Freckleface Strawberry: The Musical
Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse
Friday, November 23, through Saturday, December 29
I imagine we all possess some physical feature that we're either embarrassed by or would love to see changed in some way. Personally, I've always been somewhat irritated with my biceps, which are so intimidatingly muscular that it's tough to squeeze my arms through the sleeves of a fitted T. Oh, and my stomach is really flat, which just makes my six-pack abs look all the more ... .
You know I can hear you laughing at me, right?
In any event, that desire to alter one's appearance is at the heart of the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse's new family comedy Freckleface Strawberry: The Musical, running at the Rock Island dinner theatre November 23 through December 30. Directed by Kimberly Furness, Circa '21's latest is adapted from the New York Times bestselling children's book written by Julianne Moore, who reportedly spent her youth stuck with the unfortunate nickname of her title. Too bad that early childhood trauma wound up so completely stunting Moore's road to success, huh? (That is, aside from the Oscar nominations and Emmy wins and such ... .)
Freckleface Strawberry: The Musical concerns a spunky seven-year-old who'll do anything - from slathering on the pancake makeup to wearing a ski mask to school - to keep kids from commenting on her freckles and red hair, and who eventually learns about self-esteem through a group of adorably goofy schoolmates. With those schoolmates, in Circa '21's production, including familiar comic actors Don Denton, Brad Hauskins, Janos Horvath, and Tracy Pelzer-Timm, I'm guessing that Freckleface's self-esteem will be accompanied by plenty of laughter.
Plus, with the Huffington Post calling the musical "a high-energy and charming show" and CurtainUp magazine deeming it "a delightful confection," I'm also guessing that family audiences will eat up this particular Strawberry, even if the teasing moniker bestowed on its heroine isn't the worst one she could suffer through. It's not like she spent her childhood being called "Mickle Pickle" or anything ... .
Not that, you know, I know anyone who grew up with that nickname ... . It's certainly not me, if that's what you're thinking ... .
Man, I've got to learn to stop sharing so much in these things ... .
For more information and tickets to Freckleface Strawberry: The Musical, call (309)786-7733 extension 2 or visit Circa21.com.
Quad-Cities Waterfront Convention Center
Saturday, November 24, 7:30 p.m.
Comedienne Caroline Rhea will bring her stand-up tour to the Quad-Cities Waterfront Convention Center on November 24, and you might recognize the frequent TV personality from being the original host of NBC's The Biggest Loser. Is anyone else thinking that, considering her career accomplishments to date, having Rhea host a show called The Biggest Loser is the complete opposite of truth in advertising?
Born and raised in Montreal, Rhea began her ascent to stardom at numerous comedy clubs in late-1980s New York City, gigs that eventually led to appearances on MTV's Half-Hour Comedy Hour, Comic Strip Live, and Caroline's Comedy Hour. After a move to Los Angeles, Rhea scored her first big break co-starring on the sitcom Pride & Joy opposite a pre-Entourage Jeremy Piven, and went on, with her role as Aunt Hilda on TV's Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, to amass a generation of young fans (a demographic she still entertains by voicing Phineas' mom, and other characters, on the Disney Channel series Phineas & Ferb).
Since the late 1990s, Rhea's credits have ranged from acting in the pilot episode of HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm to hosting the Canadian series Cake Walk: Wedding Cake Edition, with her résumé chock-full of professional highlights that include roles on The Drew Carey Show and in the Andy Kaufman bio-pic Man on the Moon. And while the comedienne's stand-up set at the Bettendorf venue will allow local audiences to glean just how hilarious she is when performing live on stage, I can't be alone in wishing that Rhea had stayed a little longer with The Biggest Loser, considering the title that she came up with for a potential Hawaii-based spin-off. I mean, who wouldn't want to watch a weekly reality-competition series called Come on I Wanna Weigh Ya?
Tickets to Caroline Rhea's standup set at the Quad-Cities Waterfront Convention center are $15 in advance and $25 at the door, and for more information, call (800)724-5825 or visit Bettendorf.IsleOfCapriCasinos.com.
It's a Wonderful Life: The Musical
Prospect Park Auditorium
Thursday, November 29, through Sunday, December 2
Quad City Music Guild will, from November 29 through December 2, be presenting It's a Wonderful Life: The Musical at Moline's Prospect Park Auditorium, and I'm here to tell you that the show is a consistently engaging, terrifically impressive adaptation that will likely beguile audiences of all ages. But don't take it from me. Take it from this review quote found on the musical's page at Playscripts.com: "The crowd may have attended the show already loving It's a Wonderful Life, but quickly enough, it was clear that what we were loving was this particular It's a Wonderful Life."
Well, look at that. The author of the quote was me. So I guess you can take my word for it.
Last produced by Music Guild in 2006, this stage version of the holiday classic features music by Dove Award-winning composer Bruce Greer and lyricist Keith Ferguson, and one of the production's many joys is that it doesn't feel at all like some quickie, take-the-money-and-run knock-off of a beloved film; the songs and script are so fantastically charming that Frank Capra's movie, during the show's performance, might not even come to mind.
For Music Guild's presentation, Deb Shippy will direct a cast that features such recognizable and admired local performers as Nathan Bates, Jennifer Sondgeroth, Greg Golz, and Cindy Ramos-Parmley, with nearly three dozen additional talents recruited to fill out the show's intimidatingly large ensemble. So ... how familiar are you with It's a Wonderful Life's supporting figures? Let's find out! Try matching the seven character names below with their correct job or relationship to George Bailey.
4) Mr. Gower
5) Mr. Potter
A) A taxi driver
B) George's sister-in-law
C) A pharmacist
D) George's daughter
E) A cop
F) George's cousin
G) A slumlord
It's a Wonderful Life plays at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday, and information and tickets are available by calling (309)762-6610or visiting QCMusicGuild.com.
Answers: 1 - B, 2 - F, 3 - D, 4 - C, 5 - G, 6 - E, 7 - A. And let's hope those last two guys aren't roommates, or PBS will put a stop to that pronto.
Helpful Tips on Appearing More Intelligent Than You Actually Are
On November 28, the Davenport venue The Redstone Room will host a special evening with the electronic, dubstep, and trip-hop musicians of EOTO, the Colorado-based touring outfit that performs some 200 engagements a year at clubs and festivals nationwide. EOTO's concerts, boasting widely lauded and experimental rhythms and sound layers, have inspired fans to get up and dance in 48 states over the past six years. But if you're in the mood to groove on Wednesday yet don't know much about the group you're planning to groove to, here are five helpful ways to enjoy EOTO's Davenport gig without feeling hopelessly out-of-touch.
1) Know the history of EOTO: Originating in 2006, this musical partnership was the brainchild of drummers Jason Hann and Michael Travis, who began their collaborative effort as a side project while traveling with their band the String Cheese Incident.
2) Know a bit about EOTO's sound: With each concert improvised on the spot, EOTO employs live drums, guitars, keyboards, and vocals that are subsequently mixed, remixed, and sampled using cutting-edge computer programs, resulting in a thrillingly unclassifiable experience that fuses rock, jazz, punk, sludge-metal, and jam-band stylings.
3) Know what critics say about EOTO: Glide magazine raves about Hann's and Travis' "especially potent soundscape" and their "Swiss-watch-exact chemistry," and describes the musicians as "two refined rhythm devils who finish each other's musical sentences and know when to complement, when to hang back, and when to cut loose, knowing the other will match him shot for shot."
4) Know how to pronounce EOTO: It's "EE-oh-toh."
5) Know how to use it in a sentence: Say, "There's a really kick-butt electronic-music duo playing Davenport this Wednesday, and EOTO go see 'em." Then walk away quickly, to avoid making eye contact with someone who thinks you're an idiot.
EOTO plays its area concert with opening sets by Jantsen and Ghost Science, and more information on the night is available by calling (563)326-1333 or visiting RiverMusicExperience.org.
December through February
You've read his sonnets, you've attended his plays, you've seen the film versions of his works set in Manhattan and Nazi Germany and really bitchy high schools ... . Prepare yourselves now for Shakespeare in Concert! Don't expect from this title, however, that the Bard himself is being exhumed for our entertainment. Instead, expect another sterling performance by the Quad City Symphony Orchestra, whose December 1 "Masterworks" concert - a celebration of the Bard showcasing highlights from Mendelssohn's Midsummer Night's Dream, Tchaikovsky's Romeo & Juliet, and Verdi's Falstaff - kicks off the winter lineup at Davenport's Adler Theatre. (The concert will also be presented at Augustana College's Centennial Hall on December 2.) Before the chilly months end, the orchestra will return to the Adler (and, on February 10, Augustana) for its fourth "Masterworks" presentation of the 2012-13 season - a February 9 program, titled Valentine's Day, boasting the vocal stylings of the Five by Design ensemble and a repertoire including Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake waltz and selections from Leonard Bernstein's West Side Story. That tragic musical romance will also be staged at the Davenport venue in its entirety on February 18, when the Broadway at the Adler series hosts the touring production of West Side Story just four weeks after the series' presentation of another Tony Award-winning triumph: January 22's song-and-dance spectacular A Chorus Line. More professional dancing - plus gorgeous stagecraft and a Tchaikovsky score played by the talents of Orchestra Iowa - will be on hand in the Adler's December 8 and 9 stagings of Ballet Quad Cities' The Nutcracker. 2012's grand holiday fun will continue with December 15's fittingly titled Holiday Grande 2012, an Adler concert featuring piano wizard Jim McDonough & His Orchestra & Singers. And if you feel like celebrating the season less with song than with comedy, aerial majesty, and spectacular feats of physical prowess, you won't want to miss the Adler's December 2 offering, a night with the internationally-renowned artists, acrobats, and clowns of Cirque Dreams' Holidaze. Mmmm ... . Holida-a-aze. Maybe drizzled over Eggs Benedict. With a tall glass of grapefruit juice ... . You know, I should never write these things before breakfast ... . For more information on all of the events on the Adler's wintertime schedule, visit AdlerTheatre.com.
December and February
The wintertime lineup of artists in Hancher Auditorium's Visiting Artists Series concludes with the University of Iowa's February 21 through 23 residency with the hilarious, fiercely intelligent monologuist Mike Daisey, who has been described by Metro magazine thusly: "He's the History Channel, the best of public radio, and the most entertaining guy at the bar, but much, much better." Despite being a bit peeved that the author of that rave has obviously never seen me at a bar, I'll continue with this piece, but only because Hancher's winter schedule is so darned impressive. Preceding the Mabie Theatre engagement with Daisey, Hancher presents a Dailey, in the form of the Englert Theatre's February 16 performance by the duo of Dailey & Vincent, the International Bluegrass Music Association Award winners who are frequent favorites at the Grand Ole Opry and on A Prairie Home Companion. Continuing backward, the two nights before the Dailey & Vincent concert will be filled with the sweet sounds of the jazz saxophone, as the Iowa City venue The Mill hosts February 14 and 15 performances by Miguel Zenón, the Grammy Award nominee and Guggenheim Fellowship recipient whose output, according to All About Jazz, is "modern jazz at its very best." Hancher's busy month of February also finds room for February 6's Englert Theatre performance with the Grammy-winning chamber ensemble eighth blackbird, performing contemporary and classical works with a dynamic rock-band energy that led the Los Angeles Times to dub the group "a new breed of super-musicians." And if February just seems too long to wait for these terrifically promising Hancher Auditorium events, the venue does have one more 2012 offering on its docket: December 7's Riverside Casino & Golf Resort evening with jazz and R&B vocalist Dianne Reeves. The four-time Grammy winner will perform her holiday concert Christmas Time Is Here, and my guess is that Reeves' alternately soothing and explosive renditions of beloved seasonal standards will completely take your mind off the fact that Christmas is only two-and-a-half weeks away and you can't believe you're at a concert considering you haven't even begun your holiday shopping and card-writing ... . Or is that just gonna be me? For more information on Hancher Auditorium's wintertime schedule, visit http://www.Hancher.UIowa.edu.
Holiday Plays, Musicals, & Dance
November and December
Looking for ways to celebrate the 12 days of Christmas? How about with a different holiday-themed play, musical, or ballet for each one of those 12 days? (Granted, you'll have to see them before Christmas, and you can't see them over a dozen successive days, but why ruin a perfectly good intro?) While the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse is currently housing its own presentation of the show, Galesburg's Orpheum Theatre will host December 12's touring production of Miracle on 34th Street, while two other musicals adapted from beloved holiday films hit area stages this season: Theatre Cedar Rapids' Meet Me in St. Louis (running November 23 through December 15), and Quad City Music Guild's It's a Wonderful Life: The Musical (November 29 through December 2). The timeless appeal of The Nutcracker will be on display in two separate area productions: one performed by Nolte Academy of Dance students at Iowa City's Englert Theatre (November 30 through December 2), and one performed, with Orchestra Iowa accompaniment, by Ballet Quad Cities' professional company at Cedar Rapids' Paramount Theatre (December 1 and 2) and Davenport's Adler Theatre (December 8 and 9). Holiday-themed sequels are on hand with Princeton's Festival 56 staging of the Greater Tuna follow-up A Tuna Christmas (December 7 through 22) and the Coralville Center for the Arts' Forever Plaid off-shoot Plaid Tidings (December 1 and 2), while a tubby little cubby all stuffed with fluff gets into the holiday spirit in the Old Creamery Theatre's A Winnie-the-Pooh Christmas Tail (November 24 through December 15). The season is given a sardonic, hysterical spin when Iowa City's Riverside Theatre hosts actor Tim Budd's take on David Sedaris' Santaland Diaries (December 7 through 9), with big laughs also coming courtesy of the Young Footliters' The Best Christmas Pageant Ever (December 14 through 16). And holiday-minded audiences will no doubt race like the Dickens to catch the author's A Christmas Carol, a play version of which takes place at the Coralville Center for the Arts (December 14 through 23), and a musical version of which debuts at Rock Island's District Theatre (also December 14 through 23). So there's your 12-days-of-Christmas plan. Isn't that more fun than dealing with leaping lords and cleaning up bird poop? For more on this season's holiday-themed stage works, check out the Theatre section of our online events calendar.
Comedies and Dramas
November through February
Comedy. Drama. Romance. Intrigue. Sin. But enough about my dinner dates; these are also elements that are sure to be in abundance in our area's lineup of wintertime plays. Those looking for laughs, for instance, will have no problem finding them in the Old Creamery Theatre's one-man/35-character show Fully Committed (running November 29 through December 16), the Playcrafters Barn Theatre's supernatural farce Ghost of a Chance (January 11 through 20), and Riverside Theatre's existential comedy The Exit Interview (January 25 through February 17). Giggles mixed with family-friendly adventure are on tap in the Coralville Center for the Arts' take on Roald Dahl's Matilda (January 20) and Davenport Junior Theatre's adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island (February 16 through 24), while audience participation is mandatory in two dinner-and-a-killing farces by the It's a Mystery troupe at Skellington Manor: Fairway for Murder (December 7, January 11, and February 8), and Murder at the Moonshinapalooza (December 14, January 25, and February 15). Comedy and romance, meanwhile, blend in the Festival 56 presentation of Almost, Maine (November 23 through December 1), comedy and drama combine in New Ground Theatre's Pulitzer Prize winner Crimes of the Heart (February 1 through 10), and comedy and mythology - specifically, the Orpheus myth - merge in St. Ambrose University's production of Sarah Ruhl's Eurydice (February 22 through 24). Ancient Greek tragedy will come alive in Augustana College's The Bacchae (January 25 through February 3), with more modern dramas on hand in Dreamwell Theatre's The Trestle of Pope Lick Creek (February 8 through 16) and Theatre Cedar Rapids' The Summerland Project (January 11 through February 2). A jury room will vibrate with tension and intrigue in Iowa City Community Theatre's 12 Angry Men (January 25 through February 3), while the wages of sin, and dogmatic teaching, are explored in playwright Melissa McBain's District Theatre drama Altar Call (November 29 through December 9). And I'd close by mentioning that comedy, drama, romance, intrigue, and sin are all on the docket when four gifted actors and I perform Private Eyes at the QC Theatre Workshop (January 18 through February 3), but I'm hardly one for self-promotion. Once you've finished rolling your eyes, you can find more information on the area's winter plays by visiting the Theatre section of our online events calendar.
Musicals and Dance
November through February
If you're jonesing to hear a first-rate assemblage of talents belting out a spirited rendition of "One singular sensation ... !", you know what you need to see: the Adler Theatre's touring production of Michael Bennett's iconic dance musical A Chorus Line (January 22). But what if one singular sensation just won't do? What if you want a dozen-and-one singular sensations? Then you're in luck, folks, because that's the combined number of musicals and dance presentations scheduled for our area's wintertime stage lineup. The Adler will follow January's song-and-dance triumph with another classic in its Broadway at the Adler series - the timeless Bernstein/Sondheim collaboration West Side Story (February 18) - while a similarly legendary title, at Amana's Starlighters II Theatre, is presented in Rodgers & Hammerstein's The Sound of Music (November 30 through December 9). Audiences of all ages can also enjoy the Biblical-musical energy of the Ohward Fine Arts Center's Godspell (February 15 through 17) and the comic-strip charm of Iowa City Community Theatre's Annie (December 7 through 16), with kids the target demographic for two quickly upcoming shows: the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse's Freckleface Strawberry: The Musical (November 23 through December 30), and St. Ambrose University's take on Alice in Wonderland (December 1 and 2). More mature - or at least older - audiences can look forward to the District Theatre's re-staging of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Rent (January 31 through February 24), the Center for Living Arts' rock musical Bare: A Pop Opera (February 1 through 16), and Theatre Cedar Rapids' ultra-meta Tony Award nominee [title of show] (February 15 through March 9). Ballet Quad Cities serves up the latest incarnation of its annual dance-vignette delight Love Stories (February 16). A beloved country-music superstar is showcased in the eagerly awaited return of Circa 21's Hank Williams: Lost Highway (January 9 through March 9). And the Coralville Center for the Arts wraps up our look at this tune-filled winter with a clever and hilarious Tony winner with the adorable moniker Urinetown (February 1 through 10). Can't imagine why that title hasn't made the dinner-theatre rounds yet. For more on our area's wintertime lineup of musicals and dance performances, visit the Theatre section of our online events calendar.
What Else Is Happenin'... ? : November 21 through December 5
Saturday, November 24 - Close to You: The Music of the Carpenters. Tribute performance by Lisa Rock and a six-piece band. Ohnward Fine Arts Center (1215 East Platt Street, Maquoketa). 7 p.m. $13-25. For tickets and information, call (563)652-9815 or visit OhnwardFineArtsCenter.com.
Monday, November 26, through Friday, November 30 - Maggie Brown. Concerts with the Chicago-based singer and the Mississippi Valley Blues Society's current Blues in the Schools educator. Monday - Davenport Public Library Eastern Avenue Branch (6000 Eastern Avenue, Davenport), 6:30 p.m. Wednesday - Center for Active Seniors (1035 West Kimberly Road, Davenport), 10 a.m. Thursday - River Music Experience Community Stage (131 West Second Street, Davenport), 7 p.m. Friday - Bucktown Center for the Arts (225 East Second Street, Davenport). 6 p.m. Free. For information, call (563)322-5837 or visit MVBS.org.
Wednesday, November 28 - Zeds Dead. Concert with the Toronto-based electronica duo. Iowa Memorial Union (125 North Madison Street, Iowa City). 8 p.m. $25-32.35. For tickets, call (800)745-3000 or visit ScopeProductions.org.
Friday, November 30 - 12 Gifts of Christmas. New Anthem presents a holiday celebration featuring Grammy Award winners Steven Curtis Chapman and Laura Story, storytellers Patsy Clairmont, Luci Swindoll, Marilyn Meberg, and Mary Beth Chapman, comedienne Anita Renfroe, illusionist Harris III, and host Lisa Whelchel of TV's The Facts of Life. i wireless Center (1201 River Drive, Moline). 7 p.m. $20-125. For tickets and information, call (800)965-9324 or visit NewAnthem.com.
Friday, November 30, and Saturday, December 1 - Christmas at Augustana. Holiday numbers by the Augustana Brass Ensemble, Augustana Symphony Orchestra, Augustana Choir, Ascension Singers, Cantilena Augustana, Jenny Lind Vocal Ensemble, and the Wennerberg Men's Chorus. Augustana College's Centennial Hall (3703 Seventh Avenue, Rock Island). Friday 8 p.m., Satuday 4 p.m. $10-20. For tickets and information, call (309)794-7306 or visit Augustana.edu/tickets.
Friday, November 30 - Future Rock. Electronica and progressive-rock musicians in concert. The Redstone Room (129 Main Street, Davenport). 10 p.m. $10-12. For tickets and information, call (563)326-1333 or visit RiverMusicExperience.org.
Friday, November 30 - EmJay Farewell Show. Final area concert for the blues, rock, and folk singer/songwriter, performing with guests Scarecrow Trip and Golden Fleece. 4Play Sportsbar (1704 Second Avenue, Rock Island). 10 p.m. For information, call (309)283-7042.
Friday, November 30, through Sunday, December 2 - Choral Dynamics: Christmas Around the World. Annual holiday celebration featuring chorus numbers, dancing, and comedy, with proceeds benefiting area not-for-profits. Orpheum Theatre (57 South Kellogg Street, Galesburg). Friday and Saturday 7:30 p.m., Sunday 2 p.m. $7.50-15. For tickets and information, call (309)343-2299 or visit TheOrpheum.org.
Saturday, December 1, and Sunday, December 2 - Quad City Symphony Orchestra: Shakespeare in Concert. The third "Masterworks" concerts of the season, featuring conductor Mark Russell Smith, singers from the Minnesota Opera Theatre and Quad City Choral Arts, and a program including selections from Mendelssohn's Midsummer Night's Dream, Tchaikovsky's Romeo & Juliet, and Verdi's Falstaff. Saturday - Adler Theatre (136 East Third Street, Davenport), 8 p.m. Sunday - Augustana College's Centennial Hall (3703 Seventh Avenue, Rock Island), 2 p.m. $10-53. For tickets and information, call (563)322-0931 or visit QCSymphony.com.
Saturday, December 1 - Trampled Under Foot. Winners of the 2008 International Blues Challenge in concert. The Redstone Room (129 Main Street, Davenport). 8 p.m. $10-12. For tickets and information, call (563)326-1333 or visit RiverMusicExperience.org.
Monday, December 3 - Andy Statman Trio. Concert with the award-winning mandolin and clarinet player and his ensemble. Englert Theatre (221 East Washington Street, Iowa City). 8 p.m. $25-27.50. For tickets and information, call (319)688-2653 or visit Englert.org.
Saturday, November 24, through Saturday, December 15 - A Winnie-the-Pooh Christmas Tail. New family musical featuring A.A. Mile's beloved storybook characters. Old Creamery Studio Theatre (3023 220th Trail, Amana). Saturdays 1 p.m. $8. For tickets and information, call (319)622-6194 or visit OldCreamery.com.
Thursday, November 29, through Sunday, December 9 - Altar Call. Melissa McBain's drama about familial and religious ties, directed by Bryan Woods. District Theatre (1611 Second Avenue, Rock Island). Thursday-Saturday 8 p.m., Sunday 2 p.m. $15. For tickets and information, call (309)235-1654 or visit DistrictTheatre.com.
Thursday, November 29, through Sunday, December 16 - Fully Committed. Author Becky Mode's one-man/35-character comedy. Old Creamery Studio Theatre (3023 220th Trail, Amana). Thursday and Sunday 3 p.m., Friday and Saturday 7:30 p.m. $17.50-27. For tickets and information, call (319)622-6194 or visit OldCreamery.com.
Saturday, December 1, and Sunday, December 2 - Alice in Wonderland. Musical adaptation of Lewis Carroll's storybook classic, directed by Daniel Rairdin-Hale. 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/theatre.
Saturday, December 1, and Sunday, December 2 - Plaid Tidings. Holiday sequel to the boy-crooners comedy Forever Plaid. Coralville Center for the Performing Arts (1301 Fifth Street, Coralville). 7:30 p.m. $14-27. For tickets and information, call (319)248-9370 or visit CoralvilleArts.org.
Friday, November 30, through Sunday, December 2 - The Nutcracker. Tchaikovsky's ballet classic performed by students at 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. For tickets and information, call (319)688-2653 or visit Englert.org.
Thursday, November 29 - River Readings at Augustana: Peter Geye. The novelist and Indie Lit Award winner reads from his works. Augustana College's Wallenberg Hall (3520 Seventh Avenue, Rock Island). 7 p.m. Free admission. For information, call (309)794-7603 or visit Augustana.edu.
Friday, November 30, and Saturday, December 1 - 'Twas the ARTmare Before Christmas. Annual holiday celebrations for children and adults, featuring art activities, hula-hoop demonstrations, live music, poetry, refreshments, and more. Village Theatre (2113 East 11th Street, Davenport). Friday - Kids' Night, 6-9 p.m., $5-7. Saturday - Adults' Night, 6 p.m.-midnight, $22-24. For tickets and information, call (562)477-4965 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saturday, December 1 - Handmade City 2012 Holiday Arts & Crafts Show. More than 35 artists from around the Quad Cities will sell their one-of-a-kind handmade creations. Bucktown Center for the Arts (225 East Second Street, Davenport). 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Free admission. For information, e-mail email@example.com or visit Handmade-City.com.
Saturday, December 1 - Craig Karges. An evening with the touring mentalist and prestidigitator. Augustana College's Centennial Hall (3703 Seventh Avenue, Rock Island). 8 p.m. $10. For tickets and information, call (309)794-7306 or visit Augustana.edu/tickets.
Sunday, December 2 - 19th-Century Christmas. Annual event featuring performances of holiday music, crafts for kids, visits from Santa, tours of historic homes festively decorated for the holidays, and more. Butterworth Center & Deere-Wiman House (1105 Eighth Street, Moline). Noon-5 p.m. Free admission. For information, call (309)743-2700 or visit ButterworthCenter.com.
Sunday, December 2 - Cirque Dreams' Holidaze. The multimedia circus spectacular in a Broadway at the Adler presentation. Adler Theatre (136 East Third Street, Davenport). 7 p.m. $37-57. For tickets, call (800)745-3000 or visit AdlerTheatre.com.