Michael Franti. Musical tribute to the American poet and composer performed by Pat Willis and his ensemble. Davenport Farmers’ Market (421 West River Drive, Davenport). 10 a.m. Donations encouraged. For information, visit FreightHouseFarmersMarket.com.
Saturday, August 18 – Here Come the Mummies. Funk and R&B performed in full mummy attire. Englert Theatre (221 East Washington Street, Iowa City). 7 p.m. $31. For tickets and information, call (319)688-2653 or visit Englert.org.
Sunday, August 19 – The Anthony Catalfano Quartet. Acclaimed jazz pianist and his ensemble perform and educate in Polyrhythms’ Third Sunday Jazz Workshop & Matinée 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.
Sunday, August 19 – Dawes. Acclaimed rockers of the recent Nothing Is Wrong in concert. Englert Theatre (221 East Washington Street, Iowa City). 8 p.m. $16-18. For tickets and information, call (319)688-2653 or visit Englert.org.
Wednesday, August 22 – Mickey Hart Band. Concert with the ensemble led by the former Grateful Dead drummer. Englert Theatre (221 East Washington Street, Iowa City). 8 p.m. $30-32. For tickets and information, call (319)688-2653 or visit Englert.org.
Thursday, August 23 – The Nadas. Iowa’s acclaimed alt-rock-country band in concert. The Redstone Room (129 Main Street, Davenport). 8 p.m. $12-17. For tickets and information, call (563)326-1333 or visit RiverMusicExperience.org.
Friday, August 24 – The Dawn and Jim the Mile Double CD Release Show. Americana musicians in concert, with opening sets by the Kerry Tucker Band and Busted Chandeliers. The Redstone Room (129 Main Street, Davenport). 8 p.m. $10. For tickets and information, call (563)326-1333 or visit RiverMusicExperience.org.
Saturday, August 25 – Cheap Trick. Legendary pop and rock musicians in concert. Riverside Casino & Golf Resort (3184 Highway 22, Riverside). 8 p.m. $35-55. For tickets and information, call (877)677-3456 or visit RiversideCasinoAndResort.com.
Thursday, August 16, through Sunday, August 26 – The Curious Savage. John Patrick’s comedy about family members fighting for a $10-million inheritance, directed by Don Hazen. Richmond Hill Barn Theatre (600 Robinson Drive, Geneseo). Thursday-Saturday 7:30 p.m., Sunday 3 p.m. $8-10. For tickets and information, call (309)944-2244 or visit RHPlayers.com.
Thursday, August 16, through Sunday, August 26 – Some Enchanted Evening. Season-closing Rodgers & Hammerstein revue featuring highlights from the composers’ stage-musical oeuvre. Timber Lake Playhouse (8215 Black Oak Road, Mt. Carroll). Tuesday-Saturday 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, Wednesday, and August 18 2 p.m. $15-23. For tickets and information, call (815)244-2035 or visit TimberLakePlayhouse.org.
Friday, August 17, through Saturday, September 1 – Red. John Logan’s Tony-winning drama about painter Mark Rothko, directed by Tyson Danner. QC Theatre Workshop (1730 Wilkes Avenue, Davenport). Friday and Saturday 7:30 p.m., 6:30 p.m. doors for artist exhibits. “Pay What It’s Worth” admission price. For information, visit RedQC.com.
Friday, August 24 – Figuratively Speaking. Opening reception for the visual-art exhibit running through the fall, featuring works by Heather Anderson, Steven Andresen, Gretchen Cleve, Zach Cleve, Emma Farber, Meghan Hollister, Adam Little, Mike Mendoza, and Gretchen Stabile. The Phoenix Art Gallery (1530 Fifth Avenue, Moline). 6-9 p.m. Free admission. For information, call (309)762-9202 or visit AtThePhoenix.com.
Saturday, August 25 – MMA Extreme Challenge. Competitions featuring amateur and professional mixed-martial-arts fighters. Quad-Cities Waterfront Convention Center (1777 Isle Parkway, Bettendorf). 7 p.m. $25-35. For information, call (800)724-5825 or visit Bettendorf.IsleOfCapriCasinos.com.
Saturday, August 18 – 2012 Floatzilla. River Action hosts the Quad Cities’ third-annual paddle-sports festival, culminating with a Guinness World Record attempt at the largest flotilla of kayaks and canoes. Sunset Park’s Lake Potter (31st Avenue and Route 92, Rock Island). 8 a.m. launch start, 2 p.m. world-record attempt. $10-20 registration, free for spectators. For information, call (563)322-2969 or visit Floatzilla.org.
Friday, August 24, and Saturday, August 25 – Bottom’s Up Burlesque Caribbean Show. A Caribbean celebration with area burlesque dancers and comedians. Circa ’21 Speakeasy (1818 Third Avenue, Rock Island). 8 p.m. $15-18. For tickets and information, call (309)786-7733 extension 2 or visit Circa21.com.
Friday, August 24, through Sunday, August 26 – Princeton Days Festival. Annual celebration featuring the lighted-boat parade, vendors, children’s activities, and more. Downtown Princeton, Iowa. Free admission. For information, visit PrincetonDays.PrincetonIowa.us.
Saturday, August 25 – River City Beer Festiv-ale. Third-annual outdoor event featuring samplings of dozens of premium brews and specialty beers. Rock Island Brewing Company (1815 Second Avenue, Rock Island). 2-6 p.m. $20. For information, call (309)793-1933 or visit RIBCO.com.
Saturday, August 25 – Evening of Extreme Fun: Steve Lane Benefit. Fundraiser for Quad Citian recently diagnosed with small-cell lung cancer, featuring a 50/50 raffle, auction, karaoke, food, door prizes, gift baskets, and more. V.F.W. 1303 (3715 Ninth Street, Rock Island). 4 p.m. Donations encouraged. For information, call (309)373-5289 or (309)788-7585, or visit Support2Lanes.com.
Sunday, August 26 – QC Ride for the Cure. Annual fundraiser for Susan G. Komen Quad Cities, with vehicles stopping at multiple sites, a silent auction, a 50/50 drawing, and more. Milan Community Center (2701 First Street East, Milan). 9-11 a.m. registration, with the last vehicle in by 4:30 p.m. $15-20/vehicle, $5-10/passenger. For information, visit QCRideForTheCure.org.
Sunday, August 26 – QC Phoenix Festival. Second-annual fundraiser to raise awareness about domestic violence, themed “Still I Rise,” featuring musical performances, art exhibits, presentations, and more. Schwiebert Riverfront Park (along the Mississippi River between 17th and 20th streets, Rock Island). For information, call (309)292-6380 or visit QCPhoenixFestival.com.
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