Arts & Entertainment

Events @ a Glance: Arts & Entertainment Calendar

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There’s so much to do in our region! Here’s a look at what’s coming up this season in our many arts venues.

Miles Nielsen

Miles Nielsen

June

Exhibit: Photography of Tinker Swiss Cottage
Through June 28, Tue.-Sun. 1 & 3 p.m. This exhibit focuses on the changes to the cottage and the landscape, from the first recorded photographs ever taken of Robert Tinker’s property to the last photographs taken by the Tinker family. The tour focuses on the five main areas of the estate. Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum, 411 Kent St., Rockford, (815) 964-2424, tinkercottage.com.

AE: The Spitfire Grill, A Musical
June 12-28, check website for dates/times. Percy Talbott, a young girl fresh out of prison, heads to the small town of Gilead, Wis., where she hopes to make a fresh start. Percy lands a job at the ramshackle Spitfire Grill, owned by a cranky widow named Hannah Ferguson, and makes friends with shy, withdrawn Shelby. Once these three ladies join forces, this small town will never be the same. Artists’ Ensemble (AE), Cheek Theatre, Rockford College, 5050 E. State St., Rockford. Info: AE, (815) 394-5004, artistsensemble.org.

Mason Rivers Country Band
June 18, 7 p.m. This high-energy country band covers today’s favorites and many classics. Free. Sinnissippi Band Shell, Sinnissippi Park, 1401 N. 2nd St., Rockford. Rockfordparkdistrict.org.

Jurassic Park
June 19, dusk. Steven Spielberg’s classic film about an island inhabited by dinosaurs run amok. Free. Friday Night Flix, Davis Park, 320 S. Wyman St., Rockford, thebmoharrisbankcenter.com.

Rockabilly Junction
June 19, 6:30 p.m. Rockabilly music. Historic Monroe Square, 1016 16th Ave., Monroe, Wis. downtownmonroe.org.

June’s Got The Ca$h
June 20, 7-9 p.m. This group’s style is part musical theater, part tribute to Johnny Cash and June Carter. Concerts on the Creek series. Free. Spring Creek United Church of Christ, 4500 Spring Creek Road, Rockford, (815) 877-2576, ext. 103, springcreekucc.org.

Summer Gospel Jam
June 20. Gospel music, kids’ activities, Hispanic dance performances, traditional African mask making, ethnic food, more. Beloit Riverfront. Info: VisitBeloit.com

Woodsong: Three Good Men
June 21, 6 p.m. A spinoff of Northern Illinois University’s Men of Our Times, this acoustic group shares many favorite tunes. Woodsong Summer Series. Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden, 2715 S. Main St., Rockford, (815) 965-8146.

AJG Evenings in the Garden: Jakubi
June 23, 5:45 p.m. These Aussies supply a combination of jangly guitars, hip-hop beats and sailing rhythms. Food and beverages for sale, picnics OK but no carry-in beverages. $5 non-members. Anderson Japanese Gardens (AJG), Rockford, (815) 229-9390, andersongardens.org.

Songs from the Stage and Screen
June 23, 7 p.m. Sinnissippi Band Shell, Rockford. Rockfordparkdistrict.org.

Starlight Theatre: Young Frankenstein: The Musical
June 24-27, July 29-Aug. 2, 8 p.m.; June 27, 2 p.m. Enjoy all of your favorite moments from the classic film, plus brand-new, show-stopping numbers for the stage, including “Transylvania Mania,” “He Vas My Boyfriend,” “Puttin’ on the Ritz.” Starlight Theatre, RVC, Rockford, (815) 921-2160.

Can’t Touch This
June 25, 7 p.m. Free. Sinnissippi Band Shell, Rockford. Rockfordparkdistrict.org.

Despicable Me
June 26, dusk. Steve Carell stars in this animated film about Gru, an evil mastermind turned super-dad. Free. Friday Night Flix, Davis Park, Rockford, thebmoharrisbankcenter.com.

Greg Herriges’ New Whirled Duo with Terrence Karn
June 27, 7-9 p.m. Food and soft beverages for sale. Concerts on the Creek series. Free. Spring Creek United Church of Christ, Rockford, (815) 877-2576, ext. 103, springcreekucc.org.

MBTL: Michael Feinstein, Sinatra Centennial Celebration
June 27, 7:30 p.m. Known for his Grammy-nominated album and his Emmy-nominated television special, this American singer pays tribute to Ol’ Blue Eyes, Frank Sinatra. Music by the Lake (MBTL). Ferro Pavilion, George Williams College of Aurora University (GWC), 350 Constance Blvd., Williams Bay, Wis. (262) 245-8501 musicbythelake.com.

AJG Evenings in the Garden: Jodi Beach
June 30, 5:45 p.m. Rockford’s unique, original arrangements of jazz classics and contemporary works. Opening Act: The Groove Hotel. Food and beverages for sale, picnics OK but no carry-in beverages. $5 non-members. AJG, Rockford, (815) 229-9390, andersongardens.org.

Celebrating Our Nation’s Heroes
June 30, 7 p.m. Free. Sinnissippi Band Shell, Rockford. Rockfordparkdistrict.org.

July

Steel Magnolias
July 1-2, 8-9, seating at 11:45 a.m. and 5:45 p.m.; Sun. 3:30 p.m. The story of a group of gossipy southern ladies in a small-town beauty parlor whose interactions reveal deep strength of character. Set completely in Truvy’s shop, with just the female characters. White Pines, Mt. Morris, (815) 946-3817.

Mississippi Heat
July 2, 7 p.m. Started in Chicago, this group combines traditional blues with its own groovy sound. Free. Sinnissippi Band Shell, Sinnissippi Park, Rockford. Rockfordparkdistrict.org.

ComEd Independence Day Spectacular
July 3, 8 p.m. Enjoy an evening under the stars with a Rockford Symphony Orchestra Pops Concert of patriotic favorites, a tribute to our veterans and lively summertime tunes. Fireworks and John Philip Sousa’s Stars and Stripes Forever complete this annual summer tradition. Picnic prior to performance. Starlight Theatre, RVC, Rockford, (815) 921-2160.

34th Annual Nuts About Art
July 4, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. All-original fine art exhibit. John Dixon Park, 500 N. Galena Ave. Sponsored by The Next Picture Show, thenextpictureshow.com.

Echo Beach Surf Band
July 4, 6-9 p.m. Food and soft beverages for sale. Concerts on the Creek series. Free. Spring Creek United Church of Christ, (815) 877-2576, ext. 103, springcreekucc.org.

AJG Evenings in the Garden: jf gaziano & beatmerchants
July 7, 5:45 p.m. Rockford-based blues and jazz group, known for a “sway and reel” sound. Opening act: Ballroom Thieves. Food and beverages for sale, picnics OK but no carry-in beverages. $5 non-members. AJG, Rockford, (815) 229-9390, andersongardens.org.

Starlight Theatre: Mary Poppins
July 8-12, 8 p.m. Young Jane and Michael have sent many a nanny packing before the umbrella-travelling Poppins arrives on their doorstep. Using a combination of magic and common sense, she teaches the family how to value each other again. Starlight Theatre, 3301 N. Mulford Road, Rockford. Tickets: (815) 921-2160 or online, rockvalleycollege.edu.

Rhythm Rockets
July 9, 7 p.m. Free. Sinnissippi Band Shell, Sinnissippi Park, Rockford. Rockfordparkdistrict.org.

Shattered
July 10, 6:30 p.m. Rolling Stones tribute. Historic Monroe Square, 1016 16th Ave., Monroe, Wis. downtownmonroe.org.

How to Train Your Dragon 2
July 10, dusk. Hiccup and his dragon, Toothless, discover a cave that’s filled with dragons. Free. Friday Night Flix, Davis Park, 320 S. Wyman St., Rockford, thebmoharrisbankcenter.com.

RSO: Wonderful Woodwinds
July 11, 10-11 a.m. A family-friendly introduction to the woodwind, percussion, brass and string sections of the orchestra. Includes hands-on activities. Symphony Saturdays Series at AJG, Rockford, (815) 229-9390. Tickets: Rockfordsymphony.com.

Mark Dvorak, Americana-Folk
July 11, 7-9 p.m. Food and soft beverages for sale. Concerts on the Creek series. Free. Spring Creek United Church of Christ, Rockford, (815) 877-2576, ext. 103, springcreekucc.org.

MBTL: John Pizzarelli Quartet
July 12, 4 p.m. Jazz guitarist, singer and bandleader joins his quartet for a performance of cool jazz, classic pop, jazz and swing tunes that echo the likes of Nat “King” Cole. Ferro Pavilion, GWC, Williams Bay, musicbythelake.com.

AJG Evenings in the Garden: Anthony D’Amato
July 14, 5:45 p.m. New York artist plays heavy-hearted folk, mixed with electric streaks of rock. Opening Act: Rock & Roll Institute. Food and beverages for sale, picnics OK but no carry-in beverages. $5 non-members. AJG, Rockford, (815) 229-9390, andersongardens.org.

An Enchanted Evening
July 14, 7 p.m. Free. Sinnissippi Band Shell, Sinnissippi Park, Rockford. Rockfordparkdistrict.org.

Exhibit: Mind, Spirit & Emotion
July 14-Aug. 29. An exhibit in which the artist’s mind, spirit and emotions shows in the work, whether it’s bold energy, subtle expression, mystery deepened or revealed, inner beauty, or a unique vision. Two-dimensional artwork created in any medium. The Next Picture Show, 113 W. First St., Dixon, Ill. (815) 285-4924, thenextpictureshow.com.

Starlight Theatre: The Last Five Years
July 15-19, 8 p.m. Two 20-something New Yorkers fall in and out of love over the course of five years. The show’s unconventional structure sees Cathy, the woman, telling her story backwards while Jamie, the man, tells his story chronologically; the two storylines converge just once, as the characters exchange their “I do’s” in the middle of the show. Starlight Theatre, Rock Valley College (RVC), 3301 N. Mulford Road, Rockford, (815) 921-2160.

Wedding Belles Are Ringing
July 15-16, 22-24, seating at 11:45 a.m. and 5:45 p.m.; Sun. 3:30 p.m. Instead of becoming someone new in a later life, these gals have gone back into the past to portray society ladies in the late ‘40s/early ‘50s who practically rule tiny Plainview, Texas. White Pines, Mt. Morris, (815) 946-3817.

Miles Nielsen & The Rusted Hearts
July 16, 7 p.m. Free. Sinnissippi Band Shell, Sinnissippi Park, Rockford. Rockfordparkdistrict.org.

Planes: Fire and Rescue
July 17, dusk. Dane Cook and Ed Harris star in this Pixar-animated tale about a group of racing planes-turned-firefighters. Free. Friday Night Flix, Davis Park, Rockford, thebmoharrisbankcenter.com.

Peter and Lou Berryman
July 18, 7-9 p.m. Food and soft beverages for sale. Concerts on the Creek series. Free. Spring Creek United Church of Christ, Rockford, (815) 877-2576, ext. 103, springcreekucc.org.

MBTL: BoDeans
July 18, 7:30 p.m. Waukesha boys Sam Llanas and Kurt Neumann have forged a signature sound of heartfelt lyrics and ringing guitars, with hits like “Closer To Free” and “Good Things.” Ferro Pavilion, GWC, Williams Bay, musicbythelake.com.

Art on the Lawn
July 19, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. The Rockford outdoor art fair sets up at its new home, Klehm Arboretum. The juried fine art show features a wide variety of media by area artists. Klehm Arboretum, Rockford, (815) 965-8146.

Woodsong: The Jimmys
July 19, 6 p.m. This blues powerhouse combines blues, R&B and funk sounds for a showstopper with drumming, bass and a horn section. Woodsong Summer Series. Klehm Arboretum, Rockford, (815) 965-8146.

AJG Evenings in the Garden: Jon Troast
July 21, 5:45 p.m. Formerly of Lake Geneva, this Nashville musician plays a wide range of music, from folk and rock to country, alternative and Christian. Opening Act: Bob Nanna. Food and beverages for sale, picnics OK but no carry-in beverages. $5 non-members. AJG, Rockford, (815) 229-9390, andersongardens.org.

Starlight Theatre: Memphis
July 22-26, 8 p.m. The story of DJ Huey Calhoun, a good ol’ local boy with a passion for R&B music, and Felicia Farrell, an up-and-coming black singer who’s ready for her big break. Starlight Theatre, RVC, Rockford, (815) 921-2160.

Breaking Benjamin
July 22, 8 p.m. Over the past decade, this rock group, led by Benjamin Burnley, has achieved worldwide success through its chart-topping music. BMO Harris Bank Center, 300 Elm St., Rockford, (815) 968-5222, thebmoharrisbankcenter.com.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
July 24, dusk. Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael and Michaelangelo return in this 2014 film about martial arts-trained turtles. Free. Friday Night Flix, Davis Park, Rockford, thebmoharrisbankcenter.com.

Starlite Radio
July 25, 7-9 p.m. With its playful mix of folk, rock and pop, this local group has a loyal fan base across the Midwest. Food and soft beverages for sale. Concerts on the Creek series. Food and soft beverages for sale. Concerts on the Creek series. Free. Spring Creek United Church of Christ, Rockford, (815) 877-2576, ext. 103, springcreekucc.org.

MBTL: Doktor Kaboom!
July 26, 4 p.m. Part Mr. Rogers and part Mr. Wizard, this fun-loving scientist explores scientific principles and methods in a way that makes math and science fun and approachable for audiences of all ages. Ferro Pavilion, GWC, Williams Bay, musicbythelake.com.

AJG Evenings in the Garden: Hayley Reardon
July 28, 5:45 p.m. Boston folk artist known for thoughtful, vivid songwriting and an engaging stage presence. Opening Act: Ballroom Thieves. Food and beverages for sale, picnics OK but no carry-in beverages. $5 non-members. AJG, Rockford, (815) 229-9390, andersongardens.org.

Olivia Dvorak
July 28, 7 p.m. Free. Sinnissippi Band Shell, Sinnissippi Park, Rockford. Rockfordparkdistrict.org.

Denny Diamond & The Jewels
July 29-30, seating at 11:45 a.m. and 5:45 p.m.; Sun. 3:30 p.m. The uncanny similarity of this singer’s voice to the unique baritone of Neil Diamond has made him a popular performer throughout the Midwest for nearly a decade. White Pines, Mt. Morris, (815) 946-3817.

The Basin Street Boys
July 30, 6:30 p.m. Dixieland jazz. Historic Monroe Square, 1016 16th Ave., Monroe, Wis. downtownmonroe.org.

American English Beatles Tribute
July 30, 7 p.m. Free. Sinnissippi Band Shell, Sinnissippi Park, Rockford. Rockfordparkdistrict.org.

Freeport Art Museum: 40th Anniversary Exhibit
July 31-Oct. 31. Opening Reception: July 31, 7 p.m. Walk through a retrospective of the museum’s permanent collection, from its earliest acquisitions to its more recent ethnographic artifacts. Freeport Art Museum, 121 N. Harlem Ave., Freeport, (815) 235-6015, freeportartmuseum.com.

101 Dalmatians
July 31, dusk. In this Disney animated classic, Cruella De Vil seeks to kidnap a family of puppies to make a fur coat. Free. Friday Night Flix, Davis Park, Wyman St., Rockford, thebmoharrisbankcenter.com.

Starlight Theatre: Young Frankenstein: The Musical
July 29-Aug. 2, 8 p.m. Enjoy all of your favorite moments from the classic film, plus brand-new, show-stopping numbers for the stage, including “Transylvania Mania,” “He Vas My Boyfriend,” “Puttin’ on the Ritz.” Starlight Theatre, RVC, Rockford, (815) 921-2160.

August

SongSisters
Aug. 1, 7-9 p.m. Food and soft beverages for sale. Concerts on the Creek series. Free. Spring Creek United Church of Christ, Rockford, (815) 877-2576, ext. 103, springcreekucc.org.

Art in the Garden: Joie de Vivre
Aug. 1, 6 p.m. Renoir’s iconic painting Luncheon of the Boating Party inspires this year’s theme. Benefit for Rockford Art Museum at lovely La Paloma Gardens, 3622 Brookview Road, Rockford, (815) 399-0324, lapalomagardens.com.

AJG Evenings in the Garden: Miles Nielsen
Aug. 4, 5:45 p.m. This Rockford native plays a rich sound that seamlessly blends alternative, country, soul, folk, pop and rock. Opening Act: Derek Luttrell. Food and beverages for sale, picnics OK but no carry-in beverages. $5 non-members. AJG, Rockford, (815) 229-9390, andersongardens.org.

Rock Valley Summer Festival Orchestra
Aug. 4, 7 p.m. Free. Sinnissippi Band Shell, Sinnissippi Park, Rockford. Rockfordparkdistrict.org.

What’s New Pussycat?
Aug. 4-6, seating at 11:45 a.m. and 5:45 p.m.; Sun. 3:30 p.m. This high energy, Las Vegas-style show features the great performances of Tom Jones. Songs include “It’s not Unusual,” “Never Fall in Love Again,” and the one and only, “What’s New Pussycat?” White Pines, Mt. Morris, (815) 946-3817.

MBTL: Arrival from Sweden: The Music of ABBA
Aug. 1, 7:30 p.m. What’s considered one of the world’s most popular and best-selling tributes to this 1970s Swedish import takes the stage with as much flair as the original. Ferro Pavilion, GWC, Williams Bay, musicbythelake.com.

Bun E. Carlos & The Monday Night Band
Aug. 4, 7 p.m. The Cheap Trick legend returns. Free. Sinnissippi Band Shell, Sinnissippi Park, Rockford. Rockfordparkdistrict.org.

Jim Gaffigan: Contagious
Aug. 4, 7 p.m. The Grammy-nominated comedian is best known for his Comedy Central specials and best-selling books such as Dad is Fat. BMO Harris Bank Center, Rockford, (815) 968-5222, thebmoharrisbankcenter.com.

Spongebob Squarepants: Sponge Out of Water
Aug. 7, dusk. In this live-action and computer-animated mashup, the sea-dweller and his friends try to rescue the Krabby Patty formula from a pirate. Free. Friday Night Flix, Davis Park, Rockford, thebmoharrisbankcenter.com.

Eric Lambert
Aug. 8, 7-9 p.m. Food and soft beverages for sale. Concerts on the Creek series. Free. Spring Creek United Church of Christ, Rockford, (815) 877-2576, ext. 103, springcreekucc.org.

MBTL: Creedence Clearwater Revisited
Aug. 8, 7:30 p.m. Original CCR members Stu Cook and “Cosmo” Clifford keep the distinctive “swamp rock” sounds alive for another generation, including “Green River,” “Born on the Bayou” and “Fortunate Son.” Ferro Pavilion, GWC, Williams Bay, musicbythelake.com.

RSO: Spectacular Strings
Aug. 8, 10-11 a.m. A family-friendly introduction to the woodwind, percussion, brass and string sections of the orchestra. Includes hands-on activities. Symphony Saturdays Series at AJG, Rockford, (815) 229-9390. Tickets: Rockfordsymphony.com.

AJG Evenings in the Garden: Strange Americans
Aug. 11, 5:45 p.m. Originally from Rockford, this Denver group is influenced by the likes of My Morning Jacket, Wilco, others. Opening Act: Mitch Brechon. Food and beverages for sale, picnics OK but no carry-in beverages. $5 non-members. AJG, Rockford, (815) 229-9390, andersongardens.org.

Starlite Radio
Aug. 4, 7 p.m. With its playful mix of folk, rock and pop, this local group has a loyal fan base. Food and soft beverages for sale. Free. Sinnissippi Band Shell, Sinnissippi Park, Rockford. Rockfordparkdistrict.org.

Summer Wind
Aug. 12 & 13, seating at 11:45 a.m. and 5:45 p.m.; Sun. 3:30 p.m. This one-man show delivers countless voices of musical legends and famous theatrical names. Known as The Man of Many Voices, John Turncali’s vocal impressions include Rat Pack legends, Tom Jones, Elvis, Engelbert, Neil Diamond, Nat “King” Cole and Stevie Wonder. White Pines, Mt. Morris, (815) 946-3817.

Moonlight Jazz Orchestra
Aug. 13, 7 p.m. This Rockford group is a favorite at many wedding receptions, festivals, concerts and private events around the region. Free. Sinnissippi Band Shell, Sinnissippi Park, Rockford. Rockfordparkdistrict.org.

Wheel House
Aug. 14, 6:30 p.m. Americana, Country, Bluegrass, Rock music. Historic Monroe Square, Monroe, Wis. downtownmonroe.org.

Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb
Aug. 14, dusk. Ben Stiller returns as the night guard inside a museum that literally comes alive at night. Free. Friday Night Flix, Davis Park, Rockford, thebmoharrisbankcenter.com.

Jodi Beach
Aug. 15, 7-9 p.m. Rockford native’s unique, original arrangements of jazz classics and contemporary works. Food and soft beverages for sale. Concerts on the Creek series. Free. Spring Creek United Church of Christ, Rockford, (815) 877-2576, ext. 103, springcreekucc.org.

Woodsong: Classical Blast!
Aug. 16, 6 p.m. A blend of classical art and rock/pop music, these classically trained musicians play a variety of musical genres. Woodsong Summer Series. Klehm Arboretum, Rockford, (815) 965-8146.

AJG Evenings in the Garden: Mark Rose
Aug. 18, 5:45 p.m. This Chicago artist plays soothing melodies with heartwarming lyrics. Opening Act: Warren Franklin. Food and beverages for sale, picnics OK but no carry-in beverages. $5 non-members. AJG, Rockford, (815) 229-9390, andersongardens.org.

Swonderful!
Aug. 19-20, 25-27, seating at 11:45 a.m. and 5:45 p.m.; Sun. 3:30 p.m. Join Frank Roberts and his talented ensemble for a musical tribute to George and Ira Gershwin. Features such songs as Embraceable You, Someone to Watch Over Me and Swonderful!. White Pines, Mt. Morris, (815) 946-3817.

AJG Evenings in the Garden: Nicholas David
Aug. 25, 5:45 p.m. From the Twin Cities, this singer/songwriter/pianist was a 2012 finalist on TV’s The Voice. Opening Act: The Whiskey Farm. Food and beverages for sale, picnics OK but no carry-in beverages. $5 non-members. AJG, Rockford, (815) 229-9390, andersongardens.org.

Toy Story 3
Aug. 21, dusk. Buzz Lightyear, Woody and friends are back as they try to reunite with Andy after being mistakenly donated to a day care. Free. Friday Night Flix, Davis Park, Rockford, thebmoharrisbankcenter.com.

Mike Williamson
Aug. 22, 7-9 p.m. Food and soft beverages for sale. Concerts on the Creek series. Free. Spring Creek United Church of Christ, Rockford, (815) 877-2576, ext. 103, springcreekucc.org.

The Mascot Theory
Aug. 27, 6:30 p.m. Alt-Folk, Americana music. Historic Monroe Square, 1016 16th Ave., Monroe, Wis. downtownmonroe.org.

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