There’s so much to do in our neck of the Old Northwest Territory! Here are some fun events coming up this season.
Exhibit: “Full Circle”
Through Jan. 6, 2013, daily 10 a.m.-5 p.m. From The Center for the Arts at Little City Foundation in Palatine, Ill., a selection of works from intellectually and developmentally challenged people in watercolor, sculpture, video and other media. Rockford Art Museum (RAM), 711 N. Main St., Rockford, (815) 968-2787, rockfordartmuseum.com.
Dinner Theater: Frankenstein
Through Oct. 28, Thu.-Fri. 7 p.m.; Sat. 5 & 8 p.m.; Sun. 5 p.m. Following a themed meal in the historic and decorated Clausing Barn, see Mary Shelley’s terrifying novel brought to the stage in an adaptation that reveals a much more complex and tormented creature than found in the classic Karloff movies. Old World Wisconsin (OWW), S103 W37890, Hwy. 67, Eagle, Wis. (262) 594-6300, oldworldwisconsin.org.
Mark Twain and the Laughing River
Oct. 17-Oct. 31, 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.
Scrooge The Musical
Oct. 25-Dec. 23, matinee & evening performances, Wed.-Sun. See website for times. Dickens’ time-honored story of redemption and love, based on the popular movie musical starring Albert Finney. Fireside Dinner Theatre, Business Hwy. 26 South, Fort Atkinson, Wis., (800) 477-9505, firesidetheatre.com.
Docs Who Rock
Oct. 26, 7 p.m. Area doctors and health care professionals showcase musical talents. Silent auction, 50/50 raffles, food, cash bar. All proceeds benefit United Way of North Rock County. Janesville Performing Arts Center (JPAC), 408 S. Main St., Janesville, Wis., (608) 758-0297, janesvillepac.org.
“Stained Glass Concerto”
Oct. 26, 7:30 p.m. Stephen Squires, conductor; Scott Metlicka, violin. Mendelssohn Chamber Orchestra. Court Street United Methodist Church, 215 N. Court St., Rockford, (815) 964-9713, mendelssohnpac.org.
MTG: A Party to Murder
Oct. 26-27, Nov. 2-3, 7:30 p.m. with dinner theater option. Oct. 28, Nov. 4, 2 p.m. Guests playing a murder mystery game at a rustic cottage on an island encounter ghosts, and when someone dies, the rest realize they’re playing for their lives. Monroe Theatre Guild, 910 16th Ave., Monroe, Wis., (608) 325-1111, monroetheatre.com.
Exhibit: “The Poster Show”
Oct. 26-Nov. 20, 3-6 p.m., Tues.-Fri. An exhibit showcasing a large selection of posters from Steve Walters’ Screwball Press in Chicago, which collaborates with artists, printmakers, musicians, and music venues to create compelling posters for the music industry. Clark Arts Center, Rockford College, 5050 E. State St., Rockford, rockford.edu.
FCCA: Christopher Atzinger
Oct. 27, 3 p.m. From the Freeport Community Concert Association (FCCA). A medalist of numerous national piano competitions, this associate professor of music at St. Olaf College in Minnesota has been a featured soloist with renowned orchestras worldwide. Masonic Temple, 305 W. Stephenson St., Freeport, Ill. Tickets: (815) 232-4214 or at the door.
“Mamma Mia: Come Sing With Us!”
Oct. 27, 7 p.m. Costume Party, 7:30 p.m. Movie. An ABBA spectacular. Come in your favorite costumes from the movie or from the 1970s. Fundraiser for Janesville Presents! JPAC, Janesville, (608) 758-0297.
BOOtiful Saturday 2012
Oct. 27, 10 a.m. A Halloween special presentation of How to Train Your Dragon. Halloween costumes are welcome. Admission $1. Trick-or-Treating follows at participating stores. Lindo Theatre, 115 S. Chicago Ave., Freeport, (815) 233-0413, classiccinemas.com.
Oct. 27, 7:30 p.m. This country singer/songwriter has scored hits with superstar Jason Aldean’s version of three of his songs, “The Best of Me,” “My Kinda Party” and “Dirt Road Anthem.” BMO Harris Bank Center (formerly MetroCentre), 300 Elm St., Rockford, (815) 968-5222, thebmoharrisbankcenter.com.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Oct. 27, 9 p.m. Rated R. Dig out your fishnets, sharpen your stilettos and get ready to do the “Time Warp,” during an interactive presentation of the 1975 movie. Timber Lake Playhouse, Timber Lake Road, Mt. Carroll, Ill., (815) 244-2035, timberlakeplayhouse.org.
BJS: Festivale Latino
Oct. 28, 4 p.m. The Beloit Janesville Symphony (BJS) and the acclaimed Ballet Folklorico Huehuecoyotl with a program of spicy Latin fare from Central and South America, celebrating the heritage of the Hispanic community. 100 Eclipse Center, Beloit, Wis., beloitjanesvillesymphony.org.
Oct. 28, 2 p.m. A winner national piano competitions, this associate professor of music at St. Olaf College in Minnesota has been a featured soloist with renowned orchestras worldwide. MAC, Monroe, monroeartscenter.org.
John Carpenter’s Halloween
Oct. 30, 7:30 p.m. See the genre-defining horror masterpiece, along with a 10-minute short explaining how the classic film helped transform the genre. Lindo Theatre, Freeport, classiccinemas.com.
“Branson on the Road”
Oct. 30-Nov. 1, noon; Nov. 2, 5:45. Dinner theater. In the tradition of traveling road shows of the Grand Ole Opry: classic country, hilarious comedy, bluegrass, rockabilly & hand clapping gospel. White Pines Dinner Theatre, 6712 W. Pines Road, Mt. Morris, (815) 946-3817, whitepinesinn.com.
“Seasons on the Land” Art Show & Benefit
Nov. 1-2, Thu. 5-9 p.m.; Fri. 6-11 p.m. From the Natural Land Institute (NLI). This two-day, juried regional art event features artisans with works about the land, our connection to the earth and the things that inhabit it. Live music, silent auctions, gourmet marketplace, food, beverages. Tickets/Info: NLI, (815) 964-6666. Event: Prairie Street Brewhouse, 200 Prairie St., Rockford.
Holiday Art Show
Nov. 2, 5-8 p.m., Nov. 3, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. This Janesville Art League annual event features the work of area artists on display and for sale. Free. JPAC, Janesville, (608) 758-0297.
RCCA: Stephanie Blythe
Nov. 3, 7:30 p.m. This critically acclaimed mezzo soprano has sung in renowned opera houses and with the world’s finest orchestras worldwide. From the Rockford Coronado Concert Association (RCCA). Coronado Performing Arts Center (CPAC), 314 N. Main St., Rockford, (815) 968-0595, coronadopac.org.
Nov. 3, 7:30 p.m. Janesville Presents! This American-born concert pianist, who began playing at age 6 and was a guest soloist with the Baltimore Symphony at age 15, performs Gershwin’s newly restored “Rhapsody in Blue.” JPAC, Janesville, (608) 758-0297.
New Colony Six
Nov. 3, 7:30 p.m. Hear the hits from this popular ’60s-’70s group: “Things I’d Like to Say,” “I Will Always Think About You.” Tickets: $18/$25; Freeport Downtown Assn., (815) 232-9000. Venue: Masonic Temple, 305 W. Stephenson St., Freeport.
BJS: Joe 2.0
Nov. 3, 7:30 p.m. Allegro I. Duo Joe Ketchum, skilled on the electric violin, and Xeno, from the rock group Cheap Trick, melding classical and rock. Wilson Theater, Beloit College, 700 College St., Beloit, Wis., beloitjanesvillesymphony.org.
Katie Armiger & Band
Nov. 3, 7:30 p.m. Compared to artists like Sara Evans and Martina McBride, this young singer blends powerful vocals with skillful songwriting. MAC, Monroe, Wis., monroeartscenter.org.
MPAC: “Autumn Masquerade”
Nov. 3, 1:30 p.m. Young Musicians Series Recital. An opportunity for all young music students in the northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin area to share their talents with the community. MPAC, Rockford, mendelssohnpac.org.
Nov. 4, 3 p.m. Original contemporary folk, blues, roots rock, American Fingerstyle and Americana music. $10; limited seating. Severson Dells Nature Center, 8502 Montague Road, Winnebago, Ill., (815) 335-2915.
Straight No Chaser
Nov. 4, 7:30 p.m. This popular male a capella group sings everything from holiday tunes, Michael Bublé and ’50s hits to Madonna, Dishwalla, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Queen. CPAC, Rockford, coronadopac.org.
Nov. 6-9, noon, dinner theater; Nov. 10, show only. These witty, very talented musicians will play your requests without ever looking at a sheet of music. White Pines, Mt. Morris, (815) 946-3817. Nov. 10 show: White Pines LaBranche, 610 Division St., Polo, Ill.
Watercolor Workshop with Ingrid Dohm
Nov. 6 & 13, 9-11 a.m. This professional watercolor artist instructs a hands-on workshop in painting florals. Ages 16-plus, $65/$70 non-county residents. Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens, 1354 N. 2nd St., Rockford. Registration: (815) 987-8858.
MPAC Student Outreach: Rock Valley College Jazz Ensemble
Nov. 9, 10 a.m. Court Street United Methodist Church, Rockford, mendelssohnpac.org.
A Christmas Carol
Nov. 9-11, 16-18, Fri.-Sat. 7 p.m.; Sun. 2 p.m. An unusual adaptation in which Dickens himself begins reading his famous story. As it unfolds behind him, he joins the action, sometimes adding narrative detail, sometimes playing a character, sometimes assisting with costume changes or props. Main Street Players, Community Building Complex of Boone County, 111 W. 1st St., Belvidere, (800) 741-2963.
Jason the Incredible Juggler!
Nov. 10, 11 a.m. Free; for all ages. Rockford Public Library (RPL), Main Branch, 215 N. Wyman St., Rockford (815) 965-7606, rockfordpubliclibrary.org.
JPAC: Badger Chordhawks: Salute to America in Song
Nov. 10, 2 & 7 p.m. This a cappella chorus with barbershop quartets takes part in competitions and performs throughout the region. JPAC, Janesville, (608) 758-0297.
RSO: East Meets West
Nov. 10, 7:30 p.m. Rachel Barton Pine, violin. Erik Satie: Two Posthumous Preludes & One Gnossienne, Arr. Francis Poulenc; Hartke: Pacific Rim; Ravel: Suite from Mother Goose (Ma Mere l’oye); Paganini: Violin Concerto No. 2 (Il Campanello). CPAC, Rockford, (815) 968-0595, coronadopac.org.
Caravan Gypsy Swing Ensemble
Nov. 10, 7:30 p.m. From Charlotte’s Web. This string instrumental trio, influenced by Gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt, fuses swing, jazz, Latin, blues, even classical. MPAC, 415 N. Church St., Rockford, (815) 964-9713, mendelssohnpac.org.
Pro Arte Quartet
Nov. 11, 2 p.m. Founded in Belgium in 1912, this is the oldest continually active singing quartet in the world, and artists in residence at UW-Madison since 1940, with a repertoire of classical and new music. MAC, Monroe, Wis., monroeartscenter.org.
MPAC: David Lisker
Nov. 11, 2 p.m. This Russian-born violinist, who began playing at age 5, performs worldwide. Music on Main. Emerson House, Rockford, (815) 964-9713, mendelssohnpac.org.
Music for Flute, Cello & Harp
Nov. 11, 4:30 p.m. From Canterbury Concerts. Free. St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 221 W. 3rd St., Dixon, Ill., canterburyconcerts.com, (312) 420-8715.
Nov. 12, 5:30 p.m. This saxophonist is a well-known Rockford musical fixture at festivals, clubs, concerts, theaters and restaurants. Music on Main, Emerson House, Rockford, mendelssohnpac.org.
“Tribute to the Tuxedo Singers”
Nov. 14-15, noon. Matinee dinner theater. Performer Johnny O. recreates classic Vegas shows with tunes from crooners like Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Tony Bennett and Bobby Darin. White Pines, Mt. Morris, (815) 946-3817.
MPAC: Jodi Beach & Jim McDowell
Nov. 15, 5:30 p.m. Vocalist Beach began singing and playing piano at an early age and performs professionally. Classically trained bassist and guitarist Jim McDowell has performed with symphonic and ensemble orchestras throughout the Midwest. Emerson House, Rockford, mendelssohnpac.org.
Nov. 15, 7 p.m. This family band plays everything from Celtic to country and rock to original compositions, along with champion fiddling, world-ranked step dancing. Historic Dixon Theatre, 114 S. Galena Ave., Dixon, Ill., svcca.org.
The Way of the World
Nov. 15-18, Thu.-Sat., 7:30 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. In this 16th-century comedy of manners, for Mirabell to marry Millamant and receive her full dowry, he must get the blessing of Millamant’s very bitter aunt who wants her own nephew to wed Millamant. Maddox Theatre, Rockford College, 5050 E. State St., Rockford, (815) 226-4100, rockford.edu.
Avalon String Quartet: “Mozart, Garrup and Brahms”
Nov. 16, 7 p.m. One of the country’s top string ensembles, now in residence at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb. Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center, mendelssohnpac.org.
Fiddler on the Roof
Nov. 16, 8 p.m. Broadway at the Coronado. The Tony award-winning musical about tradition and change, based on the stories of Sholom Aleicham, with hits like “Matchmaker,” “If I Were a Rich Man,” “Sunrise, Sunset.” CPAC, (815) 968-0595, coronadopac.org.
Nov. 16-Dec.2, Fri.-Sat. 8 p.m.; Sat.-Sun. 2 p.m. A young man brings home his Jewish atheist fiancée to meet his very Catholic parents on Christmas Eve, with inevitable family uproars and an out-of-left-field miracle. Pec Playhouse Theatre, 314 Main St., Pecatonica, (815) 239-1210, pecplayhouse.org.
Wisconsin Baroque Ensemble Concert
Nov. 23, 7:30 p.m. Max Yount, harpsichord. A public concert by the professional period-instrument and vocal ensemble. Eaton Chapel, Beloit College, College and Chapin streets, Beloit, Wis. (608) 363-2755.
The Trial of Ebenezer Scrooge
Nov. 23-Dec. 15, Fri. 7 p.m., Sat. 1 & 7 p.m.; Sun. Dec. 16, 5 p.m. Following a themed meal in the historic and fully decked out Clausing Barn, see Scrooge one year after his transformation, going on trial for reverting to his old ways and threatening the very survival of Christmas. Old World Wisconsin, Eagle, Wis., (262) 594-6300, oldworldwisconsin.org.
Nov. 23-24, dessert 7 p.m., curtain 7:30; Nov. 25, dinner 12:30 p.m., show follows. Another combined musical theater presentation with cast members from the Coalition. Mighty Richland Players, IOOF/Masonic Hall, 203 W. High St., Orangeville, Ill. (815) 819-1310, mightyrichlandplayers.com.
Charles Dickens Film Festival
Nov. 24, 3 p.m. See the 1935 film A Tale of Two Cities starring Ronald Colman and Basil Rathbone. Ages 13-plus. RPL Main Branch, Rockford.
A Night at the Opera
Nov. 28, 1 & 7 p.m. Early Classic Comedies Film Series presents this 1935 Marx Brothers favorite where Groucho, Chico & Harpo take on high society. $5 per movie/$20 series. Lindo Theatre, Freeport, classiccinemas.com.
Scrooge the Comedy, 2012
Nov. 29-Dec. 23, Thurs.-Sun., matinee & evening shows, check website. Dinner theater. Dickens’ classic tale has been loosely adapted into a zany audience participation comedy. Now in its 24th year, this White Pines original production has become a holiday tradition. Private & non-scheduled performances possible. White Pines, Mt. Morris, (815) 946-3817.
The Good Lovelies
Nov. 30, 7:30 p.m. The Toronto-based trio of Caroline Brooks, Kerri Ough and Sue Passmore – Good Lovelies – provide unerring harmonies, clever songs and onstage funny repartee drawn from their comedic adventures on the road. MAC, Monroe, Wis., monroeartscenter.org.
Nov. 30-Dec. 2, Fri. 7:30 p.m.; Sat. noon, 4 & 8 p.m.; Sun. 1 & 5 p.m. The world’s most popular DC superhero is now an original live-action stage production featuring 43 actors and circus-trained acrobats; a 3-D Gotham City landscape; symphonic score; 100-foot, bat-shaped LED video wall; pyrotechnics; and the impressive Batmobile. BMO Harris Bank Center, Rockford, thebmoharrisbankcenter.com.
Bower City Theatre: The Sound of Music
Nov. 30-Dec. 1, 7-8, 7:30 p.m., Dec. 2 & 9, 2 p.m. Rodgers and Hammerstein’s immortal hit, live onstage. JPAC, (608) 758-0297, janesvillepac.org.
AE: It’s a Wonderful Life: A Radio Play
Nov. 30-Dec. 16, check website for days/times. Inspired by Frank Capra’s beloved American holiday classic, you’ll become a part of a 1940s live radio show of George Bailey’s life, with classic holiday songs, manmade sound effects and live commercials. Cheek Theatre, Rockford College, Rockford.edu.
Charles Dickens Film Festival
Dec. 1, 3 p.m. See two versions of A Christmas Carol: the 1938 film and the Muppets. Ages 13-up. RPL Main Branch, Rockford, (815) 965-7606.
BJS: Home for the Holidays Spectacular
Dec. 2, 2 p.m. Susan Aquila, Guest Concertmaster with the Beloit Memorial High School Chorus. Jacob Truby, Director We welcome once again the Beloit Memorial High School Chorus in a concert extravaganza featuring traditional holiday favorites and Christmas sing-a-longs. The Eclipse Center, Beloit, beloitjanesvillesymphony.org.
FCCA: The Dickens Carolers
Dec. 3 p.m. A Freeport tradition, two-man, two-woman group from Portland, Ore., dresses in period costume and performs traditional and contemporary songs of the season, a capalla, in four-part harmony. Masonic Temple, 305 W. Stephenson St., Freeport, Ill. Reserve tickets by calling (815) 232-4214 or purchase them at the door.
Singin’ in the Rain
Dec. 5, 1 & 7 p.m. Early Classic Comedies Film Series presents the groundbreaking musical Starring Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds, Donald O’Connor and Jean Hagen. This 60th Anniversary “bonus” film is free to anyone who purchased the series ticket. $5 for everyone else. Lindo Theatre, Freeport, classiccinemas.com.
Christmas with the Conroys
Dec. 5-15, 8 p.m.; Dec. 8-9, 15, additional matinees, 2 p.m. A zany family prepares for the best Christmas ever. Studio Theatre, Rock Valley College, 3301 N. Mulford Road, Rockford, (815) 921-2160.
Gloria, The Christmas Angel
Dec 6-7, 7:30 p.m. A rather klutzy angel who feels unfit and forgotten finds the power to believe in herself when no one else does and see beyond appearances when meets a child born in poverty who turns out to be the son of God. MAC, Monroe, Wis., monroeartscenter.org.
MPAC Bonus Concert: “Sounds of Winter”
Dec. 7, 7:30 p.m. Jean Anderson, organ; Mark Baldin, trumpet; Nanette Felix, harp; Gale Ketteler, soprano; Trish Rooney, organ. Court Street United Methodist Church, Rockford, mendelssohnpac.org.
Cirque Dreams Holidaze
Dec. 7, 8 p.m. Experience gingerbread men flipping mid-air, toy soldiers marching on thin wires, snowmen daringly balancing, icemen powerfully sculpting, penguins spinning, puppets dancing and reindeer soaring high above a landscape of holiday wonderment. CPAC, Rockford, (815) 968-0595, coronadopac.org.
Exhibit: “Eye Candy”
Dec. 7-Jan. 25, 2013, Tues.-Sat., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Reception Dec. 7, 5 p.m. The Driftless Area Artists group presents its version of “eye candy” in this unique exhibit featuring watercolor, acrylic, gouache, oil painting, photography, colored pencil, gourds and various multi-media works. Frehner Gallery, MAC, Monroe, Wis., monroeartscenter.org.
JPAC: ’Twas the Night Before Christmas
Dec. 11, 10 a.m. It’s Christmas Eve and Uncle Brierly decides to give the children a treat by reciting the famous poem, when he’s interrupted by a mouse named Amos who has his own version. Appropriate for Grades K-5. Janesville Presents! JPAC, Janesville, (608) 758-0297.
MTG Holiday Extravaganza
Dec. 13-16, Thu.-Sat. 7:30 p.m.; Sun. 2 p.m. This original variety show combines MTG members’ favorite holiday movies, television shows and music in one production. Monroe Theatre Guild, 910 16th Ave., Monroe, Wis., monroetheatre.com.
Tracy Bristow Holiday Concert
Dec. 14, 7 p.m. Reception at 6 p.m. Vocalist Bristow, accompanied by pianist Christina Parkinson, will sing a variety of traditional and contemporary holiday favorites, joined by her daughter Adair on some selections. Free. MAC, (608) 325-5700, monroeartscenter.org.
JPAC: “Songs With All the Trimmings” with Ken Lonnquist
Dec. 15, 11 a.m. This veteran Wisconsin family songwriter and his talented musical friends perform a collection of original and familiar seasonal tunes. JPAC, Janesville, (608) 758-0297.
Christmas with Wacky Dave Rudolf
Dec. 15, 11 a.m. This interactive show features Rudolph’s original songs and familiar favorites. Kids twist to “The Candy Cane Twist,” hula-hoop to “Santa’s Got a Zoot Suit,” laugh to parodies like “Frosty the Slow Man.” RPL Main Branch, Rockford, (815) 965-7606, rockfordpubliclibrary.org.
Frontiers: “A Night of Trans-Siberian Orchestra”
Dec. 15, 2 & 7 p.m. Hear this local RAMI-Award winning group perform the music of Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Tickets: $10 at St. Rita, 6254 Knoll Dr., Rockford. All proceeds benefit band programs at Catholic Diocese of Rockford elementary schools. Boylan Catholic High School, 4000 St. Francis Dr., Rockford. (815) 877-0531.
JPAC: New Odyssey
Dec. 16, 3 p.m. This group of three men will play 30 instruments and cover classic rock, country, blues, folk and more, with audience participation and sheer zaniness. A fundraiser for ECHO of Janesville. JPAC, Janesville, (608) 758-0297.
Canterbury Singers Music Festival
Dec. 16, 4:30 p.m. This-area music group presents a season of free concerts of classical music. St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 221 W. 3rd St., Dixon, Ill., canterburyconcerts.com, (312) 420-8715.