• Upper Mississippi River Conference, October 24 and 25

    Hosted by River Action and themed “Our Watershed: Working Together for Healthy Waters and Flood-Resilient Communities,” the 11th-annual Upper Mississippi River Conference will be held at Moline's Stoney Creek Inn Convention Center on October 24 and 25, an event focusing on floodplain issues facing the Mississippi River watershed that covers all or part of 31 states in the nation.

  • QCA Today Headlines Quad Cities - Sunset Marina Rock Island, Illinois
    QCA Today: October 23, 2018

    This feature collects articles published online by Quad Cities-area media outlets and by CapitolFax.com and the state-politics sections of the Des Moines Register and the State Journal-Register.

  • “Celebration of the Literary Arts 2018,” October 25

    Presenting an address on the importance of “Making Words Count,” Iowa Poet Laureate Mary Swander serves as the keynoate speaker for the Midwest Writing Center's fall fundraiser Celebration of the Literary Arts 2018, an October 25 even held at Moline's CityView Celebrations that will also boast a buffet dinner, cashg bar, 50/50 raffle, and the presentation of the annual David R. Collins Literary Achievement Award.

  • Craig Ferguson, October 26

    A Peabody Award-winning comedian and popular television presence brings his national tour to Davenport on October 26, as the Rhythm City Casino Resort hosts an evening with former talk-show and game-show host Craig Ferguson, the Scottish-American sensation that inspired the Los Angeles Times' Robert Lloyd to write, “Ferguson was not the best known of the late-night hosts, but he was the most singular and, for my money, the best.”

  • Fright Night in the District, October 27

    A fun, safe, and eagerly anticipated Halloween event for families returns to the area on October 27, as the District of Rock Island hosts the 2018 Fright Night in the District, an evening boasting trick-or-treating, a scavenger hunt, a costume contest, and more presented by Modern Woodmen of America, Rock Island Parks & Recreation, the Rock Island County Project, Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa & Western Illinois, and the Martin Luther King Jr. Center.

  • Suit Against Pritzker Campaign Smells Fishy

    The more I read it, the more skeptical I became of the racial discrimination lawsuit filed against the JB Pritzker campaign by 10 current and former field-level workers last week.

  • Dear JB Pritzker …

    Dear JB Pritzker,

    I totally understand the campaign politics of not wanting to say what you think the income-tax rates should be under a graduated tax structure. I also get why you won’t say what ought to be the income level at which people will begin paying a higher income-tax rate than they do now.

    Actually, nearly everyone understands your political calculation. It’s elementary. You don’t want to give the other side any ammunition to attack you.

  • Gregg Johnson for Illinois State Senate 36th District

    As I have shared in the past, every now and then I have the privilege (and, yes, personal indulgence) to write about people near and dear to my heart. Such is the case with Gregg Johnson and his candidacy for the Illinois State Senate's 36th District. And in the spirit of full disclosure, he is my favorite boy cousin on my mother's side.

  • Can a Democrat Endorse a Tax Hike but Still Win?

    JB Pritzker was recently endorsed by Crain’s Chicago Business. Yes, you read that right. The state’s premiere business magazine endorsed a candidate whose biggest promise is to raise taxes on the publication’s well-off subscriber base.

  • AHEA Designed to Attack the Culture of Silence

    The Anti-Harassment, Equality, and Access (AHEA) panel set up by the Democratic Party earlier this year released its final recommendations last week.

  • “The Rocky Horror Show,” October 19 through 27

    If Halloween is approaching, it must be time for that annual theatrical command: “Let's do the 'Time Warp' again!” Consequently, the Circa '21 Speakeasy will stage its third-annual presentation of the cult-musical smash The Rocky Horror Show from October 19 through 27, treating audiences to live performances of classic songs and, of course, prop bags to complete the interactive experience.

  • Because They're Goin' to the Chapel and She's Gonna Get Married: "Mama Won't Fly," at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse through November 3

    There was a certain air of rowdiness at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse's opening-night production of Mama Won't Fly, and rightfully so, as the champagne fountain was flowing in celebration of the theatre's final production of its 41st season. Everyone seemed ready for a good laugh, and on those terms, I don't think any of us left disappointed.

  • Salem Plights: “The Crucible,” at Augustana College through October 21

    Hearings. Depositions. Victims. Accusers. Lies. I am not talking about our recent news cycle, but rather Augustana College’s production of The Crucible. When director Jennifer Popple decided to set her show in the unspecific future, she couldn’t possibly have guessed that 2018, without even trying, would give the play such abundant relevance.

  • Broadcast Fake News: “War of the Worlds: A Radio Play,” at the Black Box Theatre through October 21

    It was Sunday, October 30 in 1938 New York, and the country was on edge as Orson Welles went live via Madison Avenue and the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) in a Halloween episode hosted by Mercury Theater on the Air. A dramatic, science-fiction radio play, the program caused panic amongst communities who mistook the broadcast for real-life events as alien invaders, described in detail, appeared ready to take over the world.

    That's the real-life tale told in the Black Box Theatre's unique production of War of the Worlds: A Radio Play, and while Friday's performance was only about an hour long with no intermission, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Based on the novel by H.G. Wells and adapted from the radio-play script by Howard E. Koch, this singular story directed and designed by Lora Adams is quite different from the theatrical productions I typically attend – and different in a good way.

  • “Charlotte's Web,” October 13 through 21

    The beloved tale of a pig, a spider, and a timeless storybook friendship kicks off Davenport Junior Theatre's 67th season with the October 13 through 21 presentation of Charlotte's Web, the 1952 children's book by E.B. White now being brought to stage life in a colorful, fun-filled production involving more than 40 students from 11 different area cities.

  • Ray LaMontagne, October 24

    With Exclaim! praising his latest album as “a soft and sumptuous collection” that “features some of the finest songs of his career,” Grammy-winning folk rocker Ray LaMontagne plays Davenport's Adler Theatre on October 24 in support of his 2018 release Part of the Light, a work that led Spill magazine to state, “The only disappointing aspect of this albuym is that it is only nine songs long.”

  • Yonder Mountain String Band, October 24

    Praised by Marquee magazine for their “dynamic presence” and for “continuously pushing the genre of bluegrass and their legacy within the genre,” the Yonder Mountain String Band plays Davenport's Redstone Room on October 24 in support of their latest album Love. Ain't Love, a work in which, according to LiveForLiveMusic.com, the chart-topping group “finds plenty of new twists on the way to making a stellar record.”

  • Gaudete Brass Quintet, October 25 and 27

    With Juilliard School chairman Raymond Mase calling them “an outstanding young group bringing fresh ideas to brass chamber music,” the five gifted musicians of the Gaudete Brass Quinet serve as the latest guests in Quad City Arts' Visiting Artist series, their October 25 and 27 concerts sure to demonstrate why Time Out Chicago praised the group's “individual player prowess convincingly consolidated into a pentagram of tonal color.”

  • The Penny Serfs, October 25

    Appearing locally in support of the band's January release Politics in the Time of Heroin, the Iowa-based indie rockers of The Penny Serfs will play a Moeller Nights concert on October 25. Audiences will subsequently be treated to the genre-hopping sound that, in the Prelude Press, lead vocalist and LeClaire resident Mikey Loy described as: “Take The Beatles out for a drink or five; introduce them to Kurt Cobain (preferably under the influence); give them a few topics to discuss (i.e. politics, fear, past, present, and future); convince Paul and John to let Kurt sit in for a few sessions; hit the record button.”

  • The Ballroom Thieves, October 26

    Performing in support of their 2018 EP Paper Crown, the indie-folk musicians of The Ballroom Thieves play Davenport's Redstone Room on October 26, the lauded trio's latest release inspiring ConsequenceOfSound.net to rave: “The Thieves find new ways to blend the old-school pop and country sensibilities of Etta James and Willie Nelson with gang harmonies and rumbling folk for a sound that’s bigger and sturdier than ever before.”

  • The Shape of Things to Come: “Halloween,” “The Sisters Brothers,” “The Hate U Give,” and “The Old Man & the Gun”

    John Carpenter's 1978 Halloween survived five direct sequels, each less effective than the one that came before. It survived the 1998 reboot Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later, as well as that film's own sequel – the one that had the temerity to kill off Jamie Lee Curtis' heroine Laurie Strode in its first 15 minutes. It survived Rob Zombie's 2007 Halloween, an attempt to empathize with babysitter killer Michael Myers, plus Zombie's 2009 follow-up, an equally misguided but far more interesting movie. And it'll survive writer/director David Gordon Green's current, mostly lousy Halloween, too, though why it should have to is another matter entirely. What did Carpenter's spare, elegant, terrifying little slasher flick do to warrant such continued besmirchment of its good name?

  • A Trip to the Moon: “First Man” and “Gosnell: The Trial of America's Biggest Serial Killer”

    Damien Chazelle's Neil Armstrong bio-pic opened this past weekend, and viewed strictly on a technical level, it's a virtuosic work, one boasting hand-held camerawork and earth-shaking sound effects that effectively put you, cramped and uncomfortable (and also kind of exhilarated), right inside lunar capsules along with our hero and his fellow NASA recruits. Yet despite being titled First Man, what I left my screening really wanting to talk about was the film's First Lady, given that Janet Armstrong portrayer Claire Foy and the focus extended to the character make Chazelle's La La Land follow-up far more engaging than it might've otherwise been.

  • Welcome to the Hotel California/Nevada: “Bad Times at the El Royale,” “Colette,” and “Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween”

    In the black-comedy-thriller Bad Times at the El Royale, Jon Hamm plays a Southern vacuum-cleaner salesman who is neither Southern nor a vacuum-cleaner salesman. Jeff Bridges plays a priest who's not a priest. Chris Hemsworth plays a barefoot beachcomber who's not nearly the pacifist he initially appears to be. And writer/director Drew Goddard is doing an impersonation, as well – that of early-to-mid-'90s Quentin Tarantino. Happily, at least until the film's final half hour or so, he pulls off the ruse rather spectacularly.

  • Going Gaga: “A Star Is Born” and “Venom”

    You know a tearjerker is really working when, in its last 15 minutes, the mere sight of a well-done steak is enough to get viewers weepy. But the latest iteration of A Star Is Born – the third American remake of this timeless show-biz melodrama since 1937's original (itself a sort of remake of 1932's What Price Hollywood?) – is a tearjerker that leaves you less wiped out than electrified.

  • Four-Word Letters: “Night School,” “Hell Fest,” “Little Women,” and “Smallfoot”

    Friday, September 28, 10:45 a.m.-ish: It used to be said, and maybe still is, that those wanting to sell film scripts during Hollywood pitch meetings were required to describe their potential projects in 25 words or fewer. That always sounded a little restrictive to me. Yet as I headed into my latest quadruple feature, I was pretty sure I could effectively nutshell Friday's lineup using only four words per title: “abominable snowman discovers humans,” “amusement park serial killer,” “Louisa May Alcott – again,” and the day's jump-starter “Haddish schools Hart, bitches!”

Art

  • Artist Talk: Mary Miss, October 25

    Delivering a special presentation co-sponsored by River Action and Chris and Marty Rayburn, the widely fêted environmental artist Mary Miss serves as the special guest in an October 25 Artist Talk at Davenport's Figge Art Museum, discussing the reshaping of boundaries between sculpture, architecture, landscape design and installation art, and how artists can play a more central role in addressing the complex issues of our times.

  • “Five Alumni: Continuing to Create,” August 24 through October 27

    For the first exhibition in the college's 2018-19 academic year, the Augustana Teaching Museum of Art will showcase works by artists who honed their skills at Augustana itself, with Five Alumni: Continuing to Create, from August 24 through October 27, presenting beautiful, fascinating, and resonant works by a quintet of the school's most gifted graduates.

  • Lori Miller, Janis Wunderlich, and Paul Scott Page Exhibits, September 5 through October 31

    Beautiful and thoughtful works by artists from both Iowa and Illinois will enjoy a September 5 through October 31 showcase at the Quad City Arts International Airport Gallery, with a variety of artistic mediums employed in new pieces by Lori Miller of Eldridge, Iowa, and Janis Wunderlich and Paul Scott Page, both of Monmouth, Illinois.

  • “A Guide to Domestic Measurement” and “Reconstructing the Rise of Asymmetrical Skylines,” October 19 through November 30

    New exhibitions of screen prints and photographs will be on display October 19 through November, as Rock Island's Quad City Arts Center presents A Guide to Domestic Measurement, a collection of works by Iowa City artist Alison Filley, and Reconstructing the Rise of Asymmetrical Skylines, a creative assemblage by Davenport-based photographer Matthew Terry.

  • Emma Farber Cunningham and Barbara Toner: “Paintings & Glass,” October 13 through December 1

    Two disparate forms of artistic media will, from October 13 through December 1, combine in one fascinating exhibit at Davenport's Bucktown Center for the Arts, when area artists Emma Farber Cunningham and Barbara Toner showcase their immense talents – and their specific mediums of interest – in the new MidCoast at Bucktown Gallery exhibition Paintings & Glass.