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|What's Happenin': Tuesday, September 27, through Wednesday, October 12|
|Lifestyle - Noteworthy Events|
|Written by Mike Schulz|
|Tuesday, 27 September 2011 06:00|
God of Carnage
Thursday, October 6, through Sunday, October 16
A living-room set. Four well-dressed characters. Conversation about careers and families and relationships. Basically a play like any other ... except for the projectile vomiting.
Actually, even without that latter element, God of Carnage isn’t your everyday theatrical outing, as audiences will likely discover when New Ground Theatre stages author Yasmina Reza’s acclaimed work October 6 through 16. The winner of three 2009 Tony Tony Awards including Best Play, this Americanized version of the biting French comedy may appear traditional. But as those familiar with the playwright’s Art well know, Reza is a modern-day master at exposing the frequently hilarious ugliness beneath seemingly serene façades.
God of Carnage concerns two well-to-do couples who meet to discuss an after-school fight between their sons, one that led to the loss of a couple of teeth. Yet as the evening commences and the booze flows (along with, um, additional liquid substances), numerous other things are also lost, among them the parents’ dignity, civility, and control.
What starts as a friendly chat eventually degenerates into full-out verbal warfare, and in director Derek Bertelsen’s production, that warfare will be acted out by four familiar local actors: Jason Platt of New Ground’s August: Osage County, Jackie Madunic of the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre’s Marvin’s Room, Jonathan Grafft of the Harrison Hilltop Theatre’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, and Melissa Anderson Clark of Quad City Music Guild’s The Drowsy Chaperone. These performers will no doubt have a ball enacting a play that the New York Times praised for “inciting the kind of laughter that comes from the gut, as involuntary as hiccups or belching.” Or ... well, you know.
And on that note, I’d recommend getting to the theatre early, folks. I don’t know what Bertelsen has planned for the infamous upchuck moment, but I do know that I’m immediately snagging a back-row seat, just in case.
God of Carnage will be performed in the Village of East Davenport’s Village Theatre, performances are at 7:30 p.m. on Thursdays through Saturdays and 2:30 p.m. on Sundays, and tickets are available by calling (563)326-7529 or visiting NewGroundTheatre.org.
A New Brain
Galvin Fine Arts Center
Friday, October 7, through Sunday, October 9
So who’s up for A New Brain? I know I am. I’ve actually been looking forward to A New Brain for almost a decade now, and ... .
Okay. Stop giggling, smart alecks. I’m not talking about a new brain for me. I’m talking about the stage production A New Brain, being performed in St. Ambrose University’s Galvin Fine Arts Center October 7 through 9. And if you’re a musical-comedy fan, you should be looking forward to it, too, especially if you’re a fellow admirer of William Finn, the composer behind such beloved works as Falsettos and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.
Originally produced off-Broadway in 1998, A New Brain is a case study in turning personal turmoil into exhilarating art, as it’s based on Finn’s own experiences after being diagnosed with what appeared to be a fatal brain tumor. (Thankfully for Finn, and for musical comedy in general, he made a full recovery.) The show finds its similarly afflicted protagonist, songwriter Gordon Schwinn, re-evaluating his life and relationships during his hospital stay, a musical journey of self-discovery dramatized in such songs as “Craniotomy,” “Really Lousy Day in the Universe,” and “Poor, Unsuccessful, & Fat.”
But I may have picked misleading titles there. Because in truth, A New Brain is a fanciful, tuneful, and glorious celebration of life, and one that critics routinely champion; Variety magazine, for example, wrote that “the rewards for remaining receptive to Finn’s music are immense,” and stated that “A New Brain deserves to be plucked from obscurity and produced by innovative theatre companies around the world.”
With this forthcoming area presentation directed by Daniel Rairdin-Hale, helmer of St. Ambrose’s recent Oedipus Rex and Columbinus, innovation will no doubt be on display in the university’s latest. And given Rairdin-Hale’s involvement and William Finn’s exceptional wit and ear, I absolutely can’t wait for A New Brain, which will ... .
Stop giggling. I repeat: It’s not a new brain for me. (Though, now that I think of it, one might be useful in coming up with better jokes ... .)
are available by calling (563)333-6251 or visiting http://Web.SAU.edu/galvin.
The Chris Robinson Brotherhood
Rock Island Brewing Company
Monday, October 10, 8 p.m.
“Obviously, news that the Black Crowes were to go on yet another hiatus after their ‘Say Goodbye to the Bad Guys’ tour was not what most fans wanted to hear,” wrote Alex Khatchadourian in the Santa Barbara Independent. “Yet had we known that the Crowes’ final notes would spawn the all-American rock powerhouse known as the Chris Robinson Brotherhood, some people might have pleaded for this ‘much-needed break’ to begin much sooner.”
That’s probably all the praise that fans need to hear in advance of RIBCO’s October 10 concert with the Chris Robinson Brotherhood, which finds Black Crowes frontman Robinson jamming with the mighty talents of keyboardist (and fellow Crowes member) Adam MacDougall, guitarist Neal Casal, bassist Mark “Muddy” Dutton, and drummer George Sluppick. Yet a few more words of praise for this electrifying, California-based ensemble seem merited, and because I appear incapable of writing about bands without taking unnecessary detours into movie trivia, I thought I’d leave it to the professionals.
Reviewing the Chris Robinson Brotherhood in Bay Area magazine, Dennis Cook described the group as “a rootsy, wily group of skilled players,” adding that “after 20 years in the game, Robinson is still hell-bent on innovating ... and he thrives when surrounded by guys like this who understand that safe and simple isn’t the way to roll with Chris.”
Continuing his praise in the Santa Barbara Independent, Khatchadourian wrote that Robinson “has fashioned a troupe of musicians that undoubtedly channels classic-rock greats like Lynyrd Skynyrd, all the while serving up songs that unload a hefty amount of bluesy guitar solos with just the right amount of Southern-rock crunch.”
And covering a Chris Robinson Brotherhood set for the Sacramento Press, Lindol French raved about “the extended jam with all of the musicians showing off their prodigious chops” that “sent the crowd into a tizzy.”
So let’s hear it for RIBCO for bringing this outstanding new rock outfit to the Quad Cities. And, for my part, let’s hear it for Cook, Khatchadourian, and French for allowing me to compose a piece on Robinson’s group without resorting to any mention of Kate Hudson.
Shoot. So close.
Tickets are $15, and for more information on October 10’s Chris Robinson Brotherhood concert, call (309)793-4060 or visit RIBCO.com.
Quad City Symphony Orchestra Masterworks Series: Beethoven 5
Adler Theatre and Centennial Hall
Saturday, October 1, and Sunday, October 2
As you’re no doubt aware, thanks to my almost superhuman ability to express musical motifs in word form, that’s the opening to one of the most recognizable works in the classical-music canon: Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5. It’s also a refrain that you’ll soon be hearing in a stunning orchestral arrangement, as conductor Mark Russell Smith opens this year’s Quad City Symphony Orchestra Masterworks series with the program Beethoven 5, being performed at the Adler Theatre on October 1, and in Augustana College’s Centennial Hall on October 2.
With the Chinese piano sensation Haochen Zhang appearing as a special guest of the area ensemble, the first in this season’s Masterworks presentations will also feature the orchestra’s expert renditions of Dvorak’s Carnival Overture and Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3. Yet it’s the musicians’ sure-to-be-stirring take on Beethoven’s four-movement masterpiece that’s likely to be the concerts’ highlight. And as a way to whet your appetites for the weekend’s performances, try your hand at a bit of Symphony No. 5 trivia.
1) In what year did the piece make its public premiere?
2) In what Viennese venue did the piece debut?
1) The Raimund Theater
2) Theater an der Wien
3) The Voksoper Theater
3) A typical performance of Symphony No. 5 lasts roughly how long?
A) 30 minutes
B) 45 minues
C) An hour
4) What 1970s band adapted the piece into a disco hit titled “A Fifth of Beethoven”?
B) Thin Lizzy
C) Walter Murphy & the Big Apple Band
5) True or false: Reviewing the work in the early 19th Century, E.T.A. Hoffman wrote, “No doubt the whole rushes like an ingenious rhapsody past many a man, but the soul of each thoughtful listener is assuredly stirred, deeply and intimately, by a feeling that is none other than that unutterable portentous longing, and until the final chord – indeed, even in the moments that follow it – he will be powerless to step out of that wondrous spirit realm where grief and joy embrace him in the form of sound.”
Saturday’s Adler Theatre performance begins at 7:30 p.m., Sunday’s Centennial Hall presentation starts at 2 p.m., and more information on both Quad City Symphony Orchestra concerts is available by calling (563)322-7276 or visiting QCSymphony.com.
Answers: 1 – B, 2 – B, 3 – A, 4 – C, 5 – True. Man, Twitter would’ve irritated the crap out of Hoffman, huh?
What Else Is Happenin’...?
Thursday, September 29 – The Miles Davis Experience: 1949-1959. Concert celebration of jazz music and one of its most iconic innovators. Englert Theatre (221 East Washington Street, Iowa City). 8 p.m. $20-35. For tickets and information, call (319)688-2653 or visit Englert.org.
Thursday, September 29 – The Joey DeFrancesco Trio. Concert sets with the king of the Hammond B-3 organ, in a Hancher Auditorium presentation. The Mill (120 East Burlington Street, Iowa City). 7:30 and 10 p.m. $10-25. For tickets and information, call (319)335-1160 or visit http://www.Hancher.UIowa.edu.
Friday, September 30 – Bobby Vinton. Chart-topping pop-music icon in concert. Quad-Cities Waterfront Convention Center (1777 Isle Parkway, Bettendorf). 7:30 p.m. $20-30. For tickets and information, call (800)724-5825 or visit Bettendorf.IsleOfCapriCasinos.com.
Friday, September 30 – The Alloy Orchestra: Metropolis. Three-man ensemble performs live musical accompaniment to Fritz Lang’s silent-film classic. Englert Theatre (221 East Washington Street, Iowa City). 8 p.m. $12-15. For tickets and information, call (319)688-2653 or visit Englert.org.
Sunday, October 2 – The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble. A Hancher Auditorium presentation featuring one of Europe’s finest and most beloved chamber ensembles. Iowa City High School’s Opstad Auditorium (1900 Morningside Drive, Iowa City). 3 p.m. $20-45. For tickets and information, call (319)335-1160 or visit http://www.Hancher.UIowa.edu.
Thursday, October 6 – Reba. Country-music legend in concert, with special guests Band Perry, Steel Magnolia, and Eden’s Edge. i wireless Center (1201 River Drive, Moline). 7:30 p.m. $27.50-72. For tickets, call (800)745-3000 or visit iwirelessCenter.com.
Thursday, October 6 – The Poison Control Center. Iowa-based indie rockers in an Intimate at the Englert concert. Englert Theatre (221 East Washington Street, Iowa City). 8 p.m. $5. For tickets and information, call (319)688-2653 or visit Englert.org.
Friday, October 7 – Chicago. Chart-topping pop superstars in concert. i wireless Center (1201 River Drive, Moline). 7:30 p.m. $33.50-48.50. For tickets, call (800)745-3000 or visit iwirelessCenter.com.
Friday, October 7 – Nappy Roots. Southern rap and pop musicians in concert. The Redstone Room (129 Main Street, Davenport). 9 p.m. $15-18. For tickets and information, call (563)326-1333 or visit RedstoneRoom.com.
Friday, October 7 – Iris DeMent. Grammy-nominated country-folk performer in concert, with an opening set by Bo Ramsey. Englert Theatre (221 East Washington Street, Iowa City). 8 p.m. $25. For tickets and information, call (319)688-2653 or visit Englert.org.
Saturday, October 8 – Helmet. Alternative metal band in concert, with openers Eleven Fifty Two and The Post Mortems. Rock Island Brewing Company (1815 Second Avenue, Rock Island). 8 p.m. $15-20. For information, call (309)793-4060 or visit RIBCO.com.
Saturday, October 8 – Straight No Chaser. Acclaimed a cappella ensemble in concert. Quad-Cities Waterfront Convention Center (1777 Isle Parkway, Bettendorf). 7:30 p.m. $10-15. For tickets and information, call (800)724-5825 or visit Bettendorf.IsleOfCapriCasinos.com.
Saturday, October 8 – Pieta Brown. An Intimate at the Englert concert with the roots-rock musician, with an opening set by Alexis Stevens. Englert Theatre (221 East Washington Street, Iowa City). 8 p.m. $15. For tickets and information, call (319)688-2653 or visit Englert.org.
Saturday, October 8, and Sunday, October 9 – Voices & Keys. Concerts with the vocal ensemble the Nova Singers, featuring Ashlee Mack on piano. Saturday – The Orpheum Theatre (57 South Kellogg Street, Galesburg), 7:30 p.m. Sunday – First Congregational Church (2201 Seventh Avenue, Moline), 4 p.m. $12-16. For tickets and information, call (309)341-7038 or visit http://Departments.Knox.edu/novasingers/concerts.html.
Wednesday, October 12 – Moondance for Karli Rose Kell. Event featuring live music by area performers and special guests, hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar, and all proceeds benefiting the Karli Rose Kell Music Scholarship Fund at the River Music Experience. The Redstone Room (129 Main Street, Davenport). 6 p.m. $15. For tickets and information, call (563)326-1333 or visit RedstoneRoom.com.
Wednesday, October 12 – Janelle Monáe. Concert featuring the Grammy Award-nominated R&B performer, with fun. performing an opening set. Iowa Memorial Union Main Lounge (125 North Madison Street, Iowa City). For tickets, call (800)745-3000 or visit http://Scope.UIowa.edu.
Thursday, September 29, through Saturday, November 5 – The Marvelous Wonderettes. Musical comedy featuring 1950s girl-group hits. Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse (1828 Third Avenue, Rock Island). Fridays, Saturdays, Wednesdays, and September 29 – 5:45 p.m. doors, 6-7 p.m. buffet, 7:15 p.m. pre-show, 7:45 p.m. performance. Sundays – 3:45 p.m. doors, 4-5 p.m. buffet, 5:15 p.m. pre-show, 5:45 p.m. performance. Wednesdays – 11:30 a.m. doors, 11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m. plated lunch, 1 p.m. pre-show, 1:30 p.m. performance. $41.28-47.55. For tickets and information, call (309)786-7733 extension 2 or visit Circa21.com.
Saturday, October 1 – Baby Wants Candy. Comedy troupe performs an improvised, one-hour musical comedy based on an audience suggestion, with an opener by saxophonist Matt Corey. Augustana College’s Centennial Hall (3703 Seventh Avenue, Rock Island). 8 p.m. $8. For tickets and information, call (309)794-7306 or visit Augustana.edu. For a River Cities' Reader feature article on Baby Wants Candy, visit RCReader.com/y/babycandy.
Friday, October 7, through Sunday, October 16 – The Cherry Orchard. Curt Columbus’ translation of Anton Chekhov’s masterpiece. University of Iowa’s E.C. Mabie Theatre (200 North Riverside Drive, Iowa City). Wednesdays-Saturdays 8 p.m.; Sundays 2 p.m. $10-17. For tickets and information, call (319)335-1160 or visit http://www.Hancher.UIowa.edu.
Saturday, October 8 – Pen-in-Hand Conference. All-day conference featuring individual workshops on “Writing & Taxes” with Ann Capion, “Intellectual Property” with Ellen Tsagaris, “Sonnet Play” with Ryan Collins, “Creating Buzz for You & Your Book” with Twila Belk, and “Creative Writing Basics” with Jodie Toohey. Midwest Writing Center (225 East Second Street, Suite 303, Davenport). $20-25 per workshop. For information and to register, call (563)324-1410 or visit MidwestWritingCenter.org.
Friday, September 30, through Saturday, October 29 – Living Proof. Exhibit of works celebrating the spirit of breast-cancer survivors. Bucktown Center for the Arts (225 East Second Street). Wednesdays-Saturdays 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Opening reception on September 30 at 6 p.m. Free admission. For information, call (309)781-6227 or visit LivingProofExhibit.com. For a River Cities’ Reader feature article on the exhibit, visit RCReader.com/y/proof.
Tuesday, October 11, through Friday, November 18 – Red Memories. Exhibit featuring the paintings of Peter Xiao. St. Ambrose University’s Catich Gallery (2101 Gaines Street, Davenport). Mondays-Fridays 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Reception on October 14 at 5 p.m. Free admission. For information, call (563)209-1287 or visit http://Web.SAU.edu/catich. For a 2009 River Cities’ Reader article on Xiao’s work, visit RCReader.com/y/xiao.
Friday, September 30 – Passion Place. Dinner and a new interactive comedy/mystery with the It’s a Mystery! troupe. The Lodge Hotel (900 Spruce Hills Drive, Bettendorf). 6:30 p.m. $35. For information and to reserve, call (563)359-1607 or visit ItsAMysteryQC.com.
Wednesday, October 5 – Trailer Park Boys. The Canadian sketch-comedy trio in their “Drunk, High, & Unemployed Tour.” Englert Theatre (221 East Washington Street, Iowa City). 8 p.m. $25. For tickets and information, call (319)688-2653 or visit Englert.org.
Saturday, October 1 – Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs. Interactive family production based on the Grimm fairy tale, with the dwarfs selected from children in the audience. Ohnward Fine Arts Center (1215 East Platt Street, Iowa City). 2 p.m. $8-15. For tickets and information, call (563)652-9815 or visit OhnwardFineArtsCenter.org.
Thursday, October 6 – Max & Ruby: Bunny Party. Stage production featuring the Nick Jr. TV characters. Adler Theatre (136 East Third Street, Davenport). 6:30 p.m. $15-40. For tickets, call (800)745-3000 or visit AdlerTheatre.com.
Tuesday, October 4 – Around the World: One Man’s Journey. A screening in the museum’s World Adventure Series, presented by Doug Jones. Putnam Museum & IMAX Theatre (1717 West 12th Street, Davenport). 1, 4, and 7 p.m. $4-6. For tickets and information, call (563)324-1933 or visit Putnam.org.
Friday, September 30, through Friday, January 6 – Straight Up! Helicopters in Action. Aerial documentary on the IMAX screen, with narration by Martin Sheen. Putnam Museum & IMAX Theatre (1717 West 12th Street, Davenport). $8-12.50. For tickets and showtimes, call (563)324-1933 or visit Putnam.org.
Thursday, September 29 – Taste of the Vine Fundraiser. Fundraising event featuring a wine tasting, silent auction, live music, and all proceeds benefiting the Junior League of the Quad Cities. Hotel Blackhawk (200 East Third Street, Davenport). 6 p.m. $50. For information, call (815)222-1202.
Saturday, October 1, through Monday, October 31 – Terror at Skellington Manor. Annual haunted-house experience from the creators of “Terror in the Woods.” Skellington Manor (420 18th Street, Rock Island). Friday and Saturday 7 p.m.-midnight. Thursday, Sunday, and Halloween night 7-10 p.m. $12, $17 VIP pass. For information, call (563)344-9187 or visit TerrorAtSkellingtonManor.com.
Sunday, October 2 – Quad City Area CROP Hunger Walk. An event co-sponsored by Churches United of the Quad City Area, featuring live music by Lojo Russo. Modern Woodmen Park (209 South Gaines Street, Davenport). 1-4 p.m. Donations encouraged. For information, call (563)332-5002 or (309)230-0233, or visit CUQCA.org.
Saturday, October 8 – A Call to Remembrance Featuring Billy Ray Cyrus & Mike Huckabee. A celebration of the armed forces, with speakers and musical guests including Josh Gracin, Sarah Darling, Dennis Wilson, Becky Lee Hinton, Twila Paris, and Medal of Honor recipient Sal Giunta. i wireless Center (1201 River Drive, Moline). 7 p.m. $19.50-95. For tickets, call (800)745-3000 or visit iwirelessCenter.com.
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