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What's Happenin': Thursday, February 2, through Wednesday, February 15 PDF Print E-mail
Lifestyle - Noteworthy Events
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 31 January 2012 06:00

Chucho ValdesMusic

Chucho Valdés & the Afro-Cuban Messengers

Englert Theatre

Friday, February 10, 7:30 p.m.


The latest guests in Hancher Auditorium’s Visiting Artists series are the renowned Cuban pianist Chucho Valdés and his Afro-Cuban Messengers ensemble, who bring their exuberant Latin stylings to Iowa City’s Englert Theatre on February 10. I should tell you, though, that if you visit Valdés’ Web site (at wanting to learn more about the man yet don’t know any languages beyond English, you may be slightly disconcerted by Valdés’ biography, which begins: “Nacido en 1941, el pianista, compositor, profesor de música, arreglista y director de grupa inició su formación musical a temprana edad ... .”

But fear not! I’ve taken the trouble of running every phrase from the site through an online Spanish-to-English translator and have now learned everything you need to know about this artist whom All About Jazz calls “among the most accomplished jazz pianists from Cuba or anywhere else.”

A Havana native who was already employed as a professional pianist at 17, Valdés recorded his first album, Jazz Nocturno, in 1964. Since then, he has recorded (get this) another 86 albums, and has performed alongside fellow jazz musicians on another 33. Among the awards in the pianist’s trophy cabinet are five Grammy Awards and three Latin Grammy Awards, which he’s amassed through a total of 25 Grammy nominations to date.

Yet Valdés’ professional accomplishments hardly stop with the hardware. He’s received the Key to the City in Los Angeles, San Fancisco, and New Orleans. He holds honorary doctorates from the Berklee College of Music and Toronto’s Victoria University. He’s shared stages with the likes of Dizzy Gillespie, David Sánchez, and Tito Puente. And with his Afro-Cuban Messengers – whom The Guardian praises for their “coolly grooving jazz, hustling fast themes, and breezy New Orleans swing section” – Valdés has toured in more than 50 countries.

Plus, at age 70, the man’s lookin’ good! You can see a bunch of photos of him near the bottom of his Web site’s home page, along with ... . Wait. What’s this? ... There’s a link you can click to read his Web pages in English? Aw, man, I just wasted an entire afternoon!

For more information and tickets to February 10’s Chucho Valdés & the Afro-Cuban Messengers concert, call (319)335-1160 or visit



Jean ValentineLiterature

A Valentine for Faye Clow

Bettendorf Public Library

Thursday, February 16, 6:30 p.m.


For those of us lucky enough to have known Faye Clow – the beloved Bettendorf resident and patron of the arts who led the Bettendorf Public Library for 30 years and passed away on February 18, 2011 – the one-year anniversary of her passing is sure to be a sad day. Yet on February 16, the library will temper that sadness with a celebratory spirit in the memorial tribute “A Valentine for Faye Clow,” an evening of poetry readings and music honoring this influential and much-missed Quad Citian.

With Kai Swanson serving as emcee, the Thursday-night event will feature readings by the winners and runners-up in the Bettendorf Library’s recent love-poetry contest, among them the recipients of first-place prizes in the adult and youth divisions: Jodie Toohey (for her poem “Out of the Blue”) and Christina Mbakwe (for her “Love’s Pistol”), respectively. Both works will also be included in a handmade book by local artist Bill Hannan that attendees can peruse at the event, and recent St. Ambrose University graduate Julia Goodmann will perform songs she composed using the poems themselves as lyrics.

And in addition to these figurative valentines for Faye, the library’s celebration will offer a literal one in the form of the event’s special guest: award-winning, New York City-based poet Jean Valentine. The winner of the 2004 National Book Award for Poetry and the 2009 Wallace Stevens Award from the Academy of American Poets, Valentine will read from her works (including, I would imagine, her lovely poem titled “Earth & the Librarian”), allowing guests to enjoy what famed poet Adrienne Rich lauded as “poetry of the highest order, because it lets us into spaces and meanings we couldn’t approach in any other way.” There’s no word on whether the library’s guest author will be bringing any family members along with her, but I hope she does; Faye Clow is certainly deserving of as many Valentines, capitalized and lowercased, as possible.

More information on February 16’s “A Valentine for Faye Clow” event is available by calling the library at (563)344-4175, or visiting



Company's Bryan TankTheatre


The District Theatre

Friday, February 3, through Saturday, February 18


Running February 3 through 18, the first production in the District Theatre’s 2012 season is Company, a series of musical-comedy vignettes in which terminal bachelor Bobby – through encounters with his married and about-to-be-married friends – explores life, love, and the possibility of wedded bliss on the eve of his 35th birthday.

Company’s score features such classic songs as “The Ladies Who Lunch,” “Marry Me a Little,” and “Being Alive.”

The original Broadway production opened in 1970, and ran a total of 705 performances.

It was nominated for five Drama Desk Awards – including Outstanding Music, Lyrics, and Book of a Musical – and won them all.

It was nominated for a record-setting 14 Tony Award nominations and won six, including Best Musical and Best Director..

It has enjoyed two critically acclaimed returns to Broadway, with the 2006 version receiving the Tony for Best Revival of a Musical.

The District Theatre’s presentation is being directed by David Turley, who also helmed the theatre’s productions of Chicago, Jesus Christ Superstar, and The Last Five Years.

Bobby is played by Bryan Tank, showcased in such recent District Theatre musicals as Sunday in the Park with George, The Rocky Horror Show, and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.

Featured amongst the show’s ensemble are Wendy Czekalski, Angela Elliott, Sara King, Erin McBride Lounsberry, Christina Myatt, Brian Nelson, Tracy Pelzer-Timm, Linda Ruebling, Mark Ruebling, Christopher Tracy, John VanDeWoestyne, Jenny Winn, and Paul Workman.

Oh, yeah. And Company’s music and lyrics are by Stephen Sondheim.

I swear, sometimes the District Theatre makes these things so damned easy to promote.

For more information and Company tickets, call (309)235-1654 or visit



Des Moines' Metro Opera's The Magic FluteMusic

Des Moines Metro Opera’s The Magic Flute

St. Ambrose University

Tuesday, February 7, 7 p.m.


All right, friends: It’s time to play “Name That Tune!” Here are your opening lyrics:

“Pa pa pa / Pa pa pa.”

What’s that? You need a few more? Okay. The song continues thusly:

“Pa pa pa pa / Pa pa pa pa.”

You still don’t know? Come on; it’s only one of the most famous romantic duets of all time! Oh, all right. Continuing on:

“Pa pa pa pa pa pa pa pa / Pa pa pa pa pa pa pa pa / Pa pa pa pa pa / Pa pa pa pa pa.”

Oh, you’re killing me, folks! It’s “Pa– pa– pa– ” from Mozart’s The Magic Flute! How were those lyrics not a dead giveaway?!

Well, don’t beat yourselves up about it; after all, the supremely gifted singers of Des Moines Opera Metro will soon ensure that “Pa– pa– pa– ” forever lingers in memory. Appearing in a special, February 7 presentation by the German American Heritage Center, the professional opera company will deliver a two-hour, English-language version of Mozart’s The Magic Flute at St. Ambrose University’s Rogalski Center. Filled with comedy, drama, and romance – to say nothing of queens, dragons, and bird-catchers – the work features some of its composer’s most legendary tunes, and is perfect operatic introduction for audiences of all ages.

For those of you more well-versed in The Magic Flute, though, try your hand at this quiz on the 1791 masterwork, courtesy of our pals at


1) Mozart wrote the music, but who wrote The Magic Flute’s libretto?

A) Lorenzo da Ponte

B) Carl Ludwig Gleseke

C) Emanuel Schikaneder


2) While writing The Magic Flute, Mozart was also composing another opera. Which one?

A) La Clemenza di Tito

B) Idomeneo

C) Lucia Silla


3) The Magic Flute has narrative and musical associations with which society?

A) The Knights of Columbus

B) The Freemasons

C) The Utopian Socialists


4) Why, at The Magic Flute’s beginning, is Prince Tamino so frightened?

A) A giant serpent is chasing him

B) A hungry lion is chasing him

C) An angry Turk is chasing him


5) Who directed a 1975 film version of The Magic Flute?

A) Joseph Losey

B) Ingmar Bergman

C) Orson Welles


For information on, and tickets to, Des Moines Metro Opera’s performance of The Magic Flute, call (563)322-8844 or visit



Answers: 1 – C, 2 – A, 3 – B, 4 – A, 5 – B. Don’t let that last answer get you nervous: The Magic Flute is really, really fun! Seriously! No Swedish angst at all!



What Else Is Happenin’...?



Thursday, February 2 – Bobby Valli. Frankie Valli’s brother performs his tribute to the Four Seasons. Quad-Cities Waterfront Convention Center (1777 Isle Parkway, Bettendorf). 7:30 p.m. $10-15. For information, call (800)724-5825 or visit


Thursday, February 2 – Stew & the Negro Problem. The Tony Award winner’s genre-defying rock-pop-funk-punk cabaret, in a Hancher Auditorium presentation. Englert Theatre (221 East Washington Street, Iowa City). 7:30 p.m. $12.50-30. For tickets and information, call (319)335-1160 or visit


Friday, February 3 – Deleted Scenes and A Lull. Acclaimed independent musicians in concert, with openers Healing Power. Rozz-Tox (2108 Third Avenue, Rock Island). 8 p.m. $6. For information, e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit

Saturday, February 4 – HairBall: A Celebration of Arena Rock. Concert tribute to 1980s rock legends, with an opening set by E11eventh Hour. Davenport RiverCenter (136 East Third Street, Davenport). 8 p.m. $13-22. For tickets, call (800)745-3000 or visit

Saturday, February 11 – Smooth Jazz Valentines Concert & Dinner. Featuring jazz, R&B, and classic funk with acclaimed saxophonist Steve Cole. The Lodge Hotel (900 Spruce Hills Drive, Bettendorf). 6 p.m. dinner, 8 p.m. concert. $75/single ticket, $145-165/couples. For tickets and information, call (563)324-4208 or visit

Saturday, February 11 – Travis Tritt. Acoustic concert with the chart-topping country singer. Quad-Cities Waterfront Convention Center (1777 Isle Parkway, Bettendorf). 7:30 p.m. $20-30. For information, call (800)724-5825 or visit

Saturday, February 11 – An Evening with Leon Redbone. Concert with the noted jazz, blues, and ragtime performer. The Redstone Room (129 Main Street, Davenport). 8 p.m. $26-30. For tickets and information, call (563)326-1333 or visit For a 2010 interview with Redbone, visit

Saturday, February 11, and Sunday, February 12 – Quad City Symphony Orchestra. The orchestra’s Masterworks: Valentine’s Day concerts, with guest conductor Alondra de la Parra, guest guitarist Robert Belinic, and a program featuring Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Scheherazade,” Rodrigo’s “Concierto de Aranjuez,” and Ravel’s “Bolero.” 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. $11-53. For tickets and information, call (563)322-7276 or visit


Saturday, February 11, and Sunday, February 13 – Sun & Moon, Sea & Sky. Winter concerts featuring the professional vocal ensemble the Nova Singers. Saturday – First Lutheran Church of Galesburg (364 East Water Street, Galesburg), 7:30 p.m. Sunday – St. Paul Lutheran Church of Davenport (2136 Brady Street, Davenport), 4 p.m. $12-16 for adults, students free. For tickets and information, call (309)341-7038 or visit

Monday, February 13 – Zoë Keating. Concert with the acclaimed cellist and “one-woman orchestra.” Englert Theatre (221 East Washington Street, Iowa City). 8 p.m. $15-18. For tickets and information, call (319)688-2653 or visit

Wednesday, February 15 – Talkdemonic. Independent musicians in an “Intimate at the Englert” presentation, with opener Skye Carrasco. Englert Theatre (221 East Washington Street, Iowa City). 8 p.m. $8. For tickets and information, call (319)688-2653 or visit



Tuesday, February 7 – The Color Purple. Tony Award-winning musical based on the famed Alice Walker novel, in a Broadway at the Adler presentation. Adler Theatre (136 East Third Street, Davenport). 7:30 p.m. $36.50-61.50. For tickets, call (800)745-3000 or visit

Thursday, February 9 – The Queen of Bingo. Comedy and games in the famed touring production starring Shane Partlow and Rowan Joseph. 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

Thursday, February 9, through Sunday, February 26 – Scenery. Two-person show-business comedy by Ed Dixon, directed by James Fairchild. The District Theatre (1611 Second Avenue, Rock Island). February 9, 16, 24, and 25 – 8 p.m.; February 11 and 18 – 2 p.m. $15. For tickets and information, call (309)235-1654 or visit

Thursday, February 9, and Saturday, February 11 – The Vagina Monologues. Annual fundraising performance of Eve Ensler’s famed solo pieces. Augustana College’s Denkmann Memorial Hall (3520 Seventh Avenue, Rock Island). 7 p.m. $6-9. For information and tickets, call (309)794-7306 or visit

Friday, February 10, and Saturday, February 11 - The Actor's Nightmare and Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You. Famed one-act comedies by Christopher Durang. Augustana College's Black Box Theatre (Bergendoff Hall of Fine Arts, 3701 Seventh Avenue, Rock Island). Friday - 7:30p.m., Saturday 3 p.m. Free admission. For information, call 309-794-7306 or visit

Friday, February 10, through Sunday, February 12 – On Golden Pond. Ernest Thompson’s Tony Award-winning dramatic comedy, in a co-production with the Peace Pipe Players. Ohnward Fine Arts Center (1215 East Platt Street, Maquoketa). Friday and Saturday 7:30p.m., Sunday 2 p.m. $8-15. For tickets and information, call (563)652-9815 or visit


Friday, February 10, through Sunday, February 19 – In the Next Room (Or, the Vibrator Play). Sarah Ruhl’s comedy of sexual awakening in the Victorian era. University of Iowa’s E.C. Mabie Theatre (200 North Riverside Drive, Iowa City.) Thursdays-Saturdays 8 p.m., Sundays 2 p.m. $10-17. For tickets and information, call (319)335-1160 or visit

Saturday, February 11 – The White Rose: A True Story of Freedom in Nazi Germany. Reader’s theatre performances of a drama about the World War II resistance group, directed by Nathan Porteshawver. German American Heritage Center (712 West Second Street, Davenport). 1:30 and 3 p.m. $3-5. For information, call (563)322-8844 or visit



Friday, February 3, and Saturday, February 4 – The Second City: Laugh Out Loud Tour. Sketch comedy and improvisation with the famed touring comedians. Englert Theatre (221 East Washington Street, Iowa City). 8 p.m. $22-27. For tickets and information, call (319)688-2653 or visit

Thursday, February 9 – Rodney Carrington. Comedian and country singer/songwriter in his “Laughter’s Good Tour.” Adler Theatre (136 East Third Street, Davenport). 7 p.m. $43.75. For tickets, call (800)745-3000 or visit



Saturday, February 4 – Bowling to Banish Bullying. Fundraising event for Ballet Quad Cities’ anti-bullying program, with bowling, heavy appetizers, and two drink tickets included. Blackhawk Bowl & Martini Lounge (200 East Third Street, Davenport). 6 p.m. $40/bowlers, $10/spectators. For tickets and information, call (309)786-3779 or visit

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