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Quad Cities USA - Guide to Davenport & Bettendorf Iowa and Rock Island & Moline Illinois

‘Seven Brides’ Overcomes Problematic Premise With Entertaining Show

August 24th, 2017

In theory, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers has an unflinchingly chauvinistic  premise; Adam Pontiphee decides that he’s going to marry Milly. He proposes right after meeting her. He brings her up to his homestead in the mountains of Oregon in 1850. He neglects to mention that he’s got six other younger brothers, and that she’ll have to cook, clean, and mend clothing for all of them. But he baits her with romance and switches to that. Add to that, his six younger brothers actively kidnap six other young women from town in order to take them as brides. So why does Seven Brides for Seven Brothers... Read More

Danielle Ate The Sandwich Charms Colonastock

August 17th, 2017

When you think of Colona, you think of . . . well, you don’t think of perfectly charming, creative and quirky concerts featuring indie folk pop darlings. But, Jessica and Tristan Tapscott, the founders of Colonastock, are known for thinking out of the box, so, there you go. Colonastock. Part Woodstock, part little indie show in a barn on a hayrack, part something that’s rarely if ever been done before, all offbeat fun. Colonastock, which, truth be told, was also sponsored by your beloved QuadCities.com, got off to a rousing start in its inaugural year with a brilliant and bouncy show on Wednesday,... Read More

Music Guild’s ‘West Side Story’ A Classic

July 12th, 2017

In the book Let it Snow!, jointly written by John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle, the character Tobin is terrified to ask his best friend Angie out because he doesn’t want to risk an unhappy ending. But he secretly loves her. And over the course of their adventure to get to a Waffle House during a blizzard in North Carolina, Tobin starts to court the idea of a happy middle… regardless of whether things go to pieces. Composer Leonard Bernstein, lyricist Stephen Sondheim, and bookwriter Arthur Laurents, approached West Side Story with the same sensibility. Quad City Music Guild... Read More

Frog and Toad Wonderfully Done

June 29th, 2017

A Year With Frog and Toad, the latest children’s production at Circa ’21, is wonderfully done, a show which perfectly captures the tone, feel and look of one of America’s most popular children’s-story series. The terrific, literate show, which was nominated for three 2003 Tony Awards including Best Musical, is masterfully done, and I, as an adult watching it, truly enjoyed it. I think adults watching it will likewise appreciate its subtle, well-crafted style, and smaller children will particularly like it, especially if they are fans of the book. It is a bit slow-moving, and pre-teens... Read More

“Alien: Covenant” Wins Big with Ridley Scott at the Helm

May 27th, 2017

Cast:  Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride, Demián Bichir, Carmen Ejogo, Jussie Smollett, Callie Hernandez, Amy Seimetz, Nathaniel Dean, Alexander England, Uli Latukefu, Tess Haubrich, James Franco, Guy Pearce Director:  Ridley Scott Writers: based on characters created by Dan O’Bannon and Ronald Shusett. Story by Jack Paglen and Michael Green. Screenplay by John Logan and Dante harper. Length:  2 hrs., 2 mins. “Alien: Covenant,” which opened May 18th, marks a return to form for Ridley Scott and the “Alien” franchise. I Ridley Scott is The Man in... Read More

Jurassic Quest Is Dinosaur-Sized Fun

April 26th, 2017

The shaking of the Earth, the thunderous  roars, the fear of sharp teeth and talons, and enormous intimidation. Yet there was no fear. This in fact was a wonderful, genius of an idea. A world of animatronic ,mechanical, robotics known as Jurassic Quest. A traveling prehistoric Jurassic World that took place at the Quad City Expo Center this last weekend. This “over 40 ” reporter was basically a child again when I stepped into the past the very very distant past, 30 billion years into the past. I was mesmerized, thrilled and terrified yet I was also in complete awe. T-Rex, allosaurus,... Read More

Little Shop Is Far From Horrendous

April 6th, 2017

Little Shop of Horrors at Quad City Music Guild: A Review I recently had the opportunity to see Little Shop of Horrors at Quad City Music Guild. It is my second time seeing it at the theatre. Book and lyrics are by Howard Ashman. Musical arrangements by Alan Menken. The storyline is, to be sure, twisted. Adapted for the stage from the 1985 movie starring Rick Moranis, Little Shop of Horrors is about a dweeby man named Seymour who works at a flower and plant shop on Skid Row in Los Angeles. He is privately in love with Audrey, his coworker. Traditional enough set-up. But we work in a blood-sucking... Read More

Nobody Speak’ Deserves All The Good Words About It

April 4th, 2017

This is part of film critic Connie Wilson’s exclusive coverage of the SXSW Film Festival for QuadCities.com. “Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press” from Director/Screenwriter Brian Knappenberger @ SXSW Genre:  Documentary Feature Length:  95 minutes Writer/Director:  Brian Knappenberger Principal Cast:  Nick Denton, A.J. Daulario, John Cook, David Folkenflick, Floyd Abrams, Peter Sterne, David Houston, Margaret Sullivan, Jay Rosen, John L. Smith Review:  Connie Wilson   The trial between wrestler Hulk Hogan and Gawker Media pitted privacy rights against freedom of the press, but... Read More

“Muppet Guys Talking” Reveals Secrets of the Muppets

April 1st, 2017

Muppet Guys Talking: Secrets Behind the Show the Whole World Watched Genre: Documentary Length:  65 minutes Cast:  Jerry Nelson, Dave Goelz, Fran Brill, Bill Barretta, Frank Oz Reviewer:  Connie Wilson In 1955, creative genius Jim Henson created a troop of puppets known as The Muppets. By 1978 The Muppets” was the most-watched television show in history, with 235 million viewers in 102 countries, according to “Time” magazine. Henson’s untimely death at age 53 in 1990 left right-hand man Frank Oz (real last name: Oznowicz) more-or-less in charge of the troop, which came to fame on “Sesame... Read More

“The Hero” Starring Sam Elliott Premiers at SXSW 2017: Q&A with Cast

March 31st, 2017

This is part of film critic Connie Wilson’s exclusive coverage of the SXSW Film Festival for QuadCities.com. The mythic spirit of the western, our American archetype, is alive and well at the 2017 SXSW Film Festival. I’ve seen two westerns in two days at the Festival. “The Hero,” which showed at the Zach Theater on Friday, March 10th, was the better of the two. “The Hero” was an unusual picture because it focuses on a 71-year-old actor (Elliot) who has been playing western parts for most of his career. Now, he is in the twilight of that career, and most of his work seems to be voice-over... Read More