Quad City Arts and Midwest Writing Center
Friday, November 2, and Saturday, November 3
During an interview in the poetry periodical Kicking Wind, Dorothea Lasky was asked about her reaction on the day her first collection (2007's Awe) was published, and Lasky said, "My mom and I didn't go anywhere the morning the books were due to arrive ... . Eventually, I fell into a deep sleep waiting and woke up to my mom yelling from the next room, 'That's the doorbell! That's the doorbell!'"
Yet as excited as Mom was, it's doubtful she could've been more excited than Dorothea was upon reading the collection's eventual reviews; the Boston Review's Joshua Beckman wrote that "there is a beautiful temperamental voice that flows through Dorothea Lasky's poems," and in the literary journal The Diagram, Cynthia Arrieu-King raved about the author's "radiant divine quality."
It's a quality that local lit lovers can soon experience personally; the Philadelphia-based Lasky will appear at Quad City Arts' 7 p.m. poetry reading/workshop series "The Word" on November 2, and a 1 p.m. writing workshop at the Midwest Writing Center on November 3. But don't be intimidated by her literary cred; as reviewer Olivia Cronk wrote, Lasky's poems "feel just like someone you know." And the online-review site Ms. Cronk wries for? BookSlut.com. Mom must be so proud.
Quad City Symphony Orchestra
Adler Theatre and Centennial Hall
Saturday, November 3, and Sunday, November 4
As the first concerts in the Quad City Symphony Orchestra's 2007-8 Masterworks Series were titled "Setting Sail!", it only makes sense that the second pair - taking place at the Adler Theatre on November 3 and Augustana College's Centennial Hall on November 4 - would be titled "A New World." I can hardly wait for the third pair: "Seriously, King Ferdinand, the Natives are Thrilled That We're Here!"
A terrible joke. I apologize.
But there's no joking around about the talents lined up for these fall concerts. Pianist William Wolfram, who joins the QCSO for its presentation of Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, has appeared with the San Francisco Symphony, the Moscow Philharmonic, and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, and received the silver medal in both the William Kapell and Naumberg International piano competitions.
And the concerts' conductor is Andrew Constantine (pictured), who served as associate conductor for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, currently serves as music director of the Reading Symphony Orchestra and Bardi Symphony Orchestra in Leicester, England, and who, according to the London Times' Edward Greenfield, "has an exceptional gift for holding players and listeners on a thread of sound, drawing out the most refined textures." Kinda like the classical-music version of Saw.
Seriously, I am trying to curtail the wisecracking.
For more information on the weekend's QCSO concerts, visit (http://www.qcsymphony.com).
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)
Scott Community College
Wednesday, October 31, through Saturday, November 3
With area productions of King Henry IV, King Henry V, As You Like It, The Winter's Tale, Othello, and The Taming of the Shrew all produced over the past eight months, the Scott Community College drama club's presentation of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) might seem kinda redundant.
But allow me to ask: Is Augustana College's Shrew currently blending with 15 other Shakespeare comedies to form "The Comedy of Two Well-Measured Gentlemen Lost in the Merry Wives of Venice on a Midsummer's Twelfth Night in Winter"? Did the Prenzie Players perform their recent history-play triad as an American football game, using the British Crown as the ball? And would Genesius Guild dare to perform Titus Andronicus as a cooking show, Othello as a rap song, or the sonnets through interpretive dance? (Well, maybe in a Don Wooten version they would ... .)
These and other cheeky scenarios will be on display in what the New York Times called "a genial, determinedly goofy production," running October 31 through November 3. (And it's worth noting that the show's Hamlet is being portrayed by Mandy Landreth, who recently played the title role in Playcrafters' Sylvia, which means that, in the past six weeks, she's gone from playing a dog to playing a Dane.) Tickets for the 7 p.m. performances in the SCC Student Life Center are $5 at the door, and more information is available by calling (563) 441-4001.
Iowa Composers' Festival of New Music
St. Ambrose University
Saturday, November 3, and Sunday, November 4
In a press release promoting the November 4 performance by the Quad City Wind Ensemble, we're informed that what makes the group special is its diversity; the group features members who range in age from early 20s to mid-70s, includes newcomers and 20-year veterans, and boasts, among many talented musical professionals, an electrician, a mechanical engineer, and more than one lawyer.
In the spirit of harmony, I will refrain from any wisecracks involving lawyers and wind.
The ensemble performs in the final event of St. Ambrose University's 20th Anniversary Festival of the Iowa Composers Forum; on November 3 and 4, six public concerts in the Galvin Fine Arts Center will showcase more than two dozen works by 21 composers, most of whom live in Iowa and neighboring states.
St. Ambrose students, faculty members, and guest artists from the region will perform in Saturday concerts at 10 a.m., and 1, 3:30, and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday performances at 1 and 3:30 p.m.; admittance to the first five concerts is free, but tickets to Sunday's 3:30 event with the Quad City Wind Ensemble are $5 for the general public and $4 for students. Hey, lawyers are involved; you're lucky they're not charging $100 per hour. (Sorry. Couldn't resist.)
More information on the festival is available by calling (563) 333-6145 or visiting (http://www.sau.edu/music).
On the Road
Mother Jones Café
Saturday, November 3
When Jack Kerouac composed the first draft of what would become his Beat-generation touchstone On the Road he typed it out on a 120-foot roll of taped-together paper which he threaded through his typewriter and also wrote it with a minimum of punctuation and no paragraph breaks so his thought process and stream-of-consciousness style wouldn't be interrupted or hindered and that seemed like the appropriate way to tell you about the continuous public reading of Kerouac's American classic that the Mother Jones Café Bookstore is hosting on November third when the public is invited to drop by 420 18th Street in Rock Island any time between 10 in the morning and midnight to celebrate the 50th anniversary of On the Road's publication by either listening to this marathon presentation of the beloved work or joining others in reading a few pages and then passing the book on to the next person in the reading circle while refreshments are served and live music heard throughout the day with all donations going to the Quad Cities Animal Welfare Center in Milan and more information available by calling (309) 283-0779. Yass!