As a child of the '60s and '70s, I favored rock groups such as Kansas. My older sister Shari loved pop music. For many kids, music was a way to escape the turmoil of those decades, and for Shari, it meant listening to Bobby Sherman or folk singer John Denver. Being the youngest, I sometimes teased her about the lameness of her music – and still do, for that matter. However, even for a precocious little brother, the music of Denver always struck a chord of enlightenment in my heart, and that's exactly what happened again at the Timber Lake Playhouse's opening-night performance of Almost Heaven: Songs of John Denver.

"There's a hole in the world like a great black pit, and it's filled with people who are filled with shit. And the vermin of the world inhabit it, and it goes by the name of London."

No lyrics better summed up the setting for a musical than these particular lines from Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, and Augustana College's latest production delivers in filling the Potter Theatre with the polluted gloom and human hell that was 1840s London.

Jeremy Mahr in The Complete Word of God (abridged)In the beginning, Brent Tubbs directed a play. And the production was without form and void; darkness was upon the face of the show. And the spirit of Brent moved upon the three-person cast. And Brent said, “Let there be humor,” and there was laughter. And Brent heard the giggles, and it was good. And Brent said, “Behold, I have provided everything necessary for entertainment.” And he knew that it was heavenly … even though yours truly, on Saturday, missed out on several probably heavenly scenes.

Jennifer Poarch, Brad Hauskins, Tristan Layne Tapscott, Jeff Haffner, Carrie SaLoutos, and Tom Walljasper in Shear MadnessOur audience hadn't even realized the play had started.

The continually in-motion and always entertaining Bootleggers had barely concluded their pre-show when the evening's featured performance quietly began. As patrons sipped their after-dinner coffees, and with the house lights fully lit, the first characters in the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse's production of Shear Madness made their way onstage and – delivering an outlandish and amusing show-before-the-show – gave our crowd some insight into what sort of over-the-top, wacky comedy we were about to see. Between cast members getting their hair washed and blow-dried in rhythm to classic pop music to the infinite number of entrances and exits, it was clear that this was going to be one wild and colorful ride.

Angela Elliott, Michael Carron, Abby Van Gerpen, Laila Haley, Joshua Pride, Erin Churchill, and Jordan McGinnis in The Big Meal, photo courtesy of Jessica Sheridan and Shared Light PhotographyBefore seeing Saturday's production of The Big Meal, my wife, youngest son, and I decided to grab supper. I wanted pizza, but my wife wanted to try something different, so we landed at a little restaurant just a few blocks east of the theatre. As we ate our hummus and falafel, we chatted about family, work, the future, and life in general. Little did we know that our simple meal together would be an almost mirrored precursor to what we were about to witness on stage.

Jake Walker, Stephanie Burrough, Chris Sanders-Ring, and Kitty Israel in Love's Labour's LostWhile waiting for the Prenzie Players' Thursday-night dress rehearsal of the William Shakespeare comedy Love’s Labour’s Lost to begin, I realized it had been a long time since I had seen one of the Bard of Avon’s plays performed live. I pondered whether I would be able to follow the plot and comprehend the dialogue. I worried that the show might be too stuffy for my unrefined sense of theatre. “Holy crap, I'm supposed to write a review – what if I don’t get it?” Yet as the show began, the Prenzies put my neuroses to rest very quickly.

Patrick Beasley and Emily Stokes in PhantomLet’s get this out of the way: In case you're attending to specifically hear “Music of the Night” or other well-known tunes, the current production of the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse's Phantom is not Andrew Lloyd Webber's more famous version of the same story. Comparing Phantom to Webber's The Phantom of the Opera is like comparing a croissant to an éclair. Both are French, textured, and rich with flavor, but also two totally different experiences.

Linda Ruebling, Brant Peitersen, Tom Vaccaro, Anthony Natarelli, Mike Kelly, Mark Ruebling, Chris Tracy, Rocky Kampling, Aaron Lord, and Kyle Jecklin in Big Rock Candy ChristmasAt a time when current events make the world seem very dark and sick, the holidays remind us to reminisce with old friends, break out the carols, and bake a batch of Grandma's legendary cookies. One recipe to such a cruel world can be found in the District Theatre's current production Big Rock Candy Christmas. A sequel to last year's Big Rock Candy Mountain, this Christmas-flavored chapter brings back the same characters from the original with a new mission, new music, and even a few new faces.

Debo Balogun and Christine Broughton in MachinalAt this time of the year, many people enjoy celebrating Halloween by being creeped out of their minds. Some enjoy cheesy slasher movies while others like to binge on The Walking Dead, and some religiously attend local spook houses such as Rock Island's Skellington Manor. Yet the most haunting, and even the creepiest, experience I have had in a long time happened at Augustana College's latest theatrical exploration of social justice: Machinal.

Davenport, Iowa - February 20, 2012 - Clear Channel Media and Entertainment Quad Cities announced today the debut of its new station 101.3 KISS FM, effective Monday, Feb. 20, at 5:00 a.m. 101.3 KISS FM will bring nationally syndicated programs like Elvis Duran and the Morning Show and On Air with Ryan Seacrest to the Quad Cities as well as local on-air host, Todd Alan.

The debut of 101.3 KISS FM demonstrates Clear Channel Quad Cities' commitment to providing quality programming to its local listeners. Elvis Duran and the Morning Show is the most-listened-to Top 40 morning show in the U.S. and consistently ranks No. 1 across multiple demographics and top markets. Broadcasting live from New York's Z100, Duran and his on-air crew entertain listeners with up-to-the-minute entertainment and pop culture news, celebrity guests, hit songs and regular features such as the gossipy "The Sleaze," the fashion-forward "Rage Page" and the popular prank "Phone Taps." Elvis Duran and the Morning Show will broadcast on 101.3 KISS FM during the morning drive Monday through Fridays and Saturdays.

On Air with Ryan Seacrest, broadcasts from Hollywood, Ca. and focuses on all aspects of the entertainment industry. Throughout the show, Seacrest interviews and highlights top talent from the worlds of music, film and television. On Air with Ryan Seacrest will broadcast on 101.3 KISS FM weekdays during mid-days.

Todd Alan, the Quad Cities' own local on-air talent, will host the afternoon drive time Monday through Saturday. He has a passion to connect with listeners in person and online and his new show will feature a daily Facebook request hour called Facebook/iHeart Radio 5 at 5. Alan is a Quad Cities radio veteran and has been hosting the afternoon drive on sister station, Mix 96, for more than three years. He is a graduate of Eastern Illinois University with a degree in radio, television and film.

"We strive to bring the best programming to our local listeners and we are thrilled to bring the new 101.3 KISS FM to the Quad Cities," said Jeff Ashcraft, Vice President and Market Manager, Clear Channel Media and Entertainment Eastern Iowa. "With on-air talent like Ryan Seacrest and locally Todd Alan, we think the area is ready for this kind of KISS."

"Playing your hits - is our focus."; said Jim O'Hara, Operations Manager, Clear Channel Media and Entertainment Quad Cities. "The heart of this station is our listeners and we plan to bring them the hits they want to hear. It's an exciting time in Quad City area radio and we are proud to introduce the new 101.3 KISS FM to the market."

101.3 KISS FM's programming line-up will feature:
§ On Air with Ryan Seacrest from mid-days Monday through Friday.
§ Todd Alan afternoon drive Monday through Saturday.
§ Billy the Kid evenings Monday through Friday.
§ Jo Jo Wright and Sisanie overnights.
§ American Top 40 with Ryan Seacrest - weekends
§ Coming Soon: Elvis Duran and the Morning Show mornings Monday through Friday
and Saturdays.

About Clear Channel Media and Entertainment Davenport:
Clear Channel Quad Cities owns and operates WLLR-FM; KUUL 101.3; Q106.5; KMXG 96.1; WOC 1420; Fox Sports Radio WFXN and is part of Clear Channel Media and Entertainment. With 238 million monthly listeners in the U.S., Clear Channel Media and Entertainment has the largest reach of any radio or television outlet in America. Clear Channel Media and Entertainment serves 150 cities through 850 owned radio stations. The company's radio stations and content can be heard on AM/FM stations, HD digital radio channels, Sirius/XM satellite, on the Internet at and on the company's radio station websites, on the iHeartRadio mobile application on iPads and smartphones, and used via navigation systems from TomTom, Garmin and others. The company's operations include radio broadcasting, online and mobile services and products, live concerts and events, syndication, music research services and independent media representation. Clear Channel Media and Entertainment is a division of CC Media Holdings, Inc. (OTCBB: CCMO), a leading global media and entertainment company. More information on the company can be found at, and


Jeff Ashcraft