• Jeff Dunham, January 23

    Appearing locally with familiar traveling companions such as Peanut, José Jalapeño, Bubba J., Sweet Daddy Dee, and Achmed the Dead Terrorist, comedian and ventriloquist Jeff Dunham brings his national “Passively Aggressive” tour to Moline's TaxSlayer Center on January 23, the performer's comic talent and audience rapport establishing why he holds the Guinness World Record for “Most Tickets Sold for a Stand-Up Comedy Tour.”

  • QCA Today Headlines Quad Cities - Sunset Marina Rock Island, Illinois
    QCA Today: January 21, 2019

    This feature collects articles published online by Quad Cities-area media outlets and by CapitolFax.com and the state-politics sections of the Des Moines Register and the State Journal-Register.

  • “Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood Live! King for a Day” and “PAW Patrol Live! The Great Pirate Adventure,” January 23 through 27

    Two beloved children's-television programs will be brought to spectacular stage life this month in two eagerly awaited touring presentations: Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood Live! King for a Day, landing at Davenport's Adler Theatre on January 23, and PAW Patrol Live! The Great Pirate Adventure, docking at Moline's TaxSlayer Center on January 26 and 27.

  • “RACE: Are We So Different?”, January 26 through June 2

    Race is an issue that, in daily life, can feel like a daunting one to approach. Yet Davenport's Putnam Museum & Science Center is addressing the subject head-on in its new, interactive, and accessible traveling exhibition RACE: Are We So Different? Open to museum guests from January 26 through June 2, RACE aims to help visitors of all ages better understand the origins and manifestations of race and racism in everyday life by investigating race and challenging its misconceptions through the framework of science. And as Putnam President and CEO Kim Findlay says, it's an exhibit designed “to explore race through history, science, and culture – which happen to be the three things the Putnam focuses on.”

  • A Big Job Ahead for Sol Flores

    Governor JB Pritzker announced last week that he had picked Sol Flores to be his fourth deputy governor. He’d previously announced deputy governors Dan Hynes, Christian Mitchell, and Jesse Ruiz.

  • Pritzker Inspiring Optimism and Excitement … on Both Sides

    I missed JB Pritzker’s impromptu speech to a gathering of Republicans last week by a few minutes. But the fact that Pritzker even stopped by the event, hosted by Senate Republican Leader Bill Brady and House Republican Leader Jim Durkin, was notable in and of itself.

  • A Tale of Two Parties

    I attended two parties in one evening last month that seemed to complement each other.

  • Can an Arizona-style Pension Fix Work for Illinois?

    We’ve seen a big push over the past few weeks for an Arizona-style pension “fix” here. That state’s voters have twice approved constitutional amendments to limit future benefits for public employees – once in 2016 and then again last month.

  • Pritzker's Plans for the Minimum-Wage Hike

    Governor-elect JB Pritzker was asked last week about the timeline for passage of a new minimum-wage law.

    “That’s very important to me,” Pritzker said, “It’s probably something we’ll be able to get done in the first six months in office.”

  • Great Scots: The Prenzie Players’ “Macbeth,” at the QC Theatre Workshop through January 26

    Here’s the thing: Any show that opens with a warning of “Please don’t shift your chair to avoid being trampled” is bound to be thrilling, even if, I admit, I was initially pretty hesitant about the idea of seeing the Prenzie Players’ Friday-night opening of Macbeth amidst the snow. But damn was this an exciting, emotional two hours in Scotland care of director Catherine Bodenbender.

  • All the Newsies That's Fit to Print: "Newsies: The Musical," at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse through February 23

    Extra! Extra! Read all about it: The Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse is currently presenting Disney’s popular Broadway adaptation Newsies: The Musical! A high-energy entertainment loaded with incredible dancing and brilliant singing that packs a solid punch, the January 17 preview performance was already polished and didn't disappoint, and felt more like an opening-night performance as the cast delivered an exceptionally enjoyable show.

  • “The Three Musketeers,” January 25 through February 3

    Praised by the Bristol Evening Post as “a real winner” that earns “four stars out of four,” and by The Guardian for being a “slick, swashbuckling romp that cleverly updates the Dumas novel,” the literary classic The Three Musketeers enjoys a thrilling new stage presentation at Augustana College January 25 through February 3, with Tony Award nominee Ken Ludwig's 2007 adaptation delivering, according to The California Aggie, “two hours of pure awesomeness.”

  • “Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill,” January 26 through February 9

    Described by The London Times as “original and riveting” and by New York magazine as a play that “hurts and exhilarates in just the right proportions,” the Tony-winning drama Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill makes its area debut at Moline's Black Box Theatre January 26 through February 9, this stage biography of jazz legend Billie Holiday lauded by OnStage as “a searing portrait of a woman whose art was triumphant.”

  • Play Crafting: “(a work in progress),” at the Playcrafters Barn Theatre through January 20

    Missed sound cues, incorrect light cues, and a play within a play – so goes the Playcrafters Barn Theatre’s schizophrenic comedy (a work in progress), whose opening-night performance was quirky and full of mayhem. Anyone who has ever been involved in the art of theatre knows the process can become a crazy one, and this presentation gives audiences a firsthand view of what happens behind the scenes with a close look at rehearsals, a diversity of actor personalities, and an infamous, erratically temperamental director.

  • Lala Lala, January 21

    Singer/songwriter Lillie West helms the Chicago-based grunge-rock/dream-pop project Lala Lala (playing Rozz-Tox on January 21) from the persona of the disaffected slacker youth who is quite capable – perhaps secretly, and to her own chagrin – of putting in some serious work to untangle her life’s problems.

  • The Moxie Strings, January 21 through 24

    With the Grand Rapids Press hailing their “topnotch, instumental wizardry,” Alison Lynn and Diana Ladio serve as the latest Quad City Arts Visiting Artists with their Celtic/bluegrass outfit The Moxie Strings, whose January 24 public performance at the Bettendorf High School Performing Arts Center will demonstrate why Current magazine insists that “the future of music could not be in better hands.”

  • Trevor Sensor, January 25

    Performing as a Moeller Nights headliner on January 25, Trevor Sensor’s full-length LP debut bears the title Andy Warhol’s Dream, which should instantly give you an idea of the palette he works within. Vaguely nostalgic garage rock? Check. Evocations of the heyday of the 1960s? Definitely. A tongue-in-cheek view of art across the generations as being locked in a state of constant regurgitation and self-consumption? Oh yeah.

  • Flatfoot 56, January 26

    Performing in support of their most recent album Odd Boat, a release that SoundRenaissance.net called “a gem of our time” for its “infusion of melodic punk and anthemic rock n’ roll,” the Chicago-based musicians of Flatfoot 56 perform at the Redstone Room on January 26, filling the Davenport venue with what IndieVisionMusic.com called “their rambunctious style that their fans have come to love.”

  • Pony Bradshaw, January 29

    Pony Bradshaw touches down at the Triple Crown Whiskey Bar & Raccoon Motel for Moeller Nights on January 29 in conjunction with the release of his debut full-length album Sudden Opera.

  • She Don't Need Another Hero: “Glass”

    M. Night Shyamalan has publicly stated that there won't be any sequels to Glass, the auteur's quasi-comic-book thriller that is itself a sequel to 2000's Unbreakable and 2017's Split, and I have no reason to doubt the man. Yet I'm hoping Shyamalan might at least consider a prequel or two, because as of now, I'm not quite ready to be done with James McAvoy's electrifying, disarmingly jovial performance(s) as Kevin Wendell Crumb, the conflicted serial killer who, in Split, made life hell for a trio of kidnapped teens. I wouldn't even mind if those prequels were as messy and overwrought as Glass, just so long as they were equally entertaining.

  • Predicting the 2019 Academy Award Nominations

    Will a comic-book movie finally be nominated for Best Picture? (Probably!) Will a Grammy-winning pop star be nominated for Best Actress? (Almost certainly!) Will the ceremony ever find a host? (At this point, I couldn't care less!)

    Regardless, it's prediction time, Oscar hounds! Nominations for the 91st Annual Academy Awards are scheduled to be announced at 7:22 a.m. CST on Tuesday, January 22, with me no doubt burying my face in prognostic embarrassment at roughly 7:40. The boldface names and titles below are my predicted nominees, non-boldface denotes runners-up, and predictions are in order of probability.

  • Hart Tugger: “The Upside,” “A Dog's Way Home,” and “Replicas”

    Kevin Hart is probably in the mood for some good news right about now. So allow me to congratulate The Oscar Host Who Wasn't on his new buddy comedy The Upside landing at the top of this past weekend's box-office charts, officially ending the three-week dominance of Aquaman. As an added bonus, The Upside isn't as dispiritingly crummy as that superhero blockbuster. But it's close.

  • Harlem Nights: “If Beale Street Could Talk” and “On the Basis of Sex”

    At first, it all seems too romantic – or maybe the word is “corny” – to be believed. As we listen to the melancholy, strings-heavy refrains of composer Nicholas Britell's score, a pair of beautiful young lovers stroll through their Harlem neighborhood on a warm, mid-autumn evening, and we can't help but notice that the blazing gold of the leaves matches the gold of the woman's jacket, which, in turn, matches the gold of the man's shirt. Is If Beale Street Could Talk's writer/director Barry Jenkins paying some kind of tribute to the boldly hued, fantasy-land charms of La La Land, the movie that almost made off with the Best Picture Oscar that (ya know, eventually) went to Jenkins' Moonlight?

  • Stars Aren't Made, They're Born: Reminiscences on the 2018 Movie Year

    In recent years, picking my number-one-favorite movie for this annual recap has been relatively simple, with the choice either being a no-contest one (2017's Get Out, 2014's Boyhood) or a figurative coin flip over two equally worthy possibilities (2016's Manchester by the Sea over Moonlight, 2015's Brooklyn over Spotlight). But this year, I could've contentedly walked away from this article with any of my top five favorites emerging ultimately victorious … if I hadn't decided to listen to “Shallow,” three times in a row, right before making my final placements. Love makes you do silly things like that.

Art

  • “Animals in the Museum,” January 26 through April 28

    Foxes in the henhouse. Elephants in the room. Cats in the cradle. And from January 26 through April 28, there will be Animals in the Museum, as Davenport's Figge Art Museum showcases works in all artistic mediums devoted to the world's furry, feathered, finned, and four-legged friends.

  • “Art Nouveau Amphora,” January 19 through June 16

    Sinuous plants, youthful maidens, venomous dragons, and other arresting sights will be on display from January 19 through June 16 at the Figge Art Museum in the Davenport venue's new exhibition Art Nouveau Amphora, a collection of magnificent works of artistic pottery from the late-19th and early-20th Centuries.

  • “Finding Inspiration: From Monet to Matisse,” December 7 through January 25

    An incredible 90 works by 52 regional artists will be on display at the Quad City Arts Center Gallery from December 7 through January 25, as the venue houses the exhibition Finding Inspiration: From Monet to Matisse, boasting works by those inspired by the Figge Art Museum's current exhibit French Moderns: Monet to Matisse 1850 - 1950.

  • “Winter Wonderland,” January 2 through 25

    The weather outside may be frightful, but the sights in the Beréskin Gallery & Art Academy's latest showcase will be delightful, with the January 2 through 25 exhibition Winter Wonderland celebrating the season and through new paintings by David Anderson and additional works by nearly two dozen of the venue's fellow artists.

  • Jeanne O'Melia, Erica Parrott, and David Turner Exhibits, December 1 through January 31

    Works by a trio of exceptional area artists will be on display December 1 through January 31 at MidCoast Gallery West / The ARTery, with the Rock Island venue housing watercolors and drawings by Jeanne O'Melia, figurative drawings and paintings by Erica Parrott, and large-format photography by David Turner.