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What's Happenin': July 30 - August 5 PDF Print E-mail
Lifestyle - Noteworthy Events
Written by Mike Schulz and Marguerite Day   
Wednesday, 30 July 2008 02:05

Blind Melon

The Redstone Room

Wednesday, July 30, 8:30 p.m.


Blind Melon Blind Melon is back and ripe for the pickin'. After performing a sold-out show in March, the band is returning to the Redstone Room on July 30 with a new full-length album, For My Friends, and will also be playing some of the old classics, such as "Galaxie" and "Three Is a Magic Number."

The group was a popular alternative rock band in the '90s that released such hits as "Tones of Home" and "Change," and its smash-hit song "No Rain" solidified Blind Melon's success. But the band took a seven-year break after the death of Shannon Hoon, reuniting in 2006 after finding Travis Warren to replace Hoon as the band's lead vocalist, and according to the Metromix Denver Web site, Warren "can evoke Hoon's folksy delivery, as he does nicely on the lonesome title track, or he can go into full frontman mode."

The online site Monsters & Critics adds that Blind Melon fans won't be disappointed with For My Friends: "The lyrics are smart and interesting; there are sad songs and fun songs but all are well-written. ... The melodies are unique and stick with that original feel-good Blind Melon vibe."

Blind Melon will share the stage with The Steepwater Band - a rock 'n' roll group based out of Chicago - and tickets for the concert are $20, and can be purchased through the Redstone Room's Web site at ( More information on Blind Melon can be found at ( - Marguerite Day



Games Around the World: China

Family Museum Valley Fairgrounds

Saturday, August 2, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.


China Okay, so you weren't quite able to afford that trip to Beijing for the 2008 Summer Olympics. Join the club.

Happily, though, the Family Museum will be bringing games of China to us, in the first of the Bettendorf venue's year-long "Games Around the World" series. Beginning August 2, the museum will offer a monthly celebration of the pastimes from foreign cultures (future stops on this world tour include Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and South America), and this Saturday's event invites families to participate in numerous Chinese-themed activities, including interactive group games, the creation of dragon masks, and the inevitable rounds of Chinese checkers.


But why wait until the weekend to begin amassing some knowledge? Of the following, which cannot be said about China?


1) It's the world's largest producer of apples.

2) It's the world's largest producer of tomatoes.

3) It's the world's second-largest fast-food market.

4) It produces roughly 19 percent of the world's corn.

5) It produces roughly 70 percent of the world's silk.

6) It played a role in the 1989 movie Traveling Man.

7) It played a role in the 2005 movie About Love.

8) It annexed Tibet in 1950.


For more on the "Games Around the World" series, visit ( - Mike Schulz



Answer: 6. That one can be attributed to Chynna Phillips, of the pop band Wilson Phillips. The Reader's What's Happenin' pages, folks! Educational and topical!




Clinton Area Showboat Theatre

Thursday, July 31, through Sunday, August 17


Chicago "So I get home after a hard day's work, and I tell my husband, Walter, that it's time to go to the theatre. And he says, ‘I ain't goin' to no theatre.' So I says, ‘But Walter, it's the Clinton Area Showboat Theatre, and you've been promisin' we'd go all summer.' And he says, ‘I don't remember sayin' that.' So I says, ‘You did, 'cause I told you they was doin' the musical Chicago, and it's one of my favorite shows ever, and you promised you'd take me.' And he says, ‘Well, I ain't goin'.' So I says, ‘But it's that '20s musical about those murderesses who get famous, and it won all those Tonys, and it won all those Oscars for that movie with Richard Gere.' And he says, ‘I don't know what you're talkin' about.' So I says, ‘And it's got all those great songs like "All That Jazz" and "We Both Reached for the Gun" and "Mr. Cellophane," and that "Cell Block Tango" that you made me rewind over and over.' And he says, ‘Oh yeah, I liked that one.' So I says, ‘So can we go?' And he says, ‘Not in a million years.' And then he goes to get another beer."

"And then what happened?"

"And then he ran into my knife. He ran into my knife 10 times."

"Well, then. He had it comin'."


Chicago plays at the Clinton Area Showboat Theatre from July 31 through August 17, and tickets are available by visiting ( - Mike Schulz




The Green Room

Friday, August 1, through Sunday, August 10


David Turley and Melissa Anderson Clark in Assassins Eight weeks ago, the Timber Lake Playhouse presented the legendary West Side Story, with its lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. Three weeks ago, the Clinton Showboat presented Sondheim's meat-pie masterpiece Sweeney Todd. And this weekend, Rock Island's Green Room presents Sondheim's subversive, Tony-winning musical Assassins.

As one of the many, many worshippers at the altar of this famed composer, can I take a moment to giggle with delight at this summer's (relative) onslaught of Sondheim titles?

Hee hee hee hee hee hee!

Thanks. All better now.

Assassins is a disturbing, funny, thought-provoking exploration of those who've been moved to shoot presidents of the United States, and the Green Room's cast features some of area theatre's most admired talents portraying some of our country's most notorious figures, among them Lou Hare as John Wilkes Booth, Ryan Westwood as Lee Harvey Oswald, Melissa Anderson Clark as "Squeaky" Fromme, Jackie Madunic as Sara Jane Moore, Eddie Staver III as Sam Byck, Mark Ruebling as Charles Guiteau, and Michael Callahan as Giuseppe Zangara.

It should make for fascinatingly unconventional musical theatre, but if I may offer a word of warning: Be extra sure that your cell phones and pagers are silenced. If one goes off during this show, there's no telling just how Method this cast is likely to get.

More information on Assassins, running through August 10, is available at ( - Mike Schulz



Acting Smart

Helpful Tips on Appearing More Intelligent Than You Actually Are


The Chicago Klezmer Ensemble On July 31, the Moline Public Library will present a concert by the Chicago Klezmer Ensemble, an acclaimed Windy City quintet known for its lively performances and unique musical arrangements. If you hear friends talking about Thursday's event and want to add to the dialogue, here are five ways to do so without appearing hopelessly out-of-touch:

1) Know what klezmer is: Klezmer is a genre of traditional instrumental Jewish folk music originating in eastern Europe, generally performed by a small number of musicians, and generally performed at weddings and other celebrations.

2) Know the group's history: Founded in 1984, the Chicago Klezmer Ensemble has played concerts and festivals throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe, has shared a stage with legendary violinist Itzhak Perlman, and just returned from mid-July engagements in Germany and the Netherlands.

3) Know the group's performers: The ensemble is composed of Eve Monzingo (piano, clarinet, and the hammered dulcimer known as the tsimbl), Liz Johnson and Josh Huppert (both on violin), Al Ahrich (double bass), and group leader Kurt Bjorling (clarinet and tsimbl).

4) Know the group's accolades: Reviewing a hometown concert, the Chicago Tribune stated, "This quintet addressed dance rhythms with unmistakable verve, traditional wedding music with palpable joy," and added that the ensemble "argued persuasively for klezmer as an art music worthy of scholarly performance and serious listening."

5) Know how to use "klezmer" in a sentence: Tell your friends "I enjoy the klezmer dance of the freylekh a little more than the csárdas and the sírba, but I love the kolomeike and the terkish, and I'm just mad for the skotshne." Then smile, walk away, and chuckle while they run off to find a dictionary.


For more information on the 6:30 p.m. Chicago Klezmer Ensemble performance, visit ( - Mike Schulz


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