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.
Classic Film Series: 1916’s Greatest Actors
March 2, 1 p.m. & 7 p.m. This series features films with actors who were born in 1916. Watch “3:10 to Yuma” (1957) starring Glenn Ford. Lindo Theatre, 115 S. Chicago Ave., Freeport, (815) 233-0025, stephenson-county-il.org.
Art Exhibition & Lecture: “Selected Thought Forms”
March 4, 6-8:30 p.m. Mark Chatterley’s figurative sculptures are created from high-fired clay and represent many thoughts that span several years – from multi-dimensional universes to shape-shifting shamans. Rockford University, Clark Arts Center, 5050 E. State St., Rockford, (815) 226-4105, rockford.edu/artslectures/artgallery/.
March 4, 7 p.m. All of your favorite Dr. Seuss characters spring to life onstage in this fantastical musical extravaganza from Tony winners Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty. Janesville Performing Arts Center (JPAC), 408 S. Main St., Janesville, (608) 758-0297, janesvillepac.org.
Severson Dells Concert: Carrie Rodriguez
March 4, 7 p.m., doors 6 p.m. A passionate performer, Carrie melds fiery fiddle playing, electrifying vocals and a fresh interpretation of new and classic songs with an “Ameri-Chicana” attitude. Severson Dells Nature Center, 8786 Montague Road, Rockford, (815) 335-2915, seversondells.org.
Movies on Main: “The Cat in the Hat”
March 4, 7 p.m. Sally and Conrad are two bored kids whose lives are turned upside-down when a talking cat comes to visit them. Nordlof Center, 118 N. Main St., Rockford, (815) 987-6660.
The Element Film Series: “Pawn Sacrifice”
March 4, 7:30 p.m., doors 7 p.m. The “Studio Indie & Classic Films with a Twist” series continues with “Pawn Sacrifice,” set during the Cold War and detailing the legendary matches between U.S. chess prodigy Bobby Fischer and Russian grandmaster Boris Spassky. Riverfront Museum Park, 711 N. Main St., Rockford, facebook.com/events/776608189111986/.
The Second City: Improv All Stars
March 4, 8 p.m. Chicago’s legendary comedy theater presents an irresistible hour of improvised comedy. Ages 18 and older. The Unitarian Universalist Church, 4848 Turner St., Rockford, (815) 398-6322, uurockford.org/the-second-city-in-rockford-il.html.
“1964”… The Tribute
March 4, 8 p.m. This Beatles tribute show takes audiences on a journey through a quintessential moment in music history that promises to live forever. Coronado Performing Arts Center (CPAC), 314 N. Main St., Rockford, (815) 986-0595, coronadopac.org.
The Flying Fool
March 5, 2-4:30 p.m. For more than 20 years, performer Ken Schultz, also known as “The Flying Fool,” has been dazzling audiences across the United States & Canada. Schultz uses a symphony of juggling, physical comedy, humor and improvisation. JPAC, Janesville, (608) 758-0297, janesvillepac.org.
Rockford Laugh-A-Thon with Rickey Smiley
March 5, 7 p.m. Comedy legend Rickey Smiley brings his sharp sense of humor and turns everyday observations into comedic gold. CPAC, Rockford, (815) 968-2722, coronadopac.org.
RCCA: Polish Baltic Philharmonic Orchestra
March 6, 3 p.m. The Philharmonic organizes concerts, recitals and chamber music soirees performed by the most prominent Polish musicians and world-famous artists. CPAC, Rockford, (815) 847-6314, rccaconcerts.org.
RSYO Chamber Orchestra Concert
March 6, 3 p.m. Enjoy the sounds of one of Illinois’ leading youth orchestras. Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center, (815) 965-0049 Rockford, rockfordsymphony.org.
ArtTalks Lecture: Betsy Youngquist
March 9, noon. Enjoy lunch and a lecture from Betsy Youngquist, a Rockford native and nationally acclaimed artist. Rockford Art Museum, 711 N. Main St., Rockford, (815) 968-2787, rockfordartmuseum.org.
Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
March 10-13, 18-20, Thu.-Sat. 7:30-9:30 p.m., Sun. 2-4 p.m. This story focuses on the relationships of three middle-aged single siblings, two of whom live together. When the third sibling, Masha, visits, they discuss their lives and loves, argue, then Masha threatens to sell the house. JPAC, Janesville, (608) 758-0297, janesvillepac.org.
March 10-13, 16-20, Thu.-Sat. 7:30 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. Young Jane and Michael have sent many nannies packing, until Mary Poppins arrives on their doorstep. Using a combination of magic and common sense, she must teach the family how to value each other again. Stage Coach Players Theater, 126 S. 5th St., DeKalb, Ill., (815) 759-1940, stagecoachers.com.
March 11, Fri. 7:30 p.m., Sat. 2 p.m. Through music and dance, Shen Yun takes you on a journey through 5,000 years of authentic Chinese culture. CPAC, Rockford, (815) 968-2722, coronadopac.org.
Artists’ Ensemble: “Outside Mullingar”
March 11-26, Thu.-Sun., times vary. Cupid has his work cut out for him with shy Anthony and stubborn Rosemary, who live on neighboring farms outside Mullingar, Ireland. Rockford University, Cheek Theatre, 5050 E. State St., Rockford, (815) 394-5004, artistsensemble.org.
March 11, noon. Join Music Director Steven Larsen for informal and enlightening discussions with RSO guest artist Joseph Schenk, before he appears in concert. Free. Mauh-Nah-Tee-See Country Club, Rockford, (815) 965-0049, rockfordsyphony.com.
RSO: Chamber Orchestra Concert
March 11 & 13, Fri. 7:30 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. Julliard graduate Joseph Schenk plays the organ for this unique Baroque experience that includes Handel and Bach’s Cantata – Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring. Westminster Presbyterian Church, 2821 N. Bell School Road, Rockford, (815) 968-0595, coronadopac.org.
The Legend of Robin Hood … Sort Of
March 11-13, 18, 19, Fri.-Sat. 8 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. Hitch up your gauntlets and get ready to laugh at this timeless tale. Vince Carney Community Theatre (VCCT), James N. Paddock Memorial Hall, 1133 N. 7th St., Rochelle, Ill., (815) 764-2287, vcctrochelle.org.
A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline
March 12, 7:30 p.m. This upbeat musical reveals the emotional depth and vocal range of Patsy Cline, a singer whose career made history and defined the term “crossover hit” by simultaneously dominating country, blues, pop and gospel charts. Monroe Arts Center, Gunderson Stiles Concert Hall, Monroe, Wis., (608) 325-5700, monroeartscenter.com.
Concerts by the Creek
March 12, doors 6 p.m., concert 7-9 p.m. Ron Holm & Jannie Nelson present Trinadora’s traditional and original Celtic Concert. Food available for purchase. Spring Creek UCC, 4500 Spring Creek Road, Rockford, (815) 877-2576 ext. 103, springcreekucc.org/#!concerts-on-the-creek/cecg.
March 13-15, Sun. 2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m., Mon.-Tues. 7:30 p.m. Witness choreography by UW-Whitewater faculty, students and guest artist Karla Grotting come to life in an imaginative and powerful way. Barnett Theatre, UW-Whitewater, Whitewater, Wis., (262) 472-2222, uww.edu.
RCCA: Celtic Woman
March 13, 3 p.m. Multi-platinum Irish music sensation Celtic Woman returns to North America with a new show celebrating the release of their new album and DVD. CPAC, Rockford, (815) 847-6314, rccaconcerts.org.
March 13, 3 p.m. Join Lake Geneva Symphony Orchestra for an afternoon of musical excellence. Holy Communion Episcopal Church, 320 Broad St., Lake Geneva, (262) 359-9072, lakegenevaorchestra.org.
Open Mic and Poetry Slam
March 15, 6-8 p.m. Enjoy an interactive event in which the audience listens to and judges some of the best poetry in Rockford. To participate, have at least two original poems of less than three minutes. Free. Nordlof Center, Black Box Theater, Rockford, (847) 561-8224, facebook.com/RockfordCertifiedSlam.
March 15, noon. Dr. William Gahan, assistant professor of English at Rockford University, presents a lecture on Shakespeare’s sonnets: production & reception. Feel free to bring a lunch. Rockford University, Rare Books Room, Rockford, (815) 964-9713, mendelssohnpac.org.
“Flashdance the Musical”
March 16, 7:30 p.m. With electrifying dance at its core, this is the inspiring story of Alex Owens, a Pittsburgh steel mill welder by day and a bar dancer by night with dreams of one day becoming a professional performer. CPAC, Rockford, (815) 968-0595, coronadopac.org.
Brews and Views: “Top Gun”
March 16, 7:30 p.m., 7 p.m. doors. Enjoy craft beer and dinner while watching “Top Gun.” Prairie Street Brewhouse, 200 Prairie St., Rockford, facebook.com/events/1016380328418304/.
“The House of Blue Leaves”
March 17-26, Thurs.-Sat. 8 p.m. In this dark, farcical comedy, Artie Shaughnessy is a zookeeper by day and aspiring song/jingle-writer by night. Together with his schizophrenic wife, mistress and recently enlisted son, they stagger through the mundane struggles of everyday life and grasp for the stars. Nordlof Center’s Studio Theatre, 118 N. Main St., Rockford, usualsuspectspresents.com.
“Where’s Larry?” Tour Starring the Tenderloins
March 18, 7 p.m. & 10 p.m. The Tenderloins, a New York-based comedy troupe, whose four members are the creators, executive producers and stars of truTV’s hit series, Impractical Jokers, present a mix of stand-up, never-before-seen hidden camera videos, stories and insights. Ages 16 and up suggested. CPAC, Rockford, (815) 968-0595, coronadopac.org.
“The Ladies of Harmony”
March 18-20, Fri.-Sat. 7:30 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. Six church ladies of Harmony gather together to plan a small funeral dinner for a man they despised. As they visit with each other and plan, the ladies end up revealing secrets about themselves best left unsaid. The Mighty Richland Players Dessert Theater, 203 W. High St., Orangeville, Ill., (815) 819-1310.
“A Little More Les” with Steve King and Johnnie Putman
March 19, 4-7p.m. Steve King and Johnnie Putman talk about electric guitar inventor Les Paul, who grew up in Waukesha, Wis. and revolutionized the recording industry. Afterwards, several of Rockford’s most talented guitarists perform on their own Les Paul guitars. Nordlof Center, 118 N. Main St., Rockford, (815) 987-6660, rockfordpubliclibrary.org/content/Nordlof-center/Nordlof-events.
An Evening with S. Carey
March 19, 7:30 p.m. Carey’s latest album is a dazzling array of musical light and shade, drawn from a love of jazz, modern classical and Americana. Monroe Arts Center, Gunderson Stiles Concert Hall, (608) 325-5700, monroeartscenter.com.
March 21-23, 11:30 a.m.-2:45 p.m. This interactive musical comedy experience will have you singing, shouting, dancing and laughing. Lunch included. Starved Rock Lodge, Starved Rock State Park, Utica, Ill., (800) 868-7625, starvedrocklodge.com.
Music on Main: Matt Guschl
March 21, 5:30 p.m. Experience beautiful music, mingle with the artists, enjoy a glass of wine and light refreshments, and have fun with your friends. Emerson House, Rockford, (815) 964-9713, mendelssohnpac.org.
WNIU Encore: Chamber Orchestra Concert
March 21, 7 p.m. “Encore” on WNIU is a series which airs monthly on 90.5 WNIU radio. Host Eric Hradecky presents a broadcast of the Rockford Symphony Orchestra’s Classic Series concerts and commentary from Maestro Steven Larsen. Classical WNIU radio, 90.5 DeKalb, Ill., 105.7 Rockford, rockfordsymphony.com.
Much Ado About Nothing
March 23-April 2, Wed.-Fri. 8 p.m., Sat. & Sun. 2 p.m. & 8 p.m. Celebrate the 400th anniversary of The Bard’s passing with this performance of his classic tale. Studio Theatre at Rock Valley College, (815) 921-2160, rockvalleycollege.edu/community/theatre.
Peppa Pig’s Big Splash Live!
March 25, 6 p.m. This action-packed live show delivers an unforgettable theater experience to preschoolers and young fans. Dozens of familiar and original songs, as well as an interactive sing-along, will have fans laughing, singing, dancing and jumping in muddy puddles just like Peppa. CPAC, Rockford, (815) 968-5222, coronadopac.org.
Charlotte’s Web: Red Tail Ring
March 25, 7:30 p.m. Two old-time-minded musical geniuses infuse songs with musical imagination, haunting harmonies and instrumental artistry on fiddle, banjo, mandolin, jawharp and plain-old foot stomping. Emerson House, Rockford, (815) 964-9713, mendelssohnpac.org.
Organ Music at Noon
March 25, noon-12:45 p.m. Take a break from your day and enjoy an exciting afternoon concert played on Mendelssohn Hall’s grand pipe organ. Light lunch will be served following the concert. Mendelssohn Hall, 406 N. Main St., Rockford, (815) 964-9713, mendelssohnpac.org.
Movies on Main: “Brave”
March 25, 7 p.m. Determined to make her own path in life, Princess Merida defies a custom that brings chaos to her kingdom. Granted one wish, Merida must rely on her bravery and her archery skills to undo a beastly curse. Nordlof Center, 118 N. Main St., Rockford, (815) 987-6660, rockfordpubliclibrary.org/content/Nordlof-center/Nordlof-events.
Barry Manilow, One Last Time!
March 26, 7:30 p.m. Barry Manilow re-launches his One Last Time! Tour, as a way of thanking his fans for years of support. BMO Harris Bank Center, Rockford, (815) 968-5222, thebmoharrisbankcenter.com.
Puscifer: Money $hot Round 2 Tour
March 28, 8 p.m., doors 7 p.m. This multi-media performance promises bone-breaking fun. CPAC, Rockford, (815) 968-0595, coronadopac.org.
March 29, noon. Dr. William Gahan, assistant professor of English at Rockford University, presents a lecture on Shakespeare’s sonnets: art vs. time. Feel free to bring a lunch. Rockford University, Rare Books Room, Rockford, (815) 964-9713, mendelssohnpac.org.
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. CPAC, 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 with characters like the Snow Sisters performing songs and telling stories. 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. Go 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,” “Marry Poppins” and more. CPAC, Rockford, (815) 965-0049, rockfordsymphony.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.
“Menopause the Musical”
April 7, 7:30 p.m. Four women at a lingerie sale with 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 for ‘The Comedy Party.’ 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 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 will share 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 revue In the Mood is coming to Rockford in celebration of its 22 years on tour. Complete with authentic costumes, music arrangements and choreography, In the Mood pays homage to America’s greatest generation, the men and women who fought World War II. CPAC, Rockford, (815) 968-0595, coronadopac.org.
“Shakespeare’s Sonnets” Lecture
April 12, noon. Dr. William Gahan, assistant professor of English at Rockford University, explores themes of 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, its 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 different 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 multi-media. Rockford Area Arts Council, various locations, Rockford, (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.
RVC Concert Band
April 21, 7 p.m. The Rock Valley College Concert Band performs with Conductor Erik Oberg. Rock Valley College Performing Arts Room at Educational Resource Center (ERC), 3301 N. Mulford Road, Rockford, (815) 921-7821, rockvalleycollege.edu.
Newsboys: We Believe… God’s Not Dead
April 22, 7 p.m. Renowned for their high-energy live performances, Christian rockers the Newsboys once again showcase a string of iconic hits. BMO Harris Bank Center, Rockford, (815) 968-5222, thebmoharrisbankcenter.com.
Shakespearience: Legacy of the Bard
April 23, 7 p.m. Celebrate the 400th anniversary of The Bard’s birth and death with a celebration of Shakespeare’s 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 a premier professional artist-development program, nurturing the best emerging artists. This recital provides a unique opportunity to hear exceptional artists as they prepare to launch international careers. CPAC, Rockford, (815) 847-6314, rccaconcerts.org.
RVC Jazz Ensembles
April 24, 7 p.m. Rock Valley College presents Jazz Ensembles with Director Kenneth Stein. Rock Valley College Performing Arts Room, Rockford, (815) 921-7821, rockvalleycollege.edu.
April 25, 7 p.m. Rock Valley College presents RVC Orchestra with Director Michael C. Beert. Rock Valley College Performing Arts Room at ERC, Rockford, (815) 921-7821, rockvalleycollege.edu.
Movies on Main: “Zombieland”
April 28, 7 p.m. A nerdy college student surviving the zombie apocalypse ends up in the company of gun-toting, Twinkie-loving Tallahassee and two sisters intent on visiting an amusement park. Nordlof Center, Rockford, (815) 987-6660, rockfordpubliclibrary.org/content/nordlof-center/nordlof-events.
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. Rockford University, Maddox Theatre, Clark Arts Center, 5050 E. State St., Rockford, (815) 226-4100, rockford.edu/artslectures/forum/.
Organ Music at Noon
April 29, noon-12:45 p.m. Enjoy a free performance on Mendelsohn Hall’s grand pipe organ. Sing along and enjoy a light lunch following the concert. Mendelssohn Hall, Rockford, (815) 964-9713, mendelssohnpac.org.
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 Emily Bear. CPAC, Rockford, (815) 968-0595, coronadopac.org.