When St. Ambrose University senior Sam Jones arrives for our March 30 interview, he enters carrying what he calls his “rehearsal bag” – a backpack emblazoned with the Green Lantern insignia. “I bring it everywhere,” he says, eventually pulling out a stack of reading material currently aiding him in his title role as William Shakespeare’s Richard III. There isn’t a DC Comic in sight.

Friday, April 7, 10:05 a.m.-ish: To misquote Dickens, 10:05 proves the best of time and the worst of time. The best because I’m currently seated next to my favorite movie-going companion under the age of three. The worst because the movie we’re seeing is the animated Smurfs: The Lost Village, which turns out to be like the live-action Smurfs from 2011 and 2013 if you surgically removed Hank Azaria, Neil Patrick Harris, and Jayma Mays. In other words: awful.

Alec Baldwin is currently playing an entitled, petulant, suit-wearing infant – but you’ve seen the SNL sketches, so you knew that already. He’s also playing one in the animated comedy The Boss Baby, and damned if I can determine which of Baldwin’s preening man-children I adore more. Depending on the writing, his satiric pokes at President Trump can land anywhere between one-dimensionally boorish and madly inspired. Baldwin’s titular, Heaven-sent newborn, though, is a consistent vocal riot, even if we’re inevitably deprived of the actor’s physical wit and hysterical deadpan. Director Tom McGrath’s family outing is clever and very funny, but for fellow fans, it’s also a bit like a lost episode of 30 Rock, with Jack Donaghy’s soul magically transferred into the body of his rarely seen child.

Dance

The Wild, Wild West

Adler Theatre

Saturday, April 1, 1:30 and 7:30 p.m.

For their penultimate production in the company’s 20th-anniversary season, the professional talents of Ballet Quad Cities will grace the Adler Theatre stage on April 1 bedecked in their finest jeans, flannel shirts, and Stetsons.

And no, this is not an elaborate April Fool’s Day prank.

Friday, March 24, 10 a.m.-ish: My latest back-to-back-to-back-to-back screenings start with Power Rangers, director Dean Israelite’s big-screen reboot of the 1990s’ Mighty Morphin Power Rangers franchise. If you’re wondering whether the film is just like the TV series, I’m gonna take a stab and say no, unless that Fox Kids show also opened with a gag about a high-schooler masturbating a bull. But until it inevitably turns into typically noisy and endless action-flick nonsense, this unashamedly juvenile entertainment is actually kind of endearing, primarily because it appears less interested in being the new Transformers than the new Breakfast Club.

In the Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse’s current, topnotch production of The Music Man, the signature image is actually an image in motion: actor Don Denton, in his role as Harold Hill, strolling – or more accurately gliding – across the stage.

Watching the new Beauty & the Beast, I wouldn’t have wanted to be within spitting distance of anyone who didn’t instantly well up at the performance of the title song, with Emma Thompson’s teapot crooning that glorious, Oscar-winning tune while Emma Watson’s Beauty and Dan Stevens’ Beast swirled and spun in that majestic castle ballroom. I also wouldn’t have wanted to be within spitting distance of anyone who thought director Bill Condon’s live-action remake was in any way superior to Disney’s animated smash of 1991. I may well have spit.

Music

The Redstone Room

March through May

On April 26, Davenport’s Redstone Room hosts a special concert with The Lacs, the country-rock and southern-rap outfit composed of Brian King and Clay Sharpe. Given that the band’s moniker is reportedly short for “loud-ass crackers,” this Georgia-based duo whose 2015 album Outlaw in Me reached number three on Billboard’s country chart will no doubt provide a rousing springtime evening at the area venue. But trust me, it’ll hardly be the only one. Given just how many terrific musicians are booked there over the next couple of months, the Redstone Room’s schedule is anything but Lacs.

(Author’s note: That’s wordplay on the adjective “lax.” The joke plays better when you listen to this article on Audible.)

(Editor’s note: Ignore him. You can’t listen to this article on Audible.)

MUSIC

Thursday, March 16 – An Evening with Laurence Hobgood. Concert with the Grammy-winning pianist and Quad City Arts Visiting Artist. Holiday Inn & Suites (4215 Elmore Avenue, Davenport). 6 p.m. $35-40. For tickets and information, call (309)793-1213 or visit QuadCityArts.com.

Thursday, March 16 – An Evening with Albert Cummings. Blues-rock singer/guitarist in concert. The Redstone Room (129 Main Street, Davenport). 7:30 p.m. $16.75-19. For tickets and information, call (563)326-1333 or visit RiverMusicExperience.org.

Friday, March 17, and Saturday, March 18 – Kelly's Irish Pub St. Patrick's Party. Annual weekend event featuring live music, dance, food and drink specials, the Skydiving Leprechauns, and more. Kelly's Irish Pub & Eatery (2222 East 53rd Street, Davenport). Friday 5 – 11:30 p.m., Saturday 6 a.m. - 12:15 a.m. Free. For information, call (563)344-0000 or visit KellysIrishPubAndEatery.com.

Friday, March 17 – Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles. Multimedia concert tribute to the Fab Four and the musicians’ The Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band era. Adler Theatre (136 East Third Street, Davenport). 8 p.m. $32-56. For tickets, call (800)745-3000 or visit AdlerTheatre.com.

Friday, March 17 – St. Patrick’s Day Concert & Fundraiser. Celtic musicians Four Shillings Short and Laural Almquist perform a fundraising event for the annual Celtic Festival & Highland Games. The Redstone Room (129 Main Street, Davenport). 7 p.m. $22. For tickets and information, call (563)326-1333 or visit RiverMusicExperience.org.

Friday, March 17 – Bucktown Revue. A celebration of Celtic music and entertainment with emcee Scott Tunnicliff, area comedians and musicians including the Barley House Band and Milltown, and special guests. Nighswander Theatre (2822 Eastern Avenue, Davenport). 7 p.m. $13 at the door. For information, call (563)940-0508 or visit BucktownRevue.com.

If you were at the Black Box Theatre’s opening-night presentation of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, the question of precisely who stole the show shouldn’t be arguable. Terrific though they were, it wasn’t the riotously strident Becca Johnson, or Sara Tubbs and her wicked Kristin Chenoweth impersonation, or third-grader Makenna Miller in costumer Kris Castel’s Big-Bird-meets-Carol-Channing feathers – or any other members of directors David Miller’s and Gary Clark’s appealing cast. It was the grade-school attendees whose infectious laughs frequently punctuated images and gags, and made the show even more of a charmer than it already was.

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