|What's Happenin': January 5 - 18, 2010|
|Lifestyle - Noteworthy Events|
|Written by Mike Schulz|
|Tuesday, 05 January 2010 06:00|
Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse
Wednesday, January 13 through Saturday, March 20
Like the swallows to Capistrano, you can count on Ann Nieman to make an annual return to the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse, as the Texas-based director has helmed each of the venue's January productions since 2005. And 2010 finds her returning for one of Circa '21's most popular titles in Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, which Nieman last staged for the theatre five years ago, and which was noteworthy for being the last Circa '21 production to feature a certain local Arts Editor amongst its cast. Modesty forbids mentioning who that is, exactly, but ... .
Oh, screw it. It was me. I was in it. It was awesome.
As you likely know, Joseph ... is a Biblical tale of a prophetic man, his 11 siblings, and his multi-colored coat, as interpreted by Jesus Christ Superstar's Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. As you probably also know, the show blends rock, country-Western, reggae, and traditional show-tune stylings, and manages to pull off this feat while running less than 90 minutes.
But did you know just how insane with talent Circa '21's latest is? Joseph is being played by Don Denton, the excellent lead from the theatre's The Full Monty. The role of the Narrator is being sung by Jennifer Stone, outstanding in the venue's recent Holly Jolly Christmas. And the ensemble features a host of gifted Circa '21 veterans: Tristan Tapscott, Steve Lasiter, Liz J. Millea, Justin Droegemueller, Bret Churchill, Elizabeth Miller, Joseph Baez, Adam Ioele, and Tom Walljasper, Andrea Moore, and Nick Madson - the latter three reprising their roles from 2005's production. Those lucky jerks.
But don't let my pathological jealously ruin your good time. Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat runs January 13 through March 20, and tickets are available by calling (309)786-7733 extension 2 or visiting Circa21.com.
Penguin's Comedy Club
Friday, January 15, 7:30 and 10 p.m.
On January 15, film and television star Tom Arnold performs a two-show stand-up set at Penguin's Comedy Club, and let's be honest: After nearly two decades of media scrutiny and occasional controversy, you may think you know everything there is to know about the Roseanne writer/performer, former Best Damn Sports Show Period co-host, onetime James Cameron employee, and Iowa native.
Ah, but do you? Which of the following factoids about Tom Arnold is untrue?
1) He was born in Ottumwa, Iowa, attended Ottumwa High School, and began performing stand-up at age 23.
2) One of his first recurring routines was called "Tom Arnold & the Goldfish Review," a prop-comedy act that concluded with him swallowing a bowlful of fish.
3) He and ex-wife Roseanne Barr opened a restaurant - Roseanne & Tom's Big Food Diner - in Eldon, Iowa, which stayed in business from 1993 to 1995.
4) At his 2009 wedding to Ashley Groussman, the bride's sister was maid-of-honor, and the best man was Baby Mama actor Dax Shepard.
5) He served as a betrothed couple's wedding planner for an episode of CMT's The Biggest Redneck Wedding Ever, and performed the ceremony himself.
Tickets to Tom Arnold's Davenport sets are $25, and can be reserved by calling (563)324-5233 or visiting QCFreightHouse.com/penguinsComedyClub.upcoming.php.
Answer: Actually, all of these tidbits are true. Then again, I gathered the information from Wikipedia, so for all I know, they're all untrue. Your guess is as good as mine.
The Drowsy Chaperone
Monday, January 18, 7:30 p.m.
Imagine attending a stage musical in which a skip on the recorded accompaniment causes the climactic notes of a song - and, consequently, the climactic dance moves - to be repeated over and over again. And one in which a power outage causes the stage lights to go out in the middle of a splashy production number. And one in which the performers follow Act I with the second act from a completely different show.
Now imagine that all this is intentional.
That's The Drowsy Chaperone, the 2006 Tony Award-winner whose national tour makes a stop at Davenport's Adler Theatre on January 18. Described by the New York Times as a "revved-up spoof of a 1920s song-and-dance frolic" and Variety magazine as "a Broadway-tuner wonderland with energy and flair," this dizzy satire not only offers a batch of comically premeditated accidents but a rare, always welcome theatrical perk - two shows for the price of one.
One half re-stages a classic (invented) frolic involving a greedy showgirl, a haughty oil tycoon, a pair of dim-witted gangsters, and the drunken hostess of the show's title. The other half, however, finds The Drowsy Chaperone's protagonist - known only as Man in Chair - narrating this tale from the confines of his apartment, and providing informative and frequently bitchy commentary on the musical's (invented) history.
Taken together, these two parts form the meta-musical to end all meta-musicals, so don't be surprised when the show's lead, at a crucial moment, excuses himself to use the bathroom; it's just part of the show. Not that, if he did seize the opportunity to relieve himself, we'd ever know the difference.
The Drowsy Chaperone tickets are available for $26.50 and up, and are available by calling (800)745-3000 or visiting AdlerTheatre.com.
Moon Over Buffalo
Playcrafters Barn Theatre
Friday, January 15 through Sunday, January 24
With USA Today calling author Ken Ludwig's farce "comic genius" and the New York Post hailing it as "one of the most hysterical things ever put on stage," Moon Over Buffalo promises to open the Playcrafters Barn Theatre's 2010 season on an awfully funny note.
Directed by Jeff Shields, Ludwig's piece is a fast-paced, '30s-era comedy detailing the on- and off-stage exploits of a hapless theatre company, one led by a hambone character actor and his fame-hungry wife. With the troupe unsure of exactly which repertory show should be performed at any given time, the performers' backstage travails involve adultery, pregnancy, drunkenness, and an impending visit by Frank Capra. And if you're correctly guessing that Moon Over Buffalo's farcical plot gets complex, allow me to complicate matters even further.
Playcrafters cast members Stephen Baldridge and Diane Greenwood, who aren't married in real life, play married characters in the show. Pat and Patti Flaherty, who are married in real life, play a lawyer and his prospective mother-in-law. James Bleecker and Cari Downing, who played fiancés in the Harrison Hilltop Theatre's The Rocky Horror Show, play former fiancés here, with Downing's new fiancé played by Paul Workman, who was also in Rocky Horror. And Maggie Woolley, who appears in Moon Over Buffalo's show-within-a-show production of Cyrano de Bergerac, will appear this spring in the Prenzie Players' actual production of Cyrano de Bergerac. Who says that farce is more complicated than life?
Moon Over Buffalo runs Fridays through Sundays, January 15 through 24, and tickets are available by calling (309)762-0330 or visiting Playcrafters.com.
What Else Is Happenin'... ?
Saturday, January 16 - John Mueller's "Winter Dance Party." Stage re-creation of the final concert tour featuring Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and the Big Bopper. The Capitol Theatre (311 Ripley Street, Davenport). 8 p.m. $20-$25. For tickets and information, call (563)326-8820 or visit TheCapDavenport.com.
Saturday, January 9 - Prenzie Players' Twelfth Night Gala. Annual fundraiser for the classical-theatre troupe, featuring a silent auction, music by the Rockridge High School Jazz Band, hors d'oeuvres, and scenes from Ulysses and Cyclops. The Curtainbox Theatre - Annie Wittenmyer Complex (2850 Eastern Avenue, Suite #200, Davenport). 7:30 p.m. $15. For information, call (309)781-3233 or visit PrenziePlayers.com.
Saturday, January 9 - The Harlem Globetrotters. Basketball-handling magic, gravity-defying dunks, and comedic crowd interaction with the legendary sports stars. i wireless Center (1201 River Drive, Moline). 7 p.m. $20.75-$87.75. For tickets, call (800)745-3000 or visit iwirelessCenter.com.
Friday, January 8, through Sunday, January 10 - Bald Eagle Days. Annual weekend event featuring lectures, presentations, vendors, and more. QCCA Expo Center (2621 Fourth Avenue, Rock Island). Friday 4-8 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. $4/adults, $1/kids. For information, call (309)788-5912 or visit QCCAExpoCenter.com.
Sunday, January 17, through Tuesday, January 19 - QC Farm & Equipment Show. Annual event featuring exhibitions, seminars, vendors, and more. QCCA Expo Center (2621 Fourth Avenue, Rock Island). Sunday 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Tuesday 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Free admission. For information, call (309)788-5912 or visit QCCAExpoCenter.com.
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