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items tagged with District Theatre

Darkness and Plight: "Angels in America: Millennium Approaches," at the District Theatre through November 23
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2014-11-17 12:00:00

John Antonin Dieter and Anthony Natarelli in Angels in America: Millennium ApproachesWith its emotional language and poetic imagery, Tony Kushner’s Angels in America the playwright's “gay fantasia on national themes” composed of two parts subtitled Millennium Approaches and Perestroika – is among my favorite scripts. And there are times at which the District Theatre’s production of Millennium Approaches nails the nuances of Kushner’s writing, allowing the beauty of his intent to be on full display.


Read More About Darkness And Plight: "Angels In America: Millennium Approaches," At The District Theatre Through November 23...


It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like ... : "Irving Berlin's White Christmas," at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse through December 28
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2014-11-10 12:00:00

the Irving Berlin's White Christmas ensembleAnnoyed by local radio stations that switch to 24 hours of holiday music on November 5, as well as stores that set up holiday displays before Halloween, I wasn’t all that keen on seeing a Christmas musical in early November. However, Irving Berlin’s White Christmas is my kind of holiday production: It’s light on its emphasis on Christmas cheer, and plays out as a musical that just happens to take place ahead of the holidays.


Read More About It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like ... : "Irving Berlin's White Christmas," At The Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse Through December 28...


Knight Lite: "Monty Python's Spamalot," at the District Theatre through August 17
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2014-08-04 12:00:00

Doug Kutzli, Chris Tracy, Matt Holmes, Wendy Czekalski, Mike kelly, and Bob Manasco in Monty Python's SpamalotThe District Theatre's Monty Python's Spamalot seems like an amateur talent show, particularly due to the limitations of the company's new performance space in Rock Island's former Grape Life venue. (The new locale is so small, it redefines "intimate theatre" in the Quad Cities.) Yet while the limited movement due to the lack of stage space creates an amateurish feel, I’m happy to say that much of the rest of Friday's production emphasized talent. If it was an intentional decision to present the material as a novice attempt to recreate Monty Python's (arguably) best-loved film, Monty Python & the Holy Grail, it was a smart one on director Tristan Tapscott's part. Space doesn't allow for a big production, so Tapscott embraces the limitations of the new stage area, and it works.


Read More About Knight Lite: "Monty Python's Spamalot," At The District Theatre Through August 17...


"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...


The Bluegrass Is Always Greener ... : "Big Rock Candy Mountain," at the District Theatre through June 8
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2014-05-27 12:00:00

Kyle Jecklin, Tom Vaccaro, Doug Kutzli, Rocky Kampling, and Mark Ruebling in Big Rock Candy MountainA Depression-era band performs an impromptu concert at a small-town theatre, facing off against an overbearing, somewhat inept police officer who later, after getting plastered, takes a shine to them. The group’s biggest adversary is a mean-spirited rich woman who, after boo-worthy attacks on the group, gets her comeuppance when her power is pulled out from under her. The story serves as the bridge to performances of early-20th-Century songs performed by this jukebox musical's cast members, who play on string instruments and out-of-the-ordinary percussion sources.

It’s a description that fits both Southern Crossroads and the District Theatre’s latest debuting production, Big Rock Candy Mountain.


Read More About The Bluegrass Is Always Greener ... : "Big Rock Candy Mountain," At The District Theatre Through June 8...





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