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.

Art-Cal-Spr16

Stephen Sondheim’s “Assassins”
Through July 2, recurring Thu.-Sat. 8 p.m. Our nation’s most notorious assassins gather on stage to violently pursue a twisted American Dream. A multiple Tony Award-winning  theatrical tour-de-force, “Assassins” combines Sondheim’s signature blend of intelligent lyrics and beautiful music. Nordlof Center, 118 N. Main St., Rockford, (815) 987-6660, rockfordpubliclibrary.org.

Music on the Mall
Through Sept. 16, Fri. 6:30-8:30 p.m. Experience live music from local musicians. Food and drinks from Mary’s Market available. Edgebrook Shopping Center, 1639 N. Alpine Road, Rockford, (815) 394-0765, edgebrookshops.com.

RAM: The Rockford Midwestern Biennial
Through Sept. 25, recurring daily 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Rockford Art Museum presents its 74th Rockford Midwestern Biennial, a juried survey of contemporary art in the Midwest. Rockford Art Museum, 711 N. Main St., Rockford, (815) 968-2787, rockfordartmuseum.org.

Beloit and Vicinity Exhibition
Through July 25, recurring Mon. 11 a.m. The Beloit and Vicinity Exhibition held at the Wright Museum of Art on the Beloit College campus is entering its 59th year. The annual juried show attracts many artists from the surrounding region, with more than 30 artists coming to Beloit to participate in the two-month long exhibition. Wright Museum of Art, Beloit College, 700 College St., Beloit, (608) 363-2702, Beloit.edu.

AE: “Women Who Steal”
June 10-26, Thu. 7:30 p.m., Fri. 8 p.m., Sat. 4 p.m. & 8 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. During one wild ride, respectable Peggy and Karen (fueled by tequila) seek revenge on the men who’ve done them wrong. Rockford University, Cheek Theatre, 5050 E. State St., Rockford, (815) 394-5004, artistsensemble.org.

“Jesus Christ Superstar”
June 15-18, Wed.-Sat. 8 p.m., Sat. matinee 2 p.m.; July 13-17, 8 p.m. The rock opera based on the Gospels’ accounts of the last days of Jesus. Starlight Theatre, Rock Valley College, 3301 N. Mulford Road, Rockford, (815) 921-2160, rvcstarlight.com.

Groovin’ in the Garden: Jim Gill
June 17, 10 a.m. Groovin’ in the Garden, a music series for kids, welcomes Jim Gill: an award-winning children’s author and musician. Anderson Japanese Gardens, Rockford, (815) 229-9390, andersongardens.org.

Concerts on the Creek: Dennis Warner
June 18, 7-9 p.m. Dennis Warner presents folk and Americana guitar music. Pizza from Mamma Mia’s, canned soda, bottled water and popcorn available. Spring Creek United Church of Christ, Rockford, (815) 877-2576, springcreekucc.org.

Woodsong Concert: Too Deep Band
June 19, doors 4 p.m., concert 6 p.m. Too Deep, featuring the Hanserd Brothers, has been entertaining audiences at festivals, concerts and nightclub circuits for more than 25 years. Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden, 2715 S. Main St., Rockford, (815) 965-8146, klehm.org.

AJG: Harlan Jefferson
June 21, 5:45 p.m., doors 5 p.m. Tuesday Evening in the Gardens concert series. Harlan Jefferson is an award-winning saxophonist. Refreshments available. Anderson Japanese Gardens, Rockford, (815) 229-9390, andersongardens.org.

Styx
June 21, 7:30 p.m. Rock out with the iconic band Styx, which rose to top-hit status in the 1970s and early ‘80s with songs such as “Lady,” “Come Sail Away” and “Blue Collar Man.” Coronado Performing Arts Center, 314 N. Main St., Rockford, (815) 968-0595, coronadopac.org.

Tunes on the Terrace: Lennox Barnett
June 22, 6 p.m. Enjoy a free concert located along the banks of the Rock River. Food and beverages available for purchase. Bring a lawn chair or blanket. Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens, 1354 N. 2nd St., Rockford, (815) 987-8858, nicholasconservatory.com.

“The Phantom of the Opera”
June 22-25, Wed.-Sat. 8 p.m., Sat. matinee 2 p.m.;  July 20-24, 8 p.m. Witness Andrew Lloyd Webber’s award-winning turn on the tale of the disfigured musical genius, hidden away in the Paris Opera House, who terrorizes the opera company for the unwitting benefit of his young protegee, Christine. Starlight Theatre, Rock Valley College, Rockford, (815) 921-2160, rvcstarlight.com.

“All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten”
June 23-26, Thurs.-Sat. 7:30 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. Based on Robert Fulghum’s best-selling books, this musical takes a funny, insightful, heartwarming look at what is profound in everyday life. Janesville Performing Arts Center, 408 S. Main St., Janesville, (608) 758-0297, janesvillepac.org.

“I Never Sang for My Father (Drama)”
June 24-25, 30; July 1-2, 7:30 p.m. College professor Gene has tried all his life to find love and acceptance from his father. Upon the untimely death of his mother, Gene is forced to help his father through his dark days. The story probes into the disquieting alienation that can exist between a father and son. Winneshiek Players, 228 W. Clark St., Freeport, (815) 232-7023, winneshiekplayers.org.

Movie in the Park: “Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens”
June 24, 7-10:30 p.m. Join the Freeport Park District for the annual Movie in the Park series. There will be activities and music by children’s entertainer Dave Rudolf beginning at 7 p.m. Read Park Multi-purpose Field, 876 W. American St., Freeport, (815) 235-6114, freeportparkdistrict.org.

Concerts on the Creek: Lone Canary
June 25, 7-9 p.m. Enjoy music from Lone Canary, a folk/Americana duo. Pizza from Mamma Mia’s, canned soda, bottled water and popcorn available. Spring Creek United Church of Christ, Rockford, (815) 877-2576, springcreekucc.org.

Slow Water Arts Festival
June 25-26. Freeport Art Museum and the Freeport Downtown Development Foundation host  exhibits, live entertainment and food/beverage cafes. Downtown Freeport, slowwaterarts.org.

Concert in the Country
June 26, 12:30-5 p.m. Severson Dells celebrates 40 years of “linking people to nature” with a concert in the country. Bring a chair, blanket, picnic dinner and a beverage. Donations appreciated. Severson Dells Nature Center, 8786 Montague Road, Rockford, (815) 335-2915, seversondells.com.

MBTL: Lake Geneva Symphony Orchestra
June 26, 4 p.m. Music by the Lake kicks off its 2016 season with a performance from the Lake Geneva Symphony Orchestra. Instructors from Dance Factory are on hand to teach the waltz. Ferro Pavilion, 350 Constance Blvd., Williams Bay, Wis., (262) 245-8501, musicbythelake.com.

AJG: The O’s
June 28, 5:45 p.m., doors 5 p.m. Tuesday Evening in the Gardens concert series. The O’s meld country, fold, Americana and pop influences. Refreshments available. Anderson Japanese Gardens, Rockford, (815) 229-9390, andersongardens.org.

Patriotic Concert: “Hooray for the USA”
June 28, 7 p.m. Enjoy a patriotic concert performed by the Rockford Concert Band. Sinnissippi Park Music Shell, 1401 N. 2nd St., Rockford, rockfordfireandice.com.

Despicable Me
June 29, 4 p.m. & 7 p.m. When a criminal mastermind uses a trio of orphan girls as pawns for a grand scheme, he finds their love is profoundly changing him for the better. Nordlof Center, Rockford, (815) 987-6660, rockfordpubliclibrary.org/content/Nordlof-center/Nordlof-events.

AE: “Campfire Tales”
June 29, 7 p.m. “Campfire Tales,” performed by Artists’ Ensemble, is a series of creative, sometimes spooky and always silly tales that get the whole audience involved in the action. Sinnissippi Park Music Shell, Rockford, rockfordfireandice.com.

“Children of Eden”
June 29-July 2, Wed.-Sat. 8 p.m., Sat. matinee 2 p.m.; July 27-31, 8 p.m. Based on the book by John Caird, this musical inspired by the Biblical book of Genesis illuminates the age-old conflicts between parents and children. Starlight Theatre, Rock Valley College, Rockford, (815) 921-2160, rvcstarlight.com.

Kinsey Report Band
June 30, 7 p.m. Gary, Indiana’s Kinsey Report delights music fans with their blistering brand of street-smart, up-to-the-minute, funky blues-rock. Sinnissippi Park Music Shell, Rockford, rockfordfireandice.com.

Movies on Main: “Tommy Boy”
June 30, 7 p.m. When his father dies unexpectedly, an incompetent, immature and dimwitted heir to an auto parts factory must save the business and keep it out of the hands of his con-artist relatives and big business. Nordlof Center, Rockford, (815) 987-6660, rockfordpubliclibrary.org/content/nordlof-center/nordlof-events.

JULY
Friday Night Flix: “Minions”
July 1, 7 p.m. Friday Night Flix features free, large-screen movies the entire family can enjoy. Moviegoers can bring lawn chairs and blankets to the park and purchase food, soda, beer and wine from on-site vendors. Davis Park, 320 S. Wyman St., Rockford, (815) 968-5222, facebook.com/FridayNightFlix.

Concerts on the Creek: Barb City Stompers
July 2, 7-9 p.m. Barb City Stompers performs New Orleans-style jazz. Pizza from Mamma Mia’s, canned soda, bottled water and popcorn available. Spring Creek United Church of Christ, Rockford, (815) 877-2576, springcreekucc.org.

RSO Independence Day Concert
July 3, 7:30 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. Starlight Theatre at Rock Valley College, Rockford. Tickets: (815) 921-2160, rockfordsymphony.com.

AJG: Trapper Schoepp
July 5, 5:45 p.m., doors 5 p.m. Tuesday Evening in the Gardens concert series. Trapper Schoepp is known for his “story songs that explore and explode the conventions of rock and roll.” Refreshments available. Anderson Japanese Gardens, Rockford, (815) 229-9390, andersongardens.org.

Starlight Theatre: “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”
July 6-9, Wed.-Fri. 8 p.m., Sat. 2 p.m. & 8 p.m. An eccentric inventor sets about restoring an old racecar with the help of his children. They soon discover the car has magical properties, including the ability to float and take flight. Trouble occurs when the evil Baron Bomburst desires the magic car from himself. Starlight Theatre at Rock Valley College, Rockford, (815) 921-2160, rvcstarlight.com.

Winneshiek Children’s Theater Workshop
July 7-24, Mon.-Fri. 2-4:30 p.m. Children ages 9-13 don’t need acting experience to join this workshop covering the ins and outs of theater. Winneshiek Players Theatre, Freeport, (815) 232-7023, winneshiekplayers.org.

Concerts on the Creek: Michael Johnathon
July 9, 7-9 p.m. Enjoy music from Michael Johnathon, a Kentucky folksinger-songwriter. Pizza from Mamma Mia’s, canned soda, bottled water and popcorn available. Spring Creek United Church of Christ, Rockford, (815) 877-2576, springcreekucc.org.

Su Bella presents Dance, Stroke ‘N Glow
July 9, 3-6 p.m. Enjoy a class designed to educate children on the concept of abstract art. Kids are introduced to a drip glow-in-the-dark painting and create their own Jackson Pollock-influenced art. A kid-friendly dance party follows. The Nordlof Center, Rockford, (815) 316-0093, su-bella.com.

MBTL: Micky Dolenz
July 9, 7:30 p.m. Micky Dolenz, the voice of The Monkees, debuts with a special solo appearance. A dynamic showman, Dolenz gives the audience what it wants: the hits. Ferro Pavilion, Williams Bay, Wis., (262) 245-8501, musicbythelake.com.

FAM: Outside the Box
July 11-15, 9:30 a.m.-noon. Children ages 7-13 are welcome to attend Freeport Art Museum’s summer art camp, devoted to learning, creativity and fun. Explore the traditional and unusual in the studio and galleries at Freeport Art Museum. Painting, drawing and ceramics are just a few art forms to experience. Dress for mess and bring a snack. Freport Art Museum, 121 N. Harlem Ave., Freeport, (815) 235-9755, freeportartmuseum.org.

AJG: Liz Longley
July 12, 5:45 p.m., doors 5 p.m. Tuesday Evening in the Gardens concert series. Liz Longley’s voice and tone are touched with the slightest country inflections. Refreshments available. Anderson Japanese Gardens, Rockford, (815) 229-9390, andersongardens.org.

Pec Playhouse Theatre: “Sugar”
July 15-31, Fri. 8 p.m., Sat. 8 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. “Sugar” chronicles the zany lives of two musicians of the Prohibition era who witness a gang slaying. Forced to disguise themselves as women, they join an all-female orchestra and the games begin. Pec Playhouse Theatre, 314 Main St., Pecatonica, Ill., (815) 239-1210, pecplayhouse.org.

MBTL: Postmodern Jukebox
July 16, 7:30 p.m. Postmodern Jukebox is the brainchild of pianist and arranger Scott Bradlee, who began to test his musical creativity by rewriting 1980s pop tunes as jazz, swing and ragtime arrangements. After posting solo videos on YouTube, Bradlee became a virtual sensation. MBTL. Ferro Pavilion, Williams Bay, Wis., (262) 245-8501, musicbythelake.com.

Groovin’ in the Garden: Tom Chapin
July 16, 10 a.m. Groovin’ in the Garden, a music series for kids, welcomes Tom Chapin: a three-time Grammy Award-winning artist. Anderson Japanese Gardens, Rockford, (815) 229-9390, andersongardens.org.

Concerts on the Creek: One Less Tenor
July 16, 7-9 p.m.  Enjoy music from vocal duo Scott Chacula and Dennis Johnson. Pizza from Mamma Mia’s, canned soda, bottled water and popcorn available. Spring Creek United Church of Christ, Rockford, (815) 877-2576, springcreekucc.org.

A Day in the Dells with Carrie Newcomer
July 17, 2:30 p.m. Carrie Newcomer is a Grammy-winning songwriter, recording artist, performer and educator. Bring a chair, blanket, picnic dinner and your favorite beverage and listen to the beautiful voice of Carrie Newcomer in a natural setting. Severson Dells Nature Center, 8786 Montague Road, Rockford, (815) 335-2915, seversondells.com.

Woodsong Concerts: Zac Matthews Band
July 17, concert 6 p.m., doors 4 p.m. The Zac Matthews Band plays a variety of country music and released their first album last January. Klehm Arboretum and Botanic Garden, Rockford, (815) 965-8146, Klehm.org.

Ice Cream Social and Artists in the Park
July 17, noon-4 p.m. Enjoy a beautiful day at the Mill and on the grounds. Watch artists create their next masterpiece before your eyes. And of course, enjoy ice cream. Beckman Mill County Park, 8606 S. County Road H, Beloit, (608) 361-1377, weltycenter.org.

AJG: Pieta Brown
July 19, 5:45 p.m., doors 5 p.m. Tuesday Evening in the Gardens concert series. Pieta Brown’s quietly riveting tunes and gritty, charismatic performing style resist easy categorization. Refreshments available. Anderson Japanese Gardens, Rockford, (815) 229-9390, andersongardens.org.

Concerts on the Creek: Jodi Beach
July 23, 7-9 p.m.  Enjoy music from Jodi Beach, a jazz vocalist and pianist. Pizza from Mamma Mia’s, canned soda, bottled water and popcorn available. Spring Creek United Church of Christ, Rockford, (815) 877-2576, springcreekucc.org.

“Cool Hand Luke” and “Some Like it Hot”
July 23, 7 p.m. The “Classic Movie Nights Under the Stars” series presents “Cool Hand Luke” and “Some Like it Hot” in an alfresco cinema overlooking the Mississippi River Valley. Goldmoor Inn, 9001 W. Sand Hill Road, Galena, (815) 777-3925, goldmoor.com.

Perry Pitney Memorial Concert
July 23, 5:30 p.m.-8:15 pm. This annual concert, featuring The Bankesters, is in memory of Perry Pitney, former executive director of Rockford Rescue Mission. Enjoy country, folk, bluegrass and gospel music. The evening includes a light meal, dessert auction and concert. Rockford Rescue Mission, 715 W. State St., Rockford, (815) 316-4176, rockfordrescuemission.org.

AJG: American Aquarium
July 26, 5:45 p.m., doors 5 p.m. Tuesday Evening in the Gardens concert series. American Aquarium is a fresh voice that borrows from many forms of the American songbook. Refreshments available. Anderson Japanese Gardens, Rockford, (815) 229-9390, andersongardens.org.

Music al Fresco: Latin Nights
July 26, 7 p.m. Enjoy the musicians of the Rockford Symphony Orchestra this summer at an outdoor venue. This special summer appearance features symphonic music with a Latin-American influence, inspired by dance rhythms and traditions of Mexico, the Caribbean and South America. Sinnissippi Park Music Shell, Rockford, rockfordsymphony.com.

Concerts on the Creek: Eric Lambert & Chris Walz
July 30, 7-9 p.m.  Eric Lambert and Chris Walz perform flat pickin’ guitar infused with bluegrass, blues, rock and soul. Pizza from Mamma Mia’s, canned soda, bottled water and popcorn available. Spring Creek United Church of Christ, Rockford, (815) 877-2576, springcreekucc.org.

AUGUST
AJG: Hackensaw Boys
Aug. 2, 5:45 p.m., doors 5 p.m. Tuesday Evening in the Gardens concert series. American roots-inspired Hackensaw Boys, whose music fuses vintage tones with modern sensibilities. Refreshments available. Anderson Japanese Gardens, Rockford, (815) 229-9390, andersongardens.org.

Friday Night Flix: “The Good Dinosaur”
Aug. 5, 7 p.m. Friday Night Flix features free, large-screen movies the entire family can enjoy. Moviegoers can bring lawn chairs and blankets to the park and purchase food, soda, beer and wine from on-site vendors. Davis Park, Rockford, (815) 968-5222, facebook.com/FridayNightFlix.

Concerts on the Creek: Mark Dvorak & friends
Aug. 6, 7-9 p.m. Join Mark Dvorak & friends for “The Power of Song.” Pizza from Mamma Mia’s, canned soda, bottled water and popcorn available. Spring Creek United Church of Christ, Rockford, (815) 877-2576, springcreekucc.org.

Music al Fresco: North End Market
Aug. 6, 10 a.m.-noon. Enjoy the Rockford Symphony Orchestra in an outdoor setting. A duo featuring an RSO Musician and an RSYO student will perform. Rockford’s North End Market, 1416 N. Main St., Rockford, rockfordsymphony.com.

MBTL: “Imagination Movers”
Aug. 7, 4 p.m. Catch television stars Rich, Scott, Dave and Smitty from the Emmy Award-winning series “Imagination Movers.” The interactive performers are known for catchy pop-influenced tunes. Ferro Pavilion, Williams Bay, Wis., (262) 245-8501, musicbythelake.com.

AJG: Strange Americans
Aug. 9, 5:45 p.m., doors 5 p.m. Tuesday Evening in the Gardens concert series. Strange Americans delivers straightforward, no-frills rock and roll. Refreshments available. Anderson Japanese Gardens, Rockford, (815) 229-9390, andersongardens.org.

Groovin’ in the Garden: Justin Roberts
Aug. 12, 10 a.m. Groovin’ in the Garden, a music series for kids, welcomes Justin Roberts, an all-star of the indie music scene. Anderson Japanese Gardens, (815) 229-9390, andersongardens.org.

MBTL: Chicago Philharmonic
Aug. 13, 7:30 p.m. Broadway vocalists perform feature songs from legendary Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II shows, including “The King and I,” “Carousel,” “Oklahoma!” and “South Pacific.” Ferro Pavilion, Williams Bay, Wis., (262) 245-8501, musicbythelake.com.

Concerts on the Creek: Firelight Dimmers
Aug. 13, 7-9 p.m. Join Firelight Dimmers for retro lounge-style music. Pizza from Mamma Mia’s, canned soda, bottled water and popcorn available. Spring Creek United Church of Christ, Rockford, (815) 877-2576, springcreekucc.org.

Chicago
Aug. 15, 8 p.m. This legendary rock and roll band is hailed as one of the “most important bands in music since the dawn of the rock and roll era.” Coronado Performing Arts Center, Rockford, (815) 968-0595, coronadopac.org.

AJG: Ragbirds
Aug. 16, 5:45 p.m., doors 5 p.m. Tuesday Evening in the Gardens concert series. Ragbrids is a genre-bending hybrid of  indie-pop melodies, global rhythms and songwriting styles with influences from all over the world. Refreshments available. Anderson Japanese Gardens, Rockford, (815) 229-9390, andersongardens.org.

KISS
Aug. 20, 8 p.m. KISS, regarded as one of the most influential rock and roll bands of all time, brings its Freedom to Rock Tour and classic songs such as “Rock and Roll All Nite” and “Detroit Rock City.” BMO Harris Bank Center, 300 Elm St., Rockford, (815) 969-5222, thebmoharrisbankcenter.com.

“Casablanca” and “Roman Holiday”
Aug. 20, 7 p.m. The “Classic Movie Nights Under the Stars” series presents “Casablanca” and “Roman Holiday” in an alfresco cinema overlooking the Mississippi River Valley. Goldmoor Inn, Galena, (815) 777-3925, goldmoor.com.

Concerts on the Creek: Paper Airplane
Aug. 20, 7-9 p.m. Enjoy coffeehouse-style music from acoustic guitar/vocal duo Noel and Amy Nickel. Pizza from Mamma Mia’s, canned soda, bottled water and popcorn available. Spring Creek United Church of Christ, Rockford, (815) 877-2576, springcreekucc.org.

MBTL: An Evening with Straight No Chaser
Aug. 20, 7:30 p.m. The all-male vocal phenomenon Straight No Chaser performs a cappella with humor interjected throughout the performance. The group has captured more than 20 million views on YouTube. Ferro Pavilion, Williams Bay, Wis., (262) 245-8501, musicbythelake.com.

The Jimmys
Aug. 21, 6 p.m. concert, 4 p.m. doors. The Jimmys are what you get when you combine a seasoned keyboard player, the drummer from The Georgia Satellites, the four-piece horn section from Clyde Stubblefield’s Band, bass guitar expertise, and the legendary blues guitarist Perry Weber on six-string and vocals. Klehm Arboretum and Botanic Garden, Rockford, (815) 965-8146, klehm.org.

AJG: Miles Nielsen & The Whiskey Farm
Aug. 23, 5:45 p.m., doors 5 p.m. Tuesday Evening in the Gardens concert series. Miles Nielsen draws force from the prime years of Western-influenced rock music and classic ‘60s soul. The Whiskey Farm is an Americana and folk rock band. Refreshments available. Anderson Japanese Gardens, Rockford, (815) 229-9390, andersongardens.org.

“Weird Al” Yankovic: Mandatory World Tour
Aug. 23, 8 p.m. The biggest-selling comedy recording artist in history is in his fourth career decade as America’s foremost song parodist. Coronado Performing Arts Center, Rockford, (815) 968-0595, coronadopac.org.

Music al Fresco: City Market Acoustic Area
Aug. 26, 5:30-7 p.m. Enjoy the musicians of the Rockford Symphony Orchestra in an outdoor venue. The RSO’s Brass Quintet will perform. Rockford City Market, 124 N. Water St., Rockford, rockfordsymphony.com.

Concerts on the Creek: Sunshine On My Shoulders
Aug. 27, 7-9 p.m. Enjoy a John Denver tribute concert featuring Chip Messiner. Pizza from Mamma Mia’s, canned soda, bottled water and popcorn is available. Spring Creek United Church of Christ, Rockford, (815) 877-2576, springcreekucc.org.

AJG: Danielle Nicole Band
Aug. 30, 5:45 p.m., doors 5 p.m. Tuesday Evening in the Gardens concert series. Danielle Nicole brings a New Orleans-flavored blues/soul sound to a beautiful garden setting. Refreshments available. Anderson Japanese Gardens, Rockford, (815) 229-9390, andersongardens.org.

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