• Afternoon Tea and “Little Women,” November 24

    Fans of Louisa May Alcott, Elizabeth Taylor, Claire Danes, and/or the comforts of tea can enjoy a trip back in time on November 24, when Davenport's Putnam Museum & Science Center hosts an afternoon tea along with screenings of Little Women, the Alcott classic being shown in both its Oscar-winning 1949 version and its Oscar-nominated 1994 adaptation.

  • QCA Today Headlines Quad Cities - Sunset Marina Rock Island, Illinois
    QCA Today: November 21, 2018

    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.

  • Pimprov, November 24

    With the Chicago Tribune calling their performances “politically incorrect and funny” and the Charleston City Paper adding that the cast “has funny going on before they even open their mouths,” the Chicago-based comedians of Pimprov bring their sketch-comedy skills, acting talent, and significant bling to the Circa '21 Speakeasy on November 24, demonstrating why the Los Angeles Times calls their set “not your traditional improv.”

  • “Disney on Ice: Frozen,” November 29 through December 2

    One of the most popular and beloved animated movies of all time gets a holiday makeover at Moline's TaxSlayer Center from November 29 through December 2, with an Oscar-winning Disney masterpiece turned into an ice-skating spectacle in Disney on Ice: Frozen, a delightful touring adventure featuring Frozen's Anna, Elsa, Olaf, and more singing and skating alongside numerous additional Disney favorites.

  • WinterFest, December 2

    Seasonal activities, song and dance performances, Christmas displays, and much more can be found at the Family Museum on December 2 when the venue hosts its annual celebration WinterFest, with this year's event-filled afternoon treating guests to displays, photos, and even visits from Santa, Mrs. Claus, and a real live reindeer.

  • Saudi Arabia
    Two Numbers Explain Why Trump Won't Sanction Saudi Arabia

    "[W]e may never know all of the facts surrounding the murder of Mr. Jamal Khashoggi," US president Donald Trump told the nation on November 20, but "[t]he United States intends to remain a steadfast partner of Saudi Arabia to ensure the interests of our country, Israel and all other partners in the region."

    Many find the president's statement curious indeed given the seeming consensus among the Turkish and US intelligence communities that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman ordered Khashoggi's murder at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. But two simple numbers clarify just how much importance successive administrations,  including Trump's, have placed on the US-Saudi relationship.

  • The Harder You Work, the Luckier You Get

    I had the pleasure of meeting several Democratic women candidates from Lake County during the Illinois State Fair last summer. Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) was showing them around town and brought them to a reception I was attending. We chatted for a while before they went on their merry way.

    “Merry” is actually an understatement. Those candidates were positively joyful. They seemed genuinely thrilled to be running for office. Only one had ever run for something before. The rest felt compelled to get involved after the 2016 election.

  • What to Expect from Pritzker's First Months in Office

    Governor-elect JB Pritzker has taken the prospect of an immediate income-tax hike off the table, telling the Sun-Times that he won’t pursue an “artificial” progressive income tax during the coming spring legislative session.

  • A Pre-Midterms Lawn-Sign Story

    The last column I write before an election day is always the toughest because some papers will publish this before election day and others will publish it after. So today you get a yard-sign story.

  • Need to Knowtes: Transparency Makes for the Best Governance

    For decades, the American people have permitted the secretive nature of government to not just prevail, but exponentially grow, causing the public sector to adopt a sense of entitlement for operating beyond the reach of the public. It really isn't about left versus right anymore, because the obstructionists to transparency exist on both sides of the aisle and ideologies.

  • “It Had to Be You,” November 23 through December 2

    Described by the New York Post as “sweet, funny, and sassy” and by CBS's Dennis Cunningham as “a comic miracle of non-stop laughter,” the romantic-comedy-with-a-twist It Had to Be You enjoys a November 23 through December 2 staging at Moline's Black Box Theatre, the holiday-themed show ideally timed for those seeking, according to the Post, “a cartoon comedy of great dexterity and loving warmth.”

  • “Pinocchio,” November 23 through December 29

    An elderly woodcarver, a magical blue fairy, a singing and dancing fox and cat, and a wooden puppet who longs to be a real boy will all grace the stage from November 23 through December 29, as Rock Island's Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse presents show-only and brunch performances of Pinocchio, the holiday family musical based on the classic fairytale.

  • Quad City Music Guild's “Miracle in Bedford Falls,” November 29 through December 2

    With its latest musical described by Bold Life magazine as “some kind of wonderful” and by the Asheville Citizen-Times as “an old-fashioned holiday greeting card come to life,” Quad City Music Guild brings a timeless holiday treat to the stage in its November 29 through December 2 run of Miracle in Bedford Falls, a brand-new theatrical imagining of the Frank Capra classic It's a Wonderful Life.

  • “Honk! Jr.”, December 1 and 2

    A special one-act version of the hilarious fairytale musical that won Great Britain's 2000 Olivier Ward for Best Musical – and triumphed over such contenders as Mamma Mia! and The Lion King – the family entertainment Honk! Jr. will make its area debut at St. Ambrose University's Galvin Fine Arts Center on December 1 and 2, demonstrating why Broadway World praised the show's “lightness of touch” and adding that there's “plenty for kids, parents, and grandparents to enjoy.”

  • “Noël: The Musical,” December 2

    Lauded by Broadway World as “a stunning new holiday musical” and by The Independent as “a beautiful story” that's “fun for the whole family,” the touring Christmastime production Noël: The Musical brings seasonal messages and beautiful music to Davenport's Adler Theatre on December 2, and with a depth that led The Independent to call it “a feel-good show, but with a storyline touching on the very real issues of homelessness, bullying, loneliness, and the materialism of the holidays.”

  • Giallows photo by Katie Parry
    Some General Spookiness with Giallows: Profile

    The members of the band Giallows, who were slated to perform on Tuesday, 13 November, at 8PM at Rozz-Tox (2108 3rdAve, Rock Island), have watched Hell blaze across the streets of the Quad Cities.

    Well, not Hell, exactly. That may be overstating matters. And nothing purgatorial or bardo-esque, for that matter. But they’ve seen some stuff occur. They also seemed to agree that they would never really agree on thenatureof such stuff — so they might as well play music.

  • No Duh, November 23

    Its impending area engagement sure to be the next best thing to an actual No Doubt reunion, the California-based musicians of tribute band No Duh take over the Rhythm City Casino Resort Event Center on November 23, offering a salute to Gwen Stefani and company that led BeaconStreetOnline.net to call them “awesome” and rave, “We definitely recommend checking them out.”

  • The Artisanals, November 24

    Praised by PopMatters as musicians who “pull off the neat trick of straddling the line between small-scale touches and anthemic choruses,” and by Paste magazine as artists who “bring to mind the best of Tom Petty and the more fun aspects of Father John Misty and The War on Drugs,” the indie rockers of The Artisanals headline a Moeller Nights concert on November 24, performing in support of their self-titled debut album released a mere two months ago.

  • The Smoking Popes, November 29

    “Ever wonder what a traditional lounge singer would sound like backed up by a punk band?” asked the Los Angeles Times. “The Smoking Popes take that concept one step further: They've created a unique kind of music that some listeneres are describing as 'hyperkinetic tear-jerkers.'” That description is as accurate today as it was during the band's early-'90s beginnings, as The Smoking Popes will prove when the pop-punk and alt-rock musicians play Davenport's Redstone Room on November 29 in support of their October release Into the Agony.

  • “Blue Christmas: A Rock 'n' Roll Holiday Extravaganza,” November 29

    In addition to his rock, blues, and gospel smashes, Elvis Presley recorded numerous renditions of popular seasonal tunes, and many of those hits will be heard when the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse hosts two November 29 performances of Blue Christmas: A Rock 'n' Roll Holiday Extravaganza starring touring musician and noted impersonator Robert Shaw.

  • The Grift of the Magi: “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald,” “Instant Family,” and “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs”

    There's a little something for everyone in the adventure fantasy Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald – and that's kind of the problem. Serving as both prequel and appendage to her Harry Potter series, screenwriter J.K. Rowling's continuation of her latest wizard saga boasts plenty of random pleasures, including some nifty visuals, a couple of cheerful comic turns, and a scarily resonant sequence suggesting a Rowling-ized Nuremberg rally. Yet this second installment in a planned five-part franchise – one that began with 2016's Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them – is still so wildly overstuffed with incident and exposition, and so distractingly focused on The Bigger Picture, that it barely gives us a chance to admire its many lovely fringe touches. There may be a little for everyone here, but taken overall, there's not a lot for anyone.

  • Anything They Can Steal We Can Steal Better: “Widows” and “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”

    Before my screening of the new heist thriller Widows, the film's director Steve McQueen popped up in one of those “Thanks for coming to the movies!” PSAs, and after some charming flubbing of his lines, he called the film we were about to see “a dream project.” In retrospect, it was an unexpectedly lighthearted – and therefore, perhaps necessary – introduction to a decidedly somber movie. But still, coming from the director of Hunger, Shame, and 12 Years a Slave, I have to ask: Really? This was McQueen's dream project? A feature-film version of a 1983 British mini-series about a team of former thieves' wives who ridiculously, even ludicrously pick up where their hubbies left off? The minor miracle of McQueen's latest, though, is that it might just satisfy both fans of the director's grave, unsparing, almost completely humorless works (I'm one of those fans), and those who just want to enjoy a tougher-minded Ocean's 8 with Viola Davis in the Sandra Bullock role. (I'm one of them, too.)

  • Boo-Hoo-ville: “Dr. Seuss' The Grinch,” “Beautiful Boy,” “Overlord,” “The Girl in the Spider's Web,” and “Volcanoes: The Fires of Creation”

    Before I'm accused of being one myself, let me state up front that Dr. Seuss' The Grinch – the latest retelling of the good doctor's How the Grinch Stole Christmas – has quite a few things going for it (Happy Holidays!), even if they're eventually outweighed by the things going against it. (Bah, Humbug!)

  • Is This the Real Life? Is This Just Fantasy? : “Bohemian Rhapsody”

    About an hour into the Freddie Mercury bio-pic Bohemian Rhapsody, the screen is suddenly filled with excerpts from reviews of the title song, with the least harsh among many hateful notices calling the Queen track “perfectly adequate.” Depending on where you look, a glance through the film's own reviews can feel similar to that montage, with some of the nation's foremost news outlets attacking the release with a loathing that suggests the second coming of Ed Wood. (The headline for the New York Times' take was “Another One Bites the Dust” … and that was one of the kinder things said.)

    But if ever a movie was wholly, deservedly review-proof, it's this one. Yes, I thought that Bohemian Rhapsody was in most ways disappointingly traditional and in many ways bad. It left me, however, with such a movie-going high – and a high composed of numerous incidental thrills well before its phenomenally satisfying finale – that I found its scores of problems, in the end, almost completely irrelevant. As the insistent lyric goes: “We will we will rock you.” And damn if I didn't leave rocked.

  • Clara in Blunderland: “The Nutcracker & the Four Realms,” “Nobody's Fool,” and “Suspiria”

    Given the previews' gaudy color schemes and overall air of manic busyness, my fear was that the family adventure The Nutcracker & the Four Realms would feel like an unfortunate redo of Tim Burton's 2010 Alice in Wonderland, with another cherished childhood classic Disney-fied and blockbuster-ized almost beyond recognition. What we actually get, though, is even worse: a redo of Alice Through the Looking Glass, director James Bobin's 2016 headache that managed to be even more visually garish and narratively incoherent than Burton's predecessor.

Art

  • Glenn Boyles Exhibit, December 1 through February 28

    In addition to serving as the education coordinator for Bettendorf's Family Museum, a job that he says “allows me to be creative in the design of art, science, and play activities,” Glenn Boyles is a gifted artist working primarily in painting and drawing, and works by this gifted Marycrest University alumnus will be on display at the Moline Centre Station Gallery from December 1 through February 28.

  • Kathleen Washington Exhibit, December 1 through January 31

    A former Black Hawk College student who studied under famed area artist Jean Tamesia, Kathleen “Casey” Washington will showcase her artworks at Davenport's MidCoast Gallery at Bucktown, with the painter and multi-media artist having prepared three different approaches for the December 1 through January 31 exhibition: “The Essence of Picasso,” “Specialized Portraits,” and “Art Designed Furniture.”

  • 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.

  • “A Guide to Domestic Measurement” and “Reconstructing the Rise of Asymmetrical Skylines,” October 19 through November 30

    New exhibitions of screen prints and photographs will be on display October 19 through November, as Rock Island's Quad City Arts Center presents A Guide to Domestic Measurement, a collection of works by Iowa City artist Alison Filley, and Reconstructing the Rise of Asymmetrical Skylines, a creative assemblage by Davenport-based photographer Matthew Terry.

  • Emma Farber Cunningham and Barbara Toner: “Paintings & Glass,” October 13 through December 1

    Two disparate forms of artistic media will, from October 13 through December 1, combine in one fascinating exhibit at Davenport's Bucktown Center for the Arts, when area artists Emma Farber Cunningham and Barbara Toner showcase their immense talents – and their specific mediums of interest – in the new MidCoast at Bucktown Gallery exhibition Paintings & Glass.