• The Final Major Test of Rauner's First Term

    I’ve read, watched, and heard a whole lot of commentary about the upcoming state-budget negotiations during the past few weeks and it pretty much all ignores recent history and focuses instead on one-sided claims of pending controversy.

  • Rauner's Failures Can Be Pritzker's Winning Strategy

    JB Pritzker appears to have chosen a solid message for the fall campaign. The overall theme at the successful Democratic gubernatorial candidate’s press conference the day after he won the primary race was “Bruce Rauner is a failed governor.” The message is also the primary subject of his online advertising push against Rauner.

  • Illinois' Democratic Primary Sees Many Wins for Team Madigan

    The oddest political couple in all of Illinois did pretty well in last Tuesday’s Democratic primary.

  • Rauner's Gun-Bill Veto Was Timed Accidentally, but Perfectly

    Governor Bruce Rauner’s veto of a gun-dealer licensing bill last week took a lot of folks by surprise. It probably shouldn’t have.

  • Mapping the Issues on District Remapping

    House Speaker Michael Madigan cares most about three House votes: The votes every two years for both the next Speaker and the House rules; and the vote every 10 years on the new state legislative district maps.

  • “Cabaret,” April 20 through 22

    One of American theatre's most exciting, acclaimed, and tune-filled entertainments receives a St. Ambrose University staging in the April 20 through 22 run of Cabaret, the legendary Kander & Ebb musical that earned a combined 12 Tony Awards for Broadway's 1966 original and 1998 revival, and that was adapted into a 1972 film classic that received eight Oscars including Best Actress for Liza Minnelli and Best Director for Bob Fosse.

  • The Prenzie Players' “King John,” April 20 through 28

    A dramatic and thrilling tale of bloodshed, betrayal, and bastards will be presented by the area's verse-theatre troupe the Prenzie Players when William Shakespeare's history play King John opens on April 20, its six-performance run at Davenport's QC Theatre Workshop a rare local staging of this noted work originally published in 1623, five years after the Bard's death.

  • “Defining Dance: Distinctly Ballet Quad Cities,” April 20 and 21

    On April 20 and 21, Ballet Quad Cities leaps, taps, spins, and pliés into spring with the dance vignettes of Defining Dance: Distrinctly Ballet Quad Cities, two evenings of mixed repertoire at Moline's new Spotlight Theatre (located in the Scottish Rite Cathedral) featuring brand-new pieces and audience favorites by choreographers Margaret King, Emily Kate Long, and the company's Artistic Director Courtney Lyon.

  • Frank Caliendo, April 21

    Sports, laughs, and loads of pop-culture references are sure to be on hand when Davenport's Rhythm City Casino Resort hosts an April 21 evening with touring comedian and frequent TV personality Frank Caliendo, whose list of famed impressions includes those of actors Morgan Freeman, Al Pacino, Robin Williams, and Robert De Niro; politicians Donald Trump, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama; broadcasters John Madden, Charles Barkley, and Jon Gruden; and talk show hosts Dr. Phil, Jay Leno, and David Letterman.

  • “Madagascar: A Musical Adventure,” April 19 through May 12

    One of the millennium's biggest animated-film hits enjoys a raucous, colorful, and tuneful stage presentation when Rock Island's Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse presents the area debut of Madagascar: A Musical Adventure, a family treat, running April 19 through Mar 12, reuniting audiences with Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Melman the Giraffe, Gloria the hip-hip-Hippo, and all of their other Dreamworks favorites.

  • A Night with Farewell Angelina, April 21

    Cited by Rolling Stone as among the “10 New Country Artists You Need to Know,” the Farewell Angelina quartet performs an April 21 concert at Maquoketa's Ohnward Fine Arts Center, its sound described by Roughstock.com as “stunning,” and its musicians, according to TasteOfCountry.com, a “super-group of über-talented female musicians, songwriters, and vocalists.”

  • Rend Collective, April 22

    Appearing in an April 22 stop on the band's international “Good News Tour,” Rend Collective will fill Rock Island's Heritage Church with contemporary-Christian celebration via Northern Ireland, its gifted Celtic musicians praised by TheChristianBeat.org for their “shouts of energetic praise and moments of bittersweet thought,” as well as a repertoire in which “captivating sounds meet comforting lyrics.”

  • Kyle Craft, April 24

    With AllMusic.com calling him “a singer/songwriter with a robust, full-throated wail and knack for pairing Stones-ian hooks and Dylan-esque wordplay,” pop, Americana, and alt-country musician Kyle Craft appears as the Moeller Nights headliner on April 24, his signature sound described by Rolling Stone as a “poetic gumbo of Southern roots, electric folk, and preening glam rock.”

  • Victor Wooten, April 25

    Winner of five Grammy Awards and three citations as Bass Player magazine's “Bass Player of the Year,” jazz-fusion and funk-rock artist Victor Wooten headlines a special Redstone Room concert co-presented by the River Music Experience and Polyrhythms, his April 25 engagement demonstrating why Wooten made the lineup in Rolling Stone's 2011 survey of the “Top 10 Bassists of All Time.”

  • Akropolis Reed Quintet, April 26 and 27

    Serving as the final guests in Quad City Arts' 2017-18 Visiting Artists series, the chamber musicians and educators of the Akropolis Reed Quintet will perform their public concert at St. Ambrose University on April 26, treating attendees to an ensemble praised by Ioregon ArtsWatch for its “clear, richly-textured, well-rehearsed group dynamics,” and by Fanfare magazine for its “imagination, infallible musicality, and huge vitality.”

  • Gorilla Tactics: “Rampage,” “Beirut,” and “Blumhouse's Truth or Dare”

    I suppose there have been flimsier inspirations for movies than Rampage, the 1980s arcade game that has players assume the forms of giant monsters who try to demolish entire cities before the military demolishes them. Inspirations such as, say, the Strawberry Shortcake doll, or My Little Pony. But I'll be damned if I could think of any examples while being pummeled by the thunderous stupidity and terrible jokes of the new action blockbuster Rampage, a work that somehow makes its director Brad Peyton's previous Dwayne Johnson adventure San Andreas look like the magazine-cover subject for Cahiers du Cinéma.

  • Animating Season: “Isle of Dogs” and “Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero”

    Isle of Dogs is Wes Anderson's stop-motion-animated tale of a 12-year-old boy's search for his missing pooch, and somehow, against all logic, it feels like one of the least precious works on its writer/director's résumé.

  • Cinema at the Figge: “Blue Ruin,” April 19

    A mysterious outsider's quiet life is turned upside down in the Figge Art Museum's April 19 screening of the lauded 2013 revenge thriller Blue Ruin, the latest Cinema at the Figge presentation by Ford Photography, and a work that made the top-10 lists of publications ranging from the Austin Chronicle to The A.V. Club to Las Vegas Weekly.

  • Heroes, Quests, and the Lady in the Lake: “Blockers,” “A Quiet Place,” “Chappaquiddick,” and “The Miracle Season”

    Friday, April 6, 10:05 a.m.-ish: Call me an optimist, or maybe just a nitwit, but I was really looking forward to starting my day with Blockers, director Kay Cannon's tale of three middle-aged parents who attempt to foil their daughters' prom-night plan to lose their collective virginity. Sure, its central conceit, as several characters here point out, was sexist, retrograde, and more than a little icky, and there was bound to be an awkward blend of slapstick and sentiment, and the previews' comedic highlight was the sight of John Cena chugging beer through his anus. Still, though: Potential belly laughs! Likable leads! John Cena chugging beer through his anus!

  • Culture Pop: “Ready Player One,” “The Death of Stalin,” and “Oceans: Our Blue Planet”

    Adapted from Ernest Cline's famed sci-fi novel and set in the dystopian 2045 of Columbus, Ohio, Steven Spielberg's Ready Player One is about a teen gamer (Tye Sheridan's Wade Watts) who, like millions of others, enters a worldwide virtual-reality competition intent on finding a hidden Easter Egg that will reap him untold fortune. This is no knock against Spielberg's generally exhilarating, occasionally frustrating, frequently jaw-dropping entertainment, but considering the film runs 140 minutes, I'm rather astounded that the kid didn't find the thing within the movie's first seconds. Because good God is this thing lousy with Easter Eggs.

Art

  • “An Intimate Encounter with Nature,” April 28 through June 21

    From April 28 through June 21, the wonders of the great outdoors, and the creatures who make their homes there, will be celebrated in the latest exhibition at Bettendorf's Beréskin Gallery & Art Academy: An Intimate Encounter with Nature, featuring evocative paintings by Mary Kline Misol and expressive photographs by Larry Mendenhall.

  • History of the Davenport NAACP, February 10 through April 22

    Presented in celebration of America's oldest, largest civil-rights organization and its local members, the Figge Art Museum will house History of the Davenport NAACP February 10 through April 22, a new exhibition focusing on area contributions to this nationwide effort that boasts more than 2,200 branches and roughly half a million members worldwide.

  • “The Magical Glow of Fireflies,” March 10 through April 28

    Beginning March 10 and lasting through April 28, Bettendorf's Beréskin Gallery & Art Academy will be aglow with the outdoor photography of Czech Republic native Radim Schreiber, whose works will light up the venue in the haunting and beautiful exhibit The Magical Glow of Fireflies.

  • “Wynn Bullock: Revelations,” January 13 through April 29

    The photography of 20th Century photographer Wynn Bullock is currently included in more than 90 major museum collections worldwide, and in the Figge's new exhibit Wynn Bullock: Revelation – on display from January 13 through April 29 – museum guests will be treated to the most comprehensive assessment of Bullock’s (1902-1975) extraordinary career in nearly 40 years, as well as the first major exhibition of his work to be held in Iowa.

  • Tilly Woodward, David Zahn, Cindy Lesperance, Carol Hamilton, and Brad Hook Exhibits, March 2 through April 30

    Paintings, sculpture, and encaustic works will be on display in a trio of exhibitions by a quintet of artists, when Quad City Arts and the Quad City International Airport Gallery present March 2 to April 30 showcases for Tilly Woodward, David Zahn, Cindy Lesperance, Carol Hamilton, and Brad Hook.