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|What's Happenin': Thursday, September 27, through Wednesday, October 10|
|Lifestyle - Noteworthy Events|
|Written by Mike Schulz|
|Tuesday, 25 September 2012 06:00|
The Redstone Room
Friday, September 28, 8 p.m.
The independent pop/folk/rock musician John Common will play the Redstone Room on September 28, and according to his Wikipedia listing, the man was born in Jacksonville, North Carolina, and honed his talents at numerous venues throughout the United States.
According to his biography at JohnCommon.com, however, the singer/songwriter was actually born in a small finishing village in Uoraguwaogo, Portugal, and mastered his craft performing bar mitzvahs in Tel Aviv, Hindu weddings in Calcutta, and “a small punk club in the Netherlands.”
Damn that Wikipedia. Can’t trust it for a second.
I jest. And, obviously, Mr. Common jests. But the Denver-based musician is dead serious about making excellent music, as evidenced by the critical laurels he’s been receiving ever since the release of his solo debut CD Good to Be Born in 2006.
Described as “a songwriter of remarkable depth and maturity” by the Denver Post, Common has earned particularly high praise for his contributions to 2011’s Beautiful Empty (recorded with his Blinding Flashes of Light band), with Louisville’s Courier-Journal calling the CD “rich with songcraft, smarts, and emotion,” and Denver’s Music Scene admiring its “clever lyrics and perfectly crafted songs.”
Yet such notices, for Common, are hardly uncommon. The Onion described the soulful artist’s output as “raw yet sophisticated pop.” The Iowa City Press-Citizen wrote that Common “brings significantly more lyrical punch and all-around heft than is normally found in pop singer/songwriters.” Nashville Scene raved about the man’s “thoughtful and carefully textured alt-folk.” And Daytrotter.com, praising the musician’s knack for revealing soul through song, had this to say: “John Common makes sure that he leaves nothing unturned when he writes. He makes naked people. Or, he turns them naked. He disrobes them.” So prepare for a great time at September 28’s Redstone Room concert. And make sure you’re wearing clean underwear.
For more information on John Common’s Davenport engagement, call (563)326-1333 or visit RiverMusicExperience.org.
The Beauty Queen of Leenane
Friday, September 28, through Sunday, October 7
Les Liaisons Dangereuses
Galvin Fine Arts Center
Friday, October 5, through Sunday, October 7
According to Eleanor Roosevelt, “A woman is like a tea bag; you never know how strong it is until it’s in hot water.” Well, the water’s about to get awfully hot in two Davenport stage productions debuting over the next two weekends, and considering what the plays’ leading ladies wind up doing as a result, I don’t even wanna tell you how strong they’re gonna get.
Which is a lie, because although I won’t, I’m actually dying to give away the endings to New Ground Theatre’s The Beauty Queen of Leenane and St. Ambrose University’s Les Liaisons Dangereuses, two of the smartest, most evocative, and most gripping plays of recent decades, both of which also feature intensely commanding, even horrifying, female leads.
In New Ground’s The Beauty Queen of Leenane, which runs from September 28 through October 7, those wonderfully gifted local actors Melissa Anderson Clark and Susan Perrin-Sallak take on the roles of Maureen and Mag Folan, the definitive daughter and mother from hell. Throughout this savage dark comedy by Martin McDonagh, these two Irishwomen engage in a nightmarish, and frequently hilarious, war of wills as the lonely, lovelorn Maureen contends with the controlling, abusive Mag – a battle that resulted in Beauty Queen receiving four 1998 Tony Awards and the New York Times’ Ben Brantley raving, “There’s not a single hole in the play’s structural or emotional logic, and yet it constantly surprises.”
St. Ambrose’s Les Liaisons Dangereuses, meanwhile, places its chilling leading lady amongst 18th Century French aristocracy, as devoted fans of the play’s 1988 screen adaptation Dangerous Liaisons surely know. Running October 5 through 7 at the Galvin Fine Arts Center, guest director Saffron Henke’s offering is sure to be a visually resplendent tale of sexual gamesmanship and manipulation among the leisure class, with its pair of backstabbing former lovers playing decadent tricks on both their hapless victims and one another.
With Variety magazine praising the vicious comedy for its “wit, ingenuity, and economy,” and author Christopher Hampton for “the incisiveness of its epigrams and the piercing understanding of its characters,” Liaisons, like Beauty Queen, is a thrillingly wicked good time. And they’re both even better ones for offering female actors roles so authoritative, so tough-minded, and sometimes so brutal as to make Eleanor Roosevelt swallow her gum.
For information and tickets to New Ground Theatre’s The Beauty Queen of Leenane at the Village of East Davenport’s Village Theatre, call (563)326-7529 or visit NewGroundTheatre.org.
For information and tickets to St. Ambrose University’s Les Liaisons Dangereuses, call (563)333-6251 or visit SAU.edu/galvin.
St. Ambrose University’s Rogalski Center
Friday, September 28, 7:30 p.m.
This month, St. Ambrose University launches its year-long series “Race Matters,” which is devoted to examining issues of racial and social justice through lectures, films, concerts, artistic performances, and exhibits. And one of the first events on the docket will be a lecture presented by a well-known civil-rights advocate who graduated magna cum laude from Harvard, earned a Ph.D. from Princeton, is the recipient of more than 20 honorary degrees, and authored or co-authored more than a dozen books – including one titled Race Matters.
Way to set the bar low for the rest of the series’ guests, St. Ambrose.
The writer, professor, and learned scholar in question is Cornel West, who will deliver an address titled “Race Still Matters” at the university’s Rogalski Center on September 28. A prominent member of the Democratic Socialists of America – and perhaps the most divisive figure ever to appear on 30 Rock (sorry, Alec and Tracy) – West has spent his professional life exploring the roles of race, class, and gender in America. He’s also been the recipient of both applause and vitriol for his activism, his rhetoric, his public disputes with former government official and Harvard president Lawrence Summers, and his recent criticism of President Obama (whom, in a 2011 interview, he called “a black mascot of Wall Street oligarchs and a black puppet of corporate plutocrats”).
In short, you can likely expect an impassioned, unforgettable presentation when West visits the St. Ambrose campus, as well as a goodly share of memorable verbiage from this gifted orator. See how familiar you are with the man’s words by answering the following: Which of these quotes is not attributed to West?
1) “You can’t lead the people if you don’t love the people.”
2) “You can’t move forward until you look back.”
3) “I cannot be an optimist but I am a prisoner of hope.”
4) “I have the curse of thinking funny.”
5) “Never forget the justice is what love looks like in public.”
Admission to Cornel West’s St. Ambrose lecture is free, and more information on the event is available by calling (563)333-6251 or visiting SAU.edu.
Answer: 4. That’s actually a quote by Adam West, of Batman fame. I’m sure the two men are frequently confused for one another.
Friday, October 5, through Sunday, October 21
October 5 brings with it the opening night for the District Theatre’s production of Avenue Q, which is being directed by Marc Ciemiewicz, and which features Bryan Tank, Erin Churchill, Tristan Tapscott, Kelly Lohrenz, Joe Maubach, James Fairchild, Tracy Pelzer-Timm, Cindy Ramos, Mike Kelly, and Andrew Cole.
Avenue Q is a show about young adults who, in their “outer-outer borough of New York City,” learn about life and love and finding your purpose in the world.
It’s a show that addresses such subjects as romantic love, post-collegiate anxiety, financial hardship, homelessness, and friends sticking together even under the most trying of circumstances.
A show that the New York Times called “a breakthrough musical,” and that Entertainment Weekly ranked as 2003’s best stage production.
A show that received three 2004 Tony Awards, for Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, and Best Original Score, all of which it won over Wicked.
A show that ran on Broadway for more than six years, for a combined total of 2,534 performances.
A show that, in addition to its United States tours, has toured the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, Mexico, and Israel.
A show that features classic characters such as Trekkie Monster, Mrs. Thistletwat, and the troublemaking Bad Idea Bears.
A show boasting such catchy, toe-tapping songs as “It Sucks to Be Me,” “If You Were Gay,” “Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist,” and “The Internet Is for Porn.”
And a show that finds most of its cast manipulating large, friendly, Sesame Street-style puppets, two of whom engage in a gymnastic explosion of mind-blowing, on-stage intercourse.
Or did I already have you at “life and love and finding your purpose”?
Avenue Q runs October 5 through 21, and tickets and information are available by calling (309)235-1654 or visiting DistrictTheatre.com.
What Else Is Happenin’... ?
Thursday, September 27 – Joe Scalissi: A Tribute to Dean Martin. Concert with the famed Martin impersonator. Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse (1828 Third Avenue, Rock Island). 11:45 a.m. doors, noon plated lunch, 1 p.m. performance – $41.18; 5:45 p.m. doors, 6-7 p.m. buffet, 7:15 p.m. performance – $47.43. For tickets and information, call (309)786-7733 extension 2 or visit Circa21.com.
Thursday, September 27 – Stew & the Negro Problem. The Tony Award-winner performs a rock-and-roll show featuring psychedelic songs, sly humor, and sophisticated wordplay, in a Hancher Auditorium Visiting Artists presentation. The Mill (120 East Burlington Street, Iowa City). 7:30 and 10 p.m. $10-27. For tickets and information, call (319)335-1160 or visit http://www.Hancher.UIowa.edu.
Friday, September 28 – Matt & Kim and Grand Funk Railroad. The indie-pop duo and the legendary rockers perform the annual homecoming concert, held after the 5:45 p.m. parade. University of Iowa Pentacrest (downtown Iowa City). Free and open to the public. For information, call (319)335-3395 or visit UIowa.edu.
Saturday, September 29 – Rehab. Outdoor concert with the Southern-rock, alt-country, and hip-hop musicians, with opening sets by Moonshine Bandits and Rude Punch. Rock Island Brewing Company (1815 Second Avenue, Rock Island). 8:30 p.m. $10-12. For information, call (309)793-1999 or visit RIBCO.com.
Saturday, September 29 – Matthew West. Contemporary Christian singer/songwriter in concert, with opening sets by Mikeschair, Lindsay McCaul, and Everfound. Adler Theatre (136 East Third Street, Davenport). 7 p.m. $19-30. For tickets, call (800)745-3000 or visit AdlerTheatre.com.
Tuesday, October 2 – In the Mood. A 1940s big-band, swing-dance musical revue, featuring more than 40 classic period songs. Adler Theatre (136 East Third Street, Davenport). 7 p.m. $29.50-49.50. For tickets, call (800)745-3000 or visit AdlerTheatre.com.
Friday, October 5 – Eric Church. Acclaimed country-music singer/songwriter in concert, with an opening set by Justin & Kip Moore. i wireless Center (1201 River Drive, Moline). 7:30 p.m. $37.50-47.50. For tickets and information, call (800)745-3000 or visit iwirelessCenter.com.
Friday, October 5 – Topher Jones. The rising house-music star in concert, with opening sets by Radcon, DJ ST3, and DJ Hi-Tech. Rock Island Brewing Company (1815 Second Avenue, Rock Island). 8 p.m. $5-8. For information, call (309)793-1999 or visit RIBCO.com.
Friday, October 5 – Andy Grammer. Concert with the popular singer/songwriter. Augustana College’s Centennial Hall (3703 Seventh Avenue, Rock Island). 8 p.m. $10. For tickets and information, call (309)794-7306 or visit Augustana.edu.
Friday, October 5 – The Fab Four: The Ultimate Tribute. Internationally acclaimed Beatles tribute artists in concert. Englert Theatre (221 East Washington Street, Iowa City). 8 p.m. $35. For tickets and information, call (319)688-2653 or visit Englert.org.
Friday, October 5 – Ti-Coca & Wanga Négés. World-music group performs the dance rhythms of the mareng and konpa, in a Hancher Auditorium Visiting Artists presentation. The Mill (120 East Burlington Street, Iowa City). 7:30 and 10 p.m. $10-20. For tickets and information, call (319)335-1160 or visit http://www.Hancher.UIowa.edu.
Saturday, October 6, and Sunday, October 7 – Quad City Symphony Orchestra: Masterworks I – Concertmaster Premiere. Concert featuring conductor Mark Russell Smith and violinist Naha Greenholtz, and a program including Wagner’s Rienzi Overture, Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1 in G Minor, and Dvorak’s Symphony No. 8. Saturday – Adler Theatre (136 East Third Street, Davenport), 7:30 p.m. Sunday – Augustana College’s Centennial Hall (3703 Seventh Avenue, Rock Island), 2 p.m. $10-53. For tickets and information, call (563)322-0931 or visit QCSymphony.com.
Saturday, October 6 – Smooth Jazz Fall Festival. Cool jazz, R&B, and classic funk with nationally renowned saxophone players Elan Trotman and Will Donato. The Redstone Room (129 Main Street, Davenport). 8 p.m. $42.50-53.50. For tickets and information, call (563)324-53.50 or visit SmoothJazzSeries.com.
Saturday, October 6 – Hilltop Campus Village’s Third-Annual Fall Music Festival. Outdoor event featuring food vendors, a children’s activity area, and performances by the Tons o’ Fun Band, Art Hoffman, and Reason for Now. Hilltop Park (15th and Harrison streets, Davenport.). 5-10 p.m. Free admission.
Saturday, October 6 – Ingrid Michaelson. Acclaimed pop and folk singer/songwriter, with an opening set by Sugar & the Hi Lows. Englert Theatre (221 East Washington Street, Iowa City). 8 p.m. $25-28. For tickets and information, call (319)688-2653 or visit Englert.org.
Thursday, October 4, through Sunday, October 14 – Noises Off. Tony Award-winning farce by Michael Frayn, directed by Jalayne Riewerts. Richmond Hill Barn Theatre (600 Robinson Drive, Geneseo). Thursdays-Saturdays and October 10 at 7:30 p.m.; Sundays at 3 p.m. $8-10. For tickets and information, call (309)944-2244 or visit RHPlayers.com.
Saturday, October 6, through Saturday, October 20 – Edgar Allan Poe’s Humor & Imagination. Darkly funny stories by the literary master, performed by Dan Haughey. The District Theatre (1611 Second Avenue, Rock Island). 2 p.m. Saturdays. $15. For tickets and information, call (309)235-1654 or visit DistrictTheatre.com.
Friday, September 28, and Saturday, September 29 – Dracula. Ballet Quad Cities’ adaptation of Bram Stoker’s vampire tale choreographed by Deanna Carter, featuring guest artist Domingo Rubio as Dracula. Scottish Rite Cathedral (1800 Seventh Avenue, Moline). Friday and Saturday 7:30 p.m., Saturday 1 p.m. $12-22. For information and tickets, call (309)786-3779 or visit BalletQuadCities.com. For a 2008 interview with Rubio, visit RCReader.com/y/rubio.
Friday, September 28, through Wednesday, October 31 – Living Proof. Third-annual exhibit of works, in all media, by breast-cancer survivors and patients. Bucktown Center for the Arts (225 East Second Street, Davenport). Wednesdays-Saturdays 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; open until 9 p.m. on the last Friday of the month. Free admission. For information, call (309)781-6227 or visit LivingProofExhibit.com. For a story on the 2011 Living Proof exhibit, visit RCReader.com/y/livingproof.
Friday, September 28 – Doug Stanhope. Acclaimed comedian on his “Big Stink Comedy Tour,” with opening sets by Brett Erickson and Geoff Tate. Rock Island Brewing Company (1815 Second Avenue, Rock Island). 9 p.m. $20. For information, call (309)793-1999 or visit RIBCO.com. For an interview with Stanhope, visit RCReader.com/y/stanhope.
Saturday, September 29 – Doktor Kaboom. A comically educational exploration of physical science with the Quad City Arts Visiting Artist. Putnam Museum (1717 West 12th Street, Davenport). 4 p.m. Free with $5-7 museum admission. For information, call (309)793-1213 or visit QuadCityArts.com.
Thursday, October 4 – Mike Birbiglia’s My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend. The comedian, actor, and writer performs his Drama Desk Award-nominated one-man comedy. Englert Theatre (221 East Washington Street, Iowa City). 8 p.m. $30-32. For tickets and information, call (319)688-2653 or visit Englert.org.
Tuesday, October 9 – Hawaii: America’s Paradise. Screenings in the museum’s World Adventure series, presented by filmmaker Don VanPolen. Putnam Museum (1717 West 12th Street, Davenport). 1, 4, and 7 p.m. $5-7. For information, call (563)324-1933 or visit Putnam.org.
Thursday, September 27, and Friday, September 28 – Lee Sandlin. The author of Wicked River: The Mississippi When It Last Ran Wild discusses the river’s colorful 19th Century history. 7 p.m. Thursday, Bettendorf Public Library (2950 Learning Campus Drive), free admission. Noon Friday, the Upper Mississippi River Conference (Stoney Creek Inn, 101 18th Street, Moline), $15; for reservations to the luncheon, visit RiverAction.org or call (563)322-2969. For an interview with Sandlin, visit RCReader.com/y/sandlin.
Saturday, September 29 – A Night to Beat the Big O. The Norma Leah Foundation’s fundraiser for ovarian-cancer awareness and early-detection programs, featuring a silent auction, raffles, a food station, and performances by the Whoozdads? and pianist Anthony Catalfano. Crow Valley Golf Club (4315 East 60th Street, Davenport). 6:30 p.m. $50. For information and tickets, call (309)794-0009 or visit NormaLeahFoundation.org.
Sunday, September 30 – Michael Grandinetti. Miraculous feats with the master illusionist. Riverside Casino Event Center (3184 Highway 22, Riverside). 4 p.m. $15-25. For tickets and information, call (319)677-3456 or visit RiversideCasinoAndResort.com.
Sunday, October 7 – 41st Annual C.R.O.P. Hunger Walk. Hosted by Churches United of the Quad City Area, the six-mile walk begins at Modern Woodmen Park (209 South Gaines Street, Davenport) and travels through downtown Davenport, over the Centennial Bridge, and around the District of Rock Island before returning to the stadium. For information, call (563)332-5002 or visit CUQCA.com.
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