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items tagged with Dianne Dye

Sets Appeal: St. Ambrose University’s "Charlotte’s Web" and Music Guild’s "Miracle on 34th Street"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2007-12-05 08:40:32

Ryan Westwood and Emily Christiansen in Charlotte's Web If I counted correctly, St. Ambrose University's Charlotte's Web and Quad City Music Guild's Miracle on 34th Street featured a grand total of five dozen actors between them. Yet the true stars of both musicals weren't among those individuals; despite boasting an excellent Wilbur the Pig in Ryan Westwood, Charlotte's Web was primarily a triumph for set designer Kristofer Eitrheim, and Miracle belonged to no one so much as scenic artist Bob Williams. Eitrheim's and Williams' contributions were dazzling, and my only regret in raving about their work now is that it's too late for new audiences to admire it. (Both presentations ran only one weekend and closed on December 2.)


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Designing Woman: "Crème de Coco," at St. Ambrose University
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2007-04-25 08:17:31

Kimberly Furness & Jack C. Kloppenborg in Creme de CocoBefore Friday night's presentation of Crème de Coco commenced, St. Ambrose University theatre professor Corinne Johnson briefly took the stage, and related how proud she was of the evening's entertainment - a world premiere by Broadway playwright William Luce, directed by Broadway veteran Philip William McKinley (both of whom were in attendance). As theatrical coups go, this one was way up there.

Yet as understandably proud as the school's staff was, it's inconceivable that they were any less proud of St. Ambrose alumna Kimberly Furness, who portrayed famed designer Coco Chanel in Luce's 80-minute one-act. For those in attendance for last weekend's shows, memories of Crème de Coco's grandeur will likely last several years. Memories of Furness' performance may last even longer.


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The Roar of the Crowds: St. Ambrose University's "Narnia" and Quad City Music Guild’s "It’s a Wonderful Life: The Musical"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2006-12-06 08:29:11

Mike Millar & Stephanie Perry in "It's a Wonderful Life: The Musical"This past Saturday, I had the unique opportunity to catch two local theatrical productions: St. Ambrose University's Narnia (an hour-long stage version of C.S. Lewis' The Lion, the Witch, & the Wardrobe) and the Quad City Music Guild's presentation of It's a Wonderful Life: The Musical. (Both closed on Sunday, December 3.)

Despite obvious differences in subject matter and audience demographic - Narnia was geared toward the 10-and-under set, while Wonderful Life was designed for ... well, pretty much everyone else - the shows did bear a striking similarity, in that both were musical adaptations of decidedly un-musical works with enormous fan bases; St. Ambrose and Music Guild could probably have secured full houses based on the titles alone.


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The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe Mistress: St. Ambrose University presents "Narnia" Dec. 2 & 3
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Feature Stories

2006-11-22 08:43:06

St. Ambrose University's "Narnia" "I'm the mom of the theatre department," says St. Ambrose designer Dianne Dye during an afternoon spent in the university's costume shop. "If people have a problem, or when they just want to gossip, here's the place to come."

"She is the mom," agrees the school's Galvin Fine Arts Center manager, Eileen Eitrheim. "Officially. Even I come down here when I have a problem."

I'd agree with the ladies' description of Dye's maternal countenance, except for one thing: Unlike Dye, my mother never greeted my arrival by offering me a piece of candy.


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Naughty and Nice: "The Threepenny Opera," at St. Ambrose University
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2006-10-18 04:32:23

Jaci Entwisle & Jack Kloppenborg in "The Threepenny Opera" During Bertolt Brecht's The Threepenny Opera - the German dramatist's revolutionary musical-comedy collaboration with composer Kurt Weill - we're meant to feel uneasy. With its cast of beggars and rogues, obliteration of the fourth wall, and refusal to cater to conventional audience expectation (the songs here, devoid of proper finales, don't so much finish as stop), The Threepenny Opera is a fascinating, deliberately alienating piece. Our enjoyment stems from how unconventional the show is, but in no traditional sense are we meant to simply like it.

So in regard to director Corinne Johnson's Depression-era Threepenny Opera that recently opened St. Ambrose University's 2006-7 theatre season at the Galvin Fine Arts Center (and closed on October 15), was it a failing or a blessing that so many of its performers were so damned likable?


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