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.
Cirque du Soleil: Corteo
April 5-8, Th.-Fri. 7:30 p.m., Sat. 3:30 & 7 p.m., Sun. 1 & 5 p.m. Corteo, or cortege in Italian, is a joyous parade imagined by a clown, in the mysterious space between Heaven and Earth. Performers include 51 acrobats, musicians, singers and actors from all around the world. BMO Harris Bank Center, 300 Elm St., Rockford, (815) 968-5222, thebmoharrisbankcenter.com.
Foreigner 40th Anniversary Tour
April 6, 8 p.m. Forty years on, the band continues to rock with hits such as “Cold as Ice,” “Hot Blooded,” “Juke Box Hero” and “I Want to Know What Love Is.” Coronado Performing Arts Center (Coronado PAC), 314 N. Main St., Rockford, (815) 968-0595, coronadopac.org.
April 6-15, Fri.-Sat. 7:30 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. George Orwell depicts the horrors of man’s fate in a society where Big Brother is always watching, and where everything that is not prohibited is compulsory. Janesville Performing Arts Center (JPAC), 408 S. Main St., Janesville, (608) 758-0297, janesvillepac.org.
April 7, 11 a.m. Enjoy some family time as this charming and energetic singer/songwriter entertains with pianist Dave Adler. He has performed at schools and universities throughout the United States and has composed 15 musicals for the Children’s Theatre of Madison. Monroe Arts Center, 1315 11th St., Monroe, Wis., (608) 325-5700, monroeartscenter.org.
RSO: Brahms and Stravinsky
April 7, 7:30 p.m. This program with violinist Joshua Brown features Brahms’ “Violin Concerto in D Major,” Dvorak’s “Prague Waltzes,” Stravinsky’s “Suite from the Firebird” and Scott Joplin’s “The Entertainer” and “Maple Leaf Rag.” Rockford Symphony Orchestra (RSO), Coronado PAC, Rockford. Tickets: (815) 965-0049, rockfordsymphony.com.
Rockin’ Road to Dublin
April 8, 7 p.m. Combining the best of rock and Irish, the high-energy show spotlights Celtic rocker Chris Smith and Irish Dance World Champion Scott Doherty. Coronado PAC, Rockford, (815) 968-0595, coronadopac.org.
April 8, 7 p.m. Singer, vocalist and keyboard player Rundman presents a concert in various musical styles with opportunities for audience participation. Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, Rockford Lutheran High School, 3441 N. Alpine Road, Rockford, (815) 399-0531, oslcrockford.com.
Soar Radio Gospel Awards
April 9, 7 p.m. The second annual awards show features the best in Gospel and Inspirational music and highlights community leaders from the greater Rockford area. Coronado PAC, Rockford, (815) 968-0595, coronadopac.org.
April 13, 7:30 p.m. Returning to the stage, the 35-member group, primarily comprised of steelpan and percussion majors at the university, has performed throughout the United States and around the world. Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center (MPAC), Mendelssohn Hall, 406 N. Main St., Rockford, (815) 964-9713, mendelssohnpac.org.
Three Dog Night
April 13, 8 p.m. Celebrate nearly five decades of great music with the icons whose hits include “Joy to the World,” “One” and “Eli’s Coming.” Coronado PAC, Rockford, (815) 968-0595, coronadopac.org.
April 12-22, Thu.-Sat. 7:30 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. Two unemployed musicians witness the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre in Chicago and escape the gangsters by donning drag and joining an all-female band headed to Miami. Romantic complications ensue and total chaos erupts when the gangsters descend upon the hotel and realize who “the gals” really are. Based on the 1959 movie “Some Like It Hot.” Stage Coach Players Theatre, 126 S. 5th St., DeKalb, Ill., (815) 758-1940, stagecoachers.com.
Through May 27, see website for times. In this ultimate show-biz musical, aspiring chorus girl Peggy Sawyer comes to the big city, lands a job in the ensemble of a glitzy production and must step in on opening night when the leading lady breaks her ankle. Hit songs include “We’re in the Money” and “Lullaby of Broadway.” The Fireside Dinner Theatre (Fireside), Business Hwy. 26 South, Fort Atkinson, Wis., (800) 477-9505, firesidetheatre.com.
“Kenny & Dolly Together Again”
April 17-20, see website for times. The ever-popular tribute act that includes the songs, playfulness, charm and magic of Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton. White Pines Inn, 6712 W. Pines Road, Mt. Morris, Ill., whitepinesinn.com.
“Lincoln in Conversation”
April 19, 7 p.m. In three one-act plays, Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Franklin D. Roosevelt debate who was the better wartime president; Mrs. Lincoln and Mrs. Kennedy meet at the Smithsonian First Ladies Exhibit; and Lincoln and Stephen Douglas revisit their famous debates. Winneshiek Players Theatre, 28 W. Clark St., Freeport, (815) 232-7023, winneshiekplayers.org.
April 19-22, Thu.-Sat 7:30 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. In honor of the 100th anniversary of the birth of the renowned American composer Leonard Bernstein, Rockford University and the Rockford Symphony Orchestra partner to present the musical “Candide.” From the satirical novella by Voltaire, a philosopher of the Age of Enlightenment, it’s the comic tale of a young man’s journey from idealism to wisdom. Maddox Theatre, Rockford University, 5050 E. State St., Rockford, (815) 226-4100, rockford.edu.
April 20, 7 p.m. Celebrate 27 years of the Rockford Area Music Industry (RAMI) awards. Listen to local musicians and vote for the winners while supporting music scholarships and music education programs. Tebala Event Center, 7910 Newburg Road, Rockford, ramiawards.com.
“She Kills Monsters”
April 20-21, 8 p.m. In this dramatic comedy, Agnes Evans leaves her childhood home and finds the Dungeons & Dragons notebook of her late teenage sister, Tilly; she stumbles into a journey of discovery and action-packed adventure in the imaginary world that was Tilly’s refuge. Winneshiek Players Theatre, Freeport, (815) 232-7023, winneshiekplayers.org.
April 20-29, Fri.-Sat. 7 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. In this suspenseful mystery, Elaine Wheeler claims she’s seen not one, but two bodies from the window of her Manhattan townhouse. When police find nothing, is she having a breakdown or is something else afoot? Janesville Little Theatre, JPAC, 408 S. Main St., Janesville, (608) 758-0297, janesvillepac.org.
April 20-May 6, Fri.-Sat. 8 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. In this romantic comedy, two frustrated London housewives decide to rent a villa in Italy for a holiday from their bleak marriages, recruiting two very different English women to share the cost and experience. Among the wisteria and the Mediterranean sunshine, all four bloom again in ways they could never have expected. Pec Playhouse Theatre, 314 Main St., Pecatonica, Ill., (815) 239-1210, pecplayhouse.org.
Patterns from Panama
April 20-June 23, Tue.-Fri. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sat. noon-5 p.m. Displays of brilliantly colored molas – multiple layers of fabric appliquéd to form pictures and patterns, traditionally attached to the front of indigenous Guna women’s shirts. Freeport Art Museum (FAM), 121 N. Harlem Ave., Freeport, (815) 235-9755, freeportartmuseum.org.
April 21, 2 p.m. The award-winning musical about Rock and Roll Hall of Famers The Four Seasons: Frankie Vallie, Bob Gaudio, Tommy DeVito and Nick Massi. The true story of how four blue-collar kids became one of the greatest successes in pop music history. Coronado PAC, Rockford, (815) 968-0595, coronadopac.org.
Movies on Main
April 22, 4 p.m. “Coco” (PG). The Pixar story of young Miguel, who dreams of becoming an accomplished musician despite his family’s baffling generations-old ban on music. 6 p.m. “Murder on the Orient Express” (PG-13). Agatha Christie’s story of 13 strangers stranded on a lavish train, each suspected of murder. Who will be the next victim? Nordlof Center, 118 N. Main St., Rockford. Info: rockfordpubliclibrary.org.
Gaither Vocal Band
April 22, 6 p.m. The Grammy award-winning southern vocal group performs timeless gospel classics and new favorites. Featuring vocalist Charlotte Ritchie and Gene McDonald. Coronado PAC, Rockford, (815) 968-0595, coronadopac.org.
Spielberg “The Early Years”
April 25, noon & 7 p.m., “Raiders of the Lost Ark”; April 29, noon, “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial.” Lindo Theatre, 115 S. Chicago Ave., Freeport, (815) 233-0413, classiccinemas.com.
April 25-29, Wed.-Sat. 7:30 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. A mystery tale of poison, murder and romance unfolds as famed detective Lord Peter Wimsey falls for accused poisoner Harriet Vane in this adaptation of Dorothy L. Sayers’ novel. Barnett Theatre, 800 W. Main St., UW-Whitewater, Whitewater, Wis., (262) 472-1566, uww.edu.
RAM Open Mic Night
April 26, 6-8 p.m. Share your own or listen to original poetry, storytelling, music and more at this after-hours event in the galleries. All ages welcome, performances begin at 6:30. Rockford Art Museum (RAM), 711 N. Main St., Rockford, (815) 968-2787, rockfordartmuseum.org.
April 26-28 & May 3-5, Thu.-Sat. 7:30 p.m.; April 28-29 & May 5, 3 p.m. A murder mystery musical comedy that takes a satirical poke at Agatha Christie mysteries and the musical styles of the English music halls of the 1930s. Beloit Civic Theatre, Elizabeth Reinholz Theatre, Beloit Memorial High School, 1225 4th St., Beloit, (608) 362-1595, beloitcivictheatre.org.
April 26-28 & May 3-5, 8:30 p.m. Inspired by Lorraine Hansberry’s “A Raisin in the Sun,” this comedy-drama unflinchingly explores race, segregation and gentrification in a fictional Chicago neighborhood beginning in 1959, as an African-American family prepares to move into an exclusively white part of town. Act Two returns to the same house 50 years later. Neese Performing Arts Center, Beloit College, 700 College St., Beloit, (608) 363-2000, beloit.edu.
“Moon Mouse: A Space Odyssey”
April 27, 7:30 p.m. As seen on “America’s Got Talent,” Lightwire Theater uses electroluminescent technology to create awe-inspiring glow-in-the-dark theatrical performances. This is the tale of Marvin, the mouse who embarks on the space adventure of a lifetime. Young Auditorium, UW-Whitewater, 930 W. Main St., Whitewater, Wis., (262) 472- 2222, uww.edu.
Big Band & Royal Scots Concert
April 27, 7:30 p.m. Enjoy an evening of the musical sounds of the Highland Big Band and the Vocal music of the Royal Scots. Ferguson Fine Arts Theatre, Highland Community College, 2998 W. Pearl City Road, Freeport, (815) 235-6127, highland.edu.
“Little Shop of Horrors”
April 27-29 & May 4-6, Fri.-Sat. 7:30 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. The hit musical featuring meek flower shop assistant Seymore, who pines for co-worker Audrey and discovers a carnivorous plant that attracts a great deal of business for the previously struggling store. Byron Civic Theater, Byron Middle School, 850 N. Colfax St., Byron, Ill., (815) 312-3000, bctmagic.com.
April 28, 7 p.m. Five uniquely talented artists from across the nation entertain with standards and original compositions. Sauk Valley Community Concert Association (SVCCA), Dixon High School, Lincoln Statue Dr., Dixon, Ill., (815) 288-2501, svcca.org.
RSO: Celebrating Bernstein
April 28, 7:30 p.m. Join the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the American composer’s birth with Bernstein’s “Divertimento,” the Mendelssohn Chorale performing “Chichester Psalms” and Symphonic Dances from “West Side Story.” Rockford Symphony Orchestra, Coronado PAC, Rockford. Tickets: (815) 965-0049, rockfordsymphony.com.
April 29, 7 p.m. The Madison, Wis., group artfully blends “Hot Hawaiian and French guitar sorcery” to create a fresh new sound. JustGoods Listening Room, 201 7th St., Rockford, (815) 965-8903, rockfordlisteningroom.com.
Winds and Jazz Concert
April 30, 7:30 p.m. Enjoy an evening of music as the Beloit College Wind Ensemble performs pieces including the folk music “Balkayna” by Jan Vander Roost, “A Moorside Suite” by Gustave Holst and “Molly on the Shore,” a combination of two Irish Cork reels. The Jazz Band performs traditional Big Band sounds. Eaton Chapel, Beloit College, College and Chapin Streets, Beloit, (608) 363-2000, beloit.edu.
“Voices in My Head”
May 1-3, see website for times. A musical comedy show with Stephen Sorrentino, three-time Las Vegas entertainer of the year, who impersonates Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons, The Doors, Joe Cocker, Jerry Lewis, Sammy Davis Jr., Tom Jones and dozens more. White Pines, Mt. Morris, Ill., (815) 946-3817, whitepinesinn.com.
May 4, 7:30 p.m. Music for the season, featuring Rockford University’s Regent Singers, Women’s Ensemble and Vocal Collective. Maddox Theatre, Rockford University, Rockford, (815) 226-4100, rockford.edu.
May 4, 7:30 p.m. Whether playing Carnegie Hall, the Lincoln Center or festivals and coffee houses, Rockford native and folk artist Jencks enchants listeners by skillfully weaving stories of social consciousness, spiritual exploration and musical beauty. MPAC, Mendelssohn Hall, Rockford, (815) 964-9713, mendelssohnpac.org.
KSO: Bach is Back
May 5, 7:30 p.m. Lecture at 6:30 p.m. Featuring “Escapade” by Jan Bach, “Concerto for Two Trumpets” by Vivaldi and “Symphony No. 2 in E minor, Op. 27,” by Rachmaninoff. Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra (KSO), NIU Boutell Concert Hall, 550 Lucinda Ave., DeKalb, Ill., (815) 756-3728, kishorchestra.org.
BJSO: Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 9”
May 5, 7:30 p.m.; May 6, brunch 12:30 p.m., performance 4 p.m. The Beloit Janesville Symphony, the Turtle Creek Chamber Orchestra and the Masterworks Chorus treat the audience to Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 9 (Ode to Joy).” Beloit Janesville Symphony (BJSO), Eaton Chapel, Beloit College, College and Chapin Streets, Beloit, (608) 313-1200, beloitjanesvillesymphony.org.
May 5, 8 p.m. Lyric soprano Lee has graced stages across the country and around the world. She shares favorite signature roles from “Madama Butterfly,” “Rusalka,” “Eugene Onegin,” and “La Bohème” as well as some favorite classic arias. Freeport Community Concert Association (FCCA), Freeport Masonic Temple, 305 W. Stephenson St., Freeport, Ill., (815) 232-4214.
May 5-6, 2 p.m. The fairy tale by Gianni Todari comes to life in a ballet that tells the adventures of Cipollino, the Little Onion Boy, who fights the unjust treatment of his fellow vegetable folk by the fruit aristocracy. Rockford Dance Company, Hononegah Performing Arts Center, 307 Salem St., Rockton, Ill., (815) 624-2070, rockforddancecompany.org.
RCCA: “Sleeping Beauty”
May 6, 3 p.m. The Moscow Festival Ballet features leading dancers from across Russia, who perform exciting new productions of timeless classics. Coronado PAC, Rockford, (815) 968-0595, coronadopac.org.
AE: “The Woman in Black”
May 10-27, Thu.-Sat. 7:30 p.m., Sat. 4 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. A London lawyer hires an actor to help recount a story to family and friends that has long troubled him since he attended the funeral of an elderly recluse. Cheek Theatre, Rockford University, Rockford, (815) 226-4100, artistsensemble.org.
“The Hiding Place”
May 11-13 & 18-20, Fri.-Sat. 7 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. Corrie ten Boom and her family were living quiet, ordinary lives as watchmakers in the Netherlands when the Nazis invaded and occupied their country. This is the story of the family’s efforts to help the Jews. Teen and older. Main Street Players, Community Building Complex of Boone County, 111 W. 1st St., Belvidere, (800) 741-2963, mainstreetplayersofboonecounty.com.
MPAC: Music on Main
May 14, 5:30 p.m. Set in the intimate parlor of the historic Emerson House, the salon series presents regionally acclaimed classical musicians offering a true chamber music experience. Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center (MPAC), Emerson House, 420 N. Main St., (815) 964-9713, mendelssohnpac.org.
Broadway at the Coronado: “Cinderella”
May 15, 7:30 p.m. Delightful childhood memories are awakened with this lush production of Rogers and Hammerstein’s award-winning musical, featuring amazing transformations, the pumpkin, glass slipper, masked ball and some surprising new twists on the classic tale. Coronado PAC, Rockford, (815) 968-0595, coronadopac.org.
RSO: Disney Around the World
May 19, 7:30 p.m. The magical music of Disney classics will delight the entire family, featuring songs from “The Little Mermaid,” “Pocahontas,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Frozen,” “Pirates of the Caribbean,” “Mulan,” “Aladdin” and the “Lion King.” Rockford Symphony Orchestra, Coronado PAC, Rockford. Tickets: (815) 965-0049, rockfordsymphony.com.
“One Night in Memphis”
May 19, 7:30 p.m. Get ready for a night of rockabilly, country, gospel, and pure 1950s rock and roll – a high-energy concert that takes you back to Dec. 4, 1956, the magical night when Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis and Johnny Cash came together for an impromptu jam session at the legendary Sun Studios in Memphis. MAC, Monroe, Wis., (608) 325-5700, monroeartscenter.org.
Made in America
May 19, 7:30 p.m. The first full-length Toby Keith tribute concert, from the creators of Suburban Cowboys. Chicago musician Paul Wenzel channels Keith and leads the 11-piece band in a powerful show that shares his humor and patriotism with the audience. Special guests: Jason Aldean Tribute Band, Caldean. Egyptian Theatre, 135 N. 2nd St., DeKalb, Ill., (815) 758-1215, egyptiantheatre.org.
MPAC: Rockford Jazz Showcase
May 20, 3 p.m. A celebration of jazz that brings together a diverse group of regional musicians representing a range of styles in an exciting collaborative event. MPAC, Mendelssohn Hall, Rockford, (815) 964-9713, mendelssohnpac.org.
“A Second Helping”
May 31-July 15, see website for times. The world is changing in 1969 and the ladies are dealing with changes of their own in this humorous, heart-warming sequel to “The Church Basement Ladies,” set in a small rural Minnesota community. Fireside, Fort Atkinson, Wis., (800) 477-9505, firesidetheatre.com.
“Shrek the Musical”
June 6-9 & July 11-15, Wed.-Sun. 8 p.m. & Sun. 2 p.m. The DreamWorks hit animated film comes to life onstage, featuring the tough cookie, the short villain, the forever-talking donkey, the hero ogre, the princess and a host of other fairy-tale misfits. Starlight Theatre, Rock Valley College (RVC), 3301 N. Mulford Road, Rockford, (815) 921-2160, rockvalleycollege.edu.
“Lend Me a Tutor”
June 7-17, Thu.-Sat. 7:30 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. A madcap comedy about the trouble that ensues when a famous opera singer is presumed dead and a substitute takes his place. Stage Coach Players, DeKalb, Ill., (815) 758-1940, stagecoachers.com.
June 7-30, Thu.-Sat. 8 p.m. The radical musical of the ’60s tackles issues still relevant today, with hits like “Aquarius,” “Good Morning Starshine” and “Easy to be Hard.” [Usual] Suspects, Nordlof Center, Rockford. Info: rockfordpubliclibrary.org
RAM: Midwestern Biennial Show
June 9-Sept. 30, daily 10 a.m.-5 p.m. The 75th presentation of RAM’s biennial juried exhibition showcasing multimedia work by contemporary artists across the Midwest. RAM, Rockford, (815) 968-2787, rockfordartmuseum.org.
June 13-16 & July 18-22, Wed.-Sun. 8 p.m. & Sun. 2 p.m. A musical adaptation of Charlotte Bronte’s story of the orphaned young girl living with a family who dislikes her. Hers is a timeless coming-of-age love story of secrets and lies, regaining hope, independence and strength. Starlight Theatre, RVC, Rockford, (815) 921-2160, rockvalleycollege.edu.
Woodsong: Josh Hoyer
June 17, 6 p.m. Featured on “The Voice,” Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal combine soul, funk and R&B for a high-energy show. Bring a picnic dinner and beverage. Klehm Arboretum, 2715 S. Main St., Rockford, (815) 965-8146, klehm.org.
“Dirty Rotten Scoundrels”
June 20-23 & July 25-29, Wed.-Sun. 8 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. This musical comedy features two sophisticated, suave swindlers who decide the Riviera isn’t big enough for both of them; the first to extract $50,000 from a rich young heiress wins and the other must leave town. Starlight Theatre, RVC, Rockford, (815) 921-2160, rockvalleycollege.edu.
“Of Mice and Men”
June 22-July 8, Fri.-Sat. 8 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. The John Steinbeck classic about two drifters who work on a ranch until an accidental death changes everything. Pec Playhouse Theatre, Pecatonica, Ill., (815) 239-1210, pecplayhouse.org.
RAM: Art in Bloom
June 25, 6-8 p.m. preview party; exhibit June 26-29, museum hours. Select works of art from the Rockford Midwestern Biennial are creatively interpreted through flowers and other organic material; demonstrations and programs throughout. RAM, Rockford, (815) 968-2787, rockfordartmuseum.org.
RAM: Fashion in Bloom Tea
June 27, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Midday fusion of floral and fashion design complementing the Art in Bloom exhibit. Res. req. RAM, Rockford, (815) 968-2787, rockfordartmuseum.org.
June 27-30 & Aug. 1-5, Wed.-Sun. 8 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. Come aboard for an age-old tale of boy meets girl, with plenty of Cole Porter music and laughs. Starlight Theatre, RVC, Rockford, (815) 921-2160, rockvalleycollege.edu.