Events Calendar for January 2020

The North American Tour of The Color Purple comes to Iowa City January 24-25.

Wednesday, January 22 • PTB Adult Spelling Bee. 4th Wednesdays. Teams of 4 will be given a white board and a report card. Prizes. 7–9 p.m., Peace Tree Brewery, Grinnell. (641) 260-8067.

Wednesday, January 22 • Open Mic Night at Penguin’s Comedy Club. Sign up for a stand-up spot at 6:30. Wednesdays, 8 p.m., Penguin’s Comedy Club, 208 2nd Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids. (319) 362-8133.

Wednesday, January 22 • Café Paradiso Open Mic. Weekly open mic. Bring your new stuff. 7:45 p.m. sign up, 8 p.m. start, Café Paradiso,

Wednesday, January 22 Burlington Street Bluegrass Band. 7 p.m., The Mill, Iowa City.

Thursday, January 23 • Anita Hill—”From Social Movement to Social Impact: Putting an End to Sexual Harassment.” University of Iowa Lecture Committee. 7 p.m., doors open at 6 p.m., Iowa Memorial Union, Iowa City. Free, but space is limited. Come early for seating!

Thursday, January 23 • Wait, Wait … Don’t Tell Me. National Public Radio’s Peabody Award-winning comedy news quiz show hosted by Peter Sagal. 7:30 p.m., Des Moines Civic Center.

Thursday, January 23 • Thursday Nights at Hancher. Enjoy great food and beverages for sale from the Stanley Café, whether or not there is a performance. Thursdays, 5–7:30 p.m., Hancher Auditorium, Iowa City.

Thursday, January 23 • Rebirth Brass Band. A Grammy-winning New Orleans institution. 7:30 p.m., Englert Theatre, 221 E. Washington St., Iowa City. (319) 688-2653.

Thursday, January 23 • Writers’ Night at Mount Vernon Creates. Hosted by local writer, storyteller, and playwright Joe Jennison, the event is meant to encourage local and regional writing talent, regardless of content, format, or style. 10-minute spots. 7–8:30 p.m., Mt. Vernon Creates, Mount Vernon. Sign up at

Thursday, January 23 • India Night ICON Fundraiser. Alexandra Ulmer presents a slideshow of photos taken during her travels in India, with live musical accompaniment. 7:30-9:30 p.m. ICON Gallery, 58 N. Main St., Fairfield. (641) 469-6252. $8 suggested donation.

Thursday, January 23 • Hootenany Sing-Along. Join Chris Busch, Andy MacKenzie, and Doug Daller for a community sing-along, featuring songs of the folk and protest era. 7:30 p.m., Sondheim Center, Fairfield. Free!

Thursday, January 23Mike Cantafio and George Foster. Talented, energetic duo performs jazz standards and originals. 7 p.m. The Bookhouse, 56 E. Burlington Ave., Fairfield.

Thursday, January 23Uptown Bill’s Open Mic. 10-minute performances of music and other arts. Sign up at the coffeehouse. Every Thursday. 7 p.m. Uptown Bill’s, 730 S. Dubuque, Iowa City. (319) 339-0804.

Friday, January 24 • Trampled by Turtles. The frenetic sound of rock ’n’ roll bluegrass. 7:30 p.m., Hoyt Sherman Place, Des Moines. (515) 244-0507.

Fri-Sat, January 24–25Josh Arnold. Josh Arnold can be heard every morning on the nationally syndicated radio program The Bob & Tom Show. 8 p.m., Penguin’s Comedy Club, the Vault, 208 2nd Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids. (319) 362-8133.

Friday 24Les Miserables. A cop moves to Paris to join the Anti-Crime Brigade in a district of the Paris projects. Winner of the Cannes Film Festival Jury Prize. Showtimes and additional dates TBA, FilmScene—Chauncey, 404 E. College St., Iowa City.

Fri-Sat, January 24–25 • Taurus Sun/Aries Moon. University of Iowa Theater Dept. gallery series. 8 p.m., Alan MacVey Theatre, UI, Iowa City. Free.

Fri-Sat, January 24–25 • Backcountry Film Festival. View a compilation of films that celebrate the human-powered experience through winter adventures. Hosted by Indian Creek Nature Center. Friday and Saturday 6–9 p.m., Big Grove Brewery & Taproom, Iowa City.

Fri-Sat, January 24–25 • The Color Purple. This 2016 Tony Award winner for Best Musical Revival, hailed as “a direct hit to the heart” (The Hollywood Reporter), is an American classic about a young woman’s journey to love and triumph in the American South. Hancher Auditorium, 141 E. Park Rd., Iowa City. (800) 426-2437.

Fri-Sat-Sun, January 24–26 • Eagles and Ivories Ragtime Weekend. Four-day annual festival featuring ragtime music, suppers, silent movies, after-hours concerts, and much more. Co-sponsored by Muscatine County Arts Council and Muscatine Art Center. Various times and locations, Muscatine. Also on Thurs. 23rd.

Saturday, January 25 • Magic Tree House: Showtime with Shakespeare. A new hip-hop musical featuring Jack & Annie, based on Stage Fright on a Summer Night by New York Times best-selling author Mary Pope Osborne. 11 a.m., Des Moines Civic Center.

Saturday, January 25 • Old-Time Music & Dance Jam Workshop. 4th Saturdays, presented by Flying Pig Fiddle & Banjo. 2–4 p.m., Java Joes’ 4th Street Theatre, Des Moines. (515) 689-1434.

Saturday, January 25 • Winterfest Amana. Freezer 5K Run/Walk at 10 a.m., followed by music, beard contest, Winterfest Wine & Beer Walk, and winter games, including Ice Sculpting, Log Sawing, the Great Amana Ham Put, Wreath Toss, Ice Cube Launch. With a 9-hole miniature golf course, Snowball Dance, dinner, and more. Various locations, Amana.

Saturday, January 25 AntiFreeze Outdoor Cocktail Party. Hot cocktails, mac & cheese bar, ice luge shots, ice carvings, s’mores roast, and music. With prizes for best hat, best snuggie, and more. 2–6 p.m., Mississippi River Distilling Company, 303 N. Cody Rd., LeClaire.

Saturday, January 25 • Eagle Watch. Learn from the eagle experts of Des Moines County Conservation and Starr’s Cave Nature Center, and travel to Lock & Dam 18 to birdwatch. 10 a.m., Port of Burlington, Burlington.

Saturday, January 25 • Eulenspiegel Puppets: The Big Election. Puppeteers Monica Leo and Stephanie Vallez present an imaginative, fantastical “voter education” show—with a mock election and paper ballots. 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., Owl Glass Puppetry Center, West Liberty.

Saturday, January 25 • The Frontmen of Country Music. Larry Stewart, Richie McDonald, and Tim Rushlow share the stories behind the songs. 7:30 p.m., Sondheim Center, Fairfield.

Sat-Sun, January 25–26 • Beat the Bitter Festival. Embrace winter with a week full of activities: Jan. 25 Igloo Jam, Jan. 26 5K-ish Obstacle Run and Fire & Ice Festival (horse-drawn carriage rides, ice carving, fire performances, ice skating, and more), February 1 Winter Games and Snuggie Crawl, and more. Various times and locations, North Liberty.

Sat-Sun, January 25–26 • Lewis Black: It Gets Better Every Day. Black uses his trademark style of comedic yelling and animated finger-pointing to skewer anything and anyone, but this stand-up, actor, and author is more a pissed-off optimist than a mean-spirited curmudgeon. Saturday 8 p.m., Englert Theatre, 221 E. Washington St., Iowa City, (319) 688-2653; Sunday 7 p.m., Hoyt Sherman Place, 1501 Woodland Ave., Des Moines. (515) 244-0507.

Sunday, January 26 • Iowa Corridor USA Dance. Afternoon social dancing. 3–5 p.m., Ely American Legion, 1535 Main St., Ely.

Sunday, January 26 • LEAP! 2020. This radically inclusive variety show presented by Combined Efforts is a collaboration of artists with and without disabilities. 2 p.m., Coralville Center for the Performing Arts, Coralville. (319) 248-9370.

Sunday, January 26 • The Cedar Room: All-Genre Writing Group. Fourth Sundays. 6–8 p.m., Cedar Rapids Public Library, Conf. Room. Free.

Sunday, January 26 • League of Women Voters: 19th Amendment Celebrations. Events commemorating the 100-year anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment from an Iowa Perspective: The Yellow Rose of Suffrage. One-woman show about women’s activist Carrie Chapman Catt. 2 p.m., St. John Auditorium, Indian Hills, Ottumwa. The Agitators: The Story of Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass. Various times, Riverside Theatre, Iowa City.

Thursday, January 30Uptown Bill’s Open Mic. 10-minute performances of music and other arts. Sign up at the coffeehouse. Every Thursday. 7 p.m. Uptown Bill’s, 730 S. Dubuque, Iowa City. (319) 339-0804.

Friday, January 31 • Oscar Nominated Shorts. Showtimes TBA, FilmScene—Chauncey, Iowa City.

Friday, January 31 • Des Moines Metro Opera: The Human Voice. Francis Poulenc’s compelling monologue La voix humaine, based on the 1930 play by Jean Cocteau, tells the story of a couple’s failure to communicate. Featuring mezzo-soprano, audience favorite Elise Quagliata, and Maestro David Neely at the piano. 7:30 p.m. Des Moines Metro Opera, 513 North D St., Indianola.

Friday, January 31 • Dickie. This year finds Dick Prall in a nostalgic headspace, partnering with talented drummer/multi-instrumentalist Billy Barton to produce a stripped-back mix of reflective and pulsating sing-alongs in the latest release, Minus Thieves. With Twins. 8 p.m., CSPS Hall, Cedar Rapids.

Friday, January 31 • Brian Johannesen. Celebrate the release of Brian Johannesen’s new full-length album, Holster Your Silver. With the album’s producer Ryan Joseph Anderson. 7 p.m., The Mill, Iowa City.

Friday, January 31 • Jazzmeia Horn. “The most talked-about jazz vocalist to emerge since Cécile McLorin Salvant and Gregory Porter.” —New York Times. 7:30 p.m., Staplin Performing Arts Center, West Des Moines. (515) 633-4000.

Fri-Sat-Sun January 31–February 2 • Academy Award Nominated Shorts. Friday screenings 1:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.; Sat. 1 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., Sun. 1 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., Des Moines Art Center.

Saturday, February 1 • Beat the Bitter Festival. Closing day of the weeklong annual festival features Winter Games (curling, kickball, and broomball) and the Snuggie Crawl (sold out). RSVP. North Liberty.

Saturday, February 1 • Buckcherry. With Adelitas Way and Alborn. 8 p.m., The Rust Belt, East Moline, IL.

Saturday, February 1Texas Tenors. Their latest albums Rise and A Collection of Broadway & American Classics debuted at #1 on the radio charts. 7:30 p.m., Bridge View Center, Ottumwa.

Saturday, February 1 • Winter Carnival. Outside activities (weather permitting) include obstacle course and snow painting at Faye’s Field; sledding and cross country skiing at Palmer Hills; and ice skating at Frozen Landing. Inside activities include crafts at the Family Museum and Bettendorf Library, and wacky winter games and contests, a coloring station, and a photo station at the Life Fitness Center. Shuttle between venues. 10 a.m.–2 p.m., various locations, Bettendorf.

Saturday, February 1Monthly Old Brick Dance. Lesson 7–8 p.m., social dancing 8–10 p.m., Old Brick, Iowa City.

Saturday, February 1Kids Club Hancher: Gina Chavez. After spending time in El Salvador, this ten-time Austin Music Award winner found a passion for working with young people, creating this family-friendly concert—the inaugural Kids Club Hancher event. 2 p.m. and 5 p.m., Hancher Auditorium, 141 E. Park Rd., Iowa City. (800) 426-2437.

Tuesday, February 4 • Lisa Lampanelli’s Losin’ It! Opening night of a ten-show run. This intimate collection of humorous observations and real-life stories is curated and performed by Lisa and her hilarious friends. 7:30 p.m., The Temple Theater, 1011 Locust St., Des Moines. (515) 288-4700.

Wednesday, February 5 • University Catering: Dinner with the Chefs. A gourmet meal using fresh, local, and quality ingredients. Hancher’s Stanley Cafe, Iowa City. (319) 335-1160 or (800) 426-2437.

Wednesday, February 5 • Mat Kearney. City of Black & White Revisited Tour features Kearney’s extensive, award-winning catalog in a rare intimate acoustic performance. With Eli Teplin. 8 p.m., Hoyt Sherman Place, Des Moines. (515) 244-0507.

Thursday, February 6 • Live at the Mill: Mike Doughty Tells Your Future. Doughty—the force behind seminal ’90s band Soul Coughing—with long-time collaborator Andrew “Scrap” Livingston and drummer Stephen Chopek, will test the limits of their clairvoyance as they interact with the crowd and respond to online submissions unique to each show. Co-presented with Englert Theater. 8 p.m., The Mill, Iowa City.

Thursday, February 6Uptown Bill’s Open Mic. 10-minute performances of music and other arts. Sign up at the coffeehouse. Every Thursday. 7 p.m. Uptown Bill’s, 730 S. Dubuque, Iowa City. (319) 339-0804.

Friday, February 7 • Fairfield First Fridays. Stores and galleries are open late around the square for a town-wide party. Food samples, wine tastings, and art show openings, etc. 6–10 p.m., downtown Fairfield.