CLIFFHANGER Richmond Hill Barn Theatre Thursday, March 30, through Sunday, April 9 Action fans rejoice! The latest production at Geneseo's Richmond Hill Barn Theatre - opening March 30 - is Cliffhanger, and who among us isn't salivating to watch the show's Sylvester Stallone figure foil an armed robbery while dangling precipitously between two Rocky Mountains? Oh, wait .
.. never mind. This Cliffhanger is actually a comedy/thriller by James Yaffe, but it sounds like a pretty great time, too. After a mild-mannered philosophy professor suffers one abuse too many at the hands of his hateful successor, a bust of Socrates proves the ideal murder weapon; the professor and his wife discover a seemingly foolproof means of disposing the body, but a blackmail-minded student and a suspicious police lieutenant interfere with the couple's "perfect murder." Richmond Hill regulars Melissa Scott and Peggy Freeman appear in a show that promises laughs and chills - nothing in it may be as funny as John Lithgow hissing, "Love is a killer, isn't it?" but that's actually a good thing. Cliffhanger tickets are $7 for the March 30 performance, $8 for subsequent performances, and reservations can be made by calling (309)944-2244. - Mike Schulz
ALL FOOL'S GALLERY HOP!
The District of Rock Island
Friday, March 31, 5 to 9 p.m.
The District of Rock Island's annual springtime Gallery Hop! - wherein area galleries, studios, shops, and restaurants present artist demonstrations and performances throughout the District - has been dubbed the "All Fool's Gallery Hop!" which was deemed preferable to the Easter-themed "Rock Island Bunny Hop" and the decidedly less festive "Gallery Shmallery - Who's Lookin' for Art?" Among the March 31 highlights will be a live needle-felting presentation at the Left Bank Art League, glass-blowing demonstrations at Liquid Fire, mosaic artist Mark Koster at Mama Compton's, the creation of fused-glass jewelry at Quad City Arts, Sinatra-esque crooner Bryan Garrison performing at Copia Martini & Wine, and music by the Jazz Trio Jam and The Parish Festival at Theo's Java Club. Plus, for the first time ever during a Gallery Hop! evening, the Reader staff will wander the District singing four-part chorales while Publisher Todd McGreevy accompanies us on the lute. Ha ha! April Fool's! For more information, call the District office at (309)788-6311, or visit (http://www.ridistrict.com). - Mike Schulz
Friday, March 31, through Saturday, April 8
Violinist Movses Pogossian - here as the latest Quad City Arts Visiting Artist - made his American debut performing with the Boston Pops in 1990, prompting the Boston Globe to label his performance "fiery, centered, and very musical." You'd think, for Pogossian, there'd be nowhere to go but down. You'd think wrong. Since then, the violinist has earned advanced degrees in music, recorded CDs, and performed as a chamber musician throughout the world - including stints with the Tokyo, Kronos, and Brentano string quartets - and area audiences can hear his divine work at any of his three public appearances: at Moline's Deere-Wiman House on March 31 (3 p.m.), at Davenport's Figge Art Museum on April 4 (6 p.m.), and at Bettendorf's Rivermont Collegiate on April 8 (7 p.m.). Pogossian currently resides in California with his wife, Varty Manouelian, who is a professional violinist as well; she performs with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Wow. Most couples just have monogrammed towels. For more information on Pogossian's visit, and all Quad City Arts guests and events, visit (http://www.quadcityarts.com). -Mike Schulz
JOE GOODE PERFORMANCE GROUP
Friday, March 31, 7:30 p.m.
What do you say to a choreographer, writer, and director whose first concern in a performance is to provide a "deeply felt, profoundly human experience"? Most likely: What does that mean? Well, you can find out for yourself as the Joe Goode Performance Group makes its way to the Hancher Auditorium on Friday, March 31, with a 7:30 p.m. production on the University of Iowa campus. The Joe Goode Performance Group will present Grace, the second installment of a trilogy, Goode says, about "the lives of ordinary people." The ensemble's blend of dance and theatre that combines text, gestures, and humor with Goode's physical, high-velocity dancing has entranced critics and audiences since 1986; Mary Ellen Hunt of Critical Dance wrote, "As always after a Joe Goode Performance Group show, I left the theatre tantalized with the question: How can they be so intensely eloquent with almost no visible effort?" For more information and tickets, call (800)426-2437 or visit (http://www.hancher.uiowa.edu). - Jesse Virgil
A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM
Rock Island Masonic Temple
Friday, March 31 through Saturday, April 8, 8 p.m
The latest presentation by the Shakespearean troupe Prenzie Players is a new imagining of the Bard's A Midsummer Night's Dream and will be presented at the Rock Island Masonic Temple (420 18th Street) March 31 through April 8. The group boasts that "we improvise, we break the fourth wall, and we promise anyone who attends won't forget our show, ever," and Midsummer is being helmed by Prenzie veteran Cait Bodenbender, who was a joyous Feste in the group's tackling of Twelfth Night last fall. But still, it's quite possible that this script will prove beyond this theatrical organization's innovative stylings. I mean, really: Romantic entanglements featuring love-struck royals? Woodland deities playing matchmaker? A Puck-ish fairy anointing characters - the wrong characters - with a magical love potion? A fatuous ham being turned into a donkey? An actor named Snug giving a show-stopping performance as a wall? What possible fun could Prenzie have with this material? Further information on Midsummer, and past and future Prenzie Players offerings, is available by visiting (http://www.prenzieplayers.com). - Mike Schulz