See ballet dance on a new stage
Ballet Quad Cities kicks off its 23rd season with a new venue, new artists and live music. Accompanied by a variety of classic and modern works, “MUSICMOVES!” will be danced at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2:30 p.m. Sunday at Brunner Theater Center, 3750 7th Ave., Rock Island.
Among the program highlights are choreography by artistic director Courtney Lyon to excerpts from Georges Bizet's famous opera, “Carmen,” and Igor Stravinsky's chamber concerto “Dumbarton Oaks” — both featuring veteran dancer Malachi Squires. Having trained at Houston Ballet Company and Marin Dance Theater, his credits include Chicago's Goodman Theater and Chicago Lyric Opera, as well as Dallas-Fort Worth, New York, Seoul and over 70 cities in Japan, with an appearance on national television in leading male roles in “Swan Lake,” “Romeo and Juliet” and “Sleeping Beauty.”
This weekend, Squires will dance a pas de deux from the passionate “Carmen” with Sage Feldges, in which the gypsy Carmen seduces soldier Don Jose, who is engaged to another woman. In the Stravinsky piece, Squires will dance lead with Meghan Phillips, and it also features Feldges, Claire Cordano, Nick Bartolotti, Maya de Leon, Rachel Martens, Madeleine Rhode and Mahalia Zellmer.
In “Dumbarton Oaks” (named for a famous Washington D.C. estate, now a Harvard research institute, library and museum), the choreography is inspired by the symmetrical shape and detailed texture of its pebble garden and fountain, and the Bach-like structure of Stravinsky’s neoclassical 1938 score, according to BQC program notes.
The ballet program — which includes performances by flutist Jeiran Hasan and clarinetist Rob Miller — also features choreography by BQC veteran Emily Kate Long, including the fun finale, with music from Leonard Bernstein's “West Side Story.” Tickets are $15-$25, available at eventbrite.com, balletquadcities.com, or by calling 309-786-3779.
Get a kick out of “The Wolves”
The intense Sarah DeLappe drama was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2017 and was hailed by critics like The New York Times as an "incandescent portrait" of “the scary, exhilarating brightness of raw adolescence.” “The Wolves” depicts Saturday mornings with nine members of the soccer team. As they warm up before each game, they talk about everything from meeting boys and menstruating, to Jesus, junkies, and genocide. Rivalries form and flare, friendships are put to the test, and shocking secrets come out as the girls work out where they stand, both on the field and in the world, according to a synopsis.
The Hollywood Reporter review said: “A dizzying whirl of attitude, anxiety and adolescent hormonal volatility practically pings off the walls in Sarah DeLappe's firecracker of a debut play ...”
Playcrafters cast member Valentine Chenus, a Davenport Central senior (and co-president of her school's Blue Devil Productions), said: “I think people should come see this show because it has something for everyone. It’s funny, like really funny, but it also deals with harder stuff, stuff you don’t always think of as things teenage girls would be talking about. One of the many reasons this show is so good is because of how real it is. It’s real teen girls talking about real problems, and hitting on points and issues you may have not considered to be part of a teen's life.”
The theater (4950 35th Ave., Moline) warns the play contains language and subject matter that some viewers may find offensive. Viewer discretion is advised. Directed by Cynthia Safford, performances will be 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday (plus Sept. 20 and 21), and 3 p.m. Sunday (plus Sept. 22). Tickets are $10 for all on Sept. 13, and all other shows are $13 general admission, $10 for military, seniors and students, and $7 for members, available at 309-762-0330 or at playcrafters.com.
Try a slice of German adventures
The German American Heritage Center, 712 W. 2nd St., Davenport, will host Davenport native Beth Howard, author of of the 2018 book, “Hausfrau Honeymoon: Love, Language, and other Misadventures in Germany,” for a talk at 2 p.m. Saturday.
She gained fame living in the Eldon, Iowa, house immortalized in Grant Wood's "American Gothic" painting, and traveled the country teaching people how to make pie. In 2003, Howard moved to Germany for love. But her three years living in Stuttgart proved more challenging than expected — especially learning the language. She documents her adventures — and misadventures — in her heartfelt memoir “Hausfrau Honeymoon,” which she will discuss, and copies will be available Saturday for sale and signing, according to the GAHC.
An author and blogger in southeast Iowa, Howard in 2012 had her debut book, "Making Piece: A Memoir of Love, Loss and Pie,” published by Harlequin. It chronicled the grief Howard was plunged into at the sudden death of her husband, Marcus, and how she worked her way through it, according to a Quad-City Times piece, which noted making pie played a major part in her story and became a metaphor for sharing, healing and community.
Howard, a Davenport Assumption graduate, also is the author of the 2012 cookbook “Ms. American Pie.” She’s been featured on CNN, CBS This Morning, BBC, and NPR; and she has given a TEDx talk about the healing powers of pie. She blogs at The World Needs More Pie. Her Saturday program is included with admission to GAHC – $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, $3 for kids, and free for members. For more information, visit gahc.org or call 563-322-8844.
Enjoy more tomfoolery on Tremont
Morales has been featured on IFC, HBO Latino, Freeform and Hulu. She has been on Sirius XM, on The Church of What’s Happening Now with Joey Diaz, Getting Doug with High, and her own hit podcast, “No Sir I Don’t Like It.” Morales has also headlined the San Diego Festival and Altercation Comedy Festival.
“Carmen is fast-rising star in the L.A. comedy scene,” Chris Schlichting, Q-C comic and organizer of Tomfoolery on Tremont, said this week. “She is honest and high-energy. When I ask comedians that have performed at the mansion who they recommend, Carmen Morales' name keeps getting brought up. I look forward to every Tomfoolery on Tremont, but this one had been circled on the calendar for a while.”
In a 2017 interview at leoweekly.com, Morales described her childhood growing up in Orlando, Fla., as having been “raised in the middle of an argument.” The piece called her “a whiskey-swilling stand-up, who tempers a sarcastic edge with straightforward logic.”
“When you think about history, people who ran from the truth have always paid worse than those who confronted it. That’s what I loved about Richard Pryor — how honest he was,” Morales said then. “Not just on stage, but in the stories themselves he’s being honest. He talks about doing dope in front of his grandmother and all of this other s---. And that was so amazing to me. I was raised by a crazy person, so I was being lied to all of the time ... I felt like Richard Pryor was the first person to be honest with me.”
Tickets for Sunday are $10, available at eventbrite.com.