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.
LOLTOS: Performance & Social
April 2, 9:30 a.m. coffee and conversation, 10 a.m. musical program. The Land of Lincoln Theater Organ Society (LOLTOS) presents a social and entertainment on the theater’s pipe organ. Coronado Performing Arts Center (CPAC), 314 N. Main St., Rockford, (815) 239-9088, coronadopac.org/about/residentcompanies.
RSO Pre-Concert Storybook Ball
April 2, 6 p.m. Treat your children or grandchildren to an enchanted experience in a beautifully decorated ballroom. After the ball, enjoy RSO’s “The Magical Music of Walt Disney” concert. CPAC, Rockford, (815) 965-0049, rockfordsymphony.com.
Concerts by the Creek: Randy Sabien
April 2, 7-9 p.m. Randy Sabien returns for an evening of bluesy, rockin’, swingin’, funky jazz violin-playing that promises to raise the roof. Spring Creek UCC, 4500 Spring Creek Road, Rockford, (815) 877-2576, ext. 103, springcreekucc.org/#!concerts-on-the-creek/cecg.
RSO: “The Magical Music of Disney”
April 2, 7:30 p.m. Join Rockford Symphony Orchestra on a Disney musical journey from early classics to recent releases. The program incorporates musical performances from Disney’s animated films including “Frozen,” “The Lion King,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Mary Poppins” and more. CPAC, Rockford, (815) 965-0049, rockfordsymphony.com.
“Romeo & Juliet”
April 2, 7:30 p.m. The Dance Factory tells the story of Romeo and Juliet through movement. Presented as a ballet, this tale of two lovers pays tribute to a Shakespeare classic. Elkhorn Area High School Auditorium, 482 E. Geneva St., Elkhorn, Wis., (262) 359-9072, lakegenevaorchestra.com.
Song of the Rock
April 3, 1-3:15 p.m. Begin your afternoon with a Native American Flute workshop. Jonny Lipford demonstrates playing techniques. Starved Rock Lodge, Starved Rock State Park, IL Rts. 178 & 71, Utica, Ill., (800) 868-7625, starvedrocklodge.com.
North Park University Gospel Choir
April 3, 5:30-7:30 p.m. The North Park University Gospel Choir performs contemporary sacred music from the spiritual and gospel genres. Westminster Presbyterian Church, 2821 N. Bell School Road, Rockford, (815) 282-1500, westminsterchurch.cc.
“To Kill a Mockingbird”
April 6, 1 p.m. & 7 p.m. Atticus Finch, a lawyer in the Depression-era South, defends a black man against an undeserved rape charge, and his daughter against prejudice. Lindo Theatre, 115 S. Chicago Ave., Freeport, (815) 233-0025.
“Menopause the Musical”
April 7, 7:30 p.m. Four women at a lingerie sale have nothing in common but a black lace bra AND memory loss, hot flashes, night sweats, not enough sex, too much sex and more. This hilarious musical parody, set to classic tunes from the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s, will have you cheering and dancing in the aisles. CPAC, Rockford, (815) 968-0595, coronadopac.org.
“The Comedy Party”
April 8, 8 p.m. From numerous motion picture and television roles to standup specials, a documentary and two podcasts, Pauly Shore, Harland Williams, Tom Green and Bobby Lee have collectively covered the full spectrum of comedy, building a loyal fan base for years. Don’t miss your chance to see this hilarious quartet come together. CPAC, Rockford, (815) 968-0595, coronadopac.org.
Music on Main: Shakespeare Pops
April 9, 7 p.m. This special Music on Main features popular music from movies and musicals based on Shakespeare’s plays. The concert includes Shakespeare trivia with prizes and light refreshments. Emerson House, Rockford, (815) 964-9713, mendelssohnpac.org.
Avalon String Quartet
April 10, 3 p.m. The Avalon String Quartet has established itself as one of the country’s leading chamber music ensembles, with performances in many major venues. Enjoy their performance “Celebrating Russian Composers.” Mendelssohn Hall, Rockford, (815) 964-9713, mendelssohnpac.org.
Tom Sharpe’s World Music That Rocks!
April 10, 2 p.m. Tom Sharpe is an internationally recognized, award-winning composer, performer and recording artist. Along with his own music, Tom is the drummer for the widely popular, Grammy-Award winning group Mannheim Steamroller. Nordlof Center, Rockford, (815) 987-6660, rockfordpubliclibrary.org/content/Nordlof-center/Nordlof-events.
ArtTalks Lecture: Wendy Schaller Crawford
April 13, noon. Enjoy lunch and a lecture from Wendy Schaller Crawford, a current docent at Milwaukee Art Museum. Her presentation shares insights about fashion and travel in different countries. Rockford Art Museum, Rockford, (815) 968-2787, rockfordartmuseum.org.
“In the Mood: 1940s”
April 12, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. The brassy, all-singing, all-dancing, all-American 1940s musical “In the Mood” is coming to Rockford in celebration of 22 years on tour. Complete with authentic costumes, music arrangements and choreography, the show pays homage to America’s Greatest Generation, the brave men and women who fought in WWII. CPAC, Rockford, (815) 968-0595, coronadopac.org.
Shakespeare’s Sonnets Lecture
April 12, noon. Dr. William Gahan, assistant professor of English at Rockford University, conducts a lecture on love and sex in Shakespeare’s famous sonnets. Feel free to bring a lunch. Mendelssohn Hall, Rockford, (815) 964-9713, mendelssohnpac.org.
“Over the Tavern”
April 15-May 1, Fri. & Sat. 8 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. “Over the Tavern,” Tom Dudzick’s beguiling family comedy, is just what the doctor ordered. Set in Buffalo, the playwright’s hometown, his story carries us back to that most idealized period of 20th century America – the Eisenhower years of the 1950s – and introduces us to the Pazinskis: Mom, Dad and their four children. Pec Playhouse Theatre, 314 Main St., Pecatonica, Ill., (815) 239-1210, pecplayhouse.org.
April 15-16, Fri. 5-9 p.m., Sat. 4-9 p.m. Spring ArtScene showcases original works of art at venues across the Rockford and Rockford metro area. Enjoy new exhibits and original works of art in varied media of watercolor, acrylic, wood, sculpture, pottery, furniture, jewelry, photography and multimedia. Various locations, Rockford. Info: Rockford Area Arts Council, (815) 963-6765, springartscene.com.
Michael Carbonaro Live!
April 16, 7:30 p.m. Michael Carbonaro has performed more than 500 comically perplexing and improbable feats of magic on his hit TV series, “The Carbonaro Effect” on truTV. Now, Michael Carbonaro is taking his show on the road. CPAC, Rockford, (815) 968-0595, coronadopac.org.
Jazz @ Emerson: Al Feeney
April 17, 3 p.m. Enjoy the swinging sounds of live jazz, relax with light refreshments, have fun with your friends and meet the artists after the concert. Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center, (815) 964-9713, mendelssohnpac.org.
Movies on Main: “Wall.E”
April 17, 7 p.m., In the distant future, a small waste-collecting robot inadvertently embarks on a space journey that will ultimately decide the fate of mankind. Nordlof Center, Rockford, (815) 987-6660, rockfordpubliclibrary.org/content/nordlof-center/nordlof-events.
RVC Three Choirs Concert
April 17, 3 p.m. Rock Valley College presents Three Choirs Concert with Conductor Paul LaPrade. 2nd Congregational/1st Presbyterian Church, 318 N. Church St., Rockford, rockvalleycollege.edu.
Rockford Wind Ensemble Concert
April 17, 3 p.m. Now in its 15th season, Rockford Wind Ensemble has performed nearly 500 pieces in concert in a large range of musical styles. Nordlof Center, J.R. Sullivan Theater, Rockford, (815) 227-8550, rockfordwindensemble.org.
Open Mic and Poetry Slam
April 19, 6-8 p.m. Join an interactive event in which the audience listens to and judges some of the best poetry in Rockford. Nordlof Center, Black Box Theater, Rockford, (847) 561-8224, facebook.com/RockfordCertifiedSlam.
George Strait Tribute
April 20, 11:30 a.m.-2:45 p.m. Sing along to a tribute honoring living legend George Strait. Hear his greatest hits, along with trivia about George. Starved Rock Lodge, Starved Rock State Park, Utica, Ill., (800) 868-7625, starvedrocklodge.com.
April 19-21. Students learn to mold ceramic vessels of clay. Projects including pinch, coil pots and slab forms are fired in the kiln and glazed into timeless pieces of art. The Next Picture Show, 113 W. 1st St., Dixon, Ill., (815) 285-4924, thenextpictureshow.com.
67th Annual Tri-II Musical Festival
April 20, 7 p.m. The finest high school musicians in northwest Illinois perform under the leadership of world-renowned conductors. Freeport High School West Gym, 701 W. Moseley, Freeport, (815) 990-1739.
RVC Concert Band
April 21, 7 p.m. Rock Valley College Concert Band performs with Conductor Erik Oberg. Rock Valley College Performing Arts Room in the Educational Resource Center on RVC’s main campus, 3301 N. Mulford Road, Rockford, (815) 921-7821, rockvalleycollege.edu.
Newsboys: We Believe… God’s Not Dead Tour
April 22, 7 p.m. Renowned for their high-energy live performances, the Newsboys once again showcase a string of iconic hits. BMO Harris Bank Center, 300 Elm St., Rockford, (815) 968-5222, thebmoharrisbankcenter.com.
Unforgettable Art: An Affair for Alzheimer’s
April 23, doors 6 p.m. The Alzheimer’s Association, Greater Illinois Chapter, hosts this annual event where guests enjoy hors d’oeuvres and drinks as they watch talented artists convert blank canvases into works of art. University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford, 1601 Parkview Ave., Rockford, (815) 977-9125, unforgettableart.org.
Shakespearience: Legacy of the Bard
April 23, 7 p.m. Celebrate the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death with a celebration of his influence on the arts. Music, theater, dance and visual arts converge on one stage in an exciting performance. Court Street United Methodist Church, 215 N. Church St., Rockford, (815) 964-9713, mendelssohnpac.org.
Five Vocalists From the Ryan Center
April 23, 7:30 p.m. The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center at Lyric Opera of Chicago is recognized as one of the premier professional artist-development programs, nurturing the best emerging artists. This exciting recital provides a unique opportunity to hear five exceptional artists as they prepare to launch international careers. CPAC, Rockford, (815) 847-6314, rccaconcerts.org.
“See How They Run”
April 22-May 1, Fri.-Sat. 7:30-9:30 p.m., Sun. 2-4 p.m. So swift is the action, so involved the situations, so rib-tickling the plot in this London hit that at its finish, audiences are left exhausted from laughter. Janesville Performing Arts Center, 408 S. Main St., Janesville, (608) 758-0297, janesvillepac.org.
RVC Jazz Ensembles
April 24, 7 p.m. Rock Valley College presents Jazz Ensembles with Director Kenneth Stein. Performing Arts Room, Educational Resource Center (ERC), Rock Valley College, Rockford, (815) 921-7821, rockvalleycollege.edu.
April 25, 7 p.m. Rock Valley College presents RVC Orchestra with Director Michael C. Beert. Performing Arts Room, ERC, Rock Valley College, Rockford, (815) 921-7821, rockvalleycollege.edu.
April 26-May 3, 2:45-4:15 p.m. Young artists who join this series of two-hour classes can enter the world of the third dimension and explore new materials and processes. The Next Picture Show, Dixon, Ill., (815) 285-4924, thenextpictureshow.com.
“Bye Bye Birdie”
April 27, 1 p.m. & 7 p.m. Cinema classic starring Janet Leigh, Dick Van Dyke, Ann-Margaret and Bobby Rydell. Lindo Theatre, 115 S. Chicago Ave., Freeport, (815) 233-0025.
Movies on Main: “Zombieland”
April 28, 7 p.m. A shy student trying to reach his family in Ohio, a gun-toting tough guy trying to find the last Twinkie, and a pair of sisters trying to get to an amusement park join forces to travel across a zombie-filled America. Nordlof Center, Rockford, (815) 987-6660, rockfordpubliclibrary.org/content/nordlof-center/nordlof-events.
BCT: “Exit Laughing”
April 28-May 7, times vary. When the biggest highlight in your life for the past 30 years has been your weekly bridge night out, what do you do when one of your foursome inconveniently dies? You “borrow” ashes from the funeral for one last card game. Beloit Civic Theater (BCT) presentation. Elizabeth Reinholz Theatre, 1225 4th St., Beloit, (608) 362-1595, beloitcivictheatre.org.
April 28-May 1, Thu.-Sat. 7:30 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. On the night of his 35th birthday, confirmed bachelor Robert contemplates his unmarried status. Over the course of a series of dinners, drinks and even a wedding, his friends explain the pros and cons of taking on a spouse. An Artists Ensemble presentation. Maddox Theatre, Clark Arts Center, Rockford University, 5050 E. State St., Rockford, (815) 226-4100, artistsensemble.org.
Organ Music at Noon
April 29, noon-12:45 p.m. Enjoy a free performance on Mendelssohn Hall’s grand pipe organ. Sing along and enjoy a light lunch following the concert. Mendelssohn Hall, Rockford, (815) 964-9713, mendelssohnpac.org.
Kidz Bop: Life of the Party Tour
April 29, 7 p.m. Kidz Bop, the No. 1 kids’ pop music brand, is taking its 15th birthday celebration on the road with the all-new “Life of the Party” tour. CPAC, Rockford, (815) 968-0595, coronadopac.org.
LOLTOS: Gary Hanson Performance
April 30, 9:30 a.m. coffee and conversation, 10 a.m. musical program. The Land of Lincoln Theatre Organ Society presents a social and musical performance. CPAC, Rockford, (815) 239-9088, coronadopac.org/about/residentcompanies.
Sons of the Never Wrong
April 30, 7:30 p.m. For 20 years, Sons has been wowing its fans with music, humor and outrageously fun live shows. Emerson House, Rockford, (815) 964-9713, mendelssohnpac.org.
RSO Classics: Tchaikovsky and Emily Bear
April 30, 7:30 p.m. Enjoy a piano concerto with the talented young Emily Bear. CPAC, Rockford, (815) 968-0595, coronadopac.org.
May 3, 7:30 p.m. One of the most famous of Tchaikovsky’s ballets, “Swan Lake” tells the story of Odette, a princess turned into a swan by an evil sorcerer. Graceful and dramatic dancing make for a remarkable, dynamic performance. Young Auditorium, UW-Whitewater, 930 W. Main St., Whitewater, Wis., (262) 472-2222, uww.edu.
“Ragtime the Musical”
May 4, 7:30 p.m. An upper-class wife, a determined Jewish immigrant and a daring young Harlem musician are united by their desire and belief in a brighter tomorrow. CPAC, Rockford, (815) 968-0595, coronadopac.org.
May 5, 7 p.m. Rodney Carrington is a multitalented comedian, actor and writer with eight major record-label comedy albums. CPAC, Rockford, (815) 968-0595, coronadopac.org.
“A Moment in Time”
May 6-7, Fri. 6:30 p.m., Sat. 1 p.m. & 6:30 p.m. Join Rockford Dance Company on a journey through various eras and styles of dance. Kresge Hall, Riverfront Museum Park, 711 N. Main St., Rockford, (815) 963-3341, rockforddancecompany.com.
AE: “Visiting Mr. Green”
May 6-May 22, Thu. 7:30 p.m., Fri. 8 p.m., Sat. 4 & 8 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. Mr. Green and Ross can’t stand one another, but the judge who ordered Ross to visit Mr. Green doesn’t want to hear it. Hearts are changed in this lively comedy/drama. An Artists Ensemble production. Cheek Theatre, Rockford University, 5050 E. State St., Rockford, (815) 394-5004, artistsensemble.org.
The Beach Boys
May 12, 7:30 p.m. Join good old rockers The Beach Boys as they mark more than half a century of making music. CPAC, Rockford, (815) 968-0595, coronadopac.org.
The Association Anniversary Tour
May 14, 7:30 p.m. The Association is one of the most popular bands in American music, selling more than 80 million records, tapes, CDs and DVDs. Monroe High School Performing Arts Center, 1600 26th St., Monroe, Wis., (608) 325-5700, monroeartscenter.com.
Budding Artists ‘16
May 20, 6-9 p.m. The Kiwanis Club of Rockford hosts a gala evening fundraising event with an opportunity to buy original art from the area’s best high school student artists. Mauh-Nah-Tee-See Country Club, 5151 Guilford Road, Rockford, kiwanisclubofrockford.com.
Concerts by the Creek: Truman’s Ridge
May 21, 7-9 p.m. Truman’s Ridge Chicago-style Bluegrass Band opens this summer concert series. Concessions available. Spring Creek UCC, 4500 Spring Creek Road, Rockford, (815) 877-2576 ext. 103, springcreekucc.org/#!concerts-on-the-creek/cecg.
Madison Youth Choirs
May 22, 2 p.m. The Madison Youth Choirs, under the direction of Michael Ross, perform a new spring program. Monroe High School Performing Arts Center, Monroe, Wis., (608) 325-5700, monroeartscenter.com.
Lip Sync for Charity
June 2, 7-9 p.m. Lip sync to your favorite tunes with proceeds benefiting local charities. Starved Rock Lodge, Starved Rock State Park, Utica, Ill., (800) 868-7625, starvedrocklodge.com.
A Night of Worship: The Assemblymen
June 5, 6:30 p.m. Come to a night of worship with a concert by Rockford’s own The Assemblymen. Halsted Road Baptist Church, 3326 Halsted Road, Rockford, (815) 064-6216, halstedroadbaptistchurch.com.
Starlight Theatre: “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”
June 8-11, Wed.-Sat. 8 p.m., Sat. matinee 2 p.m.; July 6-10, 8 p.m. Everyone’s favorite flying car comes to life in the musical adaption of the beloved 1968 Disney family film. Starlight Theatre, Rock Valley College, 3301 N. Mulford Road, Rockford, (815) 921-2160.
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 did them wrong. Presented by Artists Ensemble. Cheek Theatre, Rockford University, Rockford, (815) 394-5004, artistsensemble.org.
Lake Geneva Paint-In
June 11, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Stroll the streets of downtown Lake Geneva while they’re lined with quaint umbrellas, under which you’ll find local artists painting, drawing and creating unique artworks. Find great gifts for yourself or others. Downtown Lake Geneva, lakegenevadowntown.com.
Starlight Theatre: “Jesus Christ Superstar”
June 15-18, Wed.-Sat. 8 p.m., Sat. matinee 2 p.m.; July 13-17, 8 p.m. The Broadway rock opera based on the Gospels’ account of the last days of Jesus, written by the legendary writing team of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber. Starlight Theatre, Rock Valley College, Rockford, (815) 921-2160.
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 night club circuits for more than 25 years. Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden, Rockford, (815) 965-8146, klehm.org.
Starlight Theatre: “The Phantom of the Opera”
June 22-25, Wed.-Sat. 8 p.m., Sat. matinee 2 p.m.; & July 20-24, 8 p.m. 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.
“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.
Slow Water Arts Festival
June 25-26. Freeport Art Museum and the Freeport Downtown Development Foundation host an exciting two-day event featuring exhibits, live entertainment and food/beverage cafes. Downtown Freeport, slowwaterarts.org.
“Despicable Me” I & II
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 profoundly changes him for the better. Nordlof Center, Rockford, (815) 987-6660, rockfordpubliclibrary.org/content/Nordlof-center/Nordlof-events.
Starlight Theater: “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.
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.