• The Tenderloins, November 19

    Best known for their hit TruTV series Impractical Jokers – a reality/comedy program that the New York Post's Linda Stasi called “possibly the funniest, most ridiculous show I’ve seen in years” – the touring comedians of The Tenderloins bring their senses of humor and camaraderie to Moline's TaxSlayer Center on November 19, treating fans to the verbal wit, sketch comedy, and slapstic antics of “The Cranjis McBasketball World Comedy Tour.”

  • QCA Today Headlines Quad Cities - Sunset Marina Rock Island, Illinois
    QCA Today: November 15, 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.

  • “Literary Heroines: Their Times, Their Fashions,” October 13 through January 4

    Heroic women, both fictional and real, will be celebrated in the Putnam Museum & Science Center's avidly anticipated Literary Heroines: Their Times, Their Fashions – an October 13 through January 4 exhibition notable not only for its breadth of clothing and period items from the museum's permanent collection, but for being the rare area exhibit that isn't making a local appearance as part of a larger national or international tour. As Putnam President and CEO Kim Findlay says, “We didn't find it – we created it.”

  • “Wild Kratts Live!”, November 13

    An Emmy-nominated animated program being brought to vivid life through its current national tour, Wild Kratts Live! lands at Davenport's Adler Theatre on November 13 with its heroic adventurers played by namesakes Chris and Martin Kratt, brothers who voice their animated counterparts for the wildly popular PBS Kids series.

  • Fall Antique Spectacular Vintage Market, November 2 through 4

    One of the Quad Cities' most eagerly anticipated sales events returns to Rock Island's QCCA Expo Center November 2 through 4, as Melting Pot Productions presents the 24th Annual Fall Antique Spectacular Vintage Market, allowing hunters of vintage goods an all-weekend opportunity to shop for a wide range of quality antiques.

  • What to Expect from Pritzker's First Months in Office

    Governor-elect JB Pritzker has taken the prospect of an immediate income-tax hike off the table, telling the Sun-Times that he won’t pursue an “artificial” progressive income tax during the coming spring legislative session.

  • A Pre-Midterms Lawn-Sign Story

    The last column I write before an election day is always the toughest because some papers will publish this before election day and others will publish it after. So today you get a yard-sign story.

  • Need to Knowtes: Transparency Makes for the Best Governance

    For decades, the American people have permitted the secretive nature of government to not just prevail, but exponentially grow, causing the public sector to adopt a sense of entitlement for operating beyond the reach of the public. It really isn't about left versus right anymore, because the obstructionists to transparency exist on both sides of the aisle and ideologies.

  • The Art of the Midterm Campaign Ad

    “I’ll be a check on the Pritzker/Madigan agenda,” Republican attorney-general candidate Erika Harold says in her latest TV ad about Democratic gubernatorial frontrunner JB Pritzker and Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan.

  • 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.

  • Breezy Street: “Annie,” at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse though December 30

    Thirty-five years ago, as her birthday present, I took my wife out for our first “classy” date to the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse. I had arranged for a dear friend (shout-out to Bill Sensenbrenner) to be our Bootlegger, and wanted to treat my wife to the thrill of seeing Circa '21 produce the musical Annie for the very first time. It was an elegant evening boasting a topnotch performance that we both remember to this day. Fast forward 35 years, and we found ourselves doing the exact same thing on November 9 by enjoying an elegant evening of food, friends, and Circa '21’s latest extraordinary production of – what else? – Annie!

  • Mis-Universed: “A Wrinkle in Time,” at the Playcrafters Barn Theatre through November 18

    Before attending Friday's performance of the Playcrafters Barn Theatre's A Wrinkle in Time, I knew very little about Madeleine L'Engle's beloved science-fantasy novel, save for the recent movie trailer featuring Oprah Winfrey. And as I watched the near-capacity, all-ages audience file in, I could sense an air of joyful anticipation, not unlike the one you might find at the screening of a Harry Potter movie. But by the end of the performance, I felt confused and more than a little disappointed.

  • Memories Light the Cyber-Corners of My Mind: New Ground Theatre's “Marjorie Prime,” at the Village Theatre through November 18

    Life is full of many different highs and lows that make up the human experience. We may have trials and tribulations, unexpected loss, unforeseen disappointment, and sadness, but we also have happiness, joy, and love. Memories are stored in our brains that, over time, can fade or become distorted. Now what would it be like if we downloaded those memories into a computerized holograph? So goes this science-fiction play by Jordan Harrison, called Marjorie Prime.

  • Brothers and Arms: “Topdog/Underdog,” at the QC Theatre Workshop through November 18

    Lincoln, Booth, and a gun. What could go wrong? As you will come to find out in the latest QC Theatre Workshop presentation Topdog/Underdog, pretty much everything. This production is dark and riveting, even if you can see the inevitable end from the get-go.

  • The Bucks Stop Here: “Escanaba in 'da Moonlight” at the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre through November 18

    Beards, beers, and bucks abounded Saturday night as the Richmond Hill Players presented Escanaba in 'da Moonlight, a comedy written by Emmy-award winning actor Jeff Daniels. The program notes that Daniels, of Dumb & Dumber fame, is primarily a dramatic actor, but make no mistake: This production was straight-up slapstick comedy.

  • Gas Feed & Seed Festival, November 15 through 17

    Independent musicians and stand-up comedians from across the country and the Quad Cities region will gather for the Village of East Davenport's autumnal Gas Feed & Seed Festival – a three-day, genre-hopping celebration hosted by Moeller Nights and featuring concert and comedy sets at Davenport venues The Stardust and the Triple Crown Whiskey Bar & Raccoon Motel.

  • The Peterson Brothers Band, November 15

    Lauded by Elmore magazine as “particularly adept at a smooth, funky, groove-laden type of blues that requires a mastery of both musical timing and on-stage rapport,” the Texas-based Peterson Brothers Band plays a local concert co-presented by the Mississippi Valley Blues Society, their November 15 engagement at the Moline Viking Club sure to prove why The Examiner called them “the new rising stars on the Austin music scene.”

  • Bad Bad Hats, November 15

    Touring in support of the band's sophomore album Lightning Round – an August release in which, according to Rolling Stone, its musicians “refine and polish the blend of indie-pop, folk, and rock that they introduced on their 2015 debut” – the Minnesota-based Bad Bad Hats play a Village Theatre concert on November 15, demonstrating the talents that NPR described as “programmed to fire all netral pathways associated with carefree indie rock fun.”

  • Davina & the Vagabonds, November 16

    Labeled “one of the most distinctive and expressive vocalists to come around in a while” by the Pheonix Blues Society, Davina Lozier and her band of Vagabonds returns to Davenport's Redstone Room for a concert of blues and jazz on November 16, sharing the signature stylings of a lead vocalist who, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, “has a sort of hard-mattress comfort to it that’s part Bonnie Raitt, part Etta James, and a little Amy Winehouse.”

  • The Schwag, November 16

    Performing from a repertoire that includes such classics as “Uncle John's Band,” “Truckin,” “Alabama Getaway,” and the chart-topping “Touch of Grey,” the rockers of The Schwag return to the Rock Island Brewing Company on November 16, appearing locally in their 27th year as professional Grateful Dead tribute artists.

  • Boo-Hoo-ville: “Dr. Seuss' The Grinch,” “Beautiful Boy,” “Overlord,” “The Girl in the Spider's Web,” and “Volcanoes: The Fires of Creation”

    Before I'm accused of being one myself, let me state up front that Dr. Seuss' The Grinch – the latest retelling of the good doctor's How the Grinch Stole Christmas – has quite a few things going for it (Happy Holidays!), even if they're eventually outweighed by the things going against it. (Bah, Humbug!)

  • Is This the Real Life? Is This Just Fantasy? : “Bohemian Rhapsody”

    About an hour into the Freddie Mercury bio-pic Bohemian Rhapsody, the screen is suddenly filled with excerpts from reviews of the title song, with the least harsh among many hateful notices calling the Queen track “perfectly adequate.” Depending on where you look, a glance through the film's own reviews can feel similar to that montage, with some of the nation's foremost news outlets attacking the release with a loathing that suggests the second coming of Ed Wood. (The headline for the New York Times' take was “Another One Bites the Dust” … and that was one of the kinder things said.)

    But if ever a movie was wholly, deservedly review-proof, it's this one. Yes, I thought that Bohemian Rhapsody was in most ways disappointingly traditional and in many ways bad. It left me, however, with such a movie-going high – and a high composed of numerous incidental thrills well before its phenomenally satisfying finale – that I found its scores of problems, in the end, almost completely irrelevant. As the insistent lyric goes: “We will we will rock you.” And damn if I didn't leave rocked.

  • Clara in Blunderland: “The Nutcracker & the Four Realms,” “Nobody's Fool,” and “Suspiria”

    Given the previews' gaudy color schemes and overall air of manic busyness, my fear was that the family adventure The Nutcracker & the Four Realms would feel like an unfortunate redo of Tim Burton's 2010 Alice in Wonderland, with another cherished childhood classic Disney-fied and blockbuster-ized almost beyond recognition. What we actually get, though, is even worse: a redo of Alice Through the Looking Glass, director James Bobin's 2016 headache that managed to be even more visually garish and narratively incoherent than Burton's predecessor.

  • Sub Par: "Hunter Killer," "Mid90s," and "Free Solo"

    In the action thriller Hunter Killer, Gerard Butler plays Sam Glass, a stern, reckless, my-way-or-the-highway submarine captain who's initially seen, on dry land, in the process of picking off a deer with a long-range rifle. Nothing about the image surprised me – the grim-faced, half-bearded Butler looks the way he always does in his movies, and of course the guy is packing heat. (Bambi fans, though, can rest easy: After Glass spies the deer's mate and baby trotting behind him, the ol' softie refuses to pull the trigger.) Yet I'll admit I was more than a little jazzed by the introduction's Scottish locale. Would director Donovan Marsh's outing have the nerve to cast Scotland native Butler as an actual Scot, and spare us the pain of listening to one of the star's continually unbearable attempts at an American accent?

  • 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?

Art

  • “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.

  • “A Visualization of Hope,” September 6 through December 9

    Presented by the area nonprofit Living Proof Exhibit, an organization that celebrates the creative spirit of those impacted by cancer, the exhibition A Visualization of Hope will bring messages of strength and resilience to Davenport's Figge Art Museum September 6 through 9, with Living Proof's annual assemblage boasting more than 50 pieces of art created by cancer survivors in the tri-state area.

  • “William L. Hawkins: An Imaginative Geography,” September 22 through December 30

    From September 22 through December 30, one of the 20th Century's most accomplished artists will enjoy a career retrospective as the Figge Art Museum houses the touring William L. Hawkins: An Imaginative Geography, the first major exhibition in more than a decade to showcase Hawkins' varied work and important examples from his favorite artistic subjects.

  • “Rufino Tamayo,” July 7 through December 30

    Seven rare prints by one of Mexico's most accomplished and lauded painters will be on display at the Figge Art Museum July 7 through December 30, when the Rufino Tamayo exhibit showcases the talents of its namesake who received the 1985 Gold Medal of Merit in the Fine Arts of Spain and the 1988 Belisario Dominguez Medal of Honor awarded to Tamayo by the Mexican Senate.