As an actor in the college’s theatre department, Augustana senior Debo Balogun has triumphed with a number of demanding assignments: the title role in last fall’s Othello; the stylized performance technique required for Sophie Treadwell’s Machinal; the famed “All the world’s a stage” soliloquy in Shakespeare’s As You Like It.

But the Chicago native’s weightiest challenge to date might lie in the drama Balogun is currently directing for New Ground Theatre – because by “weighty,” we’re talking several figurative tons.

Music

The Redstone Room

March through May

 

On April 26, Davenport’s Redstone Room hosts a special concert with The Lacs, the country-rock and southern-rap outfit composed of Brian King and Clay Sharpe. Given that the band’s moniker is reportedly short for “loud-ass crackers,” this Georgia-based duo whose 2015 album Outlaw in Me reached number three on Billboard’s country chart will no doubt provide a rousing springtime evening at the area venue. But trust me, it’ll hardly be the only one. Given just how many terrific musicians are booked there over the next couple of months, the Redstone Room’s schedule is anything but Lacs.

(Author’s note: That’s wordplay on the adjective “lax.” The joke plays better when you listen to this article on Audible.)

(Editor’s note: Ignore him. You can’t listen to this article on Audible.)

MUSIC

Thursday, March 16 – An Evening with Laurence Hobgood. Concert with the Grammy-winning pianist and Quad City Arts Visiting Artist. Holiday Inn & Suites (4215 Elmore Avenue, Davenport). 6 p.m. $35-40. For tickets and information, call (309)793-1213 or visit QuadCityArts.com.

Thursday, March 16 – An Evening with Albert Cummings. Blues-rock singer/guitarist in concert. The Redstone Room (129 Main Street, Davenport). 7:30 p.m. $16.75-19. For tickets and information, call (563)326-1333 or visit RiverMusicExperience.org.

Friday, March 17, and Saturday, March 18 – Kelly's Irish Pub St. Patrick's Party. Annual weekend event featuring live music, dance, food and drink specials, the Skydiving Leprechauns, and more. Kelly's Irish Pub & Eatery (2222 East 53rd Street, Davenport). Friday 5 – 11:30 p.m., Saturday 6 a.m. - 12:15 a.m. Free. For information, call (563)344-0000 or visit KellysIrishPubAndEatery.com.

Friday, March 17 – Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles. Multimedia concert tribute to the Fab Four and the musicians’ The Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band era. Adler Theatre (136 East Third Street, Davenport). 8 p.m. $32-56. For tickets, call (800)745-3000 or visit AdlerTheatre.com.

Friday, March 17 – St. Patrick’s Day Concert & Fundraiser. Celtic musicians Four Shillings Short and Laural Almquist perform a fundraising event for the annual Celtic Festival & Highland Games. The Redstone Room (129 Main Street, Davenport). 7 p.m. $22. For tickets and information, call (563)326-1333 or visit RiverMusicExperience.org.

Friday, March 17 – Bucktown Revue. A celebration of Celtic music and entertainment with emcee Scott Tunnicliff, area comedians and musicians including the Barley House Band and Milltown, and special guests. Nighswander Theatre (2822 Eastern Avenue, Davenport). 7 p.m. $13 at the door. For information, call (563)940-0508 or visit BucktownRevue.com.

On April 22, Rascals Live will host a special acoustic concert with power-rock stalwarts Damon Johnson and Ricky Warwick, whose third album as members of Black Star Riders recently hit number six on the UK charts. Given that they’ve collaborated with the likes of Bob Dylan, Alice Cooper, Sheryl Crow, and Ted Nugent, you may wonder, after their area performance, how we were lucky enough to find them in Moline. But considering their individual backgrounds, the bigger question is: How were they lucky enough to find each other?

On Friday, March 10, at Davenport’s Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, Genesius Guild will open its traveling production of author T.S. Eliot’s Murder in the Cathedral – the first of five area-church presentations directed by Guild founder Don Wooten.

There are so many things that are unusual about that sentence that it’s probably best to break it down bit by bit.

This year’s Academy Awards air on the evening of February 26, a night likely be dominated by a certain musical that’s set in Hollywood. Earlier in the day, though, you can enjoy a completely different batch of tunes from California talents with the Quad City Arts Visiting Artists of Quinteto Latino, who perform at Davenport’s First Presbyterian Church that Sunday at 4 p.m. Based in the San Francisco area, this five-person ensemble is dedicated to showcasing the energetic rhythms of Latin American music through works both traditional and modern, and will no doubt deliver an electrifying performance in the hours before the inevitable love thrown toward La La Land. Which, if memory serves, translates into English as The The Land. (That faraway sound you hear is my collegiate Spanish professor cursing my name.)

Over the span of six days, the Quad Cities will welcome the arrival of touring performers who collectively specialize in pop, rock, country, blues, folk, jazz, reggae, Americana, bluegrass, roots, contemporary-Christian, and dance-club music – and who, if they wanted, could conceivably arrive together in one mid-size van. The artists in question are country-pop chanteuse Sara Evans, Texas-based genre-hoppers The Band of Heathens, and multi-instrumentalist Keller Williams, so let’s learn a bit about these acclaimed, prolific talents – there’s gonna be a quiz at the end!

One year ago this month, Rolling Stone published the article “13 Things We Learned Hanging Out with Twenty One Pilots” – a getting-to-know-you with the indie-pop/alt-rock duo that included factoids such as “They avoid Twenty One Pilots fan fiction” and “Their mothers used to go to the same hairdresser.” If, however, you’re a fan of Tyler Joseph’s and Josh Dun’s chart-topping album Blurryface but want more rudimentary info prior to January 29’s concert at Moline’s iWireless Center, we humbly present “13 Other Things You Can Learn Without the Benefit of Hanging Out with Twenty One Pilots.”

Most theatre patrons don’t need a good reason to see Steel Magnolias, as author Robert Harling’s six-woman dramedy set in a Southern beauty parlor has been a beloved staple of professional, community, and educational theatres for more than a quarter-century. But Donna Weeks, who directs the Playcrafters Barn Theatre’s January 13 through 22 presentation of the play, certainly had a good reason to want to direct it, given that like Steel Magnolias’ ingénue Shelby, Weeks herself has spent most of her life with type-1 diabetes.

“We knew it would be a good fit and we hadn’t done it for a while,” says Weeks of submitting the title for inclusion in 2017’s Playcrafters season, “and it’s a crowd-pleaser. I’ve always liked it – the movie and the show. But I’ve always been irritated by the scene at the beginning where Shelby has the low-blood-sugar attack. Part of me was like, ‘Oh, I just wanna get ahold of that show so just once it can be done right.’”

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