• Marcus Wicker Workshop and Reading, July 18 and 19

    Appearing locally in a pair of events sponsored by the Midwest Writing Center, award-winning author Marcus Wicker will be the guest at the Rock Island Public Library's July 18 poetry workshop and the Figge Art Museum's July 19 poetry readings. The internationally lauded author has received great praise by outlets worldwide, including the Paris Review, which wrote, “His poems find joy in language and nature, comfort in religion, and express both pride and vulnerability – often all in the same poem.”

  • QCA Today Headlines Quad Cities - Sunset Marina Rock Island, Illinois
    QCA Today: July 19, 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.

  • Rock Island County Fair, July 17 through 21

    Five days of outdoor fun will be on hand when East Moline's Rock Island Country Fairgrounds hosts the annual Rock Island County Fair July 17 through 21, offering patrons mornings, afternoons, and evenings filled with carnival rides, games, food vendors, animal shows, racing tournaments, and exciting events scheduled for the nights' grandstand entertainment.

  • Jacqueline Kennedy Presentation, July 25

    On July 25, the public and private personas of one of the 20th Century's most famous individuals will be explored when Orion's Western District Library hosts a one-woman performance with Leslie Goddard, the acclaimed, Chicago-based actor/writer whose touring impersonations include Eleanor Roosevelt, Amelia Earhart, Georgia O'Keeffe, Louisa May Alcott, and – in her library presentation – Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy.

  • 2018 Street Fest and Quad-City Times Bix 7, July 27 and 28

    Two eagerly awaited outdoor events are set to take place in downtown Davenport July 27 and 28, with the 47th Annual Street Fest energizing crowds on Friday and Saturday, and Saturday morning bringing with it the 44th Annual Quad-City Times Bix 7, the challenging summertime foot race that has captivated runners from all over the world.

  • A Foot in the Door for the Next Generation

    Right up front, let’s just stipulate that the recent appointment of state Representaive Christian Mitchell (D-Chicago) as the Democratic Party of Illinois’ interim executive director will not usher in an immediate sea-change.

  • Calling for an End to State-Fair Hokiness

    Back in the old, old days, Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley would pack passenger trains full of loyalists and send them all to the Illinois State Fair’s Democrat Day rally, where they were treated to rousing speeches by party leaders and candidates. Governor Rod Blagojevich kept that tradition alive on a somewhat smaller scale by chartering buses filled with supporters.

  • Support Your Local Humane Society, Not National

    Let’s assume you love cats and/or dogs. And you see an ad for The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), on television or on the Internet (RCReader.com/y/hsus1). Do you get emotional over the sight of stray cats or dogs living in Dickensian squalor before being euthanized? And do you consider writing out a check to the national organization based on the work it does on behalf of those animals, consistently depicted in rescue shelters?

    It’s an impulse you may want to reconsider.

  • Exploring the Cross-Tabs of the Senatorial Race

    A political-action committee run by top officials of Operating Engineers Local 150 reported a $255,000 contribution last week from a “dark money” organization controlled by the same Local 150 honchos.

  • Rauner or Madigan: Who's Less Popular?

    Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan will be on the ballot in just one of Illinois’ 118 House districts this November, but his name and reputation will be featured in electoral battles throughout the state as Governor Bruce Rauner and the Republican Party use Madigan against every Democrat from JB Pritzker on down to maybe even mosquito-abatement district races. Can his lousy statewide image be used to defeat his fellow Democrats?

  • Loan Survivors: Genesius Guild’s “The Merchant of Venice,” at Lincoln Park through July 22

    A real-life confession: I typically spend Sunday evenings at home watching Netflix, so spending it in Lincoln Park with Genesius Guild's production of The Merchant of Venice was a refreshing change. While it is known as one of William Shakespeare’s “problem plays,” and I would agree with that assessment, this performance was still a great way to forget thinking about Monday.

  • Raisin D'être: “Clybourne Park,” at the Playcrafters Barn Theatre through July 22

    It’s not often that I walk away from a show thinking about who I am as a person and how I can do better. Yet that is exactly what happened Friday night after the Playcrafters Barn Theatre's production of Clybourne Park, and director Alexander Richardson should be proud of his thought-provoking, darkly comedic production that demands more of its audience than the usual area-stage fare.

  • Tricks in Their Pockets, Things Up Their Sleeves: The Mississippi Bend Players' “The Glass Menagerie,” at Augustana College through July 22

    As the wind blew and the rain poured, I was concerned about making it to the current play at Augustana College's Brunner Theatre Center without being swept away by the currents of water flooding the streets of Rock Island. Thankfully, though – and with added thanks to Cart to the Art driver John D'Aversa – even a severe thunderstorm couldn't keep me from the Mississippi Bend Players' opening-night production of The Glass Menagerie.

  • Willkomen! Bienvenue! Welcome! : “Cabaret,” at the Clinton Area Showboat Theatre through July 22

    The first thing I noticed as I walked into Thursday's stunning, powerful, opening-night performance of the Clinton Area Showboat Theatre's Cabaret was the temperature. As I glanced around looking for meat hooks, I realized that many of the theatre's more seasoned attendees had brought along sweaters, coats, and even blankets. But the chill in the air gave no indication of the show's eventual heat.

  • Gone Body Gone: “Busybody,” at the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre through July 22

    A disappearing body, missing evidence, blood on a chair, and a pursuing investigation – so goes the spirited comedy BusyBody, written by Jack Popplewell and directed by Joe DePauw. Sunday’s matinée performance at the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre was rife with lively slapstick and subtle humor, taking us into the world of Mrs. Piper (Jackie Skiles), a spunky office cleaning lady who has stumbled her way into a murder mystery.

  • The Lone Bellow, July 19

    Lauded by Paste magazine for their “emotional urgency” and by the Chicago Tribune for “the sheer force of the trio's aching, tight-knit harmonies,” the Americana and alt-country musicians of The Lone Bellow perform a July 19 Moeller Nights concert at Maquoketa's Codfish Hollow Barn, demonstrating why NPR raved about “the group's earnest, ingratiating charm, dispensed via charisma-drenched songs that amble and soar.”

  • Here Come the Mummies, July 20

    Described by Examiner.com as “a band unlike any other” and Blurt magazine as “a hybrid of Idris Muhammad, George Clinton, Ohio Players, and Earth, Wind & Fire,” the tightly-wrapped funk, rock, and R&B musicians of Here Come the Mummies take the stage at the Rhythm City Casino Resort Event Center on July 20, their infectious grooves leading The Bob & Tom Show co-host Bob Kevoian to call one of their concerts “the most fun I've had in 20 years.”

  • Daiquiri Factory/RIBCO Anniversary Party, July 21

    Held in celebration of the Daiquiri Factory's 14th anniversary and the Rock Island Brewing Company's 40th, the District of Rock Island will house its annual, dual anniversary party for both venues on July 20, an outdoor event featuring the latest area appearances by the glam-rock tribute artists of Hairbanger's Ball.

  • Nikki Lane, July 21

    With her most recent album Highway Queen lauded by The Guardian as “a boisterous collection of firecracker 'outlaw country,' singer/songwriter Nikki Lane headlines a June 30 Moeller Nights concert at Maquoketa' Codfish Hollow Barn, her performance sure to underscore why Rolling Stone labeled her songs “inspirations cased in a streetwise, modern shell that's as unapologetic as Johnny Cash's middle finger.”

  • Maggie Koerner, July 25

    With ClashMusic.com praising the venue's headliner for her “honest, emotive songwriting,” “stirring, affecting work,” and “remarkable sense of depth,” Davenport's Redstone Room hosts a July 25 concert with alternative-folk and rock musician Maggie Koerner, whose talents inspired ItchySilk.com to rave, “There is something Janis Joplin about Koerner, whose ability to tear into songs is aural ecstasy brimming with controlled power.”

  • John McLame: “Skyscraper” and “Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation”

    You know a disaster movie is mired in cliché when a character, in the final minutes, is asked what we do now in the wake of so much destruction, and replies with an earnest, determined “Rebuild” – just like Dwayne Johnson did at the end of San Andreas. You know an action thriller is mired in cliché when a character, in the final minutes, finally takes a breath after so much breathless activity, and utters an earnest, plaintive “Let's go home” – just like Dwayne Johnson did at the end of Snitch.

    In the final minutes of the new Skyscraper, a disaster-movie-cum-action-thriller starring Dwayne Johnson, you will hear both these lines.

  • It's You I Like: “Won't You Be My Neighbor?,” The First Purge,” and “Ant-Man & the Wasp”

    “I saw Won't You Be My Neighbor?. Friggin' face faucet, dude.” – actor/writer Kumail Nanjiani, in a recent tweet

    Unless you're too young to be aware of the man and his legacy or too jaded or angry to care, it's hard to imagine who won't dissolve into a blubbery mess watching Morgan Neville's documentary Won't You Be My Neighbor?, a supremely intelligent, bighearted look at the life and career of Fred McFeely Rogers, host of the beloved PBS children's series Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. (And were you aware that his middle name was “McFeely”? Landing on that information recently, I got choked up anew with the refrain “Speedy delivery! Speedy delivery!” in my head.)

  • They Didn't Build That Wall! : “Sicario: Day of the Soldado” and “Uncle Drew”

    Barring only occasional exceptions, summer movies, as Hollywood annually reminds us, are meant to be escapism. But it's impossible to imagine viewers, at least U.S. viewers, being wholly able to find escape in director Stefano Sollima's action-thriller sequel Sicario: Day of the Soldado. For better or worse, our real-world problems, and our real-world administration, simply won't let us.

  • Clone Rangers: "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom"

    Despite the movie topping the summer-of-2015 box-office charts and grossing some 1.67 billion worldwide, it appears that many of Jurassic World's salient details completely left my brain the moment I completed my review. I realized this after returning to said article in preparation for my Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom critique, and discovering that many of elements I was planning to diss this time around were elements I already knocked three years ago: the slavishness to Spielberg, the presentational sameness, the lack of genuine scares, the tired cliché of the first character killed off being a person of color. In fairness, the new film kills off a black guy and a white guy simultaneously, which I guess is this series' idea of progress, but still … . What was left to bitch about?

    Quite a bit, actually. But in a not-unhappy surprise, very little of it matters, because while Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom may be stupider than its predecessor, it's also a lot more fun.

  • Jack-Jack Be Nimble, Jack-Jack Be Quick: “Incredibles 2,” “SuperFly,” and “Tag”

    Listening to the sustained, rolling laughter at my screening of Pixar's Incredibles 2, it became clear, even while it was happening, which individual scene was likely going to be the best-remembered and most-adored of the bunch: the one with the raccoon.

Art

  • “John Preston: Day by Day,” June 23 through July 26

    Paintings and watercolors of richly beautiful nature images – and images found very close to home – will be on local display June 23 through July 26, as the Beréskin Gallery & Art Academy houses the recent works of a Fairfield, Iowa, artist in John Preston: Day by Day.

  • “Where the Wild Things Are Maurice Sendak: The Memorial Exhibition – 50 Years, 50 Works, 50 Reasons,” May 12 through August 12

    Things are about to get capitalized and italicized Wild at the Figge Art Museum, as the Davenport venue, from May 12 through August 12, will house the traveling Where the Wild Things Are Maurice Sendak: The Memorial Exhibition – 50 Years, 50 Works, 50 Reasons, a showcase for one of America's premiere illustrators and characters from one of the world's best-loved children's books.

  • “College Invitational at the Figge,” May 3 through August 12

    In the 10th incarnation of the venue's latest group exhibit, on display from May 3 through August 12, the 2018 College Invitational at the Figge will boast two- and three-dimensional works from no less than 56 student artists, as professors from eight area colleges and universities were tasked with selecting the top works from their schools for this year’s exhibition.

  • “Relics” by Dean Kugler and “Momentarily Present” by Erik Ohrn, June 29 through August 17

    Scultpures and paintings by Iowa- and Illinois-based talents will fill the Quad City Arts Center from June 29 through August 17, as the Rock Island venue houses Dean Kugler's Relics and Erik Ohrn's Momentarily Present – exhibitions boasting works by two gifted artists who use figuration to communicate ideas about psychology, internal states of being, and the solitary nature of existence.

  • Pat Beréskin, Matt Moyer, and Robert Reeves Exhibits, July 3 through August 29

    Paintings, sculptures, and works by a prominent Quad Cities gallery owner will all be on display at the Quad City International Airport July 3 through August 29, as Quad City Arts presents a trio of new exhibitions by Des Moines painter Robert Reeves, sculptor Matt Moyer from Columbia, Missouri, and Bettendorf's Pat Beréskin, owner and operator of the city's Beréskin Gallery & Art Academy.