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|What's Happenin': Fall, 2010|
|Lifestyle - Noteworthy Events|
|Written by Mike Schulz|
|Tuesday, 17 August 2010 06:00|
The River Is Life
Veterans Memorial Park
Saturday, August 28, 8 p.m.
In describing his documentary adventure The River Is Life - in which two intrepid buddies kayak 2,300 miles down the Mississippi River - filmmaker Phillip Hullquist says that the movie follows him and fellow traveler Ryan Jeanes "from black bears in the north to gators in the south." He also says that his films "tend to be about things people would love to do, but are letting some reason, real or imaginary, hold them back."
For my part, black bears and gators are exactly the reasons I'd never kayak down the Mississippi, but Hullquist is clearly made of stronger stuff than I.
This point will no doubt be evident on August 28, when Hullquist and Jeanes bring The River Is Life to Bettendorf's Veterans Memorial Park for a special presentation of their latest travelogue. The 14th stop on a 42-city tour - with a screening in Moline's Riverside Park scheduled for September 10 - the outdoor event will also feature an introduction by and post-show discussion with the travelers, whose previous cinematic collaboration involved the pair trekking cross-country in 2009's The Hitchhiking Movie.
Their 2010 outing, however, finds the duo taking a more vertical look at the American landscape. The 90-minute film traces a three-and-a-half-month journey in which Hullquist and Jeanes contended with such obstacles as waterfalls, rapids, boat wakes, unpredictable weather changes, and the aforementioned bears and gators - with little protection from the elements and wildlife. As The River Is Life's press materials state, the men were armed only with "a high-definition video camera, two paddles, two inflatable kayaks, and their wits. Or lack thereof."
Yet the film also promises to be an inspiring and moving testament to American can-do spirit, and a frequently amusing one, as well. "You'll meet quite a funny cast of characters in this movie," says Hullquist, "from an over-size Kentuckian sporting his duck call to a racy Minnesota woman threatening to kill us in our sleep." Wow. I had no idea my Aunt Ruth was even in a movie.
Ozzie Smith: A Day at the Park with the Wizard
Modern Woodmen Park
Sunday, August 22
A bona fide living legend kicks off the Eastern Iowa Community College District's Distinguished Speakers Series for 2010-11, when baseball great Ozzie "The Wizard" Smith takes the stage - or rather, home plate - at Davenport's Modern Woodmen Park on August 22.
In an event titled "Ozzie Smith: A Day at the Park with the Wizard," the beloved, record-breaking former shortstop for the St. Louis Cardinals will deliver a 5 p.m. presentation on his personal and professional accomplishments, borrowing on (as fits his nickname) themes of intelligence, heart, and courage. They're attributes that Smith has embodied on the field and off, as he was not only inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, but was also 1992's St. Louis Man of the Year, the 1995 recipient of the humanitarian prize the Roberto Clemente Award, and the 2001 recipient of the community-leader accolade the Walter Payton Sweetness Award.
Try your hand at this by-the-numbers Ozzie Smith quiz, matching the blank with the appropriate number:
1) Smith finished his baseball career with ___ hits.
2) Smith is the all-time assist leader at shortstop, with ___ assists.
3) Smith is the all-time leader at turning double plays, with ___.
4) Number of at-bats during Smith's career: ___.
5) Number of career steals: ___.
6) Number on Smith's St. Louis Cardinals jersey: ___.
Events at "Ozzie Smith: A Day at the Park with the Wizard" will also include children's activities and a 2:30 p.m. youth sports clinic at which Smith will serve as honorary coach; admission to the park is $15 for adults and $10 for students and military personnel. For more information, call (563)324-3000 or visit EICC.edu.
Answers: 1 - D, 2 - E, 3 - C, 4 - F, 5 - B, 6 - A. If you answered anything but "A" for that last one, I'm guessing you don't watch a lot of baseball.
River City Beer Festiv-ale
Rock Island Brewing Company
Saturday, August 28, 2-6 p.m.
On August 28, the Rock Island Brewing Company will host a craft-beer- and micro-brew-tasting event called the River City Beer Festiv-ale, and during a recent conversation, RIBCO bar manager Ryan McKee explains why attendees will be issued drink tickets as opposed to paying for an all-you-can-imbibe afternoon. "At the end of the day," he says, "I wanted people to think about what they were sampling, and not just run from tent to tent saying, 'Fill me up! Fill me up!'" Clearly, he's seen me at tastings in the past. I apologize if I've now ruined it for the rest of you.
Fear not, though; I'm guessing we'll all still get plenty of bang for our bucks. With dozens upon dozens of specialty beers, ales, and malt beverages to choose from, the outdoor River City Beer Festiv-ale - the first public tasting event RIBCO has hosted - will feature unique beverages from such breweries as the Bent River Brewing Company, Rogue, New Holland Brewing, Unibroue, Bell's, and Capital Brewery. The $15 admittance fee will entitle patrons to 15 drink tickets, with additional tickets available for purchase; festiv-ale-goers will also receive free admission to the club's evening performance by musician Dave Bess, and the first 600 through the gates will be able to take home their own commemorative sampling glasses. As McKee says, "I didn't want people to go around trying high-end beers in plastic cups."
He adds that a sizable portion of the event's proceeds ("pretty much everything after cost") will be donated to the area not-for-profit Living Lands & Waters, and that in addition to a good buzz, RIBCO visitors might even walk away from the afternoon with a fair degree of new beer knowledge. "There'll be reps from my purveyors here," says McKee, "and people from Bent River and the Blue Cat [Brew Pub] and Great River [Brewing Company] to talk about their products. People that know a lot more about beer than I do. I mean, I can't put Jon Horvath" - the annual Best Bartender in the Reader's Best of the Quad Cities poll - "at every single table." Ah, but if wishing made it so ... .
The River Ciy Beer Festivale runs from 2 to 6 p.m., and more information is available by calling (309)793-1999 or visiting RIBCO.com.
Floatzilla Challenge and Quad Cities Paddlesports Festival
Saturday, August 21
"What the hell are you doing, Mike?"
"You like the costume, Jeff? I received a press release about the upcoming community event Floatzilla at Rock Island's Sunset Marina, and I thought maybe I could audition to be its mascot! R-R-R-A-A-A-A - !!!!!"
"I get it, I get it. But you do know what Floatzilla is, don't you?"
"Um ... ."
"Floatzilla is the name of the floating object that'll be created on August 21, during the area's attempt to break the world record for the largest raft of canoes and kayaks. The event is taking place at the marina's Potter Lake, and it's being sanctioned by the Guinness Book of World Records, and sponsors at River Action are hoping to demolish the previous record by having participants in 2,010 canoes and kayaks link arms and hands - or hold on to adjacent boats - for 30 seconds. It's been in the news for months."
"And you also know that there are themed activities scheduled throughout the day at Sunset Marina, including group field trips to Quad Cities water trails starting at 9 a.m., and beginner-friendly paddling lessons taking place up until the 2 p.m. record-breaking attempt."
"Hmm. I see."
"So why are you dressed as an enormous mug of root beer with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on your hea - ?"
" ... "
"You didn't think ... ."
"Do you even read those press releases any more?"
"Man, I get like a hundred of those things a day!"
Registration for the Floatzilla challenge is $10 for one vessel and one paddler - though you're welcome to witness the spectacle for free - and more information is available by calling River Action at (563)322-2969 or visiting Floatzilla.org.
September through November
This fall, the Adler Theatre will house an octet of special, one-night-only events of both musical and non-musical varieties. Starting with the latter category, the Davenport venue presents popular Comedy Central stand-up Gabriel Iglesias and his "Fluffy Shop Tour" on November 13, and then ... . Well, that pretty much does it for the non-musical variety. Now hold on to your hats for the Adler's musical treats this fall. September 14 brings with it the singing and dancing (and free) entertainment of the 2010 U.S. Army Soldier Show, and follows that event, on September 25, with the Bethany for Children & Families benefit concert Doo-Wop 'n' Rock!, featuring a trio of chart-toppers from the '50s and '60s: Jay & the Americans, Johnny Tillotson, and the Shirelles' Shirley Alston Reeves. The Quad City Symphony Orchestra embarks on its - if you can believe it - 96th season of professional performance with Masterworks concerts on October 2 (in a celebration of Frédéric Chopin's 200th birthday) and November 6 (with magic and fantasy as the evening's themes). Contemporary Christian artist Steven Curtis Chapman performs his award-winning light rock and pop in Davenport on October 24. And this year's Broadway at the Adler series gets underway with two of the Great White Way's most adored recent hits: the supremely, joyously goofy Monty Python's Spamalot (November 21), and the multiple Tony Award nominee Legally Blonde: The Musical (October 9). That show, by the way, is about a cheerful, funny blonde who wins over adversaries with humor, intellect, and pluck, and while I know what you're thinking, the answer is no: The character is not based on me. Sweet of you to think so, though. For more information on this autumn's Adler Theatre events, visit AdlerTheatre.com.
Quad City Arts Visiting Artists
September through November
For Quad City Arts' 2010-11 season of Visiting Artists, the Rock Island-based organization will be wowing the public with an intimidating group of musical talents that have sung on National Public Radio and NBC, that have appeared at such noted festivals as Ravinia and Massachusetts' Tanglewood Music Festival, that have presented master classes at such prestigious institutions as Northwestern and the University of California at Los Angeles, and that average nearly 300 national and international tour stops per year. And that's just the first of Quad City Arts' Visiting Artists: the acclaimed chamber musicians of the Synergy Brass Quintet, who play St. Ambrose University's Galvin Fine Arts Center on September 25. The rest of the fall's lineup, however, is no less impressive. Norwegian jazz musician par excellence Lage Lund - called "a young guitar virtuoso" by the New Yorker magazine - brings his unique sound to Rock Island's St. John's Lutheran Church on October 23. Multi-instrumentalist Todd Green, a Berklee College of Music graduate whose acoustic stylings have led to tours in the U.S., Cananda, and Europe, presents his original blend of jazz, new age, and world music at Bettendorf's Redeemer Lutheran Church on November 13. And on November 21, Davenport's First Presbyterian Church will host the classical crossover trio Destino, who enjoyed an exclusive performance engagement at the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics, and whose blend of modern and classical works inspired their one-of-a-kind sound to be described as "popera." I guess that makes those who photograph the trio "poperazzi." Hey, just because this Fall Guide piece isn't an "official" What's Happenin' doesn't mean I can't crack dumb jokes. For more on Quad City Arts' 2010-11 Visiting Artist Series, visit QuadCityArts.com.
August through November
After looking over the lengthy list of autumnal happenings at Iowa City's Englert Theatre, I thought about starting this piece with a one-word sentence: "Damn." But then I remembered that my parents get embarrassed whenever I swear in print, so what say we just get on to the many, many promising events on the Englert's fall calendar. Movie lovers can enjoy a bevy of independent features and shorts at this year's Landlocked Film Festival (August 26 through 29), while comedy fans can get a kick out of the satirical tunes of The Water Coolers (September 12) and, in his latest tour, the stand-up of Pauly Shore (November 14). There'll be big fun for the kids with the children's rock of Justin Robert & the Not-Ready-for-Naptime Players (September 12), and the giant puppets and scientific experiments of the stage show Look Out, Galileo! (September 25). Plus, is there ever some music on tap for the Englert this fall. There'll be classical tunes with guitar masters Eric Johnson, Andy McKee, and Peppino D'Agostino (October 7), blues tunes with Little Feat guitarists Paul Barrere and Fred Tackett (November 11), and folk tunes with guitarist Jason Reeves (October 8). More folk will be on hand with the indie crooners of The Weepies (October 26), while Southern-based alt-country is showcased with Drive-By Truckers (September 29). Progressive-rock drummer Carl Palmer shows off his virtuosity in "An Evening of Emerson, Lake, & Palmer Music" (October 30), while independent rock is represented by Montreal's Wolf Parade (November 18). And there will be female artists aplenty at the Englert this fall, including living legend Joan Baez (October 6), Grammy Award winner Paula Cole (November 19), indie darling Michelle Shocked (September 22), and the musicians playing the Iowa Women's Musical Fest Kick-Off concert (September 16): Leslie & the LY's, Caroline Smith & the Goodnight Sleeps, and Bitch. That one's not my fault, Mom and Dad. More on the Englert's fall lineup is available by visiting Englert.org.
Hancher Auditorium Presentations
September through November
On October 14, Iowa City's Englert Theatre will host a performance by the high-energy Philippine folk dancers of the Bayanihan Philippine National Dance Company, a presentation in Hancher Auditorium's 2010-11 guest-artist series. For those who don't know, "Bayanihan" is a Filipino term referring to "a spirit of communal unity or effort to achieve a particular objective," and it's clear that several of Hancher's neighbors are also downright Bayanihan-ian this fall, based on how many of them will be hosting events for the Iowa City venue, still under reconstruction following 2008 flooding. Four locales, in fact, will present showcases by the gifted hoofers of Ballet West II, when the touring show makes Iowa stops at Fairfield's Central Park Square on September 17, Iowa City's Hancher Green on September 18, Kalona's Sliloh Amphitheater on September 19, and Muscatine's Riverfront Park on September 22. The Englert follows its Philippine dance performance with the hot jazz of the Kenny Barron Trio and guest David Sánchez on November 13, while Iowa City's neighboring West High School offers "certified lunatic and master of the impossible" Tomáš Kubínek on November 5, conducting Orchestra Iowa in the debuting Professor Kubínek Meets the Symphony. The city's St. Mary's Catholic Church celebrates no less than eight seasons (well, four of 'em twice over) in October 19's Venice Baroque Orchestra presentations of Vivaldi's The Four Seasons and composer Philip Glass' The American Four Seasons. Riverside, Iowa, will showcase soulful blues and roots music when the Riverside Casino & Golf Resort hosts an evening with the legendary Taj Mahal & the Trio on September 24. And kicking off Hancher's guest-artist schedule will be a welcome-back-to-school dance party at the University of Iowa, when the school's Iowa Memorial Union, on September 9, delivers the smokin' New Orleans jazz of Papa Grows Funk. Given autumn's outstanding offerings, it looks like Hancher does, too. For more information on its 2010-11 season, visit http://www.Hancher.UIowa.edu.
i wireless Center
August through November
To quote the late, great wit Dorothy Parker: "Summer makes me drowsy. Autumn makes me sing. Winter's pretty lousy, but I hate spring." Well, considering it's Parker, I guess one out of four ain't bad, and there'll certainly be plenty of singing going on at Moline's i wireless Center this autumn. The venue's fall lineup kicks off with the legendary German rockers of the Scorpions - appearing with special guests Dokken - on August 20, and continues less than a week later when country-music superstars Toby Keith and Trace Adkins electrify the Quad Cities crowd on August 26. More country hits will be heard when the venue hosts five-time Grammy Award winner Carrie Underwood on October 15, performing with openers Billy Currington and Sons of Sylvia, and 25 years of favorites will be highlighted on November 28, when a beloved duo graces the Moline stage in the touring event The Judds: The Last Encore. The i wireless Center's Grammy-lauded roster continues with the exhilarating gospel of November 5's Bill Gaither Homecoming Tour, boasting performances by Grammy winner Gaither, Wes Hampton, David Phelps, Michael English, and Mark Lowry. Disney tunes will likely be filling your heads when animated princesses Jasmine, Belle, and Snow White - plus many other family-film favorites - appear in the flesh for the all-new Disney Live! Mickey's Magic Show on October 22. And while it might not be music, there will definitely be a happy hum in the air when the i wireless Center hosts the yearly return of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, which brings its Zing Zang Zoom show to the Quad Cities September 2 through 5. All told, it's a fall roster guaranteed to make even the notoriously dour Dorothy Parker stand up and cheer. At least if you kept her martini glass full. For more on the i wireless Center's fall events, visit iwirelessCenter.com.
Comedies and Dramas
August through November
The area-theatre season of autumnal comedies and dramas opens with Muscatine's Pearl City Players delivering riotous sketch-comedy antics in Monty Python: We're Not Done Yet (running August 20 through 22), and closes with the Curtainbox Theatre Company staging intense psychological warfare in Henrik Ibsen's Hedda Gabler (November 18 through December 5). Really, do you need any more evidence of this fall's theatrical variety than that? Maybe not, but I'm still happy to provide. There will be laughs in store - albeit really dark, Neil LaBute-y laughs - when the Richmond Hill Barn theatre presents the playwright's acidic romance The Shape of Things (October 7 through 17), and more of them when the Harrison Hilltop Theatre takes a comedic look at 600 years of national events in The Complete History of America (November 11 through 27). The area's newest theatrical organization, the Internet Players, delivers an adventurous world premiere in The Tragedy of Sarah Klein (September 16 through 26), while our classical-theatre troupe the Prenzie Players offers its spin on an infrequently produced Shakespeare title in Pericles (November 12 through 21). There will be presentations for both the young and the young-at-heart when Davenport Junior Theatre tackles the family-friendly fun of The Adventures of Stuart Little (October 16 through 24), and when Moline's Playcrafters Barn Theatre brings a famed Robert Louis Stevenson title to life in another adventure, Treasure Island (November 12 through 21). And Davenport's New Ground Theatre will stage two dramatic works over less than seven weeks, when the Village Theatre houses Tracy Letts' Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning hit August: Osage County (October 15 through 24), and the musically themed two-character chamber drama Souvenir (September 16 through 26). Be sure to save your program after the show, as it makes a really nice ... . Well, you know.
September through November
Hard to believe it's almost fall. Hard to Believe will also be seen this fall, when Moline's Playcrafters Barn Theatre presents the world premiere of a new Biblical musical by local authors Timothy Stoller and Jonathan Turner, running September 9 through 18. Joining this debuting work on autumn's area-theatre lineup will be something for everyone who enjoys a little music with their comedy and their drama ... and even with their horror, as evidenced by the revival of the Harrison Hilltop Theatre's 2009 smash The Rocky Horror Show (October 1 through 30), and Ballet Quad Cities' staging of I, Vampire (October 22 and 23), an original ballet by Deanna Carter, based on a Michael Romkey novel. A pair of boffo Broadway entertainments make their area debuts when the Adler Theatre hosts one-night-only presentations of the girl-power comedy Legally Blonde: The Musical (October 9) and the flying cows and taunting Frenchmen of Monty Python's Spamalot (November 21). St. Ambrose University gets into the Great White Way game, when the school presents the farcical, show-within-a-show, Tony Award-winning zaniness of The Drowsy Chaperone (October 7 through 9). Meanwhile, following the return of its ever-popular, country-fueled bio-musical A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline (September 1 through November 6), Rock Island's Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse will house a pair of titles new to the area: the long-awaited, holiday-themed Forever Plaid follow-up Plaid Tidings (November 10 through December 31), and the children's-musical magic and comedy of Jack Frost Saves Christmas (November 26 through December 26). Wow. Hard to believe it's almost fall, but harder to believe it's almost Christmas, huh?
What Else Is Happenin'... ?
Friday, August 20 - Scorpions. German rockers on their "Get Your Sting & Blackout" world tour, performing with heavy-metal openers Dokken. i wireless Center (1201 River Drive, Moline). 7:30 p.m. $39.50-58.50. For tickets, call (800)745-3000 or visit iwirelessCenter.com.
Friday, August 20, and Saturday, August 21 - River Roots Live. Annual outdoor concert performances and rib festival, with performers including the Marshall Tucker Band, Creedence Clearwater Revisited, Cory Chisel & the Wandering Sons, and Grace Potter & the Nocturnals. LeClaire Park (River Drive and Ripley Street, Davenport). 11 a.m.-midnight. Free admission. For information, call (563)322-1706 or visit RiverRootsLive.com. For a recent interview with Creedence Clearwater Revisited bassist Stu Cook, visit RCReader.com/y/creedence.
Thursday, August 26 - Toby Keith. Country superstar in concert, with opener Trace Adkins. i wireless Center (1201 River Drive, Moline). 7:17 p.m. $47.25-62.50. For tickets, call (800)745-3000 or visit iwirelessCenter.com.
Saturday, August 28 - Kool & the Gang. Grammy Award-winning jazz and R&B performers in concert. Riverside Casino & Golf Resort (3184 Highway 22, Riverside). 8 p.m. $20-65. For tickets and information, call (877)677-3456 or visit RiversideCasinoAndResort.com.
Sunday, August 29 - Candye Kane. 2010 Blues Music Award nominee and her band, in a concert sponsored by the Mississippi Valley Blues Society. The Muddy Waters (1708 State Street, Bettendorf). 7 p.m. $8-10. For information, call (563)322-5837 or visit MVBS.org.
Monday, August 30 - Nick Curran & the Lowlifes. Rock, blues, and rockabilly musician in concert, with openers the One Night Standards. Rock Island Brewing Company (1815 Second Avenue, Rock Island). 8 p.m. $10. For information, call (309)793-1999 or visit RIBCO.com. For a recent interview with Curran, visit RCReader.com/y/curran.
Tuesday, August 24, through Friday, October 8 - Chicago Street Photography. Exhibit of Edward Sturr photographs from the 1960s. Catich Gallery - Galvin Fine Arts Center, St. Ambrose University (2101 Gaines Street, Davenport). Noon-5 p.m., Tuesdays through Fridays. Free admission. For information, call (563)333-6444 or visit http://web.SAU.edu/catich.
Friday, August 20, through Sunday, August 29 - "Discover the Pinta & the Nina." Self-guided tours on replicas of Christopher Columbus' famed ships. Oneida Landing (at the foot of Bridge Street, Davenport). 9 a.m.-6 p.m. $5-7. For information, call (787)672-2152 or visit TheNina.com.
Wednesday, August 25, through Friday, August 27 - Upper Mississippi River Conference. Annual conference co-sponsored by River Action, featuring programs on environmental education, celebratory events, and roundtable discussions addressing the needs of river communities. i wireless Center (1201 River Drive, Davenport). Wednesday 2-10 p.m., Thursday 7:30 a.m.-9 p.m., Friday 7:30 a.m.-3:15 p.m. $99-149. For information and to register, call (563)322-2969 or visit RiverAction.org.
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