• QCA Today Headlines Quad Cities - Sunset Marina Rock Island, Illinois
    QCA Today: May 20, 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.

  • “Very Eric Carle: A Very Hungry, Quiet, Lonely, Clumsy, Busy Exhibit,” May 26 through September 9

    One of the most popular and successful children's-book authors of all time – along with many of his beloved animal, bird, and insect friends – will be celebrated in a new Family Museum exhibition opening May 26, as the Bettendorf venue hosts the touring family delight Very Eric Carle: A Very Hungry, Quiet, Lonely, Clumsy, Busy Exhibit.

  • Quad Cities Kwik Star Criterium, May 28

    Hosted by the Quad Cities Bicycle Club and beginning at 9 a.m., an eargerly anticipated Memorial Day tradition returns for its 53rd year in the May 28 Quad Cities Kwik Star Criterium – a Village of East Davenport event featuring hundreds of adult and youth cyclists participating in 12 bicycle races, with over $10,000 in cash prizes awarded throughout the day.

  • River Action's “Explore the River Series,” May 29 through September 1

    Wildlife, history, geology, and more will be explored when River Action hosts presentations in this year's Channel Cat Talks and Riverine Walks – “Explore the River Series” celebrations of the Quad Cities' unique culture and landscape taking place four times weekly from May 29 through September 1.

  • Pollinators' Palooza, May 19

    Visitors to Davenport's Putnam Museum & Science Center can learn all about the birds and the bees – and the butterflies, and the moths – in the venue's inaugural Pollinators' Palooza, a May 19 event dedicated to nature's springtime pollinators that will boast presentations, film screenings, and arts & crafts for children.

  • Rauner's New Campaign Issue May Be a Whole Loaf, a Couple of Slices, or Just an Empty Plate

    Last week’s press conference announcing his latest amendatory veto was, without a doubt, the best press pop Governor Bruce Rauner has had since he fired his top staff last July and brought in that Illinois Policy Institute crowd (whom he also fired).

  • Can a Workable Budget Also Be a “Good” Budget?

    “Nothing’s more important for a governor than having a good budget because that allows you to manage the state to do your job.”

    Let that recent quote from former Governor Jim Edgar, as reported by the State Journal-Register, sink in for a bit.

  • Higher Education Requires Building, Not Blowing Up

    Eastern Illinois University’s legislative liaison Katie Anselment had some strong words for legislators during an Illinois Senate Higher Education Committee hearing last week.

  • Scott County Supervisors Record Meetings but Deny Public Access by Refusing to Post Audio Files Online

    On April 19, 2018, the Scott County Board of Supervisors (SCBS) voted 3-2 against posting the Board's audio-recorded meetings at both the Board and Auditor Web sites (audio: rcreader.com/y/scbs1). Supervisors Carole Earnhardt-R, Tony Knobbe-R, and Ken Beck-R voted against, while Diane Holst-R and Brinsen Kinzer-D voted in favor of this fundamental public good.

  • Early May Be Too Early for General-Election Ads

    Four years ago, I mistakenly believed candidate Bruce Rauner would take a page from Governor Rod Blagojevich’s 2014 reelection playbook and immediately bury Governor Pat Quinn under a mountain of negative advertising. Instead, Rauner waited until July 11 to air his first general-election TV ad.

    So what’s it gonna be this year?

  • “The Bridges of Madison County,” May 23 through July 14

    Adapted from the literary phenomenon and Clint Eastwood's Oscar-nominated movie, the musical version of The Bridges of Madison County makes its Quad Cities debut at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse May 23 through July 14 – a rare romantic drama at the venue whose Broadway production was praised by the Associated Press for its “superb, thrilling score,” and by Time Out NY for being “a new work that plays like a classic.”

  • “Some Girl(s),” May 24 through 26

    With its creator described by New York magazine as “the most legitimately provocative and polarizing playwright at work today,” the relationship comedy/drama Some Girl(s), written by Tony-nominated Fat Pig and reasons to be pretty author Neil LaBute, will enjoy a May 24 through 26 staging as the latest presentation in the Playcrafters Barn Theatre's Barn Owl Series, with the play itself eliciting, according to DCTheatreScene.com, “barks of surprise, gasps of stupefaction, cries of affirmation, and, over and over, laughter.”

  • “Dearly Beloved,” May 31 through June 10

    A Southern-fried slapstick comedy by the popular playwriting team of Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope, and Jamie Wooten, the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre's Dearly Beloved, from May 31 through June 10, will serve as the second title in the venue's 50th-anniversary season of audience-favorite revivals, the show's 2008 presentation praised by the River Cities' Reader as “charming and funny and unfailingly likable,” as well as “a terrific amount of fun.”

  • G-Nial N-Tertainment: “Bingo! The Winning Musical,” at the Playcrafters Barn Theatre through May 20

    Who knew that something as benign as bingo could be a cutthroat, super-competitive soap opera, complete with callers enjoying something extra for announcing the right bingo balls, zany rituals performed over cards, rice-cereal-treat bribes, and WWE-style heels and heroes? It just goes to show that the competitiveness of the human experience filters even into the most unlikely and folksy slices of Americana, as demonstrated in Bingo! The Winning Musical, the kooky musical offering at Moline's Playcrafters Barn Theatre.

  • Roosters in the Henhouse: “The Church Basement Ladies in Rise Up, O Men!,” at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse through May 12

    Faith, hope, and brotherly love wrapped up in comic genius and superb writing was what I witnessed this past Good Friday. I must admit, I had never heard of the Church Basement Ladies series until recently, and was not sure what to expect. But the theatre's current The Church Basement Ladies in Rise Up, O Men was one of the best shows I've ever seen at the Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse.

  • Elizabeth Cook, May 23

    Described by the New York Times as an “idiosyncratic traditionalist” and “a sharp and surprising country singer,” country-music crooner, guitarist, and mandolin player Elizabeth Cook headlines a Redstone Room concert on May 23, the artist's most recent album Exodus of Venus lauded by American Songwriter magazine as “Cook's finest, most riveting and intensely personal work.”

  • Benjamin Cartel, May 24

    Known for both his individual alt-rock compositions and as half of the Brooklyn-based pop/rock duo KaiselCartel, singer/songwriter Benjamin Cartel performs a solo concert at the Rock Island venue Rozz-Tox on May 24, his 2015 album Gothenberg leading American Songwriter magazine to state, “Your heart will be haunted by the tunes, your mind will wonder about those complex lyrics, and you’ll soon be a fan.”

  • Shilpa Ray, May 26

    Lauded by The Guardian for her “grinding blues, sleazy jazz, and bracing rock with punk immediacy and pop appeal,” Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter Shilpa Ray headlines a Moeller Nights concert on May 26, her signature vocal style described by the Star-Ledger as a “big-voiced blues-rock howler,” and summed up in four words by the New York Times: “That scream is primal!”

  • The Smoking Popes, June 1

    “Ever wonder what a traditional lounge singer would sound like backed up by a punk band?” asked the Los Angeles Times. “The Smoking Popes take that concept one step further: They've created a unique kind of music that some listeneres are describing as 'hyperkinetic tear-jerkers.'” That description is as accurate today as it was during the band's early-'90s beginnings, as The Smoking Popes will prove when the pop-punk and alt-rock musicians play Davenport's Redstone Room on June 1.

  • The Lynne Arriale Trio, May 20

    Performing as the latest guests in Polyrhythms' Third Sunday Jazz Workshop & Matinée Series, the Lynne Arriale Trio – featuring bassist Matt Ulery and drummer Jon Deitemyer – brings formidable talent to Davenport's Redstone Room on May 20, the ensemble's pianist, composer, and namesake described as “the poet laureate of her generation” by Jazz Police, with multiple Grammy winner Randy Brecker adding, “Her music transcends the word 'jazz' – it is just pure music.”

  • Reynolds Rap: “Deadpool 2” and “Show Dogs”

    As I recall, there aren't any overt references to the Guardians of the Galaxy in Deadpool 2 – which is kind of astonishing given that the movie's name-dropping antihero verbally side-swipes fellow Marvel figures ranging from Wolverine to Charles Xavier to the Winter Solider to a certain Avenger MIA from Infinity War. (After momentarily losing his powers of invincibility here, our snarky protagonist dejectedly mutters, “Just give me a bow and arrow and I'm Hawkeye.”) Yet it's nearly impossible not to be reminded of the Guardians flicks while watching director David Leitch's hyper-violent comedy sequel, because if you thought the comic-book adventures of Chris Pratt and company boasted their genre's most ridiculously entertaining song scores, you were right … until now, that is.

  • Fifty Shades of Great: “Book Club” and “RBG”

    The aging-friends comedy Book Club stars Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton, Candice Bergen, and Mary Steenburgen as … . I'm sorry, but does it even matter? There are precisely zero circumstances under which I, or really any longtime movie fan, wouldn't want to watch this phenomenal acting quartet together on-screen, even if their material were as insipid as Book Club's keeps threatening to be.

  • Sorority Mother: “Life of the Party” and “Breaking In”

    In Life of the Party, Melissa McCarthy plays the doting mother of a college senior who, after being dumped by her husband of 20-plus years, pursues her dream of an archeology degree by enrolling in her daughter's university. I consequently expected 90-odd minutes of campus slapstick as well-meaning, accident-prone, profoundly uncool Mom mortifies her kid in classrooms and at Greek mixers and whatnot – just like the trailers indicated, and just like in the 1986 Rodney Dangerfield hit Back to School. But amazingly, that's not what we get. It turns out that instead of comedic stakes involving a child's embarrassment, there aren't any stakes at all.

  • Postpartum Impression: “Tully,” “Overboard,” and “Bad Samaritan”

    Charlize Theron is nearly always great, and few of her movies have needed her to be great quite as much as Tully, a domestic dramedy that only works – to the extent that it works at all – because of the performer's ferocious, at times truly frightening emotional commitment.

  • Action Figures / Reaction Figures: "Avengers: Infinity War"

    What can I say about Avengers: Infinity War? I'm genuinely asking: What, this early in the film's run, can I possibly say about Marvel's rabidly awaited comic-book adventure that wouldn't somehow be deemed a spoiler? Maybe it's best to begin gently, not by reviewing the film, but by reviewing the audience. Because even if I didn't enjoy what transpired on-screen – and I generally did, and quite a lot – the crowd reactions at my sold-out 7 p.m. IMAX screening on April 26 would've made the whole experience worthwhile.

Art

  • “Georgia O'Keefe: Flower Abstraction, 1924,” January 23 through June 10

    A landmark work by renowned painter Georgia O'Keefe will be on display in the Figge's American Scene Gallery beginning January 23, as the artist's 1924 Flower Abstraction arrives on generous loan from New York's Whitney Museum of American 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.

  • “Karmageddon” and “News Anchors with Nabisco,” May 11 through June 22

    Artworks boasting the strange, the familiar, and the strangely familiar will be on display at Rock Island's Quad City Arts Center May 11 through June 22, with illustrative imagery and bright colors employed to communicate ideas about objects, environments, and concepts in the charming, humorous exhibits Karmageddon, featuring mixed media by David Balluff, and News Anchors with Nabisco, showcasing paintings by Greg Dickinson.

  • “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.

  • Michael Ryan, Brian Roberts, and Trent Foltz Exhibits: May 2 through July 1

    Two artists from Iowa and one from Illinois will fill the Quad City International Airport Gallery with paintings, stoneware, and photography when Quad City Arts presents May 2 through July 1 exhibitions by Michael Ryan of Cedar Rapids, Brian Roberts of Pella, and Trent Foltz of Geneseo.