Authors of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and more will share their talents and help strenghten the talents of others during the Midwest Writing Center's annual David R. Collins Writers Conference, the June 28 through 30 celebration of the written word boasting workshops, readings, book pitches, short films, and more.

The familiar sounds of “Peggy Sue,” “Maybe Baby,” “Oh Boy,” “Everyday,” and many other iconic '50s-rock hits will fill the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse on June 28 and 29, with the Rock Island venue presenting two performances of the exhilarating touring production That'll Be the Day: A Tribute to Buddy Holly & the Crickets with headliner Todd Meredith, the star of Circa '21's 2008 musical Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story.

Opening the company's second season with a Broadway hit that won seven Tony Awards and nine Drama Desk Awards, the Mississippi Bend Players bring life on the Mississippi to stage-musical life in the June 22 through July 1 presentation Big River, a Mark Twain adaptation praised by the Hollywood Reporter for its “tuneful score” and “episodic storyline that flows as smoothly as the Mississippi River.”

Performing a Moeller Nights concert on June 27, the Heligoats – what NPR called “a strange name for a guy strumming a guitar, but oddly befitting someone who stuffs his songs with so many sideways ideas and observations” – delivers acoustic indie rock courtesy of singer/songwriter Chris Otepka, whom NPR declared “writes songs that are brainy in the best way: clever without straining for cuteness, wry but never smug.”

Winner of the Grand Jury Prize for Documentaries at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, and currently sitting with a “100-percent fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the informative, incisive, and moving How to Die in Oregon will be screened at the East Moline Public Library on June 23, a film the Hollywood Reporter called “an affecting profile of the patient aid-in-dying debate.”

Paintings and watercolors of richly beautiful nature images – and images found very close to home – will be on local display June 23 through July 26, as the Beréskin Gallery & Art Academy houses the recent works of a Fairfield, Iowa, artist in John Preston: Day by Day.

Presenting what 24OurMusic.net called “artistic synergy done right, combining all the best elements of rock, funk, and hip-hop into something that is cool and enchanting,” the Miami-based musicians of Magic City Hippies will bring their luaded genre blend to Davenport's Redstone Room on June 28 – the latest stop in a June tour that finds the band visiting nine states over 13 days.

Lauded by Rolling Stone as “the first musical to truly rock” and the winner of four Tony Awards, the theatrical sensation Hedwig & the Angry Inch will be staged in a special three-performance run at the Circa '21 Speakeasy June 23 through 30, its electrifying glam-rock atmosphere inspiring Entertainment Weekly to call the show “groundbreaking and undoubtedly ahead of its time.”

Comic books, video and board games, tournaments, cosplay competitions, and loads of special guests will be on hand when Moline's TaxSlayer Center hosts the June 22 and 23 convention Planet Funk Con: Comic Con 2018, a weekend event housing entertainment and shopping opportunities for connoisseurs and collectors of all ages.

Joseph, June 27

Praised by Whatsup Magazine for music that delivers “the lyrics as spells, the melodies as enchantment, the rhythms as the primal beatings of the heart,” the folk artists of Joseph play a Moeller Nights concert at Maquoketa's Codfish Hollow Barn on June 27, sharing what the magazine lauded as “a harmonic alchemical transmutation of word and music into shimmering epiphanies of transcendent meaning.”

Pages