Welcome to the latest edition of the Weekender, a weekly rundown of our top picks for weekend entertainment in and around the Iowa City area. There’s a lot to cover this week, so lets get to it!
Thursday, April 18
Debra Spark Reading | Prairie Lights | 7:00 p.m.
Debra Spark will be reading from her most recent novella and short story collection, The Pretty Girl, at Prairie Lights on Thursday night starting at 7:00 p.m. The book, which has been well-received by critics since its publication last year, takes on issues surrounding the difficulties artists often experience when trying to keep their real-world lives separate from their work. Spark employs a quirky sense of magical realism in The Pretty Girl, on top of it all.
Spark currently resides in Maine where she teaches at Colby College. She also works in the M.F.A. Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College.
Friday, April 19
Dave Zollo and the Body Electric | Java House | 2:00 p.m.
Local roots-rock artist Dave Zollo and his band The Body Electric will be playing a free show at the Java House in downtown Iowa City this Friday at 2:00 p.m. Zollo is a local favorite, and frequently plays shows in and around the Iowa City area. He’s known as much for his blues and roots-rock style as he is for his stirring live performances. Small, personal venues like the Java House really make for great places to see Zollo doing what he does best.
Every Friday, the Java House plays host to Java Blend Live, a weekly Iowa Public Radio production that features local and national musical acts. What better way to spend your Friday afternoon than enjoying a cup of coffee while watching Dave Zollo and the Body Electric play some songs and answer some questions posed by Iowa Public Radio‘s Ben Kieffer?
Euforquestra’s 10th Anniversary Party w. Public Property | Gabe’s | 9:00 p.m.
Euforquestra is turning ten years old, and Gabe’s is throwing a very special party on Friday night starting at 9:00 p.m. It’s hard to believe that a decade has gone by since Euforquestra first got together in Iowa City to create their unique brand of funk/reggae-fusion music. This will be the second show of their 10th anniversary tour across the Midwest, and given that Iowa City is the place where it all began for Euforquestra, I’d expect them to put on a spectacular performance.
Another national act with local origins, Public Property will be joining in support, bringing chilled-out, reggae- and hip hop-inspired jams.
The Nadas | Blue Moose Tap House | 8:00 p.m.
If you’d rather see something a bit more alt-country Friday night, The Nadas have you covered. They’ll be playing the Blue Moose starting at 8:00 p.m. Based out of Ames, Iowa, The Nadas have cultivated a very active regional following over the last five years or so, and with good reason. If you haven’t had a chance to see them yet, consider stopping by and finally getting your feet wet.
Saturday, April 20
Twista | Gabe’s | 9:00 p.m.
In a show hosted by DJ Pat and Darius Bowie, Rapper Twista is set to perform at Gabe’s on Saturday at 9:00 p.m. Well-established in the hip-hop world, Twista has worked on collaborations with artists like Raekwon, Jay-Z, Kendrick Lamar, and Kanye West throughout his 20+ year career. Twista became famous for the break-neck speed of his rap flow, but he’s a versatile performer and can kick out the slow jams with the best. He is touring in support of his upcoming record, Perfect Storm, and will bring Bam Musik, Drug Muzic, Ando Ruckus, Big Meech, Capone, O.R.G. and Could Gang with him as supporting acts.
Sunday, April 21
Weird Al Yankovic | Paramount Theatre (Cedar Rapids) | 7:00 p.m.
Everyone’s favorite accordion-playing musical comic, Weird Al Yankovic, will be performing at the Paramount Theatre in Cedar Rapids on Sunday night starting at 7:00 p.m. With a career that spans three decades, Yankovic has parodied songs by just about every big-name artist in the music industry worth parodying. He’s also got six platinum records and three Grammys under his belt, making him one of the most accomplished artists out there himself.
Weird Al shows no signs of slowing down, and is touring in support of his most recent record, Alpocalypse, on which he skewers Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” in a track titled, “Perform This Way.”
She Stoops to Conquer | UI Theatre Mainstage
The University of Iowa Theatre Department’s production of She Stoops to Conquer opens on Friday at 8:00 p.m. at the E.C. Mabie Theatre in the UI Theatre Building. The play is comedy of manners set in the 1770s, and takes place over just one night. Mistaken identities, the dynamics of a dysfunctional family and romantic entanglements abound in this hilarious take on one of the 18th century’s most celebrated plays. Boasting eloquent language and elaborate period costumes, this is one UI Theatre production to keep an eye on.
She Stoops to Conquer comprehensive schedule:
Friday, April 19, 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, April 20, 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, April 21, 2:00 p.m.
Thursday, April 25, 8:00 p.m.
Friday, April 26, 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, April 27, 8:00 p.m.
Enjoy your weekend, and see you next week!