Suscribe to Weekly Updates
* indicates required

View previous campaigns.

What's Happenin': Spring, 2010 PDF Print E-mail
Lifestyle - Noteworthy Events
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 02 March 2010 06:00

Deanna SwobodaMusic

Deanna Swoboda

Deere-Wiman Carriage House and Redeemer Lutheran Church

Friday, March 5, 3 p.m., and Saturday, March 13, 7 p.m.

Recruited to educate and entertain area students and music lovers, the latest Quad City Arts Visiting Artist is Deanna Swoboda, and I know what you're probably thinking as you gaze at that photo: Man, that is one bi-i-ig trumpet.

Let the education begin!

For starters, that isn't a trumpet; it's a tuba. And if you think that a tuba might be the absolute last instrument you'd want to hear in a solo concert, chances are excellent that Swoboda's local presentations will change your mind.

With degrees in tuba performance from the University of Idaho and Northwestern University, this musician, clinician, and recording artist has taught at such esteemed institutions as the University of Denver, the National Conservatory of Madrid, and Germany's Deutschen Tubaforum-Hammelberg, and has performed with such national ensembles as the Denver Brass, Dallas Brass, and Cedar Rapids Symphony.

Yet Swoboda's exuberance and skill have also resulted in appearances on National Public Radio and CBS' Early Morning Show, plus numerous cross-country tours as a solo artist, where she frequently performs selections from her popular 1999 children's CD, Deanna's Wonderland. During her area stay, Swoboda will play public concerts at Moline's Deere-Wiman Carriage House on March 5 and Bettendorf's Redeemer Lutheran Church on March 13, allowing audiences to see and hear why noted clinician Tim Lautzenheiser - who lauds her "boundless energy that is second only to her musical expertise" - paid the artist this compliment: "Professional golf has Tiger Woods; music education has Deanna Swoboda."

At least I think that's a compliment ... .

For more information on Swoboda's area appearances, call (309)793-1213 or visit


Iliza ShlesingerComedy

Iliza Shlesinger

Rogalski Center Ballroom - St. Ambrose University

Friday, March 5, 9:30 p.m.

On March 5, the grand-prize winner from the 2008 season of Last Comic Standing - Texas native Iliza Shlesinger - will bring her comedy tour to St. Ambrose University's Rogalski Center Ballroom. And it makes perfect sense that she'll be stopping by Davenport's university, as Shlesinger can no doubt give the students some helpful career advice based on her own previous jobs, as listed on the comedienne's MySpace page.

Some random samples, with Shlesinger's commentary:

Dallas Galleria Mall: "Assisted in helping weird European tourists try on Speedos. Quit out of boredom and my dislike for wearing athletic shorts in the winter."

Steve Madden Shoes: "Duties included selling shoes named things like 'Candy,' 'Flirty,' and 'Tancy' to girls named things like 'Candy,' 'Flirty,' and 'Tancy.'"

J's Breakfast & Burgers: "Duties included being a waitress in one of the only diners where the wait staff could smoke while taking orders, giving lonely old men their coffee, and being called the smartest person ever by the other waitresses because I was in college."

P.A. on the set of a Lisa Marie Presley music video: "Duties included watching Lisa Marie Presley make a jackass out of herself while Quentin Tarantino made a cameo and an even bigger ass out of himself."

And the Grenana Movie Theater & Grill: "Ticket-seller, not ticket-taker. Would spend countless hours staring out the ticket window thinking, 'This is the part of my autobiography where I'm failing.'"

To witness the part of her autobiography where she's not, secure tickets for Shlesinger's stand-up performance by calling (563)333-6395, or visiting


The O'Conner GirlsTheatre

The O'Conner Girls

Playcrafters Barn Theatre

Friday, March 12 through Sunday, March 21

In truth, before it appeared on the schedule for the Playcrafters Barn Theatre's 2010 season, I hadn't previously heard of the 2004 play The O'Conner Girls. Yet after checking out its synopsis through Dramatists Play Service, it sounded like something that might be right up my alley, since the show apparently involves "Catholicism, World War II, old movies, old love, new love, oversleeping, over-drinking, large purple hats, and weenie hot dishes," and I'm well acquainted with all but two of those things.

I'll leave it to you to guess which two.

Author Katie Forgette's dramatic comedy, which runs March 12 through 21, concerns four relatives who reunite after the passing of their family patriarch, and who come to discover previously untold truths about the man - and one another - while sifting through his personal effects. Yet according to critics, this potentially downbeat situation is actually brimming with humor and uplift; Seattle Weekly described Forgette's play as "positively radiant with small-town sweetness," and the Seattle Times called it "a warm-hearted outing by a writer who clearly feels affection for this clan."

The O'Conner Girls' local audiences, meanwhile, will likely feel similar affection, as Playcrafters' production features the return of such stage favorites as Lisa Kahn, Pamela Crouch, Jan Golz, and Don Faust. There's no word, however, on which of them gets to wear a large purple hat, and if director Susan Zelnio is having any trouble securing that costume piece, I've got a couple options at my apartment that might ... .

Okay. So your guessing has just been made a little bit easier.

Playcrafters presents The O'Conner Girls on Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m., and more information and tickets are available by calling (309)762-0330 or visiting




The Capitol Theatre

Sunday, March 7, 7 p.m.

Composed of guitarists Al Schnier and Chuck Garvey, bassist Rob Derhak, percussionist Jim Loughlin, and drummer Vinnie Amico, the rock musicians of moe. will perform at Davenport's Capitol Theatre on Sunday, March 7. It's perfectly understandable if your envy is causing you to dislike them.

The group, after all, has been a sensationally popular staple in the American music scene for the better part of two decades, with 17 albums to its credit - including the critically-acclaimed The Conch in 2007 and Sticks & Stones in 2008 - and Rolling Stone recently describing moe. as "a legendary jam band."

During their many years of touring, moe.'s musicians have headlined festivals around the globe - among them 1999's Woodstock event in Rome, New York, and 2007's Lollapalooza in Chicago - and have shared stages with such musical icons as the Who, the Allman Brothers, and Robert Plant.

The band's annual music festival held at New York's Snow Ridge Ski Area - known as moe.down - most recently brought in 12,000 attendees, and in the winters of both 2006 and 2007, moe. headlined the New Year's Eve party at none other than Radio City Music Hall.

Yet before your ire increases any further, you should know that the group also makes it a priority to lend their fame to help those in need. In a fundraising concert held in 2005, moe. helped earn $155,000 for Sri Lankan tsunami relief. In a 2006 benefit, the musicians helped raise $200,000 for New York's Kelberman Center, a community resource for individuals with autism. This past January, they began their 2010 tour with a fundraising concert for WHY (World Hunger Year), which ... .

Wait a minute. So they're humanitarians, too?

Yeah, okay. Go ahead and hate 'em.

moe. plays the Capitol Theatre with opening act Cornmeal, and tickets can be reserved by calling (563)326-8820 or visiting


One Night with QueenMusic

One Night with Queen

Adler Theatre

Saturday, March 13, 8 p.m.

"Mike, I'd like you to do a What's Happenin' on the multimedia concert event One Night with Queen, coming to the Adler Theatre on March. 13. It's a touring tribute to the music and theatrics of the legendary pop/rock performers, featuring Freddie Mercury sound-alike Gary Mullen on lead vocals, and it continually sells out venues both in America and abroad. The thing is, though, space is tight, and we only have room for about 200 words. Think you can handle that?"

"Aw, Jeff, you're my best friend! This'll be heaven for everyone! Even though I'm under pressure, I'll play the game with one vision and a kind of magic, and create a bohemian rhapsody in a flash! We are the champions, after all! And although I'm going slightly mad with the innuendo and back chat, I want it all, and this crazy little thing called love will save me. While another one bites the dust, the show must go on! But it's a hard life when you don't spread your wings, and I want to break free, Jeff! Don't stop me now! With only 200 words, where do I start?!"

"Oh, I think you're done."

Tickets to One Night with Queen's 8 p.m. performance are $26.50, and can be reserved by calling (800)745-3000 or visiting


Rent at the Harrison Hilltop Theatre and Clinton Showboat TheatreTheatre


March through June

From April 13 through May 8, the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse will present its first children's show of 2010 - Miss Nelson Has a Field Day. Judging from the lineup, she's not the only one who'll be having one, as area audiences will be treated to eight springtime musicals over the next 14 weeks. In addition to its sequel to the venue's sell-out hit Miss Nelson Is Missing, Circa '21 delivers another eagerly awaited follow-up in Church Basement Ladies 2: A Second Helping (March 24-May 22), and offers a world premiere to die for with the debut of Whodunit ... the Musical (May 26-July 10). Decidedly less-homicidal fun will be on hand with the Adler Theatre's touring production of Disney's beloved Beauty & the Beast (May 19-20) - although, come to think of it, Gaston does meet a nasty end in that show - and with the Quad City Music Guild's rendition of the joyous and funny musical comedy The Pajama Game (March 25-28). The Timber Lake Playhouse opens its 2010 season with the sizzling Bob Fosse touchstone Chicago (June 3-13), while closer to home, the Harrison Hilltop Theatre stages its own Broadway smash in Jonathan Larson's modern rock classic Rent (April 8-May 1). And a mere four-and-a-half weeks after that show's closing, you'll be able to relive the experience when the Clinton Area Showboat Theatre makes Rent its season-opener, running the Tony- and Pulitzer Prize-winner June 3 through 13. Looks like our Rent has been doubled this spring, huh? I guess that's one way to stimulate the economy.


Sean Christopher Lewis in KilladelphiaTheatre

Comedies and Dramas

March through June

This spring, local theatre-goers will have the chance to see stage productions that cover just about every conceivable genre. Of course, with more than 20 works to choose from, that was pretty much a given, wasn't it? Comedy fans will certainly be covered: The Playcrafters Barn Theatre presents The O'Conner Girls (opening March 11) and the joke-filled mystery Any Number Can Die (May 7); the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre delivers romantic farce in Funny Valentines (June 3); Scott Community College tackles Neil Simon with Jake's Women (April 8); St. Ambrose University's studio theatre offers dark humor in Sexual Perversity in Chicago (March 25); and New Ground Theatre offers even darker humor in Mr. Marmalade (May 27). Those seeking more dramatic fare will find it at Iowa City's Riverside Theatre, in the one-man show Killadelphia: Mixtape of a City (March 5) and the war saga Mary's Wedding (April 1), while drama mixed with laughs will be on hand in Richmond Hill's Marvin's Room (April 15), Black Hawk College's two-fer of Lanford Wilson one-acts, Wilson's Duo (April 15), and the staged readings in Augustana College's 2010 Quad City Playwrights' Festival (May 15). Entertainment for the young uns can be found in Davenport Junior Theatre's The Adventures of Aesop & His Fables (April 29), and in the Timber Lake Playhouse's Hyronomous A. Frog (May 11). And if you're feeling a hankering for the classics, you're in luck. Not only is St. Ambrose presenting Sophocles' Oedipus Rex (April 15) and Augustana staging Chekhov's The Seagull (April 29), but the classical-theatre troupe the Prenzie Players will deliver two works this spring: Shakespeare's infrequently-produced Troilus & Cressida (March 18), and Edmond Rostand's Cyrano de Bergerac (May 13). Do your best to attend that latter one, 'cause I'll know if you don't. (And you thought I was pushy about theatre before I started getting cast in plays ... .)


The Lipizzaner StallionsEvents

i wireless Center

March through May

Pop quiz, hotshot: What boasts eight Grammy Awards, more than two dozen Dove Awards, boffo television ratings, uncommon poise and grace, and the ability to beat the ever-lovin' snot out of you? Answer: this spring's entertainment lineup at the i wireless Center! Concert-goers will have plenty to sing about over the next three months, as the Moline venue houses Christian music's Winter Jam 2010 - featuring performances by Newsboys, Tenth Avenue North, Fireflight, Sidewalk Prophets, Robert Pierre, Revive, and quadruple Grammy-winners Third Day - on March 11, the indie rockers of Paramore on May 7, and recent four-time Grammy recipient Taylor Swift (performing with American Idol sweetheart Kellie Pickler) on May 8. Feats of spectacular equine skill will be on hand with the return of the touring spectacular The World Famous Lipizzaner Stallions (March 26). Wrestling fans won't want to miss the WWE's Monday Night Raw on April 5, a live, televised event featuring such noted bruisers as John Cena, Triple H, and Randy Orton. Our local ice-hockey heroes, the Quad City Mallards, have 10 matches scheduled between March 5 and April 16. And both the really young and the really young at heart can delight in the magic of Nickelodeon's Storytime Live!, a brand-new stage adventure featuring familiar characters from Dora the Explorer, The Backyardigans, Wonder Pets!, and Ni Hao, Kai-lan. (In case you hadn't figured it out, these are the aforementioned TV-ratings champs ... although, if pressed, a few thousand pre-schoolers could also beat the ever-lovin' snot out of you.) For tickets to springtime events at the i wireless Center, call (800)745-3000 or visit


Avenue QEvents

Hancher Auditorium Presentations

March through May

Since you no doubt read these noteworthy-events articles within seconds of their Tuesday-morning online publication, as all loyal fans do, I'm happy to tell you that you still have time to secure tickets for the March 4 concert with the self-described "cross-cultural party musicians" of Abraham Inc. Taking place at 7:30 p.m. at the University of Iowa's Iowa Memorial Union, this latest presentation in Hancher Auditorium's Performing Arts series delivers a intoxicating blend of klezmer, funk, and rap, and ... . What's that? You're reading this after March 4? Aw, man ... see what happens when you dawdle?! Well, luckily for you, there are still four more sensational events lined up for the remainder of Hancher's 2009-10 season. On April 10, the world-renowned chamber musicians of Interpreti Veneziani will wow listeners at Iowa City's St. Mary's Catholic Church, while April 16 brings with it the lithe and impassioned talents of the Luna Negra Dance Theatre, performing examples from their repertoire at the city's Englert Theatre. Puppetry, mime, and audience participation will blend when Hancher presents an afternoon with stage artist Michael Cooper and his family-friendly Masked Marvels & Wondertales, taking place at the University of Iowa's E.C. Mabie Theatre on May 9. And for even more Hancher-hosted puppetry, you won't want to miss the touring production of the Tony-winning musical comedy Avenue Q, running at Cedar Rapids U.S. Cellular Center March 26 through 28, and featuring such wonderfully hummable tunes as "I'm Not Wearing Underwear Today," "You Can Be as Loud as the Hell You Want (When You're Makin' Love)," "If You Were Gay," and "The Internet Is for Porn." You may wanna think twice about bringing the kids to that one. For tickets to, and more information on, Hancher Auditorium's spring offerings, call (319)335-1160 or visit


Mary RobinsonEvents

Adler Theatre

March through June

As the final guest in the Eastern Iowa Community College District's "Viewpoint Distinguished Speakers Series" for 2009-10, the Adler Theatre is proud to host April 13's evening with Mary Robinson, the first woman to chair the United Nations Commission for Human Rights, and the first female president of Ireland. "I was elected by the women of Ireland," Robinson is quoted as saying, "who instead of rocking the cradle, rocked the system." The Adler, meanwhile, is planning to rock the Quad Cities - quite literally, in the case of three of the Davenport venue's springtime events. In conjunction with the forthcoming release of their latest CD, the multi-platinum-selling pop rockers of Barenaked Ladies will take the Adler stage on May 16, while rock classics of previous eras are on hand in March 13's multimedia stage spectacular One Night with Queen, and in June 5's Spring Pops event The Music of the Eagles, which finds rock vocalists and a full band harmonizing with the Quad City Symphony Orchestra. More classical compositions will be heard in the symphony's final Masterworks concerts of the season - being performed on March 6 and April 10 - while country-music chanteuse Miranda Lambert arrives on May 6, and the Oscar-winning melodies of Alan Menken and Howard Ashman fill the Adler auditorium in the May 19 and 20 productions of Disney's Beauty & the Beast. And speaking of beasts, Larry the Cable Guy is about to hit the Davenport stage! (Oh, come on ... . Larry would think that was funny ... .) The Blue Collar comedian brings his "Tailgate Party Tour" to the Adler on March 20, and actually makes for a nice prelude to Mary Robinson's visit, as I understand "Get 'er done!!!" was this close to being the former president's campaign slogan. Ha ha ha! Heh heh ... hmm ... . Fine, I'll leave the jokes to Larry. Tickets to the Adler Theatre's springtime events are available by calling (800)745-3000 or visiting


What Else Is Happenin... ? March 4 - 17, 2010


Thursday, March 4 - Abraham, Inc.  Cross-cultural party music with klezmer musician David Krakauer, trombonist Fred Wesley, beat architect Socalled, and their ensemble. Iowa Memorial Union (100 Pomerantz Center, Iowa City). 7:30 p.m. $10-$35. For tickets and information, call (319)335-1160 or visit

Saturday, March 6 - Bobby Vee.  Concert with chart-topping singer of "Take Good Care of My Baby," "Devil Or Angel," and "Rubber Ball." Riverfront Casino & Golf Resort (3184 Highway 22, Riverside). 7 and 10 p.m. Free admission. For information, call (319)648-1234 or visit

Saturday, March 6, and Sunday, March 7 - Quad City Symphony Orchestra.  The fifth Masterworks concerts of the season, featuring Schubert's "Symphony No. 8 'Unfinished'" and Bruckner's "Symphony No. 9," conducted by Mark Russell Smith. Saturday - Adler Theatre (136 East Third Street, Davenport). 8 p.m. Sunday - Augustana College's Centennial Hall (3703 Seventh Avenue, Rock Island). 2 p.m. $10-$50. For tickets and information, call (563)322-7276 or visit

Friday, March 12 - Winter Jam Tour Spectacular.  Christian music's largest annual tour, with performances by Third Day, Newsboys, Tenth Avenue North, and Fireflight, speaker Tony Nolan, and a pre-jam party with Sidewalk Prophets, Robert Pierre, and Revive. i wireless Center (1201 River Drive, Moline). 7 p.m. $10. For tickets, call (800)745-3000 or visit

Saturday, March 13 - The Cryan' Shames.  Concert featuring the rock and pop vocalists in their 42nd year of performing. Riverfront Casino & Golf Resort (3184 Highway 22, Riverside). 7 and 10 p.m. Free admission. For information, call (319)648-1234 or visit

Monday, March 15 and Wednesday, March 17 - Robert B. Jones. Blues guitarist, violinist, harmonica player, singer, educator, and current Blues in the Schools guest artist, in a concert sponsored by the Mississippi Valley Blues Society. Monday - Borders Books, Music, & Cafe (4000 East 53rd Street, Davenport). Wednesday - Mojo's at River Music Experience (131 Wes 2nd Street, Davenport). 7 p.m. Free admission. For information, call (563)322-5837 or visit


Saturday, March 6 - Seussical. Tony Award-nominated musical comedy, based on Dr. Seuss' beloved children's books. Ohnward Fine Arts Center (1215 East Platt Street, Maquoketa). 2 p.m. $13-$25. For tickets and information, call (563)652-9815 or visit

Thursday, March 11 - Nickelodeon's Storytime Live! New stage show for young children, featuring characters from "Dora the Explorer," "The Backyardigans," "Wonder Pets!," and "Ni Hao, Kai-lan." i wireless Center (1201 River Drive, Moline). 4 and 7 p.m. $15-$35. For tickets, call (800)745-3000 or visit

Saturday, March 13 - Dickens in America. One-man play on Charles Dickens' last night of his second U.S. lecture tour, written by James DeVita, and starring James Ridge. Moline Public Library (3210 41st Street, Moline). 2:30 p.m. Free admission. For information and to register, call (309)524-2470 or visit


Wednesday, March 5 - The Ugly Duckling & Other Dances. A Ballet Quad Cities presentation, featuring a new take on the Hans Christian Anderson classic. The Muscatine Center for Performing Arts (901 Cedar Street, Muscatine). 7 p.m. $12 adults, $10 seniors, kids free with a paid adult (sponsored by U.S. Bank). For information, call (309)786-3779 or visit

Saturday, March 13 - Dancing for Diversity.  An evening of contemporary dance in a benefit for Quad Citians Affirming Diversity, featuring eight dancers performing solos and duets showcasing original choreography by professional artists from Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, and Alabama. Unitarian Church of Davenport (3707 Eastern Ave, Davenport). 7:30 p.m. $15 donation requested. For information, call (309)786-2580 or visit


Tuesday, March 16 - Return to Sweden. A presentation in the museum's "World Adventure Series," featuring post-show discussions with filmmakers. Putnam Museum & IMAX Theatre (1717 West 12th Street, Davenport). 1, 4, and 7 p.m. $4-$6. For information and tickets, call (563)324-1933 or visit


Saturday, March 6 - Pen-in-Hand Writing Conference.  Annual event hosted by the Midwest Writing Center, featuring workshops on "The Page as Visual Art" with Kristin Abraham; "Fiction as Dream" with Matt VanderMeulen, "Big Profits on a Shoestring Budget" with Jane Reinhardt-Martin and Michael Martin, "Building the Image" with Ryan Collins, and "Publishing, Self-Publishing, and Otherwise" with Bruce Carlson. Midwest Writing Center (225 East Second Street, Suite 303, Davenport). 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. $20 per workshop; $60 for four. For information, call (563)324-1410 or visit


Saturday, March 13 - St. Patrick Society Grand Parade and Post-Parade Bash.  Marching bands, musical groups, decorated floats, and novelty entries travel through downtown Rock Island, across the Mississippi River via the Centennial Bridge, and through downtown Davenport. Followed by food, drink, and entertainment at the Col Ballroom (1012 West Fourth Street, Davenport). Parade - 11:30 a.m. Free. Post-parade Bash - 1 p.m. $15. For information, e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit

blog comments powered by Disqus

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
You must be logged in to post a comment. Please register if you do not have an account yet.


Notable Events 30