Quad-Cities Waterfront Convention Center
Friday, December 9, 7:30 p.m.
The chart-topping, multi-platinum-selling singer/songwriter/guitarist Deana Carter brings her national holiday tour to Bettendorf’s Quad-Cities Waterfront Convention Center on December 9. She’ll also bring two decades’ worth of alternative-country hits ranging back to her number-one singles “Strawberry Wine,” “We Danced Anyway,” and “How Do I Get There,” all from Carter’s 1996 breakthrough Did I Shave My Legs for This? A year after that album was released, the artist found herself on People magazine’s “50 Most Beautiful People” list. So shaving apparently didn’t hurt matters.
Despite her early love of performing and having famed Nashville singer/guitarist Fred Carter Jr. as her dad, Deana Carter didn’t initially pursue a professional music career, and instead earned a University of Tennessee bachelor’s degree in rehabilitation therapy. Yet even while employed in that field after graduation, Carter recorded occasional demo tapes that enabled her to hone her singing and songwriting talents. One of them made its way to Willie Nelson.
In 1994, Nelson invited Carter to participate in that year’s Farm Aid VII benefit concert, which would have been an enormous opportunity merely for the chance to perform with the likes of Nelson, John Mellencamp, Kris Kristofferson, and Neil Young. As it happened, the opportunity was even greater than Carter initially knew; she wound up the only female soloist of the show, and consequently signed a recording contract with Capitol Records.
Carter’s album debut Did I Shave My Legs for This? itself debuted at number two on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart, and went on to sell more than 5-million copies. The following year, Carter’s vocals were showcased on the soundtrack to the animated movie Anastasia, and her song “Once Upon a December” was nominated for a 1997 Golden Globe Award. The year after that, Carter found two more of her tunes becoming Top-40 hits, with “You Still Shake Me” and “Angels Working Overtime” featured on 1998’s Everything’s Gonna Be Alright. And happily for the artist, the title of that second album proved to be nothing if not prophetic.
Carter has released five additional albums since, with her most recent – 2013’s Southern Way of Life – the first produced under her own label Little Nugget Records. 2007’s The Chain boasts duets with country legends including Dolly Parton, George Jones, and longtime admirer Willie Nelson. She’s performed on The Late Show with David Letterman, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and Good Morning, America; she’s toured with Dwight Yoakam, Kenny Chesney, Keith Urban, and Bob Dylan.
And while, in December 9’s local holiday show, Carter will no doubt perform seasonal numbers from her 2001 album Father Christmas, you can likely expect other favorites as well, including 2013’s Grammy-nominated composition “You & Tequila.” That’s really touching, as I’ve never had a song dedicated to me before – though how Carter knew about my love affair with tequila is beyond me.
For more information on, and tickets to, Deana Carter’s December 9 concert at the Quad-Cities Waterfront Convention Center, visit Bettendorf.IsleOfCapriCasinos.com.
The Cat & the Monkey, Silenced, Eleven Fifty Six, and Bolero
St. Ambrose University
Sunday, December 11, and Monday, December 12
Agnes of God
Thursday, December 8, through Sunday, December 11
Only a fool would insist that final exams are fun. But I’ve been called a fool before, so who’s up for some fun final exams?!
Granted, the enjoyment will no doubt be less nerve-racking for those watching the tests than those taking them. But on December 11 and 12, St. Ambrose University’s theatre department invites patrons to the semester finals of four students in Corinne Johnson’s Directing for the Theatre course – a quartet of one-act plays, staged in the Galvin Fine Arts Center Studio Theatre, designed to showcase four months of directorial education and practice.
Sunday night brings with it a pair of dramas helmed by a pair of Jordans: The Cat & the Monkey, directed by Jordan McGinnis, and Silenced, directed by Jordan Webster-Moore. Author Charlotte Court’s The Cat & the Monkey is a two-hander featuring SAU students Megan Clarke and Chris Frain, whose characters, as McGinnis’ production begins, are in an apparent marriage-counseling session with the audience collectively cast as the counselor. But while the couple airs their grievances, it emerges that something different and unexpected is actually happening – just as it is in playwright Laura Schmidt’s Silenced. The tale of a writer whose newest play has been turned down, yet again, by producers for being too dark and unrealistic, Webster-Moore’s presentation guides us through five disturbing scenes in that rejected work, enacted by the eight-person cast of Madison Auge, Amelia Fischer, Chris Frain, T.J. Green, Anna Lasher, Max Moline, Nick Pearce, and Kiara Thomas.
Monday evening’s theatrical pairing, meanwhile, is a thriller duet: Eleven Fifty Six, directed by Brian Leibforth, and Bolero, directed by Zack Lawson. In author Michael Percy’s Eleven Fifty Six, a young man who has been found wandering naked on the streets is brought to a hospital and placed under a doctor’s care. But can the MD offer aid for the man’s assertion that he’s a time-traveler? Becca Brazel, T.J. Green, and Nick Pearce star in Leibforth’s evocative final exam, while fellow student Lawson takes on the creepiness of David Ives’ Bolero. Written by the Tony-nominated author of the Tony-winning Venus in Fur, this one-act concerns spouses who begin to hear strange noises and voices coming through their bedroom wall, and features Madison Auge and Olivia McDonald as the couple who, for restful sleep, really should’ve invested in some soundproofing.
That’s a lot of student talent on display over those two nights. But in the days before St. Ambrose’s one-acts debut, you can actually witness even more of it right across the river. Running December 8 through 11 in Augustana College’s new Brunner Theatre Center, Agnes of God will enjoy a four-show staging at the venue’s Honkamp Black Box Theatre, with Augie theatre major Jacob Kilburg directing author John Pielmeier’s Tony-winning mystery/drama that became the source for 1985’s Oscar-nominated film.
In Kilburg’s three-woman production, a psychiatrist is brought to a convent to investigate a most unusual case – that of a novice nun who has given birth after what she’s convinced was an immaculate conception. Questions of responsibility, divine faith, and potential madness are subsequently explored in Pielmeier’s popular work, and the show is sure to be an exciting acting challenge for its trio of student stars: sophomore Emily Mason, whose psychiatrist role has been played by Jane Fonda and Valerie Harper; freshman Madison McCobb, whose Mother Superior was previously assayed by Anne Bancroft and Geraldine Page; and sophomore Aubrey Lyon, playing the novice role assumed by the likes of Amanda Plummer and Carrie Fisher. No points for guessing which character may be a little nutty.
St. Ambrose’s free-admission one-acts will be held at 7 p.m. on December 11 and 12, with information available by calling (563)333-6251 or visiting SAU.edu/theatre. Augustana’s Agnes of God runs December 8 through 10 at 7:30 p.m. and December 11 at 1:30 p.m., and for information and tickets, call (309)794-7306 or visit Augustana.edu/theatre.
Helpful Tips on Appearing More Intelligent Than You Actually Are
As of this writing, it’s thus far been a blessedly mild fall. But if, like many of us, you consider any temperature lower than 50 degrees not quite warm enough for your tastes, rest assured that the heat in downtown Davenport, at least musically speaking, is about to become positively scorching.
On December 16, the Des Moines-based talents of Parranderos Latin Combo will take over Davenport’s Redstone Room in an evening of thrilling dance music sure to make you sweat. Boasting a 14-person ensemble composed of musicians from South America, the Caribbean, and right here in the Midwest, the group’s recent album debut was recorded in San Juan, Puerto Rico, by Grammy-winning engineers Ramón Martínez and Carlos Velasquez, in part through funding secured by the Iowa Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts.
But while Parranderos Latin Combo is a beloved dance-party fixture in Des Moines, its musicians may be less well-known here in the Quad Cities. So if you meet a fan who wants to chat about the group and you don’t want to spend the whole conversation merely nodding your head like a dummy, here are five ways to look like you know what you’re talking about.
1) Know what kinds of music Parranderos Latin Combo performs. Although, as its moniker suggests, Latin American musical styles get a workout in the band’s exuberant repertoire, the tunes played actually fall under a number of different subgenres, some familiar (salsa, samba, merengue), and some more regionally specific (cumbia, vals peruano, llanera).
2) Know who’s in Parranderos Latin Combo and what instruments they play. At present, the combo’s lineup consists of: Fernando Aveiga (guitar), Marcelo Arevalo (percussion), Eddie Colon (baby bass), Edwin Custodio (percussion), Rolan Hart (clarinet), John Kizilarmut (timbal), Nick Leo (accordion and keyboard), Ryan Mulin (percussion), Michael Nuñez (percussion), Andy Poppen (trumpet), Dave Rezik (trumpet), Tim Sanders (saxophone), Jose Ignacio Villareal (percussion), and Chris Walck (trombone).
3) Know what music reviewers say about Parranderos Latin Combo. According to The Daily Iowan, the band delivers a “high-energy live-music party,” and DesMoinesMC.com raved, “Watching PLC perform is truly an interactive experience” as “these dudes know how to speed it up and make people dance.”
4) Know how to pronounce “parranderos” and what it means. It’s “puh-rahn-DEER-ohs,” and it roughly translates as “group of serenaders.”
5) Know how to use “parranderos” in a sentence. Say, “I took my guitar to sing outside my girlfriend’s window last night, but a whole bunch of parranderos were there before me! Bastardos!” But only say it if it’s true. And if you’re comfortable with your racial insensitivity.
For more information on the Redstone Room’s December 16 evening with Parranderos Latin Combo, call (563)326-1333 or visit RiverMusicExperience.com.
What Else Is Happenin’ …?
Thursday, December 8 – Trans-Siberian Orchestra: Ghosts of Christmas Eve. Holiday-themed multimedia concert about a runaway who breaks into an abandoned vaudeville theatre. iWireless Center (1201 River Drive, Moline). 7:30 p.m. $35-66. For tickets, call (800)745-3000 or visit iWirelessCenter.com.
Thursday, December 8 – Paper Bird. Concert with the six-piece indie-folk band based in Denver, featuring an opening set by Dan Tedesco. The Redstone Room (129 Main Street, Davenport). 8 p.m. $13.75-17. For tickets and information, call (563)326-1333 or visit RiverMusicExperience.org.
Friday, December 9 – Chris Young. Concert with chart-topping country singer, with opening sets by Dustin Lynch and Cassadee Pope. iWireless Center (1201 River Drive, Moline). 7:30 p.m. $42.50-55.50. For tickets, call (800)745-3000 or visit iWirelessCenter.com.
Friday, December 9, and Saturday, December 10 – Christmas with the Quad City Singers. Holiday concert featuring arrangements of “Jingle Bells,” “Up on the House Top,” and other seasonal favorites under the direction of Curtis Fischer-Oelschlager, accompanied by Marcia Renaud. Lavender Crest Winery (5401 U.S. Highway 6, Colona). 6 p.m. social hour, 7 p.m. dinner and concert. $45. For tickets and information, call (309)781-7266 or visit QuadCitySingers.org.
Friday, December 9 – An Ambrosian Christmas. Holiday concert featuring the university’s student ensembles and featured soloists. St. Ambrose University’s Galvin Fine Arts Center (2101 North Gaines Street, Davenport). 7 p.m. For information, call (563)333-6001 or visit SAU.edu.
Friday, December 9 – Celebrate the Holidays. Musical variety show sponsored by Churches United of the Quad Cities and the Chordbusters, with performances by the Harminators and Chordbusters choruses, Patrick Downing, the Gadabouts, Goods News Singers Chorale, Steve Couch, and Laila Haley. Heritage Church (4801 44th Street, Rock Island). 7 p.m. Free. For information, visit TheChordbusters.com.
Friday, December 9 – Asleep at the Wheel: Merry Texas Christmas, Y’all! Holiday concert with the “cowboy jazz” musicians. Hancher Auditorium (101 East Park Road, Iowa City). 7:30 p.m. $10-40. For tickets and information, call (319)335-1160 or visit Hancher.UIowa.edu.
Saturday, December 10 – Michael Bolton. The Grammy-winning pop singer performs his greatest hits and holiday favorites. Riverside Casino Event Center (3184 Highway 22, Riverside). 8 p.m. $40-75. For tickets and information, call (877)677-3456 or visit RiversideCasinoAndResort.com.
Saturday, December 10, and Sunday, December 11 – A Messiah Christmas. The 250-member Handel Oratorio Society and Handel Oratorio Society Chamber Orchestra perform the masterwork alongside featured soloists Mary Wilson, Rebecca Ringle, Dann Coakwell, and Mark Walters. Augustana College’s Centennial Hall (3703 Seventh Avenue, Rock Island). 7 p.m. $10-20. For tickets and information, call (309)794-7306 or visit Augustana.edu/arts.
Sunday, December 11 – Christmas with the Nelsons. Multimedia concert experience with Matthew and Gunnar Nelson. Rhythm City Casino Resort (7077 Elmore Avenue, Davenport). 6 p.m. $20-30. For tickets and information, call (563)328-6000 or visit RhythmCityCasino.com.
Sunday, December 11 – Quad City Wind Ensemble. Holiday concert with the area musicians under the direction of Brian Hughes, with a performance by the Big River Brass Band. St. Ambrose University’s Galvin Fine Arts Center (2101 North Gaines Street, Davenport). 8 p.m. Free. For information, visit QCWindEnsemble.org.
Tuesday, December 13 – Home Free: A Country Christmas. Holiday tunes, country standards, and pop hits with the five-man country ensemble. Adler Theatre (136 East Third Street, Davenport). 7:30 p.m. $27.50-35. For tickets, call (800)745-3000 or visit AdlerTheatre.com.
Tuesday, December 13 – Cody Jinks. Concert with the Texas-based country singer. Rock Island Brewing Company (1815 Second Avenue, Rock Island). 7 p.m. $20-75. For information, call 309-793-1999 or visit RIBCO.com.
Wednesday, December 14 – Mushroomhead. Concert with the Cleveland-based heavy-metal musicians, with opening sets by Far from Fearless and Brotherhood of the Mudcat. Gabe’s (330 East Washington Street, Iowa City). 5:30 p.m. $10-25. For tickets and information, call (319)351-9175 or visit ICGabes.com.
Friday, December 16, and Saturday, December 17 – One Voice Celebration. Thirty houses of worship and area not-for-profits participate in a two-night celebration of praise, dance, and singing. iWireless Center (1201 River Drive, Moline). 7 p.m. $20-22. For tickets, visit OneVoiceQC.com.
Friday, December 16 – Karma to Burn. West Virginia-based desert-rock musicians in concert, with opening sets by Morphine Dream and Rezinator. (1815 Second Avenue, Rock Island). 9 p.m. $10. For information, call 309-793-1999 or visit RIBCO.com.
Friday, December 16, and Saturday, December 17 – A Nova Christmas. The Nova Singers perform carols in traditional and new arrangements under the direction of Laura Lane. Friday: St. Paul Lutheran Church (2136 Brady Street, Davenport). Saturday: First Lutheran Church (364 East Water Street, Galesburg). 7:30 p.m. $15-18. For tickets and information, call (309)341-7038 or visit NovaSingers.com.
Friday, December 16 – Bucktown Revue. Holiday-themed variety show in the tradition of A Prairie Home Companion, 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.
Saturday, December 17 – Melissa Etheridge. Holiday concert with the Oscar- and Grammy-winning pop/rock musician. Rhythm City Casino Resort (7077 Elmore Avenue, Davenport). 8 p.m. $45-65. For tickets and information, call (563)328-6000 or visit RhythmCityCasino.com.
Saturday, December 17 – Jim McDonough: Holiday Grande 2016. The International Steinway Artist, his 14-piece professional orchestra, and a cast of singers and dancers perform a benefit concert for Camp Courageous of Iowa. Adler Theatre (136 East Third Street, Davenport). 2:30 p.m. $37-45. For tickets, call (800)745-3000 or visit AdlerTheatre.com.
Sunday, December 18 – Tony Sconyers & Beginnings. Polyrhythms presents a celebration of Nat King Cole and others in the Third Sunday Matinée & Workshop Series. The Redstone Room (129 Main Street, Davenport). 3 p.m. workshop ($5 for adults, free for students), 6 p.m. concert ($10-15). For tickets and information, call (309)373-0790 or visit Polyrhythms.org or RiverMusicExperience.org.
Thursday, December 22 – Euforquestra’s Home for the Holidays. Funk and groove musicians in a fundraising concert for the Crisis Center of Johnson County, with an opening set by Meteor Cat. Englert Theatre (221 East Washington Street, Iowa City). 8 p.m. $15-20. For tickets and information, call (319)688-2653 or visit Englert.org.
Friday, December 30 – Man in Black: The Music of Johnny Cash. Tribute concert performed by Robert Shaw & the Lonely Street Band. Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse (1828 Third Avenue, Rock Island). 7 p.m. $20-25. For tickets and information, call (309)786-7733 extension 2 or visit Circa21.com.
Friday, December 30 – Winter Blues Jam. Concert performed by the students who participated in the week’s Winter Blues workshops. The Redstone Room (129 Main Street, Davenport). 6 p.m. For information, call (563)326-1333 or visit RiverMusicExperience.org.
Friday, December 9, through Saturday, December 17 – As You Like It. The Prenzie Players’ production of William Shakespeare’s pastoral comedy, directed by Kitty Israel. QC Theatre Workshop (1730 Wilkes Avenue, Davenport). Thursday through Saturday 8 p.m., Sunday 3 p.m. $10-15. For tickets and information, call (563)484-4210 or visit PrenziePlayers.com.
Friday, December 9, through Saturday, December 17 – Dead Man’s Cell Phone. Dreamwell Theatre’s production of Sarah Ruhl’s off-Broadway comedy, directed by Brian Tanner. Public Space One (120 North Dubuque Street, Iowa City). 7:30 p.m. $10-13. For tickets and information, call (319)423-9820 or visit Dreamwell.com.
Friday, December 9, through Sunday, December 18 – Fiddler on the Roof. The City Circle Acting Company of Coralville’s production of the Tony-winning musical classic, directed by Ian Zahren. Coralville Center for the Performing Arts (1301 Fifth Street, Coralville). Friday and Saturday 7:30 p.m., Sunday 2 p.m. $12-27. For tickets and information, call (319)248-9372 or visit CityCircle.org.
Saturday, December 17, and Sunday, December 18 – It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play. Frank Capra’s holiday classic performed as a 1940s live radio broadcast in front of a studio audience. Orpheum Theatre (57 South Kellogg Street, Galesburg). Saturday 7:30 p.m., Sunday 2 p.m. $8-15. For tickets and information, call (309)342-2299 or visit GalesburgOrpheum.org.
Thursday, December 8, through Saturday, December 10 – University of Iowa Graduate/Undergraduate Dance Concert. Presentation of eight works by students Erin Durian, Tessa Ritchey, Anthony Pucci, Ainsley Tharp, Autumn Eckman, Chafin Seymour, Marc Macaranas, Anya Kress, and Azalius Ross. University of Iowa's Space/Place Theatre (20 Davenport Street, Iowa City). 8 p.m. $8-14. For tickets and information, call 319-335-1160 or visit Hancher.UIowa.edu.
Friday, December 9, through Sunday, December 11 – The Nutcracker. Tchaikovsky’s holiday-themed ballet classic performed by dancers from Nolte Academy. Englert Theatre (221 East Washington Street, Iowa City). Friday and Saturday 7:30 p.m., Sunday 2 p.m. $18-30. For tickets and information, call (319)688-2653 or visit Englert.org.
Saturday, December 10 – The Nutcracker. Ballet Quad Cities presents Tchaikovsky’s holiday classic choreographed by Artistic Director Courtney Lyon, with live music by Orchestra Iowa. Adler Theatre (136 East Third Street, Davenport). 1:30 and 7:30 p.m. $10.50-36. For tickets and information, call (309)786-3779 or visit BalletQuadCities.com or AdlerTheatre.com.
Saturday, December 17 – A Good Trip with Shane Mauss. An evening with the touring comedian and host of the Here We Are podcast. The Mill (120 East Burlington Street, Iowa City). 9 p.m. $12-15. For tickets and information, call (319)351-9529 or visit ICMill.com.
Thursday, December 15 – Cinema at the Figge. Screenings of David Lynch’s The Straight Story and scenes from Danny Wilcox Frazier’s Driftless: Stories from Iowa, with still photographs accompanied by live music with The Pines, themed beers for purchase, and more. Figge Art Museum (225 West Second Street, Davenport). 5 p.m. cocktails, 6 p.m. film shorts and stills, 7:15 p.m. feature presentation. Donations encouraged. For information, call (563)326-7804 or visit FiggeArtMuseum.org.
Friday, December 9 – Gallery Hop! Demonstrations, performances, works for sale, and more with local artists at a variety of different downtown Rock Island venues. 6-10 p.m. Free. For information, call (309)788-6311 or visit RIDistrict.com.
Saturday, December 10, through Saturday, December 17 – Season of Light Planetarium Show. Multimedia program that uses the planetarium’s sky projector, astronomical images, music, and narration to explore how our holiday traditions are connected to the sky. Augustana College’s John Deere Planetarium (820 38th Street, Rock Island). Monday through Friday 7 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 2 p.m. For information, visit Helios.Augustana.edu.
Saturday, December 31 – Bottom’s Up Quad City Burlesque: Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous. New Year’s Eve show with the area burlesque performers and comedians, featuring a champagne toast at midnight. Circa ’21 Speakeasy (1818 Third Avenue, Rock Island). 10 p.m. $25. For tickets and information, call (309)786-7733 extension 2 or visit Circa21.com.