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What's Happenin': March 16 - 31, 2010 PDF Print E-mail
Lifestyle - Noteworthy Events
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 16 March 2010 06:00



Rock Island Brewing Company

Saturday, March 27, 9 p.m.


"The funny thing about going through struggles," says Hugo Ferreira, lead singer of the alternative rock band Tantric, "is that struggles make you interesting."

Man, what an interesting band Tantric is!

Formed in 1999 with former Merge frontman Ferreira and three former members of Days of the New - Matt Taul, Jesse Vest, and Todd Whitener - Tantric initially found wild success with its self-titled, platinum-selling debut album, smash singles in "Breakdown" and "Astounded," and a national tour alongside Kid Rock and Creed. The group's career trajectory took a slight downward turn with the somewhat disappointing sales of 2004's After We Go, but the CD still yielded a top-10 hit with the single "Hey Now," and Tantric continued to tour, this time with fellow rockers Shinedown and 3 Doors Down.

And then ... .

Vest left the group, to be replaced by Bruce LaFrance, in 2005. Tantric parted ways with its collapsing label, Maverick Records, in 2006. Taul was arrested on drug-related charges in 2007. Whitener left the group in 2007. LaFrance left the group in 2007. And the group's third album peaked at number 91 on the Billboard charts. Its ironic title? The End Begins.

Ah, but it ain't over 'til it's over, as you'll witness when Tantric brings its unrestrained post-grunge sound to the Rock Island Brewing Company on March 27. With lead singer Ferreira joining Richie Monica, Joe Pessia, Erik Leonhardt, and Marcus Ratzenboeck, the group is celebrating the release of its recent CD Mind Control, and while the band's lineup may have changed, its frontman says its name won't. "I'm still the one who believes in it," he says. And besides, "I've got the thing tattooed on my arm." Which is exactly why I'm not allowed to find a replacement for my mother.

For more information on Tantric's RIBCO appearance, call (309)793-4060 or visit



Cowboy JunkiesMusic

Cowboy Junkies

The Redstone Room

Wednesday, March 24, 8:30 p.m.


One of the most beloved and enduring of alt-country bands, the Canadian outfit the Cowboy Junkies has been composed of musical siblings Margo, Michael, and Peter Timmins and longtime bassist pal Alan Anton for more than two decades. Since its debut in 1985, the hugely popular and critically acclaimed group has released more than 20 studio records, live albums, and compilations; has performed on Saturday Night Live; has toured Europe, the United States, and its home turf of Canada; and has become firmly enmeshed in pop culture through songs heard in Oliver Stone's Natural Born Killers and Margo's 1990 acknowledgment as one of People magazine's "50 most beautiful people in the world."

Yet some of you might think that you still don't know all that much about the group. I beg to differ. Try matching the Cowboy Junkies' impressive professional accomplishments with the recent years in which they occurred; I guarantee you know more than you might think.


1) 2003

2) 2004

3) 2005

4) 2006

5) 2007

6) 2008

7) 2009

8) 2010


A) First performance at Carnegie Hall

B) Release of The Time Before Llamas, a collection of songs written between 1990 and 1992

C) Sold-out concert in Toronto, with The Trinity Session songs played in sequence

D) On-stage reunion with brother John Timmins for the first time in 20 years

E) Release of the band's ninth studio album, One Soul Now

F) Performance with the Louisville Symphony

G) Performance with the Boston Pops

H) March 24 concert at Davenport's Redstone Room



Answers: 1 - B, 2 - E, 3 - D, 4 - A, 5 - G, 6 - C, 7 - F, 8 - H. See? Tell me you didn't get at least one right! Tickets for the Cowboy Junkies' local concert are $37.50, the group performs with openers Lee Harvey Osmond, and more on the night is available by calling (563)326-1933 or visiting



Cecil MurpheyLiterature

Cecil Murphey

Midwest Writing Center and The Outing Club

Saturday, March 20


When you learn that Davenport native Cecil Murphey will soon be leading a workshop titled "Why Can't You Be an Extraordinary Writer?", your first response might easily be, "So who is he to teach me about writing?" Well, according to the press materials I was sent, it appears that Murphey is qualified for the gig, as he's had three books published: When Someone You Love Has Cancer, When God Turned Off the Lights, and Christmas Miracles.

Oh, wait. My mistake. Those are the books he had published last year. Murphey is actually the author of more than 100 books, and apparently has nine others set for release.

Fine. So he's really, really, really qualified.

With works including the nationwide bestseller 90 Minutes in Heaven - included on USA Today's list of the 150 bestselling books of the past 15 years - and citations including the Advanced Writers & Speakers Association's Lifetime Achievement Award and the American Society of Journalists & Authors' Extraordinary Service Award, Murphey is clearly one of America's most prolific and lauded inspirational writers. And inspiration will no doubt be on hand when the author shares his experiences and talents in two Davenport appearances on March 20.

At 6 p.m., Murphey will serve as the keynote speaker for the 30th anniversary of the Midwest Writing Center's annual David R. Collins Literary Awards Banquet, an evening at the Outing Club that will feature dinner, an auction, and awards and recognition for local writers. And at the Midwest Writing Center itself, from 1 to 3 p.m., Murphey will unveil the difference between a writer who sells a thousand copies of a book and one who sells a million in the aforementioned workshop "Why Can't You Be an Extraordinary Writer?" I'd consider attending myself, but you know, I hear that question from my bosses every damned day of my life ... .

Pre-resigtration for both Cecil Murphey events is strongly encouraged, and information on both is available by calling (563)324-1410 or visiting



J. Adam Lounsberry and Kelly Thompson in The Pajama GameTheatre

The Pajama Game

Prospect Park Auditorium

Thursday, March 25 through Saturday, March 28


You want to know how long I've loved the Broadway musical The Pajama Game? Its storyline concerns a nightwear-factory union that's demanding a raise of seven-and-a-half cents an hour, and when I first saw the show, that seemed like a healthy chunk of change.

Of course, there are plenty of people who've adored Richard Adler's and Jerry Ross' musical-comedy classic for far longer than I have. The winner of three 1955 Tony Awards including Best Musical - with The Pajama Game's 2006 Broadway remount, starring Harry Connick Jr., winning the award for Best Revival - this sensational entertainment is filled with laughs, romance, and one of the most memorable scores in American theatre. Trust me, you won't be able to get such songs as "Hey There," "Racing with the Clock," "Hernando's Hideaway," "There Once Was a Man," and the jazzy classic "Steam Heat" out of your head. Moreover, you won't want to.

Running at Moline's Prospect Park Auditorium March 25 through 28, director Kevin Pieper's production is the first outing in Quad City Music Guild's 2010 season, and if you've seen even one Prospect Park show over the past five years, you'll see the return of a Music Guild talent you recognize. Among the show's performers: J. Adam (The Producers) Lounsberry, Shana (All Shook Up) Lavino, Joe (Once Upon a Mattress) Urtbaitis, Kelly (Seussical) Thompson-Reyes, Dan (You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown) McGinn, Chris (Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat) Castle, John Donald (Little Women) O'Shea, Mark (Miracle on 34th Street) Holmes, and Dave (Nuncrackers) Bailey.

I'm (Really Truly Awfully) impressed.

The Pajama Game will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and at 2 p.m. on Sunday; for more information and tickets, call (309)762-6610 or visit



David Furness in Troilus and CressidaTheatre

Troilus & Cressida

1616 Second Avenue, The District of Rock Island

Friday, March 19, through Sunday, March 28


The arrival of William Shakespeare's Troilus & Cressida, the latest anything-goes offering by the Prenzie Players, is a pretty huge deal, as director Maggie Woolley's production is the first to be staged in the classical-theatre troupe's very own space, located at 1616 Second Avenue in the District of Rock Island.

It's also a pretty huge deal based on the cast, which features a quintet of gifted area actors (Pat Flaherty, Michael King, Brianne Kinney, Matt Mercer, and Steven Quartell) making their debuts in a Prenzie endeavor, plus a batch of excellent performers (Stephanie Burrough, Jaci Entwistle, David Furness, Andrew Koski, J.C. Luxton, Cole McFarren, Matt Moody, Beth Woolley, and Denise Yoder) familiar from previous Prenzie endeavors.

As for the plot to this infrequently produced title, I actually wrote my final exam on it for a course in college, but that was so many beers - er, years - ago that I don't quite trust my memory. Instead, let me offer this description, stolen from the Prenzie Players Web site:

"In the seventh year of the Trojan War, Troilus, a prince of Troy, loves Cressida, daughter to a traitor. Troilus seeks to woo Cressida through her uncle, Pandarus, though Cressida secretly loves Troilus as well. Meanwhile, the Greeks, encamped outside the walls of Troy, are suffering from dissension among the ranks, and cannot move forward in their goal to seize Troy until order is returned. A tale of love, war, and betrayal, Troilus & Cressida is one of Shakespeare's most controversial plays, whipping between bawdy comedy and gritty tragedy in a dark exploration of the classic heroes of The Iliad."

Hey, I'm doing Cyrano de Bergerac with the group in May; I'm working for them, they can work for me a little.

Troilus & Cressida runs Fridays through Sundays, March 19 through 28, and information is available by visiting the group's Web site at



What Else Is Happenin'... ?



Saturday, March 20 - The Pointer Sisters. Grammy-winning pop and soul singers in concert. Riverside Casino & Golf Resort (3184 Highway 22, Riverside). 8 p.m. $40-$55. For information and tickets, call (319)648-1234 or visit

Sunday, March 21 - Toscanellie "Lady T." Marcelain. Chicago-based jazz vocalist, bandleader, and educator performs 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, students free. For tickets and information, call (563)326-1333 or visit

Friday, March 26 - The Daredevil Christopher Wright. Independent musicians performing with Floating Action and Middle Distance, in an all-ages concert sponsored by Daytrotter. Huckleberry's Great Pizza & Calzones (223 18th Street, Rock Island). 7 p.m. $6-$8. For information, e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit

Saturday, March 27 - Mustard Plug. Michigan-based indie rockers in concert, with opening acts Firesale and The Agrestix. The Redstone Room (129 Main Street, Davenport). 7 p.m. $12. For tickets and information, call (563)326-1333 or visit

Wednesday, March 31 - Miles Kurosky. Independent musician from Beulah performing with Pancho-san, in an all-ages concert sponsored by Daytrotter. Huckleberry's Great Pizza & Calzones (223 18th Street, Rock Island). 7 p.m. $6-$8. For information, e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit



Saturday, March 20, and Sunday, March 21 - Little Shop of Horrors. Broadway's hit musical comedy about a man-eating plant, and the fourth event in the church's annual Performing Arts Series. First Presbyterian Church of Davenport (1702 Iowa Street, Davenport). Saturday - 7:30 p.m., Sunday - 4 p.m. $8-$12. For tickets and information, call (563)326-1691.

Wednesday, March 24, through Saturday, May 22 - Church Basement Ladies 2: A Second Helping. Sequel to the hit musical comedy set in the kitchen of a Lutheran Church. Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse (1828 Third Avenue, Rock Island). Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Thursday, March 23 - 6 p.m. dinner, 7:45 p.m. show; Sundays 4 p.m. dinner, 5:45 p.m. show; Wednesday matinées 11:45 a.m. plated lunch, 1:30 p.m. show. $27.04-$46.28. For tickets and information, call (309)796-7733 extension 2 or visit

Friday, March 26, through Sunday, March 28 - Avenue Q. The Tony Award-winning "Sesame Street for grown-ups," in a presentation sponsored by Hancher Auditorium. U.S. Cellular Center (370 First Avenue, Cedar Rapids). Friday - 7:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday - 2 and 7:30 p.m. $50-$57. For tickets, call (800)745-3000 or visit

Thursday, March 25, through Saturday, March 27 - Sexual Perversity in Chicago. Relationship comedy written by David Mamet, directed by St. Ambrose senior Katie McCormack. St. Ambrose University - Galvin Fine Arts Center studio theatre (2101 Gaines Street, Davenport). Thursday and Friday 7:30 p.m., Saturday 3 p.m. $6. For tickets and information, call (563)333-6251 or visit



Saturday, March 20 - Larry the Cable Guy. Blue Collar comedian in his "Tailgate Party Tour." Adler Theatre (136 East Third Street, Davenport). 5 and 8 p.m. $43.75. For tickets, call (800)745-3000 or visit

Saturday, March 20 - Sinbad. Stand-up-comedy set with the television and film star. Quad-Cities Waterfront Convention Center (1777 Isle Parkway, Bettendorf). 7:30 p.m. $25-$40. For tickets and information, call (800)843-4753 or visit



Opening Friday, March 19 - Hubble 3-D. An educational space adventure, narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio. Putnam Museum & IMAX Theatre (1717 West 12th Street, Davenport). $5.50-$8.50. For showtimes and information, call (563)324-1933 or visit

Wednesday, March 24 - Kenny Salwey: The Last River Rat. Fifty-minute documentary on the author's experience along the upper Mississippi River, with storytelling and a Salwey Q&A session following each screening. The Capitol Theatre (330 West Third Street, Davenport). 5 and 7:30 p.m. $5 at the door, with proceeds benefiting Nahant Marsh. For information, call (563)326-8820 or visit

Saturday, March 27 - Fifth-Annual Sierra Club Environmental Film Festival. Featuring screenings of the documentaries Fresh, No Impact Man, Dirt, A Sea Change, and Coal Country, and a filmmaking workshop with photographer Ange Glade. Olin Auditorium - Augustana College (733 35th Street, Rock Island). 10:30 a.m.-7 p.m. Donations accepted. For information, e-mail Kathryn Allen at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit



Tuesday, March 23 - Kathleen Kennedy Townsend. Former lieutenant governor of Maryland and U.S. deputy assistant attorney general discusses "Has the Protestant Church Lost Its Bearings?" Bergendoff Hall of Fine Arts - Augustana College (3701 Seventh Avenue, Rock Island). 7 p.m. Free admission. For information, call (309)794-7721 or e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .



Friday, March 26 - The World Famous Lipizzaner Stallions. The 40th Anniversary Tour featuring new music, routines, and choreography for the equine sensations. i wireless Center (1201 River Drive, Moline). 7:30 p.m. $22-$29. For tickets, call (800)745-3000 or visit

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