St. Ambrose University
Friday, October 10, 7:30 p.m.
"Tell me about your dream, Mike."
"This one was really weird, doctor. I'm in the city of Quito, Ecuador, and I'm hanging out with the musicians of Andes Manta, who are actually four brothers: Fernando, Luis, Bolivar, and Jorge Lopez."
"Right ... ."
"Between them, they play 35 instruments, and so they're showing me how to play the bandolin and the charango and the ronadador, and they're teaching me all about the vibrant, powerful folk music and dance of South America ... and then they ask me to join them on tour."
"I see ... ."
"We go everywhere. We're booked at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center and the National Cathedral, and we perform in 48 different states in the U.S., and we wow audiences at hundreds of schools and universities all over the globe, and we even compose the score for the Discovery Channel special Discovering America."
"Uh huh ... ."
"But right when we're about to walk on stage for our concert at St. Ambrose University, Fernando pulls me aside, takes the guitar out of my hands, and hands me a laptop instead. And then I wake up."
"What does it mean, doctor?"
"Well, I think your subconscious is probably telling you to write a What's Happenin' piece on the group. Wouldn't you agree?"
"You mean like, 'Andes Manta performs at the Galvin Fine Arts Center on October 10, and while you can secure tickets at (563) 333-6251 or get more information by visiting AndesManta.com, allow me to tell you about the group's ... ."
"I'm sorry. Our time is up."
The Woman in Black and The Summer People & The Lottery
Harrison Hilltop Theatre and Scott Community College
Thursday, October 9 through Saturday, October 18
Three area stage productions make their debuts on October 9, and on paper at least, they look like absolute nightmares. By which I mean they could easily give audiences nightmares.
The Harrison Hilltop Theatre's The Woman in Black, based on Susan Hill's 1983 horror novel, is a chilling play-within-a-play that involves a funeral, a macabre curse, a mysterious specter, a haunted house, and a lawyer trying to exorcise ghosts of the past, and featured in its cast are Don Hazen (pictured), recently seen in the Playcrafters Barn Theatre's 12 Angry Men, and James Bleecker, whose most recent theatrical work prior to The Woman in Black was in the Green Room's presentation of ... Hauntings. Hmm. I smell a motif.
Meanwhile, Scott Community College presents a two-fer of author Shirley Jackson's nerve-rackers in The Summer People and The Lottery. The first of the one-acts concerns a pair of kindly city slickers who make the unfortunate mistake of staying at their summer cottage just a li-i-i-ittle longer in the season than the locals want them to, and the second (for the handful of you who don't know Jackson's classic short story) explores the sinister lengths one community goes to in order to ensure a successful harvest.
You know, we do a weekly, Lottery-sort-of-thing here at the Reader, too, and the person who winds up with the slip of paper with the black spot on it has to clean the office fridge. Trust me - way scarier than Shirley Jackson.
Tickets to The Woman in Black are available by calling (309) 235-1654 or visiting HarrisonHilltop.com, and more on The Summer People and The Lottery is available by calling (563) 441-4001.
Penguin's Comedy Club
Thursday, October 9 through Saturday, October 11
"He possesses the ease, insight, and stage presence of a veteran, but he also boasts boyish good looks and an outlook that's the polar opposite of often-bitter lifers." - Julie Seabaugh, Nashville Scene
But enough about me.
Those kind words are actually in reference to comedian John Heffron, who headlines Penguin's Comedy Club October 9 through 11. If you're thinking he looks familiar, it might be because you saw him emerge as the last comic standing on the second season of Last Comic Standing. Then again, he might look familiar just because you own a television, and occasionally think to turn it on.
In addition to his many weeks on NBC's stand-up competition series, Heffron has made several appearances on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn, and Premium Blend, was seen in the television movie Weapons of Mass Distraction and the TV series Sabrina, the Teenage Witch and Dirt, starred in two separate half-hour specials on Comedy Central Presents, and has become a regular presence on VH1's I Love the '80s. And you might soon be seeing even more of Heffron on the tube, as he recently acquired a development deal with ABC for his own sitcom.
But when you get the chance, head over to Heffron's MySpace page, and check out his hysterical short film on the UFC ("UFC" standing for "Ultimate Fighting Cats"), which finds a pair of absolutely adorable kitties duking it out in the ring. Even if the stand-up and acting thing falls through for him, I'm guessing he could always land a job with ESPN. With the ASPCA, maybe not so much.
For more information on Heffron's Penguin's set, and links to the comedian's Web site and MySpace page, visit PenguinsComedyClub.com.
Rock Island Brewing Company
Thursday, October 9, 10 p.m.
After sharing the stage with Puddle of Mudd at Milwaukee's Summerfest, opening for the Black Crowes and Grand Funk Railroad at Oshkosh's Leach Amphitheater, and winning this year's Wisconsin Area Music Award for Rock Artists of the Year, the Appleton-based performers of Hindsight have been making headlines, and will bring their musical revolution to the Rock Island Brewing Company on October 9. (If you're reading this on Thursday, the show is tonight. Tonight.) With infectious hooks to blow you away and lyrics that vibrate with subtle shades of grey, Hindsight appears to have the drive and plays with no regrets, so expect overflow capacity - you'll likely be finding this concert so exhilarating that afterwards, you'll spend the whole night wide awake, and sleeping won't be an option.
And if you can locate the 10 songs from the group's 2008 debut CD, My World, that are hidden in the preceding paragraph, RIBCO bartender Janos Horvath will happily buy you a drink!*
* I actually haven't spoken to Horvath about this, so he probably won't buy you a drink. Do me a favor and don't mention it, willya?
Muddy Water Tattoo Convention
Clarion Hotel & Conference Center
Friday, October 10, through Sunday, October 12
Taking place at Davenport's Clarion Hotel & Convention Center, the second-annual Muddy Water Tattoo Convention will, from October 10 through 12, feature more than 70 artists from nearly three dozen tattoo parlors nationwide congregating for a series of classes, demonstrations, contests, and special events. Among the weekend's happenings are seminars in acrylic painting and piercing aesthetics, a Halloween dance for teens, and an adults-only bash with music provided by the One Night Standards, Transfer to Red, Rude Punch, and the Afterdarks, and if you ask really nicely - and hand over the appropriate fee - you might be able to go home with a new tat or two of your own.
In the spirit of the convention, try matching the following tattoos with the following D-list (in last name only) celebrities who sport them, with information courtesy of VanishingTattoo.com.
1) A panther
2) A double-headed eagle
3) The American flag
4) A heart and dagger
5) The Chinese symbol for dao
6) "Keep on Truckin'"
7) The AC/DC logo
8) The Denny's restaurant logo
A) Tony Danza
B) Geena Davis
C) Drea de Matteo
D) Robert De Niro
E) Taye Diggs
F) Robert Downey Jr.
G) Minnie Driver
H) Eliza Dushku
Admission to the convention is $10 per day or $25 for the entire weekend, and more information is available at MuddyWaterTattoo.com.
Answers: 1 - D, 2 - H, 3 - F, 4 - G, 5 - E, 6 - A, 7 - C, 8 - B. (That last one, as I understand it, is a tattoo cover-up of ex-husband Renny Harlin's name. Then again, Davis might just be a really big fan of the Moons Over Miami.)