• CINCH World's Toughest Rodeo, January 18 and 19

    Currently celebrating 40 years of bringing extreme rodeo excitement to fans nationwide, the CINCH World's Toughest Rodeo makes a return visit to Moline's TaxSlayer Center January 18 and 19, treating patrons to entertainment from touring favorites such as professional bull jumper Manu Lataste, barrel artists John Harrison and Justin “Rumpshaker” Rumford, Whiplash the Cowboy Monkey, and Sonny the 2,000-pound picture bull.

  • QCA Today Headlines Quad Cities - Sunset Marina Rock Island, Illinois
    QCA Today: January 16, 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.

  • Ron White, January 10

    One of America's most popular comedians brings his latest touring event to Davenport's Adler Theatre on January 10, with Blue Collar Comedy Tour star Ron White sharing the humorous observations and quick-witted routines that have earned him three Grammy Award nominations and comedy-album sales of more than 10 million to date.

  • Get Lit: “The White Tiger,” January 8

    Praised by the Sunday Times as “extraordinary and brilliant,” and by the Seattle Times as “fierce and funny … a satire as sharp as it gets,” author Aravind Adiga's debut novel The White Tiger serves as the discussion point for the latest Get Lit event at the Bettendorf Public Library, with attendees exploring the work that earned Adiga the 40th Man Booker Prize and a New Yorker rave for "his appealingly sardonic voice and acute observations of the social order.”

  • “Literary Heroines: Their Times, Their Fashions,” October 13 through January 6

    Heroic women, both fictional and real, will be celebrated in the Putnam Museum & Science Center's avidly anticipated Literary Heroines: Their Times, Their Fashions – an October 13 through January 4 exhibition notable not only for its breadth of clothing and period items from the museum's permanent collection, but for being the rare area exhibit that isn't making a local appearance as part of a larger national or international tour. As Putnam President and CEO Kim Findlay says, “We didn't find it – we created it.”

  • 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.”

  • Scott County Faces Governance Blow with Supervisor Diane Holst's Departure

    The trouble with today's voters is that most have compartmentalized their civic responsibility into the narrow confines of support for one of two political parties: Democrats or Republicans. Sadly, such narrow-mindedness misses the otherwise glaringly obvious truth that there are no longer two ideologically distinct parties in American politics. The two-party stranglehold on politics today is a sophisticated, fantastical ruse that has people locked into an arena mentality of win or lose at all costs, no holds barred.

  • 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.

  • “Newsies: The Musical,” January 16 through February 23

    Described by Variety magazine as “Disney's happiest outing since The Lion King” and by USA Today as a production of “easy infectuousness” and “youthful exuberance,” the Tony Award-winning Newsies: The Musical makes its area debut at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse January 16 through February, treating family audiences to an energetic work that the Hollywood Reporter said “adheres to a time-honored Disney tradition of inspirational storytelling in the best possible sense.”

  • Prenzie Players' Macbeth
    The Prenzie Players' “Macbeth,” January 18 through 26

    As verse-theatre troupe the Prenzie Players continues with its plan to produce all of William Shakespeare's plays by 2023, one of the Bard's most famous tragedies enjoys a new staging at Davenport's QC Theatre Workshop January 18 through 26, with the legendary revenge thriller Macbeth presented by the Prenzies for the first time since the group tackled the masterwork in 2005.

  • Faves in Fives 2018: Highlights from the Year in Area Theatre

    You asked for 'em! You're getting 'em!

    Okay, fine, none of you officially asked for them. But 'tis the season of giving, so-o-o-o … .

    Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Third-Annual Reader Tony Awards!

  • “(a work in progress),” January 11 through 20

    The first show of the Playcrafters Barn Theatre's 2019 season, running January 11 through 20, is writer/director Alexander Richardson's (a work in progress) – a backstage/front-of-stage comedy Richardson originally wrote in 2015 and drastically re-wrote for its area debut. And the play serves as a fitting introduction to what may be the venerable venue's most ambitious season yet, with 11 wildly varied productions scheduled for the next 11 months. One might call it (an experiment in progress).

  • The Moxie Strings, January 16 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.”

  • Owen, January 18

    Mike Kinsella, who performs locally as a Moeller Nights headliner on January 18, records solo music under the moniker Owen, and the Chicago-based living legend earned his stripes over decades of peerless songwriting at the front, or co-front, of projects who would come to define then-emerging, '90s-born styles such as emo, indie rock, and math rock.

  • Northern Parallels: 028, January 18

    Minneapolis-based label Northern Parallels aligns a crew of DJs and producers for a January 18 showcase at Rozz-Tox. Based on recent mixes posted by featured DJ Colin Cook, one spearhead of the IowaTechno collective out of Cedar Rapids, and the melting atmospheric tracks of featured producer Mike Derer, the night looks to be a certified banger.

  • 38 Special, January 19

    Armed with iconic hits such as “Hold On Loosely,” “Rockin' into the Night,” and “Caught Up in You,” the touring musicians of 38 Special bring their singular brand of exhilarating Southern rock to Davenport's Rhythm City Casino Resort Event Center on January 19, continuing the legacy of the band's four-decades-plus history in the company of 38 Special vocalist/guitarist Don Barnes, who began with the group in 1975.

  • Manny Lopez Septet, January 20

    An area great that Jazz News calls “exceptionally illuminating,” trumpet and flugelhorn master Manny Lopez performs with his Manny Lopez Septet in the latest event in Polyrhythms' Third Sunday Jazz Workshop & Matinée Series, the musicians' January 20 Redstone Room concert treating fans to the singular jazz stylings that have thrilled local audiences for more than four decades.

  • 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.

  • Six Characters in Search of a Doorknob: "Escape Room" and "Bird Box"

    Escape Room is about a group of strangers who want to escape a room, or rather several rooms, and in its narrative elegance, psychological nuance, and thematic incisiveness, the film brings to mind Pirandello, or perhaps the Jean-Paul Sartre of No Exit. “Hell is other people” wrote the author, and as our six tormented protagonists struggle in the face of devastating insularity and the nothingness of existence, Escape Room invites us to … .

    I'm pulling your chain. It's just a cheesy, dopey little thriller. But it has its moments.

Art

  • “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.

  • 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.”