The Redstone Room
Friday, May 18, 8 p.m.
The Redstone Room's online calendar lists the May 18 concert by famed blues performer Bernard Allison, but fails to mention who will likely share the evening's bill with him: you. In Blues Revue magazine, Art Tipaldi described "the walk," which finds Allison - during sets - routinely engaging the crowd from within the crowd, even (on occasion) giving fans a crack at his guitar. Remarking on his de facto assistants, Allison said, "By walking the crowd, I can mingle with the people and talk ... . This is all part of the family vibe that I try to create at every show." As the son of legendary blues musician Luther Allison, this man certainly knows from family vibes, yet he's forged an enormously successful career on his own; describing the artist's blend of blues, funk, and rock, PopMatters' Barbara Flaska wrote that Allison "possesses a wonderful singing voice and enough confidence in his tremendous talent to risk innovation," and the Minneapolis Star-Tribune's Chris Riemenschneider raved about his "dazzling use of guitar slides and solos that emphasize emotion, not speed." And just for the record: I was only kidding about you sharing billing with Allison. You will not get a percentage of the cover charge. Live with it. For more information, visit (http://www.redstoneroom.com).
Davenport Public Library
Thursday, May 17, 6 p.m.
There's nothing like realizing it's the 30th anniversary of Star Wars to make you feel older than hell. Perhaps sensing this, the Davenport Public Library has given its May 17 Star Wars celebration about the happiest title imaginable: Jedi Jamboree! Doesn't your mind just reel with images of Obi-Wan wearing a big straw hat? This free family event - which children's department librarian Tamara McConoughey describes as "for kids of all ages" - will include a screening of the original, 1977 Star Wars, and if the sight of a youthful Harrison Ford proves unbearably depressing, you can always cheer up by stuffing yourself with what McConoughey calls "Jedi treats," such as the intriguingly named "Wookie Crunchies" (which sounds like a really hairy exercise regimen). But the evening's highlight just might be the Star Wars costume contest, wherein kids can win prizes by donning their finest Lucas-inspired regalia. Quad-City Times movie reviewer Linda Cook is among the celebrity judges, but writes that she, herself, won't be in costume, as she'll be arriving directly from work and will be dressed in "business casual." Hey, that's what Obi-Wan wore, too! Just get Linda a big straw hat! For more Jedi Jamboree information, visit (http://www.davenportlibrary.com).
King Henry the Fifth
Rock Island Masonic Temple
Friday, May 18 through Sunday, May 27
Once more unto the breach, dear friends! The Prenzie Players will wrap up their spectacularly ambitious (and, for this viewer, spectacularly entertaining) Shakespeare trilogy The Henriad with King Henry the Fifth, being performed May 18 through 27 at the Rock Island Masonic Temple. But if you missed the saga's two previous installments - October's King Richard the Second and February's King Henry the Fourth - don't worry about being out of the loop; as Kenneth Branagh's Henry V movie proved, the work easily stands on its own. (Besides, Shakespeare was kind enough to include a Chorus figure who'll get you up to speed on all the royal machinations.) So if King Henry the Fifth marks your introduction to the Prenzies, prepare to witness some of the finest acting talent the area has to offer, and be sure to get there early; not only do the Prenzies traditionally begin performing a half-hour before the play proper, but for this particular production, no latecomers will be seated once the production has started. Remember: "Keep time! How sour sweet music is when time is broke and no proportion kept!" Just quoting King Richard the Second there. Seriously, folks, you'll be fine. More information on the show is available at (http://www.prenzieplayers.com).
T.C. Hatter & Marcianne
Penguin's Comedy Club
Thursday, May 17, through Saturday, May 19
There are probably plenty of candidates for the title of "Bravest Person in America." But for the moment, I'm going with Marcianne, the woman in the accompanying photo. Damn, but she's in close proximity to that clown. Of course, she has reason to be that close (and for not looking totally freaked out): The clown in question is her husband and comedy partner, T.K. Carter. This duo headlines Penguin's Comedy Club May 17 through 19, but despite my instinctive fear of grease-painted adults, their act doesn't appear the least bit scary. With Marcianne providing musical punctuation on the clarinet, Carter fashions an inspired, participatory event out of nothing more than a simple box of props; according to (http://www.funnyboneusa.com), Carter "can put two ping-pong balls in his cheeks, and in seconds transform himself into Uncle Fester, Don Corleone, an orangutan, and a recently departed president." (No points for guessing which one.) But perhaps the most intriguing aspect of T.K. Carter's and Marcianne's performance is that Carter himself never speaks; his entire act is performed in pantomime. Oh, great. A clown that doesn't talk. Now I'm terrified all over again. For more information, visit (http://www.penguinscomedyclub.com).
Chamber Music Quad Cities Concert
Saturday, May 19, 7:30 p.m.
Chamber Music Quad Cities' season-ending concert - featuring Gregory Sauer on cello and Thomas Sauer on piano - takes place at Davenport's Unitarian Church on May 19, and I recently received biographies on the event's guest artists: violist Matthew Dane, violinist David Bowlin, and soprano Arisa Kusumi. Yet after digesting these artists' credits and accomplishments, I'm not sure if, following the concert, it would be more appropriate to applaud or to bow. Dane, currently principal violist with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic Orchestra, has held orchestral positions with the Houston Ballet Orchestra, Massachusetts' Springfield Symphony, and Germany's Hannover State Opera. Bowlin was 2003's first-prize winner at the Washington International Competition for Strings, and received his master's in music from Juilliard. And Kusumi, who has sung in more than 300 opera performances worldwide, is renowned for what the Orlando Sentinel calls her "elegant tone and beautiful phrasing"; following a Kusumi performance in Chemnitz, Germany, Die Freie Presse wrote, "She sings ... and the operetta world of Chemnitz has fallen to her feet." All-righty then. Bowing it is. Adult tickets are available at the door for a suggested donation of $10, and more information on the concert is available by calling (563) 322-4524.