Originally Posted Online: April 17, 2013, 10:19 am
Last Updated: April 18, 2013, 12:34 am

On the stage and in the sky, a star-studded Q-C weekend

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By John Marx, jmarx@qconline.com

The Return, a Georgia-based Beatles tribute band, will play at Circa '21 in Rock Island on Thursday, April 18.
Photo: McClatchy Newspapers
From left, REO Speedwagon members Kevin Cronin, Bruce Hall and Dave Amato perform before the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Dickies 500 on Sunday, Nov. 2, 2008, at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas.
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Photo: Gary Krambeck
Tim Stout, a member of the QC Adaptive Sports wheelchair basketball team.
Bill Klutho, left, and Steve Couch share a laugh during The Bucktown Revue, which will make its debut in Geneseo on Jan. 11.
Dr. Lee Carkner is director of the John Deere Planetarium at Augustana College.
More photos from this shoot
Photo: Paul Colletti
Michael Aumuller takes a closer look at the moon through a telescope on Saturday night on the Augustana College campus in Rock Island. The school celebrated the 40th anniversary of the John Deere Planetarium by holding an open house and letting astronomy lovers see more in the night sky.

Because of work, I once had to sit through a performance by a Neil Diamond tribute dude.

Not good.

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.

Helping education

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 joshhallbenefit@hotmail.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. molinepublicschoolsfoundation@gmail.com

The Bucktown Revue, 7 p.m. Friday, Davenport Junior Theatre, Annie Wittenmyer complex, 2822 Eastern Ave. $12. 563-940-0508.

National Astronomy Day, 2-5 p.m. Saturday, Moline Library, 3210 41st St. Free. 309-797-3120

Wheelchair basketball benefit for Mia's Hope, 6:30 p.m. Saturday, The Believers Together Center, Christ the King Catholic Church, 3209 60th St., Moline. 309-797-0176

The Popular Astronomy Club night sky observing, dusk-11:30 p.m. Saturday, Niabi Zoo parking lot, 13010 Niabi Zoo Road, Coal Valley. Free. 309-797-3120

Styx, REO Speedwagon, and Ted Nugent in concert, 7 p.m. Saturday, i wireless Center, 1201 River Dr. Moline. $29, $39, $59, and $100. 800-745-3000

Jordan Catholic School spring Gala featuring Ted Oliver Dueling Pianos, 7-11 p.m Saturday, Holiday Inn, 226 17th St., Rock Island. $40. 309-793-7366

The John Deere Planetarium open house, 8:30-10 p.m. Saturday, Augustana College, 820 38th St., Rock Island. Free. 309-794-7318