• Ballet Quad Cities' “The Nutcracker,” December 14 and 15

    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!

  • QCA Today: December 9, 2019

    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.

  • “Rube Goldberg: The World of Hilarious Invention!”, September 28 through January 5

    Patrons of Davenport's Putnam Museum & Science Center are invited to view fantastically ridiculous machines, and dream up some of their own, in the venue's Rube Goldberg: The World of Hilarious Invention!, the new traveling exhibition that opens on September 28 and showcases the legendary Rube Goldberg’s iconic contraptions, imaginative illustrations, and humorous storytelling.

  • Winterfest, December 8

    Seasonal activities, song and dance performances, Christmas displays, and much more can be found at the Family Museum on December 8 when the venue hosts its annual celebration Winterfest, with this year's event-filled afternoon treating guests to displays, photos, and even visits from Santa, Mrs. Claus, and a real live reindeer.

  • 19th Century Christmas, December 1

    An eagerly awaited holiday tradition, the Butterworth Center's and Deere-Wiman House's 19th Century Christmas returns to the Quad Cities on December 1 with its litany of seasonal treats including live music performances, interactive tours, make-and-take activities, the display of Charles Wiman's original 1933 Lionel Train set, and, of course, a visit from Santa.

  • The Mississippi Bend Players' “The Santaland Diaries,” December 12 through 15

    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
    “Miracle on 34th Street: The Musical,” December 12 through 15

    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.

  • “Bandstand,” December 16

    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.”

  • Bolder and Miser: “Mr. Scrooge! A Musical Christmas Carol,” at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse through December 29

    You don’t want to be late for the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse's latest presentation Mr. Scrooge! A Musical Christmas Carol. About 15 minutes before the November 30 performance, actor Brad Hauskins appeared, clanging a bell and wandering about the house announcing that the show would begin shortly. With his proclamation, the production's merry band of actors appeared in a flurry of revelry – some delegated to bring props and costume pieces on stage, others to interact with young audience members through amusing games and activities – and immediately lifted the audience energy from unremarkable to “Wow!”

  • Holiday Cheer: “Elf: The Musical,” at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse through December 29

    I attended the Wednesday preview performance of the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse's Elf: The Musical, and director Jeremy Littlejohn and musical director Travis Smith have clearly concocted a sweet, fluffy treat. The songs may be standard fare, but they're given freshness by the performers, as well as the beautiful costuming by Greg Hiatt.

  • Victor Wainwright, December 11

    Lauded by Blues Revue as a “world-champion piano player” and “a world-class entertainer and vocalist,” the multiple Blues Music Award winner Victor Wainwright brings his significant skills and gifted ensemble to Davenport's Redstone Room on December 11, demonstrating why American Blues Scene said of the artist, “Wainwright's playing is simply beautiful madness.”

  • Sunshrine, December 11

    A bill of psychedelic, folk-adjacent music in various permutations takes over Rozz-Tox on December 11 with a headliner set by local project Sunshrine.

  • Kung Fu, December 12

    Fiery progressive-funk/jazz-fusion jam ensemble Kung Fu hits the stage at Davenport's Redstone Room on December 12.

  • Blackalicious, December 12

    The Sacramento-based legends of Blackalicious bring their brand of brainy, alternative hip-hop to the stage at Gabe’s in Iowa City on December 12.

  • Marcy Playground, December 13

    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.”

  • Divorce, American Style: “Marriage Story” and “Playmobil: The Movie”

    I loved Netflix's Marriage Story, and a day after seeing it, eagerly returned to writer/director Noah Baumbach's dramatic comedy for a second go-around. My verdict? It's a great movie. Just not an extraordinary one. And maybe, when all is said and done, not even a great one – merely, or rather “merely,” greatly entertaining.

  • Barely Living through Chemistry: “Dark Waters,” “Honey Boy,” and “Waves”

    At one point in Todd Haynes' Dark Waters, the heroic attorney played by Mark Ruffalo finds himself in a traffic jam, and as he surveys the gridlock through his windshield, he notices a single red balloon floating above the stopped cars. And we all know what that portends, right? A-a-a-a-aa!!! It's Pennywise! Hide the children!

  • Blades of Glory: “Knives Out” and “Queen & Slim”

    Knives Out, the star-studded comic whodunit by writer/director Rian Johnson, debuted the day before Thanksgiving, and for just over two hours, the film is what every Thanksgiving spread strives to be: loaded with familiar elements (some presented in delectable new ways), utterly delicious, and enormously satisfying.

  • House Painting: “The Irishman” and “The Report”

    Considering that I was able to watch Martin Scorsese's new gangster epic from the comfort of my couch – and after a full plate of Thanksgiving leftovers, no less – the personal astonishment of Netflix's The Irishman wasn't that I made it through all three-and-a-half hours in one sitting. It was that, with only a couple hours' break, I then proceeded to watch all three-and-a-half hours again.

  • Ice Ice Baby: “Frozen II,” “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” and “21 Bridges”

    Thanks to the Roman numeral helpfully attached to its title, audiences should have a fair idea of what to expect from Disney's latest animated musical: It's Frozen, but ya know … twice! Twice the peril! Twice the naïveté from sentient snowman Olaf! Twice the number of screamy power ballads for Idina Menzel to perform at the Oscars! But for all of its considerable pleasures, Frozen II is also more often Frozen Too – as in too formulaic, too unnecessary, and, for its target kiddie crowd and at least one grown-up, perhaps too confusing.

Art

  • Four Stories of Fun Art at the Figge

    Each of the current visiting painting and sculpture exhibits at the Figge Art Museum is worth seeing on its own. Combined, the fare at the Figge is packed with visual value and should not be missed.

  • Chris Rayburn, Tim Schiffer, and John Miller Exhibits, December 13 through January 24

    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.

  • “Day of the Dead: The Art of Remembrance,” September 21 through December 8

    From September 21 through December 8, a traditional Mexican holiday will be celebrated in high style at Davenport's Figge Art Museum through the exhibition Day of the Dead: The Art of Remembrance, an installation that will explore how we celebrate and remember the lives of our lost loved ones through the collective traditions, art-making, and storytelling that are among its integral elements.

  • “Mia Feuer: Totems of the Anthropocene,” September 21 through December 29

    A fascinating exhibition boasting installation work and even a synthetic indoor ice rink will be on display at the Figge Art Museum from September 21 through December 29 when the Davenport venue houses Mia Feuer: Totems of the Anthropocene, its widely acclaimed creator having enjoyed solo exhibitions worldwide from Washington D.C. to London to Calgary.

  • Juliet Stock, Julia Kulish, and Natalya Sots Exhibits, October 31 through January 1

    Works by a trio of gifted Midwestern artists will be on display in the Quad City Arts International Airport Gallery through January 1, with the venue boasting paintings by Juliet Stock and Julia Kulish and functional ceramic art by Natalya Sots.