Thursday, December 1, 10:30
Do you ever experience those days where you feel like you've done nothing significant with your life? If not, allow me to say (a) congratulations, and (b) you might want to consider attending Augustana College's December 1 presentation with Eboo Patel. I guarantee, you'll feel like the rest of us in no time.
It would probably be enough for Patel, a native of the Chicago suburbs, to have attended Oxford University, where he studied on a Rhodes scholarship, and where he received his doctorate in the sociology of religion. And it would probably be more than enough for the man to have served on the advisory board of Duke University's Islamic Studies Center, and to have had his own blog, "The Faith Divide," on the Web site for the Washington Post.
But at age 35, here's just a short list of Patel's other notable accomplishments:
· He was a member of President Obama's inaugural Advisory Council on Faith-Based Neighborhood Partnerships.
· He's the founder and executive director of the Chicago-based organization Interfaith Youth Core, a national movement with a presence at some 150 colleges and universities.
· He's the author of the award-winning book Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, the Struggle for the Soul of a Generation.
· He was named "One of America's Best Leaders of 2009" by U.S. News & World Report.
· And he just received the $50,000 Guru Nanak Interfaith Prize, awarded biannually to individuals or organizations that promote religious dialogue in the pursuit of peace.
Presenting a lecture titled "Acts of Faith: Interfaith Leadership in a Time of Global Religious Crisis," Patel is sure to deliver both insight and inspiration when he appears in Augustana's Centennial Hall. And if you'd like to know more about the man before his area arrival, be sure to follow him on Twitter (@eboopatel), where recent posts mention his new book in the works, his meeting with the Dalai Lama, and how much he enjoys Seth Rogen and the film 50/50.
All these accomplishments and he reviews movies? Now I really feel like I've done nothing significant with my life.
For more information on Eboo Patel's Quad Cities appearance, call (309)794-7721 or visit Augustana.edu.
Jill Alexander Essbaum
Wednesday, November 30, 7 p.m.
The latest guest in the college's River Readings at Augustana series is the famed "Christian erotic poet" Jill Alexander Essbaum, and if you're at all put off by the accompanying photo of the author, you may want to steer clear of her poem titled "On Reading Poorly Transcribed Erotica," which begins: "She stood before him wearing only pantries / and he groped for her Volvo under the gauze. / She had saved her public hair, and his cook / went hard as a fist. They fell to the bad." Believe me when I say it just gets "dirtier," and funnier, from there.
The 1999 winner of the renowned Bakeless Prize for poetry, Essbaum has stated that her works focus solely on her three biggest obsessions: God, sex, and death. And according to reviewers, they're subjects that Essbaum - the author of a half-dozen published poetry collections - has explored with fascinating, evocative, and oftentimes hilarious artfulness. (Not for nothing did she receive a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.)
Writing in the blog Strong Verse, critic G.M. Palmer raved, "No poet today dares play with such spiritual fire like Jill Alexander Essbaum does. Her poems skirt the edge of blasphemy and pray for re-readings and a spiritual embrace ... . A reader would be hard-pressed to find finer contemporary verse."
The literary magazine Coldfront found critic Rick Marlatt writing, "Known for their remarkable mix of eroticism and religiosity, Jill Alexander Essbaum's poems vibrate with well-proportioned rhymes, unforgettable imagery, and a unique realization of form."
But perhaps the best way to get a sense of Essbaum is to read the artist's thesis ... or rather, her anti-thesis, as stated on the online journal Anti-Poetry.com: "Things I'm against: Poetries that take themselves too seriously. Humorless poetries. Vague, forgettable words. The overuse of gerunds. Craftlessness. Boredom-inducing poems. Half-assed-ness in all forms. Poetries that don't take themselves seriously enough. Experimental art that isn't. Formal fascism. And, for what it's worth, I'm also against Scientology."
And you thought Augustana's night of poetry readings might be dry.
Jill Alexander Essbaum reads from her works in Wallenberg Hall on November 30, and more information on her appearance is available by calling (309)794-7721 or visiting Augustana.edu.
Daytrotter Wish List Benefit Concert featuring M. Ward
Rock Island Brewing Company
Saturday, December 3, 8 p.m.
Back in the '80s, after attending a stage production in Chicago, I met actress Kim Cattrall. Cattrall was in Sex & the City with Sarah Jessica Parker. Parker was in the movie Failure to Launch with Zooey Deschanel. Deschanel performs in the indie-pop duo She & Him with M. Ward. That makes me separated by Ward by only four degrees. Cool.
Of course, it's possible to boast a separation-degree of one, if you're lucky enough to chat with the singer/songwriter after his December 3 engagement at the Rock Island Brewing Company. Performing in a Daytrotter-sponsored benefit concert, with all proceeds benefiting the Quad-City Times Wish List Fund, Ward will headline the evening's event with his incredible guitar-playing prowess and signature vocal stylings - a blend that led Gibson.com to call Ward "the guy who makes new music sound like it's from a 1940s radio show, and who makes old songs feel like they could have been written yesterday."
With the Los Angeles Times describing the musician as "a gifted writer with a rich, understated feel for tales," and the Daily Nebraskan calling him "our generation's greatest lyricist," Ward's songwriting skills are as notable as his performance gifts, all of which are evidenced by the man's offerings as a solo artist, as half of She & Him, and as a member of the super-group Monsters of Folk. Test your knowledge of M. Ward's output in the following quiz: Which songs are from his solo CD Hold Time, which are from She & Him's Volume Two, and which are from the Monsters of Folk's self-titled debut?
1) "Baby Boomer"
2) "For Beginners"
3) "I'm Gonna Make It Better"
5) "Losin' Yo Head"
6) "One Hundred Million Years"
7) "Over It Over Again"
8) "Ridin' in My Car"
9) "The Right Place"
A) Hold Time
B) Monsters of Folk
C) Volume Two
M. Ward performs Daytrotter's Wish List Benefit with guest musicians Laura Marling, Carlos Forster, and Mike Coykendall, and for more information on the night, call (309)793-4060 or visit RIBCO.com.
Answers: 1 - B, 2 - A, 3 - C, 4 - A, 5 - B, 6 - A, 7 - C, 8 - C, 9 - B. And if you're wondering about the location of that last song, I'm thinking that on December 3, it's gonna be RIBCO.
Friday, December 2, through Sunday, December 11
The Prenzie Players' latest show
Is called Tartuffe. You'll want to go
Because the play's by Molière
(Hence, diff'rent from their Shakespare fare)
And as an author, it is writ,
His works all boast ferocious wit,
With characters both vain and wise
Who cloak their truths in silly lies.
Tartuffe, for sure, is of this bent:
He gets in a predicament
That leads to much chicanery
Amongst the aristocracy.
The play's a hoot (and I should know -
I acted in it years ago),
And given those in Prenzies' cast
This thing can't help but be a blast.
There's Yoder, Moeller, Sheridan,
and Angie Rathman. Oh, and then
Makula (Jeb) and Driscoll (Jim) -
They're sure to act with style and vim.
So get your tickets to Tartuffe
(The sales just might go through the roof)
And revel in the joy and ease
Of rhymes far cleverer than these.
Tartuffe will be performed Fridays through Sundays, December 2 through 11, at Rock Island's Skellington Manor, and tickets are available by calling (309)278-8426 or visiting PrenziePlayers.com.
Hancher Auditorium Presentations
November through February
In the Grateful Dead's classic song "Sugar Magnolia," there's a verse that begins: "She's got everything delightful, she's got everything I need." And this winter, that sentiment will most definitely be true ... at least if the "she" you're referring to is the University of Iowa's Hancher Auditorium, and everything you need is the exceptional variety of music, comedy, and drama found in the venue's wintertime Visiting Artists series. To be sure, Dead-heads will be in for a major treat when the Riverside Casino & Golf Resort hosts a December 9 evening with the American Beauty Project, the Grateful Dead tribute band that will re-imagine tracks from American Beauty and Workingman's Dead alongside the lauded folk group Ollabelle and jazz singer Catherine Russell. On December 8, Russell will also perform a Hancher-sponsored solo concert at the Iowa City venue The Mill, while February 10 brings with it an Englert Theatre engagement featuring the Grammy-winning stylings of pianist Chucho Valdés and his Afro-Cuban Messengers. Delivering what the New York Times calls a "genre-defying rock-pop-funk-punk cabaret," Tony Award-winner Stew, of Broadway's revolutionary musical Passing Strange, will bring his signature blend of biting social satire and infectious rhythms to the Englert in February 2's Stew & the Negro Problem. Hancher's holiday season, meanwhile, will begin less with a bang than a pop - or rather, the Pops, as the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra joins voices with the a cappella wizards of Rockapella for November 27's "2011 Holiday Pops Tour" at the U of I's Carver-Hawkeye Arena. As for laughs, Hancher will deliver them - probably a lot of them - in January 28's Iowa Memorial Union evening with John Oliver, the Emmy-winning comedian adored for his appearances on TV's Community and as "senior British correspondent" for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. And wrapping up Hancher's winter season, the acclaimed ensemble L.A. Theatre Works will, on February 23, stage an Englert Theatre production of Norman Corwin's The Rivalry, which employs historical transcripts to re-create the legendary 1858 Illinois Senate campaign debates between Stephen Douglas and Abraham Lincoln. Ah, 1858 ... long before our political debates boasted the passion, oratorical skill, and ideological nuance that they do now. (That one's for you, Todd.) For more information and tickets to all shows in the Hancher Auditorium winter season, call (319)335-1160 or visit http://www.Hancher.UIowa.edu.
November and December
Over a 25-day period, our area will present so many holiday concerts at so many different venues that I feel compelled to start with some bad news: I have no room here to open with a joke. Please do your best to control your disappointment. This tune-laden season begins in Iowa City, with the University of Iowa's Hawkeye-Carver Arena hosting November 27's "2012 Holiday Pops Tour" featuring the Boston Pops Esplanade and Rockapella, and ends with Davenport's Adler Theatre staging the multimedia spectacle of The Christmas Music of Mannheim Steamroller on December 21. However, to borrow an appropriately chilly analogy, that's just the tip of the iceberg. The Adler will also offer seasonal classics and new compositions with singer/songwriter Jim Brickman's November 28 concert A Christmas Celebration, while across the Mississippi, the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse delivers holiday treats with the touring artists of Branson on the Road: Christmas Style on December 1 and 2. The Rock Island theatre's sister venue will find members of Circa '21's performing wait staff (the Bootleggers) and the cast of its current Nuncrackers celebrating Christmas at the Speakeasy on December 8, with the gifted women's ensemble Hersong, on December 3, presenting its seventh-annual Warm Winter Concert at Rock Island's St. John's Lutheran Church. The city's Augustana College, meanwhile, has three holiday events scheduled: the choral and instrumental collaboration Christmas at Augustana (December 2 and 3); the annual presentation of Handel's Messiah (December 10 and 11); and the story of Christ's birth told through song in Lessons & Carols (December 15). Davenport's St. Ambrose University will also get in the holiday spirit with the vocal and instrumental talents of December 9's Christmas Showcase Concert, with Moline's Black Hawk College offering seasonal classics of its own in December 8's Holiday Choral Concert. The Moline Boys Choir will help the city's Butterworth Center celebrate A 19th Century Christmas on December 4, and one of our area's premier vocal ensembles invites you to spend Christmas with the Quad City Singers at Colona's Lavender Crest Winery (December 9 and 10). Continuing outside Illinois' Quad Cities, the Peoria Civic Center hosts the Oak Ridge Boys' Christmas Show on November 29, while Galesburg stages the Choral Dynamics' Christmas Gospel December 2 through 4; in Iowa, Cedar Rapids' CSPS/Legion Arts delivers an Irish Christmas in America on December 5 and 6, with the Riverside Casino & Event Center hosting Eddie Money, Lou Gramm, and Mickey Thomas in Jingle Bell Rock on December 10. And for a seasonal event in and out of the Quad Cities, the professional vocal ensemble the Nova Singers brings its annual Nova Christmas to the St. Paul Lutheran Church of Davenport on December 16, and the First Lutheran Church of Galesburg on December 17. And now I'm done, to which I say: "Christmas Carols: God Bless Us, Everyone!" Oh, wait. That's the title of the holiday concert at Davenport's First Presbyterian Church on December 17 and 18. Okay. Now I'm done. For more information on holiday concerts, visit the Reader's online music calendar.
Comedies and Dramas
December through February
Prior to Davenport Junior Theatre's February 18 debut of Mia the Melodramatic - an adaptation of the children's book written by Eileen Boggess, who's a former Junior Theatre kid herself - the organization's students will participate in the December 11 holiday production All I Really Need to Know I Learned in a Bad Play. I think I speak for all theatre folk when I respond to that title with four words: Ain't it the truth! I'm predicting, though, that audiences will also be getting a lot from really good plays this season, at least based on our area's promising lineup of winter comedies and dramas. The interactive-whodunit group It's a Mystery, for example, will find its comedians offering two dinner-and-a-murder outings, with Bettendorf's Lodge Hotel housing A Passion for Murder (December 9), and Skellington's Last Resort (December 16, January 13, and February 17) being staged - fittingly enough - at Rock Island's Skellington Manor. More laughs will come courtesy of the District Theatre's show-biz comedy Scenery (opening February 9) and the Prenzie Players' Moliere farce Tartuffe (opening December 2), while St. Ambrose University premieres a new comedy with The Plagiarists (February 24 through 26). Humor mixed with sentiment will be on hand in the Ohnward Fine Arts Center's On Golden Pond (February 10 through 12), while a little bit of everything will likely be found in New Ground Theatre's trio of debuting one-acts, staged under the blanket title Bad Habits (opening January 19). Theatre Cedar Rapids goes Wilde - and no, that's not a misspelling - with the Oscar Wilde comedy The Importance of Being Earnest (opening January 27) and the Wilde biography Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde (opening February 10), with Anamosa's Starlighters Theatre offering a stage adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's beloved Little Women (opening December 2). Another literary classic gets a theatrical treatment when the Playcrafters Barn Theatre presents the Anne of Green Gables sequel Anne of Avonlea (opening January 13), and classics don't get more classical than Hamlet, which the University of Iowa opens on December 1, followed by the school's production of Sarah Ruhl's Victorian comedy In the Next Room: Or, the Vibrator Play (opening February 10). A recent drama is offered in Iowa City's Dreamwell Theatre staging of Sans Merci (opening February 10), while a Tony-winning smash arrives locally in the Curtainbox Theatre Company's Equus (opening February 16). Finally, beginning January 27, Augustana College will take on Paula Vogel's Pulitzer Prize-winning How I Learned to Drive. And if you think one of its actors appears a little ... well ... older than his co-stars, know that the guy's there as a guest of the school, and it's been 22 years since he was last on the Augie stage, and he only looks old because he's probably exhausted from working at the Reader full-time, and ... ! Never mind. For more information on wintertime comedies and dramas, visit the Reader's online theatre calendar.
Musicals and Dance
December through February
One of the highlights of our area's winter season of musicals and dance performances will no doubt be the District Theatre's staging of Stephen Sondheim's mid-life roundelay Company, which opens on February 3. I'd tell you who is appearing in it, but as the show features, no kidding, just about every single performer who has ever appeared in a musical at the District Theatre or its former Harrison Hilltop venue, the cast list would quickly eat up my word count. So let's spread the wealth, shall we? A few blocks away in the District of Rock Island, the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse will start 2012 with the return of the ever-popular rock-and-roll sensation Grease (opening January 11), while the city's The Center for Living continues its monthly stagings of an only-slightly-abridged Broadway smash in Rent: The School Edition (December 9 and 10, January 21, and February 18). Rock Island's professional dance company Ballet Quad Cities heads over to Augustana College's Wallenberg Hall for the Valentine's Day-themed Love Stories: Love on the Run! (February 17 and 18), while Davenport's Adler Theatre hosts the touring production of a Tony Award-winning film adaptation in the musical drama The Color Purple (February 7). Iowa City's Riverside Theatre will be celebrating the winter weather (those weirdos ... ) with the return of the venue's popular Guys on Ice: An Ice-Fishing Musical Comedy (opening January 20), while a less-frozen aquatic adventure will be staged in St. Ambrose University's presentation of the debuting family musical Dakota Jones & the Search for Atlantis (December 3 and 4). The music of the '80s - principally the ass-kicking, hair-band rock of the '80s - will fill the Peoria Civic Center in the Tony-nominated spectacle Rock of Ages (January 17 and 18). And just when you're thisclose to thinking that winter will perhaps never, ever end, the Peoria venue will wrap up the shortest-yet-longest month of the year with Rodgers & Hammerstein's Pulitzer Prize-winning South Pacific (February 28 and 29), a musical classic chockablock with sunny skies, palm trees, island breezes, and characters running around in shorts. As I write this, the Quad Cities is receiving its first snowfall of the season. I'm reserving my South Pacific tickets now. For more information on wintertime musicals, visit the Reader's online theatre calendar.
Holiday Plays, Musicals, and Dance
November and December
Okay, let's just deal with the elephant in the room right off the bat: Yes. After a five-year absence, Ballet Quad Cities has finally asked me to reprise my memorable - dare I say legendary - portrayal of Herr Drosselmeyer in the company's Adler Theatre presentation of The Nutcracker (December 10 and 11). See what great things can come from whining in print on an annual basis? But while I'd love to dedicate this space solely to my forthcoming reunion with the dance troupe, I'm humble enough to recognize that our Nutcracker is not the only holiday stage production the area will see over the next few weeks. Nor, to be honest, is it the only Nutcracker, as presentations of Tchaikovsky's masterpiece will also be staged by the Nolte Academy of Dance at Iowa City's Englert Theatre (December 2 through 4), by the Peoria Ballet at the Peoria Civic Center (December 10), and even by a dance company from Russia, in the Orpheum Theatre's touring production The Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker (December 5 and 6). For music and dance of a less balletic nature, the Iowa City Community Theatre delivers the musical-comedy merriment of Irving Berlin's White Christmas (December 9 through 18), while Quad City Music Guild brings a cherished literary classic to stage life in Scrooge (December 1 through 4), the Christmas Carol adaptation with music and lyrics by Leslie Bricusse. Performed without song and dance, Theatre Cedar Rapids delivers its own take on Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol (opening November 25), and additional holiday sentiment can be found in Iowa City's Riverside Theatre production of Ron Clark's Small Miracles (November 25 through 27) and the Old Creamery Theatre's Wooden Snowflakes (opening December 1). That Amana-based venue will also offer seasonal magic in the family entertainment Raggedy Ann & Andy's Yuletide Adventure (opening November 26), while two actors portray nearly two dozen Southern revelers in the District Theatre comedy A Tuna Christmas (opening November 25). And in addition to its current musical comedy Nuncrackers (running through December 30), the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse will deliver seasonal fun with the feisty children's book heroine Junie B. Jones in Junie B. in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells (opening November 25). Boy, that Junie B. sure can be grouchy. Know what would cheer up a kid like her this holiday season? Tickets to Ballet Quad Cities' The Nutcracker! You know, I'm just saying ... . For more information on the area's holiday plays and musicals, visit the Reader's online theatre calendar.
What Else Is Happenin'...?: Wednesday, November 23 through Wednesday, December 7
Saturday, November 26 - Birthday Bash for the Queen of Rust. Celebration for Danielle Colby-Cushman of American Pickers and Burlesque Le' Moustache fame, with music by The Dirt Daubers, Sean & Zander, The Calamity Cubes, Willie Tea Taylor, and The Krank Daddies. Rock Island Brewing Company (1815 Second Avenue, Rock Island). 9 p.m. $10. For information, call (309)793-4060 or visit RIBCO.com.
Saturday, November 26 - Little River Band. Concert with the legendary Australian vocal band. Quad-Cities Waterfront Convention Center (1777 Isle Parkway, Bettendorf). 7:30 p.m. $20-30. For tickets and information, call (800)724-5825 or visit Bettendorf.IsleOfCapriCasinos.com.
Saturday, November 26 - Carol Montag. Acclaimed folk singer/songwriter in concert. Ohnward Fine Arts Center (1215 East Platt Street, Maquoketa). 7 p.m. $10-20. For tickets and information, call (563)652-9815 or visit OhnwardFineArtsCenter.com.
Saturday, November 26 - Kelly Pardekooper. CD-release show with the singer/songwriter and native Iowan. Englert Theatre (221 East Washington Street, Iowa City). 8 p.m. $12. For tickets and information, call (319)688-2653 or visit Englert.org.
Sunday, November 27 - Boston Esplanade Orchestra with Rockapella. The renowned musicians and a cappella vocalists in their "2011 Holiday Pops Tour," in a Hancher Auditorium Presentation. Carver-Hawkeye Arena (1 Elliot Drive, Iowa City). 7 p.m. $17.50-90. For tickets and information, call (319)335-1160 or visit http://www.Hancher.UIowa.edu.
Monday, November 28 - Jim Brickman: A Chrtistmas Celebration. Multi-platinum-selling recording artist in his holiday concert, with musical guests Anne Cochran, Benjamin Utecht, and Tracy Silverman. Adler Theatre (136 East Third Street, Davenport). 7:30 p.m. $27-67. For tickets, call (800)745-3000 or visit AdlerTheatre.com.
Thursday, December 1, and Friday, December 2 - Branson on the Road: Christmas Style. Holiday music, old country favorites, and comedy with the famed touring performers. Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse (1828 Third Avenue, Rock Island). Thursday show-only performance - 7 p.m., $22.50-27.50. Friday plated-lunch performance - 1 p.m., $41.28. For tickets and information, call (309)786-7733 extension 2 or visit Circa21.com.
Friday, December 2, and Saturday, December 3 - Christmas at Augustana. Holiday concert featuring performances by the Augustana Brass Ensemble, Augustana Symphony Orchestra, Augustana Choir, Jenny Lind Vocal Ensemble, Wennerberg Men's Chorus, Cantilena Augustana, and more. Augustana College's Centennial Hall (3703 Seventh Avenue, Rock Island). 8 p.m. $10-20. For tickets and information, call (309)794-7306 or visit Augustana.edu.
Saturday, December 3, and Sunday, December 4 - Quad City Symphony Orchestra: Concerti for Celli. Conductor Mark Russell Smith's third Masterworks concerts of the season, with guest cellists Anthony Ross and Beth Rapier Ross, and a program featuring Abels' Global Warming, Vivaldi's Concerto for Two Cellos, Ott's Concerto for Two Cellos, and Brahms' Symphony No. 1. Saturday - Adler Theatre (136 East Third Street, Davenport), 7:30 p.m. Sunday - Augustana College's Centennial Hall (3703 Seventh Avenue, Rock Island), 2 p.m. $11-53. For tickets and information, call (563)322-7276 or visit QCSymphony.com.
Saturday, December 3 - Hersong's Warm Winter Concert. Annual holiday presentation with the Quad Cities' women's chorus. St. John's Lutheran Church (4501 Seventh Avenue, Rock Island). 6 p.m. Admission: donations of cash or new blankets to be distributed by Churches United of the Quad Cities area and theplace2be. For information, call (309)737-9898 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sunday, December 4 - Timeflies. Pop, hip hop, electro, dub step, and rock with the indie-music duo. St. Ambrose University's Rogalski Center (518 West Locust Street, Davenport). 9 p.m. $8-10. For tickets and information, call (563)333-6251 or e-mail CAB@sau.edu.
Sunday, December 4 - The Daredevil Christopher Wright. Independent musicians touring in support of their new EP The Longsuffering Song, with openers American Dust and Caroline & the Good Night Sleeps. Rozz-Tox (2108 Third Avenue, Rock Island). 6:30 p.m. doors. $6. For information, e-mail email@example.com or visit RozzTox.com. For a 2009 interview with the Daredevil Christopher Wright's Jon Sunde, visit RCReader.com/y/daredevil.
Friday, November 25, through Saturday, December 10 - A Tuna Christmas. Holiday comedy with two actors playing dozens of roles, directed by Paul Workman. The District Theatre (1611 Second Avenue, Rock Island). Fridays and Saturdays 8 p.m., Sundays 2 p.m. $15. For tickets and information, call (309)235-1654 or visit DistrictTheatre.com.
Friday, November 25, through Sunday, November 27 - Small Miracles. A personal tribute to Christmas past, written and performed by resident artist Ron Clark. Riverside Theatre (213 North Gilbert Street, Iowa City). Friday and Saturday 7:30 p.m., Sunday 2 p.m. $15-20. For tickets and information, call (319)338-7672 or visit RiversideTheatre.org.
Thursday, December 1, through Sunday, December 4 - Scrooge. Quad City Music Guild presents the musical adaptation of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, directed by Bob Williams. Prospect Park Auditorium (1584 34th Avenue, Moline). Thursday-Saturday 7:30 p.m., Sunday 2 p.m. $10-15. For tickets and information, call (309)762-6610 or visit QCMusicGuild.com.
Thursday, December 1, through Saturday, December 10 - Hamlet. A condensed, minimalist version of Shakespeare's tragedy, directed by Carol MacVey. University of Iowa's David Thayer Theatre (200 North Riverside Drive, Iowa City). Tuesdays-Saturdays 8 p.m., Sunday 2 p.m. $10-17. For tickets and information, call (319)335-1160 or visit http://www.Hancher.UIowa.edu.
Saturday, December 3, and Sunday, December 4 - Dakota Jones & the Search for Atlantis. Debuting family musical written by student Aaron Randolph III, directed by Daniel D.P. Sheridan. St. Ambrose University's Galvin Fine Arts Center (2101 Gaines Street, Davenport). 3 p.m. $7-8. For tickets and information, call (563)333-6251 or visit SAU.edu/galvin.
Friday, December 2, through Sunday, December 4 - The Nutcracker. Production of Tchaikovsky's holiday ballet presented by the Englert and the Nolte Academy of Dance. Englert Theatre (221 East Washington Street, Iowa City). Friday and Saturday 7:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 2 p.m. $16-22. For tickets and information, call (319)688-2653 or visit Englert.org.
Monday, December 5, and Tuesday, December 6 - The Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker. Tchaikovsky's classic in a production featuring larger-than-life puppets, hand-painted backdrops, hundreds of original Russian costumes, and the world-renowned dancers. Orpheum Theatre (57 South Kellogg Street, Galesburg). Monday 7:30 p.m., Tuesday 2 p.m. $30-50. For tickets and information, call (309)342-2299 or visit TheOrpheum.org.
Wednesday, November 23 - Establishment Theatre First-Anniversary Show. Featuring an improv battle between ComedySportz teams, stand-up comedy with Chris Schlicting, the Guys In Ties touring company, a short film, and more. The Establishment Theatre (220 19th Street, Rock Island). 7 p.m. $10-12. For information and tickets, call (309)786-1111 or visit EstablishmentTheatre.com.
Friday, November 25 - Once Upon a Blank. Irreverent versions of the fairy tales "Little Red Riding Hood" and "The Three Little Pigs." The Establishment Theatre (220 19th Street, Rock Island). 2 p.m. $5. For information and tickets, call (309)786-1111 or visit EstablishmentTheatre.com.
Thursday, December 1, through Sunday, December - Disney on Ice: Treasure Trove. Skating spectacular featuring Alice in Wonderland, Cinderella, Jasmine, Ariel, Sleeping Beauty, Belle, Mulan, Snow White, Peter Pan, Tinker Bell, Simba, Nala, Pumbaa and Timon, and many other Disney favorites. i wireless Center (1201 River Drive, Moline). Thursday-Saturday 7 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., Sunday 1 and 5 p.m. $12-47. For tickets, call (800)745-3000 or visit iwirelessCenter.com.
Friday, November 25, through Sunday, November 27 - Christmas Craft Show. Annual event featuring hundreds of hand-crafted items for purchase. QCCA Expo Center (2621 Fourth Avenue, Rock Island). Friday and Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. $4, ages 12 and under free. For information, call (309)788-5912 or visit QCCAExpoCenter.com.
Friday, December 2 - Gallery Hop! Annual arts tour hosted by MidCoast Fine Arts and the District; showcasing local and regional artists in various galleries, artist talks, live demonstrations, and more. The District of Rock Island. 5-9 p.m. Free. For information, call (309)788-6311 or visit RIDistrict.com.
Saturday, December 3 - Handmade City Holiday Arts & Crafts Show. Featuring sewn items, pottery, knits, screen-prints, paper goods, jewelry, posters, and more handmade works by more than 20 Quad Cities-based vendors. Rozz-Tox (2108 Third Avenue, Rock Island). 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Free admission. For information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit HandmadeCity.org.
Sunday, December 4 - 19th-Century Christmas. Annual event featuring holiday decorations; an appearance by Santa and Mrs. Claus; arts and crafts activities; performances by the Moline Boys Choir, pianist/organist Selma Johnson, harpist Caitlin Thom, and the Slide Trombone Quartet; and more. Butterworth Center and Deere-Wiman House (1105 Eighth Street, Moline). Noon-5 p.m. Free admission. For information, call (309)743-2700 or visit ButterworthCenter.com.