There’s so much to do in our neck of the Old Northwest Territory! Here are some fun events coming up this season.
Legally Blonde The Musical
Through July 8, check website for days/times. The first professional production in the area of this smash hit Broadway musical based on the smash hit film. Fireside, Fort Atkinson, (800) 477-9505, firesidetheatre.com.
June 1, 7 p.m. Rockford’s hometown boys kick off AirFest 2012 with The Sensations and Miles Nielson & the Rusted Hearts. Ticket stubs get admission to AirFest. Davis Park, 320 S. Wyman St., Rockford. Tickets: BMO Harris Bank Center, 300 Elm St., Rockford, (815) 968-5600, metrocentre.com.
Avalon String Quartet
June 1, 7 p.m. One of the country’s top string ensembles, now in residence at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb. Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center (MPAC), 415 N. Church St., Rockford, (815) 964-9713,
Todd Rundgren & RSO
June 1-2, 8 p.m. The singer/songwriter of such hits as “We Gotta Get You a Woman,” “Bang the Drum All Day” and “Hello It’s Me” kicks off his North American symphonic tour in Rockford. Coronado Performing Arts Center (CPAC), 314 N. Main St., Rockford, (815) 968-0595, coronadopac.org.
Fridays in the Park
June 1-Sept. 7, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Live music, picnic lunch prepared by local eateries. Meet friends, take a break from work. First National Bank Plaza, downtown Beloit, visitbeloit.com.
Charlotte’s Web’s 40th Anniversary Celebration
June 2, 1-9 p.m. Celebrate The Web, a Rockford music institution. Indoor and outdoor stages, with a different performer every 40 minutes, including Jim Post, Bonnie Koloc, James Lee Stanley, Emily Hurd, Beat Merchants, more. Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center, 415 N. Church St., Rockford, charlotteswebofrockford.org.
June 6-8, 8 p.m.; June 9, 2 & 8 p.m. A mix of intense drama and howlingly funny dark humor, about a murderous barber and a baker who disposes of the bodies by baking them into her pies. Starlight Theatre, Rock Valley College (RVC), 3301 N. Mulford Road, Rockford, (815) 921-2160.
Guys & Dolls
June 7-17, check website for days/times. The classic Damon Runyon Broadway fable, about the oldest established permanent floating craps game in New York, with hits “Luck Be a Lady” and “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat.” Timber Lake Playhouse, Timber Lake Road, Mt. Carroll, Ill. (815) 244-2035, timberlakeplayhouse.org.
Geneva Lake Art Association Paint-In
June 9-10, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. For the 12th year, more than 18 artists painting under market umbrellas along Broad and Main streets, answering questions and selling their art. Downtown Lake Geneva, Wis., (262) 249-7988, genevalakeart.org.
June 9, 7:30 p.m. This innovative bluegrass band uses jugs, washboards, musical saws and mouth harp along with banjo, mandolin, fiddle, guitar and bass to play original toe-tappin’ songs. MAC, 1315 11th St., Monroe, Wis. (608) 325-7700, monroeartscenter.com.
June 10, gate opens 4 p.m., concert 6 p.m. Klehm Arboretum Woodsong Concerts kicks off with this group of three men who will play 30 instruments covering genres of classic rock, country and more. Great music, audience participation and sheer zaniness. Klehm Arboretum, 2715 S. Main St., Rockford, (815) 965-8146, klehm.org.
Cirque Du Soleil: Quidam
June 13-15, 7:30 p.m.; June 16, 2:30 & 7:30 p.m.; June 17, 1 & 5 p.m. A young girl’s escape into a world of imagination, told with this group’s signature blend of music, aerial acrobatics and athletic dance. BMO Harris Bank Center (formerly MetroCentre), 300 Elm St., Rockford, (815) 968-5600, metrocentre.com.
June 13-15, 8 p.m., June 16, 2 & 8 p.m. Musical adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel of the March sisters, growing up in Civil War-era America. Starlight Theatre, RVC, Rockford, (815) 921-2160.
To Kill A Mockingbird
June 15-July 1, Fri.-Sat. 8 p.m.; Sun. 2 p.m. Based on Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book of 1960, which carries us through the fires of prejudice and injustice in 1932 Alabama. Pec Playhouse Theatre, 314 Main St., Pecatonica, (815) 239-1210, pecplayhouse.org.
Boscobel: Art by the Stream
June 16-17, Art by the Stream in Depot Park at 800 Wisconsin Ave., Boscobel, Wis. Fifth annual Fine Arts and Crafts Festival. (608) 375-2672.
Into the Woods
June 20-22, 8 p.m.; June 23, 2 & 8 p.m. In James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim’s fractured musical fairy tale, classic characters like Little Red Riding Hood and Rapunzel get their wishes, but face disastrous consequences. Starlight Theatre, RVC, Rockford, (815) 921-2160.
June 21-30, check website for times. Musical adaptation of the great Studs Terkel’s acclaimed book, evoking the extraordinary in the ordinary lives of working people in America. Timber Lake Playhouse, Mt. Carroll, Ill. timberlakeplayhouse.org.
Exhibition: Into the Light: Illinois Glass
June 22-Oct. 21, Mon-Sat 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun noon-5 p.m. The work of eight influential studio glass contemporary artists of the Prairie State. Rockford Art Museum, 711 N. Main St., Rockford, Ill. (815) 968-2787, rockfordartmuseum.com.
June 23, 3 p.m. Scheduled artists: Gary Allan, Rodney Atkins, Josh Thompson, Sunny Sweeney, Eric Paslay. Davis Park, Rockford. Tickets: BMO Harris Bank Center, Rockford, metrocentre.com.
Rock Prairie Choir & Friends Patriotic Concert
June 26-27, 7 p.m. A variety of music, duets, quartets, solos, full chorus by Friends. Snacks. Free-will offering for Rock County Veterans Services. Rock Prairie Presbyterian Church, 8605 E. County Hwy. A, Janesville, (608) 752-1172.
9 to 5: The Musical
June 27-29, 8 p.m.; June 30, 2 & 8 p.m. Dolly Parton wrote the music and lyrics for this adaptation of her 1980 hit movie, co-starring Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin and Dabney Coleman. Starlight Theatre, RVC, Rockford, (815) 921-2160.
The Web: Toronzo Cannon
June 30, 7:30 p.m. This Chicago blues man has the soulful sounds of Buddy Guy and Muddy Waters. Free. Sinnissippi Band Shell, Sinnissippi Park, 1401 N. 2nd St., Rockford, charlotteswebofrockford.org.
July 5-15, check website for times. Tony-nominated hit musical of the hit 1984 film starring Kevin Bacon as Ren, who leads his new classmates on a campaign to bring dancing back to their small town. Timber Lake Playhouse, Mt. Carroll, Ill. ftimberlakeplayhouse.org.
Charlie Daniels Band
July 4, 7 p.m. This hard-workin’ group from the 1970s epitomizes southern rock, from “Long-Haired Country Boy,” “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” and “Uneasy Rider” to cuts from its 2011 CD “Land That I Love.” Davis Park, Rockford. Tickets: BMO Harris Bank Center, Rockford, metrocentre.com.
July 6-8, Fri-Sat 7 p.m. for dessert; show 7:30; Sun. doors open noon, meal 12:30, show after. Follow the lives of six rural Louisiana women over three years. Unlike the popular film version, the play takes place solely in Truvy’s beauty salon, with only the women characters appearing onstage. From the Hanover Street Players.
IOOF/Masonic Hall, 203 W. High St., Orangeville, Ill. (815) 819-1310, mightyrichlandplayers.com.
Music by the Lake (MBTL): Steve Lippia
July 7, 7:30 p.m. One of the most prominent, sought-after vocalists around, Lippia in “Simply Sinatra” performs all of the unforgettable Sinatra tunes backed by his 16-piece orchestra. Ferro Pavilion, George Williams College of Aurora University (GWC), 350 Constance Blvd., Williams Bay, Wis. (262) 245-8501 musicbythelake.com.
July 7, 7:30 p.m. This Irish band mixes traditional Celtic music with rock, pop, folk, jazz and funk. MAC, 1315 11th St., Monroe, Wis. (608) 325-7700, monroeartscenter.com.
Woodsong: Corky Siegel & Randy Sabien
July 8, gate opens 4 p.m., concert 6 p.m. Hear the bluesy-rocking sounds of Siegel and the jazz violin of Sabien. Klehm Arboretum, Rockford, klehm.org.
July 11-15, 8 p.m. The musical story of the Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Starlight Theatre, RVC, Rockford, (815) 921-2160.
SpotLight on Kids: Willie Wonka
July 11-13, 7:30 p.m.; July 14, 1 & 7:30 p.m.; July 15, 1 p.m. All-kids version of the musical adaptation of Roald Dahl’s classic book. Janesville Performing Arts Center (JPAC), 408 S. Main St., Janesville, Wis. (608) 758-0297, janesvillepac.org.
The Rock & the Rabbi
July 12-Aug. 19, check website for days/times. Original work with contemporary music tells how Simon the fisherman becomes Peter “the Rock” and begins his journey with Jesus “the Rabbi” of Galilee. The Fireside Dinner Theatre (Fireside), Business Hwy. 26 South, Fort Atkinson, Wis. (800) 477-9505, firesidetheatre.com.
MBTL: The Four Freshmen & The Lettermen
July 14, 7:30 p.m. The close-harmony group best-known for the hit “Graduation Day” influenced the likes of The Beach Boys and Manhattan Transfer; with songs like “When I Fall in Love” and “Goin’ Out of My Head,” The Letterman have 18 gold records and nearly five decades of popularity. Ferro Pavilion, Williams Bay, musicbythelake.com.
The Web: The Cajun Strangers
July 14, 7:30 p.m. Named best band outside of Louisiana by the Cajun French Music Association, this group’s accordion, fiddle, guitar and harmonica playing and dancing is energizing. Free. Sinnissippi Band Shell, Rockford, charlotteswebofrockford.org.
July 18-22, 8 p.m. Musical adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel. Starlight Theatre, RVC, Rockford, (815) 921-2160.
July 19-28, check website for times. Tony Award-winning revival of the 1960 farce, made into a 1965 film starring Tony Curtis. A playboy successfully juggles three stewardess fiancées by tracking their airline timetables – until their work schedules change. Timber Lake Playhouse, Mt. Carroll, timberlakeplayhouse.org.
MBTL: Music in the Air
July 21, 7:30 p.m.; July 22, 4 p.m. This early American musical by Jerome Kerns and Oscar Hammerstein, set in Bavaria, shows what happens when village country folk clash with big-city sophisticates in Munich. Ferro Pavilion, GWC, Williams Bay, musicbythelake.com.
Nephew Tommy & Friends
July 23, 8 p.m. The popular comedian, featured on the “Steve Harvey Morning Show,” with Jammin Jay Lamont, B-Phlat and Ali Siddiq. BMO Harris Bank Center, Rockford, metrocentre.com.
Into the Woods
July 25-29, 8 p.m. James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim’s fractured musical fairy tale. Starlight Theatre, RVC, Rockford, (815) 921-2160.
The Web: Corky Seigel’s Chamber Blues
July 28, 7:30 p.m. A fresh, innovative sound capturing the sparkling qualities of classical music merged with the emotional melodic style of blues. Free. Sinnissippi Band Shell, Rockford, charlotteswebofrockford.org.
MBTL: Tom Chapin & Friends
July 29, 4 p.m. This popular artist will engage the hearts, minds and imaginations of children and adults alike. Ferro Pavilion, Williams Bay, musicbythelake.com.
9 to 5: The Musical
Aug. 1-5, 8 p.m. Dolly Parton wrote the music and lyrics for this adaptation of her 1980 hit movie. Starlight Theatre, RVC, Rockford, (815) 921-2160.
Aug. 2-12, check website for times. Step into the decadent Kit Kat Club of 1929 Berlin, with Sally Bowles, Cliff Bradshaw and other colorful characters. Timber Lake Playhouse, Timber Lake Road, Mt. Carroll. (815) 244-2035, timberlakeplayhouse.org.
Aug. 2, 7:30 p.m. Groundbreakiing R&B group from the ’80s, with members like Bobby Brown and Michael Bivins (Bell Biv DeVoe) led the way for all boy bands that followed. Hear hits like “Candy Girl,” “Popcorn Love,” “Mr. Telephone Man.” BMO Harris Bank Center, Rockford, metrocentre.com.
MBTL: Anderson & Roe
Aug. 5, 4 p.m. Two of the finest young pianists on the scene blend classical with pop and rock, and make funny and witty observations. Ferro Pavilion, GWC, Williams Bay, musicbythelake.com.
Tallman Arts Festival
August 5, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. This annual juried event draws artists from throughout the Midwest to display fine arts and studio crafts in a variety of media and styles. Ice cream social, live entertainment, silent auction. Proceeds benefit Rock County Historical Society. Lincoln-Tallman House Grounds, 440 N. Jackson St., Janesville, (608) 756-4509, rchs.org.
33rd Annual Art in the Park
Aug. 11-12, 10 a.m. Juried show of original fine art from more than 80 artists from across the U.S. Photography, pottery, paintings, sculpture, jewelry, more. Silent auction, entertainment, food vendors, children’s activities. Flat Iron Park, 626 Geneva St., Lake Geneva, Wis., genevalakeart.org.
MBTL: Million Dollar Quartet Concert Version
Aug. 11, 7:30 p.m. A concert version of the hit musical about the legendary recording session with Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins, with the stars of the Chicago production. Ferro Pavilion, Williams Bay, musicbythelake.com.
Aug. 12, gate opens 4 p.m., concert 6 p.m. Moptops, retro costumes and vintage instruments, this tribute band performs all of the Beatles hits from the ’60s. Klehm Arboretum, Rockford, klehm.org.
Aug. 18, 7:30 p.m. This quartet plays classic bluegrass, gospel and original songs on bass, banjo, guitar and mandolin. MAC, 1315 11th St., Monroe, Wis. (608) 325-7700, monroeartscenter.com.
“Some Enchanted Evening: The Songs of Rodgers & Hammerstein”
Aug. 16-26, check website for times. A musical revue with more than 30 songs from shows like Carousel, The King and I, Oklahoma, South Pacific, The Sound of Music and more. Timber Lake Playhouse, Mt. Carroll, timberlakeplayhouse.org.
MBTL: Cheap Trick
Aug. 18, 7:30 p.m. This group from Rockford, with hits like “I Want You to Want Me” and “Surrender,” will be a rollicking close to the season. Ferro Pavilion, GWC, Williams Bay, musicbythelake.com.
Arts & Crafts on the Lawn
Aug. 19, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. More than 150 juried artisans, Milton Chamber Chicken BBQ, ice cream social, raffle, tours of the Milton House Museum, food booths & nonprofits. Milton House, 18 S. Janesville St., Milton, Wis., (608) 868-7772.
Aug. 23-Oct. 21, check website for days/times. “Put on Your Sunday Clothes” and take in the fun, as matchmaker Miss Dolly Levi plots to land eligible New York half-a-millionaire Horace Vandergelder, “Before the Parade Passes By.” Fireside, Fort Atkinson, (800) 477-9505, firesidetheatre.com. ❚