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items tagged with Countryside Community Theatre

Making Mary: Heather Herkelman Plays Mary Poppins for Quad City Music Guild, August 7 through 16
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Feature Stories

2015-07-29 12:00:00

Valeree Pieper and Heather Herkelman in Mary PoppinsI don’t mean to alarm you, but during my recent interview with Heather Herkelman, the area performer revealed something shocking and rather upsetting: Hawaii, it turns out, isn’t perfect.

“There’s not much of a music scene or theatre scene,” says Herkelman, who returned in February from a year and a half spent living in Honolulu. “It’s beautiful, of course, and there’s just a laid-back happiness, a peacefulness, that made me want to live there. And they have a lot of Hawaiian music, obviously, from their heritage. But that’s about it. And yeah – not a lot of theatre.”


Read More About Making Mary: Heather Herkelman Plays Mary Poppins For Quad City Music Guild, August 7 Through 16...


Tall Tails: "Big Fish," at North Scott High School through July 19
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2015-07-13 16:19:09

Big Fish ensemble members, photo courtesy of Avenue StudiosAdam Nardini deserves credit for making Countryside Community Theatre’s Big Fish so endearing. Playing the father at the center of composer Andrew Lippa’s and playwright John August’s story – one based on the novel and Tim Burton film of the same name, the latter of which found Albert Finney playing Nardini's Edward Bloom – the performer is in excellent voice and remarkably engaging as this teller of tall tales. While he doesn’t adjust his performance to accommodate age differences while traveling from high school to early fatherhood to late-life, Nardini is still one of the best things that Countryside's piece has going for it.
Read More About Tall Tails: "Big Fish," At North Scott High School Through July 19...


Savior Faire: "Jesus Christ Superstar," at North Scott High School through June 28
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2015-06-22 12:00:00

Jason Gabriel (center), Thomas Brooke, Kelly Rose Thompson, and Michael Alexander (top) in Jesus Christ SuperstarDirector Jeff Ashcraft's vision for Countryside Community Theatre's Jesus Christ Superstar is clear from the very beginning. As the orchestra, under music director Keith Haan's capable leadership, plays the overture to composer Andrew Lloyd Webber's and lyricist Tim Rice's gospel story, images of recent religious, political, and social figures and world events are projected on a large screen. It’s as if Ashcraft is saying that these are the reasons we need a savior (e.g., terrorism), and that these are the vessels through which Christ's message reaches the world (e.g., Mother Teresa). Ashcraft not only modernizes the story's setting – aided by designer Emilee Droegmiller's present-day costumes and the use of cell phones, tablets, and video cameras throughout – but immediately makes the case for a modern need for Jesus Christ.
Read More About Savior Faire: "Jesus Christ Superstar," At North Scott High School Through June 28...


A Coupla Theatre Guys Sittin’ Around Talkin’: Mike Schulz and Thom White Discuss 2014's Area Stage Scene
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Feature Stories

2014-12-18 12:00:00

the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse's Irving Berlin's White ChristmasIf you’re new to this almost-annual recap, what follows is my conversation with Reader theatre reviewer Thom White about the area’s stage stage over the past 12 months.

If you’re not new to it, you know the drill. Clear some time, grab a snack, and enjoy!


Read More About A Coupla Theatre Guys Sittin’ Around Talkin’: Mike Schulz And Thom White Discuss 2014's Area Stage Scene...


Green Piece: "Shrek: The Musical," at Bettendorf High School through July 20
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2014-07-14 12:03:00

Melissa Anderson Clark, Matthew McFate, and Brian Peterson in Shrek: The MusicalDirector/choreographer Christina Myatt nails the humor and heart of the story in Countryside Community Theatre’s Shrek: The Musical, borrowing sparingly from the Broadway show’s original directors, Jason Moore and Rob Ashford, without copying their achievement. Myatt’s personal mark on the material is most clear in her choreography, especially in the rousing, showy “What’s Up, Duloc?”, with its Broadway-style kick-lines, and the subtly innocent “I Know It’s Today,” which involves Princess Fiona at three different ages (played, from youngest to oldest, by Ali Girsch, Emily Baker, and Melissa Anderson Clark). Yet while funny and full of energy, Myatt’s Shrek also hits the right notes in its heartfelt moments, during which Myatt’s pacing allows some welcome breathing room. And it also doesn’t hurt that the musical, with its book by David Lindsay-Abaire and its memorably singable songs by Lindsay-Abaire and Jeanine Tesori, is a whole lot of fun.


Read More About Green Piece: "Shrek: The Musical," At Bettendorf High School Through July 20...





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