Described by the Chicago Reader as “a hilarious adult romp through the holiday season” and by the Chicago Tribune as “well-stocked with laughs and wry human commentary,” the stage version of David Sedaris' iconic The Santaland Diaries serves as the Mississippi Bend Players' first production outside its traditional summer seasons, the show's December 12 through 15 run at Augustana College sure to deliver what Broadway World deemed a “delightful and sometimes edgy holiday comedy extravaganza.”

Miracle on 34th Street: The Musical

Delivering what the Denver Post called “a sleighful of gifts” including “a minuet of the familiar and the special” and a “gentle, genial advocacy of the impossible,” the holiday spectacular Miracle on 34th Street: The Musical, running December 12 through 15, serves as the final production in the Spotlight Theatre's 2019 season, an adaptation of the beloved movie classic boasting music and lyrics by The Music Man creator Meredith Willson.

With the New York Times lauding the show as “both a peppy celebration of can-do spirit and a more somber exploration of what American servicemen experienced when they marched home from World War II,” the Tony Award-winning musical Bandstand serves as the latest presentation in the Adler Theatre's Broadway at the Adler series, its December 16 staging in Davenport underscoring why Time Out New York wrote, “The show defies you not to be moved.”

Photographs, watercolors, and giant glass goblets will all be on display in the next collective exhibition at the Quad City Arts Center, with the Rock Island venue, from December 13 through January 24, showcasing evocative and beautiful works by Chris Rayborn of Davenport, Tim Schiffer of Iowa City, and John Miller of Champaign.

One of the Quad Cities' most adored holiday traditions returns to Davenport's Adler Theatre on December 14 and 15 when the professional talents of Ballet Quad Cities perform Tchaikovsky's holiday dance classic The Nutcracker, an event boasting new choreography and staging by Artistic Director Courtney Lyon and Artistic Associate Emily Kate Long, live musical accompaniment by Orchestra Iowa, and the return of Domingo Rubio, who danced the title role in the company's recent presentation of Dracula Unleashed!

Platinum-selling, chart-topping alternative rockers whose single “Sex & Candy” spent 15 weeks at the top of Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks chart, the post-grunge musicians of Marcy Playground bring their talents to East Moline venue The Rust Belt on December 13, demonstrating their continued gifts, after 20-plus, for delivering what AllMusic.com deemed “hard-edged, melodic pop songs with strong hooks and backbeats.”

An annual holiday-music tradition returns to the area as the professional vocal ensemble the Nova Singers presents its latest A Nova Christmas concerts, with exciting and moving arrangements of non-secular, classical, traditional, and contemporary holiday favorites performed December 13 at Davenport's St. Paul Lutheran Church and December 14 at Galesburg's First Lutheran Church.

The stunning repertoire of a hugely respected yet only moderated celebrated jazz artist will be the focus of the latest offering in Polyrhythms' Third Sunday Jazz Workshop and Matinée Series, with the December 15 concert at Davenport's Redstone Room a celebration of American jazz singer Johnny Hartman as presented by the gifted jazz artists of the Tony Sconyers Sextet.

Praised by the Orlando Sentinel as “full of upbeat tunes” and a “winning addition to the holiday canon that manages to also touch the heart,” the stage adaptation The Best Chistmas Pageant Ever: The Musical serves as the final presentation in Quad City Music Guild's 2020 season, its December 5 through 8 run sure to demonstrate why the Charlotte Observer's Lawrence Toppman called it “the first play written for kids that would inspire me to buy the original cast album.”

A hilarious, cheeky, and thoughtful one-woman show making its Quad Cities debut, Iowa City playwright/actor Janet Story Schlapkohl's Invisible but Dangerous enjoys a special limited run at Davenport's QC Theatre Workshop December 6 and 7, treating audience to fraught, funny tales of everything from Midwestern politeness to mansplaining to those containers of spices that stay in your kitchen, unused, for decades.

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