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.
Found in Translation
Through Nov. 4, Tue.-Fri. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sat. noon-5 p.m. Featuring four Iowa women artists, this exhibit features abstract works suggestive of the natural environment. Freeport Art Museum (FAM), 121 N. Harlem Ave., Freeport, (815) 235-9755, freeportartmuseum.org.
The Invented Worlds of Della Wells
To Nov. 19. Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Sun 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Wells is a true storyteller, blending her personal experiences with explorations of culture through colorful collages, drawings, dolls and quilts. Wright Museum of Art, North Gallery, Beloit College, 700 College St., Beloit, (608) 363-2702, beloit.edu/wright.
Rooftops: Second Nature
To Nov. 19, Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Sun 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Photographs by Brad Temkin draw poetic attention to an important movement to counter the heat island effect caused by city life. Wright Museum of Art, Hollensteiner Gallery, Beloit College, Beloit, (608) 363-2702, beloit.edu/wright.
Twenty Dirty Hands Pottery Tour
Oct. 13-15, Fri.-Sat. 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sun. to 5 p.m. Tour the Galena countryside, enjoy the fall colors and visit some of the best-known pottery and sculpture studios, featuring special art exhibits that allow visitors a unique view of their kilns, forges and work spaces. Various Studios in Galena & Elizabeth, Ill., twentydirtyhands.com.
Oct. 13-Jan. 28, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. “Misfits” surveys 1960s biker subculture through film, literature and a photography portfolio, exploring the influence the movement made on filmmakers, authors and artists during this turbulent, exciting era. Rockford Art Museum (RAM), 711 N. Main St., Rockford, (815) 968-2787, rockfordartmuseum.org.
“Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”
Oct. 13-22, Fri.-Sat. 7:30 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. Tennessee Williams’ story of a southern family in crisis, as Brick and his wife, Maggie, interact with Brick’s family over the course of one evening at the family estate in Mississippi. Janesville Performing Arts Center (JPAC), 408 S. Main St., Janesville, (608) 758-0297, janesvillepac.org.
Oct. 13-21, Fri.-Sat. 8 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. Cliff Rundle accompanies his girlfriend, Jackie, to an old Hollywood Hills mansion where she’s been hired to kick a few lingering spirits out of the house. Vince Carney Community Theatre, Paddock Memorial Hall, Hickory Grove Complex, 1127 N. 7th St., Rochelle, Ill., (815) 764-2287, vcctrochelle.org.
Concerts on the Creek: Vince Chiarelli
Oct. 14, 7 p.m. Italian night with Rockford’s own Vince Chiarelli and his band. Spring Creek United Church of Christ, 4500 Spring Creek Road, Rockford, (815) 877-2576, springcreekucc.org.
Yesterday & Today
Oct. 14, 7:30 p.m. The audience sets the playlist for this concert experience, with Beatles tunes played by the brothers McGuigan. Young Auditorium, UW-Whitewater, 930 W. Main St., Whitewater, Wis., (262) 472- 2222, uww.edu.
ARRT on the River
Oct. 14-15, Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun. to 4 p.m. Discover the amazing talent of the Tri-State area displayed by painters and potters, jewelry makers and photographers, woodcarvers, and other artists. Depot Park, 91 Bouthillier St., Galena, Ill., (563) 581-6225, arrtalongtheriver.com.
Hollywood Class of ’67: “Cool Hand Luke”
Oct. 18, noon & 7 p.m. The beloved film starring Paul Newman as Luke Jackson, a prisoner who keeps escaping and being recaptured. Lindo Theatre, 115 S. Chicago Ave., Freeport, (815) 233-0413, classiccinemas.com.
The Manhattan Transfer
Oct. 19, 7:30 p.m. The 45th Anniversary Tour of TMT, known for its tight harmony, performing rhythm and blues, Brazilian jazz and pop music. Egyptian Theatre, 135 N. 2nd St., DeKalb, (815) 758-1225, egyptiantheatre.org.
Oct. 19-28, Thu.-Sat. 7:30 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. Enjoy your favorite moments from the classic film in this stage adaptation, which includes brand-new numbers including “Transylvania Mania,” “He Vas My Boyfriend” and “Puttin’ on the Ritz.” Stage Coach Players Theatre, 126 S. 5th St., DeKalb, (815) 758-1940, stagecoachers.com.
Caminata: A Journey Through Latin America
Oct. 20, 7:30 p.m. Music, dance and poetry come together in an artistic journey through Latin America as a diverse group of regional performers draws on the rhythms and melodies of Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, Brazil and Argentina. Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center (MPAC), Mendelssohn Hall, 406 N. Main St., Rockford, (815) 964-9713, mendelssohnpac.org.
Oct. 21, 7:30 p.m. This acoustic “fingerstyle” guitarist plays original music and covers performers from Chet Atkins and Andre Segovia to the Beatles and Queen, weaving in humorous tales from his small-town Georgia roots. Monroe Arts Center (MAC), 1315 11th St., Monroe, Wis., (608) 325-5700, monroeartscenter.org.
The Hollywood Class of ’67: “The Graduate”
Oct. 25, noon & 7 p.m. The classic film about Ben (Dustin Hoffman), a recent college graduate, who has an affair with the wife of his father’s business partner (Anne Bancroft) and falls in love with her daughter (Katharine Ross). Lindo Theatre, Freeport, (815) 233-0413, classiccinemas.com.
Dueling Pianos-Mischief & Mayhem
Oct. 25-26, see website for times. A dueling pianos show with a little Las Vegas flair. White Pines Inn, 6712 W. Pines Road, Mt. Morris, Ill., whitepinesinn.com.
Oct. 27, 7:30 p.m. Music, romance and dancing surround the story of Baby and Johnny, teens from different worlds who come together in the most challenging and triumphant summer of their lives. Coronado Performing Arts Center (CPAC), 314 N. Main St., Rockford, (815) 968-0595, coronadopac.org.
Black & White Night Concert
Oct. 28, 7 p.m. Re-create Roy Orbison’s legendary Coconut Grove Concert, as the Trinadora Rocks Band sings Roy’s songs and channels Patsy Cline, Buddy Holly, Paul McCartney and a host of other stars. Costumes encouraged. Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden, 2715 S. Main St., Rockford, (815) 965-8146, klehm.org.
BJSO: Dr. Frankenstein Meets Dr. Tomaro
Oct. 28, 7:30 p.m. Get in the Halloween spirit with conductor/music director Dr. Robert Tomaro and the rest of the Beloit Janesville Symphony Orchestra. JPAC, Janesville, (608) 758-0297, janesvillepac.org.
RSO: Wizard of Oz
Oct. 28, 7:30 p.m. The Rockford Symphony Orchestra performs the soundtrack to the classic film “The Wizard of Oz.” New technology allows the original vocals and dialogue to remain intact while the score is performed. CPAC, Rockford. Tickets: (815) 965-0049, rockfordsymphony.com.
The Hollywood Class of ’67: “Camelot”
Oct. 29, noon. Richard Harris, Vanessa Redgrave and Franco Nero star in the classic film about the marriage of King Arthur to Guinevere. Lindo Theatre, Freeport, (815) 233-0413, classiccinemas.com.
“The Emperor’s New Clothes”
Oct. 29, 2 p.m. After the emperor refuses their request for money to rebuild their theater after a fire, young Nicholas and his mother devise a plan to appeal to the emperor’s vanity and pretend to be making him an extraordinary robe out of exceptional cloth. JPAC, Janesville, (608) 758-0297, janesvillepac.org.
KSO Halloween Concert
Oct. 30, 5:30 & 7:30 p.m. Families can trick-or-treat at 5 p.m. and then enjoy the concert designed for children and adults. Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra, NIU Music Building, Boutell Memorial Concert Hall, Lucinda Ave., DeKalb, Ill., (815) 753-1000, niu.edu.
“She Can Have Her Cake and Eat It Too!”
Nov. 1-2 & 7-9, see website for times. A comedy with a slightly unlikely mix of marriage, betrayal and revenge loaded with humor and fun – not to mention cakes and candies. White Pines Inn, Mt. Morris, Ill., (815) 946-3817, whitepinesinn.com.
“Miracle on 34th Street”
Nov. 2-Dec. 23, see website for times. A musical version of the classic Christmas tale in which Kris Kringle, a jolly old man, claims he’s the real Santa Claus. Kris has to prove his claim in court and teach those around him to believe in the goodness and love that is Christmas. Fireside Dinner Theatre, Business Hwy. 26 South, Fort Atkinson, Wis., (800) 477-9505, firesidetheatre.com.
“The Charitable Sisterhood of the Second Trinity Victory Church”
Nov. 3-12, Fri.-Sat. 7 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. The roads are flooded and the bridges are washed out, but it takes more than rain to keep the ladies of the Charitable Sisterhood from fulfilling their mission of organizing a small mountain of community donations for homeless Guatemalans – and solving a mystery or two in the process. Janesville Little Theatre, 906 W. Racine St., Janesville, (608) 756-4172, janesvillelittletheatre.org.
Fall Arts & Craft Show
Nov. 4, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Uncover delights at more than 100 booths in two schools and three gyms with folk art, wood, glass, ceramics, pottery and consultant booths. Brodhead Elementary & Middle Schools, 2100 W. 9th Ave., Brodhead, Wis., (608) 295-9698, brodheadjaycees.org.
The Classics IV: The Legacy Continues
Nov. 4, 7:30 p.m. Join this group as it performs classic hits such as “Spooky,” and “Stormy,” adding the best music of the era and blending the old with the new. Monroe High School Performing Arts Center, 1600 26th St., Monroe, Wis., (608) 325-5700, monroeartscenter.org.
Nov. 5, 2 p.m. A longtime Monroe tradition, this program features an afternoon of Green County’s finest Swiss folk choirs and performers. Turner Hall of Monroe, 1217 17th Ave., Monroe, Wis., (608) 325-3461, turnerhallofmonroe.org.
RYSO Fall Chamber Concert
Nov. 5, 3 p.m. Featuring the Youth Chamber Orchestra and other small chamber ensembles. MPAC, Mendelssohn Hall, Rockford, (815) 965-0049, rockfordsymphony.com.
“Sense and Sensibility”
Nov. 8, 7:30 p.m. Known for bold interpretations of classical plays for contemporary audiences, Aquila Theatre brings an innovative style to its adaptation of Jane Austen’s most popular novel. Young Auditorium, UW-Whitewater, Whitewater, Wis., (262) 472- 2222, uww.edu.
Peppa Pig’s Surprise
Nov. 9, 6 p.m. Life-sized puppets and costumed characters from the popular animated television series entertain with songs and dances, games and surprises. CPAC, Rockford, (815) 968-0595, coronadopac.org.
The Price is Right Live
Nov. 10, 7:30 p.m. “Come on down” to be a member of the audience or a contestant on television’s longest-running game show. For a chance to be a contestant, register at the box office three hours prior to show time. CPAC, Rockford, (815) 968-0595, coronadopac.org.
“The Happy Elf”
Nov. 10-19, Fri.-Sat. 7 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. One Christmas Eve, a last-minute check of the naughty and nice lists reveals that not a single person in Bluesville has been nice. Can Eubie the elf turn a whole town of naughty children nice in just one day? Main Street Players, Community Building Complex of Boone County, 111 W. 1st St., Belvidere, (800) 741-2963, mainstreetplayersofboonecounty.com.
Sunshine on My Shoulders
Nov. 11, 7 p.m. Enjoy a John Denver tribute concert with Chip Messiner. Spring Creek United Church of Christ, Rockford, (815) 877-2576, springcreekucc.org.
RSO: Mendelssohn & Brahms
Nov. 11, 7:30 p.m. The Mendelssohn Chorale joins RSO to perform Mendelssohn’s “Symphony No. 5 (Reformation)” and Brahms’ “A German Requiem.” CPAC, Rockford. Tickets: (815) 965-0049, rockfordsymphony.com.
The Wingra Wind Quintet
Nov. 12, 2 p.m. Carrying on their tradition of artistic excellence, ensemble members perform on horn, oboe, flute, bassoon and clarinet. MAC, Monroe, Wis., (608) 325-5700, monroeartscenter.com.
Nov. 12, 7 p.m. Comedian Chonda Pierce, known as “the queen of clean,” entertains with a combination of wit and southern charm. CPAC, Rockford, (815) 968-0595, coronadopac.org.
Music on Main: Lyrical Conversations
Nov. 13, 5:30 p.m. The intimate parlor of the historic Emerson House is the setting for a chamber music performance by the Dolce Duo, playing violin and piano. MPAC, Emerson House, 420 N. Main St., Rockford, (815) 964-9713, mendelssohnpac.org.
Nov. 16-19, Thu.-Fri. 7:30 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. In this comic, yet suspenseful Ira Levin work, playwright Sidney Bruhl is so desperate for a new success that, when an admiring young fan sends him a masterpiece, he plots to kill the man and steal his script. Maddox Theatre, Clark Arts Center, Rockford University, 5050 E. State St., Rockford, (815) 226-4100, rockford.edu.
Pinkalicious the Musical
Nov. 17-19, Fri. 6:30 p.m.; Sat. noon, 1 & 4 p.m.; Sun. 11 a.m. & 1 p.m. Based on the beloved children’s book, Pinkalicious can’t stop eating pink cupcakes despite warnings from her parents. The Armory, 10 S. High St., Janesville, (608) 741-7400, janesvillearmory.com.
Nov. 17-Dec. 3, Fri.-Sat. 8 p.m., Sat.-Sun. 2 p.m. In a dramatized adaptation of the classic novel, the four young March sisters and their mother struggle to keep their family going while their father is away in the Civil War. Pec Playhouse Theatre, 314 Main St., Pecatonica, (815) 239-1210, pecplayhouse.org.
14th Annual Juried Exhibition
Nov. 17-Feb. 19, Tue.-Fri. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sat. noon-5 p.m. Freeport Art Museum’s latest exhibit features works by contemporary artists from Illinois, Wisconsin and Iowa. Freeport Art Museum (FAM), 121 N. Harlem Ave., Freeport, (815) 235-9755, freeportartmuseum.org.
The Whiskey Belles
Nov. 18, 7:30 p.m. This traditional country and Americana female trio from Milwaukee features pitch-perfect, three-part harmonies and their own hot fiddle, guitar and bass playing. MAC, Monroe, Wis., (608) 325-5700, monroeartscenter.org.
Cornerstones of Rock
Nov. 18, 8 p.m. Take a nostalgic trip back to the ‘60s and ‘70s as the core members of the Buckinghams, the Cyran’ Shames, the Ides of March, the Shadows of Knight and the New Colony Six perform the classic songs first heard on WLS and WCFL. CPAC, Rockford, (815) 968-0595, coronadopac.org.
“Carnival of the Animals”
Nov. 18-19, Sat. 2:30 & 7 p.m., Sun. 2:30 p.m. Theatre of Ballet Arts presents “The Carnival of the Animals” and additional compositions by Camille Saint-Saëns. Mineral Point Opera House, 139 High St., Mineral Point, Wis., mineralpointoperahouse.org.
Nov. 19, 3 p.m. The Freeport Choral Society presents advent, Christmas and winter music; joined by the Community Handbell Choir. St. John United Church of Christ, 1010 S. Park Boulevard, Freeport, (815) 449-2936, stephenson-county-il.org.
Avalon String Quartet
Nov. 19, 3 p.m. Returning to MPAC’s main stage for a seventh season, the Avalon String Quartet plays Shubert, Beethoven, Shostakovich and more. MPAC, Mendelssohn Hall, Rockford, (815) 964-9713, mendelssohnpac.org.
RDC: “The Nutcracker”
Nov. 25-26, Sat. 2 & 7 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. Prepare to be enchanted by magical moments with Clara and her beloved Nutcracker dolls that come to life in the land of the Sugar Plum Fairy. Rockford Dance Company, Maddox Theatre, Rockford University, Rockford, (815) 226-4100, rockforddancecompany.com.
Rockford Choral Union: “Messiah”
Nov. 25-26, Sat. 4 p.m., Sun. 3 p.m. Enjoy the 72nd annual presentation of the “Messiah,” performed by the Rockford Choral Union. The event features internationally known soloists, a large regional chorus, a chamber orchestra and a harpsichord. Trinity Lutheran Church, 200 N. 1st St., Rockford, rockfordchoralunion.org.
The Annual Original Christmas Show
Nov. 25-26, Sat. 7:30 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. The annual Christmas Show is filled with comedy and songs with a holiday theme. Mighty Richland Players, IOOF/Masonic Hall, Orangeville, Ill., (815) 819-1310, mightyrichlandplayers.com.
“A Christmas Carol”
Nov. 30-Dec. 3, Thu.-Sat. 7:30 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. Charles Dickens’ story of a bitter old miser and his transformation into a kinder, more gentle man after being visited by several ghosts on Christmas Eve. Monroe Theatre Guild, 910 16th St., Monroe, Wis., (608) 325-1111, monroetheatre.com.
A Charlie Brown Christmas
Nov. 30-Dec. 3, Thu.-Sat. 7:30 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. Charlie Brown is discouraged by the materialism he sees during the Christmas season. With a little help from his friends, he learns about the real meaning of Christmas. Stage Coach Players, DeKalb, (815) 758-1940, stagecoachers.com.
“A Christmas Carol”
Nov. 30-Dec. 10, Fri.-Sat. 7:30 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. The Dickens classic adapted for the stage. JPAC, Janesville, (608) 758-0297, janesvillepac.org.
AE: “The Lion in Winter”
Nov. 30-Dec. 10, Thu.-Fri. 7:30 p.m., Sat. 4 & 7:30 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. King Henry II’s three sons all want to inherit the throne, but he won’t make a choice. The sons plot with his queen to force him to make a decision. Artists’ Ensemble (AE), Cheek Theatre, Rockford University, Rockford, (815) 394-5004, artistsensemble.org.
Noëls, Pastorales and Carols
Dec. 1, 7:30 p.m. Kick off the holiday season featuring Mendelssohn Hall’s grand Möller pipe organ and works by Bach, Daquin, Charpentier and others. MPAC, Mendelssohn Hall, Rockford, (815) 964-9713, mendelssohnpac.org.
Second City’s Men’s Chorus
Dec. 2, 7 p.m. This year’s holiday concert features the Rockford Metro Chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society. Spring Creek United Church of Christ, Rockford, (815) 877-2576, springcreekucc.org.
New Odyssey Holiday Show
Dec. 2, 7:30 p.m. Playing a total of 30 instruments during the show, this trio entertains in a family-friendly and energetic production, with skits, Christmas classics, country Christmas and rock. MAC, Monroe, Wis., (608) 325-5700, monroeartscenter.org.
Dec. 2, 7:30 p.m. Enjoy Yuletide classics played by the noted complex finger-style guitarist, who handles the melody, supporting chords and bass all at once. CPAC, Rockford, (815) 968-0595, coronadopac.org.
KSO Holiday Pops Concert
Dec. 8, 7 p.m. & Dec. 9, 2 p.m. A traditional family concert featuring music of the holiday season. Boutell Memorial Concert Hall, NIU, DeKalb, (815) 753-1000, niu.edu.
Dec. 8, 7:30 p.m. Ideal for the whole family, this Christmas show features glittering costumes, a dazzling cast, and Santa and his merry helpers as they take you on a nostalgic Christmas journey full of singing and dancing. CPAC, Rockford, (815) 968-0595, coronadopac.org.
J.R. Sullivan’s Hometown Holiday
Dec. 8-10 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 7:30, Sun. 3 pm. This seasonal variety show, custom-made each year, features holiday-inspired storytelling, comedy and popular music performed by national and local musicians and actors. Nordlof Center, 118 N. Main St., Rockford, (815) 987-6660, rockfordpubliclibrary.org.
“The Night Before Christmas Carol”
Dec. 9, 7:30 p.m. Journey back to Friday 13, 1843 – the evening Charles Dickens sat in his study and dreamed up the idea for a ghostly little Christmas book. Actor David zum Brunnen cleverly portrays Charles Dickens and more than 17 familiar characters from the famous story. MAC, Monroe, Wis., (608) 325-5700, monroeartscenter.org.
RYSO Winter Concert
Dec. 10, 3 p.m. Featuring the symphony’s Youth Orchestra. Hononegah Performing Arts Center, 307 Salem St., Rockton, Ill. Tickets/Info: (815) 965-0049, rockfordsymphony.com
AE: “Its’ A Wonderful Life” Radio Play
Dec. 15-17, Fri. 7:30 p.m., Sat. 4 p.m. & 7:30 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. It’s an unusual Christmas Eve in Bedford Falls, where George Bailey is in desperate need of a miracle. This beloved holiday classic is presented as a 1946 radio broadcast, complete with live sound effects. AE, Cheek Theatre, Rockford University, Rockford, (815) 394-5004, artistsensemble.org.
Beloit Civic Theatre Christmas Spectacular
Dec. 15-17, Fri. 7:30 p.m., Sat. 2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. Surround yourself with the sights and sounds of a magical Christmas. This production features favorite classics, as the area’s finest talent celebrates the season in style. Byron Civic Theater, Byron Middle School, 850 N. Colfax St., Byron, Ill., (815) 312-3000, bctmagic.com.
“Together for the Holidays”
Dec. 16, 7:30 p.m. Join the Monroe Swiss Singers and the Bel Canto Singers for an evening of making beautiful music together, featuring Christmas and baroque pieces, show tunes and contemporary works. MAC, Monroe, Wis., (608) 325-5700, monroeartscenter.org.
A Carpenters Christmas
Dec. 16, 7:30 p.m. Singer Lisa Rock and her band keep the group’s holiday traditions alive, bringing their Christmas songs to the stage. JPAC, Janesville, (608) 758-0297, janesvillepac.org.
RSO: Holiday Pops
Dec. 16-17, Sat. 7:30 p.m., Sun. 3 p.m. The nationally acclaimed Five by Design joins RSO for a unique take on classic holiday favorites and originals, using lush harmonies and swinging rhythms. CPAC, Rockford. Tickets: (815) 965-0049, rockfordsymphony.com.
BJSO: Winter Holiday Delight
Dec. 17, 7:30 p.m. Share some holiday cheer with conductor/music director Dr. Robert Tomaro and the rest of the Beloit Janesville Symphony Orchestra. JPAC, Janesville, (608) 758-0297, janesvillepac.org.
Winter Solstice Concert
Dec. 21, 6 p.m. Celebrate the longest night of the year with a concert featuring Rockford’s indie folk band Taboo blah blah and the Minneapolis folk band Good Morning Bedlam. Severson Dells Nature Center, 8502 Montague Road, Winnebago, Ill., (815) 335-2915, seversondells.com.
Christmas at the Armory
Dec. 22-23, 7 p.m. The area’s finest performers entertain with a family evening of Christmas songs. Surprise visit by you-know-who. Cocktails and buffet available prior to show. The Armory, Janesville, (608) 741-7400, janesvillearmory.com.
Kantorei Christmas Concert
Dec. 23, 6 p.m. The theme of this year’s concert is Scandinavian Solstice, featuring authentic costumes and repertoire by Norwegian, Icelandic, Dutch and Swedish composers, sung in both the native languages and in English. First Lutheran Church, 225 S. 3rd St., Rockford, (815) 246-2202, kantorei.com.