What's Happenin': Tuesday, October 11, through Wednesday, October 26 Print
Lifestyle - Noteworthy Events
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 11 October 2011 06:00
Chris GreeneMusic

The Chris Greene Quartet

The Redstone Room

Sunday, October 16


For the latest presentation in Polyrhythms’ Third Sunday Jazz Series, the Redstone Room will host an October 16 workshop and concert with the lauded Chicago musicians of the Chris Greene Quartet, whose saxophone-playing front man was described by DownBeat magazine as “a stupid-funky tenor and soprano player.” Ironically, that’s exactly how people described me in my youth. Except it was in regard to my involvement in choir. And they didn’t say “player.” Or “funky.” I don’t really want to talk about it.

Chris Greene, though, I’m more than happy to talk about. A native of Evanston, Indiana, who graduated from the prestigious Indiana University Jazz Studies program, Greene spent the early 1990s playing in such bands as the Trippin’ Billies and Kevin O’Donnell’s Quality Six, and subsequently performed or recorded with such noted artists as Common, the Temptations, Sheena Easton, Michael Manson, Andrew Bird, and Liquid Soul.

In 2005, the much-in-demand sax player formed his own jazz unit, and the ensemble has seen no musician turnover since its inception, with Damian Espinosa performing on acoustic piano and electric keyboard, Marc Paine on acoustic bass, and Steve Corley on drums. Together, the Chris Greene Quartet plays regularly at such famed Chicago venues as the M Lounge, Andy’s Jazz Club, and the Jazz Showcase, and has released four CDs to date, with 2010’s Playtime praised for its “delicious band interplay” on JazzChicago.net.

And Greene’s plaudits don’t stop there. JazzTimes magazine wrote that the artist “threads each tune with high-octane uplift.” The Huffington Post called him “an almost impossibly nimble sax player.” JazzChicago.net described him as “one of the best young players in the city.” And raving that “Greene has some set of chops,” JazzWax.com advised, “Keep an eye on this kid.” Which is also something people said about me in my youth. And again, I don’t want to talk about it. Why must you keep bringing up these painful memories?!

The Chris Greene Quartet will present an all-ages jazz workshop at 3 p.m. and an evening concert at 6 p.m., and more information on the day is available by calling (309)373-0790 or visiting Polyrhythms.org or RedstoneRoom.com.



Merri BiechlerTheatre

Real Girls Can’t Win!

Augustana College

Friday, October 14, through Sunday, October 23


Running October 14 through 23, the first theatrical production in Augustana College’s 2011-12 season is titled Real Girls Can’t Win!, and among the subjects explored in this comedy are body image, self-worth, friendship, competitiveness, objectification, popularity, and the occasional insidiousness of social-networking sites. That’s all well and good, but it would’ve been nice if Augie had produced a play with themes that students could actually relate to.

Ah, I do love to kid my alma mater! In truth, it sounds as though Augustana’s latest is a stage work that practically everyone, even those housing a Y chromosome, can relate to.

In this offering by author Merri Biechler – the winner of the 2009 Women Playwrights Series competition held by New Jersey’s Centenary Stage Company – a smart, sensible, first-year student named Katie decides to stand up for “real girls” everywhere by vying for the title of “Miss Freshman B Dorm” against the clique-ish clothes-horse Dakota Evans. What seems, on the surface, an unbalanced competition in Real Girls Can’t Win! quickly turns into a subtly vicious (yet funny) battle royale between supposed “haves” and “have-nots,” one that the Web site NJ.com praised for the play’s “comic edge” and “important message for those using technology as a forum for self-expression.”

Directing the Augustana production is theatre-department Assistant Professor Scott Irelan, who says he was attracted to Real Girls Can’t Win! because it “offers strong women characters, written by a strong female voice in contemporary U.S. theatre.” As for playwright Biechler, whose recent Dolley Madison & the Secret History Club was a work commissioned by the White House Historical Association, the Ohio University graduate is a member of both the Screen Actors Guild and the Writers Guild of America, and her film and TV credits include roles in He Said, She Said; Murphy Brown; Judging Amy; and ER. So, having spent so much time in Hollywood, she obviously knows nothing about body-image issues, competition, or hateful gossip.

Ha ha! Kidding again, Augie folk! (They’re so wishing I had gotten a poli-sci degree right about now ... .)

Real Girls Can’t Win! will be presented in Augustana’s Potter Hall theatre on Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 1:30 p.m., and more information and tickets are available by calling (309)794-7306 or visiting Augustana.edu.



Darden SmithMusic

Darden Smith

Adler Theatre

Thursday, October 20, 7 p.m.


If you’re a neophyte singer/songwriter and your debut album manages to boast harmony vocals by Lyle Lovett and Nanci Griffith, you’d think your career would have nowhere to go but down.

Happily for music fans, though, that wasn’t the case for the Texas-based Darden Smith. Twenty-five years after the release of his first album, Native Soil, the country, folk, rock, pop, and roots guitarist continues to earn critical acclaim and play to sold-out crowds nationwide. Local audiences, meanwhile, will be able to appreciate Smith’s considerable talents when the artist plays Davenport’s Adler Theatre on October 20, in a concert presented through the Rock Island Arsenal chapter of the Association of the United States Army (AUSA).

Smith’s Adler concert, a benefit performance for the Wounded Warriors program, will find the lauded performer playing from his incredible – and incredibly eclectic – discography, one that features such hit songs as “Little Maggie,” “Day After Tomorrow,” “Midnight Train,” “Frankie & Sue,” and the top-10 pop single “Loving Arms.” And with the All Music Guide describing him as “a singer/songwriter blessed with an uncommon degree of intelligence, depth, and compassion,” Smith has earned particular kudos for his most recent CD, 2010’s Marathon, which the Austin Chronicle praised for its “atmospheric instrumentals with a tableau of folk, jazz, and blues that’s equally introspective and hard-hitting.”

Yet Smith’s professional accomplishments aren’t limited to his formidable gifts as a performer. He’s currently in the process of adapting Marathon into a stage musical. In 2003, he founded the not-for-profit “Be an Artist Program,” a series of workshops that encourage students to explore their creativity through songwriting. And in 1999, he was commissioned by the Austin Symphony Orchestra to write the symphony Grand Motion ... despite the fact that Smith had never learned to read music. Which is kind of like my getting a job as a newspaper journalist without possessing a journalism degr – .


Listen: Pretend you didn’t read that, okay?

Tickets to Darden Smith’s Adler Theatre concert are available by calling (800)745-3000, and more information on the night can be found at AdlerTheatre.com.



Bruce Robison and Kelly WillisMusic

Kelly Willis & Bruce Robison

Central Performing Arts Center

Saturday, October 15, 7 p.m.


Ask most touring musicians, and they’ll likely say that one of the hardest aspects to being so frequently on the road is spending so much time separated from their loved ones. Country-music stars Kelly Willis and Bruce Robison, however, seem to have solved that little problem quite nicely: They got married and tour together.

At least they do on occasion, as audiences will see when the duo shares a stage at the recently opened Central Performing Arts Center in DeWitt. Appearing at the new area venue on October 15, Willis and Robison will perform from their extensive repertoire of beloved country tunes; the Oklahoma-born Willis’ discography includes such CDs as Translated from Love, What I Deserve, and Bang Bang, and Texas native Robison – the songwriter of such chart-toppers as the Dixie Chicks’ “Travelin’ Soldier” and George Strait’s “Wrapped” – boasts such hit albums as Eleven Stories, The New World, and 2010’s From the Top.

Yet while you’ll no doubt appreciate the performers’ musical chemistry as a duo during their DeWitt engagement, how well-versed are you in their solo works? Check out the following list of eight titles: Which is a Bruce Robison song and which was performed by Kelly Willis?


1) “Not Forgotten You”

2) “Whatever Way the Wind Blows”

3) “Bad Girl Blues”

4) “All Over But the Cryin’”

5) “Heaven’s Just a Sin Away”

6) “Go to Your Heart”

7) “Angry All the Time”

8) “If I Left You”


A) Bruce Robison

B) Kelly Willis


The Central Performing Arts Center is located at 519 East 11th Street in DeWitt, tickets to the Kelly Willis/Bruce Robison concert are $20 in advance and $25 at the door, and reservations can be made by calling MidwesTIX at (515)244-2771.



Answers – 1 – B, 2 – B, 3 – A, 4 – A, 5 – B, 6 – A, 7 – A, 8 – B. Let’s hope they don’t sing those last two numbers directly to one another in DeWitt, ’cause that’d be really awkward.



What Else Is Happenin’...?



Thursday, October 13 – The Van-Dells. Popular rock-and-roll revue of ’50s and ’60s tunes. Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse (1828 Third Avenue, Rock Island). 7 p.m. $22.50-25. For tickets and information, call (309)786-7733 extension 2 or visit Circa21.com.

Friday, October 14 – Roots & Boots. Songs and stories with country-music stars Sammy Kershaw, Joe Diffie, and Aaron Tippin. Quad-Cities Waterfront Convention Center (1777 Isle Parkway, Bettendorf). 7:30 p.m. $20-30. For tickets, call (800)724-5825 or visit Bettendorf.IsleOfCapriCasinos.com.

Saturday, October 15 – The Beggarmen. Fundraising performance with the Irish music ensemble, featuring an opener by Irish step dancer Taylor J. Best. Riverside Theatre (213 North Gilbert Street, Iowa City). 7:30 p.m. $15-20. For tickets and information, call (319)338-7672 or visit RiversideTheatre.org.

Saturday, October 15 – American English. Award-winning Beatles tribute band in concert. Ohnward Fine Arts Center (1215 East Platt Street, Maquoketa). 7 p.m. $25-30. For information and tickets, call (563)652-9815 or visit OhnwardFineArtsCenter.com.

Saturday, October 15 – Robert Randolph & the Family Band. Concert with the pedal-steel-guitar virtuoso and his ensemble. Englert Theatre (221 East Washington Street, Iowa City). 8 p.m. $25. For tickets and information, call (319)688-2653 or visit Englert.org. For a 2007 interview with Randolph, visit RCReader.com/y/robertrandolph.

Thursday, October 20 – National Chamber Choir of Ireland. Ireland’s acclaimed choral ensemble in a Hancher Auditorium presentation. St. Mary’s Catholic Church (220 East Jefferson Street, Iowa City). 7:30 p.m. $10-45. For tickets and information, call (319)335-1160 or visit http://www.Hancher.UIowa.edu.

Friday, October 21 – Survivor. Legendary pop-rock musicians in concert, with an opening set by Eric Hutchinson, following the University of Iowa’s homecoming parade. University of Iowa Pentacrest (Iowa Avenue and Capitol Street, Iowa City). Free admission. For information, call (319)335-3395 or visit http://Scope.UIowa.edu.

Friday, October 21 – The Bucktown Revue. Stage presentation of an old-time radio show, featuring emcee Scott Tunnicliff and music by the Barley House Band. Nighswander Theatre (2822 Eastern Avenue, Davenport). 7 p.m. $10. For information, visit BucktownRevue.com.

Friday, October 21, and Saturday, October 22 – Smooth Jazz Fall Festival. Great Sound promotions concerts with pianist Bob Baldwin and trumpeter Joey Sommerville on Friday, and guitarist Peter White on Saturday. The Redstone Room (129 Main Street, Davenport). 8 p.m. $50-55 Friday, $65-70 Saturday. For tickets and information, call (563)324-4208 or visit SmoothJazzSeries.com.

Saturday, October 22 – The Calder Quartet. Noted string ensemble in concert, in a co-presentation in the Quad City Symphony Orchestra Signature Series and the Quad City Arts Visiting Artist Series. Putnam Museum & IMAX Theatre (1717 West 12th Street, Davenport). 8 p.m. $7-18. For information and tickets, call (563)322-7276 or visit QuadCityArts.com.

Saturday, October 22 – The Buckinghams. Concert of hit ’60s and ’70s titles including “Kind of a Drag,” “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy,” and “Hey Baby, They’re Playing Our Song.” Quad-Cities Waterfront Convention Center (1777 Isle Parkway, Bettendorf). 7:30 p.m. $10-15. For tickets, call (800)724-5825 or visit Bettendorf.IsleOfCapriCasinos.com.

Saturday, October 22 – Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue. New Orleans jazz, funk, soul, rock, and hip-hop with the Grammy Award-nominated musicians. Englert Theatre (221 East Washington Street, Iowa City). 8 p.m. $18-20. For tickets and information, call (319)688-2653 or visit Englert.org.

Sunday, October 23 – Matt Maher & Laura Story. Christian-music recording artists in their “The Love in Between Tour,” featuring guest singer Andy Cherry. Adler Theatre (136 East Third Street, Davenport). 6 p.m. $15-30. For tickets, call (800)745-3000 or visit AdlerTheatre.com.

Sunday, October 23 – Symphonic Moments. Fall concert by the Quad City Wind Ensemble, featuring principal trumpet player David Greenhoe. St. Ambrose University’s Galvin Fine Arts Center (2101 Gaines Street, Davenport). 3 p.m. $8-$10 for adults, students free. For information, visit Quad-City-Wind-Ensemble.webs.com.

Tuesday, October 25 – MarchFourth Marching Band. Big-band musicians in a concert event featuring stilt-walkers, unicycles, fire eaters, puppets, flag twirlers, burlesque dancers, clown antics, acrobatics, and more. The Redstone Room (129 Main Street, Davenport). 8:30 p.m. $12. For tickets and information, call (563)326-1333 or visit RedstoneRoom.com.



Friday, October 14, through Sunday, October 30 – Chicago. Kander & Ebb’s musical-comedy classic, directed by David Turley. The District Theatre (1611 Second Avenue, Rock Island). Fridays and Saturdays 8 p.m., Sundays 2 p.m. $15. For tickets and information, call (309)235-1654 or visit DistrictTheatre.com.

Thursday, October 20, through Sunday, October 30 – Sex Please, We’re Sixty! Farcical comedy by Michael and Susan Parker, directed by Jalayne Riewerts. Richmond Hill Barn Theatre (600 Hk Robinson Drive, Geneseo). Thursdays through Saturdays 7:30 p.m., Sundays 4 p.m. $10. For tickets and information, call (309)944-2244 or visit RHPlayers.com.

Thursday, October 20, through Saturday, October 29 – War of the Worlds. John Turner’s adaptation of the classic H.G. Wells novel and Mercury Theater radio broadcast, directed by Steve Flanigin. Scott Community College Student Life Center (500 Belmont Road, Door 5, Room 2400, Bettendorf). Thursdays through Saturdays 7 p.m. $7 at the door. For tickets and information, e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . For an interview with Turner and Flanigin, visit RCReader.com/y/warworlds.

Friday, October 21, through Monday, October 31 – The Rocky Horror Show. Do the “Time Warp” again with the musical-comedy cult classic, directed by Matt Mercer. The District Theatre (1611 Second Avenue, Rock Island). Fridays and Saturdays midnight, October 25 through 27 and 30 through 31 8 p.m. $20. For tickets and information, call (309)235-1654 or visit DistrictTheatre.com.

Friday, October 21, through Saturday, October 29 – Seussical Jr. One-act version of the Tony Award-nominated storybook musical. Clinton Area Showboat Theatre (311 Riverview Drive, Clinton). Fridays, Tuesdays, and October 29 7:30 p.m. $15. For tickets and information, call (563)242-6760.

Saturday, October 22, through Sunday, October 30 – The Wizard of Oz. Student-performed version of the L. Frank Baum classic, directed by Tyson Danner. Davenport Junior Theatre (2822 Eastern Avenue, Davenport). Saturdays 1 and 4 p.m., Sundays 2 p.m. $5 at the door for ages three and older. For information, call (563)326-7862 or visit DavenportJuniorTheatre.com.



Wednesday, October 19 – Harriet Brown. Author discusses Project BodyTalk and her book Brave Girl Eating: A Family’s Struggle with Anorexia, in a presentation hosted by the Quad Cities Eating Disorders Consortium. St. Ambrose University’s Rogalski Center (518 West Locust Street, Davenport). 5 p.m. Free admission. For information, call (309)779-3077 or visit QCEatingDisorders.com.

Thursday, October 20 – Susan Orlean. Multimedia event with the author of the new Rin Tin Tin, combining literature, film, video, and music to help illuminate the story of the iconic dog. Englert Theatre (221 East Washington Street, Iowa City). 8 p.m. $10-15; $27 for two tickets and a copy of the book. For tickets and information, call (319)688-2653 or visit Englert.org.



Friday, October 21 – Night of the Living Dead: RiffTrax Edition. A screening of George A. Romero’s classic horror film, with ironic commentary by Mystery Science Theater 3000 stars Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy, and Bill Corbett. The Establishment Theatre (220 19th Street, Rock Island). 9:30 p.m. Free admission. For information, call (309)786-1111 or visit EstablishmentTheatre.com.

Saturday, October 22 – Against All the Odds. Sandra Pfeifer’s award-winning documentary about the city of East St. Louis, Illinois – “America’s only all-black city” – followed by a Q&A session with Pfeifer. Figge Art Museum (225 West Second Street, Davenport). 6:30 p.m. Free with $4-7 museum admission. For information, call (309)786-8698 or visit AfroLegacy.org.



Saturday, October 15, through Sunday, May 20 – Turtle Travels. Exhibit allowing kids to interact with turtles, walk in turtles’ footprints and experience life as they know it, play a life-sized board game, and more. Family Museum (2900 Learning Campus Drive, Bettendorf). Mondays through Saturdays 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Thursdays 9 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sundays noon-5 p.m. Free with $4-7 museum admission. For information, call (563)344-4106 or visit FamilyMuseum.org.

Friday, October 21 – Disney Live! Phineas & Ferb. New stage adventure with the popular Disney Channel characters. i wireless Center (1201 River Drive, Moline). 4 and 7 p.m. $15.75-33.75. For tickets, call (800)745-3000 or visit iwirelessCenter.com.

Saturday, October 22 – Teen Anime Day. Ages 12 and older can dress as their favorite anime characters, display their artworks, enjoy classic anime features and refreshments, and more, in an event co-sponsored by the Davenport Public Library and QC Anime-zing. Figge Art Museum (225 West Second Street, Davenport). Noon. $5. For information, call (563)326-7804 or visit FiggeArtMuseum.org.

Tuesday, October 25 – Children’s Literature Festival. A Midwest Writing Center-sponsored event for grades 3 through 6, featuring 2011 Newbery Award winner Clare Vanderpool, Titanic expert Rick Sundin, and numerous other authors and illustrators. Davenport RiverCenter (136 East Third Street, Davenport). 8:45 a.m. $5. For information, call (563)340-1585 or visit MidwestWritingCenter.org.



Wednesday, October 19 – National Acrobats of the People’s Republic of China. Acrobats use chairs, plates, and other everyday objects to perform dazzling acts of contortion, martial arts, and dance in a Hancher Auditorium presentation. Englert Theatre (221 East Washington Street, Iowa City). 7:30 p.m. $12.50-30. For tickets and information, call (319)335-1160 or visit http://www.Hancher.UIowa.edu.

Friday, October 21 – The Midwest Writing Center’s Bohemian Ball. A 1920s-themed party featuring music by the Terry Hanson Ensemble, vaudevillian comedy with Joshua Kahn, a silent auction, entertainment, games, prizes, and more. Hotel Blackhawk (200 East Third Street, Davenport). 7 p.m. $25-30. For tickets and information, call (563)324-1410 or visit MidwestWritingCenter.org.

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