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What's Happenin': Thursday, May 30, through Wednesday, June 12 PDF Print E-mail
Lifestyle - Noteworthy Events
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 28 May 2013 06:00

Jessica Warren-AcostaMusic

Jessica Warren-Acosta & Marguerite Lynn Williams

Figge Art Museum

Saturday, June 1, 6:30 p.m.


If you’re looking to enjoy an afternoon of musical entertainment and cultural enrichment, I urge you to take this article’s information to heart. Why? Because I’ve got principals.

No, that’s not a misspelling. What I mean is that I have news about a special concert featuring Jessica Warren-Acosta, the principal flutist for the Quad City Symphony Orchestra, and Marguerite Lynn Williams, the principal harpist for the Lyric Opera of Chicago. If I actually had principles, I wouldn’t make you suffer through lame What’s Happenin’ puns every two weeks.

Appearing together in the Quad City Symphony Orchestra’s latest Signature Series event, Warren-Acosta and Williams will perform pieces from their diverse flute/harp repertoire at the Figge Art Museum on June 1. And while the museum’s John Deere Auditorium isn’t a concert hall per se, I can certainly see why the gifted musicians would want to team up there, because based on their credits, it might be the only venue left in America that Warren-Acosta and Williams haven’t yet played.

Marguerite Lynn WilliamsPraised for her “superior flute playing” by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and described as “remarkable” by the Chicago Tribune, Warren-Acosta made her Carnegie Hall debut in 1998, has performed as a soloist with the Chicago, Atlanta, Baltimore, Fort Worth, and Omaha symphonies, and is an active member of the renowned Caminos del Inka Ensemble. Williams, meanwhile, has been awarded prizes from the National Endowment of the Arts and the American Harp Society, toured with the San Diego, Milwaukee, and Minnesota symphony orchestras, and has collaborated with notable names ranging from Yo-Yo Ma to Kanye West to Sting.

During their Figge engagement, the musicians will perform beautiful classical and contemporary selections for flute and harp, and their program will be accompanied by a multimedia presentation that explores the music within historic and aesthetic contexts. They’ll also be accompanied by hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar. I probably shouldn’t be trying to lure you to the event with the promise of food and drink, but you know: principals, yes; principles, not so much.

For more information on Jessica Warren-Acosta’s and Marguerite Lynn Williams’ Signature Series concert and future Quad City Symphony Orchestra events, call (563)322-7276 or visit



Lurrie BellEvent

Muddy’s Blues & BBQ

Veterans Memorial Park

Saturday, June 1, 11:30 a.m. gates


As everyone knows, a third anniversary is usually recognized with the gift of barbecue.* But when the Bettendorf venue The Muddy Waters acknowledges its third anniversary on June 1 with a food-and-music-filled fiesta at Veterans Memorial Park, it’s actually the rest of us who’ll be enjoying that particular present.

With the party’s gates opening at 11:30 a.m., the Muddy’s Blues & BBQ event will celebrate three years of The Muddy Waters bringing exceptional blues music to Quad Cities audiences, beginning with a 2 p.m. concert with the River Music Experience’s Winter Blues All-Stars. That ensemble’s program will be followed by a 3 p.m. harmonica assembly led by Hal Reed and Kevin B.F. Burt, the latter of whom also performs as a solo artist at 5, 7, and 9 p.m. And there’ll also be plenty of blues tunes in the air between those sets, with the musicians of O.S.G. playing at 3:30 p.m., Jamiah on Fire taking the stage at 7:30 p.m., and The Terry Quiett Band being anything but quiett starting at 7:30 p.m.

At 9:30 p.m., event organizers are proud to host an evening concert with blues guitarist extraordinaire Lurrie Bell, the Chicago-based sensation who polished his skills alongside legends such as Eddy Clearwater, Big Walter Horton, and Eddie Taylor; the artist has been praised by the Chicago Reader for his “mercurial imagination, hyper-kinetic energy, and dazzling technical dexterity,” and was described by Boston Blues News as the “premier guitarist in the Windy City.”

And if all this exceptional music isn’t enough for you, there’s always that traditional third-anniversary gift* to consider, because it wouldn’t be Muddy’s Blues & BBQ without the BBQ. Throughout the day, guests are invited to sample dozens of barbecued delicacies from area-wide vendors, with a People’s Choice Award eventually handed out to the finest entry in The Muddy Waters Annual BBQ Competition. I was tempted to attach to this piece a photo of sauce-drenched barbecue instead of the accompanying Lurrie Bell pic, but I’ve learned these articles are much easier to get through when you're not also busy mopping up drool.

Tickets to June 1’s Muddy Blues & BBQ event are $7.50, and more information on the day is available by calling (563)355-0655 visiting


* Fine. The traditional third-anniversary gift is actually leather. But I’m with The Muddy Waters on this one. Where’s the culinary delight in an Annual Leather Competition?



Pokey LaFargeMusic

Pokey LaFarge

The Redstone Room

Wednesday, June 12, 8 p.m.


On June 12, Davenport’s Redstone Room hosts an evening with the highly acclaimed folk and roots singer/songwriter Pokey LaFarge. Based on the speed with which the man’s popularity is escalating, I can only assume that “Pokey” is a misnomer. Like “jumbo shrimp.” Or “funny What’s Happenin’ article.”

Born in Bloomington, Illinois, the 29-year-old LaFarge left the Midwest after high-school graduation, spent the better part of eight years hitchhiking the country with guitar in hand, and joined up with Ryan Koenig, Joey Glynn, and Adam Hoskins to form the Pokey LaFarge & the South City Three ensemble in 2009. Let’s consider that the year that LaFarge’s “Pokey” moniker really no longer applied, because since then, the musician hasn’t appeared to slow down for an instant.

2009 not only found LaFarge and his bandmates touring extensively throughout the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands, but recording their debut CD Riverboat Soul, which earned them the Independent Music Award for Best Americana Album. Since then, the group has released three additional CDs and has headlined numerous music festivals worldwide, among them Denmark’s Tønder Festival and the U.K.’s Big Chill Festival. And beyond playing with the South City Three, LaFarge himself – performing his unique blend of early jazz, string ragtime, country blues, and Western swing – has forged a most impressive solo career, with his professional laurels including a booking at Radio City Music Hall, opening for Jack White’s Blunderbuss tour, and a track featured on HBO’s Boardwalk Empire.

As for critics, they’ve almost seemed to be in a contest over who can rave the most over LaFarge’s spectacular musical stylings. The Village Voice says the man “makes a bigger, more lasting impression playing kazoo and guitar than his pop-mainstream competition makes fronting entire electrified bands.” Billboard magazine praises LaFarge’s “spirited and engaging Americana style that has a playfulness the period re-creationists often forget.” And the Riverfront Times states, “His guitar sounds like a ukulele, his voice like a transgendered punk Bessie Smith, and his style suggests a hobo Pee Wee Herman.”

Man, that’s a good one. Had I just opened with that plaudit, 300 additional words wouldn’t even have been necessary.

Pokey LaFarge performs with an opening set by Chicago Farmer, and more information and tickets are available by calling (563)326-1333 or visiting



the cast of the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse's Menopause the MusicalTheatre

Menopause the Musical

Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse

Friday, June 7, through Saturday, August 10


When you visit the Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse over the next couple of months and it’s time to pay the bill, don’t worry if you haven’t brought along the proper change. The Change is all on stage.

Described by the Baltimore Times-Herald as “hilarious, good fun, and the perfect destination for a girls’ treat out,” and lauded by the Daily Californian for its “great oldies, clever tongue-in-cheek lyrics, and entertaining dance routines,” the Rock Island venue’s latest production is the eagerly awaited Menopause the Musical. With its cast boasting slapstick-ready chanteuses Erin Fish, Whiteney Hayes, Donna Maggio, and Elenore Thomas – all of whom are making debut appearances on the Circa ’21 stage – the show will celebrate the lighter side of (the change of) life through comedic vignettes, sweet-natured sincerity, and roughly two dozen rollicking tunes that’ll have crowds tapping their toes and happily singing along.

“But wait a second,” I hear you saying. “How can I sing along if I’ve never heard any of Menopause the Musical’s songs before?!” Ah, but you have! The show’s book writer and lyricist, Jeanie Linders, has actually designed all of the show’s numbers as parodies of famous tunes from the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s, now delivered as riotous homages to the effects of menopause. (Whether the effects themselves are riotous is – I hope it goes without saying – not for me to judge.)

Want some examples? For the following Menopause the Musical songs, see if you can guess which pop hits they’re based on?


1) “Puff, My God, I’m Draggin’”

2) “Stayin’ Awake”

3) “Hot Flash”

4) “Change of Fools”

5) “My Thighs”

6) “Good Vibrations”



Menopause the Musical runs from June 7 through August 10, with preview performances June 5 and 6, and tickets and more information are available by calling (309)786-7733 extension 2 or visiting



Answers: 1 – “Puff the Magic Dragon.” 2 – “Stayin’ Alive.” 3 – “Heat Wave.” 4 – “Chain of Fools.” 5 – “My Guy.” 6 – “Good Vibrations.” Yeah, that last one has the same title, but I’m pretty sure the Beach Boys weren’t singing about sex toys. Or maybe they were. Again, not for me to judge.



What Else Is Happenin’... ?



Thursday, May 30 – John Fullbright. Singer/songwriter and 2013 Grammy Award nominee in concert. Rozz-Tox (2108 Third Avenue, Rock Island). 8 p.m. $12. For information, call (309)200-0978 or visit

Friday, May 31 – Jake McVey. Concert with the touring country musician. The Redstone Room (129 Main Street, Davenport). 8:30 p.m. $10. For tickets and information, call (563)326-1333 or visit

Friday, May 31 – Calexico. Country, Latin, and Tex-Mex musicians 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

Sunday, June 2 – They Might Be Giants. Grammy Award-winning alternative rockers in concert, with an opening set by Moon Hooch. Englert Theatre (221 East Washington Street, Iowa City). 7 p.m. $25-27.50. For tickets and information, call (319)688-2653 or visit

Monday, June 3 – Son Volt. Americana concert with Jay Farrar and his ensemble. Englert Theatre (221 East Washington Street, Iowa City). 8 p.m. $22-25. For tickets and information, call (319)688-2653 or visit

Tuesday, June 4 – The Tallest Man on Earth. Concert with the singer/songwriter from Dalarna, Sweden, with an opening set by Strand of Oaks. Englert Theatre (221 East Washington Street, Iowa City). 8 p.m. $17.50-20. For tickets and information, call (319)688-2653 or visit

Wednesday, June 5 – Fiddler on the Roof Meets O Brother, Where Art Thou? A program of Jewish and Yiddish folk music from singer, multi-instrumentalist, and music historian Lil’ Rev. Moline Public Library (3210 41st Street, Moline). 7 p.m. Free admission. For information, call (309)524-2440 or visit

Thursday, June 6 – The Trishas. Country/folk musicians in concert, with an opening set by Dirt Road Rockers. The Redstone Room (129 Main Street, Davenport). 7:30 p.m. $10. For tickets and information, call (563)326-1333 or visit

Saturday, June 8 – Son of a Sailor. Concert with the Jimmy Buffet tribute band. Quad-Cities Waterfront Convention Center (1777 Isle Parkway, Bettendorf). 6 p.m. $20-30. For information, call (800)724-5825 or visit

Saturday, June 8 – Molly Hatchet. Multi-platinum-selling Southern-rock artists in concert. Riverside Casino Event Center (3184 Highway 22, Riverside). 8 p.m. $15-22. For tickets and information, call (877)677-3456 or visit

Sunday, June 9 – Out-of-the-Ordinary Broadway Concert. Fundraising concert for the Nova Singers vocal ensemble, featuring numbers from Les Misérables, Phantom of the Opera, West Side Story, and other hits. First Lutheran Church of Rock Island (1600 20th Street, Rock Island). 4 p.m. $10-15. For information, call (309)341-7038 or visit

Wednesday, June 12 – Thaddeus Rex with Rock. The children’s musician and his dinosaur sidekick perform in a Music on the Lawn concert. Deere-Wiman Carriage House (817 11th Avenue, Moline). 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Free admission. For information, call (309)743-2700 or visit



Thursday, May 30, through Sunday, June 30 – Cookin’ with Gus. Farcical comedy by Jim Brochu. Old Creamery Theatre (39 38th Avenue, Amana). Friday and Saturday 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, Wednesday, and Thursday 3 p.m. $18-27.50. For tickets and information, call (319)622-6194 or visit

Thursday, June 6, through Sunday, June 16 – 100 Lunches: A Gourmet Comedy. Joe Sears’ and Jack Sharkey’s theatre-behind-the-scenes comedy, directed by Joe DePauw. Richmond Hill Barn Theatre (600 Robinson Drive, Geneseo). Thursday-Saturday 7:30 p.m.; Sunday 3 p.m. $8-10. For tickets and information, call (309)944-2244 or visit

Thursday, June 6, through Sunday, June 16 – Forever Plaid. Season-opening production of the barbershop-pop musical comedy. Clinton Area Showboat Theatre (311 Riverview Drive, Clinton). Thursday-Saturday 7:30 p.m.; Sunday and Wednesday 3 p.m. For tickets and information, call (563)242-6760 or visit

Thursday, June 6, through Sunday, June 16 – A Chorus Line. Season-opening production of the Tony Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning dance musical. Timber Lake Playhouse (8215 Black Oak Road, Mt. Carroll). Tuesday-Saturday 7:30 p.m.; Sunday 2 p.m. $15-23. For tickets and information, call (815)244-2035 or visit

Friday, June 7, through Sunday, June 16 Doubt. John Patrick Shanley’s Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning drama, directed by James Fairchild. The District Theatre (1611 Second Avenue, Rock Island). Thursday-Saturday 8 p.m.; Sunday 2 p.m. For tickets and information, call (309)235-1654 or visit



Friday, June 7, through Sunday, June 9 – Ballet Under the Stars. Annual outdoor vignettes performed by the 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



Thursday, June 6 – Walt Whitman Event. Poetry reading and presentation with Richard Leddy portraying Whitman. Dead Poet’s Espresso (1525 Third Avenue A, Moline). 3 p.m. Free admission. For information, call (309)736-7606.



Saturday, June 1, through Sunday, August 25 – Questionable Architecture: Terry Rathje in Collaboration with Steve Banks & Monica Correia. Rathje will create a sculptural installation designed and constructed with the collaboration of designer Correia and artist Banks. Figge Art Museum (225 West Second Street, Davenport). Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Thursday 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sunday noon-5 p.m. $4-7. For information, call (563)326-7804 or visit

Wednesday, June 5, through Friday, September 6 – Aquatic Art. Exhibit of plein-air paintings by Father Edward M. Catich. St. Ambrose University’s Catich Gallery – Galvin Fine Arts Center (2101 Gaines Street, Davenport). Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Free admission. For information, call (563)333-6444 or visit



Saturday, June 1 – BeeRME for Music. Fifth-annual fundraiser featuring beer samplings from area breweries, hors d’oeuvres, music by Jason Carl & the Whole Damn Band, and more. River Music Experience (131 West Second Street,. Davenport). 5 p.m. $20-30. For tickets and information, call (563)326-1333 or visit

Saturday, June 1, and Sunday, June 2 – QC Pridefest. Annual celebration of LGBT culture, featuring live music on two stages, children’s activities, fireworks on Saturday, performances by Bottoms Up Burlesque, food and arts-and-crafts vendors, and more. Downtown Davenport’s Rainbow District (Second Street, Davenport). Saturday noon-midnight; Sunday noon-8 p.m. $5 for two-day admission. For information, call (563)676-6727 or visit

Friday, June 7, and Saturday, June 8 – Gumbo Ya Ya. Annual outdoor Mardi Gras celebration featuring Cajun, zydeco, jazz, and blues music on two stages, food and arts-and-crafts vendors, and more. The District of Rock Island. Friday 5 p.m. gates; Saturday 4 p.m. gates. $9/one-day admission, $14/two-day admission. For information, call (309)788-6311 or visit

Friday, June 7, through Sunday, June 9 – Iowa Arts Festival. Thirtieth-annual outdoor event featuring concerts, vendors, art and crafts, children’s activities, and more. Downtown Iowa City. Friday 4-11:30 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m.-6 p.m. For information, e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit

Saturday, June 8 – Komen Quad Cities Race for the Cure. Annual 5K- and 1.2-mile walk/run designed to raise awareness of and funds for breast-cancer research. i wireless Center (1201 River Drive, Moline). 8 a.m. $17-30 registration. For information and to register, visit

Wednesday, June 12, through Saturday, June 16 – Rally on the River. Nineteenth-annual celebration of motorcycle culture, featuring demonstrations, contests, concerts, vendors, and more. Centennial Park (Beiderbecke Drive and Marquette Street, Davenport). Wednesday free admission, Thursday-Saturday $10/day; free for anyone riding in on a motorcycle. For information, call (309)799-7625 or visit

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