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Vaudeville-in': Comedian Josh Kahn Hosts "Bottoms Up Burlesque: Komic Kahn," May 17 through 25 at the Circa '21 Speakeasy PDF Print E-mail
Comedy
Written by Mike Schulz   
Monday, 29 April 2013 06:00

Josh KahnAs emcee for the Bottoms Up Burlesque troupe and a former emcee for Burlesque Le’ Moustache, Josh Kahn’s formal responsibilities shouldn’t include disrobing in public. But if you ask Kahn about his favorite experiences from years of hosting and providing comedic filler between striptease acts, don’t be surprised if the first one he mentions involves the night he himself stripped on stage. Or rather, as Kahn refers to it, “the first night I stripped on stage.

 
Glass (Ballet) Slippers: Ballet Quad Cities' "Cinderella" at the Adler Theatre PDF Print E-mail
Dance
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 22 April 2013 06:00

Ballet Quad Cities' CinderellaThere were two particular elements that made Ballet Quad Cities’ Cinderella (which ran for two Adler Theatre performances on April 20) especially watchable beyond Courtney Lyon’s exquisite choreography: clear storytelling, and humor. Not at one moment during Saturday evening’s performance did I find it hard to figure out which part of the fairytale was being depicted in dance, even down to the details of what specific characters were doing and feeling at all times.

 
Spring/Summer Dining Guide Survey Winners PDF Print E-mail
Feature Stories
Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 18 April 2013 07:40
The River Cities’ Reader’s dining survey was open from October 2012 through February 2013. Respondents needed to provide reasonable answers in at least 15 categories for their votes to be counted.

Vote in the current survey at RCReader.com/y/survey through August 31! Results will be published in the fall/winter Dining Guide.

Restaurant
1) Antonella’s Ristorante & Pizzeria
2) The Faithful Pilot Cafe & Spirits
3) The Crane & Pelican Cafe

New restaurant (opened in 2012)
1) Crust – Stone Oven Pizza
2) Pepperjack’s Restaurant & Lounge
3) Doc’s Inn Bar & Grill
3) Goombazz Big City Eatzz

 
Pivot and Progress: The Putnam Museum Looks to Remake Itself with a STEM Learning Center PDF Print E-mail
Local News
Written by Jeff Ignatius   
Thursday, 21 March 2013 05:37

(To read the sidebar about the renovation of the Family Museum in Bettendforf, click here.)

This past weekend, we brought our daughter to Davenport’s Putnam Museum and did the full tour. We saw Flight of the Butterflies 3D on the Giant Screen, walked through the new Bodies Revealed show, and saw all the cultural-, regional-, and natural-history displays that visitors have known for decades, from the mummies to the Asian artifacts to Bix’s cornet.

But what kept Emily’s attention was the Spark Learning Lab, a modest career-themed room with the goal of preventing high-school drop-outs.

Our daughter is five and in no danger yet of dropping out of any school – or pursuing any career beyond princess-ing. And the Spark Learning Lab is geared toward fifth- and sixth-graders. But she loved the lab’s drawing program with the dual touch screens (one on the computer and one where the picture was being projected), the construction-plank set (which she’s playing with on this issue’s cover), and the feature that allows visitors to build tube structures and – with the help of a blower – either launch table-tennis balls or keep them aloft.

One station in the room lets visitors connect batteries to simple electrical devices, and another shows how structures they build with Lincoln Logs or those aforementioned planks might fare in an earthquake. The “concentration station” fosters communications skills, as one person describes a block structure and a partner tries to build its twin using verbal instructions alone.

If you want to see where the Putnam is headed, you can look at the conceptual drawings – posted in several locations – of its planned STEM learning center. The $1.5-million project is currently in the fundraising phase, and the museum expects to open it in June 2014. Putnam President and CEO Kim Findlay said adding the STEM center to the Putnam now is “the right time and the right thing for the community and the museum.”

But you’ll get a hands-on sense of the Putnam’s direction in the Spark Learning Lab. Larger-scale hints are available in the interactive components of the current Destination: Space exhibit, with its compressed-air tennis-ball launcher, and a bicycle wheel and rotating platform demonstrating angular momentum.

Implicitly and explicitly, all of these draw a line from playful exploration to science to careers, and that’s what the STEM center will do on a much grander level. It’s an attempt to transform the nearly-century-and-a-half-old Putnam from “nice to necessary,” to use a phrase that’s common in the museum field these days.

 
A New Community at the Family Museum PDF Print E-mail
Local News
Written by Jeff Ignatius   
Thursday, 21 March 2013 05:36

(To read the main story about the Putnam Museum’s planned STEM center, click here.)

At a recent visit to the Family Museum’s new Fox Hollow, there was a robber at the grocery store, grabbing (fake) money and announcing his deed. This probably wasn’t what leaders of the Bettendorf museum wanted to happen with their renovated facility, but dictating any aspect of open-ended play is antithetical to the enterprise.

So Museum Director Margaret Kuhl laughed when told about the Fox Hollow crime wave.

“We don’t have any police officers on duty,” she conceded. “Maybe somebody from the fire department could have helped. ... We have that neighborhood concept of everybody looking out for each other.”

 
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