tick, tick ... BOOM!
Harrison Hilltop Theatre
Thursday, July 16 through Sunday, July 26
On July 16, Harrison Hilltop Theatre will open tick, tick ... BOOM!, a rock musical written by Rent's Jonathan Larson. Sexy, sweet, and heart-wrenching all at once, this three-person show tells the story of one man's desperation on his 30th birthday.
Jon, the show's main character, faces a lukewarm career as a musical playwright and a rocky relationship with his girlfriend, Susan. Jon's lifelong friend, Michael, tries to convince Jon to give up his career in the theatre - as he did - and join his firm, but Jon is reluctant to give up his dream. "I want to write music," he explains during the song "Johnny Can't Decide." "I want to sit down right now at the piano and write a song that people will listen to and remember, and do the same thing every morning for the rest of my life."
Larson's piano-driven, rock-and-roll score frames the show, with music that Behind the Curtain's Frank Rizzo describes as "interesting, lovely, and vital." Originally written in 1990 as a one-man "rock monologue," the show was reconfigured for three performers - after Larson's 1996 death - by playwright David Auburn.
Harrison Hilltop's production of tick, tick ... BOOM! will feature Adam Michael Lewis, Michael Crowe, and Tracy Pelzer-Timm, and will mark the first anniversary of the theatre's opening last year. For more information and tickets, visit HarrisonHilltop.com or call (309)235-1654. - Emily Heninger
Rock the District with Hoobastank and Pop Evil
The Daiquiri Factory
Friday, July 17 and Saturday, July 18
If you're looking for a reason for being - or just a good show this summer - check out Hoobastank and Pop Evil, here as part of the next Rock the District concert. The Daiquiri Factory will host the bands on July 17 and 18, respectively.
Hoobastank is best known for its 2004 hit "The Reason," from the album of the same name. In January, they released For(N)ever (which peaked at 26 on the Billboard 200), and the new Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen includes the album's song "I Don't Think I Love You." (Check out Mike Schulz's review of the movie at RiverCitiesReader.com - that song title would make a good subheadline.)
Pop Evil, a post-grunge band from Grand Rapids, Michigan, released its latest album, Lipstick on a Mirror, last year and was one of iTunes' choices for 2008's best new rock artists. The work features "100 in a 55," a song that reached the sixth spot on the Active Rock charts in May.
Hoobastank will be joined by Rude Punch and Small Town Sleeper, while Pop Evil will be headline a show that includes Pheen and Three Years Hollow. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door for the July 17 show, and $12 in advance and $15 at the door for the July 18 show. On both days, doors open at 7 pm and the show start at 8 pm. For more information, visit DaiquiriFactory.com, and more on the bands can be found at Hoobastank.com and PopEvil.com. - Tushar Rae
All Shook Up
Prospect Park Auditorium
Friday, July 10 through Sunday, July 19
Five reasons to be super-psyched about Quad City Music Guild's new production of All Shook Up, running July 10 through 19 at Moline's Prospect Park Auditorium:
1) The story: Loosely based on Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, All Shook Up is a freewheeling comedy of unrequited love, mistaken identity, and understandable gender confusion, with three pairs of entangled romantics and a gallery of memorably goofy supporting characters.
2) The music: With a song list drawn entirely from the Elvis Presley catalog, the show opens with "Jailhouse Rock," closes with "Burning Love," and finds time in the middle for nearly two dozen more of the King's classics, including "Heartbreak Hotel," "Blue Suede Shoes," "Teddy Bear," "Hound Dog," and "Can't Help Falling in Love."
3) The cast and director: Among the numerous, terrifically talented Music Guild veterans lined up for All Shook Up are Melissa Anderson Clark (Thoroughly Modern Millie), Bryan Tank (Evita), Mike Millar (It's a Wonderful Life), Jackie Madunic (Beehive), and J. Adam Lounsberry (The Producers), and the show is directed by Bob Williams, who helmed such recent hits as Little Women, The Wizard of Oz, and Fiddler on the Roof.
4) The reviews: Calling All Shook Up an "enjoyable piece of slaphappy silliness" and "two hours of nearly undiluted pleasure," one critic in 2008 praised the show's "many, many moments of inspired madness" and roles in which "actors are free to emerge as dynamic, go-for-broke comedians whose unbridled sincerity is as sweet as it is hysterical."
5) The reviewer in question: me. So at least one of us is super-psyched about the production.
For more information on, and tickets to, All Shook Up, call (309)762-6610 or visit QCMusicGuild.com. - Mike Schulz
Annie Get Your Gun
North Scott High School Auditorium
Friday, July 17 through Saturday, July 25
"Mike? I'm having some problems with my next What's Happenin' assignment."
"What's up, Emily?"
"Well, I'm supposed to write about Countryside Community Theatre's upcoming production of Annie Get Your Gun, which is opening July 17."
"Right ... ."
"It's a 1946 Irving Berlin musical with a revised script that Peter Stone wrote in 1999. It's got those great songs that pretty much everyone recognizes - you know, 'There's No Business Like Show Business' and 'Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better' and such."
"Okay ... so what's the story?"
"Well, it's about these two sharpshooters, Annie Oakley and Frank Butler, who are appearing in a Wild West show. It's one of those show-within-a-show things. And of course, they start to fall in love, but their careers come between them when Annie becomes a little too successful for Frank's liking. And then everything culminates in a shoot-off!"
"Good. Although I actually already knew that. I was just testing you."
"Right, Mike. But guess what else? The two leads are played by a husband and wife duo - Sheri and Wayne Hess! Doesn't that sound fun?"
"Yep, sounds fantastic!"
"There's just one problem."
"I'm starting to write like you."
"Yes! I have successfully corrupted your journalistic skills forever! Don't tell Jeff."
For Annie Get Your Gun information and tickets, visit CCTOnstage.org or call (563)285-6228. - Emily Heninger
Paper Trail: A Decade of Acquisition from the Walker Art Center
Figge Art Museum
Saturday, July 18 through Sunday, October 4
"Your next What's Happenin' assignment is to write about Paper Trail."
"Cool. T.I.'s newest album features some of his most popular work both commercially and critically. Clearly he knew that he needed something to keep him relevant while in prison."
"No. Your assignment is to write about Paper Trail: A Decade of Acquisition from the Walker Art Center. It's the new exhibition at the Figge Art Museum, and is running July 18 through October 4."
"Oh ... ."
"Tushar, don't sound glum. The exhibition features works from contemporary artists such as Thomas Hirschhorn, Rachel Whiteread, and Ellen Gallagher. The artists work in several meda ranging from printmaking to large scale tableaus. However, all of them still incorporate paper-based methods, and Japanese artist Kaoru Arima has even created a series of drawings on newspaper."
"Okay. I guess that is one way to save the newspaper industry."
"Many of the artists tackle issues of importance, including race and gender in today's society, the way in which the urban landscapes have changed and been transformed in recent years, and the growth of global culture."
"Yup ... ."
"You might especially enjoy the work of Elizabeth Peyton. She has created a series of drawings of celebrities that serve as a social commentary on the perils of always living in the spotlight. Peyton has depicted the famous ranging from Kurt Cobain to Michelle Obama."
"All right then, Mike. I suppose that does sound nifty. Who knows, T.I. might find his way into Peyton's work one of these days."
For more information on the Paper Trail exhibition, visit FiggeArt.org or call (563)326-7804. - Tushar Rae
Editor's note: We swear, editorial interns Emily Heninger and Tushar Rae weren't asked to structure these What's Happenin' articles as dialogues involving Reader editor Mike Schulz. Both came up with the idea independently, suggesting that great minds do think alike.
What Else Is Happenin'... ?
Thursday, July 9, and Sunday, July 19 - Chase Pagan and Generationals. Indie rockers in two Daytrotter-sponsored concerts. Chase Pagan - July 8; Generationals - July 19. Huckleberry's Great Pizza (223 18th Street, Rock Island). 7 p.m. $5. For information, visit Daytrotter.com.
Friday, July 10, and Saturday, July 11 - Duck Soup. Music, comedy, and golf with the Austin-based rockers, performing for the John Deere Classic after-parties. Capitol Theatre (330 West Third Street, Davenport). 7:30 p.m. $20/night; $30/both nights. For tickets and information, call (563)326-8820 or visit TheCapDavenport.com.
Saturday, July 11 - Melapalooza. Extreme-music festival featuring performances by Waco Jesus, Cardiac Arrest, Altered Existence, Upon the Awakening, 5th Dawn, Lefwitch, Hills of Byron, Helmsplitter, Ageless, Identity Crisis, the Horde, and StillChyld. The Rock (302 First Street, Coal Valley). 11 a.m.-midnight. $15. Tickets available at Co-op in Moline and Davenport, and O'Tool Design in Rock Island. For information, call (309)799-7625 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saturday, July 18 - Gaelic Storm. Five-piece Irish-music ensemble. The Capitol Theatre (330 W. 3rd Street, Davenport). 8 p.m. $22-$18. For tickets and information, call (563)326-8820 or visit TheCapDavenport.com.
Sunday, July 19 - The Ken Chaney Trio. Jazz musicians performing as part of Polyrhythms' Third Sunday Jazz Matinée & Workshop Series. The Redstone Room (129 Main Street, Davenport). 3 p.m. all-ages workshop - $5/adults, children free; 6 p.m. concert - $10-$15. For information, call (309)341-7038 or visit RedstoneRoom.com.
Sunday, July 19 - The David Crowder Band. Inspirational rockers on tour, in support of their new CD Remedy. Adler Theatre (136 East Third Street, Davenport). 6 p.m. $17-$32. For tickets, call (800)745-3000 or visit AdlerTheatre.com.
Monday, July 20 - These Darlins and the Velcro Lewis Band. Indie rockers in a Daytrotter-sponsored concert. Rock Island Brewing Company (1815 Second Avenue, Rock Island). 8 p.m. $5. For information, visit Daytrotter.com.
Thursday, July 9, through Sunday, July 19 - Busy Body. Jack Popplewell's mystery/comedy, directed by Joe DePauw. Richmond Hill Barn Theatre (Richmond Hill Park, Geneseo). Thursday-Saturday 7:30 p.m., Sunday 4 p.m. $8. For tickets and information, call (309)944-2244 or visit RHPlayers.com.
Thursday, July 9 through Sunday, July 19 - Singin' in the Rain. Stage adaptation of musical-comedy classic. Clinton Area Showboat Theatre (311 Riverview Drive, Clinton). Thu.-Sat. 7:30 p.m., Wed. & Sun. 3 p.m. $18. For tickets and information, call (563)242-6760 or visit ClintonShowboat.org.
Friday, July 10, through Sunday, July 19 - The Boys Next Door. Tom Griffin's comedy/drama about four mentally challenged men and their caretaker, directed by Lora Adams. Village Theatre (2113 East 11th Street, Davenport). Friday-Saturday 7:30 p.m., Sunday 2 p.m. $13-$15. For tickets and information, call (309)738-2540.
Friday, July 10, through Sunday, July 26 - Henry VI; Parts I and II. Genesius Guild productions of William Shakespeare's famed history plays. Lincoln Park (11th Avenue and 40th Street, Rock Island). 8 p.m. Part I - July 10, 11, 12, and 25; Part II - July 17, 18, 19, and 26. Free admission. For information, e-mail email@example.com or visit Genesius.org.
Thursday, July 16 through Saturday, July 25 - Wait Until Dark. Stage thriller about a blind woman who becomes the target of a trio of murderers. Timber Lake Playhouse (8215 Black Oak Road, Mt. Carroll). Fri. & Sat. 8 p.m., Tue.-Thu. 7:30 p.m., Sun 6:30 p.m. $20-$11. For tickets and information, call (815)244-2035 or visit TimberLakePlayhouse.org.
Friday, July 17, and Saturday, July 18 - High School Musical 2. Stage adaptation of the Disney Channel smash, performed by two casts of students in grades 3 through 7. The Center for Living (2008 Fourth Avenue, Rock Island). Friday 7 p.m., Saturday 1 p.m., 4 p.m., and 7 p.m. $10.50. For information and tickets, call (309)788-5433 or visit Center4Living.com.
Saturday, July 11 - Praise on the River. Food, live music, children's activities, and fellowship in an event organized by Churches United and area churches of varied denominations. LeClaire Park (Davenport). 4-9 p.m. Free admission. For information, call (563)355-6494 or visit PraiseOnTheRiver.com.
Tuesday, July 21 through Sunday, July 26 - Rock Island County Fair. Carnival rides, live music, children's activities, vendors, a demolition derby, livestock shows, a fair-queen pageant, talent contests, bull riding, a hot-rod truck and tractor pull, fireworks, and more. Rock Island County Fairgrounds (Archer Drive and Avenue of the Cities, East Moline). 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Free admission; tickets required for grandstand events. For information, call (309)796-1620 or visit RockIslandCountyFair.Homestead.com.