What's Happenin': Fall 2014 Print
Lifestyle - Noteworthy Events
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 02 September 2014 06:00

Cher, October 22Events

i wireless Center

September through November


Let’s take a poll: Out of all of the exciting, hotly anticipated events coming to Moline’s i wireless Center this fall, which do you think will give patrons the most bang for their bucks?

If you’re a pro-wrestling aficionado, the answer might easily be September 28’s latest WWE Live extravaganza, and it’s a tough choice to argue against, considering the evening’s matches will include a world-heavyweight battle between John Cena and Seth Rollins, an intercontinental-championship tussle between Dolph Ziggler and The Miz, and appearances by such WWE stars as Dean Ambrose, Jack Swagger, Ryback, and The Big Show. Family audiences, though, might be more prone to vote for the October 10 performances of Disney Live! Mickey’s Music Festival. A new stage show starring beloved Disney characters, the production will showcase Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy singing and dancing alongside friends from The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, and the Toy Story movies. And music lovers have a whole septet of i wireless Center events to choose from. Country fans will no doubt get their money’s worth in October 18’s concert with Brantley Gilbert, the 29-year-old, CMA Award-winning Nashville star, and in November 14's evening with 22-year-old Louisiana sensation Hunter Hayes. Those who grew up adoring the star in her Disney Channel days, and have continued to adore her on The X Factor and Glee, won’t want to miss October 11’s engagement with Demi Lovato, the former child sensation now causing a stir with albums such as 2011’s Unbroken and 2013’s Demi. Classic-rock hounds should be in absolute heaven at the i wireless Center this autumn (even if using the phrase “classic-rock” in this context makes me feel really old); October 17 will find Eddie Vedder and his fellow Pearl Jam masters tearing the figurative roof off the place, while the sounds of glorious heavy metal will fill the air in the November 9 booking with Mötley Crüe and Alice Cooper. The legendary James Taylor will make it “Fire & Rain” in Moline's amphitheater on November 6. But if you want my opinion about which i wireless Center offering this fall will deliver the most entertainment per dollar, I’d have to go with October 22’s concert with Cher, appearing alongside Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo on the musicians’ “D2K Tour.” With tickets starting at $22, that’s what? About three cents per Cher costume?! For more on the Moline venue’s autumn events, visit iwirelessCenter.com.



The Chop Tops, October 11Music and Comedy

Rock Island Brewing Company

September and October


I recently checked out what’s in store for Rock Island Brewing Company patrons over the next couple of months, so trust me when I say that right from the start, the venue’s entertainment lineup is going to be the gratest. And while I know how much you enjoy catching occasional typos in my articles, in this case I mean “gratest” just as it’s spelled, because the fall fun at RIBCO begins with a visit by The Gratest Story Ever Told, the Grateful Dead tribute band that performs its eagerly awaited reunion show on September 6. Less than a week later, in a September 12 concert with opening acts the Tossers and the Krank Daddies, the psychobilly ensemble Reverend Horton Heat will deliver a potent blend of rock ’n’ roll, country, blues, punk, and swing ... and as it’s an outdoor event, the group may as well throw some of its famed surf rock in there, too. A Steely Dan tribute follows the very next night when the jazz, funk, and R&B musicians of The Fez play their own outdoor show on September 13, and an early master of experimental rock takes the RIBCO stage on September 19 with his headlining outfit Nik Turner’s Hawkwind, which performs alongside Witch Mountain, Hedersleben, and Lark’s Tongue. Venturing into October, the Santa Cruz-based trio The Chop Tops is showcased in a night of rockabilly, with the band’s October 11 engagement also featuring sets with Rumble Seat Riot and 3 on the Tree. Switching its lineup with a detour into comedy, RIBCO will host October 16’s return of the brilliant stand-up comedian (and memorable Louie guest star) Doug Stanhope, who previously brought the venue’s house down in the fall of 2012. A bona fide musical legend makes her way to the Quad Cities on October 18, when Wanda Jackson – the iconic performer of the ’50s and ’60s widely known as “the First Lady of rockabilly” – performs locally with openers Pearl Mahone and the One Night Standards. And modern musical stylings will be celebrated when RIBCO hosts an October 25 night with 90’s Daughter – by which I mean the popular party band, and not my born-in-’91 godchild Jordan, whose name I’m putting in print to make up for not sending a birthday card this week. While Jordan bemoans her godfather’s laziness, you can check out the Rock Island Brewing Company’s great – and Gratest – fall events at RIBCO.com.



Bill Maher, November 23Events

Adler Theatre

September through December


On September 29, the Adler Theatre will host the Festival of Praise Tour 2014, an evening of exceptional music and heartening fellowship featuring the gifted singer/songwriter Fred Hammond and the platinum-selling tenor Donnie McClurkin. I open with this information because the next 300-or-so words are going to be their own little festival of praise, given the incredible variety of music, comedy, dance, and theatre scheduled for the Davenport venue this fall. As always, autumn brings with it the start of a new season for the Quad City Symphony Orchestra, and the Adler will host conductor Mark Russell Smith’s first three Masterworks concerts of 2014-15: Into a New World on October 4, A Passion for Life on November 1, and A Musical Showcase on December 6. (The concerts will be repeated at Augustana College’s Centennial Hall on October 5, November 2, and December 7, respectively.) But the ensemble will also bring its annually beloved Holiday Pops to Davenport in three concert events scheduled for November 21 and 22, with the orchestra joined on-stage by the incredible circus artists of Cirque de la Symphonie. (Those seeking even more holiday-themed musical fun will readily find it in the November 26 Adler booking of A Mannheim Steamroller Christmas.) A second-annual entertainment will land at the Adler when local-gal-made-good – really good – Danielle Colby hosts October 25’s Iowa Burlesque Festival, a celebration of female artistry boasting saucy burlesque performers and equally saucy blues music performed by Davina & the Vagabonds. Acoustic guitarist and two-time Grammy nominee Tommy Emmanuel brings his singular gifts to the Davenport venue on September 10, and “iconic” is almost too weak a term when describing the artists in two additional musical bookings this fall: September 18’s night with country-music legend Loretta Lynn, and October 12’s evening with the hirsute rockers of ZZ Top. You’ll get music in theatrical form on September 30, as “This Is the Moment” that the touring, Tony-nominated thriller Jekyll & Hyde lands at the Adler. Television stars will also enjoy stage visibility in Davenport this fall; the gifted hoofers of Season 11 will delight patrons in October 14’s So You Think You Can Dance Tour, while November 23 brings with it an evening with stand-up comedian, HBO mainstay, and 29-time (!) Emmy nominee Bill Maher. Finally, on October 8, plan on enjoying a night with Christian recording artist and 32-time chart-topper Jeremy Camp. I close with that information because there are so many outstanding events coming to the Adler that you may just want to arrive in early fall and set up camp. For more on the venue’s autumn happenings, visit AdlerTheatre.com.



Break of Reality, October 25Music

Quad City Arts Visiting Artists

September through November


Quad City Arts recently announced the dazzling lineup of artists scheduled to perform and educate in the organization’s 2014-15 Visiting Artists Series, and the three musical ensembles entertaining audiences this fall are sure to provide a hot, sweet break. If you gathered them all together for one monster-sized super-group, you could even call them Hot Sweet Break. The “hot” in that moniker would come from the Hot Club of San Francisco, whose public concert takes place at Davenport’s First Presbyterian Church on September 13. These modern masters of French Gypsy jazz have toured the country with their smoky, smoldering stylings for more than a decade (when not performing their regular gig at San Francisco’s noted Le Jazz Hot venue), and have earned raves from fans and critics alike, with Jazz Times magazine lauding the band’s “stellar musicianship” and “crisp, imaginatively woven arrangements.” The “sweet” comes courtesy of Sweet Plantain, the classical chamber musicians who perform a November 8 public concert at Bettendorf High School. Composed of cellist Wayne Smith, viola player Orlando Wells, and violinists Joe Deninzon and Eddie Venegas (the latter of whom might also play a tune or two on trombone), the quartet fuses classical traditions with jazz, hip-hop, and Latin rhythms, and their combined talents have found Sweet Plantain touring everywhere from Texas to Venezuela to Russia. And the “break” from Quad City Arts’ collective artists comes via the performing quartet Break of Reality, who will fill St. Ambrose University’s Galvin Fine Arts Center with music on October 25. One of few groups in America – or anywhere, really – that can rightfully call itself “a cello rock band,” this foursome consisting of percussionist Ivan Trevin and cellists Adrian Daurov, Patrick Laird, and Laura Metcalf released their latest CD, TEN, this past March, which led the New York Press to state, “Fans of both Nine Inch Nails and Kronos Quartet will be pleased.” So be sure to check out the group’s autumn performance for Quad City Arts. And be sure to greet them with a rousing “Cel-lo!” For more on the artists in the 2014-15 Visiting Artists series, visit QuadCityArts.com.



Ammi Phillips' Girl in Red Dress with Cat & Dog, in the Self­-Taught Genius exhibit, opening November 15Exhibits

Figge Art Museum

September through November


If you haven’t yet seen all of the exhibitions on display at the Figge Art Museum, I’d like to personally thank you for instead spending your valuable time right now reading my article about exhibitions on display at the Figge Art Museum. I’d also like to ask, “What on Earth are you waiting for?!” If you can believe it, no fewer than seven temporary exhibits are currently gracing the walls and rooms of the Figge, so you still have time to catch, in order of their end dates: Local Threads and Innovators & Legends: Generations in Textiles & Fiber (both closing September 7); From Pencil to Printed Page: Arthur Geisert’s Thunderstorm (closing September 14); Living Proof: Cancer Survivor Art (closing October 26); Two Americans in Paris: Stuart Davis & Grant Wood (closing November 2); Against the Grain: Wood Art from the Figge Collection (closing January 25); and A Legacy for Iowa (closing April 26). But while those who assist with the artwork-hanging and -arranging for the Figge have to be thankful for the breather, I do have some bad news: Your breather ain’t gonna last, because three new exhibits are set to debut at the Davenport venue this fall. Arriving first is titled, appropriately enough, Artists First: College Art Faculty of the Quad Cities (on display September 13 through November 2). With its works selected by guest curators Pamela White and Leslie Bell, the exhibition should prove definitively that those who teach also can do, at least if those teachers are art professors at Ashford University, Augustana College, Black Hawk College, Eastern Iowa Community College, Knox College, Monmouth College, St. Ambrose University, and Western Illinois University. Two weeks after Artists First’s opening, the Figge will welcome the arrival of the traveling exhibit African-American Art Since 1950: Perspectives from the David D. Driskell Center (September 27 through January 4). Chronicling the evolution and growing prominence of African-American art, in all styles and media, over the past 60 years, this collection explores themes of race, gender, and American history through works by such famed talents as Faith Ringgold, Romare Bearden, Elizabeth Catlett, Kara Walker, Chakaia Booker, and Willie Cole. And the Figge’s fall concludes with the opening of Self-Taught Genius: Treasures from the American Folk Art Museum (November 15 through March 15). Included in the exhibit are not just paintings and sculptures, but furniture, quilts, books, and other items dating from the 18th to the 21st centuries, all of them combining to form a visual tapestry on the unique and cherished tradition of folk art. I also have a few collections of my writing titled Self-Taught Genius if the Figge ever wanted to display them. (That sound you hear is of dozens of my former instructors collectively slapping their foreheads.) For more on the Figge Art Museum’s fall events, visit FiggeArt.org.



Jekyll & Hyde, September 30Musicals and Dance

September through December


Nine musicals and dance events are scheduled in the Quad Cities’ fall-theatre season, but that roster of titles can actually be broken down into a convenient 4-H club – so long as you consider the “H”s in question to be “Hilarious,” “Heartwarming,” “Holiday-Themed,” and “Horrific.” (That latter adjective referring to the productions’ subject matter and not, fingers crossed, the quality of the presentations.) The autumn entertainments, and the hilarity, begin with the Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse’s return of Funny, You Don’t Look Like a Grandmother (running September 10 through November 1), a 2003 hit for the theatre that delivers a musical-comedy exploration of the modern grandma through witty comedy, cheeky dance numbers, and songs including “The Condo Blues,” “When Harry Met Annie,” and “She’s Old Enough to Be My Wife.” Big laughs plus heartfelt sentiment are on hand in the District Theatre’s re-staging of Big Rock Candy Mountain (September 25 through 28), a springtime hit for the venue that blends Danny White’s newly arranged folk and bluegrass favorites with an original script by Tristan Tapscott. And visitors to St. Ambrose University will see that musicals rarely get more moving, or more engaging, than they do in the Studs Terkel adaptation Working (October 3 through 5), which features songs by such songwriting luminaries as James Taylor and Wicked’s Stephen Schwartz. Christmastime is given a fall debut in two forthcoming musicals: Circa ’21’s return of the holiday classic Irving Berlin’s White Christmas (November 5 through December 28), and Quad City Music Guild’s staging of a timeless Dickens tale in A 1940s Radio Christmas Carol (December 4 through 7). No fewer than four area productions, meanwhile, will take a decidedly scarier – and sometimes sillier – approach to their music. The Adler Theatre hosts the touring presentation of a sinister he-said/he-said saga with Jekyll & Hyde (September 30), and Ballet Quad Cities and star Domingo Rubio have vampires on the brain in their juicy, Scottish Rite Cathedral stagings of Dracula (October 17 and 18). All sorts of creepy characters – plus a less-creepy one in a gold lamé Speedo – will be encouraging audiences to do “The Time Warp” again in the District Theatre’s annual staging of the audience-participatory The Rocky Horror Show (October 23 through 31). And the Halloween season wraps with the QC Theatre Workshop’s presentation of Bat Boy: The Musical (October 24 through November 9), a hilarious and tuneful off-Broadway hit that, I should mention, will find yours truly cast as a sadistic veterinarian who murders a little girl in her hospital bed. My mother is so proud. For more on the fall’s musical and dance season, see the Theatre listings in the Reader's online events calendar.



opening October 10Comedies and Dramas

September through December


This autumn’s local-theatre scene, with 11 plays currently scheduled to open between the fourth of September and the fourth of December, will boast comedy, tragedy, surprise, family dysfunction, a Tony Award, a Pulitzer Prize ... and that’s just New Ground Theatre’s Clybourne Park (running October 10 through 19), author Bruce Norris’ acclaimed tale of two families who, in two separate eras, inhabit the home that inspired the setting for A Raisin in the Sun. Interestingly, that same set of descriptions can also be applied to the District Theatre’s Angels in America: Millennium Approaches (November 14 through 23), part one of Tony Kushner’s 1980s fantasia on religion, politics, AIDS, and the afterlife. (The epic’s second half, Perestroika, will be staged at the District in January.) Yet the rest of the Quad Cities’ fall lineup is no less varied in terms of content and style – and will doubtless prove preferable if you have little kids joining you at the theatre. Young audiences, especially, will surely love the Grimm (but not grim) shenanigans on display in Davenport Junior Theatre’s debuting adaptation of Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs (October 18 through 26), while St. Ambrose University’s annual family show takes on the world of Dr. Seuss in The Cat in the Hat (December 4 and 5). A holiday-themed outing will engage audiences of all ages in the Playcrafters Barn Theatre’s Christmastime saga Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus (November 14 through 23), with farcical playwright Ken Ludwig even getting in on the seasonal fun with the Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse’s post-Thanksgiving treat ’Twas the Night Before Christmas (November 28 through December 27). Meanwhile, lots and lots and lots of children are on hand when the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre offers family comedy in extremis in Cheaper by the Dozen (November 6 through 16), while kids even get title billing in St. Ambrose’s student-directed studio presentation of Lillian Hellman’s The Children’s Hour (September 4 through 6) – though, again, you may wanna leave the tykes at home for that particular dramatic work. More-mature crowds will also delight in the romantic-comedy friskiness of Playcrafters’ Marrying Terry (September 12 through 21) and the humorous mysteries that abound in Richmond Hill’s Sherlock Holmes & the Case of the Jersey Lily (October 2 through 12). And just in time for Halloween, Augustana College stages a blood-curdling good time in The Passion of Dracula (October 17 through 26), a show that opens, ironically, the very same weekend as Ballet Quad Cities’ Dracula. Fangs a lot. For more on the area’s fall-theatre season, visit the Theatre section of the Reader's online events calendar.



Also visit "What's Happenin': Thursday, September 4, through Wednesday, September 17."

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