What's Happenin': Thursday, January 5, through Wednesday, January 18 Print
Lifestyle - Noteworthy Events
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 03 January 2012 06:00

Samantha FishMusic

Samantha Fish

The Redstone Room

Friday, January 13, 8 p.m.


For one of my New Year’s resolutions, I vowed to stop moaning in print about those who’ve earned nationwide acclaim and achieved considerable professional success despite being many, many years younger than me. Then, as one of my first What’s Happenin’ assignments for 2012, I was asked to write about 22-year-old singer/songwriter/guitarist Samantha Fish.

Well, I suppose three days was a pretty good run.

Based in Kansas City, Missouri – and performing at Davenport’s Redstone Room on January 13 – Fish discovered her love for the blues while in high school, and was a familiar performer at local blues clubs before the age of 21. And this past year, her impassioned vocals and instrumental wailing were notable enough to not only land her a spot on the year-long Blues Caravan Tour, but to have her prodigious talents showcased on two 2011 CDs: Girls with Guitars (which also features contributions by tourmates Cassie Taylor and Dani Wilde) and Fish’s solo debut Runaway.

Yet if you’re looking at the accompanying photo, don’t let Fish’s blond, pretty, youthful visage fool you; to hear critics tell it, this gal knows her blues inside and out. Writing for Ameriblues.com, Jim Canavy raved, “Her control is exceptional, her elocution is superb, and her timbre is familiar yet distinct,” and he described Fish as “a powerful vocalist, potent guitarist, and creative songwriter.”

AcousticMusic.com’s Mark S. Tucker, meanwhile, called Fish “a girl who’s going places,” and added, “This chick cooks, y’all – I’m talking ’bout the greasy, nasty, soulful, get-down-and-get-back-up-again all-night box-car diner.” So bring your musical appetites to the Redstone Room. And, judging by that plaudit, maybe an antacid.

Samantha Fish performs with an opening set by her venue’s Winter Blues All Stars, and more information on the night is available by calling (563)326-1333 or visiting RiverMusicExperience.org.



Hans Scholl, Sophie Scholl, and Christoph ProbstExhibit

The White Rose

German American Heritage Center

Sunday, January 8, through Friday, February 24


Back when I was in college, it wasn’t uncommon for me and my friends to stay up ’til all hours of the night spitballing about how, if given the chance, we could make a profound impact on the world. Granted, it was the world of theatre, but still … .

Yet for an example of how university students truly did change the world – the whole world – you need look no further than Davenport’s German American Heritage Center, which will host the historical exhibition The White Rose from January 8 through February 24. Through photographs, commentary, and related programming, the center’s exhibit will explore how a group of German university students, led by brother and sister Hans and Sophie Scholl, helped open eyes to the atrocities being committed under the Third Reich. It will also reveal why the Scholls and their colleagues are, especially to those of German heritage, considered among the most heroic figures of the 20th Century. (In a national 2003 poll selecting “The 10 Greatest Germans of All Time,” the Scholls placed fourth, ranked above such figures as Bach, Goethe, and Albert Einstein.)

Though their activities eventually led to their arrests and brutal executions during World War II, the young members of the resistance group the White Rose were figures of international regard. Through the underground release of missives that accused the Nazi regime of mass genocide, they urged their fellow citizens to not bow down to Nazi tyranny and to help expose their country’s oppression, and they inspired both civilians and outside forces to take action. The first of the group’s famed leaflets, meant for German eyes, included the hypothetical query, “Isn’t it true that every honest German is ashamed of his government these days?” Copies of the sixth – smuggled out of the country after the White Rose’s six core members were executed – were eventually dropped over Germany by Allied planes.

A celebration of heroism and courage in the face of unspeakable adversity, events in conjunction with the The White Rose exhibit include screenings of the films The White Rose (January 22) and The Last Days of Sophie Scholl (February 5) at the Figge Art Museum. More information on the exhibition and its related programming is available by calling the German American Heritage Center at (563)322-8844 or visiting GAHC.org.



Sydney Crumbleholme and Joey Pautsch in Anne of AvonleaTheatre

Anne of Avonlea

Playcrafters Barn Theatre

Friday, January 13, through Sunday, January 22


In a moviegoing culture that has given us an annual Twilight, an annual Paranormal Activity, and eight Harry Potters in just over a decade, having to wait more than three years for a sequel might seem a little excessive. (For those series’ more voracious fans, it might seem downright rude.)

But so far as I know, there are no current rules regarding the timeliness of stage sequels. And when it comes to the Playcrafters Barn Theatre’s forthcoming production of Anne of Avonlea – running January 13 through 22 – I’m thinking that the results might prove well worth the more-than-three-year wait.

A follow-up to Playcrafters’ Anne of Green Gables from November of 2008, and based on the second book of author L.M. Montgomery’s beloved literary series, Anne of Avonlea takes feisty heroine Anne Shirley from her first days as a schoolteacher through her departure for Redmond College. Along the way, she contends with high-spirited (though occasionally troublesome) students, family crises, and a potential romance with childhood enemy Gilbert Blythe, all presented in a sweet and touching young-adult narrative that has delighted generations of readers since its initial publication in 1909.

Yet as someone who hasn’t read the Anne Shirley novels, I’m still incredibly eager to see the Moline theatre’s latest, at least based on the reviews of its predecessor. Anne of Avonlea’s director, Donna Weeks, also helmed Anne of Green Gables, a show described as “a thorough joy” whose “standing ovation felt richly deserved.” Anne’s guardian is again being played by actress Karen Decker, who was called “so powerfully good as Marilla – so explosively funny and subtly moving – that even though she has more stage time than the show’s other grown-ups, she’s never around as often as you’d like.”

And returning to the role of Anne Shirley is Sydney Crumbleholme, whose first turn as the character inspired the plaudits “fantastically assured,” “exhilaratingly close to perfect,” and “I doubt there has been a better, more inspiring piece of casting on area stages in all of 2008.” I’d mention the raves’ author by name, but you know, I already reference myself too damned much in these articles ... .

Anne of Avonlea will be performed on Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. – with an added 3 p.m. matinee on Saturday, January 21 – and tickets are available by calling (309)762-0330 or visiting Playcrafters.com.



Mike EppsComedy

Mike Epps & Friends

Adler Theatre

Friday, January 13, 8 p.m.


I’m not really in the market for one, yet if I was looking to hire a professional bodyguard, I might consider going to Mike Epps first. I know he’s an actor and all. But I’m thinking that anyone who kicks zombie tail in Resident Evil movies, stands up to Will Smith’s Hancock, and doesn’t wilt under the combined fierceness of Angela Bassett and Loretta Devine in Jumping the Broom is someone I’d definitely trust with my life.

Of course, for all of his ass-kicking cred, Epps is even better known for his comedic skills, which local audiences will experience when the man hosts the stand-up evening Mike Epps & Friends at the Adler Theatre on January 13. Performing alongside some of the Midwest’s most promising up-and-comers, Epps will treat the Davenport crowd to material from his own acclaimed touring act, delivering the sharp timing and humor known to fans of such Epps films as Next Friday, Lottery Ticket, Soul Men, and All About the Benjamins.

Yet in addition to the titles already cited, the performer has appeared in nearly 30 additional films since his screen debut in 1997’s Vin Diesel-directed Strays. Can you match the following Epps movies with the characters he portrayed in them?


1) The Hangover

2) How High

3) Next Day Air

4) Open Season 2

5) Roll Bounce

6) Still ’bout It


A) Baby Powder

B) Black Doug

C) Bobby Ray

D) Boog

E) Brody

F) Byron


Tickets to Mike Epps & Friends are $39.50 and $44.50, and can be secured by calling (800)745-3000 or visiting AdlerTheatre.com.



Answers: 1 – B, 2 – A, 3 – E, 4 – D, 5 – F, 6 – C. And mind you, those are just his “B” roles. Ha ha ha ha ha!!! Yeah, I know ... . I kinda hope Epps brings along funnier friends than me, too.



What Else Is Happenin’ ... ?


Friday, January 6 – Victor Trevino. Acclaimed impersonator in his “A Tribute to Elvis” concert. Quad-Cities Waterfront Convention Center (1777 Isle Parkway, Bettendorf). 7:30p.m. $10-15. For information, call (800)724-5825 or visit Bettendorf.IsleOfCapriCasinos.com.

Sunday, January 15 - The Lynne Hart Quartet. A performance in Polyrhythms' Third Sunday Jazz series, featuring an all-ages jazz workshop and an event concert. The Redstone Room (129 Main Street, Davenport). 3 p.m. workshop - $5 for adults, free for students; 6 p.m. concert - $10-15. For tickets and information, call (563)326-1333 or (309)373-0790, or visit RiverMusicExperience.org or Polyrhythms.org.



Saturday, January 7 – The Prenzie Players’ Twelfth Night Gala. Sixth-annual fundraiser for the classical-theatre troupe, featuring performances, live music, a silent auction, hors d’oeuvres, and more. Rivermont Collegiate (1821 Sunset Drive, Bettendorf). 7 p.m. $15. For tickets and information, call (309)278-8426 or visit PrenziePlayers.com.

Wednesday, January 11, through Saturday, March 3 - Grease. The beloved rock ’n’ roll musical, directed by Ann Nieman. Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse (1828 Third Avenue, Rock Island). Fridays, Saturdays, Wednesdays, and January 11 and 12 – 5:45 p.m. doors, 6-7 p.m. buffet dinner, 7:15 p.m. pre-show, 7:45 p.m. performance; Sundays – 3:45 p.m. doors, 4-5 p.m. buffet dinner, 5:15 p.m. pre-show, 5:45 p.m. performance; Wednesdays – 11:30 a.m. doors, 11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m. plated lunch, 1 p.m. pre-show, 1:30 p.m. performance. $28.22-47.55. For tickets and information, call (309)786-7733 extension 2 or visit Circa21.com.



Friday, January 13 – Comedy for the Kingdom, Laughter for Your Soul. A True Gospel Enterprises production, featuring performances by Lady Luncha’bell, Marvin “Dubbs” Phipps, and local artists. The Center (1411 Brady Street, Davenport). 7 p.m. $10-12. For tickets and information, call (563)323-5295 or visit TheCenter-Davenport.com.

Sunday, January 15 – Todd Barry. Stand-up concert with the film and television comedian, with an opening set by Janelle James. The Mill (120 East Burlington Street, Iowa City). 8 p.m. $12. For tickets and information, call (319)351-9529 or visit ICMill.com.



Saturday, January 7 – The Harlem Globetrotters. Basketball and comedy with the world-famous team. i wireless Center (1201 River Drive, Moline). 7 p.m. $37-94. For tickets, call (800)745-3000 or visit iwirelessCenter.com.



Saturday, January 14, through Sunday, May 27 – Young Artists at the Figge. Annual exhibit of student works, with selections from young artists from Muscatine, North Scott, Davenport, Moline, Bettendorf, Geneseo, and Pleasant Valley community schools. 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 FiggeArtMuseum.org.



Saturday, January 14 – The Power of One. Annual celebration and tribute in honor of the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., featuring guest speakers, music, dance, theatrical performances, a documentary screening, and more. Augustana College’s Centennial Hall (3703 Seventh Avenue, Rock Island). 6 p.m. Free admission. For information, call (309)794-7721 or visit Augustana.edu.

Saturday, January 14 – Winter Wine Experience. Annual fundraiser featuring a variety of wines for sampling, hors d’oeuvres, live music, and more. River Music Experience (131 West Second Street, Davenport). 5 p.m. $20-35. For tickets and information, call (563)326-1333 or visit RiverMusicExperience.org.

Sunday, January 15 – Ron Royals. An evening with the acclaimed illusionist. Quad-Cities Waterfront Convention Center (1777 Isle Parkway, Bettendorf). 7:30p.m. $5. For information, call (800)724-5825 or visit Bettendorf.IsleOfCapriCasinos.com.

Monday, January 16 - Let Freedom Ring. Community celebration in honor of Martin Luther King Day, featuring a 2:30 p.m. presentation, a 3:15 drum circle with Terry Hanson, and a 3:45 p.m. performance by The Candymakers. River Music Experience (131 West Second Street, Davenport). 2 p.m. Free admission. For ninformation, call (563)326-1333 or visit RiverMusicExperience.org.

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