Uh-Oh, Here Comes Christmas
Playcrafters Barn Theatre
Friday, November 9, through Sunday, November 18
Sing with me now!
"On the 305th da-a-ay of Chri-i-istmas, my true love gave to me-e-e ... this photo of the cast of the new Playcrafters show and a tre-e-e-ee!"
I know. It scans terribly. But you get the idea.
November 9 brings with it the Playcrafters Barn Theatre's Uh-Oh, It Must Be Christmas, a revue based on the literary works of Robert Fulghum. And through skits and songs, Greg Cripple, Don Hazen, Lisa Kahn, Jim Pearce, and Pami Triebel share a series of holiday-themed tales, including a few the author likely didn't learn in kindergarten. (Unless the five-year-old Fulghum was aware that, during the holidays at least, the fridge is the most important of all appliances, children's pageants are lovable train wrecks, and poinsettias refuse to die.)
National Public Radio called the show "a funny, poignant collection of stories, songs, and vignettes," and the Arizona Republic lauded its "laugh-out-loud moments mixed with teary ones, and times when even curmudgeons are caught up in warm reminiscence." So I'm totally bringing along my editor, Jeff. Maybe then he'll stop screaming things like, "Stop including me in your What's Happenin' pieces!" Or maybe he'll -
Uh-oh ... here comes Jeff ... .
Uh-Oh, Here Comes Christmas runs through November 18, and tickets are available by calling (309) 762-0330.
Da Vinci: Man, Inventor, Genius
Putnam Museum & IMAX Theatre
Friday, November 9, through Saturday, February 23
Man, Inventor, Genius.
But enough about me. That's also the subtitle of the new Leonardo Da Vinci exhibit at the Putnam Museum & IMAX Theatre, on display November 9 through February 23. After Chicago and Seattle, Davenport will be only the third U.S. city to host the exhibit, yet in addition to being a figurative big deal, it's a literal one; Da Vinci: Man, Inventor, Genius covers more than 7,000 square feet, double the size of the museum's largest exhibit-hall space.
The Da Vinci-inspired glider that will hang from the lobby's ceiling is likely to be impress right off the bat, but exhibit visitors will also have the chance to build their own bridge, fire a seven-foot-long catapult, play with more than 60 models built from Da Vinci sketches, and marvel at dozens of interactive and static machines, computer-animated sketches, reproductions of the master's paintings, and documentaries on his life and work.
And if the Putnam is looking for a good promotional slogan for the exhibit, they could even use one of Da Vinci's famous quotes, as the man, inventor, and genius was also quite the eloquent speaker. How about his "Learning never exhausts the mind"? Or perhaps "The noblest pleasure is the joy of understanding"? Or maybe "Marriage is like putting your hand into a bag of snakes in the hope of pulling out an eel"?
Or, y'know, maybe one of the first two ... .
For more information on the exhibit, visit (http://www.putnam.org).
The Beaker Brothers Band
Rock Island Brewing Company
Friday, November 9, 10 p.m.
On the Beaker Brothers Band's Web site (http://www.beakerbrothers.com), you'll find a familiar sentiment: "This is not your father's rock band."
But you gotta love a group willing to follow that statement with, "No, wait, maybe it is."
Performing at the Rock Island Brewing Company on November 9, the BBB members - boasting at least 40 years of musical know-how each, and performing a repertoire of jam-band classics à la Clapton, the Allman Brothers, and the Grateful Dead - appear happy to flaunt their professional, shall we say, maturity. And with credits like these, who wouldn't be?
Guitarist Steve Grismore is an adjunct professor of jazz studies at Augustana College and the University of Iowa; percussionist James Dreier holds a master's in music theory and records with Orchesta Alto Maiz; bassist "Uncle Ed" English was a founding member of the Blues Instigators and performs with Iowa City's Monday Night Blues Band; pianist John Shultz attended the Berklee College of Music and fronts his own John Shultz Organization; guitarist Dan Bernstein played with '70s rockers Source and was once a neurosurgery research assistant; and percussionist Dan Hummel plays for regional symphonies, local musicals, and even the occasional rodeo.
All this, and their current tour of Midwestern gigs is titled "The Beaker Brothers Fall & I Can't Get Up Tour." That may not be hip, but it's certainly not a broken one.
For more information, visit (http://www.ribco.com).
Thursday, November 8, through Saturday, November 10
In an episode of Last Comic Standing, Thea Vidale hinted at a bawdy side when she began a joke with, "You know what they say about men with big hands and big feet." And then came the punchline: "They're clowns."
It was sweet that Vidale thought she could fool us, but we all know that the comedienne - who headlines Penguin's Comedy Club November 8 through 10 - wouldn't besmirch her iconic image as a mom just for the sake of a gag.
This is, after all, the woman who starred in her own ABC series, Thea, wherein she played the warm-hearted (albeit no-nonsense) mother of four young kids. The women who played "Momma Benjamin" to pro wrestler Shelton Benjamin, and inspired him to a sensational WWE comeback. The woman who, when not portraying matriarchs, has guest starred on such PG-rated fare as Ugly Betty and The Drew Carey Show and My Wife & Kids.
So by all means, bring the whole family to Vidale's Penguin's set, as she'll likely perform routines from her 2006 comedy CD, which include "Kids Get on My Nerves," "Kinky Stuff," "The 900 Sex Line," "Make Weed Legal," "Bony Bitch" ... .
Hmm. Maybe you should leave the kids at home.
For more information, visit (http://www.penguinscomedyclub.com).
Moline High School
Saturday, November 10, 7 p.m.
Granted, the a cappella vocal ensemble InPulse is composed of four guys (Marcus Hanson, Steve Howe, Gabe Koxlien, and Matt McDonald) whose Web-site biographies make them sound energetic, enthusiastic, and happy to perform as often as possible. But jeez, Quad City Arts, put 'em to work, why don'tcha?!
Here as the organization's latest Visiting Artists, the much-lauded quartet - which has sold more than 25,000 albums since its 2003 debut - will give educational-outreach performances and workshops at more than 30 area schools, and on November 10, will deliver a public concert at Moline High School after their week spent with the students.
Yet while a public concert is routinely the finale to the Visiting Artists' stay, in InPulse's case it's more like the prelude; the group - sticking around an entire week longer than most artists in the series - will also bring their mix of pop, rock, country, jazz, and hip-hop to Bechtel Park's Genesis Remembrance Tree Lighting Ceremony on November 13, and the i wireless Center's Holiday Pops concert on November 17.
A reminder, QC Arts: Just because the guys are young doesn't mean you're allowed to adopt them.
Tickets for InPulse's Moline High School concert are available by calling (309) 794-7306, and more information on the group is available at (http://www.inpmusic.com).