Events at a Glance: Arts & Entertainment Calendar

Here’s a look at what’s coming up this season at our region’s many arts venues.

Blues singer-songwriter Joe Bonamassa visits Rockford’s Coronado Performing Arts Center on March 9. (Marty Moffatt photo)
Blues singer-songwriter Joe Bonamassa visits Rockford’s Coronado Performing Arts Center on March 9. (Marty Moffatt photo)


FAM: Regional Juried Exhibition
Through Feb. 15, Tue.-Fri. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sat. noon-5 p.m. Featuring works by artists from Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin, the show provides a showcase for the contemporary art of established and emerging artists. Freeport Art Museum (FAM), 121 N. Harlem Ave., Freeport, (815) 235-9755,

“Saturday Night Fever”
Through Feb. 23, see website for times. Told through the eyes of a talented, streetwise kid from Brooklyn who tries to escape his dead-end life through dancing, the musical explores relationships on and off the dance floor with humor, style and swagger. Fireside Theatre, 1131 Janesville Ave., Fort Atkinson, Wis., (800) 477-9505,

PJ Masks Live: Save the Day!
Jan. 23, 6 p.m. Featuring an adventure with preschool superheroes Catboy, Owlette and Gekko, performing familiar songs from the popular show and introducing PJ Robot to the crew. Coronado Performing Arts Center (Coronado PAC), 314 N. Main St., Rockford, (815) 968-0595,

Orchesis & Rockford City Dance Concert
Jan. 23-25, 7:30-10 p.m. Produced in collaboration with various local artists. Rockford University Dance Company, Maddox Theatre, Rockford University, 5050 E. State St., Rockford, (815) 226-4100,

Nate Bargatze
Jan. 24, 7 p.m. Following his Netflix special, “The Tennessee Kid,” comedian, actor and writer Bargatze is touring the U.S. with his show “A Good Problem to Have.” Coronado PAC, Rockford, (815) 968-0595,

“Tales of Our Farms”
Jan. 24-26, Fri. 7:30 p.m., Sat.-Sun. 2 p.m. This locally written play is based on true stories of life on the farm in Rock County. Janesville Performing Arts Center (JPAC), 408 S. Main St., Janesville, (608) 758-0297,

BCT: “The Waverly Gallery”
Jan. 24-26 & 31, Feb. 1-2, Fri.-Sat. 7:30 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. The play captures the humor and strength of a family whose grandmother Gladys, owner of an art gallery in Greenwich Village, fights to retain her independence in the face of advancing Alzheimer’s disease. Byron Civic Theater, Byron Middle School, 850 N. Colfax St., Byron, Ill., (815) 312-3000,

Jazz at the Egyptian
Jan. 25, 7 p.m. Featuring performances by the DeKalb and Sycamore High School Jazz Ensembles and the NIU Jazz Orchestra. Egyptian Theatre, 135 N. 2nd St., DeKalb, Ill., (815) 758-1215,

National Ballet of Odessa: Swan Lake
Jan. 25, 7:30 p.m. This full-scale production, set to Tchaikovsky’s music, and based on the German legend, follows a heroic young prince as he works to free the beautiful swan maiden from an evil spell. Coronado PAC, Rockford, (815) 965-0049,

Jan. 26, 3 p.m. The Florentine Opera weaves together music from many settings of the classic tale in this family-friendly show; Q&A session after the performance. Young Auditorium, UW-Whitewater, 930 W. Main St., Whitewater, Wis., (262) 472- 2222,

Brian Regan
Jan. 26, 7 p.m. The comedian uses observational and self-deprecating humor in his “clean” shows. Egyptian Theatre, DeKalb, Ill., (815) 758-1215,

Russian National Ballet
Jan. 29, 7:30 p.m. The world-renowned ballet company performs one act each of “Romeo and Juliet” and “Carmen.” Young Auditorium, UW-Whitewater, Whitewater, Wis., (262) 472- 2222,

Lewis Black
Jan. 30, 8 p.m. The comedian’s new show, “It Gets Better Every Day,” explores the absurdity of our world. Coronado PAC, Rockford, (815) 968-0595,

BCT: “37 Postcards”
Jan. 30-Feb. 8, Thu.-Sat. 7:30 p.m., Sat.-Sun. 3 p.m. In this poignant comedy, Avery Sutton is happy to return to his home in Connecticut after years of traveling abroad; but almost nothing is as he remembers it. Sutton has to choose to accept the oddities of his family or leave them behind. Beloit Civic Theatre, Elizabeth Reinholz Theatre, Beloit Memorial High School, 1225 4th St., Beloit, (608) 362-1595,

Modern Dickinson
Jan. 31, 7:30 p.m. Three artists explore Emily Dickinson’s poetry through the works of today’s best living composers of vocal music. The audience is invited into Emily’s living room for a conversation through her words. Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center (MPAC), Mendelssohn Hall, 406 N. Main St., Rockford, (815) 964-9713,

On Stage: John Moreland
Jan. 31, 8 p.m. Moreland’s music smolders with gentle wisdom, flashes of wit, joy and compassion. Coronado PAC, Rockford, (815) 968-0595,

Comedy on Main
Jan. 31, 8 p.m. Enjoy a night of laughs with Johnny Beehner, who can be heard on the “Bob & Tom Show” and Sirius satellite radio. JPAC, Janesville, (608) 758-0297,

“John Lennon & Me”
Jan. 31-Feb. 2, Fri.-Sat. 7 p.m., Sat.-Sun. 2 p.m. Adapted from the book “Good-bye, Best Friend,” the play looks at life, death, power and first boyfriends, through the eyes of a young woman fighting cystic fibrosis. Children’s Theatre Project, Nordlof Center, 118 N. Main St., Rockford. Info:


The Rat Pack is Back
Feb. 1, 2 p.m. Relive the days of Las Vegas’ most famous entertainers with this tribute by three performers and their big band as they might have appeared in the Sands Hotel Copa Room. Egyptian Theatre, DeKalb, Ill., (815) 758-1215,

Nashville Legacy
Feb. 1, 7:30 p.m. Floyd Cramer’s grandson, Jason Coleman, and Chet Atkins’ niece, Meagan Taylor, bring new life to the music of their forerunners, including Patsy Cline, the Everly Brothers and Elvis Presley. JPAC, Janesville, (608) 758-0297,

Dueling Pianos
Feb. 3-4, 11:30 a.m. Interactive music and comedy piano show; includes lunch buffet. Starved Rock Lodge, 2688 E. 873rd Road, Oglesby, Ill., (815) 220-7386,

Korn & Breaking Benjamin
Feb. 6, 7 p.m. Grammy award-winning Korn and hard rockers Breaking Benjamin perform; with guest Bones UK. BMO Harris Bank Center, 300 Elm St., Rockford, (815) 968-5222,

Comedy Show
Feb. 7 & March 6, dinner at 7 p.m., show at 8 p.m. An evening of dinner, drinks and laughter with three nationally touring comedians. Tickets at (608) 756-3500. The Crosby Place, 120 N. Crosby, Janesville, (608) 756-3500,

The Lamplighters
Feb. 7, 7 p.m. Entertainment by the barbershop chorus. Opera House of Sandwich, 140 E. Railroad St., Sandwich, Ill., (815) 786-2555,

“Sex Please, We’re Sixty!”
Feb. 7-9 & 14-16, Fri.-Sat. 7 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. Things are turned on their head at Mrs. Stancliffe’s Rose Cottage Bed & Breakfast when a retired chemist’s libido-boosting pills for older women are mixed up with Viagra pills belonging to “Bud the Stud” Davis. Main Street Players, Community Building Complex of Boone County, 111 W. 1st St., Belvidere, (800) 741-2963,

“Bedroom Farce”
Feb. 7-16, Fri.-Sat. 7:30 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. This comedy takes place in the bedrooms of three married couples over the course of one long night. Janesville Little Theatre, 906 W. Racine St., Janesville, Wis., (608) 756-4172‎,

RAM: Sonic Disruptions: Buisch & Hogan
Feb. 7-May 25, daily 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Thu. to 7 p.m. Chair of Painting and Sculpture at the U of I, Laurie Hogan creates beautiful yet bizarre landscapes reflecting pop culture and the human experience. Derrick Buisch, a professor at the U of WI, Madison, creates evocative imagery with moments of uneasy hilarity. Rockford Art Museum (RAM), 711 N. Main St., Rockford, (815) 968-2787,

Axiom Brass
Feb. 11, 7:30 p.m. The quintet entertains with original compositions as well as jazz and Latin music. Young Auditorium, UW-Whitewater, Whitewater, Wis., (262) 472- 2222,

Yao Yao Valentine show
Feb. 13, 6 p.m. In this family-friendly show of advanced screen art technology and live music, when a mischievous little girl pulls a thread on her father’s overcoat, she unlocks a magical world of adventure and discovery. Young Auditorium, UW-Whitewater, Whitewater, Wis., (262) 472- 2222,

Beatles & Sing-Along Night
Feb. 13, 7-8:30 p.m. Tribute Trio, a tight-harmony family band, performs timeless songs. Katie’s Cup, 502 7th St., Rockford. Ticket info:

“Love, Sex and the IRS”
Feb. 14-March 1, Fri. 8 p.m., Sat. 2 & 8 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. To save money, two out-of-work musicians rooming together in New York City file taxes as though they are married. When the IRS announces an audit, the situation becomes a cross between “I Love Lucy” and “Some Like it Hot.” Pec Playhouse Theatre, 314 Main St., Pecatonica, Ill., (815) 239-1210,

Swing Dance Social
Feb. 14 & second Saturdays, 7-10 p.m. Beginner lessons 7-7:45 p.m. No partner required. Put on swing-era duds, if you have them, and enjoy an evening of swing, country two-step, foxtrot and line dances. Resonate Church, 2707 Bond Place, Janesville, (608) 359-9409,

Divas After Dark
Feb. 15, 7:30 p.m. Sequins, stories and songs make for an evening of entertainment by some of the area’s talented female soloists singing jazz, pop, country, Broadway and classical music. Light hors d’oeuvres and a drink included. Monroe Arts Center (MAC), 1315 11th St., Monroe, Wis., (608) 325-5700,

RSO: Scottish Fantasy
Feb. 15, 7:30 p.m. Music by Larsen, “Deep Summer Music,” Bruch, “Scottish Fantasy” and Brahms, “Symphony No. 2 in D major.” Coronado PAC, Rockford, (815) 965-0049,

“Love Letters”
Feb. 15-16, Sat. 7 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. Andrew and Melissa are childhood friends whose lifelong correspondence takes them through boarding school and college years, war, marriages and careers. The audience hears from their letters how their love was not diminished over time and physical separation. Opera House of Sandwich, Sandwich, Ill., (815) 786-2555,

Jodi Beach
Feb. 16, 3 p.m. Elegant ballads, beautiful love songs, warm Latin rhythms and stomping swings by singer Beach take the listener through a lifetime of memories in a matter of minutes. MPAC, Starr Center, 415 N. Church St., Rockford, (815) 964-9713,

“Finding Neverland”
Feb. 16, 7:30 p.m. When playwright J.M. Barrie meets the beautiful widow Sylvia and her four sons, he finds the inspiration he’s been missing. Delighted by the boys’ hilarious escapades, Barrie conjures the magical world of Neverland and takes a risk to present the unique play to high-society London theatregoers. Dinner available before the show. Young Auditorium, UW-Whitewater, Whitewater, Wis., (262) 472- 2222,

Beloit International Film Festival
Feb. 21-March 1. See website for schedule and ticket information. Scores of shorts, documentaries and feature films are presented in unique venues throughout the Beloit area. Tickets/Info:
(608) 312-4256,

The Second City: Laughing for all the Wrong Reasons
Feb. 22, 7:30 p.m. The next generation of comedy stars breaks all the comedy rules their predecessors made famous. Egyptian Theatre, DeKalb, Ill., (815) 758-1215,

Avalon String Quartet
Feb. 23, pre-concert lecture 2 p.m., performance 3 p.m. Back for the ninth season, the quartet celebrates Beethoven’s 250th birthday by performing his string quartets with some newly composed transitions between the works. MPAC, Mendelssohn Hall, Rockford, (815) 964-9713,

Rockford Wind Ensemble
Feb. 23, 3 p.m. Family-friendly concert of historically significant works, outstanding soloists, world premieres, popular favorites and concert band standards. Nordlof Center, Rockford, (815) 987-6660,

“Triumph of Love”
Feb. 27-29, Thu.-Sat. 7:30 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. A chamber musical adaptation of the classic French comedy of the same name, the show is full of deception, gender confusion and comic buffoonery; multiple romantic story lines collide as Princess Leonide and the handsome Agis must decide which is the more powerful force: the mind or the heart. Maddox Theatre, Rockford University, Rockford, (815) 226-4100,

“Guys and Dolls”
Feb. 27-April 12, see website for times. Damon Runyon’s beloved story about some of the most unforgettable characters to walk across a stage, such as Liver Lips Louie and Big Jule. Featuring “Luck Be a Lady,” “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat” and many others. Fireside, Fort Atkinson, Wis., (800) 477-9505,

Charlotte’s Web: The Legacy Show
Feb. 28, 7:30 p.m. A musical, cultural and historical journey guided by the work of prolific African-American creative artists. The program features classical music infused with spirituals, blues, gospel, hip-hop and jazz, portraying the themes of the Antebellum Period, the Harlem Renaissance, the Civil Rights Era and modern times. MPAC, Mendelssohn Hall, Rockford, (815) 964-9713,

Improv Comedy
Feb. 28, 8 p.m. Local improvisers pick suggestions from the audience, then create humorous sketches. Janesville Performing Arts Center (JPAC), 408 S. Main St., Janesville, (608) 758-0297,

On Stage: Jim and Sam
Feb. 28, 8 p.m. Join the L.A.-based husband-wife singer-songwriter duo of Jim Hanft and Samantha Yonack on stage, as they make beautiful music together. Coronado PAC, Rockford, (815) 968-0595,

Feb. 29, 2 p.m. Local children perform in this classic Italian story of the woodworker Geppeto, who wishes the wooden puppet he has created could become a real boy. His wish is granted by the Blue Fairy, who asks Jiminy Cricket to serve as Pinocchio’s conscience; nevertheless, he falls into the clutches of the wicked “Honest John,” who leads him astray. Missoula Children’s Theatre, Young Auditorium, UW-Whitewater, Whitewater, Wis., (262) 472- 2222,

Banana Wind
Feb. 29, 7:30 p.m. Dig out that Hawaiian shirt and enjoy a night of music and beach-themed drinks with the music of Jimmy Buffett. JPAC, Janesville, (608) 758-0297,

George Lopez
Feb. 29, 8 p.m. Lopez’s comedy examines race and ethnic relations, including Mexican-American culture. Coronado PAC, Rockford, (815) 968-0595,


Four Icons
March 1, 3-5 p.m. Doug Stivers, Chip Messiner and Trinadora Rocks perform the music of Brenda Lee, Buddy Holly, Kenny Rogers, Johnny Cash and Roy Orbison, as well as that of Patsy Cline and John Denver. Tickets at or by phone (815) 979-1949. Spring Creek United Church of Christ, 4500 Spring Creek Road, Rockford, (815) 877-2576,

Canterbury Singers
March 1, 5 p.m. The singers perform sacred choral music for Lent. Canterbury Music Society, St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 221 W. 3rd St., Dixon, Ill.,

The Beach Boys
March 1, 7 p.m. Led by singer Mike Love, the iconic group performs “Surfin’ USA,” “Fun, Fun, Fun,” “California Girls” and many more hits. Coronado PAC, Rockford, (815) 968-0595,

Shake, Rattle & Roll
March 2-4, 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. A lunch rock ‘n’ roll show that includes favorites from Bobby Darin, John Mellencamp, Neil Diamond, Dean Martin and more. Res. req. Starved Rock Lodge, Oglesby, Ill., (815) 220-7386,

AE: “Cry It Out”
March 5-20, Thu.-Sat. 7:30 p.m., Sat. 4 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. From a glamorous life as a corporate lawyer in Manhattan to wearing stained yoga pants and soothing a screaming baby in four short months, Jessie is hanging out in her backyard with new moms and one dad who meet in a sleep-deprived haze for some desperately needed adult conversation. Artists’ Ensemble (AE), Cheek Theatre, Rockford University, Rockford, (815) 394-5004,

“Witness for the Prosecution”
March 6-14, Fri.-Sat. 7:30 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. The suspenseful Agatha Christie thriller in which Leonard Vole stands accused of murdering a rich widow; shocking witness testimony and impassioned outbursts from the dock keep audiences guessing about the truth until the very end. Winneshiek Players Theatre, 28 W. Clark St., Freeport, (815) 232-7023,

March 7, 7 p.m. The international, award-winning duo presents an evening of Irish song, stories and dance. Opera House of Sandwich, Sandwich, Ill., (815) 786-2555,

March 7, 7 p.m. Three dynamic tenors entertain with “cinematic pop,” lush orchestrations and rich three-part harmonies. Dinner available before the show. Young Auditorium, UW-Whitewater, Whitewater, Wis., (262) 472- 2222,

Gaelic Storm
March 7, 7:30 p.m. Country music fans like the storytelling, bluegrass fans love the instrumentals, Celtic fans love their devotion to tradition and rockers relish their passion. Egyptian Theatre, DeKalb, Ill., (815) 758-1215,

RSO: Women Rock
March 7, 7:30 p.m. Honoring female singers and songwriters who have changed rock ‘n’ roll, with the music of Carole King, Tina Turner, Janis Joplin, Aretha Franklin, Pat Benatar and Heart. Coronado PAC, Rockford, (815) 968-0595,

Christine Pedi
March 7, 7:30 p.m. Known as the “Lady of 1,000 Voices,” comedic actress and impressionist Pedi performs Ethel Merman, Angela Lansbury, Bernadette Peters and others, singing Beatles songs and telling backstage stories about Broadway. MAC, Monroe, Wis., (608) 325-5700,

Tastes & Tunes: One Human Band
March 7, 7:30 p.m. Singer/songwriter Bryan Drewyor plays acoustic instruments that complement his original, soulful songs. Janesville Little Theatre, 906 W. Racine St., Janesville, (608) 756-4172,

KSO: Spring Pops Concert
March 7, 7:30 p.m. Coax spring along with some lovely music. Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra (KSO), NIU Boutell Concert Hall, 550 Lucinda Ave., DeKalb, Ill., (815) 756-3728,

David Eisenreich
March 9, 5:30 p.m. Featuring percussionist Eisenreich on the marimba. MPAC, Emerson House, 420 E. Main St., Rockford, (815) 964-9713,

Gospel Radio Awards
March 9, 7 p.m. Hosted by Michelle Williams and Todd Dulaney, the show honors Mary Mary and Tye Tribbett; featured performers include Tasha Cobbs Leonard, Travis Greene, The Walls Group and Kerra Sheard. Heartland Community Church, 1280 S. Alpine Road, Rockford, (815) 320-9005,

Joe Bonamassa
March 9, 8 p.m. Blues singer-songwriter Bonamassa entertains with selections from his sizeable catalogue. Coronado PAC, Rockford, (815) 968-0595,

Simply Patsy Cline
March 9-10, 11:30 a.m. Mary Pfeifer brings back memories of your favorite Patsy songs, including hits like “Crazy” and “Walking After Midnight,” while sharing stories about the singer’s life. Res. req. Starved Rock Lodge, Oglesby, Ill., (815) 220-7386,

“The Grapes of Wrath”
March 11, 7:30 p.m. Renaissance-era stagecraft blends with modern sensibility to give the audience a true taste of a Shakespearean theatre-going experience. American Shakespeare Center, Young Auditorium, Whitewater, Wis., (262) 472- 2222,

Truman’s Ridge
March 12, 7 p.m. Entertainment by the Chicago-style bluegrass band. Katie’s Cup, 502 7th St., Rockford. Ticket info:

Dancing with the Stars
March 13, 7:30 p.m. Dancers from the hit show perform fan-favorite routines as well as new numbers, showcasing dance styles from the tango to the foxtrot, the cha-cha to the waltz and lots in between. Coronado PAC, Rockford, (815) 968-0595,

Celtic Frolic
March 14, 7-9 p.m. Enjoy a lively St. Patrick’s Day with the music of Trinadora. Spring Creek United Church of Christ, Rockford, (815) 877-2576,

Dueling Pianos: Piano Fondue
March 14, 7:30 p.m. Two baby grand pianos, two professional entertainers and audience-supplied requests make for an entertaining evening. Janesville Performing Arts Center (JPAC), Janesville, (608) 758-0297,

Colin Mochrie & Brad Sherwood
March 14, 8 p.m. From television’s “Whose Line is it Anyway?” the duo brings their interactive improv show “The Scared Scriptless Tour” to the stage. Coronado PAC, Rockford, (815) 968-0595,

BJSO: Obras Maestras Latinas
March 14-15, 2 p.m. Enjoy a performance of Latin masterpieces with guitar soloist Thomas Aquino. Beloit Janesville Symphony (BJSO). Sat. at Beloit College, Eaton Chapel, College and Chapin Streets, Beloit, (608) 363-2755, Sun. at JPAC, Janesville, (608) 758-0297,

Darci Lynne Farmer
March 15, 3 p.m. Singer-ventriloquist Farmer, who won “America’s Got Talent” at 12 years old, entertains with her musical friends, a diva-like rabbit and a shy mouse. Coronado PAC, Rockford, (815) 968-0595,

“The BFG”
March 15, 3 p.m. Based on the Roald Dahl classic in which orphan girl Sophie teams up with the Big Friendly Giant (BFG) to defeat a tribe of child-eating monsters. Young Auditorium, UW-Whitewater, Whitewater, Wis., (262) 472- 2222,

March 16, 7:30 p.m. In this musical, Jenny, a waitress and expert pie-maker, dreams about a way out of her small town and rocky marriage. When she enters a baking contest in a nearby county and meets someone new, will she grab the chance at a fresh start? Coronado PAC, Rockford, (815) 968-0595,

Drum Tao 2020
March 18, 7:30 p.m. A high-energy performance showcasing the ancient art of Japanese drumming; combines physical, large-scale drumming with contemporary costumes and precise choreography. Young Auditorium, UW-Whitewater, Whitewater, Wis., (262) 472- 2222,

Paul Bronson & Curt Lewis
March 20, 7 p.m. Doors open at 6 p.m. An evening of music by Bronson, a neo-classical guitarist, and singer-songwriter Lewis. Rockford Listening Room, 201 7th St., Rockford, (815) 964-7111,

The Ubiquitous Accordion
March 20, 7:30 p.m. Mike Alongi and Stas Venglevski present a concert illustrating the versatility of the accordion, from classical works to different ethnic traditions, contemporary compositions and jazz. MPAC, Mendelssohn Hall, Rockford, (815) 964-9713,

Women & Children First
March 21, 7:30 p.m. Rex Havens’ fast-paced, multimedia comedy show with video, audio and more than 500 stills. JPAC, Janesville, (608) 758-0297,

One Night of Queen
March 27, 8 p.m. Gary Mullen and The Works return with the look, sound and showmanship of the iconic rock band Queen. Coronado PAC, Rockford, (815) 968-0595,

“Bus Stop”
March 27-April 5, Fri.-Sat. 7:30 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. In the middle of a howling snowstorm, a bus from Kansas City stops at a cheerful diner, where its passengers are going to have to spend the night. JPAC, Janesville, (608) 758-0297,