What's Happenin': Thursday, May 2, through Wednesday, May 15 Print
Lifestyle - Noteworthy Events
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 30 April 2013 06:00

Bruce Robison and Kelly WillisMusic

Bruce Robison and Kelly Willis

The Redstone Room

Saturday, May 4, 8:30 p.m.

 

First, there was Bennifer. Then there was Brangelina. Then there was TomKat. And now, with their Redstone Room concert scheduled for May 4, local audiences will be treated to the artistic gifts and personal charisma of America’s latest celebrity super-couple: Bruce Robinson and Kelly Willis. Or, using the nickname I prefer, BruceWillis!

Wow, that’s a terrible nickname ... . Let me reconsider that one and get back to you ... .

Country singers/songwriters Robison and Willis are touring in support of their recent, hugely acclaimed Cheater’s Game, the duo’s first CD of original and cover tracks since they married in 1996. (Yes, the romantic photo accompanying this article is of a couple married 17 years. I know. I couldn’t believe it, either.) Of course, as their fans know, both musicians have enjoyed considerable successes working individually. With nine solo albums to his credit, Robison also wrote number-one hits for Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, George Strait, and the Dixie Chicks. And Willis, who was already signed to the MCA label by age 20, can boast nine solo releases of her own and memorable vocals on the Thelma & Louise soundtrack.

But to hear Cheater’s Game reviewers tell it, Robison’s and Willis’ soulful, soaring talents and expert musicianship might best be experienced when the artists work in tandem. PopMatters.com wrote, “Their voices complement each other in phrasing and emotions,” suggesting “different voices from the same consciousness.” CountryWeekly.com, which called Cheater’s Game “a refreshing break from the bombast that often substitutes for real emotion,” wrote that Robison and Willis “let their plaintive, tight harmonies deliver the goods.” And AllMusic.com raved that the album’s “organic, relaxed, unforced approach is deceptively high in performance skill, yet resonates with an emotional depth that rings true throughout.” On his and Willis’ shared Web site BruceAndKellyShow.com, Robison states, “The last thing we want to do is be a boring old married couple.” I’m thinking that until they release a duet titled “Have You Seen My Shoes? / They’re Right Where You Left Them,” these two have little to worry about.

Bruce Robison’s and Kelly Willis’ local concert begins with a set by David G. Smith, and more information on the night is available by calling (563)326-1333 or visiting RiverMusicExperience.org.

 

 

Spank! The Fifty Shades ParodyTheatre

Spank! The Fifty Shades Parody

Adler Theatre

Tuesday, May 7, 7:30 p.m.

 

On a recent episode of The Office, Phyllis was making a swooning spectacle of herself listening to the Fifty Shades of Grey audiobook at her desk, and Dwight finally resolved the uncomfortable situation by dumping a bucket of cold water on her head. I hope that they have plenty of buckets on hand at Davenport’s Adler Theatre, because soon, assaults of cold water may be the only things that’ll keep patrons from laughing ’til they burst.

As its title suggests, Spank! The Fifty Shades Parody – the touring production that hits the Adler on May 7 – is a satirical take on author E.L. James’ erotic-romance phenomenon from 2011, and while I’d love to discuss the plot’s details, the specifics would probably be more appropriate for reading material found wrapped in plastic behind convenience-store counters. Just know that, like its literary forebear, Spank! finds a not-so-innocent girl falling for a Dapper Dan in a grey suit. Unlike Fifty Shades of Grey, however, these two engage in activities James herself never dreamed of, including Chippendales-esque stripteases, musical spoofs of Into the Woods and Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, and random encounters with their author, who pops up to offer scintillating literary descriptions such as “They danced like ... dancers.”

Spank!, in short, is a musical comedy likely to delight both the book’s devotees and its more severe critics – though the show’s critical reception has been anything but severe. Toronto Stage decreed it a “sexy, hysterical, rip-roaring good time,” while the Chicago Reader labeled the satire “laugh-out-loud funny.” Chicago Theatre Beat described the production as “the perfect girls’ night out for gal pals.” And in addition to calling Spank! “expertly paced” with “jokes coming at a laugh a minute,” BroadwayWorld.com stated that in terms of narrative, “the action is never flaccid or limp.” Guess no one dumped a bucket of cold water on the script, huh?

For tickets to the Adler Theatre’s presentation of Spank! The Fifty Shades Parody, call (800)745-3000 or visit AdlerTheatre.com.

 

 

John Baeder's Yankee Clipper DinerExhibit

American POP!: Selections from the CU Art Museum Collection

Figge Art Museum

Saturday, May 4, through Sunday, September 8

 

When you visit the Figge Art Museum’s forthcoming American POP!: Selections from the CU Art Museum Collection exhibit – on display from May 4 to September 8 – make sure you take a thorough look at the Mark Bennett lithograph titled Home of: Mike & Carol Brady, 4222 Clinton Way, Los Angeles. I think you’ll be astonished by the incredible, painstaking detail in Bennett’s blueprint. I also think I could have created something similar if I had access to an architect’s table at age eight, but I promise you, that says far less about my youthful drafting skills than my unhealthy Brady Bunch obsession.

A visual exploration of the amusements, fascinations, and boundary-breaking techniques in modern pop art, American POP! arrives locally via the University of Colorado at Boulder’s art museum, and offers an up-close and insightful look at a movement that both glorified and parodied consumerism and the notion of “everyday life.” Through works by artists such as Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, John Baeder, H.C. Westerman, Wayne Thiebaud, Gladys Nillson, Red Grooms, and others, Figge guests will see a familiar world reconfigured in silkscreens, etchings, prints, photos, and paintings – a cultural critique that’s also a cultural celebration.

Works by one of the movement’s most famous artists, Robert Rauschenberg, will also be on display in American POP!, among them photo-silkscreen and collage efforts from his famed “Chow Series,” in which the familiar Puppy Chow bag was re-imagined for other, somewhat less adorable animals. Are you acquainted with this series? Let’s find out. Which of the following is not one of Rauschenberg’s animal-food designs?

 

1) Goat Chow

2) Hog Chow

3) Mink Chow

4) Monkey Chow

5) Rabbit Chow

6) Raccoon Chow

 

For more information on the American POP!: Selections from the CU Art Museum Collection exhibit, call (563)326-7804 or visit FiggeArtMuseum.org.

 

Answer: 6. Which is kind of disappointing. I’ve seen raccoons eating out of dumpsters; is there anything that wouldn’t be in that bag?

 

 

Venus de MiloEvent

Venus Envy Quad Cities

Bucktown Center for the Arts

Saturday, May 4, 6 – 10 p.m.

 

Well, hello there, Reader readers! I’m Venus de Milo, and I’ve traveled all the way from the Louvre to tell you about an exciting event taking place at the Bucktown Center for the Arts on May 4: the sixth-annual Venus Envy Quad Cities! What say you give me a hand? Hell, give me two of ’em! Ha!

An art festival showcasing the exceptional and eclectic talents of regional female artists and performers, this year’s Venus Envy Quad Cities will again feature works by more than 40 visual artists working in painting, photography, fiber, printmaking, stoneware, and collage. The event will also find the artists of Bucktown’s Studio 104 housing a live model for the evening’s figure-drawing class, though they’d be hard-pressed to find a model as sketch-worthy as I am – none of those troublesome knuckles and elbows to contend with! Ha ha!

But don’t think the night’s happenings will be solely confined to visual-art media, because Venus Envy Quad Cities also has all sorts of performance-based events on its docket! There’ll be Monica J. Brown’s one-woman performance piece Branch & Bough, a generational story exploring progeny and legacy through the bloodlines between mothers and daughters. There’ll be thrilling hula-hoop demonstrations with the talents of the Happi Hoops Troupe, and transcendent folk music delivered by singer/songwriter Lojo Russo. All this, plus live demonstrations, music, poetry, belly dancing, and more courtesy of Mona Ritemon, Phoenix Qamar, Harmony KeyofG, Maureen Carter, Somethin’ Else, Erin Bertram, Glorie Iaccarino ... and as admission to the event is free, it won’t cost you an arm and a leg! Lucky for me, huh? Ha ha ha! Oh, I am killing it today!

So be sure to pop by downtown Davenport for 2013’s spectacular Venus Envy Quad Cities, information for which is available by visiting VenusEnvyQC.com or Facebook.com/venusenvyqc. And be sure to tell ’em that Venus herself sent you! I’d take time to guide you to Bucktown personally, but unfortunately, I’m a little short-handed. Thank you! Thank you! I’ll be here all week!

 

 

What Else Is Happenin’ ...?

 

MUSIC

Thursday, May 2 – Cory Chisel & the Wandering Sons. Americana and folk musicians in concert, with an opening set by Rebecca Rego. The Redstone Room (129 Main Street, Davenport). 8 p.m. $12-15. For tickets and information, call (563)326-1333 or visit RiverMusicExperience.org.

Friday, May 3 – Hello, Quad Cities: Volume II Record Release Party. Celebration of the local-music scene featuring performances by Dynoride, White Zephyr, Puddle Jumper, Comfort, Subatlantic, and Chris Coleslaw. Rock Island Brewing Company (1815 Second Avenue, Rock Island). 8 p.m. $5. For information, call (309)793-4060 or visit RIBCO.com. For a review of the compilation, visit RCReader.com/y/helloqc.

Friday, May 3 – Chuck Murphy. Singer/songwriter plays rock, pop, and country from the ’50s to the present. Bleyart’s Tap (2218 East 11th Street, Davenport). 9 p.m. Free admission. For information, call (563)324-1661 or visit ChuckMurphyMusic.com.

Friday, May 3 – Kelley Hunt. Blues, roots, and R&B singer in concert. The Muddy Waters (1708 State Street, Bettendorf). 9 p.m. $10. For information, call (563)355-0655 or visit TheMuddyWaters.com. For a 2012 inteview with Hunt, visit RCReader.com/y/hunt.

Saturday, May 4 – Whitey Morgan & the ’78s. Concert with the touring country musicians, featuring an opening set by Them Som’Bitches. Rock Island Brewing Company (1815 Second Avenue, Rock Island). 9 p.m. $10-12. For information, call (309)793-4060 or visit RIBCO.com. For a 2011 interview with Morgan, visit RCReader.com/y/whitey.

Sunday, May 5 – Shawn Thomas. Contemporary Christian singer/songwriter in a concert benefiting the Metropolitan Church of the Quad Cities. Fargo Dance & Sports (4204 Avenue of the Quad Cities, Moline). 5 p.m. Donations encouraged. For information, call (563)324-8281 or visit MCCQC.com.

Wednesday, May 8 – Zoe Keating. Canadian “one-woman orchestra” in concert. Englert Theatre (221 East Washington Street, Iowa City). 8 p.m. $18-22. For tickets and information, call (319)688-2653 or visit Englert.org.

Friday, May 10 – Calliko. Hip-hop, rap, and R&B artist in concert. The Redstone Room (129 Main Street, Davenport). 10 p.m. $15-20. For tickets and information, call (563)326-1333 or visit RiverMusicExperience.org.

Saturday, May 11 – Bob Dorr & the Blue Band. Touring blues musicians in concert. The Redstone Room (129 Main Street, Davenport). 8 p.m. $10. For tickets and information, call (563)326-1333 or visit RiverMusicExperience.org.

Saturday, May 11 – Wilson Phillips. Concert with the chart-topping pop trio of “Hold on” and “Rescue Me” fame. Riverside Casino Event Center (3184 Highway 22, Riverside). 9 p.m. $35-55. For tickets and information, call (877)677-3456 or visit RiversideCasinoAndResort.com.

Saturday, May 11 – Greg Brown. Record-release show with the prolific singer/songwriter. Englert Theatre (221 East Washington Street, Iowa City). 8 p.m. $30-45. For tickets and information, call (319)688-2653 or visit Englert.org.

Saturday, May 11 – A Tribute to Ray Charles. The Knox-Galesburg Symphony’s annual “Ceberate Mom at the Pops” concert, featuring Dave Hoffman on trumpet and vocalist Manuel Lopez III. Orpheum Theatre (57 South Kellogg Street, Galesburg). 7:30 p.m. $10 and up. For tickets and information, call (309)342-2299 or visit TheOrpheum.org.

Monday, May 13 – The Lettermen. Concert of pop favorites with the touring singing trio. Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse (1828 Third Avenue, Rock Island). 11:45 a.m. doors, noon plated lunch, 1 p.m. show – $48.59. 5:45 p.m. doors, 6 p.m. dinner buffet, 7:15 p.m. show – $54.86. For tickets and information, call (309)786-7733 extension 2 or visit Circa21.com.

 

THEATRE

Thursday, May 2, through Saturday, May 18 – boom. Apocalyptic comedy by Peter Sinn Nachtrieb, directed by Tyson Danner. QC Theatre Workshop (1730 Wilkes Avenue, Davenport). Thursdays-Saturdays 7:30 p.m. “Pay what it’s worth” ticket pricing. For tickets and information, e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit QCTheatreWorkshop.org.

Thursday, May 2, through Sunday, May 5 – La Clemenza di Tito. Mozart’s opera performed by the University of Iowa’s Martha-Ellen Tye Opera Theater. Englert Theatre (221 East Washington Street, Iowa City). Thursday-Saturday 8 p.m., Sunday 2 p.m. $5-20. For tickets and information, call (319)688-2653 or visit Englert.org.

Friday, May 10, through Sunday, May 19 – The Trouble with Cats. House-sitting farce by Gary Ray Stapp, directed by Megan Elliott. Playcrafters Barn Theatre (4950 35th Avenue, Moline). Fridays and Saturdays 7:30 p.m., Sundays 3 p.m. $10. For tickets and information, call (309)762-0330 or visit Playcrafters.com.

Friday, May 10, and Saturday, May 11 – The Pirates of Penzance. Opera@Augustana’s concert staging of Gilbert & Sullivan’s beloved comic operetta. Augustana College’s Wallenberg Hall (3520 Seventh Avenue, Rock Island). 8 p.m. $8-12. For tickets and information, call (309)794-7306 or visit Augustana.edu.

Friday, May 10, through Sunday, May 19 – A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. City Circle Acting Company of Coralville presents the Tony-winning musical comedy composed by Stephen Sondheim, directed by Patrick Du Laney. Coralville Center for the Performing Arts (1301 Fifth Street, Coralville). Fridays and Saturdays 7:30 p.m., Sundays 2 p.m. $12-27. For tickets and information, call (319)541-2980 or visit CityCircle.org.

 

COMEDY

Thursday, May 9 – Chonda Pierce. Christian spirit and stand-up with “The Queen of Clean Comedy,” appearing with special guest Geoff Moore. Adler Theatre (136 East Third Street, Davenport). 7 p.m. $22-27. For tickets, call (800)745-3000 or visit AdlerTheatre.com.

Friday, May 10 – Aziz Ansari. Stand-up with the touring comedian and Parks & Recreation star. University of Iowa’s Iowa Memorial Union (125 North Madison Street, Iowa City). 10 p.m. $25-35. For tickets and information, call (319)688-2653 or visit Englert.org.

 

VISUAL ARTS

Friday, May 10 – Gallery Hop! Annual spring event featuring art exhibits, presentations, and more at numerous downtown locales. The District of Rock Island. 5-9 p.m. Free admission. For information, call (309)788-6311 or visit RIDistrict.com.

Saturday, May 11, and Sunday, May 12 – 2013 Spring Beaux Arts Fair. 60th-annual fine-arts event featuring vendors, live music, food, children’s activities, 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 BeauxArtsFair.com.

 

EVENT

Sunday, May 5 – Derby Day. The Quad City Symphony Orchestra’s annual fundraiser featuring horse races, a dinner buffet, a live auction, and more. Rock Island Arsenal Golf Clubhouse (1838 Gillespie, Arsenal Island, Rock Island). 2:30 p.m. $75 or $520/table of eight. For tickets and information, call (563)322-7276 or visit QCSymphony.com.