• Unpacking Rauner's Problematic Budget Proposal

    I just don't see how the governor could ever pull this one off. And that means whoever drafts the final budget will have to patch a $591 million hole. Not impossible, but these little things do add up.

  • The Downsides of Upside-Down Favorability

    Whether 13 points or 17 points, a win is a win. But there are growing concerns among Democrats that Rauner’s ads will continue to deflate Pritzker’s numbers through November.

  • Iowa MOST: The Miles of Smiles Team is a Joyous Gift for Both Volunteers and Their Child Patients

    There is nothing more satisfying than sharing inspiring stories.

  • Ives' Debate Performance Could Help Prime the Pump

    Lots of political junkies, media types, et cetera, went gaga after last Monday's Chicago Tribune editorial-board face-off between Republican Governor Bruce Rauner and state Representative Jeanne Ives.

  • Turn the Recording Tape On at Scott County Board Meetings

    The standard operating procedure for minutes of the meetings is to only provide the public with the most stripped-down version of what happened. In Scott County, this means all that is recorded is the time the meeting started and ended, who made or seconded a motion, and how each supervisor voted on said motion. No inclusion of who was a guest speaker from the private sector or other governments, or which staff member spoke on which agenda item, or what any of the discussion around an agenda item consisted of.

  • “Beauty & the Beast Jr.”, February 23 through March 4

    For the second year in a row, the Center for Living Arts, the Penguin Project of the Quad Cities, and Augustana College's theatre department are teaming up to help turn kids into stage stars, which they'll do in the February 23 through March 4 Brunner Theatre Center run of Beauty & the Beast Jr. – a production that boasts a cast composed entirely of talented youths with special needs.

  • All You Care to Eat: A Comedy Thingy Podcast, February 24

    Presented at Moline's Black Box Theatre in the style of a radio play complete with live music, sound effects, and actors with scripts in hand, three new episodes of the locally produced podcast All You Care to Eat will be performed by the area troupe Comedy Thingy on February 24 and taped in front of a live “studio” audience.

  • “Seussical Jr.,” February 17 through 25

    With its latest show described as “colorful, energetic, and wonderfully silly” by TheatreJones.com and praised for its “sweetness, humor, and energetic high spirits” by the New York Times, Davenport Junior Theatre treats family audiences to the company's debut of Seussical Jr., a one-act, all-student-performed version of the Tony-nominated storybook musical.

  • Invasion of the Body Switchers: "Freaky Friday," at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse through March 24

    This past Friday was freaky. Because at the opening night for the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse’s Freaky Friday musical, the many stories of the evening – director Erin Thompson’s return to the theatre where she got her start in 1993’s Annie; her show being Thompson’s first professional directing credit – included the sheer splendor of the entire performance, from the acting to the dancing to the incredible singing. My wife and I definitely left the experience saying, “That was freaky good.”

  • “A View from the Bridge,” February 15 through 18

    One of Amerian theatre's most acclaimed and awarded titles will enjoy an intimate yet emotionally grand staging when St. Ambrose University and director Sam Jones present the stage classic A View from the Bridge, Arthur Miller's Tony-winning family drama that runs in the Studio Theatre February 15 through 18.

  • Blake Shelton, February 23

    A chart-topping country singer/songwriter, vocal coach on TV's The Voice, and, according to People magazine, 2017's “Sexiest Man Alive” hits Moline's TaxSlayer Center on February 23 in a concert with recording phenomenon Blake Shelton, who will treat fans to hits ranging from his self-titled 2001 debut to his Texoma Shore smash from this past November.

  • TobyMac, February 24

    Serving as the latest stop on the musician's “Hits Deep Tour,” Moline's TaxSlayer Center hosts a February 24 concert with the Grammy-winning, chart-topping TobyMac, whose 13-album discography has made him one of the best-selling artists in contemporary-Christian and hip-hop history.

  • Sam Coffey & the Iron Lungs, February 26

    Performing in support of their self-titled, critically lauded 2017 album, the Canadian power-pop ensemble Sam Coffey & the Irons Lungs perform a February 26 Moeller Nights concert in downtown Davenport, demonstrating why Spill magazine wrote that the musicians “seamlessly sit in a spot that connects modern-indie and post-rock textures with the style of punk rock greats of yesterday and the flair of glam rockers from the early 1970s.”

  • Donavon Frankenreiter, February 27

    With his most recent release The Heart described by RenownedForSound.com as “a deeply personal, sentimental, and intimate album that shines through its musical simplicity and emotional perceptivenes,” acoustic surf rocker Donavon Frankenreiter plays Davenport's Redstone Room on February 27, treating audiences to tuneful, upbeat songs that MusicFarm.com calls “hard not to sing and dance along with.”

  • How Collectible is an MP3?: The Ups and Downs of DIY Music Mediums

    Everything that goes out of fashion seems to make a resurgence at some point or another. This trend is no different in the music scene. Record collectors have seen formats come and go. But most recently, the focus is on the comeback of vinyl records and cassette tapes.

  • I Bless the Reigns Down in Africa: “Black Panther,” “Early Man,” and “Samson”

    The relentless universe-building of the Marvel Studios output, with its seemingly endless introductions to (cinematically) new heroes and villains, can be exhausting, so I hardly want to make matters more complicated. Yet after seeing writer/director Ryan Coogler's enthralling, imaginative, fantastically enjoyable Black Panther, I'd be totally on-board with nearly a dozen spin-off series for debuting characters – even characters who expire before the end credits roll. I mean, hey, if Saw's serial killer and that Insidious medium can keep coming back for more … .

  • Train-ing Day: “The 15:17 to Paris,” “Peter Rabbit,” and “Fifty Shades Freed”

    Amateurishness in a movie is almost never a virtue, and certainly shouldn't be one when the movie's director is Clint Eastwood. But The 15:17 to Paris – Eastwood's dramatic reenactment of events leading to a foiled 2015 terrorist attack – is a special case.

  • The Spirits Are Willing but the Flash is Weak: “Winchester” and “Jane”

    The presences of Jason Clarke and Helen Mirren, and the film's 1906 setting, may give the proceedings a veneer of class. But Winchester is otherwise standard to its core, complete with the requisite boom!s and bang!s on the soundtrack, the adorable, easily possessed moppet, and the employment of a familiar old-timey tune that attempts, and fails, to give us the heebie-jeebies.

  • On Pins and Needles: "Phantom Thread," "Hostiles," and "Maze Runner: The Death Cure"

    If the news is true, and Paul Thomas Anderson's Phantom Thread does indeed mark Daniel Day-Lewis' retirement from acting, it's an occasion for remorse, if also delight that the legendary performer is at least going out on a high note. (The movie is deservedly nominated for six Academy Awards including Best Picture, Director, and Actor.) But woven into the sadness of “No more Daniel!” is a very specific kind of regret, because man is it a shame the guy didn't make more comedies.

  • The 2018 Academy Award Nominations

    Heading into this morning's announcement of nominees for the 90th Annual

Art

  • “Joseph Lappie: Personal Mythologies,” February 24 through May 20

    A St. Ambrose University professor whose works can be found in the art collections of Yale Art Library, Ringling College of Art & Design, and the University of Dallas, Joseph Lappie will find his talents showcased locally in the Figge Art Museum exhibit Personbal Mythologies, on display from February 24 through May 20.

  • “Steve Sinner: Master Woodturner,” February 17 through June 24

    Highlighting nearly 30 examples of solo pieces, collaborations, and innovations within the art form, the Figge Art Museum's new exhibition Steve Sinner: Master Woodturner will, from February 17 through June 24, showcase the talents of the Omaha native and Bettendorf resident whose beautiful, hand-crafted works can be found in galleries and collections from California to Ohio to New York.

  • 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.

  • Troy Swangstu: Made in Iowa, February 6 through March 9

    A Kansas-based artist born and raised in the Quad Cities will be showcased in the latest exhibition at the Beréskin Gallery & Art Academy, when rams, bulls, and less fearsome beasts are captured in the vibrant paintings of Troy Swangstu's Made in Iowa.

  • Brad Bisbey, Holly Kimball, and Jay Stratton Exhibits, February 2 through March 23

    A fast-paced world requires a calming influence, and that's what Rock Island's Quad City Arts Center will provide in its new exhibitions of lovely, serene paintings by Brad Bisbey and Holly Kimball and beautiful wood sculptures and furniture by Jay Stratton, on display from February 2 through March 23.