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|What's Happenin': July 16 - 22|
|Lifestyle - Noteworthy Events|
|Written by Mike Schulz and Marguerite Day|
|Wednesday, 16 July 2008 02:18|
Children of Eden
North Scott High School
Friday, July 18, through Sunday, July 27
I'm apparently one of the few people in America who has neither seen the musical Children of Eden nor, to my knowledge, heard even one song from its score. But I understand that the show is based on Genesis, and now that a production of it is being presented by Eldridge's Countryside Community Theatre, I must say I am psyched - I'm dying to see who's gonna play Peter Gabriel, and how they're gonna stage the music video for "Invisible Touch," and ... .
Oh. I just got a look at the Children of Eden plot synopsis. Never mind.
Originally produced in 1991, the show is based on tales from the Book of Genesis, and it boasts a theatrical pedigree that's damned near holy in itself, with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, of Wicked, Pippin, and Godspell, and a book by John Caird, the Tony-winning co-director of Les Misérables. (You can also anticipate a bit of divinity in Countryside's production, as the role of Our Father is being played by that god-like baritone Brian Nelson.) Though Children of Eden has never enjoyed a Broadway run, the show has been frequently produced in theatres worldwide, partly because of the much-admired score, and partly because of its admirably simple structure: Act I concerns Adam, Eve, and the Garden of Eden; Act II concerns Noah and the ark; and Act III finds Phil Collins ditching his friends for a solo career.
Just kidding on that last part. But wouldn't Genesis make an awesome subject for a stage musical? I'm dropping Schwartz an e-mail.
Children of Eden will be staged at North Scott High School from July 18 through 27, and more information can be found at (http://www.cctonstage.org). - Mike Schulz
Tim Moore Celebration
Rock Island Public Library
Wednesday, July 16, 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.
As George "Kingfish" Stevens on the Amos 'n' Andy TV show, Tim Moore played a character who came up with a lot of get-rich-quick schemes, and that happened to be one of the things that Moore had in common with his character. Before he turned 15, Moore came up with a variety of ways to make money, including posing as a tour guide in Hawaii, and selling magical "cure-all" potions to gullible customers. At one point, he was even employed as a circus geek, where he would pretend to bite snakes' heads off in order to "satisfy a poison craving."
However, the talented Moore was far more than a con man, and his considerable achievements will be recognized at the Rock Island Public Library's Community Room on July 16. Moore, who was born in Rock Island, is one of the local African American artists who will be acknowledged as part of the new Quad Cities African-American Museum project, and the library's program will feature a viewing of Moore's most noted television appearances, a history of his life and works, and a display of memorabilia.
Moore's career in show business lasted more than 50 years, taking him to Paris, England, and all over the Midwest. And while Moore is most widely known for his part as Kingfish on Amos 'n' Andy, he also starred in such films as His Great Chance and Boy! What a Girl!, and appeared in such musical revues as Blackberries of 1932 and Harlem Cavalcade.
To find out more about this daylong event, call (309) 732-7303, or visit the library's Web site at (http://www.ripl.lib.il.us). - Marguerite Day
The Redstone Room
Sunday, July 20
It would be easy to presume that vocalist Adekola Adedapo - the latest performer in the Redstone Room's Third Sunday Jazz Matinee & Workshop Series - is cooler than I am.
Adedapo has, after all, been a popular fixture of Milwaukee's jazz scene since the late '70s, and has collaborated with many of the city's finest musicians, among them Mel Rhyne, Von Freeman, and Frank Morgan.
She's been a faculty member of the prestigious Wisconsin Conservatory of Music since 2000, and received wide acclaim for her 1999 CD Ose Meji and its fusion of jazz, bebop, blues, and traditional African chants.
She's performed as musician and storyteller for the Hansberry-Sands Theatre, the Milwaukee Symphony Youth Orchestra, the Milwaukee Public Theatre, and the radio program Hotel Milwaukee, and in 2001 was named "Female Vocalist of the Year" by the Wisconsin Area Music Industry.
She's even sung with the legendary Cab Calloway.
But guess what? On a Scrabble board, "Adekola Adedapo" is only worth 23 points, and "Mike Schulz" - which is four letters shorter - is worth 30. So who's cooler now?
Adedapo will present a 3 p.m. workshop and a 6 p.m. concert with musicians Mark Thierfelder, John Price, Scott Napoli, and Berkeley Fudge, and more information is available by visiting (http://www.redstoneroom.com). - Mike Schulz
The Dutchess & the Duke
Friday, July 18, 7 p.m.
Once upon a time, in the magical land of Seattle, there was a beautiful young duchess named Kimberly Morrison, and a handsome young duke named Jesse Lortz.
Both grew up to be talented musicians, and in the year 2002, the duchess and the duke found themselves in the band The Flying Dutchmen, with Jesse playing the guitar and Kimberly (now a dutchess with a "t" ) playing the organ. After a month-long European tour, however, the band broke up, and the dutchess and the duke were separated; Kimberly went on to play in the bands Intelligence, The Fallouts, and The Unnatural Helpers, while Jesse performed with the Fe Fi Fo Fums.
Yet several years later, a mutual love for American folk and pop singing and songwriting reunited them, and in 2007, the pair released a CD titled She's the Dutchess, He's the Duke. Upon its release, the clouds began to part, the birds began to sing, and the reviewers began to genuflect; Soundcheck Magazine raved about "songs that are full of comfortable harmonies and vibrant melodies," while the online Victim of Time extolled the "delicate layers of heart-meltingly harmonized vocals."
On July 18, 2008, the Duchess and the Duke - content with a successful record and a Web site at (http://www.myspace.com/thedutchessandtheduke) - were booked by Daytrotter for a concert at Rock Island, Illinois' Huckleberry's restaurant alongside The Prairie Spies. The event was subsequently featured in the What's Happenin' pages of the River Cities' Reader, and from that moment on, the Dutchess & the Duke lived Happily Ever After. - Mike Schulz
Harrison Hilltop Theatre
Thursday, July 17, through Saturday, July 26
After presenting their company's debut with the June production of Proof at Rock Island's Green Room, Tristan Tapscott and Chris Walljasper - founders of the new Harrison Hilltop Theatre - move into their home venue with the romantic comedy Almost, Maine, which will find its actors wearing parkas, woolly caps, and mittens. In July.
I'm assuming that Tapscott and Walljasper went with "Harrison Hilltop Theatre" because "Theatre of Cruelty" was already taken.
Director Walljasper's cast is young, though, so they can probably take it. Almost, Maine is a series of sweetly funny vignettes involving nearly 20 eccentrics in a rural - and really, really cold - Northeastern town. And if you've attended an area show recently, you'll likely find someone you recognize in it, as Maine's acting sextet features James Bleeker (the Green Room's Jerry Finnegan's Sister and A Year with Frog & Toad), Jaci Entwisle (the Prenzie Players' Life's a Dream and the Riverbend Theatre Collective's Kimberly Akimbo), Annie Shortridge (Countryside Community Theatre's The Sound of Music), Jessica Stratton (St. Ambrose University's God's Favorite), and J.W. Hertner and Daniel Schaub (both of Scott Community College's Richard Blaine and Design for Living).
John Cariani's play was praised by CurtainUp magazine for its "wistful charm, quirky humor, and bracing sense of hopefulness," although personally, I'm hopeful that Almost, Maine marks the last time we'll see anyone in the area wearing parkas, wooly caps, and mittens 'til well into 2009. Whaddaya think the odds are?
The Harrison Hilltop Theatre is located at 1601 Harrison Street in Davenport, and more information on Almost, Maine is available at (http://www.harrisonhilltop.com). - Mike Schulz
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