Arts & Entertainment

Events @ a Glance: Arts & Entertainment Calendar


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.

Starlight Theatre, in Rockford, launches its summer season with the Disney classic “Beauty and the Beast, which runs June 7-11 and July 5-9. The show also plays now through April 16 at Fireside Dinner Theatre, in Fort Atkinson, Wis.

Starlight Theatre, in Rockford, launches its summer season with the Disney classic “Beauty and the Beast, which runs June 7-11 and July 5-9. The show also plays now through April 16 at Fireside Dinner Theatre, in Fort Atkinson, Wis.


“Songs for a New World”
Through April 8, Th.-Sat. 8 p.m., April 1, 2 p.m. The first musical from Tony Award-winner Jason Robert Brown, this moving collection of powerful songs examines life, love and the choices that we make. Nordlof Center, J.R. Sullivan Theater, 118 N. Main St., Rockford, (815) 513-8685,

“Disney’s Beauty and the Beast”
Through April 16, Wed.-Th. & Sat.-Sun 10:30 a.m. matinees, Th. & Sat. dinner theater 5 p.m., Sun. 2:30 p.m. This breathtaking production is filled with stunning scenery, ravishing costumes, fabulous dancing, side-splitting humor and delightful songs. Fireside Dinner Theatre, 1131 Janesville Ave., Fort Atkinson, (800) 477-9595,

Rockford Dance Company: “Snow White”
March 31-April 1, Fri. 7 p.m., Sat. 1 & 7 p.m. Meet seven dwarfs, Snow White, gargoyles, enchanted and evil forest creatures, a prince, a huntsman and the evil queen. Hononegah Performing Arts Center, 307 Salem St., Rockton, (815) 963-3341,

Concerts on the Creek: Randy Sabien
April 1, 7 p.m. Randy Sabien returns with his full band for an evening of jazz-fiddling wizardry. Spring Creek United Church of Christ, 4500 Spring Creek Road, Rockford, (815) 877-2576,

Dancing with the Pastors
April 1, 5 p.m. SOAR Radio presents Dancing with the Pastors, which has local pastors and leaders in a competition with guest judges. Nordlof Center, Rockford, (815) 320-9005,

RSO: “I Hear a Symphony: Motown’s Greatest Hits”
April 1, 7:30-9:30 p.m. Celebrate the Billboard hits of Motown with the Rockford Symphony Orchestra, featuring hits such as “I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” “ABC,” “My Girl,” “Stop in the Name of Love,” “Respect,” and many more. Coronado Performing Arts Center, 314 N. Main St., Rockford,

Freeport Choral Society Spring Concert
April 2, 3 p.m. The Freeport Choral Society presents this annual choral concert of spring music along with the community handbell choir. St. John United Church of Christ, 1010 S. Park Blvd., (815) 449-2936.

First Soar Radio Awards
April 3, 7 p.m. See appearances from national artists Kierra Sheard, Michele Williams, Zacardi Cortez and Kimberla Lawson Roby. Tebala Event Center, 7910 Newburg Road, Rockford, (815) 320-9005,

Mendelssohn’s Music on Main: Solos and Duos for Flute and Piano
April 3, 5:30 p.m. Savor an intimate concert with light refreshments to follow. Emerson House, 420 N. Main St., Rockford, (815) 964-9713,

Alton Brown: Eat Your Science Tour
April 5, 8:30 p.m. Food show host and television personality Alton Brown has gained legions of fans with his offbeat humor and infectious energy on shows like “Good Eats,” “Iron Chef America” and “Cutthroat Kitchen.” Drool over tasty confections during his insane demonstrations. Coronado Performing Arts Center, Rockford, (815) 968-0595,

Showtime 37
April 6-8, 7:30 p.m. Enjoy the entertaining medleys in this song-and-dance extravaganza as the Freeport High School Music Department’s Jazz Ensemble and Show Choir present a night of contagious enthusiasm and energy. Freeport Middle School, Jeannette Lloyd Theatre, 701 W. Empire St., Freeport, (815) 232-0428.

“Agnes of God”
April 7-8, Fri. 7:30 p.m., Sat. 2 & 7:30 p.m. Summoned to a convent, Dr. Martha Livingstone, a court-appointed psychiatrist, is charged with assessing the sanity of a novice nun accused of murdering her newborn. Miriam Ruth, the Mother Superior, determinedly keeps young Agnes from the doctor, arousing Livingstone’s suspicions further. Who killed the infant and who fathered the tiny victim? Winneshiek Playhouse, 228 W. Clark St., Freeport, (815) 232-7023,

Wisconsin Regional Arts Exhibit
April 7-June 9, Tu.-Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. See original media by non-professional artists over age 18. Monroe Arts Center, 1315 11th St., Monroe, (608) 325-5700,

MSG Acoustic Blues Trio
April 7, 7:30 p.m. This band raises the roof with old-fashioned house party tunes, makes you laugh with witty originals and makes you weep with blues ballads. Mendelssohn Hall, 406 N. Main St., Rockford, (815) 964-9713,

Comedy on Main
April 7, 8 p.m. Enjoy a night of laughs with nationally acclaimed comedians and superb “up-and-comers.” Janesville Performing Art Center, 408 S. Main St., Janesville, (608) 758-0297,

Stephenson County Fiber Art Fair
April 8, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Join the 21st annual celebration of fiber and the fiber arts with workshops, demonstrations of spinning and weaving, and vendors offering yarn, dyes, books, gifts, equipment, handmade soap and baskets. Jane Addams Community Center, 430 W. Washington St., Cedarville, Ill., (815) 541-0897,

Jump, Jive & Wail Featuring The Jive Aces
April 8, 7:30 p.m. Britain’s Got Talent stars The Jive Aces are the UK’s No. 1 Jive & Swing band. Renowned for their high energy and spectacular stage show, the band stretches from the timeless tunes of the swing era to the glitz of the Rat Pack, with a dash of rhythm and blues, swing and jazz. Edgerton Performing Arts Center, 200 Elm High Dr., Edgerton, Wis., (608) 561-6093,

Sweet Dreams & Honky Tonks
April 8, 7:30 p.m. It may be impossible to crown any one performer as county music’s biggest star, but few would argue that Hank Williams, Loretta Lynn, Patsy Cline and Johnny Cash would all be near the top of any list. Hear the best-loved hits of these classic artists along with stories of their colorful lives and amazing careers. Janesville Performing Arts Center, Janesville, (608) 758-0297,

Jazz at Emerson: Carl Cole & Co.
April 9, 3 p.m. Savor an intimate concert with Carl Cole & Co. with light refreshments to follow. Emerson House, Rockford, (815) 964-9713,

Rockford Wind Ensemble Concert
April 9, 3 p.m. Now in its 15th season, Rockford Wind Ensemble has performed nearly 500 pieces in concert. Their performances include historically significant works, outstanding soloists, world premieres as well as popular favorites and concert band standards. Nordlof Center, J.R. Sullivan Theater, Rockford, (815) 227-8550,

Music at the Dells: John Craigie
April 13, 7 p.m. If John Prine and Mitch Hedberg had a baby, the resulting product would resemble something close to singer-songwriter John Craigie. Severson Dells Nature Center, 8786 Montague Road, Rockford, (815) 335-2915,

Craft Swap Day
April 15, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Through March, Rockford Public Library in partnership with Rockford Creative ReUse collected clean and usable art, craft and sewing materials at every Rockford Public Library location (donations gratefully accepted). On April 15, RPL hosts a craft swap day where artists and crafters may choose free materials. Rockford Public Library, Main Library, 215 N. Wyman St., Rockford, (815) 965-7606,

Brews & Views: “The Great Outdoors”
April 20, doors 7 p.m., show 7:30 p.m. Enjoy the John Candy/Dan Aykroyd comedy “The Great Outdoors,” along with craft beers and a full menu. Prairie Street Brewing Co., 200 Prairie St., Rockford, (815) 397-1371,

“South Pacific”
April 20-June 4, Wed.-Th. & Sat.-Sun 10:30 a.m. matinees, Th. & Sat. dinner theater 5 p.m., Sun. 2:30 p.m. Set during World War II, this epic tale is told with humor, passion, beauty, action and one of Broadway’s most impressive musical scores featuring such unforgettable songs as “Some Enchanted Evening,” “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Out of My Hair,” “There Is Nothing Like a Dame,” “I’m in Love With A Wonderful Guy,” and the beautifully haunting “Bali Hai.” Fireside Dinner Theatre, Fort Atkinson, Wis., (800) 477-9505,

Six Appeal Vocal Band
April 21, 7:30 p.m. This world-class vocal ensemble is infused with impeccable comedic timing, impressive choreography and the energy and vitality of a rock band. Swearing off instruments, this award-winning vocal band takes audiences on a musical journey that spans a multitude of decades and genres – performing oldies, current chart toppers and catchy original tunes – all completely a cappella. Monroe Arts Center, Monroe, Wis., (608) 325-5700,

Spring ArtScene
April 21-22, Fri. 5-9 p.m., Sat. 4-9 p.m. ArtScene brings thousands of art lovers to galleries and studios all over Rockford. Enjoy new exhibits of original works. Various Locations, Rockford Region, (815) 963-6765,

“The Odd Couple”
April 21-13 & 28-30, Fri.-Sat. 7 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. Felix Ungar, a neurotic, neat-freak news writer, is thrown out by his wife and moves in with his friend Oscar Madison, a slovenly sportswriter. Despite Oscar’s problems, he seems to enjoy life. Felix, however, seems utterly incapable of enjoying anything and only finds purpose in pointing out his own and other people’s mistakes and foibles. Janesville Performing Arts Center, Janesville, (608) 758-0297,

Rockford Chamber Players’ Brass Quintet
April 21, 7:30 p.m. The final program of Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center’s season features the Rockford Chamber Players’ Brass Quintet, assisted by organist Jean Anderson and percussionist Jon Mortensen in a very exciting, entertaining grand finale program for the year. Mendelssohn Hall, Rockford, (815) 964-9713,

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
April 21-May 7, Fri.-Sat. 8 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. Randle McMurphy is a charming rogue who contrives to serve a short sentence in a mental institution rather than a prison. This, he learns, was a mistake. Pec Playhouse Theatre, 314 Main St., Pecatonica, Ill., (815) 239-1210,

Verona String Quartet & Daniel Hsu
April 22, 7:30 p.m. Recognized as “thoughtful, impressive musicians,” the Verona String Quartet is a winner of the Concert Artists Guild Competition, following in a long line of successful Concert Artist Guild string quartets, and is considered one of the most compelling young quartets in chamber music. Coronado Performing Arts Center, Rockford, (815) 968-0595,

An Evening with David Sedaris
April 24, 8 p.m. With sardonic wit and incisive social critiques, David Sedaris has become one of America’s pre-eminent humor writers. The great skill with which he slices through cultural euphemisms and political correctness proves that Sedaris is a master of satire and one of the most observant writers addressing the human condition today. Coronado Performing Arts Center, Rockford, (815) 968-0595,

A Flea in Her Ear
April 27-30, Th.-Sat. 7:30 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. Paranoia, infidelity and lechery take center stage in this raucous bedroom farce. This hysterical cocktail of chaos was devised by the master of comic stagecraft Georges Feydeau. Rockford University, Clark Arts Center, Maddox Theatre, 5050 E. State St., Rockford,

Celtic Woman ‘Voices of Angels’ Tour
April 28, 7:30 p.m. The unique musical ensemble known as Celtic Woman is back by popular demand, combining traditional Irish music with spectacular production and staging. The uplifting music has transcended national and cultural borders to touch the hearts of a devoted fan base that spans the globe. Coronado Performing Arts Center, Rockford, (815) 968-0595,

RSO: Strauss’ Last & Mahler’s First Classical Concert
April 29, 7:30-9:30 p.m. Nationally acclaimed soprano Kathy Pyeatt, known for her intelligent singing and “impeccable voice,” performs Strauss’ four last songs. Coronado Performing Arts Center, Rockford, (815) 965-0049,


Freeport Band Concert & Ice Cream Social
May 3, 5-9 p.m. All bands in the Freeport School District Band Program perform during the concert, and the middle school jazz band provides musical entertainment during the beginning ice cream social. Freeport High School, 701 W. Moseley St., Freeport, (815) 990-1739.

LeAnn Rimes
May 6, 7:30 p.m. Internationally acclaimed singer and award-winning songwriter LeAnn Rimes brings her rich, beautiful voice to Janesville as the headliner for the Janesville Performing Arts Center’s annual gala fundraiser event. Janesville Performing Arts Center, Janesville, (608) 758-0297,

Friday Family Flicks: “Trolls”
May 5, dusk. Enjoy a free family movie night by seeing “Trolls” with the kids. Union Dairy, 126 E. Douglas St., Freeport, (815) 232-7099.

Spring Concert: Bach to Beethoven
May 6, 7:30 p.m. Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra presents “Brandenburg Concerto No. 1, BWV 1046,” by Johann Sebastian Bach, followed by “Symphony No. 9, Op. 125,” by Ludwig van Beethoven. NIU Boutell Memorial Concert Hall, 550 Lucinda Ave., DeKalb, Ill., (815) 756-3728,

Jazz at Emerson: Jodi Beach
May 7, 3 p.m. Savor an intimate concert with jazz singer Jodi Beach. Light refreshments to follow. Emerson House, Rockford, (815) 964-9713,

Fabrication Exhibition
May 12-July 8, Tue.-Fri. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sat. noon-5 p.m. The artists in this exhibition assemble an array of objects fabricating imagined and unexpected scenes. Initially the works’ combination of elements might appear contradictory or even illogical, which challenges the viewer to make sense of the unfamiliar by placing themselves within the scenes. Freeport Art Museum, 121 N. Harlem Ave., Freeport, (815) 235-9755,

Art Crawl
May 12, 5-9 p.m. Approximately 25 area artists and musicians showcase their craft. Meet the artists and see their work, representing everything from found-object art and pottery to woodworking and watercolors and more. Historic Downtown Evansville, 1 E. Main St., Evansville, Wis., (608) 882-2415,

Beloit Artwalk
May 12, 5-9 p.m. Celebrate the arts in Beloit with an evening of fun as downtown businesses transform into galleries for artists and craftspeople to display and sell their work. Stay after hours for drink specials, live music and hors d’oeuvres at select downtown restaurants. Downtown Beloit, (608) 365-0150,

Carnival of the Animals Concert
May 12, 7:30 p.m. Dr. Rob Tomaro and The Beloit Janesville Symphony present a family-fun concert, featuring Carnival of the Animals by Camille Saint-Saens. Janesville Performing Arts Center, Janesville, (608) 758-0297,

“The Butler Did It, Again”
May 12-14 & 19-21, Fri. & Sat. 7 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. Publisher and socialite Miss Maple rents a plantation house. Suddenly, the bizarre owner of the house is discovered with a scalpel in his back. Who did it? Main Street Players, The Community Building Complex of Boone County, 111 W. 1st St., Belvidere, (800) 741-2963,

AE: “Whistling in the Dark – A Sherlock Holmes Adventure”
May 12-28, Th. 7:30 p.m., Fri. 8 p.m., Sat. 4 & 8 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. Dr. Watson relates the tale of Holmes’ most baffling case in this world premiere comedy/mystery about the world’s greatest consulting detective. Artists’ Ensemble Theater, Rockford University, Clark Arts Center, 5050 E. State St., Rockford, (815) 394-5004,

Storytelling with Reid Miller
May 13, 2 p.m. Reid Miller has enthralled family audiences with folk tales and folk songs since boyhood. Accompanying himself on ukulele and tenor banjo, he shares lighthearted sing-along songs and engaging stories. Janesville Performing Arts Center, Janesville, (608) 758-0297,

Rhythm & Blooms
May 16, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Rotary Botanical Gardens’ lovely Gazebo Garden is the site for this outdoor concert series. South Padre Seafood truck is on hand for food purchases. Rotary Botanical Gardens, 1455 Palmer Dr., Janesville, (608) 752-3885,

Broadway at the Coronado: “Rent”
May 18, 7:30 p.m. This Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning original rock musical forever changed the landscape of American theater. The plot follows an unforgettable year in the lives of seven artists struggling to follow their dreams without selling out. Coronado Performing Arts Center, (815) 968-0595,

Spotlight Youth Theater: “Bye Bye Birdie”
May 19-21, Fri. 7 p.m., Sat. 2 & 6 p.m., Sun. 3 p.m. It’s the late 1950s and teenagers from across the United States are going crazy for the handsome rock star Conrad Birdie. Meanwhile, his manager, Albert Peterson, is going into debt and has staked his financial future on Conrad’s success. Disaster strikes when Conrad receives a draft notice to join the military. Hononegah Performing Arts Center, 307 Salem St., Rockton, Ill., (847) 516-2298,

Concerts on the Creek: Truman’s Ridge Bluegrass Band
May 20, 7 p.m. Concerts on the Creek is a family-friendly concert series featuring various genres of music. Refreshments and Mama Mia’s cuisine are available. Spring Creek United Church of Christ, 4500 Spring Creek Road, Rockford, (815) 877-2576,

Evening with The Lowe Family
May 20, 7:30 p.m. Hailing from Nashville, The Lowe Family has been entertaining audiences for more than 25 years. Versatile on numerous instruments, the Lowes perform a blend of show-stopping Broadway, country, Irish, bluegrass, jazz, gospel and old-time favorites. Monroe Arts Center, Monroe, Wis., (608) 325-5700,

May 20, 8 p.m. With a legendary career spanning more than four decades, Kansas has firmly established itself as one of America’s iconic classic rock bands. “Carry On Wayward Son” continues to be one of the top five most-played songs on classic rock radio. Coronado Performing Arts Center, Rockford, (815) 968-0595,

Music Fest
May 26-28. A family-oriented weekend celebration with live music, children’s activities (inflatables), food and fun. Village Park, New Glarus, Wis., (608) 527-2095,

FAM: Wish You Were Here Exhibition
May 26-Aug. 11, Tues.-Fri. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sat. noon-5 p.m. In today’s world of ever-changing technology and social media, the art of postcard and letter writing has largely gone by the wayside. This artistic exhibition acknowledges these changes with a salute to “postcards” as throwbacks to the days when taking vacations, seeing the world and communicating with loved ones was just as much a part of the adventure as the actual act of traveling. Freeport Art Museum, Freeport, (815) 235-9755,


Wally’s Music Fest
June 2-3. Hair Nation returns in this ‘80s-themed music fest. Listen to regional headliners and local bands, as well as a kids’ Band Camp. Enjoy beer and wine tents as well as food carts. Schilberg Park, 125 High St., Milton, Wis., (608) 868-6222,

Friday Family Flicks: “Alice Through the Looking Glass”
June 2, dusk. Enjoy a free family movie night by seeing “Alice Through the Looking Glass.” Union Dairy, 126 E. Douglas St., Freeport, (815) 232-7099.

Spring Art Tour
June 2-4, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tour the rarely seen art studios of Mount Horeb, Verona, Mazomanie, Black Earth, Cross Plains, Blue Mounds and towns in between, in rural Wisconsin. Artists demonstrate and exhibit a variety of media: painting, sculpture, pottery, jewelry, photography, glass, origami, more. Mount Horeb Area, 300 E. Main St., Mount Horeb, Wis., (608) 437-5914,

Monroe City Band Concert
June 5, 7:30 p.m. The Monroe City Band, formed in 1949, draws members from various communities around the area. Twining Park, 425 14th Ave., Monroe, Wis., (608) 329-2460,

Starlight Presents “Beauty and the Beast”
June 7-11, July 5-9, see website for times. Step into the enchanted world of Broadway’s modern classic, Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast,” an international sensation that has played to more than 35 million people in 13 countries. The classic story tells of Belle, a young woman in a provincial town, and the Beast, who is really a young prince trapped under the spell of an enchantress. Starlight Theatre, Rock Valley College, 3301 N. Mulford Road, Rockford, (815) 921-2160,

Back to the ‘50s
June 8-July 23, Wed.-Th. & Sat.-Sun 10:30 a.m. matinees, Th. & Sat. dinner theater 5 p.m., Sun. 2:30 p.m. Pay tribute to the most exciting musical decade of them all. The decade that brought us TV dinners, hula-hoops, quiz show scandals, talk show legends and the birth of Rock-and-Roll. Fireside Dinner Theatre, Fort Atkinson, (800) 477-9595,

Concerts on the Square
June 9, 6:30 p.m. Enjoy live music, food, beverages and an evening of family fun. Bring a lawn chair. Historic Courthouse Square, Monroe, Wis., (608) 328-4023,

Starlight Presents “Peter and the Starcatcher”
June 14-17, July 12-16, see website for times. This Tony-winning production upends the century-old story of how a miserable orphan comes to be Peter Pan. From marauding pirates and jungle tyrants to unwilling comrades and unlikely heroes, “Peter and the Starcatcher” playfully explores the depths of greed and despair, and the bonds of friendship, duty and love. Starlight Theater, Rock Valley College, Rockford, (815) 921-2160,

“Six Degrees of Separation”
June 15-July 8, Th.-Sat. The title refers to a statistical theory that states that any two people in the world can be connected through only six other people. The play is an examination of the threads of chance that link one person to another. Nordlof Center, Black Box Theater, Rockford, (815) 513-8685,

Cemetery Walk Indoor Performance
June 16, 7:30-8:30 p.m. Every June the Galena-Jo Daviess County Historical Society remembers the lives and contributions of past Galenians with its annual Cemetery Walk. Local performers portray select individuals buried in Galena’s Greenwood Cemetery. Then, enjoy a seated performance honoring the lives of these individuals. Grace Episcopal Church, 309 Hill St., Galena, Ill., (815) 777-9129,

Music Under the Stars
June 18 & 25, 7:30 p.m. The Freeport Concert Band performs a free concert featuring a variety of music covering different genres and composers. Each performance is hosted by a different guest conductor and highlights an assortment of guest instrumentalists and vocalists. Koenig Theater, Krape Park, 1799 S. Park Blvd., Freeport, (815) 990-1739.

Twilight in the Park Concerts
June 18-Aug. 13, 6-8 p.m. This Sunday evening summer concert series hosts a variety of talent. Sponsored by Brodhead Business Improvement District. Veterans Memorial Park, State Road 11 & 12th Street, Broadhead, Wis., (608) 897-8411,

Fort Atkinson Community Band Concert
June 19, 6:30 p.m. Sit back and enjoy music by the Fort Atkinson community band. Barrie Park, 210 Robert St., Fort Atkinson, Wis., (920) 563-8224,

Rhythm & Blooms
June 20, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Rotary Botanical Gardens’ lovely Gazebo Garden is the site for this outdoor concert series. South Padre Seafood truck is on hand for food purchases. Rotary Botanical Gardens, Janesville, (608) 752-3885,

Starlight Theatre Presents “Sister Act”
June 21-24, July 19-23, check website for times. When disco diva Deloris Van Cartier witnesses a murder, she is put in protective custody in the one place the cops are sure she won’t be found: a convent! Disguised as a nun, she finds herself at odds with both the rigid lifestyle and uptight Mother Superior. Starlight Theater, Rock Valley College, Rockford, (815) 921-2160,

Kay Kittell – A Life with Paint
June 23-Aug. 11. See the impressive artwork of Kay Kittell. Monroe Clinic Hospital, 515 22nd Ave., Monroe, Wis., (608) 325-5700,

“The Dixie Swim Club”
June 23- 24, Fri. 7:30 p.m., Sat. 2 & 7:30 p.m. The story of five unforgettable women – a hilarious and touching comedy about friendships that last forever. Winneshiek Playhouse, Freeport, (815) 232-7023,

The Whitewater Classic
June 24, 7 p.m. Enjoy a drum and bugle corps competition, sanctioned by Drum Corps International, featuring groups from four states – Crossmen, Texas; Blue Stars, Wis.; The Cavaliers, Illinois; Colt Cadets, Iowa; Colts, Iowa; Kilties, Wis.; Madison Scouts, Wis.; Pioneer, Wis. Perkins Stadium, 910 W. Schwager Dr., Whitewater, Wis., (317) 275-1212,

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