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What's Happenin': Thursday, May 1, through Wednesday, May 14 PDF Print E-mail
Lifestyle - Noteworthy Events
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 29 April 2014 06:00

The BlastersMusic

The Blasters

Rock Island Brewing Company

Saturday, May 10, 8 p.m.


A group of California-based roots and blues rockers will be playing the Rock Island Brewing Company on May 10, and these guys are gonna provide plenty of fun on Saturday night. How do I know? Because the group is The Blasters, and its most recent album is titled Fun on Saturday Night. Trust me, if it was titled Eh, Not the Worst Way to Spend a Saturday, I Guess, I’d let you know.

Originated by brothers Phil and Dave Alvin in 1979, and with the band’s musical output also encompassing country, rockabilly, gospel, and even punk rock, The Blasters were staples of Los Angeles’ early-’80s club scene, and frequently performed alongside such bands as Black Flag, The Screamers, and X. Yet by the middle of the decade, the group’s popularity was hardly restricted to southern California. The Blasters released five albums by 1985 – three of which landed on Billboard’s Hot 100 charts – and began touring with the likes of Los Lobos and Dwight Yoakam, the latter of whom scored a hit with his cover of the Dave Alvin song “Long White Cadillac.”

Although Dave left the band in 1986, The Blasters have continued to tour and record with frontman Phil ever since, with releases including 2002’s live album Trouble Bound and 2005’s critically acclaimed 4-11-44. The group has also found itself showcased on some of the cooler soundtracks of the past 30 years, with their songs featured among the tracks for Streets of Fire, To Live & Die in L.A., From Dusk ’Til Dawn, and Six Feet Under.

And music critics have been effusive in their praise., for example, goes so far as to say that The Blasters “should be right there on the Mount Rushmore of greatest American bands, mentioned in the same iconic breath as The Beach Boys, Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Allman Brothers, or any other band you would care to mention.” reviewer David Mac, meanwhile, states it more simply: “I like to think that the blues, country, gospel, and early R&B had a baby and they named it The Blasters.” Well, sure. Along with Jacob and Sophia, that’s what everyone’s naming babies these days.

The Blasters perform locally with opening sets by Piñata Protest and 3 on the Tree, and more information is available by calling (309)793-4060 or visiting



Lisa Kahn and Pamela Crouch in Dinner with FriendsTheatre

Dinner with Friends

Playcrafters Barn Theatre

Friday, May 9, through Sunday, May 18


I am extraordinarily proud to say that on May 18, my parents will be celebrating their 51st wedding anniversary. So I’ve decided to treat them to a play for their special day, and Sunday the 18th just happens to be the last performance day for the Playcrafters Barn Theatre’s Dinner with Friends, which begins its run on May 9. Let’s see what the show is about, according to its online synopsis: “Invited to dinner at the suburban home of husband-and-wife food critics Gabe and Karen, Beth reveals she’s breaking up with her husband Tom ... .”

Hmmm. Then again, maybe the folks would enjoy flowers and a light lunch ... ?

You shouldn’t, however, let Beth’s and Tom’s situation prevent you from catching Playcrafters’ latest offering, considering that Dinner with Friends is easily one of the most highly regarded relationship dramedies of the past 20 years. Written by Time Stands Still’s Tony-nominated Donald Margulies, and the winner of the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the work does indeed concern the incipient end of a formerly stable marriage. But as Margulies’ offering toggles between past and present, exploring how its two pairs of couples met and how their relationships are subsequently altered over a 12-year period, Dinner with Friends delivers not only heartbreak but humor and thoughtfulness and empathy, resulting in a play that New York Magazine deems “a stunner,” and that the New York Times insists “has the grace of a watercolor and a stealthy emotional undertow.”

The Barn Theatre’s presentation is being directed by Fred Harris Jr., who recently helmed and appeared in New Ground Theatre’s The Whipping Man, and whose directing credits at Playcrafters include Blues for an Alabama Sky and A Raisin in the Sun. Dinner with Friends’ four-person cast, meanwhile, features a quartet of area-theatre veterans who have all made previous appearances on the Barn stage: Don Faust, Lisa Kahn, Chris Zayner, and Pamela Crouch – the latter two of whom, in real life, are husband and wife. Not here, however: Chris will be married to Lisa, and Pamela to Don. Heartbreak? Marital discord? Spousal swapping? Sounds like every dinner with friends I’ve ever gone to. But I have some pretty funky friends.

Dinner with Friends runs Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m., and more information and tickets are available by calling (309)762-0330 or visiting



John CorabiMusic

John Corabi

Rascals Live

Saturday, May 10, 9 p.m.


Singer/songwriter and guitarist John Corabi will perform a special intimate concert at Rascals Live on May 10, and the artist’s recent solo release Unplugged was praised by for its “lush harmonies to soothe the soul” and its “slightly trippy, lazy-summer-day vibe.”

But if you began loving the musician during his stint with Mötley Crüe and are now worried that the guy has gone all soft on us, fear not: The album also features a Corabi-penned tune titled “If I Had a Dime,” which boasts the lyrics “If I had a penny for every time she said goodbye / I could buy me a mansion and still have enough to get high.” So we’re good.

And for the past 20-plus years, the prolific John Corabi – who can deliver powerhouse rock anthems and haunting ballads with equal skill – has proven awfully good, too. Though perhaps best known for his 1990s tenure with Mötley Crüe, whose credits with the group include the band’s self-titled 1994 CD, Corabi has recently re-emerged as a uniquely talented solo artist, with Metal Forces Magazine calling Unplugged “Corabi in his purest, rawest, and most soulful form.”

Yet few musicians can claim to have also collaborated with quite so many bands over a period of two decades, and in addition to Mötley Crüe, Corabi has scored legions of fans via his association with Union, The Scream, and numerous other outfits. Think you’re up-to-speed on the man’s rock history? Let’s find out. Over the years, which of the following groups has Corabi not performed with?


1) Angel City Outlaws

2) Angora

3) Brides of Destruction

4) E.S.P.

5) Liberty N’ Justice


7) Twenty 4 Seven

8) Zen Lunatic



For more information on John Corabi’s Moline concert, call (309)797-9457 or visit



Answer: None of the above – Corabi actually played with all eight groups. Upset about the trick question? Tuff. Which, by the way, is another band the artist has performed with. The guy does get around.



The Matriarchs at Venus EnvyArt

Venus Envy Quad Cities

Bucktown Center for the Arts

Saturday, May 10, 6-10 p.m.


“Hey, Shawn!”

“Well, hey there, Mike. What do you need?”

“I thought I’d bring you my article on 2014’s Venus Envy Quad Cities event, the annual celebration of women in the arts that’s taking place at Davenport’s Bucktown Center for the Arts on May 10. I figured you and your graphic-design interns would want to start laying it out in this week’s What’s Happenin’ section!”

“Oh ... well ... thanks.”

“This year’s Venus Envy, hosted by Bucktown’s artists and Midcoast Fine Arts, promises to be one of the most exciting and varied seen in our area since its 2005 debut! In fact, the visual-arts talents of more than four dozen Midwestern participants are set to be showcased at Bucktown, with the displayed works encompassing all media: oil on canvas, photography, acrylics, watercolors, mixed media, ceramics, ink and colored pencil, charcoal, wirework, jewelry, printmaking, stoneware ... .”

“That sounds amazing.”

“If you think that’s amazing, you should check out this year’s featured artists! There’ll be demonstrations in pyrography and wood staining by Milwaukee artist Kat Hustedde, and performance artist Michelle Ladwig blending movement and charcoal drawing in her Art in Motion presentation, and lively folk music with the Galena-based trio The Matriarchs ... !”


“You wanna talk excellent? Let’s talk about the performers on Venus Envy’ two outdoor stages, such as Beth Ann Gavin, Mona Ritemon, Esme Haserber, Maureen Carter, Erin Ebnet, Orenda, Speaking of Secrets, and Somethin’ Else! Or the entertainment on the indoor Sophia Stage by the likes of Kristy Owens and Dames du Burlesque and the Knox College Dance Ensemble and the belly-dance artists of Phoenix Qamar! Or the fact that the whole event – drum roll please ... – is free! Free, I say!”

“That all sounds fantastic, Mike. But why are you bringing me the article yourself? Why isn’t Jeff sending it to me?”

“Um ... he won’t let me in the office.”

“It’s because you’re dressed up like Botticelli’s Venus, right?”

“He said it reminded him of The Silence of the Lambs.”


Venus Envy 2014 artworks will also be on display at Bucktown from May 7 through 23, and more information and a full schedule of May 10 events at Venus Envy Quad Cities is available by visiting



What Else Is Happenin’ ...?



Thursday, May 1 – Kim’s Kabaret. Fundraising event for local performer Kimberly Kurtenbach Furness following her cancer diagnosis, with half the proceeds benefiting the Norma Leah Foundation. Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse (1828 Third Avenue, Rock Island). 7 p.m. $25. For tickets and information, call (309)786-7733 extension 2 or visit

Friday, May 2 – The Giving Tree Band. Rock, folk, and bluegrass musicians in concert, with an opening set by The Dawn. The Redstone Room (129 Main Street, Davenport). 9 p.m. $12-14. For tickets and information, call (563)326-1333 or visit

Saturday, May 3 – Mobb Deep. Hip-hop musicians in concert, with opening sets by Daggers & Gadema, DJ GMJ, and DJ OMS. Rock Island Brewing Company (1815 Second Avenue, Rock Island). 8 p.m. $25 advance tickets. For information, call (309)793-4060 or visit

Saturday, May 3 – Gordy & Debbie. George Strait tribute artists in concert. Ohnward Fine Arts Center (1215 East Platt Street, Maquoketa). 7 p.m. $13-25. For tickets and information, call (563)652-9815 or visit

Sunday, May 4 – Quad City Youth Orchestras Spring Concert. Concert with students from second grade through high school. Augustana College’s Centennial Hall (3703 Seventh Avenue, Rock Island). 3 p.m. $5-10. For tickets and information, call (563)322-7276 or visit

Tuesday, May 6 – William Fitzsimmons. Concert with the folk singer/songwriter. Englert Theatre (221 East Washington Street, Iowa City). 8 p.m. $25. For tickets and information, call (319)688-2653 or visit For a 2009 interview with Fitzsimmons, visit

Friday, May 9 – The Steepwater Band and Edward David Anderson. Touring rock musicians in concert. The Redstone Room (129 Main Street, Davenport). 7:30 p.m. $8-10. For tickets and information, call (563)326-1333 or visit

Friday, May 9 – Peter Yarrow. Concert with the folk singer and former member of Peter, Paul, & Mary. Englert Theatre (221 East Washington Street, Iowa City). 8 p.m. $25-27.50. For tickets and information, call (319)688-2653 or visit

Friday, May 9, and Saturday, May 10 – Kenny Rogers. Grammy-winning country and pop superstar in concert. Riverside Casino Event Center (3184 Highway 22, Riverside). 8 p.m. $39-59. For tickets and information, call (877)677-3456 or visit

Monday, May 12 – The Lettermen. Pop stars in their sixth decade of performance. Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse (1828 Third Avenue, Rock Island). 11:30 a.m. doors, 11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m. plated lunch, 1 p.m. performance: $49.64. 5:45 p.m. doors, 6-7 p.m. buffet, 7:15 p.m. performance: $55.91. For tickets and information, call (309)786-7733 extension 2 or visit

Tuesday, May 13 – Tommy Castro & the Painkillers. Blues, soul, and rock musicians in concert. The Redstone Room (129 Main Street, Davenport). 7 p.m. $17-20. For tickets and information, call (563)326-1333 or visit For a 2010 interview with Castro, visit

Tuesday, May 13 - Fender Stratocaster 60th Anniversary Tour. Event featuring Strat history, presentations, and demonstrations of the 2014 line of products with members of the Fender team. Guitar Center (3860 Elmore Avenue, Davenport). 7 p.m. Free. For information, call (563)355-5667 or visit



Thursday, May 1, through Sunday, May 4 – Out of Bounds. Working Group Theatre presents a drama created from local interviews with victims of bullying and their families, in a Hancher Auditorium Visiting Artists series presentation. Riverside Theatre (213 North Gilbert Street, Iowa City). Thursdays through Saturday 7:30 p.m., Sunday 2 p.m. $10-25. For tickets and information, call (319)335-1160 or visit

Friday, May 2, through Sunday, May 11 – Playwrights Festival. New Ground Theatre’s presentation of new works by area authors, featuring A Decent Interval by Michael Carron, Well Done by Shea Doyle, Memory by Joshua Malone, and Calling Home by William Pepper. Village Theatre (2113 East 11th Street, Davenport). Fridays and Saturdays 7:30 p.m., Sundays 2 p.m. $15-18. For tickets and information, call (563)326-7529 or visit

Friday, May 2, through Sunday, May 11 – Something’s Afoot. Murder-mystery musical performed in conjunction with Opera@Augustana, directed by Jeff Coussens and music-directed by John Pfautz. Augustana College’s Potter Theatre (3701 Seventh Avenue, Rock Island). Fridays and Saturdays 7:30 p.m., Sundays 1:30 p.m. $10-14. For tickets and information, call (309)794-7306 or visit

Friday, May 2, through Sunday, May 4 – Die Fledermaus. Johann Strauss II’s opera directed by Bill Theisen, conducted by William LaRue Jones. Englert Theatre (221 East Washington Street, Iowa City). Friday and Saturday 8 p.m., Sunday 2 p.m. $5-20. For tickets and information, call (319)688-2653 or visit

Friday, May 9, through Saturday, May 17 – Becky’s New Car. Dreamwell Theatre’s production of Steven Dietz’s rags-to-riches comedy. Unitarian Universalist Society (10 South Gilbert Street, Iowa City). Fridays and Saturdays 7:30 p.m. $10-13. For tickets and information, call (319)423-9820 or visit

Wednesday, May 7, through Saturday, May 10 – Robin Hood. Family presentation of the legendary adventure. Timber Lake Playhouse (8215 Black Oak Road, Timber Lake). 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. $5. For tickets and information, call (815)244-2035 or visit



Thursday, May 1 – Red Green. Canada’s foremost handyman comedian on his “How to Do Everything Tour.” Adler Theatre (136 East Third Street, Davenport). 7 p.m. $49.50. For tickets, call (800)745-3000 or visit

Thursday, May 8 – Karyn Ruth White. Comedienne delivers the presentation “Hersterics: A Hilarious Peek Inside the Uniquely Female Mind” in the Women Connection’s 10th-annual “Celebrate a Special Woman” signature event. Davenport RiverCenter (136 East Third Street, Davenport). 5:30 p.m. cocktails, 6 p.m. dinner, 7 p.m. presentation. $40. Reserve by Monday, May 5. For tickets and information, call (309)631-0167 or visit



Friday, May 2 – Gallery Hop! Annual spring event featuring visual and performing arts in a variety of downtown locales. The District of Rock Island. 5-9 p.m. Free admission. For information, call (309)788-6311 or visit

Saturday, May 3, through Sunday, May 11 – Young Artists at the Figge: Geneseo. Exhibit featuring the works of student artists. Figge Art Museum (225 West Second Street, Davenport). Tuesdays through Saturdays 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Thursdays 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Sundays noon-5 p.m. Free with $4-7 museum admission. For information, call (563)326-7804 or visit

Sunday, May 4 – Video Art from Israel: A One-Day Sensory Experience. Shorts, documentaries, and videos from Israeli filmmakers Maya Zak, Gilad Ratman, Ayelet Ben Dor, and others, curated and hosted by Keren Shavit. Figge Art Museum (225 West Second Street, Davenport). 3 p.m. $5-7. For information, call (563)326-7804 or visit

Saturday, May 10, and Sunday, May 11 – Beaux Arts Spring Festival. Annual springtime event featuring juried fine art and crafts, live music, children’s activities, a food court, and more. Figge Art Museum Plaza (225 West Second Street, Davenport). Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Free admission. For information, e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit



Friday, May 2, and Saturday, May 3 – LeClaire French Market Days. Weekend celebration featuring a French Flea Market, an art fair, classes, art projects, book and plant sales, and more. Downtown LeClaire. For information, call (563)289-4242 or visit

Saturday, May 3 – Village in Bloom. Second-annual event featuring the fine art and performances by area schoolchildren, a Eulenspiegel Puppets presentation, arts activities, exhibits of Isabel and John Bloom’s artwork, and more. Village of East Davenport. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Free admission. For information, call (563)349-3167 or visit


For a complete listing of area happenings, visit the online events calendars at

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