What's Happenin': Tuesday, June 7, through Wednesday, June 22 Print
Lifestyle - Noteworthy Events
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 07 June 2011 06:00

Yo La TengoMusic

Yo La Tengo

Englert Theatre

Tuesday, June 21, 8 p.m.


The experimental alternative rockers of Yo La Tengo perform a concert at Iowa City’s Englert Theatre on June 21, and the All Music Guide has described the group as “the quintessential critics’ band.” I’m assuming that’s all the motivation you need to purchase tickets, as personal experience has proven that the public always agrees with the critics.

Whenever you’re done laughing, I’ll continue.

Composed, since 1992, of guitarist/pianist/vocalist Ira Kaplan, drummer/pianist/vocalist Georgia Hubley (Kaplan’s wife), and bassist/vocalist James McNew, Yo La Tengo has secured itself a unique place in music history. Performing everything from roaring art rock and jangling pop songs to electronic soundscapes and hushed lullabies, the group – which originated in Hoboken, New Jersey, in 1984 – has spent almost three decades remaining steadfastly impossible to categorize. Acclaimed for its original compositions and its wildly eclectic repertoire of cover songs, Yo La Tengo has garnered both mainstream success and a huge cult following, and in recent years, has also written the musical scores for a number of independent cinema’s most lauded titles. (Four of which are proud inclusions in my own DVD cabinet: Adventureland, Junebug, Old Joy, and Shortbus.)

No less a periodical than Rolling Stone has written of the musicians: “Incorporating everything from cocktail jazz to psychedelic noise freakouts to gorgeous acoustic tunes into their albums, Yo La Tengo have been one of the most restless and most consistently good bands of the past 25 years.” But if you take critics’ words with a grain of salt – as, apparently, a few of you do – feel free to check out the group’s output yourselves, as Yo La Tengo’s notable output includes 2009’s Popular Songs (the band’s highest-charting CD release to date), 2003’s Summer Sun, and 2006’s I Am Not Afraid of You & I Will Beat Your Ass. Which was exactly what I was going to title my forthcoming autobiography ... until I remembered I’m afraid of everyone and can’t kick anyone’s ass.

Yo La Tengo’s Iowa City concert will be preceded by a set with the indie rockers of Jonny, tickets are $25, and more information and reservations are available by calling (319)688-2653 or visiting Englert.org.



The Art of Seating: 200 Years of American Chair DesignExhibit

The Art of Seating: 200 Years of American Chair Design

Figge Art Museum

Saturday, June 11, through Sunday, September 4


According to the venue’s Web site, the newest exhibition at the Figge Art Museum “offers a fascinating historical survey of artistic, technical, and engineering developments in American decorative styles” and is called The Art of Seating: 200 Years of American Chair Design. I guess my write-in suggestion for the exhibit’s title, When Art Meets Butt, was deemed too pithy.

Yet whatever its moniker, this collection of more than 40 distinctive pieces from the Jacobsen American Chair Collection will surely provide plenty of insight into the art behind craftsmanship. With Davenport’s Figge the first museum to host the exhibition on its scheduled national tour, visitors will, from June 11 through September 4, be treated to examples of the finest in 19th and 20th Century chair design, with portions of the exhibit highlighting trends in Victorian design, the Viennese Secession movement, and American mass production. The chairs will be presented in historical context through multimedia displays that include patent drawings, documented upholstery, and period photographs, and will showcase the artistic skills of such renowned architects and designers as Charles & Ray Eames, Harry Bertoia, and even Frank Lloyd Wright.

The Art of Seating: 200 Years of American Chair DesignAlthough, as you may have guessed, you won’t be able to plunk your fannies down on any of the exhibit’s works, you are invited to take part in one of several art talks being held in conjunction with The Art of Seating, including Owen S. Rogal’s “When on My Couch I Lie ... ” discussion on June 30 and Mark Holmes’ July 14 talk, “Chairs: Sitting at the Intersection of Body & Architecture.” And while you can’t touch, you can certainly marvel at the creativity and ingenuity on display, from the ornate formality of the Oriental Peacock Lady’s Reception Chair to the ergonomic perfection of what Time magazine called the “Chair of the Century” – the LCW “Potato Chip” Lounge Chair. I’d love to think that its official advertising slogan was “You can’t seat just one.”

For more information of The Art of Seating: 200 Years of American Chair Design, call (563)326-7804 or visit FiggeArt.org.



Countryside Community Theatre presents GypsyTheatre

Hairspray, Gypsy, and Same Time, Next Year

Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse, North Scott High School, and the District Theatre


Our area’s summer-theatre season is only a couple of weeks old, and man, are the big guns coming out early. Over a nine-day period, the Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse will open the musical-comedy über-smash Hairspray, the Countryside Community Theatre will stage Stephen Sondheim’s and Arthur Laurents’ legendary Gypsy, and the Harrison Hilltop Theatre company  will premiere Bernard Slade’s much-loved comedic drama Same Time, Next Year. Just how popular are these shows? Collectively, and including Gypsy’s revivals, the three titles played 6,176 Broadway performances ... and that’s with Same Time, Next Year “only” playing 1,453 performances, and playing in New York for a “mere” three and a half years.

Running June 9 through 25 at the Hilltop’s new Rock Island venue, the District Theatre (located at 1611 Second Avenue, site of the former Brew & View and Green Room Theatre), Same Time, Next Year concerns the romance-through-the-decades relationship between the happily married George and Doris ... with the caveat being that George and Doris are happily married to others. Following these faithful yet adulterous lovers from the early-’50s to the mid-’70s, this long-running, critically acclaimed hit was adapted into 1978’s multiple Oscar nominee starring Ellen Burstyn and Alan Alda, and will feature frequent Hilltop performers Cari Downing and Adam Michael Lewis in the leading – and only – roles.

the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse presents HairsprayThere’s also plenty of romance on hand in Circa ’21’s Hairspray, that high-spirited celebration of the early ’60s that runs in the Rock Island venue June 15 through August 13. Romance and, you know, a leading actor in drag. With its cast led by venue favorites John Payonk as the big-hearted mama Edna Turnblad and Tom Walljasper as her(/his) devoted husband Wilbur, this exuberant, infectious musical powerhouse is making its long-awaited Circa ’21 debut, and is certain to rock audiences with an unforgettable pop score featuring such show-stoppers as “Good Morning, Baltimore,” “Welcome to the ’60s,” and “You Can’t Stop the Beat.”

Meanwhile, show-stoppers don’t get much bigger than “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” and “Rose’s Turn,” timeless tunes that popular area performer Christina Myatt will soon be belting out in Countryside’s presentation of Gypsy, running at Eldridge’s North Scott High School June 17 through 26. This classic musical based on the memoirs of famous striptease artist Gypsy Rose Lee has, since its 1959 debut, endured as one of American theatre’s most deservedly renowned works, with the New York Times’ Frank Rich going so far as to write, “Gypsy is nothing if not Broadway’s own brassy, unlikely answer to King Lear.” Damn.

the Harrison Hilltop Theatre presents Same Time, Next YearIn addition to wowing critics, selling out Broadway houses, and inspiring hit movies, Hairspray, Gypsy, and Same Time, Next Year can also lay claim to another collective victory, or rather, victories: a whopping 42 Tony Award nominations and 15 wins between them. In honor of this year’s awards ceremony, taking place on June 12, let’s see how well you fare at some Tony trivia: Which of the following awards were won by which title? (And yes, some categories will have more than one correct answer.)


1) Musical

2) Leading Actor in a Musical

3) Leading Actress in a Musical

4) Featured Actor in a Musical

5) Featured Actress in a Musical

6) Direction of a Musical

7) Book of a Musical

8) Leading Actress in a Play


A) Gypsy

B) Hairspray

C) Same Time, Next Year


For tickets to Hairspray, call (309)786-7733, extension 2 or visit Circa21.com.

For tickets to Gypsy, call (563)285-6228 or visit CCTOnStage.org.

For tickets to Same Time, Next Year, call (309)235-1654 or visit HarrisonHilltop.com.



Answers: 1 – B; 2 – B; 3 – A and B, with three separate Gypsy actresses (Angela Lansbury, Tyne Daly, and Patti LuPone) winning; 4 – A and B; 5 – A; 6 – B; 7 – B; 8 – C. If any of you missed that last one, I’m deeply, deeply ashamed.


What Else Is Happenin’...?



Thursday, June 9 – The Baseball Project. Baseball-song super-group led by Steve Wynn and Scott McCaughey, plus an opening set by Kerry Tucker. Rock Island Brewing Company (1815 Second Avenue, Rock Island). 8 p.m. $10-15. For information, call (309)793-4060 or visit RIBCO.com. For an interview with McCaughey, visit RCReader.com/y/baseballproject.

Friday, June 10 – Hank & My Honky Tonk Heroes. Jason Petty’s musical tribute to Hank Williams and other country-music legends. Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse (1828 Third Avenue, Rock Island). 1 and 7:15 p.m. $41.18-47.43. For tickets and information, call (309)786-7733 extension 2 or visit Circa21.com.

Saturday, June 11 – John McCutcheon. Acclaimed folk singer and multi-instrumentalist in concert. Englert Theatre (221 East Washington Street, Iowa City). 8 p.m. $20. For tickets and information, call (319)688-2653 or visit Englert.org.

Sunday, June 12 – West Music Parking Lot Jam. Seventh-annual outdoor concert celebrating the musical partnerships between West Music teachers, students, and local musicians. West Music Quad Cities (4305 44th Avenue, Moline). 3 p.m. Free admission. For information, call (309)764-9300 or visit WestMusic.com.

Sunday, June 12 – Out of the Ordinary. Fundraising concert with members and alumni of the professional vocal ensemble the Nova Singers. First Lutheran Church (1600 20th Street, Rock Island). 6:30 p.m. $10-15, students free. For tickets and information, call (309)341-7038 or e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Thursday, June 16 – Crystal Gayle. Grammy Award-winning country-music star in concert. Quad-Cities Waterfront Convention Center. (1777 Isle Parkway, Bettendorf). 7:30 p.m. $15-20. For tickets and information, call (800)724-5825 or visit Bettendorf.IsleOfCapriCasinos.com.

Friday, June 17 – Divapalooza. Concert performances from the repertoires of Aretha Franklin, Janis Joplin, and Bette Midler. Ohnward Fine Arts Center (1215 East Platt Street, Maquoketa). 7 p.m. $10-20. For tickets and information, call (563)652-9815 or visit OhnwardFineArtsCenter.com.

Saturday, June 18 – John Prine. Legendary singer/songwriter in concert, with special guest Iris DeMent. Adler Theatre (136 East Third Street, Davenport). 8 p.m. $39.50-59.50. For tickets, call (800)745-3000 or visit AdlerTheatre.com.

Saturday, June 18 – Huey Lewis & the News. Concert with the Grammy Award-winning, chart-topping pop rockers. Riverside Casino & Golf Resort (3184 Highway 22, Riverside). 8 p.m. $35-65. For tickets and information, call (877)677-3456 or visit RiversideCasinoAndResort.com.

Sunday, June 19 – Saalik Ziyad & Sarah Marie Young. Jazz vocalists perform and educate as part of Polyrhythms’ Third Sunday Jazz Matinée & Workshop Series. The Redstone Room (129 Main Street, Davenport). 3 p.m. all-ages jazz workshop: $5 per adult, children free. 6 p.m. concert: $10-15. For tickets and information, call (309)373-0790 or visit Polyrhythms.org and RedstoneRoom.com.

Wednesday, June 22 – Horse Feathers. Portland-based folk musicians in the “Intimate at the Englert” series. Englert Theatre (221 East Washington Street, Iowa City). 8 p.m. $10. For tickets and information, call (319)688-2653 or visit Englert.org.



Friday, June 10, through Sunday, June 19 – Cinderella. Quad City Music Guild’s production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s fairy-tale musical, directed by Bill Marsoun. Prospect Park Auditorium (1584 34th Avenue, Moline). Thursday-Saturday 7:30 p.m., Sunday 2 p.m. $10-15. For tickets and information, call (309)762-6610 and visit QCMusicGuild.com.

Thursday, June 16 - Unlikely Heroes: The True Stories of Three Jewish Women Spies. Elaine Rembrandt portrays Sarah Aaronsohn, Shulamit Cohen Kishik, and Marthe Cohn in a presentation by the Jewish Federation of the Quad Cities. Rock Island Public Library (401 19th Street, Rock Island). 6:30 p.m. Free admission. For information, call (309)793-1300 or visit JFQC.org.

Thursday, June 16, through Sunday, June 26 – High Fidelity. Musical adaptation of the 2000 John Cusack comedy. Clinton Area Showboat Theatre (311 Riverview Drive, Clinton). Thursday-Saturday 7:30 p.m., Sunday and Wednesday 3 p.m. $16-20. For tickets and information, call (563)242-6760 or visit ClintonShowboat.org.

Thursday, June 16, through Saturday, June 25 – Flight of the Lawnchair Man. Off-Broadway musical comedy about an eccentric balloon pilot. Timber Lake Playhouse (8215 Black Oak Road, Mt. Carroll). Tuesday-Saturday 7:30 p.m., Sunday 2 and 6:30 p.m. $15-23. For tickets and information, call (815)244-2035 or visit TimberLakePlayhouse.org.

Friday, June 17, through Sunday, July 10 – Ah, Wilderness! Eugene O’Neill’s classic comedy, running in repertory with The Two Gentlemen of Verona. Riverside Theatre Festival Stage – Lower City Park (corner of Dubuque Street and Park Road, Iowa City). 8 p.m. on June 17, 18, 29, and 30 and July 2, 5, and 8; 7 p.m. on June 19 and July 10. $17-39. For tickets and information, call (319)338-7672 or visit RiversideTheatre.org.

Friday, June 17, through Sunday, June 19 - West Side Story. High school juniors and seniors perform the City Circle Acting Company of Coralville's presentation of the classic musical. Englert Theatre (221 East Washington Street, Iowa City). Friday and Saturday 7:30 p.m., Sunday 2 p.m. $10-$20. For tickets and information, call (319_688-2653 or visit CityCircle.org.

Saturday, June 18, through Sunday, June 26 – The Taming of the Shrew. Genesius Guild’s presentation of William Shakespeare’s comedy/romance. Lincoln Park (11th Avenue and 38th Street, Rock Island). Saturday and Sunday 8 p.m. Donations encouraged. For information, visit Genesius.org.



Friday, June 10, through Sunday, June 12 – Ballet Under the Stars. Annual outdoor performance with the professional dancers of Ballet Quad Cities. Lincoln Park (11th Avenue and 38th Street, Rock Island). 8 p.m. Donations encouraged. For information, call (309)786-3779 or visit BalletQuadCities.com.



Thursday, June 9, through Saturday, June 11 – Miss Iowa & Miss Teen Scholarship Pageant. The official preliminaries to the Miss America pageant. Adler Theatre (136 East Third Street, Davenport). 7 p.m. $30-40. For tickets, call (800)745-3000 or visit AdlerTheatre.com.

Friday, June 10, and Saturday, June 11 – Gumbo Ya Ya. Annual celebration of Cajun culture, with bands performing on two outdoor stages, street vendors, and more. The District of Rock Island. Friday 5 p.m.-12:30 a.m., Saturday 4 p.m.-12:30 a.m. For information, call (309)788-6311 or visit GumboYaYaFestival.com.

Saturday, June 11 – Susan G. Komen Quad Cities Race for the Cure. Annual race and family walk/run, with proceeds benefiting breast-cancer research and education. i wireless Center (1201 River Drive, Moline). 7 a.m. program and warm-up, 8 a.m. races. $25-30 per adult, $15 for ages 12 and under; Sleep in for the Cure: $30. For information and to register, call (563)421-2873 or visit KomenQuadCities.org.

Wednesday, June 15, through Saturday, June 18 – 2011 Mississippi River Motorcycle Rally. Annual summertime event featuring a rod and custom show, live music, the Scooter Girls contest, vendors, demonstrations, and more. Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds (2815 West Locust Street, Davenport). Wednesday 5-10 p.m., Thursday noon-midnight, Friday and Saturday 10 a.m.-midnight. $10 daily. For information and tickets, call (800)563-5263 or visit SturgisOnTheRiver.com.

Friday, June 17, and Saturday, June 18 – Greek Cultural Festival. Tenth-annual celebration featuring live music and dance performances, children’s activities, cultural displays, authentic Greek food, and more. Assumption Greek Orthodox Church (4900 Kennedy Drive, East Moline). Friday 5-11 p.m., Saturday noon-11 p.m. $2 per person, $5 per family. For information, call (309)792-2912 or visit QCGreekFest.com.

Friday, June 17, and Saturday, June 18 – The Daiquiri Factory’s Seventh-Anniversary Party. Featuring giveaways and concerts with Hairbanger’s Ball on Friday, 4th & 20 on Saturday, and Sleepin’ on the Couch on both nights. The Daiquiri Factory (1809 Second Avenue, Rock Island). 7 p.m. $10. For information, call (309)283-1809 or visit DaiquiriFactory.com.

Friday, June 17, through Sunday, June 19 – Burlesque Le’ Moustache: Cabaret le Freak. The humorous and provocative stage show featuring comic skits, bawdy songs, striptease acts, and a scantily clad female chorus. The Circa ’21 Speakeasy (1818 Third Avenue, Rock Island). Friday and Saturday 8 p.m., Sunday 6 p.m. $15. For tickets and information, call (309)786-7733 extension 2 or visit Circa21.com. For a 2010 feature article on Burlesque Le’ Moustache, visit RCReader.com/y/burlesque.

Friday, June 17, through Sunday, June 19 – QC Anime-zing! Japanese-animation convention featuring anime showings, a cosplay masquerade, video-gaming, autograph-signings, vendors, an artist alley, and more. Davenport RiverCenter (136 East Third Street, Davenport). Friday noon-11 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m.-1 a.m., Sunday 10 a.m.-7 p.m. $38-45. For information, visit QCAnimezing.com.

Saturday, June 18, and Sunday, June 19 – Quad City Air Show. Twenty-fifth edition of the annual event with presentations, vendors, refreshments, and feats of aerial amazement. Davenport Municipal Airport (9010 North Harrison Street, Davenport). 8 a.m.-5 p.m. $6-20. For tickets and information, call (563)322-7469 or visit QuadCityAirShow.com.

Sunday, June 19 – Ride the River. River Action’s 27th-annual Father’s Day riding event on bicycle routes of between 20 and 60 miles, featuring a junior duathlon, vendors, and more. Begins at Davenport’s Freight House (421 West River Drive, Davenport). 6 a.m.-12:30 p.m. $10-15 registration. For information and to register, call (563)322-7433 or visit RiverAction.org.

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