What's Happenin': June 8 - June 21, 2010 Print
Lifestyle - Noteworthy Events
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 08 June 2010 06:00

DeRay DavisComedy

Laughter Relief

Adler Theatre

Friday, June 18, 8 p.m.


Feel like a laugh? Davenport's Adler Theatre knows you do, and the venue is planning to deliver wa-a-a-ay more than just one with its June 18 stand-up-comedy concert Laughter Relief - which, ironically enough, is exactly the phrase we Reader employees use to describe our weekly staff meetings.

Of course, in that situation, it's a relief from laughter.

But I digress. Serving as emcee is Detroit-based comedian Martini Harris, who will introduce Quad Cities audiences to the comedy stylings of two other Motor City stand-ups - CoCo and Cool-Aide. (Anyone else feeling thirsty?) And the event's headliner is film and television comic DeRay Davis, who last graced the Adler stage in 2008's DeRay's Comedy Campaign tour, and whose list of professional credits includes the TV series Entourage, My Wife & Kids, and Reno 911!, and the movies Scary Movie 4, License to Wed, and Imagine That.

Appreciated for his quick wit and riotous storytelling abilities, Davis is also becoming rather well known for playing a wide range of characters with disyllabic names. How well do you know them? Try matching Davis' disyllabic roles with the movies in which he appeared:


1) Bee Bee

2) E.J.

3) Junebug

4) Motown

5) Ray-Ray

6) Spooner

7) Sugar Bones


A) Barbershop

B) The Fog

C) Frankenhood

D) Get Him to the Greek

E) The Seat Filler

F) Semi-Pro

G) Who Made the Potatoe Salad?


Tickets to Laughter Relief are $25 to $35 and are available by calling (800)745-3000 or visiting AdlerTheatre.com.



Answers: 1 - F, 2 - E, 3 - C, 4 - C, 5 - A, 6 - B, 7 - D. And you're right, that last name isn't disyllabic. I just wanted to see how many times I could sneak the word "disyllabic" into one of these pieces. Answer: four!



Bryan J. Tank and Melissa Anderson Clark in Sunday in the Park with GeorgeTheatre

Sunday in the Park with George

Harrison Hilltop Theatre

Thursday, June 10, through Saturday, June 26


On June 10, the Quad Cities will see the premiere of a highly regarded, Tony-winning stage work boasting emotion, laughs, complicated relationships, and subtle meditations on the finer points of Art*. The work in question? Sunday in the Park with George, in which composer Stephen Sondheim and book writer James Lapine celebrate life, love, and creativity through a musical exploration of the artistic expression of pointillism.

And I know exactly what you're all thinking: "Oh, jeez, that old plot ... ?"

Seriously, though, perhaps only Sondheim could make something so universal out of so specific a subject, as audiences will likely glean when the Harrison Hilltop Theatre stages the master's modern classic through June 26.

Described as "audacious, haunting, and touching" by the New York Times, Sunday in the Park with George is a mostly fictionalized take on the life of noted painter Georges Seurat, detailing the man's fiery artistic temperament, his adoration for a loving woman named (appropriately) Dot, and the process of creating his famed pointillist masterpiece, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. And that's just the first act. In the second, which takes place a full century later, Seurat's grandson is dealing with an artistic crisis of his own, and ... .

Oh, but why spoil it? For a measure of the show's quality, you need only know that it's one of only eight musicals to ever receive the Pulitzer Prize for drama. As for the Harrison Hilltop's production, it boasts a cast featuring such venue veterans as James Bleecker, Sara Bourassa, Pamela Crouch, Wendy Czekalski, Angela Elliott, Mark and Linda Ruebling, and Paul Workman, with Quad City Music Guild favorites Bryan J. Tank and Melissa Anderson Clark taking on Sunday's romantic leads. In last summer's review of All Shook Up, I asked: "Is it totally inappropriate to suggest that Music Guild erect a statue of some kind in honor of Anderson Clark and Tank?" As of yet, no statue. So how about a life-sized theatrical painting instead?

For tickets to Sunday in the Park with George, call (563)449-6371 or visit HarrisonHilltop.com.


* There are actually two such stage works opening that day, with the other being the Curtainbox Theatre Company's production of Yasmina Reza's Art, running at the Village Theatre through June 27. As one of the show's cast members, though, I'm dissuaded from writing about it in the What's Happenin' section, so ... . Whoops.



Roddie RomeroEvent

Gumbo Ya Ya

The District of Rock Island

Friday, June 11 and Saturday, June 12


In the official press release for this year's Gumbo Ya Ya festival - our area's two-day, Mardi Gras-themed event taking place in the District of Rock Island - the mention of the cuisine options comes with this disclaimer: "If you don't like the Cajun flavors, traditional festival food will also be available."

To which I say: Thank you, Gumbo Ya Ya vendors! That just means more delicious gumbo, jambalaya, red beans & rice, étouffée, bourbon chicken, and barbecued pork, beef, and chicken for the rest of us!

Of course, beyond the food, there are quite a few other reasons to attend this annual celebration of Cajun culture. The District's French Quarter marketplace will feature a wide selection of handcrafted jewelry, artworks, clothing, and accessories, and chances are good that you'll be able to leave with at least a handful of Mardi Gras beads, as over half a ton of them will be thrown to crowds throughout the weekend.

Performing on two stages, the musicians lined up for Gumbo Ya Ya include some of the finest entertainers - with some of the most entertaining monikers - on either side of the Mason-Dixon line, among them Hurricane Gumbo, Gumbohead, the Funky Butt Brass Band, the RiverCity 6, Roddie Romero (pictured) and his Hub City All-Stars, the Stacy Mitchhart Band, the Backwater Bayou Band, Dikki Du & the Zydeco Krewe, and the recent winners of 2009's Iowa Blues Challenge, the Steady Rollin' Blues Band.

And I'm happy to report that my weekly radio-show compadres, Dave Levora and Darren Pitra, will once more be hosting the annual Rock 104.9 Crawfish Eating Contest, their motto for which - again, taken from the official press release - is "Pinch the tail, suck the head!"

God, my friends are classy.

For information on this sizzling Quad Cities tradition, call (309)788-6311 or visit GumboYaYaFestival.com.





Lincoln Park

Saturday, June 19, through Sunday, June 27


For Genesius Guild's annual masked presentation of a Greek tragedy, the venerable theatre organization has chosen to stage Euripides' post-Trojan War drama Andromache. And for those who've never before attended one of these productions, I can attest that despite their oftentimes dark and complex subject matter, the ones I've seen in Rock Island's Lincoln Park have been an awful lot of fun, mixing the traditional classicism (and feature-hidden performers) of ancient fare with the down-and-dirty nastiness of your favorite modern-day soap opera.

Yet I'm also aware that some audiences may avoid Genesius Guild's Greek dramas fearing the stories will fly over their heads, which I think might be partly due to the characters' somewhat imposing names. So let's try an experiment.

I found a great synopsis of Andromache on Shvoong.com, and have taken the liberty of substituting the character names of Andromache, Neoptolemus, Achilles, Hermione, and Menelaus with, respectively, the more soap-friendly Ashley, Chet, Kirk, Skylar, and Brock. Try this intro on for size, and see if it doesn't make Genesius Guild's season-opener a little less intimidating:


"Following the end of the Trojan War, Ashley is taken as a war prize by Chet, the son of Kirk. Chet goes to Delphi, and his jealous wife, Skylar, plans to get rid of Ashley. Despite Ashley's plea to Skylar that she has no desire for Chet, Skylar is consumed by jealousy, and plots to kill Ashley with the aid of her father, Brock."


See what I mean? Totally fun!

Andromache will be performed on Saturdays and Sundays, June 19 through 27. Admission is free, though donations are accepted and appreciated, and more information is available by visiting Genesius.org.



J. Adam Lounsberry, Tracy Pelzer-Timm, Jenny Winn, and Nathan Bates in Guys & DollsTheatre

Guys & Dolls

Prospect Park Auditorium

Friday, June 11, through Sunday, June 20


(To be sung to the tune of Guys & Dolls' "Fugue for Tinhorns," the catchy number that starts with the lyric "I've got the horse right here, his name is Paul Revere ... .")


We've got the show right here -

It's Guys & Dolls, my dear -

And you may not catch a funnier play all year!

Great gags, great jokes!

But that isn't quite all, folks -

The musical score provokes

Big cheers! It smokes!


The lovely Jenny Winn

And Tracy Pelzer-Timm

And Nathan Bates (from Beauty & the Beast - yeah, that's him!)

All star, du-ly,

With J. Adam Lounsberry.

This cast is pure ar-tis-try,

As you will see!


A guy named Jason Platt

Wears the director's hat -

He's a Music Guild vet'ran and a gifted cat!

Without a seat

To Frank Loesser's Broadway treat

The summer'd be half as sweet

And in-complete!


(Repeat in round style until ... )


Broadway treat ... !

Ar-tis-try ... !

Dolls, my dear ... !

We've got the sho-o-ow ... ri-i-ight ... he-e-e-e-ere!


Quad City Music Guild presents the musical comedy classic Guys & Dolls June 11 through 20, and more information is available by calling (309)762-6610 or visiting QCMusicGuild.com.



What Else Is Happenin'...?



Sunday, June 13 - West Music Parking Lot Jam. Sixth-annual outdoor concert featuring dozens of area youth musicians, many playing publicly for the first time. 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 13 - Daniel O'Donnell. Concert with beloved Irish crooner. i wireless Center (1201 River Drive, Moline). 5:30 p.m. $57.50-$87.50. For tickets, call (800)745-3000 or visit iwirelessCenter.com.

Sunsay, June 13 - The Nova Singers' "Out of the Ordinary." 25th-anniversary concert with the vocal ensemble, featuring emcees Brian Nelson and J. Adam Lounsberry, and a performance by the improvisational comedians of ComedySportz. First Lutheran Church of Rock Island (1600 20th Street, Rock Island). 6:30 p.m. $10 minimum donation. For information, call (309)341-7038 or visit http://DeptOrg.Knox.edu/novasingers.

Saturday, June 19 - Rock the District. Annual outdoor concert in the District of Rock Island, featuring headliners Chevelle, and opening musicians Ten Years, Janus, and Three Years Hollow. 7 p.m. gates. $25-$28. For information, visit DaiquiriFactory.com or RIBCO.com.

Saturday, June 19 - Survivor. Concert with the rockers of "Eye of the Tiger," "The Search Is Over," and "High on You" fame. Orpheum Theatre (57 South Kellogg Street, Galesburg). 8 p.m. $30-$50. For tickets and information, call (309)342-2299 or visit TheOrpheum.org.

Sunday, June 20 - Jeff Newell's New Trad Octet. Jazz ensemble performs and educates as part of Polyrhythms' Third Sunday Jazz Matinée & Workshop Series. The Redstone Room (129 Main Street, Davenport). 3 p.m. all-ages workshop; $5/adult, children free; 6 p.m. concert: $10-$15. For tickets and information, call (563)326-1333 or visit Polyrhythms.org or RedstoneRoom.com.



Thursday, June 10, through Sunday, June 27 - Art. The Curatinbox Theatre Company's production of Yasmina Reza's Tony Award-winning comedy. Village Theatre (2113 East 11th Street, the Village of East Davenport). Thursdays-Saturdays and Tuesdays 7:30 p.m.; Sundays 3 p.m. $10-$15. For tickets and information, call (563)322-8504 or visit TheCurtainbox.com.

Thursday, June 10, through Tuesday, June 29 - Go, Dog, Go! Family comedy based on P.D. Eastman's popular children's book. Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse (1828 Third Avenue, Rock Island). Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays - 10 a.m. and/or 1 p.m. matinée performances. For tickets and information, call (309)786-7733 extension 2 or visit Circa21.com.

Friday, June 11 through Sunday, July 11 - Love's Labour's Lost. Romantic-comedy production in Riverside Theatre's annual Shakespeare Festival. Riverside Theatre Festival Stage (Lower City Park, corner of Dubuque Street & Park Road, Iowa City). Scheduled matinée and evening performances, Tuesdays - Sundays. $15-$37. For tickets and information, call (319)338-7672 or visit RiversideTheatre.org.

Friday, June 18 through Saturday, July 10 - Romeo & Juliet. Romantic tragedy in Riverside Theatre's annual Shakespeare Festival. Riverside Theatre Festival Stage (Lower City Park, corner of Dubuque Street & Park Road, Iowa City). Scheduled matinée and evening performances, Tuesdays - Sundays. $15-$37. For tickets and information, call (319)338-7672 or visit RiversideTheatre.org.

Thursday, June 17, through Sunday, June 27 - Noises Off. Michael Frayn's farcical, Tony Award-winning play-within-a-play. Clinton Area Showboat Theatre (311 Riverview Drive, Clinton). Thursdays-Saturdays 7:30 p.m., Sundays and Wednesdays 3 p.m. $16-$20. For tickets and information, call (563)242-6760 or visit Summer-Stock.org.

Thursday, June 17, through Saturday, June 26 - Steel Magnolias. Robert Harling's beloved dramatic comedy set in a Southern beauty shop. Timber Lake Playhouse (8215 Black Oak Road, Mt. Carroll). Fridays and Saturdays 8 p.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays 7:30 p.m., Sundays 6:30 p.m. $11-$20. For tickets and information, call (815)244-2035 or visit TimberLakePlayhouse.org.

Friday, June 18, through Sunday, June 27 - Oklahoma! Countryside Community Theatre's production of Rodgers & Hammerstein's musical classic. North Scott High School Fine Arts Auditorium (200 South First Street, Eldridge). Thursdays-Saturdays 7:30 p.m.; Sundays 2 p.m. For information, call (563)285-6228 or visit CCTOnStage.org.



Friday, June 11, through Sunday, June 13 - Ballet Under the Stars. Annual outdoor presentation by Ballet Quad Cities, with choreography by company Artistic Director Courtney Lyon. Lincoln Park (11th Avenue and 38th Street, Rock Island). 8 p.m. Free admission. For information, call (309)786-3779 or visit BalletQuadCities.com.



Saturday, June 12, through Sunday, August 15 - University of Iowa School of Art MFA Exhibition. A showcase of student work in painting, sculpture, printmaking, multimedia, metals, ceramics, and photography. Figge Art Museum (225 West Second Street, Davenport). Tuesdays-Saturdays 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Thursdays 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sundays noon-5 p.m. Free with museum admission. For information, call (563)326-7804 or vist FiggeArt.org.



Wednesday, June 23, through Friday, June 25 - David R. Collins Summer Writers Conference. Annual workshops and presentations hosted by the Midwest Writing Center, with courses taught by Cecil Murphey, Roald Tweet, Emma Rainey, Eric Butterman, Stephen French, Twila Belk, and Steve Semken. St. Ambrose University (518 West Locust Street, Davenport). $65-$75/workshop, $200-$225 for the full conference. For information and to register, call (563)324-1410 or visit MidwestWritingCenter.org.



Thursday, June 10, through Saturday, June 12 - Miss Iowa Scholarship Pageant. The official preliminaries to the Miss America pageant. Adler Theatre (136 East Third Street, Davenport). 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday $25, Saturday $30. For tickets, call (800)745-3000 or visit AdlerTheatre.com.

Saturday, June 12 - 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). 8 a.m. 5K race - $22-$30/adult, $15 for ages 12 and under; 1.2-mile family walk/run - $15-$25/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 16, through Saturday, June 19 - Sturgis Mississippi River Motorcycle Rally. Annual festival featuring races, vendors, live music, the Scooter Girls competition, and more. Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds (2815 West Locust Street, Davenport). Wednesday 5-10 p.m.; Thursday and Friday noon-midnight; Saturday 10 a.m.-midnight. Wednesday free spectator admission; $20 Thursday-Saturday passes. For information, call (309)799-7469 or visit SturgisOnTheRiver.com.

Thursday, June 17 - True Blood Party. Featuring a concert with title-theme singer Jace Everett, a reception with author Charlaine Harris, and a screening of the series' third-season premiere. Englert Theatre (221 East Washington Street, Iowa City). 7 p.m. concert, 8:30 p.m. reception, 10 p.m. screening. $30 concert and reception, $15 concert, free screening. For information and tickets, call (319)688-2653 or visit Englert.org.

Friday, June 18, and Saturday, June 19 - Greek Cultural Festival. Ninth-annual event, featuring Greek music and dancing, performances by Chicago's Ellas Dance Troupe, children's activities, a gift market, a cultural center, and more. Assumption Greek Orthodox Church (4900 Kennedy Drive, East Moline). Friday 5-10 p.m., Saturday noon-11 p.m. Free admission. For information, call (309)792-2912.

Saturday, June 19 - Juneteenth Festival. Annual celebration of African-American heritage, featuring live entertainment, vendors, games, cultural programming, and more. LeClaire Park (Davenport). 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Free admission. For information, visit QCJuneteenth.com.

Sunday, June 20 - Ride the River. Annual Father's Day bicycling event through parts of Iowa and Illinois, sponsored by River Action. Begins at the Freight House (421 West River Drive, Davenport). 6 a.m.-3:30 p.m. $12-$15/adult, children ride free with a paying adult. For information and to register, call (563)322-7433 or visit RiverAction.org.

blog comments powered by Disqus