What's Happenin': Thursday, June 21, through Wednesday, July 4 Print
Lifestyle - Noteworthy Events
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 19 June 2012 06:00



The District Theatre

Friday, June 29, through Saturday, July 14


In the new musical at Rock Island’s District Theatre, California chalk artist Sonny Malone finds himself frustrated with the design for his latest sidewalk mural, and plans to commit suicide. Viewing his distress from Mount Olympus, the muse Clio decides to travel to Earth to cheer him up, disguised as an Australian roller-skater in leg warmers. Upon meeting Clio, Sonny is inspired to open a lavish roller disco, an idea that doesn’t sit well with Clio’s evil sisters Melpomene and Calliope. Eventually, a retired-clarinetist-turned-real-estate-broker gets involved, and then the winged horse Pegasus, and then Zeus ... and if you think this sounds like the stupidest storyline ever conceived for a stage production, I couldn’t agree more.

Race you for tickets.

The stupidity, you see, is absolutely intentional. Based on the notoriously awful 1980 movie musical that starred Olivia Newton-John and Gene Kelly, Xanadu is the brainchild of book-writer Douglas Carter Beane and composers/lyricists John Farrar and (the Electric Light Orchestra’s) Jeff Lynne, who must have sensed something of genius – or at least camp perfection – in that big-screen atrocity. A tongue-in-cheek ode to 1980s tackiness, their Xanadu laughs at the ridiculousness of its own narrative while also celebrating the breezy pop delights of the period, expressed through such guilty-pleasure hits as “Magic,” “Evil Woman,” “Suddenly,” “Have You Never Been Mellow,” and, of course, the über-catchy title track.

Xanadu was nominated for four 2008 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, and its area production will feature popular area performers Jenny Winn and Bryan Tank as the bubble-headed romantic leads who frequently croon on skates. Yet if all that isn’t enough to get you in the District Theatre doors, maybe these quotes will help. The New York Times called Xanadu “simultaneously indefensible and irresistible” and praised its “sharp good humor and magnetic high spirits.” The New Yorker described the original production as “probably the most fun you’ll have on Broadway this season,” a show that “points out just how tame most other musicals are.” And as Calliope herself says in Beane’s script, “This is like children’s theatre for 40-year-old gay people!” I’m not sure I’d put that last one on a poster, but honesty in the arts is always refreshing, yes?

Xanadu runs June 29 through July 14, and information and tickets are available by calling (309)235-1654 or visiting DistrictTheatre.com.



Tinsley EllisMusic

Tinsley Ellis

The Redstone Room

Monday, July 2, 7:30 p.m.


It’s entirely possible that, on July 2, area blues fans will find themselves experiencing symptoms of withdrawal, knowing it’ll be a year before the next Mississippi Valley Blues Festival. Davenport’s Redstone Room, however, will offer a Monday-night respite from the gloom with a special performance by hard-rocking blues guitarist/vocalist Tinsley Ellis, who has performed in all 50 states, has shared stages with the likes of Stevie Ray Vaughan, the Allman Brothers, and Koko Taylor, and has emerged as one of our country’s most acclaimed blues musicians.

How acclaimed? Glad you asked!

Rolling Stone wrote that Ellis’ “eloquence dazzles,” and “he achieves pyrotechnics that rival early Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton.”

Blues Revue raved, “Ellis’ vocals are expressive and often stirring.”

The Village Voice called him “raw and righteous, funky and strong.”

The Associated Press praised Ellis’ “powerful Southern-flavored blues rock,” his “fiery guitar attack,” and his “vocals inflused with a menacing weight.”

The Chicago Tribune stated, “Ellis takes classic, Southern-blues-rock workouts and jolts them to new life with a torrid axe barrage.”

The Los Angeles Times opined, “Ellis unleashes a torrent of dazzling musicianship pitched somewhere between the exhilarating volatility of rock-and-roll and the melancholic passion of urban blues.”

And the Chicago Sun-Times said, “It’s hard to overstate the raw power of his music.”

Yes. But given 200-ish words, I sure gave it a try!

Tickets to Tinsley Ellis’ Redstone Room concert are $12 in advance and $15 at the door, and can be reserved by calling (563)326-1333 or visiting RiverMusicExperience.org.





Adler Theatre

Tuesday, July 3, 7:30 p.m.


My darling,


I know you think I’m just a kid – only 13 – and you’re an old maid. But I can’t stand it. I’m the man who loves you, and I’ll hate it here if you leave me (like you found me). Let’s not get carried away.

You’re probably thinking I must be high, that I should’ve been in love with some promising, blue-eyed soul who’d be my shot in the arm and my everlasting everything. And it dawned on me that maybe, deeper down, you’re feeling burned, and misunderstood, and on and on and on. At least that’s what you said.

Either way, why would you wanna forget the flowers, and the box full of letters, and that one Sunday morning at the Hotel Arizona in Capitol City, when you were red-eyed and blue and I showed you how to fight loneliness when you wake up feeling old? Should I be glad it’s over? Is this the thanks I get?

However, I shall be released, and nothing’severgoonastandinmyway(again). Instead of standing at my window sad and lonely, I’m going to the July 3 Wilco concert at the Adler Theatre without you, and am gonna listen to the Grammy-winning alternative rockers sing of spiders and a hummingbird and things to make me feel childlike and evergreen. I’ll fight my pain by hearing someone else’s song, and find that whole love I might have lost.

Please be patient with me, though. I know it’s wishful thinking, but you never know ... sometimes it happens. You say we’re just friends, but someday soon, we might be too far apart – far, far away – and you’ll realize I’m always in love with you. We shouldn’t be ashamed. So let me know if you wanna join me for that Wilco concert, and don’t worry about the ticket prices – they’re less than you think.


Awaiting your comment,


The lonely 1,


Sonny Feeling



For tickets to Wilco’s July 3 performance at the Adler Theatre – and the chance to hear some of the 50-odd aforementioned songs in the band’s catalog – call (800)745-3000 or visit AdlerTheatre.com.



Papa RoachMusic

Rock the District with Papa Roach

The District of Rock Island

Saturday, June 30, 7 p.m.


Appearing as headliners for June 30’s Rock the District festival in the District of Rock Island are the rock and metal artists of Papa Roach. And it’s a done deal that when the famed musicians perform at this annual outdoor party, a healthy bunch of partygoers will be singing right along with them.

How do I know this? Well, to start with, Papa Roach has a few fans. Like a few million of them. Since the release of their major-label debut – 2000’s triple-platinum Infest – band members Jacoby Shaddix, Jerry Horton, Tobin Esperance, and Tony Palermo have scored further hard-rock successes with such hit CDs as 2002’s Lovehatetragedy, 2009’s Metamorphosis, and 2010’s Time for Annihilation. They’ve been nominated for two Grammy Awards and an MTV Video Music Award, and have headlined concerts and festivals both national and international. Their songs have been heard in entertainments as diverse as the Queen of the Damned movie and the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3 video game.

But the main reason that Papa Roach’s District gig will have so many fans singing along? They’ll all have prepped for the concert with this quiz, of course! Trying matching the lyrics with the proper Papa Roach song in this puzzler courtesy of FunTrivia.com:


1) “Take these memories that are haunting me, of a paper man cut into shreds ... ”

A) “Forever”

B) “Getting Away with Murder”

C) “Scars”


2) “Fighting all the time, this is out of line ... ”

A) “Burn”

B) “Time Is Running Out”

C) “She Loves Me Not”


3) “I’m drowning in pain, breaking down again ... ”

A) “Lifeline”

B) “Dead Cell”

C) “Lifeline”


4) “Take my money, take my possessions, take my obsession ... ”

A) “Be Free”

B) “Between Angels & Insects”

C) “Done with You”


5) “You can give me your hand, you can make your demands ... ”

A) “She Loves Me Not”

B) “Last Resort”

C) “I Almost Told You That I Loved You”


Papa Roach plays Saturday’s Rock the District concert with opening sets by Art of Dying, In This Moment, and Three Years Hollow, and information is available by calling (309)788-6311 or visiting RIDistrict.com.



Answers: 1 – A, 2 – C, 3 – A, 4 – B, 5 – C. The considered subtitle for that last song? “ ... but Then I Decided to Tattoo It on My Fist.”



What Else Is Happenin’... ?



Thursday, June 21Man in Black: The Music of Johnny Cash. Concert of Cash hits with touring and recording artist Robert Shaw and his Lonely Street Band. Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse (1828 Third Avenue, Rock Island). 11:45 a.m. doors, noon plated lunch, 1 p.m. concert – $41.28; 6 p.m. doors, 7 p.m. concert – $25-30. For tickets and information, call (309)786-7733 extension 2 or visit Circa21.com.

Friday, June 22 – The Pines. Indie, rock, and Americana musicians in concert, with opening sets by Busted Chandeliers and Lojo Russo. The Redstone Room (129 Main Street, Davenport). 7:30 p.m. $12. For tickets and information, call (563)326-1333 or visit RiverMusicExperience.org.

Friday, June 22 – The Temptations. Famed touring musicians perform such Motown hits as “My Girl” and “Since I Lost My Baby.” Quad-Cities Waterfront Convention Center (1777 Isle Parkway, Bettendorf). 7:30 p.m. $25-35. For information, call (800)724-5825 or visit Bettendorf.IsleOfCapriCasinos.com.

Saturday, June 23 – The Oak Ridge Boys. Country-music superstars in concert. Adler Theatre (136 East Third Street, Davenport). 7:30 p.m. $23.50-37.50. For tickets, call (800)745-3000 or visit AdlerTheatre.com.

Saturday, June 23 – Denny & the DC Drifters. Concert featuring the music of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and the Big Bopper. Ohnward Fine Arts Center (1215 East Platt Street, Maquoketa). 7 p.m. $13-25. For tickets and information, call (563)652-9815 or visit OhnwardFineArtsCenter.com.

Saturday, June 23 – The Scarred. Punk-rock musicians in concert, with openers Violent Affair and As You Were. The Redstone Room (129 Main Street, Davenport). 7 p.m. $10. For tickets and information, call (563)326-1333 or visit RiverMusicExperience.org.

Saturday, June 23 – BritishMania. Internationally acclaimed Beatles tribute band in concert. Orpheum Theatre (57 South Kellogg Street, Galesburg). 7:30 p.m. $20-35. For tickets and information, call (309)342-2299 or visit TheOrpheum.org.

Sunday, June 24 – Lee Bains III & the Glory Files. Alabama-based independent musicians in an all-ages concert. Rozz-Tox (2108 Third Avenue, Rock Island). 7:30 p.m. $5. For information, e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit RozzTox.com.

Friday, June 29, through Sunday, July 1 – 2012 Mississippi Valley Blues Festival. Annual outdoor festival featuring blues concerts, workshops, and children’s activities. LeClaire Park (River Drive and Ripley Street, Davenport). $12.50-15. For tickets and information, call (563)322-5837 or visit MVBS.org.

Friday, June 29 – Black Cobra. Heavy-metal musicians in concert, with opening sets by Gaza, Dredge, and Helmsplitter. Rock Island Brewing Company (1815 Second Avenue, Rock Island). 8 p.m. $10. For information, call (309)793-4060 or visit RIBCO.com.

Friday, June 29 – Nick & the Ovorols. Blues and Americana musicians in concert, with an opening set by Jon Aanestad. River Music Experience (131 West Second Street, Davenport). 8 p.m. $5. For tickets and information, call (563)326-1333 or visit RiverMusicExperience.org.

Friday, June 29, through Sunday, July 1 – 2012 Iowa City Jazz Festival. Annual outdoor festival featuring performances by jazz headliners, musicians on the Local, College, and Youth stages, a Culinary Row, a children’s fun zone, an art fair, and more. Downtown Iowa City. Free admission. For information, call (319)337-7944 or visit SummerOfTheArts.org.



Thursday, June 21, through Saturday, June 30 – Working. Musical about people and their jobs, based on the Studs Terkel book. Timber Lake Playhouse (8215 Black Oak Road, Mt. Carroll). Tuesday-Saturday 7:30 p.m., Wednesday and Sunday 2 p.m., June 9 at 2 p.m. $15-23. For tickets and information, call (815)244-2035 or visit TimberLakePlayhouse.org.

Friday, June 22, through Saturday, June 30The King & I. Countryside Community Theatre’s production of the classic Rodgers & Hammerstein musical, directed by David Turley. North Scott High School Fine Arts Auditorium (200 South First Street, Eldridge). Thursday-Saturday 7:30 p.m., Sunday 2 p.m. $7-14. For tickets and information, call (563)285-6228 or visit CCTOnStage.org.

Friday, June 22, through Saturday, July 7 – The Merchant of Venice. Shakespeare’s enchanted comic romance, performed in repertory with As You Like It. Riverside Theatre Festival Stage – Lower City Park (corner of Dubuque Street and Park Road, Iowa City). Scheduled performances Tuesday-Sunday. $17-39. For tickets and information, call (319)338-7672 or visit RiversideTheatre.org.

Saturday, June 23, through Sunday, July 1 – Measure for Measure. Genesius Guild’s presentation of William Shakespeare’s classic. Lincoln Park (11th Avenue and 38th Street, Rock Island). 8 p.m. Donations encouraged. For information, e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit Genesius.org.

Thursday, June 28, through Sunday, July 15 – Bye Bye Birdie. Musical classic about a rock-and-roll star inducted into the Army. Clinton Area Showboat Theatre (311 Riverview Drive, Clinton). Thursday-Saturday 7:30 p.m., Wednesday and Sunday 3 p.m. $16-23. For tickets and information, call (563)242-6760 or visit ClintonShowboat.org.

Friday, June 29, through Sunday, July 1 – Love, Loss, & What I Wore. New Ground Theatre’s reader-theatre presentation of vignettes by Nora and Delia Ephron, a fundraiser for Dress for Success QC. Village Theatre (2113 East 11th Street, Davenport). Friday and Saturday 7:30 p.m., Sunday 2 p.m. $25-30. For tickets and information, call (563)326-7529 or visit NewGroundTheatre.org.

Saturday, June 30, through Saturday, July 21 – The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley. One-act musical based on the popular children’s books, directed by Kimberly Furness. Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse (1828 Third Avenue, Rock Island). Scheduled 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. performances Tuesdays through Saturdays. $8.50. For tickets and information, call (309)786-7733 extension 2 or visit Circa21.com.



Thursday, June 28, through Saturday, June 30 – David R. Collins Writers Conference. Daily workshops on the topics “Storytelling & the Art of Memoir,” “Literary Collage: The Fifth Genre,” “Poetry: Freedom Via Constraint,” “Very Short Fiction,” and “The Art & Craft of the Novel,” led by Erin Bertram, Thomas Dean, Leslie Jamison, and Christiana Louisa Langenberg. St. Ambrose University (518 West Locust Street, Davenport). $65-75 single workshops; $200-225 full-conference tuition. For information and to register, call (563)324-1410 or visit MidwestWritingCenter.org.



Friday, June 22, and Saturday, June 23 – Royal Ball for All and Royal Ball Run. Fundraisers for the Quad City Autism Center, with royally themed games, activities, and food on Friday, and a 5K race and quarter-mile fun run on Saturday. Milan Community Center (2701 First Street East, Milan). Friday 5 p.m., free admission; Saturday 7:30 a.m. 5K, $25-30 registration, and 8:30 a.m. fun run, $15 registration. For information, call (309)781-0815 or visit RoyalBallRun.com.

Saturday, June 23 – Juneteenth Festival. Annual celebration of African-American culture, featuring live music with Smooth Groove at 6 p.m., dance, historical presentations, children’s activities, information booths, and more. LeClaire Park (River Drive and Ripley Street, Davenport). 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Free admission. For information, call (563)322-7363 or visit QCJuneteenth.com.

Sunday, June 24 – Blossoms at Butterworth. Annual garden party featuring vintage antique cars; lawn games of the 1800s; live music by Jed Poust, the Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Youth Band, Selma Johnson, and Jeff Smallwood; guided bus tours; tours of historic homes; refreshments; and more. Deere-Wiman House and Butterworth Center. (1105 Eighth Street, Moline). Noon-5 p.m. Free admission. For information, call (309)743-2701 or visit ButterworthCenter.com.

Sunday, June 24 – Jewish Feast-ival. Annual event featuring musical headliner Hawkeye Herman, food, children’s activities, cultural and historical exploration, and more. Tri-City Jewish Center (2715 30th Street, Rock Island). 11 a.m.-7 p.m. $2, ages 12 and under free. For information, call (309)788-3426 or visit TriCityJewishCenter.org.

Friday, June 29, and Saturday, June 30 – Bottoms Up Quad City Burlesque Goes to Broadway. Provocative dance and comedy in a celebration of the Great White Way. Circa ’21 Speakeasy (1818 Third Avenue, Rock Island). 8 p.m. $15-18. For tickets and information, call (309)786-7733 extension 2 or visit Circa21.com.

Tuesday, July 3 – Red, White, & Boom! Annual Fourth of July celebration featuring live performances, activities, food, drinks, and a climactic fireworks show, held in Rock Island’s Schwiebert Park and Davenport’s Modern Woodmen Park and LeClaire Park. 6-10:30 p.m. Free admission. For information, visit Sites.Google.com/site/redwhiteboom.

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