• “A Model Murder” and “Murder at Skuttlebutt Sound,” December 14 and 15

    Back-to-back evenings of improvisational comedy, delicious food and drink, and seasonal slaughter will soon be on the menu at Rock Island's Skellington Manor Banquet & Event Center, with the riotous talents of It's a Mystery Quad Cities opening their 2018-19 season with presentations of the interactive comedy-whodunnits A Model Murder on December 14 and Murder at Skuttlebutt Sound on December 15.

  • QCA Today Headlines Quad Cities - Sunset Marina Rock Island, Illinois
    QCA Today: December 12, 2018

    This feature collects articles published online by Quad Cities-area media outlets and by CapitolFax.com and the state-politics sections of the Des Moines Register and the State Journal-Register.

  • “Literary Heroines: Their Times, Their Fashions,” October 13 through January 4

    Heroic women, both fictional and real, will be celebrated in the Putnam Museum & Science Center's avidly anticipated Literary Heroines: Their Times, Their Fashions – an October 13 through January 4 exhibition notable not only for its breadth of clothing and period items from the museum's permanent collection, but for being the rare area exhibit that isn't making a local appearance as part of a larger national or international tour. As Putnam President and CEO Kim Findlay says, “We didn't find it – we created it.”

  • Ballet Quad Cities' The Nutcracker, December 8 and 9

    One of the area's most adored holiday traditions returns to Davenport's Adler Theatre on December 8 and 9 when the professional talents of Ballet Quad Cities perform Tchaikovsky's holiday dance classic The Nutcracker, an event boasting new choreography by Artistic Director Courtney Lyon, live musical accompaniment by Orchestra Iowa, and the return of Domingo Rubio, famed for playing the title character in the company's October presentations of Dracula.

  • Christmas in LeClaire, December 7 through 9

    Local artisans, a local author, running reindeer, a lot of ugly sweaters, and, of course, appearances by St. Nick are among the guaranteed sights at this year's eagerly anticipated Christmas in LeClaire weekend, with holiday-themed events and family activities scheduled at more than a dozen downtown locales between December 7 and 9.

  • Pritzker's Plans for the Minimum-Wage Hike

    Governor-elect JB Pritzker was asked last week about the timeline for passage of a new minimum-wage law.

    “That’s very important to me,” Pritzker said, “It’s probably something we’ll be able to get done in the first six months in office.”

  • Scott County Faces Governance Blow with Supervisor Diane Holst's Departure

    The trouble with today's voters is that most have compartmentalized their civic responsibility into the narrow confines of support for one of two political parties: Democrats or Republicans. Sadly, such narrow-mindedness misses the otherwise glaringly obvious truth that there are no longer two ideologically distinct parties in American politics. The two-party stranglehold on politics today is a sophisticated, fantastical ruse that has people locked into an arena mentality of win or lose at all costs, no holds barred.

  • Rauner Is Soon Gone, but Can the Illinois Policy Institute Come Back?

    “Is that the guy from the Policy Institute?” House Speaker Michael Madigan asked his press secretary after an Illinois News Network reporter recently tried to ask Madigan a question at the Statehouse.

  • Saudi Arabia
    Two Numbers Explain Why Trump Won't Sanction Saudi Arabia

    "[W]e may never know all of the facts surrounding the murder of Mr. Jamal Khashoggi," US president Donald Trump told the nation on November 20, but "[t]he United States intends to remain a steadfast partner of Saudi Arabia to ensure the interests of our country, Israel and all other partners in the region."

    Many find the president's statement curious indeed given the seeming consensus among the Turkish and US intelligence communities that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman ordered Khashoggi's murder at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. But two simple numbers clarify just how much importance successive administrations,  including Trump's, have placed on the US-Saudi relationship.

  • The Harder You Work, the Luckier You Get

    I had the pleasure of meeting several Democratic women candidates from Lake County during the Illinois State Fair last summer. Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) was showing them around town and brought them to a reception I was attending. We chatted for a while before they went on their merry way.

    “Merry” is actually an understatement. Those candidates were positively joyful. They seemed genuinely thrilled to be running for office. Only one had ever run for something before. The rest felt compelled to get involved after the 2016 election.

  • Countryside Community Theatre's “A Christmas Carol,” December 14 through 22

    Amidst the joys and festivities of the season, it wouldn't be the holidays if they didn't also come complete with a hearty cry of “Bah, humbug!” And from December 14 through 22, Countryside Community Theatre will deliver that cry – along with messages of hope and wonder and scores of beautiful music – in the Boll's Community Center production of A Christmas Carol, the seasonal delight boasting music and lyrics by Danny White and a book by the show's director Tristan Tapscott.

  • “A Christmas Story: The Musical,” December 18

    Nominated for three 2013 Tony Awards including Best Musical and described by Broadway World as “a twinkling Christmas delight,” the eagerly awaited touring production A Christmas Story: The Musical lands at Davenport's Adler Theatre on December 18, its score by the Oscar- and Tony-winning team of Benj Pasek and Justin Paul inspiring the New York Times to write, “You'd have to have a Grinch-sized heart not to feel a smile spreading across your face.”

  • Merry-onette: “Pinocchio,” at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse through December 29

    I've always enjoyed the children’s-theatre presentations at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse, and Saturday morning’s performance of Pinocchio brought me yet another magical experience that I thoroughly appreciated. A lighthearted, classic tale about a wooden puppet and his maker’s wish for him to become a real little boy, director Warner Crocker's show emphasizes a positive message about the importance of honesty and is filled with imaginative characters that bring this wonderful story to life.

  • Breezy Street: “Annie,” at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse though December 30

    Thirty-five years ago, as her birthday present, I took my wife out for our first “classy” date to the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse. I had arranged for a dear friend (shout-out to Bill Sensenbrenner) to be our Bootlegger, and wanted to treat my wife to the thrill of seeing Circa '21 produce the musical Annie for the very first time. It was an elegant evening boasting a topnotch performance that we both remember to this day. Fast forward 35 years, and we found ourselves doing the exact same thing on November 9 by enjoying an elegant evening of food, friends, and Circa '21’s latest extraordinary production of – what else? – Annie!

  • Cheery Jubilee: “The Happy Elf,” at the Spotlight Theatre through December 9

    Before the start of Tuesday night's dress rehearsal for the Spotlight Theatre's The Happy Elf, there was a little bit of pre-holiday spirit in the air, with various cast members' children and siblings laughing and playing in the aisles, enjoying candy canes and cookies. However, once the performance started, they were as quiet as (dare I say it?) church mice. This may be the best indication of the musical's ability to hold the interest of a young audience.

  • Bird Streets, December 12

    A side project of, and album by, indie-rock singer/songwriter John Brodeur, Bird Streets the band will play music from Birds Streets the album on December 12 as the latest guests in the Moeller Nights series, Brodeur's recording praised by AllMusic.com for its “clever twists, rich harmonies, and intricate guitar work,” and described by Albumism as “a contemporary masterpiece that conjuries indie rock's glory days.”

  • Home Free: “A Country Christmas,” December 13

    With Country Standard Time calling the group “one of the most talented and unique acts in modern country music,” the a cappella quintet Home Free brings its seasonal A Country Christmas tour to Davenport's Adler Theatre on December 13, performing holiday classics and modern compositions with the vocal fire and stage presence that led to the singers winning the fourth season of NBC's competition series The Sing Off.

  • Samantha Fish, December 14

    Called “an impressive blues guitarist who sings with sweet power” by the New York Times and praised by Bluest Blast for “her intense, pyrotechnic take on blues rock,” recording sensation Samantha Fish returns to Davenport's Redstone Room on December 14, the artist's most recent albums – 2017's Chills & Fever and Belle of the West leading American Songwriter to state, “It's unlikely Fish, or many other acts, will deliver two terrific yet very different-sounding albums in a single year again.”

  • "A Nova Christmas," December 14 and 15

    An annual holiday-music tradition returns to the area as the professional vocal ensemble the Nova Singers present their latest A Nova Christmas concerts, with exciting and moving arrangements of non-secular, classical, traditional, and contemporary holiday favorites performed December 14 at Davenport's St. Paul Lutheran Church and December 15 at Galesburg's First Lutheran Church.

  • The Laurence Hobgood Trio, December 9

    Performing in a rare Polyrhythms' Third Sunday Jazz Workshop & Matinée concert that actually falls on the month's second Sunday, the acclaimed artists of the Laurence Hobgood Trio take the stage at Davenport's Redstone Room on December 9, a group lauded by the Chicago Tribune for delivering “power without noise, energy without haste, drama without overstatement.”

  • The Player's the Thing: “At Eternity's Gate,” “First Reformed,” “You Were Never Really Here,” “Private Life,” “Where Is Kyra?”, “The Kindergarten Teacher,” “On Chesil Beach,” and “The Seagull”

    When it comes to debuting movies, the weekend after Thanksgiving weekend is customarily barren for our area, so it wasn't necessarily surprising to see last week's only new release the low-rent – and actually not-that-bad – horror trifle The Possession of Hannah Grace. But what I absolutely didn't expect was for this past weekend to be so barren as to be utterly grim, with the only “new” local arrival the 25th-anniversary re-release of Schindler's List. (“Hey, honey! You know what we could see that would really depress us …?!”)

  • The Devil's in the Details: “The Possession of Hannah Grace” and “Wildlife”

    Forty-five years after The Exorcist, we can still count the number of legitimately great demonic-possession movies on the fingers of one hand. (And that's including works that employ the conceit only tangentially, as this past summer's phenomenal Hereditary does.) Consequently, in regard to this particular horror-flick sub-genre, it's easy to be grateful for the little things, and Dutch director Diederik Van Rooijen's The Possession of Hannah Grace, although fair-to-middling overall, actually boasts a number of little things worthy of gratitude. It's doubtful you'll remember much about the film a day after seeing it, but while you're there, it's an inoffensive way to pass 85 low-expectation minutes.

  • “Never-Ending Man: Hayao Miyazaki,” December 13 and 18

    A new documentary on one of the most revered film artists of all time will enjoy special screenings at Rave Cinemas Davenport 53rd 18 + IMAX on December 13 and 18, with Never-Ending Man: Hayao Miyazaki providing insight into the legendary Japanese director, producer, screenwriter, animator, author, manga artist, and two-time Academy Award recipient.

  • Turkey-Day Nuggets: “Boy Erased,” “Ralph Breaks the Internet,” “Creed II,” “Robin Hood,” “Green Book,” and “The Front Runner”

    Ah, Thanksgiving. A time of food, friends, family … more freaking movies than anyone should have to review over one long weekend …

  • The Grift of the Magi: “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald,” “Instant Family,” and “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs”

    There's a little something for everyone in the adventure fantasy Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald – and that's kind of the problem. Serving as both prequel and appendage to her Harry Potter series, screenwriter J.K. Rowling's continuation of her latest wizard saga boasts plenty of random pleasures, including some nifty visuals, a couple of cheerful comic turns, and a scarily resonant sequence suggesting a Rowling-ized Nuremberg rally. Yet this second installment in a planned five-part franchise – one that began with 2016's Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them – is still so wildly overstuffed with incident and exposition, and so distractingly focused on The Bigger Picture, that it barely gives us a chance to admire its many lovely fringe touches. There may be a little for everyone here, but taken overall, there's not a lot for anyone.

Art

  • “William L. Hawkins: An Imaginative Geography,” September 22 through December 30

    From September 22 through December 30, one of the 20th Century's most accomplished artists will enjoy a career retrospective as the Figge Art Museum houses the touring William L. Hawkins: An Imaginative Geography, the first major exhibition in more than a decade to showcase Hawkins' varied work and important examples from his favorite artistic subjects.

  • “Rufino Tamayo,” July 7 through December 30

    Seven rare prints by one of Mexico's most accomplished and lauded painters will be on display at the Figge Art Museum July 7 through December 30, when the Rufino Tamayo exhibit showcases the talents of its namesake who received the 1985 Gold Medal of Merit in the Fine Arts of Spain and the 1988 Belisario Dominguez Medal of Honor awarded to Tamayo by the Mexican Senate.

  • Pam Ohnemus, Sri Rao, Quad City Woodturners, and Hot Glass Inc. Artisan Exhibit, November 1 through December 31

    The disparate artistic mediums of painting, woodwork, and blown glass will be showcased November 1 through December 31 at the Quad City Arts International Airport Gallery, with four exhibitions blending as one via new works by Pam Ohnemus, Sri Rao, and artisans from Quad City Woodturners and the Davenport studio Hot Glass Inc.

  • “Regional Art Show,” November 2 through January 2

    Works by an incredible assemblage of more than two dozen Midwestern artists will be on local display from November 2 through January 2, with the aptly titled Regional Art Show on display at Bettendorf's Beréskin Gallery & Art Academy and showcasing pieces, for viewing and for sale, in mediums including jewelry, sculpture, raku, ceramic, oil, acrylic, watercolor, photography, print making, mixed medium, and collage.

  • "French Moderns: Monet to Matisse, 1850 – 1950," October 9 through January 6

    One of the most eagerly anticipated exhibitions in the Figge Art Museum's history will be on display from October 9 through January 6, as the Davenport venue hosts the touring French Moderns: Monet to Matisse, 1850 – 1950, an exhibit featuring 59 works drawn from the collection of the Brooklyn Museum that chronicles one of the most dynamic and beloved eras in the history of art.