Rarely and unpredictably, a performance will transcend music and become a living thing, a forceful creature that grabs the audience and won't let go until the piece ends; it then lingers for hours in the mind. These experiences transport me beyond what Gustav Mahler called "the sounds of a garrulous world" and overshadow the conductor and musicians - not because they're unimportant, but because the life-giving in their performance is so profound. On Saturday at the Adler Theatre, the beast arrived after intermission when the Quad City Symphony Orchestra and Music Director and Conductor Mark Russell Smith breathed life into Johannes Brahms' Symphony No. 1.

Passion proved to be the Quad City Symphony Orchestra's strength in its season-opening program at the Adler Theater on October 1, but the performance was vulnerable to imprecision.

While the program was titled Beethoven 5, the highlight of the concert was a brilliant performance of Sergei Rachmaninoff's demanding Third Piano Concerto by guest pianist Haochen Zhang with bold yet sensitive accompaniment by the symphony under the direction of Music Director and Conductor Mark Russell Smith.

Images by Scott Klarkowski from June 18's John Prine set at the Adler Theatre. Click on any photo for a larger version.

For more of Klarkowski's work, visit KlarkPhoto.com.

Images by photographer Chris Jones from Sunday's Barenaked Ladies concert at the Adler Theatre, with opener Serena Ryder. Click on any photo for a larger version.

Barenaked Ladies:

Images by photographer Chris Jones from Thursday's Miranda Lambert concert at the Adler Theatre, with opener Luke Bryan. Click on any photo for a larger version.

Miranda Lambert:

Images by photographer Chris Jones from Friday's Tesla show at the Adler Theatre. Click on any photo for a larger version.

the Promises, Promises ensemble During a recent post-show conversation, an actor friend and I agreed that perhaps the most exciting moments at any theatrical production are those few seconds before the production even starts, when the lights dim, cell phones (please God) are turned to silent or vibrate, and the venue becomes alive with possibility - with the awareness that, in this live art form, absolutely anything can happen.

Hairspray at the Adler Theatre On August 17, the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre's production of Tom Stoppard's Arcadia marked the last theatrical production I'd see this summer - the 29th show I caught over the span of 12 weeks - and in truth, I'm kind of bummed that the season is over. But it will be nice to have a few days when I'm, you know, not working, so I'm also looking forward to the fall, when instead of 29 shows, theatre-goers only have the opportunity to see ... 38.

634 Cover - Summer Guide 2007 Ted Neeley portrayed Jesus Christ in the 1973 film version of Andrew Lloyd Webber's and Tim Rice's seminal rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar. He is currently reprising the role in a national tour of the show, which lands at Davenport's Adler Theatre on May 23. And in between these gigs, Neeley has performed the part in numerous other touring productions, benefits, and, once, alongside a cast of grade-school apostles.

It's impossible to ignore the irony: Ted Neeley has now been playing Jesus for longer than Jesus was alive.

"Yeah, I've been doing it now for just over 2,000 years," says Neeley with a laugh.

Tom Wopat So, how are you doing today?

"Eh ... I'm okay," replies Tom Wopat, calling from Manhattan. "I just got a parking ticket. Sixty-five bucks."

And hardly a deserved parking ticket. "I parked in a school zone but there's no school there anymore," Wopat says. "They don't know that, you know?"

He laughs. "But that's okay. It's like I told my girlfriend: It's New York City. That's just how it works."