Season Roundup: Diversions, Delights & Distractions

An exciting season of high-quality arts and entertainment events await! Here’s a preview of a few local venues and the acts they’ll welcome this season.

Each season, the Old Northwest Territory offers up a cornucopia of entertainment bounty.
From world-renowned classical musicians, international dancers and pop and country singers, to hit shows straight from Broadway, popular touring performers and live local theater, superb live entertainment is alive and well in throughout the region.
Here, Northwest Quarterly notes just a few of these places, along with a preview of their 2014/2015 seasons.
Check out our Arts & Entertainment Calendar on page 59 for full show descriptions, as well as a complete listing of more great performances slated in various venues throughout our region. InLive entertainment is never hard to find around here!

Artists’ Ensemble

Cheek Theatre, Rockford College, 5050 E. State St., Rockford. Info: (815) 394-5004,
With a commitment to presenting ensemble-driven theater that challenges both actors and audiences, this Equity professional theater, founded in 2004, performs five shows a season. See website for specific days and times.
A Christmas Carol: A Live Radio Play
Dec. 5-21
Good People
March 13-19
Will Rogers: An American Original
May 8-24
The Spitfire Grill: A Musical
June 12-28

Beloit Civic Theatre

Mailing Address: 400 E. Grand Ave., Ste. 310, Beloit, Wis., (608) 362-1595,
Founded as the Beloit Little Theatre Guild back in 1932, it quickly grew into the largest community theater in the state of Wisconsin. The name was changed in 1948, but its members remain committed to the original mission to provide area residents with top-notch live theater. Performances are held in the Elizabeth Reinholz Theatre in Beloit Memorial High School, 1225 Fouth St., Beloit. See website for specific days and times.
A Talent for Murder
Jan. 29-Feb. 7
Greater Tuna
April 23-May 2

Coronado Performing Arts Center (CPAC)

314 N. Main St., Rockford, (815) 968-0595,
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this former vaudeville and movie palace has hosted world-class performers since it opened in 1927. Today, this grand theater continues to provide high-quality entertainment by attracting world-class musicians, productions and performers. CPAC is also the home of the Rockford Symphony Orchestra (RSO schedule on pg. 41).
Kip Moore
Oct. 2, 8 p.m.
Bill Cosby
Oct. 3, 8 p.m.
So You Think You Can Dance: Live On Tour
Oct. 10, 8 p.m.
Oct. 16, 7:30 p.m..
Ron White
Oct. 18, 8 p.m.
Theresa Caputo: The Live Experience
Oct. 24, 7:30 p.m.
Sing-Along Sound of Music
Nov. 1, 11 a.m.
An Evening with Third Day
Nov. 6, 7 p.m.
Straight No Chaser
Nov. 9, 7 p.m.
In This Moment
Nov. 14, 7 p.m.
Blue Man Group
Nov. 15-16, Sat. 8 p.m., Sun. 3 p.m.
Guys & Dolls
Jan. 20, 7:30 p.m.
Alton Brown Live! The Edible Inevitable Tour
Feb. 15, 7 p.m.
March 26, 7:30 p.m.
Joe Bonamassa
April 20, 8 p.m.
Disney’s Beauty & the Beast
April 28, 7:30 p.m.
John Mellencamp
May 30, 7:30 p.m.

Dubuque Symphony Orchestra (DSO)

2728 Asbury Road, Ste. 900, Dubuque, Iowa, (563) 557-1677,
Formed in 1957 under the auspices of the University of Dubuque (UD) as the UD Symphonic Orchestra, the name was changed to Dubuque Civic Orchestra in 1959, when it performed mostly in the Dubuque Senior High School auditorium. In 1963, UD gave up governing rights and the name was changed to Dubuque Symphony Orchestra. Since 2000, it’s been conducted by Maestro William Intriligator, only the third music director and conductor in DSO history. DSO performs at Five Flags Center, 405 Main St., Dubuque, and Heritage Center at UD, 2000 University Ave., Dubuque, on Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m., unless otherwise indicated.
The Planets
Sept. 27-28, Heritage Center
Kickin’ It @ Cottingham & Butler
Oct. 16, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
88 Keys to the City
Nov. 15-16, Five Flags
Holiday Family Concert
Dec. 6, 1 p.m., Five Flags
Celebration Concerts
Dec. 6-7, Five Flags
Ultimate Rock Hits
Jan. 16, 8 p.m. Mississippi Moon Bar, Diamond Jo Casino
Epic Eroica
Feb. 7-8, Heritage Center
Tcheers for Tchaikovsky
March 14-15, Heritage Center
Best of Opera
April 18-19, Five Flags

Five Flags Center

405 Main St., Dubuque, Iowa, (563) 589-4254,
Named for the five national flags that have flown over Dubuque since 1673, this renovated 1910 theater is home of the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra, Rising Star Theatre Company, Broadway shows and high school productions. In addition, this multipurpose facility hosts community activities, sporting events, meetings and conventions, and is home to the Eastern Iowa Outlaws women’s roller derby team.
Dock Dogs World Championship
Nov. 13-16, Various times
DSO: 88 Keys to the City
Nov. 15-16, Sat. 7:30 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m.
The Price Is Right: Live Stage Show
Nov. 19, 7:30 p.m.
Sesame Street Live: Let’s Dance
Nov. 25-26, Tues. 6:30 p.m., Wed. 3 & 6:30 p.m.
The Oak Ridge Boys
Nov. 29, 7:30 p.m.
DSO Holiday Celebration Concert
Dec. 6-7, Sat. 1 & 7:30 p.m.; Sun. 2 p.m.
Jim McDonough: Holiday Grande
Dec. 13, 2:30 & 7:30 p.m.
Mannheim Steamroller Christmas
Dec. 18, 7:30 p.m.
The Harlem Globetrotters
Jan. 4, 2 p.m.
The Last Days of Judas Iscariot
Feb. 6-7, 13-15, 7:30 p.m.; Feb. 8, 2 p.m.
Disney Junior Live: Pirate & Princess Adventure
Feb. 20, 4 & 7 p.m.
DSO: Best of Opera
April 18-19, Sat. 7:30 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m.
4000 Miles
May 29-30, June 5-6, 7:30 p.m., May 31, 2 p.m.

Freeport Community Concert Association

Freeport Masonic Temple, 305 W. Stephenson St., Freeport, (815) 232-4214.
FCCA is the longest-running community concert association in the country. Each year, its season consists of six concerts from early fall through late spring.
Elysian Voices
Sept. 21, 3 p.m.
Russian Quatro
Oct. 12, 3 p.m.
Primakov & Capps
Nov. 15, 3 p.m.
Dickens Carolers
Dec. 7, 3 p.m.
Crystal Trio
March 28, 3 p.m.
Illinois Brass Band
April 18, 3 p.m.

Janesville Performing Arts Center (JPAC)

408 S. Main St., Janesville, (608) 758-0297,
Originally the theater and music wing of a school, JPAC now presents a diverse season of professional acts. It also hosts the productions of Janesville Little Theatre and Stage One, local community theater troupes. If no show time is given, see website for specific days and times.
Gaelic Storm
Oct. 4, 7:30 p.m.
Stage One: Stop Kiss
Oct. 9-19
Oct. 25, 7:30 p.m.
“An Outrageously Good Time”
Nov. 1, 2-4 p.m.
Janesville Little Theatre: The Boys Next Door
Nov. 7-16
James Sewell Ballet
Nov. 23, 2 p.m.
Stage One: It’s a Wonderful Life
Dec. 4-13
Christmas Cabaret
Dec. 19, 7:30 p.m.
The Pavement of Good Intentions
Jan. 9-11, Fri.-Sat. 7:30 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m.
Four Guyz in Dinner Jackets
Jan. 18, 2 p.m.
Shotgun Jane
Jan. 30, 7:30 p.m.
Janesville Little Theatre: Barefoot in the Park
Feb. 6-15
Golden Dragon Acrobats
Feb. 17, 6 p.m.
The BoDeans
Feb. 21, 7:30 p.m.
David HB Drake: Kidstuff
Feb. 28, 2 p.m.
Second City Hits Home
March 2, 7:30 p.m.
Stage One: Doubt
March 12-21
Dancing with the Janesville Stars
April 4, 7 p.m.
Second Annual Family Fest
April 11, 10 a.m.-noon.
Badger Chordhawks
April 18, 2-4 p.m. & 7-10 p.m.
Janesville Little Theatre: I Hate Hamlet
April 24-May 3
Steve Belliveau: Getting Excited About Science
May 9, 2-4 p.m.

Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center (MPAC)

406 N. Main St., Rockford, (815) 964-9713,
MPAC is the oldest continuous music organization in the country, begun by Mrs. Chandler (Blanche Ellis) Starr of Rockford in 1884. The group continues Starr’s mission to bring fine music to the community. In 2012, it partnered with Charlotte’s Web, which has been providing the area with the best artists in folk, blues, Americana and world music for more than 40 years. Performances are held at Mendelssohn Hall (formerly First Presbyterian Church of Rockford); the Starr Center, 415 N. Church St.; and Emerson House, 420 N. Main St. Visit the website for a complete schedule of Music on Main and Jazz at Emerson events, which take place on certain Thursdays and on Sundays, respectively.
Felix Goes to Vegas! Annual Felix’s Cabaret Fundraiser
Oct. 17, 6:30 p.m. Forest Hills Country Club
Charlotte’s Web: Tom Chapin
Oct. 24, 7:30 p.m. Mendelssohn Hall
Avalon String Quartet
Nov. 2, 3 p.m.
Charlotte’s Web: Red Tail Ring
Nov. 15, 7:30 p.m. Emerson House
TorQ Percussion Quartet
Nov. 21, 7:30 p.m.
Avalon String Quartet
Feb. 15, 3 p.m.
Charlotte’s Web: Eclectica
March 27, 7:30 p.m. Mendelssohn Hall.
Quintet Attacca
April 10, 7:30 p.m.
Avalon String Quartet
April 26, 3 p.m.

Monroe Arts Center (MAC)

1315 11th St., Monroe, Wis., (608) 325-5700,
This historic Gothic-style structure was dedicated in 1887 as the First Methodist Episcopal Church. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975 and purchased by the newly formed nonprofit Monroe Arts Center. Today, it serves the area as a venue for local and professional performances and art exhibits. Performances take place at Gunderson Hall at MAC, unless otherwise noted.
Francesca Anderegg
Oct. 19, 2 p.m.
The Diamonds: Salute to “American Bandstand”
Nov. 1, 7:30 p.m. Monroe High School Performing Arts Center
“Soul of Cello & Piano” Benjamin Capps & Vassily Primakov
Nov. 16, 2 p.m.
The WhiskeyBelles
Nov. 22, 7:30 p.m.
Mt. Zion Gospel Choir
Dec. 13, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 28, 7:30 p.m.
Wisconsin’s 1st Brigade Band
March 14, 7:30 p.m.
Madison Youth Choirs
March 22, 3 p.m.
Della’s Diner
April 25, 7:30 p.m.
Roy Rogers Jr. & The High Riders
May 16, 7:30 p.m. Monroe High School Performing Arts Center
Healing the Heart of Democracy: Words and Music
June 6, 7:30 p.m.

Pec Playhouse Theatre

314 Main St., Pecatonica, Ill.,
Pec Playhouse Theatre (PPT) was formed in 1991 by a group of Pecatonica High School students and recent graduates and exists today as an educational and charitable nonprofit organization dedicated to providing quality theater programs for its audiences. Show times are 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays.
Suite Surrender
Feb. 13-March 1
You Can’t Beat the House
April 17-26
The Addams Family
July 17-Aug. 2
The Crucible
Sept. 18-Oct. 4
Miracle on 34th Street
Nov. 20-Dec. 6

Rock River Philharmonic

444 E. Grand Ave., Ste. 100, Beloit, Wis. (608) 313-1200,
Begun in 1953 and long known as the Beloit Janesville Symphony, it became the Rock River Philharmonic in 2013. Today, this nonprofit corporation has more than 80 professional musicians, led by Maestro Robert Tomaro.
Holiday Pops Concert
Dec. 12, 7:30 p.m. Craig High School, Janesville
Holiday Pops Concert
Dec. 14, 7:30 p.m. Eclipse Center, Beloit
Wild About Harry
March 21, 7 p.m., The Armory, Janesville
Wild About Harry
March 22, 3 p.m., Eaton Chapel, Beloit

Rockford Coronado Concert Association (RCCA)

Coronado Performing Arts Center, 314 N. Main St., Rockford, (815) 968-9863,
Formed in 1936 as the Rockford Community Concert Association, this group was part of a nationwide movement to help smaller cities and towns book top acts, and keep fine music alive during the Great Depression. Today, RCCA presents a mix of classical and semi-classical music and dance.
The National Acrobats of the People’s Republic of China
Oct. 26, 3 p.m.
Tango Buenos Aires
Feb. 7, 7:30 p.m.
Amphion String Quartet
March 29, 3 p.m.
Emanuel Ax
April 18, 7:30 p.m.

Rockford Dance Company

Riverfront Museum Park, 711 N. Main St., Rockford, (815) 963-3341,
Since its inception in 1973, this group has been committed to the individual student’s growth as dancer and artist, while instilling discipline, responsibility and teamwork. It’s located at Riverfront Museum Park, with five state-of-the-art studios. Students perform four times each year. Events are held at Coronado Performing Arts Center, unless ortherwise noted.
The Nutcracker
Dec. 6-7, Sat. 7 p.m., Sun. 3 p.m.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
March 14-15, Time TBA
Breaking New Ground: Stanzas That Move
April 17-18, Time/Location TBA

Rockford Symphony Orchestra

711 N. Main St., Rockford, (815) 965-0049,
This award-winning community-based orchestra, now celebrating its 80th season, begun unofficially in 1934, was incorporated in 1943, and has evolved under the guidance of only four musical directors. For 23 years, RSO has been led by Steven Larsen, who not only creates the program for 20-plus performances each season, but also conducts. All performances are held at the Coronado Performing Arts Center.
RSO: Celebrating International Peace Day
Sept. 20, 7:30 p.m.
RSO: Music That Goes Bump In The Night!
Oct. 25, 7:30 p.m.
RSO: Dreams of the Fallen
Nov. 8, 7:30 p.m.
RSO: The Nutcracker (With Rockford Dance Company)
Dec. 6-7, Sat. 7 p.m., Sun. 3 p.m.
RSO: Holiday Pops!
Dec. 20-21, Sat. 7:30 p.m., Sun. 3 p.m.
RSO: The Genius of John Williams
Jan. 10, 7:30 p.m.
RSO: Memories from Times of War
Feb. 14, 7:30 p.m.
Symphony Saturdays
Feb. 14, March 28, April 5, 11 a.m.-noon. Kresge Hall at Riverfront Museum Park.
RSO: What a Wonderful World – A Tribute to Louis Armstrong
March 7, 7:30 p.m.
RSO: An American Salute
March 28, 7:30 p.m.
RSO: The Planets
April 25, 7:30 p.m.

Rockford University Performing Arts

5050 E. State St., Rockford, (815) 226-4100,
Rockford University’s performing arts program offers a rich liberal arts tradition, supported by talented professors with years of experience in music and theatre. Its yearly productions are performed by theater students in Clark Arts Center’s Maddox and Cheek theaters. Performances are 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday.
Babes in Arms
Nov. 20-23
Feb. 26-March 1
Love’s Labors Lost
April 30-May 3

Sauk Valley Community, Concert Association

Serving the Dixon/Sterling area.
This group is dedicated to bringing fine professional music to the Dixon/Sterling area, with a variety of artists and music styles. Performances happen four or more times each year, and admission is by membership only.
Alliance Brass Quintet
Oct. 6, 7 p.m. Dixon Theatre
Tony Desare
Nov. 14, 7 p.m. Dixon High School
Jaimee Paul
Feb. 19, 7 p.m. Dixon High School
Ben Gulley
May 4, 7 p.m. Sterling High School

Studio Theatre

Rock Valley College, 3301 N. Mulford Road, Rockford, (815) 921-2160.
Rock Valley College is home to a pair of renowned theater programs. Summers come alive with Starlight Theatre, featuring four productions at the Bengt Sjostrom Starlight Theatre. A smaller setting for productions throughout the winter is Studio Theatre. Whether it’s an Agatha Christie murder mystery or an original work, audiences feel a part of the play in this intimate setting. Curtain is at 8 p.m. each night with 2 p.m. matinees on Saturday and Sunday.
A Flea in Her Ear
Sept. 24-Oct. 4
A Christmas Carol
Dec. 3-13
A Little Night Music
Feb. 4-14
The Verdict
March 18-28

Winneshiek Playhouse

28 W. Clark St., Freeport, (815) 232-7023,
The oldest continuous amateur theater in the country begins its 88th season of bringing together members of the Freeport area to create, enjoy and experience live theater. All performances take place at 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 5-6, 11-13
Dec. 5-6, 11-13
March 6-7, 12-14
True West
May 8-9, 14-16