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items tagged with Chuck McDoniel

Rats!: "Of Mice & Men," at the Harrison Hilltop Theatre through November 29
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2009-11-23 12:00:00

Matt Mercer and Steve Quartell in Of Mice and MenIn the Harrison Hilltop Theatre's current take on John Steinbeck's Of Mice & Men, actor Jim Seward plays the chatty, friendly ranch hand Candy, and at one point tells a story about his boss treating the workers to a gallon of whiskey for Christmas. It's a charming little reminiscence - Candy, in the terrifically ingratiating personage of Seward, giggles with delight at the memory - but it's also one that would probably be quickly forgotten if the scenes that followed didn't keep bringing it to mind.

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Yankee Doodle Not-So-Dandy: "George M!," at the Prospect Park Auditorium through July 16
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2006-07-12 04:37:14

George M! As the title character in the Quad City Music Guild's presentation of George M!, Kevin Pieper works his tail off. His Broadway impresario George Cohan belts out number after number, he tap dances, he storms through scenes with natural authority; in this musical-comedy biography, the role of Cohan is practically a show unto himself, and the energy that Pieper gives the part is admirable.

More often than not, though, it's energy in a void, because with precious few exceptions, the George M! ensemble isn't giving anything back. At any given time, there are up to 44 performers sharing the stage with Pieper, yet it takes little more than one hand to count the number of them who look pleased to be there. Thursday's preview performance, at least, showed Pieper having to work both the audience and the cast, and that's more responsibility than any single performer should be burdened with.

Read More About Yankee Doodle Not-So-Dandy: "George M!," At The Prospect Park Auditorium Through July 16...

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