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What's Happenin': Summer PDF Print E-mail
Lifestyle - Noteworthy Events
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 26 May 2009 06:00

Lisa WilliamsEvent

Lisa Williams: Messages from Beyond

Adler Theatre

Friday, June 5, 7:30 p.m.


Great Britain's Lisa Williams arrives at Davenport's Adler Theatre on June 5, and if you were curious about just how famous she is, you should know that she claims to have spoken to Ray Charles, Marilyn Monroe, Bob Hope, and Princess Diana. Pretty impressive, especially when you consider that they were deceased at the time.

The star of the Lifetime Television specials Lisa Williams: Life Among the Dead and Lisa Williams: Voices from the Other Side, Williams is an internationally recognized medium and clairvoyant whose gifts for communicating with spirits have endeared her to impassioned fans worldwide. During her Adler event, Williams will perform random readings on audience members and share messages from departed loved ones, and even if you're not seeking a personal experience with "the other side," the evening should provide fascinating insight into a clairvoyant's process.

Meanwhile, if you're looking to strengthen your own psychic abilities, Williams - in an interview with acclaimed medium Erin Pavlina - offered these words: "You have to work at your own pace. Don't expect too much on your first attempt, but get a pen and pad and close your eyes and meditate." I implore you, though, to heed Williams' advice sparingly. I employed her principles when writing this What's Happenin' piece, and then Jeff docked me an hour's pay for napping on the job.

Tickets to Messages from Beyond range from $44 to $64 and are available by calling (800)745-3000 or visiting



Ade BethuneExhibit

Ned & Adé: Contemporaries in Liturgical Art

Catich Gallery, St. Ambrose University

Wednesday, June 3 through Friday, June 24


Once upon a time, there were two artists - Reverend E.M. "Ned" Catich and Adé Bethune - who specialized in liturgical art.

The Montana-born "Ned" held degrees from St. Ambrose University and the University of Iowa, founded St. Ambrose's art department, and worked in the mediums of calligraphy, slate inscription, stained glass, watercolors, and prints.

The Brussels-born Adé attended New York's National Academy of Design and Cooper Union, became a noted consultant to church architects, and worked in the mediums of woodcarving, textiles, stained glass, mosaics, and pottery.

Both shared a passion for the updating and modernizing of sacred art, collaborated on the newsletter Catholic Art Quarterly, and dedicated themselves to making liturgical art relevant to modern audiences through the use of alternative materials, new media, and forward-thinking views on social justice.

Years after their deaths - his in 1979, and hers in 2002 - St. Ambrose opened an exhibit in their honor titled Ned & Adé: Contemporaries in Liturgical Art, which was on display from June 3 through July 24, 2009. It presented its viewers with a detailed and captivating look at the duo's contributions to the history of sacred art, exploring the themes of saintly iconography through some of its subjects' finest accomplishments.

And art connoisseurs throughout the Quad Cities lived happily ever after.

The exhibit's opening reception will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. on June 5 - with SAU faculty member Jim Van Speybroeck performing live on the harp - and more information on Ned & Adé: Contemporaries in Liturgical Art is available by calling (563)333-6444 or visiting



Randy JacksonMusic

Spring Pops: The Music of Led Zeppelin

Adler Theatre

Saturday, May 30, 7:30 p.m.


On May 30, the Quad City Symphony Orchestra will present its Spring Pops concert at the Adler Theatre, and in a significant break from tradition, the evening will find the ensemble not performing pieces by Mozart, Schubert, or Mahler, but rather works from the repertoire of Led Zeppelin. With vocalist Randy Jackson (pictured) doing a note-for-note interpretation of Robert Plant. And a full rock band supporting him. Kick. Ass.

Arranged and conducted by Brent Havens, The Music of Led Zeppelin is sure to be a unique merging of classical and rock stylings, but it would be understandable if many of the symphony's most devoted audiences feel a little unprepared for the night's event. For them, we offer this getting-to-know-you quiz on the group, courtesy of our friends at Start with these basic Zeppelin factoids, and you'll be air-guitaring to "Stairway to Heaven" in no time at all!


1) In what year was Led Zeppelin's first, self-titled album released?

A) 1968

B) 1969

C) 1970


2) What is the name of the famed double-album Led Zeppelin released in 1975?

A) In Through the Out Door

B) Presence

C) Physical Graffiti


3) Which member of Led Zeppelin had the nickname "Bonzo"?

A) Jimmy Page

B) John Bonham

C) Robert Plant


4) Which Led Zeppelin song was inspired by The Lord of the Rings?

A) "The Battle of Evermore"

B) "Stairway to Heaven"

C) "The Rover"


5) Why was the Led Zeppelin album Houses of the Holy banned in some European countries?

A) There were images of death on the cover

B) There was nudity on the cover

C) The songs contained lewd content


For more information and tickets to the Quad City Symphony Orchestra's Spring Pops concert, The Music of Led Zeppelin, call (800)745-3000 or visit


Answers: 1 - B, 2 - C, 3 - B, 4 - A, 5 - B. Those Europeans are such prudes, aren't they?



Iona NewellDance

Ballet Under the Stars

Lincoln Park

Friday, June 5 through Sunday, June 7, 8 p.m.


The June 5 through 7 productions of Ballet Quad Cities' annual Ballet Under the Stars mark the official beginning for 2009 stage entertainments in Rock Island's Lincoln Park. Yet this year, they'll also mark an end, as nine-year Ballet Quad Cities veteran Iona Newell (pictured) will retire from the company following Sunday night's performance. "We're still in denial," says executive director Joedy Cook about the impending loss of Newell. "We're hoping that she's going to walk in the door one morning and say, 'Okay, one more year.'"

Yet what a way to go! Allowing audiences one more chance to witness the talents of Newell - whom Cook calls "a phenomenal dancer, but also an artist. ... She literally transforms into her characters" - this year's Ballet Under the Stars will showcase the performer in two pas de deux: Prelude to Eternity, which Cook describes as "absolutely drop-dead gorgeous," and a portion of the Adolphe Adam ballet Giselle, which Cook says is "a pas de deux for me. I requested that she do Giselle before she leaves."

Ballet Quad Cities' Making WavesDon't think, though, that Ballet Under the Stars will be a one-woman show, as the performances will also feature company members performing an original piece titled Making Waves - "a very fun, flirty, playful piece in which dancers are swimmers and the ocean ... it's very jazzy and not balletic," says Cook - plus a series of short dance offerings and segments with the ballet's youth company. (As Cook states, "It's a great place for them to get stage experience.")

All this plus free admission, popcorn and root beer floats for sale, and a swift, hour-long running length. "We designed that specifically because we want Ballet Under the Stars to attract people who might never have seen ballet before," says Cook. "We always prefer that everybody go home wanting more."

For more information on Ballet Under the Stars, call (309)786-3779 or visit


Eddie Staver III in Oedipus RexTheatre

Oedipus Rex

Harrison Hilltop Theatre

Thursday, May 28 through Saturday, June 6


"Tiberias! What news have you brought me, prophet?"

"Good King Oedipus, I have learned that the story of your life is soon to be staged in the neighboring kingdom of Davenport."

"My life - on the stage?"

"Yes, my king. It will run from the 28th of May through the 6th of June, in a venue called the Harrison Hilltop Theatre."

"Have you seen this play?"

"Well ... no ... of course not."

"Right. Sorry. What do you know of it, prophet?"

"I understand that the production is being directed by Steven Quartell, and that your tale has been adapted - in something called a 'modern translation' - by the director and Melissa Coulter."

"And who, may I ask, will be playing me?"

"An actor named Eddie Staver III, my king, with Denise Yoder portraying your wife, Jocasta, Pat Flaherty as your brother-in-law, Creon, and a gentleman named Michael King as myself."

"I think I should like to see this play, Tiberias."

"Oh ... um ... I'm not sure that's such a good idea ... ."

"Silence! I shall make reservations at once! How would I secure them?"

"If you insist, my king, information and tickets are available by calling (309)235-1654 or visiting But I strongly recommend your thinking this over ... ."

"Enough. I shall make preparations. What is the play called, Tiberias?"

"Oedipus Rex, which, I think, is a much better title than the one they first considered."

"Which was?"

"Bad Motherfu - ."

"Shut your mouth."




Rock the River Tour

LeClaire Park

Saturday, August 8, 3:30-9:30 p.m.


A new, touring music festival hits Davenport's LeClaire Park on August 8, and it's called Rock the River. Hey, whatever keeps the Mississippi from flooding this year is all right by me. Sponsored by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association - with Graham's son, Franklin, as its chief organizer - the inaugural Rock the River Tour is a six-hour, nonsecular concert designed to deliver hope, encouragement, and a lot of kick-butt tunes to Christian youths, with Davenport serving as one of only four destinations in 2009, following the tour's stops in Baton Rouge and St. Louis, and prior to August 18's Minneapolis/St. Paul engagement. Franklin Graham himself will be on-hand to welcome the crowd, and among the day's musical acts are the alternative rockers of Flyleaf, the Dove Award-winning The Afters, the post-grunge musicians of Fireflight, and the Southern hip-hop artists of GRITS. Which, I guess, could also be used to keep the river from flooding, but I wouldn't want to be there for the cleanup. Tickets are $10, and more information on the event is available at



Keith Urbani wireless Center Events

May through August


Here's a message for all the kids out there: Father's Day isn't until June 21, but if you want to treat your father to a gift that's a lot more enjoyable than a tie, you might want to consider an early present in the form of tickets to the i wireless Center. Is Dad a country-music fan? The Moline venue presents four-time Country Music Association Entertainer of the Year Kenny Chesney (with openers Miranda Lambert and Lady Antebellum) on June 11, and Grammy-winning country/rock superstar Keith Urban (with opener Taylor Swift) on June 28. Is he a motor-sports man? The center offers the big-wheeled spectacular Monster Truck Mania - featuring motocross and quad racing - on May 30. If you can't pry Pop away from the TV during football season, he'll likely get a charge out of arena football with the QC Steamwheelers, who are scheduled to play the center on June 6 and 27, and July 11 and 18. If wrestling is his spectator-sport of choice, WWE Raw Live returns to Moline on June 20, with matches including Triple H versus Randy Horton, and John Cena versus The Big Show. And finally, consider purchasing tickets to August 14's concert with Disney Channel chanteuse Demi Lovato, joined on stage by American Idol heartthrob David Archuleta. Granted, Dad might sit that one out, but I'm guessing that if you offer to take the tickets off his hands, getting you out of the house for an evening will be all the gift he requires. For tickets and more information on these summertime events, visit



The Mighty Aphrodite Jazz BandMusic

Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival

Downtown Davenport

Thursday, July 23 through Sunday, July 26


The late, great Duke Ellington was quoted as saying, "By and large, jazz has always been like the kind of a man you wouldn't want your daughter to associate with." Wouldn't you kill to know what Ellington would've made of the all-female jazz ensemble the Mighty Aphrodites? Composed of gifted musicians from the west coasts of Canada and the United States, the recently formed septet plays everything from hot New Orleans riffs to cool early swing, and you'll be given your own chance to associate with them during the annual Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival, taking place at numerous Davenport venues July 23 through 26. As always, the noted festival will feature a host of jazz seminars, lectures, and concerts, and among the talents alternating venues with the Mighty Aphrodites are Bill Allred's Classic Jazz Band, the St. Louis Stompers, the Bob Crosby Bobcats, Dave Greer's Jazz Stompers, Wally's Warehouse Waifs, Scott Black's Jazz Band, and local favorites the Josh Duffee Orchestra and the Bix Beiderbecke Youth Jazz Band; all told, more than 50 concerts will be performed over a mere four days. Author Don Herold was once quoted as saying, "The chief trouble with jazz is that there is not enough of it." Take that, Don! For more information on this year's Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival, visit



Ron WhiteAdler Theatre Events

May through July


Did you know that if you were to form anagrams out of "Adler Theatre," you could create the trademark-registered "The Real Date ®"? Fittingly, the Davenport venue this summer will offer a number of potential evenings out for you and your special someone. Certainly, there'll be plenty for the music fans, as the theatre presents the Quad City Symphony Orchestra's Spring Pops, featuring the music of Zed Leppelin, on May 30, pop classics with "Mr. Las Vegas" Wayne Newton on June 12, alternative rock with O.A.R. on June 16, the Ultimate Doo-Wop Show - a kickin' benefit for Bethany for Children & Families - on June 20, and the inspirational stylings of the David Crowder Band, with special guest Andrew Landers, on July 19. Music will combine with dance and the words of Pulitzer Prize-winner Frank McCourt in June 19's Echoes of Ireland: The Musical; Lifetime Television clairvoyant Lisa Williams, the star of Life Among the Dead and Voices from the Other Side, will "read" members of her Davenport audience on June 5. And Blue Collar comedy will be on hand when Ron "Tater Salad" White takes over the Adler on June 6. Think they'll let him smoke inside? More on the Adler's "The Real Date ®" season - and I actually just made that up, but the theatre is welcome to use it - is available at



Dee AlexanderMusic

2009 IH Mississippi Valley Blues Festival

LeClaire Park

Thursday, July 2 through Saturday, July 4


You have every reason to expect fireworks from this year's IH Mississippi Valley Blues Festival, and not just because the three-day celebration ends on the Fourth of July. For the 25th-anniversary edition of this beloved Quad Cities event, taking place in LeClaire Park July 2 through 4, organizers have rounded up a staggering list of blues acts - nearly 30 in all - to perform on two stages. In the LeClaire Park bandshell, you'll thrill to sets by such artists as Larry McCray, Ric E Bluez, Roy Rogers & the Delta Rhythm Kings, Eugene "Hideaway" Bridges, Craig Horton, Eddie "The Chief" Clearwater, Robin Rogers, Rod Piazza & the Mighty Flyers, and familiar area musicians including Bob Dorr & the Blues Band, Cobalt Blue, the Ellis Kell Band, the Steady Rollin' Band, and the Peña Brothers. And on the park's Tent Stage, you'll be treated to scorching and soulful blues by Dee Alexander, Bo Ramsey, Diunna Greenleaf, T.J. Wheeler, Fiona Boyes, the Juke Joint Duo, Magic Slim & the Teardrops, Sugar Pie DeSanto, Kenny Brown, Marquise Knox, Radoslav Lorkovic, Hawkeye Herman, Saffire - the Uppity Blues Women, and David "Honeyboy" Edwards. "Honeyboy" is actually my nickname around the office, too, but strangely, only Todd calls me that. I don't like to talk about it. For more information, and a complete schedule for this year's Blues Festival artists, visit



Alice CooperEvent

Great Mississippi Valley Fair

Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds

Tuesday, August 4 through Sunday, August 9


2009's Great Mississippi Valley Fair runs August 4 through 9 at (appropriately enough) the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds, and if you're at all like me, it'll likely only take two words to get you psyched about this year's outdoor extravaganza: funnel cakes. If, however, you require slightly more motivation to attend this nearly century-old outdoor party, the fair's organizers have also secured an outstanding roster of musical superstars for each night of the festivities. Country-music luminary Trace Adkins takes the festival stage on Tuesday, with fellow chart-topper Gary Allan assuming headliner duties on Wednesday night. Pop icon Kenny Loggins - whose vocals have inspired countless groundhog boogies - plays the fair on Thursday, with country sensations Big & Rich set to rock Friday's crowd. The one and only Alice Cooper will be there, bravely wearing black amidst the August humidity, on Saturday evening, and Sunday's fiesta wraps up with the smooth country vocals of Tracy Lawrence. All this plus rides, vendors, children's activities, 4-H events, parades, a horse show ... . Oh, who am I kidding? Funnel cakes, baby!!! For more on the Great Mississippi Valley Fair's headliners and attractions, visit



Eddie Staver III and Denise Yoder in the Harrison Hilltop Theatre's Oedipus RexTheatre

Comedies and Dramas

May through August


Looking over this summer's roster of area plays, it appears as though it covers every conceivable reason to go to the theatre: There are stage presentations designed to make you laugh, to make you cry, to make you think, and to scare the living crap out of you. Geneseo's Richmond Hill Barn Theatre wraps up its beloved Pazinski-family trilogy with the comedic drama The Last Mass at St. Casimir's (opening June 11) before treating audiences to the farcical Busy Body (July 9) and heartbreaking Rabbit Hole (August 13), and Moline's Playcrafters Barn Theatre delivers the first production in its Diversity Initiative with Lorraine Hansberry's African-American drama A Raisin in the Sun (July 10). The Clinton Area Showboat Theatre produces one-acts by David Mamet, Elaine May, and Woody Allen in Death Defying Acts (June 18) and a full-length Tony winner in Neil Simon's Biloxi Blues (July 23), while Mt. Carroll's Timber Lake Playhouse provides cackles with Lend Me a Tenor (June 18) and shivers with Wait Until Dark (July 16). The Quad Cities' Riverbend Theatre Collective presents an anti-Love Letters in the two-character comedy Hate Mail (August 21), WQPT-TV's Lora Adams directs the off-Broadway hit The Boys Next Door (July 10), and Davenport's Harrison Hilltop Theatre stages the Eugene O'Neill masterpiece Long Day's Journey Into Night (August 20), the bleak comedy Huddersfield (June 11), and the Greek drama of Oedipus Rex (May 28). And speaking of Greek drama, Genesius Guild opens its season of plays with Hecuba (June 20), follows Euripides' classic with Shakespeare's Henry VI; Part I (July 10) and Part II (July 17), and closes with the traditional Don Wooten burlesque, this time of Aristophanes' Thesmophoriazusae (August 1). I understand that anyone who pronounces Thesmophoriazusae correctly will receive free admission to the Lincoln Park performance.



Jen Sondgeroth and Harold Truitt in Quad City Music Guild's The King & ITheatre


June through September


Taken together, do you know how many Tony Awards the shows in this summer's area-musical lineup have been nominated for? A million. Granted, I'm rounding up. Prior to the Timber Lake Playhouse's season-ending performance of Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story (opening August 13), the theatre presents a duet of Tony nominees in Grease (June 4) and the musical adaptation of The Wedding Singer (July 2), followed by a Tony winner in David Yazbek's Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (July 30). The Clinton Area Showboat Theatre offers another pair of Tony nominees in the stage version of Singin' in the Rain (July 9) and Andrew Lloyd Webber's and Tim Rice's Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (August 6), plus an off-Broadway hit in The Last Five Years (June 4). Interestingly, our area's Riverbend Theatre Collective will offer a Last Five Years of its own - also opening on June 4 - while the off-Broadway smashes continue with the Harrison Hilltop Theatre's staging of Jonathan Larson's Tick, Tick ... Boom! (July 17). Eldridge's Countryside Community Theatre offers two legendary, Tony-winning classics in South Pacific (June 19) and Annie Get Your Gun (July 17), while Quad City Music Guild brings Broadway to Moline in The King & I (June 12), the Elvis Presley celebration All Shook Up (July 10), and the multi-hued Seussical (August 7). My personal stomping grounds of Rock Island, meanwhile, gets into the musical act with Genesius Guild's presentations of Ballet Quad Cities' Ballet Under the Stars (June 5) and Opera@Augustana's A Night at the Opera (June 12), with the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse offering kiddie fun with Pinkalicious (June 30) and literal flights of fancy in the Tony-winning Peter Pan (June 17). And sneaking in just under the summertime wire, Circa '21 jump-starts Labor Day weekend with Mid-Life! The Crisis Musical (September 4), whose press release states that it'll take a comic look at everything "from reading glasses and mammograms to weekend warriors and colonoscopies." Take it from a guy in his 40s. Aging is a hoot.



What Else Is Happenin... ? (Wednesday, May 27 through Tuesday, June 9)



Saturday, May 30 - Chamber Music Quad Cities Spring Concert. Featuring works by Haydn, Roussel, Beethoven, and Prokofiev. Broadway Presbyterian Church (710 23rd Street, Rock Island). 7:30 p.m. $10-$5. For tickets and information, call (309)797-0516 or visit



Thursday, June 4 through Sunday, June 14 - Grease. The classic '50s rock 'n' roll musical. Timber Lake Playhouse (8215 Black Oak Road, Mt. Carroll). Fri. & Sat. 8 p.m., Tue. - Thu. 7:30 p.m., Sun. 6:30 p.m. $20-$11. For tickets and information, call (815)244-2035 or visit

Thursday, June 4 through Sunday, June 14 - The Last Five Years. Two-character, off-Broadway musical by composer Jason Robert Brown. Clinton Area Showboat Theatre (311 Riverview Drive, Clinton). Thu. - Sat. 7:30 p.m., Wed. & Sun. 3 p.m. $18. For tickets and information, call (563)242-6760 or visit

Friday, June 5 through Saturday, June 13 - The Last Five Years. Two-character, off-Broadway musical by composer Jason Robert Brown, presented by the Riverbend Theatre Collective. Village Theatre (2113 E. 11th Street, Davenport). June 5-7, and June 11-13, 7:30 p.m. $12. For information, call 309-786-1633 or visit



Friday, June 5 - Ballroom with the Quad City Celebrities. Benefit for Gilda's Club, featuring the Quad City Steamwheelers' JJ Raterink, American Gladiators contestant Jesse Adams Foster, MIX 96's Todd Alan, and other local luminaries in routines seen on TV's Dancing with the Stars. Captiol Theatre (330 W. 3rd Street, Davenport). $20. 7:30 p.m. For tickets and information, call (563)326-8820 or (563)570-5070, or visit



Wednesday, June 3 - Elizabeth Berg. Best-selling author signs and discusses her new novel, Home Safe. Moline Public Library (3210 41st Street, Moline). 1 p.m. Free. For information, call (309)736-5737 or visit Barnes & Noble Bookstore (320 W. Kimberly Road, Davenport). 7 p.m. Free. For information, call (563)445-8760.



Saturday, June 6 - Ron White. Blue Collar comedian on his Behavioral Problems tour. Adler Theatre (136 E. 3rd Street, Davenport). 7:30 p.m. $42.75. For tickets and information, call (800)745-3000 or visit



Friday, June 5 through Sunday, June 7 - The 27th Annual Iowa Arts Festival. Community celebration featuring over 115 local and regional visual artists, a music festival, regional and ethnic food, children's activities, and more. Downtown Iowa City. For information, call 319-337-7944 or visit


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