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items tagged with Circa 21 Dinner Playhouse

Dough, a Deer, a Female Seer ... : "Love, Lies, & the Lottery," at the Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse through September 6
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2014-07-28 12:00:00

(clockwise from left) Tamarin K. Ythier, James Fairchild, Erin Clark, Tristan Layne Tapscott, Brad Hauskins, Janet Ellen Brucken, and Marc Ciemiewicz in Love, Lies, and the LotteryMaybe you’ll need to have seen a lot of stage farces, or feel like you’ve seen every stage farce, to appreciate what writer/director Jim Hessleman is doing in the Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse’s world-premiere presentation Love, Lies, & the Lottery. Because this isn’t just, as its title implies, a traditional, door-slamming slapstick, despite the numerous doors to be slammed. (Or rather, here, gently closed.) This energetic, sometimes hilarious, incredibly busy production is more accurately a comedic greatest-hits package, and one boasting a larger number of familiar genre conceits than you would’ve thought squeezable into two hours of stage time. You could teach a semester on Intro to Modern Farce using Hesselman’s play as your textbook and still not cover everything in time for the final.


Read More About Dough, A Deer, A Female Seer ... : "Love, Lies, & The Lottery," At The Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse Through September 6...


Delta Nu Attitude: "Legally Blonde: The Musical," at the Prospect Park Auditorium through July 20
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2014-07-14 12:02:00

Augumn Loose, Liv Lyman, Lauren VanSpeybroeck, and Becca Johnson in Legally Blonde: The MusicalLegally Blonde: The Musical is, of course, based on the 2001 hit starring Reese Witherspoon, a movie that led to a rather woebegone sequel in 2003’s Legally Blonde: Red, White, & Blonde. Yet while watching the original film’s stage version on Thursday, I felt that Red, White, & Blonde also would’ve been a fitting title for Quad City Music Guild’s terrifically peppy new presentation, considering that this solo-star-driven show came off, instead, as pretty wonderfully democratic.


Read More About Delta Nu Attitude: "Legally Blonde: The Musical," At The Prospect Park Auditorium Through July 20...


"Blonde" Ambition: Lauren VanSpeybroeck Reflects on Her (Pre-College) Theatrical Career
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Feature Stories

2014-07-02 12:00:00

Lauren VanSpeybroeck, courtesy of Nick West PhotographyAs with many things in life, it can be blamed on a friendly purple dinosaur.

“I used to be obsessed with Barney,” says area actor Lauren VanSpeybroeck of her pre-school interest in performing. “I always used to pretend I was on Barney [& Friends], so I guess that’s where it started. And then I would see, say, The Wizard of Oz or something, and for that week, I would be Dorothy Gale from Kansas. My mom would take me to the grocery store and people would say, ‘Oh, you’re so cute – what’s your name?’ ‘Dorothy Gale from Kansas.’

“That,” says VanSpeybroeck with a laugh, “was probably when my mom was like, ‘Hmmm ... maybe she wants to play characters ... ?’”


Read More About "Blonde" Ambition: Lauren VanSpeybroeck Reflects On Her (Pre-College) Theatrical Career...


Scentsational: "StinkyKids: The Musical," at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse through July 12
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2014-06-23 12:02:00

Iliana Garcia, Lauren VanSpeybroeck, and Alexis Harter in StinkyKids: The MusicalConsidering its title, and my unfamiliarity with the Britt Menzies books on which it’s based, I was uncertain what to expect going into Thursday’s Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse production of StinkyKids: The Musical. That title, for me, conjures up thoughts of the grotesque Garbage Pail Kids collector cards from the 1980s. Thankfully, though, the show's StinkyKids are nothing like those urchins, as was noted upon my first look at costume designer Gregory Hiatt’s colorful, playful choices for the six characters, with each six- or seven-year old child wearing a predominant color with accents – such as flowers or shapes – in another hue.


Read More About Scentsational: "StinkyKids: The Musical," At The Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse Through July 12...


"Tradition"-al Family: "Fiddler on the Roof," at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse through July 19
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2014-05-27 12:00:00

Marc Ciemiewicz and Rachelle Walljasper in Fiddler on the RoofI’m willing to admit that I had significant reservations when I heard Marc Ciemiewicz would be playing Tevye in the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse’s Fiddler on the Roof. While I’ve enjoyed every performance I’ve seen from the actor, I wasn’t sure he could pull off this particular part – and I confess this hoping that my praise is all the more significant: Ciemiewicz knocks the role out of the park. Sporting a beard and using a deep baritone voice to speak and sing, and significantly changing his physical demeanor, this person I normally adore for his cutesy charm and spunk completely disappears into the character of Tevye, all the while maintaining his adept comedic skill. I will never doubt Ciemiewicz's acting range again.


Read More About "Tradition"-Al Family: "Fiddler On The Roof," At The Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse Through July 19...





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