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Wednesday - August 4, 2021
Quad Cities USA - Guide to Davenport & Bettendorf Iowa and Rock Island & Moline Illinois
 

Rock Island’s Mississippi Bend Players Offer Virtual Encore of Two Shows

July 27th, 2021
Rock Island's Mississippi Bend Players Offer Virtual Encore of Two Shows

Due to the abridged past summer season, there’s a good chance you may have missed the small, stellar offerings of Mississippi Bend Players, the professional regional theater at Augustana College, Rock Island. Well, you are in luck, as two of the three shows in the 2021 season (which only ran for one weekend apiece) will have virtual encores, with online screenings of “Mary and Ethel: How I Learned to Sing” and “No Child…” “Mary and Ethel: How I Learned to Sing” will stream through Aug. 8. Conceived and performed by Shelly Cooper with musical arrangements by Mason Moss, the show... Read More

REVIEW: Augustana Musical Theater Prof Offered a Wonderful Time in Personal “Mary and Ethel” Tribute

June 27th, 2021
REVIEW: Augustana Musical Theater Prof Offered a Wonderful Time in Personal “Mary and Ethel” Tribute

You know when they say film versions of stage plays often “open them up” with exterior settings or other visual changes that are not possible or feasible in a theater? Well, two already remarkable stage shows at this month’s Mississippi Bend Players – the top-notch professional summer stock at Augustana College – have benefitted from that approach, both without leaving an indoor theater. Just a week after its first 2021 production, “Red” (which premiered in 2012 at QC Theatre Workshop), MBP again transformed the Brunner Theatre Center into a spacious, sophisticated cabaret with Shelley... Read More

Augustana Musical Theater Prof Wins Big Award at Orlando Fringe Festival

June 3rd, 2021
Augustana Musical Theater Prof Wins Big Award at Orlando Fringe Festival

Shelley Cooper came full circle last week at the prestigious Orlando Fringe Festival in Florida, and came home Tuesday with an unexpected award. The multi-talented, 35-year-old Augustana assistant professor of theatre arts earned the Fringe Critic’s Choice for Best Individual Performance, Drama, for her one-woman show, “La Divina: The Last Interview of Maria Callas.” “I was completely shocked that I won,” Cooper said Wednesday. “I mean like to the point that I was waiting, maybe I would be nominated for solo show or this or that, and then when those got announced, I started walking... Read More

Quad-Cities Artists In Conversation This Week Features Shelley Cooper From Circa ’21’s ‘Beehive’

May 19th, 2021
Quad-Cities Artists In Conversation This Week Features Shelley Cooper From Circa '21's 'Beehive'

Artists in Conversation is a weekly column running Wednesdays on QuadCities.com. It features a conversation with a local creator going into their artistic process, projects and more. Get to know your local arts scene and local creators better on QuadCities.com with Artists In Conversation! If you’re a local creator and would like to be featured, please email us at Sean@QuadCities.com or Tristan@QuadCities.com! THIS WEEK: Educator, director and performance artist Shelley Cooper who is at the helm of Circa ‘21’s BEEHIVE! What attracted you to BEEHIVE? Beehive is a 60’s concert to celebrate... Read More

Rock Island’s Mississippi Bend Players To Go Small for 2021 Summer Season

May 5th, 2021
Rock Island's Mississippi Bend Players To Go Small for 2021 Summer Season

The fourth full season of Mississippi Bend Players will feature a total of five performers over three productions this summer at Augustana College’s Brunner Theatre Center. After it was forced to cancel its 2020 in-person season, the 2021 lineup will be: “Red” (June 17-20), by John Logan, directed by Catherine Bodenbender and featuring MBP favorites Mike Schulz and Tristan Odenkirk. Master abstract expressionist Mark Rothko has just landed the biggest commission in the history of modern art, a series of murals for New York’s famed Four Seasons Restaurant. In the two fascinating years... Read More

Moline’s Black Box Theater Debuting ‘La Divina: The Last Interview of Maria Callas’

March 26th, 2021
Moline's Black Box Theater Debuting 'La Divina: The Last Interview of Maria Callas'

Black Box Theater in Moline is back with  “La Divina: The Last Interview of Maria Callas,” starring Shelley Cooper, for just three performances — March 26-28. The show, inspired by the life and work of the dramatic 20th-century opera singer Maria Callas (1923-1977), contains stories of Callas’ life and famous iconic arias that she was known for singing. Cooper – an assistant professor of theatre arts at Augustana College — “La Divina: The Last Interview of Maria Callas” at Augustana and at the Retzhof Castle near Graz, Austria, as a part of the International Global Theatre Experience. That... Read More

Augustana’s Cooper Brings Maria Callas To Life At Moline’s Black Box Theatre

March 24th, 2021
Augustana's Cooper Brings Maria Callas To Life At Moline's Black Box Theatre

Shelley Cooper is a great admirer of legendary opera singer Maria Callas (1923-1977), who truly had an epic, operatic life. The multi-talented, 35-year-old Augustana assistant professor of theatre arts is bringing her one-woman, one-hour tribute to Callas this weekend to Moline’s Black Box Theatre. “La Divina: The Last Interview of Maria Callas” will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday, at 1623 5th Ave., Moline. Audiences will be limited to 30 patrons; temperatures checked at the door, and Cooper will wear a clear plastic face shield while performing. She credited... Read More

The Black Box Theatre Re-Opens March 11th with “Dick Tracy: A Live Radio Play”

March 8th, 2021
The Black Box Theatre Re-Opens March 11th with “Dick Tracy: A Live Radio Play”

It’s been a while, but the Black Box Theatre in downtown Moline will be back with live theater starting Thursday, with a new production of “Dick Tracy: A Live Radio Play,” starring James Driscoll, Matt Walsh, Doug Kutzli, Mark Ruebling, Jenny Winn, Sara Nicole Wegener and Tom Vaccaro in the “Case of The Big Top Murders.” “Dick Tracy and The Case of the Big Top Murders” is a whodunnit focusing on the renowned sleuth’s investigation of murder and mayhem in a traveling circus company. ho killed the clown, and why? Theater veteran Jim Driscoll is Dick Tracy. Lora Adams, BBT co-founder... Read More

“Into the Woods” Holds New Weight and Meaning for Augustana Performers

March 1st, 2021
“Into the Woods” Holds New Weight and Meaning for Augustana Performers

The beloved Stephen Sondheim musical “Into the Woods” – done at Augustana College this past weekend for very limited, campus-only audiences – was a cathartic, unprecedented experience for its young performers. The emotional 1987 musical, combining classic fairy tales and an original story about a baker and his wife, is full of longing, doubt, adventure, danger, hope, grief and perseverance in normal times. But of course, these aren’t normal times, and in the first partnership among Augie’s musical theater, opera and orchestral programs, the student actors found the fantastical tale... Read More

Rock Island’s Circa ’21 Premieres Filmed Bluegrass Musical From Feb. 6 to 28

February 4th, 2021
Rock Island's Circa ’21 Premieres Filmed Bluegrass Musical From Feb. 6 to 28

In a dark, uncertain time, Circa ’21 offers light and unadulterated joy in its latest online entertainment, the fun bluegrass musical “Big Rock Candy Mountain.” Fans of the film “O Brother Where Art Thou” and the Circa ’21 favorite “Southern Crossroads” should love this original musical – written and directed by Tristan Tapscott — that features such classic hits as “Big Rock Candy Mountain,” “House of the Rising Sun,” “Keep on the Sunny Side of Life” and many more. In the story set in 1932, a merry band of misfits sneaks into a theater hoping to stay out of... Read More