For more than a decade, Rock Island's professional dance company Ballet Quad Cities has traditionally staged, for its October presentation, a one-act production of Dracula, with the titular vampire always played by popular guest artist Domingo Rubio. As Rubio is a resident of Mexico, however, his nearly annual trek to the Quad Cities was impossible in this pandemic year. But that hasn't stopped Ballet Quad Cities from delivering a different kind of Halloween treat in Dancing for Dracula & You!, a series of holiday-themed vignettes being performed at Davenport's Outing Club on October 30 and 31 (reservations due October 27) – and with Rubio himself making a virtual appearance.

With the exceptions of 12 Angry Men and maybe the first two Godfather flicks, I literally can't think of another movie so abundant with exceptional ensemble acting in juicy character roles; you could expand the Oscars' Supporting Actor roster from five nominees to 10 and still pack it solely with deserving Chicago 7 performers.

I think I'm speaking literally when I say that, had The War with Grandpa been released in any other year, I'd probably have found it close to unbearable. But this isn't any other year. And beyond being grateful simply for cineplexes – some of them, at least – staying open these days, I find myself inordinately appreciating the movie-going experience, which turns out to include the sound of other patrons, for 100 minutes, howling with delight at a dopey little comedy.

Despite the bitchiness and anguish inherent in the material, Netflix's new streaming version of The Boys in the Band is one of the very few releases of the last six months that feels absolutely suffused with joy. You won't necessarily find it in the characters, and certainly not in most of the things they say and do. But as a filmed reunion for the cast and director of Broadway's 2018 Tony Award winner – a revival of playwright Matt Crowley's iconic examination of urban gay life in 1968 – there's so much love baked into the presentation that you might find yourself grinning even when situations are at their most dire, and they frequently are.

Although Andrew Cohn's indie dramedy takes a more intriguing turn than you may initially expect, his film is almost pure formula, and formula you're likely familiar with: it's Chico & the Man; it's Superior Donuts; it's every entertainment in which a cranky (white) senior and a sassy upstart (of color) bicker and banter their way to mutual acceptance. But it stars Richard Jenkins, and that alone makes it more worthwhile than this well-meaning diversion might've otherwise been.

The 72nd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards were presented last night in a relatively lively, primarily virtual ceremony featuring riotous highs (you are a national treasure, Mr. Letterman), only a few dismal lows (poor Anthony Anderson), some great surprises (thank you Jennifer, Courtney, and Lisa for the half-reunion of Friends), and, in a wonderful change of pace, loads of truly deserving victors. (My favorite comedy series, drama series, and limited series all won! Who woulda thunk it?!)

No matter how many Thin Red Lines or Person of Interests Jim Caviezel makes, he's always going to be identified as He Who Was Jesus in Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ – which makes his casting in this political thriller so on-the-nose it may as well be a nostril.

I should preface by saying that I'm terrible at predicting Emmy Award winners. Seriously: I'm terrible.

As contemporary romantic comedies go, The Broken Hearts Gallery is like something you'd create from a kit. The instructions are easy to follow, every expected piece is dutifully included, and there's no veering from the manual – what you wind up getting looks remarkably similar to what's pictured on the box. (Or, in this case, the poster.) But a pandemic-era lack of cineplex options can make you inordinately grateful for simple, much-appreciated qualities such as charm and wit and personality, all of which writer/director Natalie Krinsky's debut feature has in abundance.

Although the pandemic is currently depriving us of movie sequels, the professional talents of Ballet Quad Cities are at least ensuring that local audiences get a live one with the company's Ballet on the Lawn: Take Two a September 20 follow-up to the dancers' hugely successful outdoor presentations of Ballet on the Lawn that took place, as this new one will, at Davenport's Outing Club.

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