Because of work, I once had to sit through a performance by a Neil Diamond tribute dude.
Despite my rule against "tribute'' anythings, ''The Return: A Tribute to the Beatles,'' intrigues me. It might even intrigue me enough to drop $27.50 for advance tickets to see the band tonight at Circa 21 Dinner Playhouse, 1828 3rd Ave., Rock Island. The show starts at 6 p.m. Tickets at the door are $32.50.
Or, I could catch a true-to-life dose of some other musical acts Saturday when Styx, REO Speedwagon and Ted Nugent perform at 7 p.m., at the i-wireless Center. Tickets are $29, $39, $59 and $100. For $100, though, I'd better be sharing the stage with Nugent.
If I'm not getting a stranglehold on vintage Nugent Saturday, I'm hoping to attend a wheelchair basketball benefit for Mia Ruthey. It is at 6:30 p.m. at The Believers Together Center, Christ the King Catholic Church, 3209 60th St., Moline.
My brother-in-law, Jimmy, has played wheelchair basketball for more than 25 years, and anytime I can root for him, I do. Ms. Ruthey, a United Township High School English teacher, is struggling with primary lateral sclerosis, and this is a way to show support in her battle. There will be music, food and raffles.
If all goes well, I will cap Saturday night off with dueling pianos at the second annual Spring Gala auction and art show for Jordan Catholic School. It's from 7 to 11 p.m. at the Holiday Inn, 226 17th St., Rock Island.
There will be a wine pull, a cash raffle, cocktails and heavy appetizers. Tickets are $40 and proceeds will go to the Shaping the Future capital campaign drive.
There's my weekend. Yours is yours, but here are some suggestions I think you might like.
A little song, a little dance
You don't have to look far in this town to find some talented kids. Tonight at 7 p.m. performers from Alleman High School, 1103 40th St., Rock Island, will take the stage to perform in the variety show "A Night of Fame and Fortune."
If you can't make the show tonight, don't sweat it. Repeat performances will take place at 7 p.m. Saturday and 4 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $6; $5 for seniors; $4 for students. Call 309-786-7793 for more information.
Good humor, great music
Of course, it's not just Q-C kids who have talent. The Bucktown Revue, an old-fashioned webcast radio program featuring music, poetry and humor, is Friday at 7 p.m. at the Davenport Junior Theatre, Annie Wittenmyer complex, 2822 Eastern Ave.
Scott Tunnicliff is the host for the evening performance, and The Barley House Band and Milltown will liven the evening as the house bands. Admission is $12. Call 563-940-0508 for more information.
On Friday, Fiesta for Funds for the Moline Public Schools Foundation will be held from 6 to 10 p.m. at Oakwood Country Club, 1067 US Highway 6, Coal Valley. The event will include Mexican-themed food, silent and live auctions, a wine wall and raffles. Tickets are $35. Proceeds will go toward teacher grants.
Help families work through a tragedy
A Trailblazer 4H Club vendor fair for the Viager, Turner and Harker families will be held from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Friday at Preemption United Methodist Church, 2652 170th Ave. It will include a silent auction and bake sale. Hot dogs, tacos and drinks also will be sold.
All three families were devastated recently by a trailer fire in a tragedy that was felt by everyone in Preemption. This is a great opportunity for the community to come together to help the healing process. Call 309-372-8226.
A chance to help a great guy
Friday, from 5 to 10:30 p.m. at the Milan Community Center, a benefit will be held for Josh Hall. There will be food, music, raffles and a euchre tournament.
Mr. Hall, 39, is a father of three. He is suffering from an undiagnosed disorder that has incapacitated him and drastically changed the life of his family. Mr. Hall is unable to walk and is barely able to sit up. He cannot feed himself or see clearly. In a little over two years, Josh has gone from a working man able to take care of his children to being 100 percent dependent on others for care.
For more information about the upcoming benefit, e-mail email@example.com
See the stars
On Saturday, the Popular Astronomy Club will celebrate National Astronomy Day from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Moline Library, 3210 41st St. It will feature displays, including items on loan from NASA, crafts, demonstrations, solar observing (weather permitting), door prizes and refreshments.
At 3 p.m., there will be a special presentation by Dr. Craig Kletzing from the University of Iowa department of physics and astronomy. He will be speaking about the auroral borealis, otherwise known as the northern lights.
You can follow up the presentation with a trip out to the Niabi Zoo, 13010 Niabi Zoo Road., Coal Valley, where the astronomy club will have it's mobile observatory and several telescopes set up in the parking lot to observe the night sky from dusk to 11:30 p.m. The evening is free and open to all.
And even more cool stuff
The night sky also will steal the show Saturday at the spring open house at the John Deere Planetarium at Augustana College, 820 38th St., Rock Island. The event is open for anyone to attend and will take place from 8:30 to 10 p.m.
At the open house, you can take a peek at Jupiter, Saturn and its rings and Earth's moons through a telescope and attend a planetarium show. The Fryxell Geology Museum also will be open at this free event.
Just remember, observation areas are unheated, so dress appropriately. If it is cloudy, viewing may not be possible but indoor programs will still be offered. Call 309-794-7318 for more information.
''The Return: A Tribute to the Beatles,'' 6 p.m. Thursday, Circa 21 Dinner Playhouse, 1828 3rd Ave., Rock Island. $27.50 (advance), $32.50 (at the door). 309 786-7733, ext. 2
"A Night of Fame and Fortune," 7 p.m. Thursday and Saturday, 4 p.m. Sunday, Alleman High School, 1103 40th St., Rock Island. $6; $5 for seniors; $4 for students. 309-786-7793
Benefit for Josh Hall, 5-10:30 p.m. Friday, Milan Community Center, 2701 East 1st St, Milan. JoshHallBenefit@Hotmail.com
Trailblazer 4H Club vendor fair, 5:30-8 p.m. Friday, Preemption United Methodist Church, 2652 170th Ave. 309-372-8226
Fiesta for Funds, 6-10 p.m. Friday at Oakwood Country Club, 1067 US Highway 6, Coal Valley. $35. firstname.lastname@example.org
Today is Thursday, July 31, the 212th day of 2014. There are 153 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: A corps of surgeons now occupies the new hospital quarters at the Garrison Hospital on the Rock Island Arsenal. A fence has been installed to enclose the prison hospital. 1889 -- 125 years ago: B. Winter has let a contract to Christ Schreiner for a two story brick building with a double store front on the south side of 3rd Avenue just west of 17th Street. The estimated cost was $4,500. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Germany sent simultaneous ultimatums to Russia and France, demanding that Russia suspend mobilization within 12 hours and demanding that France inform Germany within 18 hours. In the case of war between Germany and Russia, France would remain neutral. 1939 -- 75 years ago: Civil service offices at the post office and the Rock Island Arsenal were swamped as more than 700 youths sought 15 machinist apprenticeships at the Arsenal. 1964 -- 50 years ago: Last night, American Legion Post 246 in Moline figuratively handed over the trousers to a female ex-Marine and petticoat rule began. Olga Swanson, of Moline, was installed as the first woman commander of the post . 1989 -- 25 years ago: The Illinois Quad City Civic Center captured the excitement and interest of a convention of auditorium managers this weekend in Reno, Nev. Bill Adams, civic center authority chairman, said the 10,000-seat arena planned for downtown Moline has caught the eye of construction firms, suppliers, management teams and concession groups.