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.
Music with Friends
Oct. 30, 5 p.m. Kick-off event for the Rock River Philharmonic. Hors d’oeuvres, drinks, prizes and announcement of RRP 2015 season by Maestro Rob Tomaro. $50/tickets (608) 313-1200. Rotary River Center, 1160 S. Riverside Dr., Beloit.
A Fireside Christmas
Oct. 30-Dec. 21, see website for days/times. For almost 20 years, one of the area’s most beautiful and original musical revues in celebration of the most joyous holiday of the year. Fireside Dinner Theatre, Business Hwy. 26 South, Fort Atkinson, Wis., (800) 477-9505, firesidetheatre.com.
Mark Twain & the Laughing River
Oct. 31-Nov. 29, Fri.-Sat. 7 p.m. The wit and wisdom of American humorist comes alive as Jim Post blends his skills as storyteller, actor, historian and musician, with original script and songs. One Eleven Main Restaurant, 111 Main St., Galena, Ill. (815) 777-8030, jimpost.com.
Sing-a-Long Sound of Music
Nov. 1, 11 a.m. A screening of the classic Julie Andrews film, with subtitles, vocal warm-up, supplied props for certain moments in the movie and costume competition. Coronado Performing Arts Center (CPAC), 314 N. Main St., Rockford, (815) 965-0049, rockfordsymphony.com.
“An Outrageously Good Time”
Nov. 1, 2-4 p.m. Laugh your heads off as funny man Bob Kann presents jolting juggling, mesmerizing magic, silly storytelling, and much more. Janesville Performing Arts Center (JPAC), 408 S. Main St., Janesville, Wis. (608) 758-0297, janesvillepac.org.
Neil Rose Band
Nov. 1, 7:30 p.m. Great blues, rock, R&B and soul. Galena Brewery, 227 N. Main St., Galena, Ill., (815) 776-9917, galenabrewery.com.
48th Annual Swissfest
Nov. 2, 2 p.m. Sponsored by the Monroe Swiss Singers, a Swiss variety show featuring Green County’s finest Swiss musicians, followed by a dance. Turner Hall of Monroe, 1217 17th Ave., Monroe, Wis., (608) 325-3461, turnerhallofmonroe.org.
Avalon String Quartet
Nov. 2, 3 p.m. One of the country’s top string ensembles in its 4th concert season, “Brahms: Traditionalist & Innovator,” featuring a selection by Brahms at every concert. Mendelssohn Hall (MPAC), 406 N. Main St., Rockford, (815) 964-9713, mendelssohnpac.org.
National Exhibit in Dixon
Nov. 4-Dec. 21, Tues.-Sat. 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Since 1925, the National Watercolor Society (NWS) has chosen about 30 paintings per year to travel to smaller American towns. The Next Picture Show is one of five U.S. galleries chosen this year to host works by such contemporary American masters as Cheng-Khee Chee and John Salminen. Read more on p. 49 of this issue. The Next Picture Show, 113 W. 1st Ave., Dixon, Ill., (185) 285-2984, thenextpictureshow.com.
Hansel & Gretel
Nov. 5, 10:30 a.m. The classic children’s tale adapted into a musical. Grades K–5. From Theatre IV, a professional touring children’s theater troupe. $8-$12. Rockford Woman’s Club, 323 Park Ave., Rockford, (800) 275-5005, theatreiv.org/fieldtrips.html.
An Evening with Third Day
Nov. 6, 7 p.m. A Christian rock band formed in Marietta, Ga., in the 1990s. CPAC, Rockford, coronadopac.org.
The Boys Next Door
Nov. 7-16, Fri.-Sat. 7:30 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. Janesville Little Theatre. Funny, touching tale about the lives of four mentally handicapped men in a communal residence and their sincere, but increasingly despairing, social worker. JPAC, Janesville, janesvillepac.org.
Swing & Sweets
Nov. 8, 7-10 p.m. Tap your toes to the music of River City Six while you enjoy a champagne fountain and scrumptious desserts from Galena’s finest restaurants and B&Bs. DeSoto House Hotel, 230 S. Main St., Galena, (815) 777-0090, desotohouse.com.
RSO: Dreams of the Fallen
Nov. 8, 7:30 p.m. Steven Larsen, conductor; Jeffrey Biegel, piano; the Mendelssohn Chorale. Barber: Adagio for Strings; Jake Runestad: Dreams of the Fallen; Dvorák: Symphony No. 5 in F major, op. 76. CPAC, Rockford, rockfordsymphony.org.
Straight No Chaser
Nov. 9, 7 p.m. This popular male a capella group sings everything from holiday tunes, Michael Bublé and ’50’s hits to Madonna, Dishwalla, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Queen. CPAC, Rockford, coronadopac.org.
Nov. 13-22, Thurs.-Sat. 7:30 p.m. A comedy about a small American town full of off-kilter characters trying to make sense of the universe. Beloit College, Neese Performing Arts Center, 700 College St., Beloit, Wis., (608) 363-2755, beloit.edu.
SVCCA: Tony Desare
Nov. 14, 7 p.m. This singer/songwriter/pianist leads his trio through familiar popular music and jazz. Sauk Valley Community Concert Association (SVCCA), Dixon High School, Lincoln Statue Dr., Dixon, Ill., (815) 288-2501, svcca.org.
In This Moment
Nov. 14, 7 p.m. The American alternative metal band with guests 12 Foot Ninja, Starset and 3 Pill Morning. CPAC, Rockford, coronadopac.org.
Nov. 14, 7 p.m. Singer/songwriter has roots in indie, R&B, soul, rock, blues & country. $15. Severson Dells, 8786 Montague Road, Rockford, (815) 335-2915, seversondells.org.
Primakov & Capps
Nov. 15, 3 p.m. “Soul of Piano & Cello” performed by two world-class musicians, Russian pianist Vassily Primakov and versatile young American cellist Benjamin Capps. Freeport Community Concert Association (FCCA), Masonic Temple, 305 W. Stephenson St., Freeport, (815) 232-4214.
SVCCA: Carrie Newcomer
Nov. 15, 7 p.m. This singer/songwriter performs folk, Americana and world music. Limited seating Tickets are $25 each – get yours early. TNPS, Dixon, (815) 288-2501, svcca.org.
Red Tail Ring
Nov. 15, 7:30 p.m. This duo performs traditional and original folk music with haunting harmonies, foot stomping, and instrumental artistry on fiddle, banjo, mandolin, jaw harp. Charlotte’s Web Concert Series. Emerson House, 420 N. Main St., Rockford, (815) 964-9713, mendelssohnpac.org.
Blue Man Group
Nov. 15-16, Sat. 8 p.m., Sun. 3 p.m. The wildly popular theatrical shows and concerts combine comedy, music, and technology to produce a totally unique form of entertainment. CPAC, Rockford, coronadopac.org.
Apollo To The Moon
Nov. 19, 10:30 a.m. Share in the excitement of America’s race to the moon through this one-man multimedia performance, with music of the ’50s & ’60s, original downlink broadcasts from space, and more than 100 NASA photographs. Grades 3-12. $8-$12. From Theatre IV. Rockford Woman’s Club, 323 Park Ave., Rockford, (800) 275-5005, theatreiv.org/fieldtrips.html.
YA Hunger Games Movie-thon
Nov. 19, 5:30-8 p.m. Watch the 2012 Hunger Games (rated PG-13) to be ready for the upcoming release of the newest installment, Hunger Games: Mockingjay. Refreshments provided. Nordlof Center, 118 N. Main St., Rockford, (815) 965-7606, option 2, rockfordpubliclibrary.org.
Babes in Arms
Nov. 20-23, Thurs.-Sat. 7:30 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. A 1937 Rodgers-Hart musical about a young man and woman who put on a show with their friends to avoid having them be sent to a work farm, since their parents are out of work vaudevillians. Maddox Theatre, Rockford University, 5050 E. State St., Rockford, (815) 226-4032.
Torq Percussion Quartet
Nov. 21, 7:30 p.m. Renowned for its engaging performances and repertoire, this group adds new vitality to percussion repertoire and performance. MPAC, Rockford, mendelssohnpac.org.
FAM 11th Regional Juried Exhibition
Nov. 22, Tues.-Fri. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun. noon-5 p.m. Opening reception Nov. 21, 5-8 p.m. Art from 160 emerging and established artists living in the tri-state region of Illinois, Wisconsin and Iowa in a wide variety of media from painting and sculpture to video, interactive, performance and installation art, including the piece pictured: “To Stand Against in Witness,” bronze/limestone, by artist Paul Nitsche. Freeport Art Museum (FAM), 121 N. Harlem Ave., Freeport, (815) 235-9755, freeportartmuseum.org.
Magic Man Zack Percell
Nov. 22, 11 a.m. Jaw-dropping tricks in a program for the whole family that mixes humor, magic and audience participation. Nordlof Center, Rockford, rockfordpubliclibrary.org.
Nov. 22, Dec. 20, 7:30 p.m. This all-female folk band rooted in the driftless area of the Midwest plays original and traditional tunes with fiddle, banjo, mandolin, sax, guitar, harmonica and upright bass. Galena Brewery, (815) 776-9917.
James Sewell Ballet
Nov. 23, 2 p.m. A professional company of eight dancers perform innovative work that explores the technical boundaries of ballet. JPAC, Janesville, janesvillepac.org.
The Annual Christmas Show
Nov. 28-30, Fri.-Sat. 7:30 p.m., Sun.: 2 p.m. Original annual show offering favorite holiday tunes and presenting enlightening informtion about elements of the season. Dessert theater format. $20. Mighty Richland Players Dessert Theater, 203 W. High St., Orangeville, Ill., (815) 819-1310, mightyrichlandplayers.com.
Christmas Kaleidoscope II
Nov. 28-30, Dec. 5-7, Fri.-Sat. 7:30 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. An original music and comedy variety show that combines rock, Broadway, gospel, country and lots of laughs. Byron Civic Theater, Byron Middle School, 850 N. Colfax St., Byron, Ill., (815) 312-3000, bctmagic.com.
69th Rockford Choral Union Messiah
Nov. 29-30, Sat. 7 p.m., Sun. 3 p.m. Handel’s oratorio performed by four internationally-known soloists, 130-member chorale, and a chamber orchestra that includes a pipe organ and harpsichord. First-come, first-served seating. Free will offering at intermission. Trinity Lutheran Church, 200 N. 1st St., Rockford, rockfordchoralunion.org.
North Atlantic Music Ensemble
Dec. 4, 7:30 p.m. Traditional material from Ireland, the U.S. and beyond. Tes Slominski, director. Eaton Chapel, Beloit College, College and Chapin streets, Beloit, Wis. (608) 363-2755.
It’s a Wonderful Life
Dec. 4-6, 12-13, 7:30 p.m., Dec. 7 & 14, 2 p.m. Staged version of the classic film. From Stage One. JPAC, Janesville, janesvillepac.org.
Dec. 5-6, 11-13, 7 p.m. A young man brings home his Jewish atheist fiancée to meet his very Catholic parents on Christmas Eve, with the inevitable family explosion and an out-of-left-field miracle. Winneshiek Playhouse, 28 W. Clark St., Freeport, (815) 232-7023, winneshiekplayers.org.
A Christmas Carol
Dec. 5-14, Fri-Sat. 7:30 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. Classic holiday tale of miserly Scrooge’s redemption. Monroe Theatre Guild (MTG), 910 16th Ave., Monroe, Wis., (608) 325-1111, montroetheatre.com.
A Christmas Carol: A Radio Play
Dec. 5-21, see website for days/times. Marley’s dead, but everything else is live in this recreation of an old-time radio broadcast of the Dickens classic. Artists’ Ensemble (AE), Cheek Theatre, Rockford University, 5050 E. State St., Rockford. Info: AE, (815) 394-5004, artistsensemble.org.
David Seebach’s Wonders of Magic
Dec. 6, 2-3 p.m. This nationally acclaimed magician present a holiday magic show with a delightful blend of mystery, humor and charm for the entire family. Nordlof Center, Rockford, rockfordpubliclibrary.org.
RSO & Rockford Dance Co.: The Nutcracker
Dec. 6-7, Sat. 7 p.m.; Sun. 3 p.m. Guest dancers from nationally renowned dance companies join the Rockford Dance Company and the RSO to present this holiday tradition, great for the whole family. CPAC, Rockford, (815) 965-0049, rockfordsymphony.com.
Dec. 7, 3 p.m. This popular group will perform seasonal and Christmas music. FCCA, Masonic Temple, Freeport, (815) 232-4214.
Galena Studio Tour
Dec. 13, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Self-guided tour through the working studios of artists, with demonstrations, tours and light refreshments. Learn about the artists’ creative processes and the stories behind their work. Information and maps are available at the Old Train Depot Visitor Information Center and online. Various studios, 236 N. Main St., Galena, (815) 291-0618.
Little Big Town
Dec. 13, 7:30 p.m. This Grammy award-winning country group’s hits include “Little White Church,” “I’m with the Band,” “Kiss Goodbye.” Special guests Brett Eldredge and Brothers Osborne. BMO Harris Bank Center, 300 Elm St., Rockford, (815) 968-5222, thebmoharrisbankcenter.com.
Dec. 19, 7:30 p.m. Featuring holiday-themed movie and musical theater songs performed by Rock County’s greatest vocal talents in a jazz club atmosphere. Complimentary champagne (21+) and holiday desserts. Limited seating. JPAC, Janesville, janesvillepac.org.
Dec. 20, 11 a.m. Celebrate the holidays with a different Rudolph – the entertainer shares hilarious songs and stories in this interactive Christmas show. Nordlof Center, Rockford, rockfordpubliclibrary.org.
RSO: Holiday Pops!
Dec. 20-21, Sat. 7:30 p.m.; Sun. 3 p.m. Steven Larsen, conductor. Mendelssohn Chorale. The best music of the season, from popular to traditional and sentimental. CPAC, Rockford, (815) 965-0049, rockfordsymphony.com.
English Christmas Lessons & Carols
Dec. 21, 7 p.m. Gaudete Brass Quintet & Canterbury Singers, with Mike Van Camp & Todd Gresick. Canterbury Music Society, St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 221 W. 3rd St., Dixon, Ill., canterburyconcerts.com.
Jan. 8-Feb. 22, see website for days/times. The Fireside Band led by Steve Watts plays hits of the decade from Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder, Queen, Fleetwood Mac, Aerosmith and more. Fireside, Fort Atkinson, firesidetheatre.com.
The Pavement of Good Intentions
Jan. 9-11, Fri.-Sat. 7:30 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. A play by Milton resident Jim Lyke. When obsessive do-gooder Jennifer invites husband Justin’s uncouth coworker and his wife to stay with them until they can move back to their flooded apartment, we see why they say, “No good deed goes unpunished.” JPAC, Janesville, janesvillepac.org.
RSO: The Genius of John Williams
Jan. 10, 7:30 p.m. Steven Larsen, conductor. Music from the film composer’s 60-year career, including: Jaws; Jurassic Park, Schindler’s List, Indiana Jones, Harry Potter, Star Wars and more. CPAC, Rockford, rockfordsymphony.com.
Four Guyz in Dinner Jackets
Jan. 18, 2 p.m. With high-powered, energetic vocal performances and clever comedy schtick, this quartet delivers a hyper-velocity musical cabaret of ’50s and ’60s music. JPAC, Janesville, janesvillepac.org.
Guys & Dolls
Jan. 20, 7:30 p.m. The Broadway fable about “the oldest established permanent floating crap game in New York,” with hits “Luck Be a Lady” and “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat.” CPAC, Rockford, coronadopac.org.
A Talent for Murder
Jan. 29-Feb. 7, see website for days/times. About a successful mystery novelist whose relatives wouldn’t mind killing her to get their hands on her extensive art collection. Beloit Civic Theatre, Elizabeth Reinholz Theatre, Beloit Memorial High School, 1225 4th St., Beloit, (608) 362-1595, beloitcivictheatre.org.
Jan. 30, 7:30 p.m. From the amazing vocals and musicianship to the fun stage performances, this Janesville based band delivers a high energy rock show. JPAC, Janesville, janesvillepac.org.