FESTIVALS

Saturday, June 10 – Gumbo Ya Ya. Mardi Gras celebration with Cajun food, arts and crafts, and concert sets with the Backwater Bayou Band, Environmental Encroachment, Dikki Du, and Playlist QC. District of Rock Island. 4 p.m. gates. $9. For information, call (309)788-6311or visit DowntownRockIsland.org.

Saturday, June 10 – Quad City Juneteenth Celebration. Annual celebration of slavery’s abolition featuring food and retail vendors, history and information booths, live music, games, children’s activities, and more. LeClaire Park (400 Beiderbecke Drive, Davenport). 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. For information, visit the event’s Facebook page.

Friday, June 16, through Sunday, June 18 – The Muddy Fest: Motorcycles & Music. Inaugural festival featuring motorcycle activities and two-lane ride-alongs, live music, regional cuisine, vendors, and entertainment, with guests including Sublime with Rome, The Doors guitarist Robby Kreiger, Olympic gold medalist Dan Gable, and actor William Baldwin. Centennial Park (315 South Marquette Street, Davenport). $20-74.99. For information, tickets, and an event schedule, visit TheMuddyFest.com.

Friday, June 16, through Sunday, June 18 – Junetopia. Summer celebration of music, visual art, comedy, and more, with dozens of artists performing at the Figge Art Museum (225 West Second Street, Davenport) on Friday, the Village Theatre (2113 East 11th Street, Davenport) on Saturday, and Rozz-Tox (2108 Third Avenue, Rock Island) and Rooster’s Sports Bar & Grill (2130 Third Avenue, Rock Island) on Sunday. $15 day pass, $25 weekend pass. For information, visit QCJunetopia.com.

Obviously, the summer months – by which I mean Hollywood’s May through August – bring with them superhero movies. On some weekends, they bring with them only superhero movies. But I can honestly say I never planned on a superhero two-fer quite as delightful, unexpected, and satisfying as this past weekend’s debuts of Wonder Woman and Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie. Despite their shared release date and origin-story setups, you wouldn’t think that much would connect director Patty Jenkins’ live-action blockbuster and director David Soren’s featherweight animated comedy. In truth, though, the works are nearly identical in basic yet crucial ways that too many costumed-crime-fighter sagas aren’t: They’re blessedly unpretentious, they’re (mostly) angst-free, and they’re entertaining as hell.

Well, there’s at least some good news regarding the TV-to-film reboot Baywatch: It’s only about 40 minutes long. The bad news, however, is that its maniacally employed slow-motion stretches those already-empty minutes to almost two full hours. Of course, it wouldn’t be Baywatch without slow-mo, and in a couple of instances – with the arrival of the movie’s title and the climactic cameo by a series favorite that’s spoiled for us in the opening credits – the effect is even handled with tongue appropriately in cheek. Mostly, though, its use just serves to elongate what is already a pretty endless affair. Bad is bad; this thing is bad cubed.

Ordinarily, you’d have to leave the interior of Playcrafters to see constellations. But on May 26 and 27, capitalized, italicized Constellations will be viewable on the upper level of the Barn Theatre, and for Moline’s venerable venue, the sight will be an unusual one indeed.

It may not be particularly great sci-fi horror, but for the series’ devotees, Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant is certainly a first-rate exercise in nostalgia. Look! There’s the title gradually appearing in vertical, horizontal, and diagonal lines! There’s the futuristic “burial at sea” with a mummy-wrapped corpse! There’s the derelict spacecraft! The face-hugger! The drinking-bird tchotchke! The heroine with the Sigourney-in-combat ’do who shouts, “We’ll blow this f----- out into space!”

Director Jonathan Levine’s Snatched, which finds Amy Schumer’s and Goldie Hawn’s daughter-mother duo evading thugs and kidnappers during an Ecuadorian vacation, is one of those one-joke, sentimental slapsticks that you somehow just know isn’t going to be nearly as funny as you want it to be. That’s why it was something of a shock to return to the recorded notes I took during my Friday screening, and to hear all of one critique (“the music is doing way too much”) in the midst of loads of compliments, many of them made while chuckling.

With its domestic gross of less than $15 million against a reported $175-million budget, Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur: Legend of the Sword tanked at the box office this weekend, an outcome that should surprise exactly no one. Just how many treks to Camelot is one expected to make in a single lifetime?

People pursue careers in comedy for all sorts of reasons: to make others laugh, to express opinions, to get back at their parents. (That last one is just speculation, Mom and Dad.) But as stand-up comedian Kyle Kinane tells it, his motivation was simpler: to do as little as possible.

“As a kid, comedy was something I watched on TV,” says Kinane during our recent interview. “And I couldn’t really understand how it worked, because somebody would just talk, and that was it. You didn’t have to act, you didn’t have to do stunts – you just talked, by yourself, and people would laugh, and that was a job. I was pretty fascinated with that, and, when I first started, I think I knew I was gonna do it forever.”

Yet for someone who attended college because he thought “if you didn’t go, you had to get a real job, and I didn’t want one of those,” Kinane’s job has found him doing far more than he initially expected.

On May 19, Davenport’s Redstone Room hosts an evening with Canadian singer/songwriter and guitarist Chris Antonik, who performs in support of his recently released third album Monarch. As Antonik’s self-titled debut was released only seven years ago, it’s understandable if you’re not entirely familiar with his name. His preferred genre, however, should be apparent simply by scanning the titles of songs he wrote for Monarch, which include “I’d Burn It All Down (For You),” “A Slip in the Rain,” “You’re Killing My Love,” and “The Art of Letting Go.”

So get ready for a night of goofy, vacuous bubblegum pop, folks!

Kidding. He’s totally a blues artist. And judging by Antonik’s acclaim this decade, quite the blues artist.

Considering its real-life tale of the 1916 lynching of a circus elephant and the event’s effects on those who either demanded or protested the execution, playwright George Brant’s Elephant’s Graveyard could rightly be labeled a drama. But it’s more accurately a horror story, and as evidenced by New Ground Theatre’s and director Debo Balogun’s electrifying presentation, that horror doesn’t come from a momentarily out-of-control pachyderm; it comes from human beings, from us, and our own worst impulses. You may, and likely will, shudder when hearing how the elephant Mary crushed her abusive rider’s head – intentionally? – with the weight of five tons. That recollection, however, pales next to the terrifying image of a girl giddy with delight about the beast’s impending fate, or the circus ringmaster admitting, with not quite enough regret, what he eventually did with the corpse.

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