Back-to-back evenings of improvisational comedy, delicious food and drink, and seasonal slaughter will soon be on the menu at Rock Island's Skellington Manor Banquet & Event Center, with the riotous talents of It's a Mystery Quad Cities opening their 2018-19 season with presentations of the interactive comedy-whodunnits A Model Murder on December 14 and Murder at Skuttlebutt Sound on December 15.

A new documentary on one of the most revered film artists of all time will enjoy special screenings at Rave Cinemas Davenport 53rd 18 + IMAX on December 13 and 18, with Never-Ending Man: Hayao Miyazaki providing insight into the legendary Japanese director, producer, screenwriter, animator, author, manga artist, and two-time Academy Award recipient.

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.

A side project of, and album by, indie-rock singer/songwriter John Brodeur, Bird Streets the band will play music from Birds Streets the album on December 12 as the latest guests in the Moeller Nights series, Brodeur's recording praised by AllMusic.com for its “clever twists, rich harmonies, and intricate guitar work,” and described by Albumism as “a contemporary masterpiece that conjuries indie rock's glory days.”

With Country Standard Time calling the group “one of the most talented and unique acts in modern country music,” the a cappella quintet Home Free brings its seasonal A Country Christmas tour to Davenport's Adler Theatre on December 13, performing holiday classics and modern compositions with the vocal fire and stage presence that led to the singers winning the fourth season of NBC's competition series The Sing Off.

Called “an impressive blues guitarist who sings with sweet power” by the New York Times and praised by Bluest Blast for “her intense, pyrotechnic take on blues rock,” recording sensation Samantha Fish returns to Davenport's Redstone Room on December 14, the artist's most recent albums – 2017's Chills & Fever and Belle of the West leading American Songwriter to state, “It's unlikely Fish, or many other acts, will deliver two terrific yet very different-sounding albums in a single year again.”

An annual holiday-music tradition returns to the area as the professional vocal ensemble the Nova Singers present their latest A Nova Christmas concerts, with exciting and moving arrangements of non-secular, classical, traditional, and contemporary holiday favorites performed December 14 at Davenport's St. Paul Lutheran Church and December 15 at Galesburg's First Lutheran Church.

Boasting what the Washington Post called “fresh, off-kilter elements” and a score that “bubbles with New Orleans shuffle and sass,” the family holiday musical The Happy Elf makes its area debut at Moline's Spotlight Theatre December 6 through 9, its music and lyrics courtesy of none other than Grammy-winning and Tony-nominated music legend Harry Connick Jr.

An American stage drama as powerful, affecting, and deeply relevant today as it was in its 1934 debut, Lillian Hellman's classic The Children's Hour will be produced in Augustana College's Brunner Theatre Center December 6 through 9, its tale of clandestine love and small-minded bigotry standing as a haunting reminder of the continued horrors of intolerance.

One of the area's most adored holiday traditions returns to Davenport's Adler Theatre on December 8 and 9 when the professional talents of Ballet Quad Cities perform Tchaikovsky's holiday dance classic The Nutcracker, an event boasting new choreography by Artistic Director Courtney Lyon, live musical accompaniment by Orchestra Iowa, and the return of Domingo Rubio, famed for playing the title character in the company's October presentations of Dracula.

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