"Missing Link” found at Richmond Hill
Richmond Hill Players’ new offering is the Jack Sharkey comedy “Missing Link,” which creatively boasts a double meaning and a fun outlet for its leading actress, Mandi Wilson of New Windsor.
In her third production at RHP, after "The Curse of an Aching Heart" in 2013 and "Checkmate" in 2016, she plays Belinda Baxter — high-school sweetheart of Lincoln (“Link”) Sinclair, who in 1945 was reported missing somewhere in the Pacific and never seen again. “For 30 years, she's been missing Link,” Wilson, a sign-language interpreter for area schools, said this week. “It's definitely a romantic comedy.”
In 1975, Lindy is on the eve of her wedding to another man, Simon Fletcher. The phone rings, and chaos ensues with a blast from the past. Link shows up with a diamond ring and a box of money as his gift for the bride who he thinks is marrying him. A reporter comes with a strange story about another vanished man, and Link's mother arrives with a question.
Wilson says she enjoys working with the RHP director, Joe DePauw. She's also acted in a handful of Playcrafters shows, the most recent “Dixie Swim Club” in 2017. “I really enjoy getting to know cast members and getting tricks of the trade from other veterans,” she said.
The “Missing Link” cast includes Kevin Keck, Don Faust, Jim Strauss, Jackie Skiles, Matthew McConville, Michaela Moore-Giebel, Barb Nurmi, Archie Williams, Dana Skiles and Jessica Moore. The show will be at 7:30 p.m. Thursday to Saturday (July 11-13, and 18-20), and 3 p.m. Sunday, July 14 and 21, at the Barn Theater in Richmond Hill Park, Geneseo. The audio description performance is Friday, July 12.
Tickets are $12, available at 309-944-2244 or rhplayers.com. Late seating is not permitted.
Catch a Trout at Redstone Room
Veteran bluesman Walter Trout is a survivor. The acclaimed 68-year-old New Jersey native will bring his music — including his latest, from 2018's “Survivor Blues” to Davenport at 8:30 p.m. Friday at the Redstone Room, 2nd and Main streets, with opening act Nick Schnebelen.
The idea for his most recent album was not to do blues' greatest hits. “I wanted to do old, obscure songs that have hardly been covered. And that’s how 'Survivor Blues' started,” Trout said in a recent tour release.
He won praise for his 2017’s release, “We’re All In This Together,” leading Trout across the planet to auspicious sellout venues and winning four awards for Blues Rock Album Of The Year. “It’s really overwhelming. But how do I follow that up?” he said. “I’ve always respected guys who went out on a limb, like Neil Young or Bob Dylan. You never know what they’re gonna come out with.”
The new record's opener “Me, My Guitar And The Blues” tipped a hat to cult hero Jimmy Dawkins, whose records Trout loved while cutting his teeth as a ’60s guitarist in New Jersey. “Nature’s Disappearing” nods to his celebrated ’80s tenure in John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers. Trout's career includes backing up John Lee Hooker in the ’70s, to bringing the groove to Canned Heat in the ’80s or breaking through as a solo artist in the ’90s, according to his release.
A review at bluesblastmagazine.com said of “Survivor Blues”: “Trout takes each tune and crafts it into his own, making a cool dozen musical statements for us to enjoy. There is stellar guitar work here, super vocals, and a tight set of musicians working with Trout.”
Tickets for Friday's show are $22 in advance, and $25 day of show, available at 563-326-1333 or rivermusicexperience.org.
Metro Arts showcases its work Thursday
Several outdoor spots around the Q-C are much brighter and beautiful now because of the Quad City Arts Metro Arts program. The Rock Island-based nonprofit will celebrate this year's efforts Thursday (July 11) at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center, 630 9th St., Rock Island.
A free arts showcase will honor the 19th year of Metro Arts, a paid internship program for young artists, which more than doubled in size this year. Thanks to support from the community and sponsors, eight projects were done by 104 artists ages 15-21. Two murals were completed in the spring and six programs in the summer.
The spring murals are at Lincoln Road in Bettendorf and Friendship Manor in Rock Island. The summer programs included sculpture at the Figge Art Museum in Davenport, a photography project in Milan, a mural at the Martin Luther King Center in Rock Island, an improv comedy troupe, a mural at Quad City Symphony Orchestra in Davenport and street art projects in Bettendorf.
The projects were led by six professional artists with a passion for teaching and encouraging creativity with their students. This five-week program offers opportunities for young artists to further develop their artistic and professional skills while enhancing the community through the arts. There will be a ribbon-cutting for the King Center mural at 5 p.m. Thursday and the showcase will begin at 6 p.m., including a performance from the improv-comedy group.
Student apprentices receive a stipend of $500, and senior apprentices (adult project leaders) receive a stipend of $750. The program is sponsored by The John Deere Foundation, cities of Rock Island and Bettendorf, Grant W. and Virigina M. Brissman Foundation, Downtown Davenport Partnership, Friendship Manor, the Figge, Davenport Noon Optimists and the QCSO. Find out more at quadcityarts.com/metro.
More than music Sunday in Galva
The Chicago quartet that makes up the Henhouse Prowlers play at the intersection of performance, diplomacy and education, according to a concert release. Wherever they are, the Henhouse Prowlers “find and spread the commonality we share as human beings through the universal language of music. On stage, the group's electrifying performances give audiences a sense of how much they love what they do.”
The Prowlers have been to more than 25 countries, working with the U.S. State Department and under their own nonprofit, Bluegrass Ambassadors — incorporating music from Africa, Asia, the Middle East and more into their repertoire of unique traditional American music.
VanSant, a singer/songwriter from Baltimore, has lyrics that are personally and politically relevant. “Her distinct vocal style is fortified by sparse indie folk and Americana arrangements,” according to her bio. “In her music as in her life, VanSant has always sought to wrestle with worthy questions.”
She earned a Human Rights and Humanitarian Issues degree from Macalester College (St. Paul, Minn.), and has worked for the Obama campaign in Detroit, environmental organizing in Baltimore and progressive advocacy in Washington, D.C.
“We are in this political crisis in part because we have a lot of spiritual work to do,” VanSant said in the release. “This moment requires us to think deeply about our priorities, to confront our fears, to really know ourselves. We have to build the relationships and the emotional fortitude to sustain a movement.”
The free Sunday concert starts at 6 p.m. at Wiley Park in Galva. There will also be activities for children and adults alike throughout the event, including food vendors.