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items tagged with Doug Kutzli

The Executioners' Songs: "Thrill Me: The Leopold & Loeb Story," at the Circa '21 Speakeasy through February 27
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2016-02-25 12:00:00

Adam Cerny and Thomas Alan Taylor in Thrill Me: The Leopold & Loeb StoryLast month, I happened to turn on my TV to an episode of PBS' American Experience titled “The Perfect Crime,” which told of the senseless, 1924 murder of a young Chicago boy. The crime was committed by two teenagers, Richard Loeb and Nathan Leopold, and I was awestruck not only because of the horrific details of the killing, but also by the fact that I had never before heard of it. Then, a few weeks ago, I was assigned to review Thrill Me: The Leopold & Loeb Story, a musical I was unfamiliar with – but one, thanks to PBS, boasting a story I now knew.

I'm not sure what is it about true-crime stories that draws us in, almost as voyeurs, as we witness evil acts yet find ourselves engaged in every gritty detail. And with a book, movie, TV show, or grandly scaled theatre piece such as Sweeney Todd, we can read or watch as dastardly deeds are done, yet are always kept at a safe distance from those deeds, giving us a sort of protection. The suspenseful, powerful Thrill Me, however, is a musical that would appear to work best in an intimate setting such as the one currently provided by the Circa '21 Speakeasy, where that safe distance shrinks all too uncomfortably … which is likely the goal.
Read More About The Executioners' Songs: "Thrill Me: The Leopold & Loeb Story," At The Circa '21 Speakeasy Through February 27...


By George, I Think They've Got It: "A Wonderful Life," at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse through December 27
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2015-11-17 12:02:00

Don Denton and Sara Tubbs in A Wonderful LifeI must confess: When I first saw the Jimmy Stewart film It’s a Wonderful Life on TV in the early 1980s, I was not a fan. Was I, I wondered, the only person on the planet who thought the story overly sentimental and a bit of a melodramatic mess? As I was to learn, I was not, for when the film was first released in 1946, some considered it a disappointing addition to director Frank Capra’s oeuvre. Although I have begrudgingly come to accept the movie on its own terms over the years, it was with a bit of trepidation that I went to see the November 12 preview of the musical production A Wonderful Life at the Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse. Would this, my first published review, be my “outing” as a Scrooge?


Read More About By George, I Think They've Got It: "A Wonderful Life," At The Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse Through December 27...


Courting Danger: "A Few Good Men," at the District Theatre through July 12
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2015-07-06 12:00:00

Tristan Tapscott, Sara Tubbs, and Jacob Kendall in A Few Good MenWith its ornate ceiling and fascinating, borderline-gaudy hanging light fixtures in the District Theatre's new home in the former Rock Island Argus building, A Few Good Men seems an appropriate inaugural production, in that the space looks like a courtroom – at least while you're looking up. Following the company's sometimes uncomfortable (for patrons) stint in its previous, rather cramped venue, this open area with the ceiling rising two stories above the floor is a much welcome relief, allowing director Lora Adams’ staging of Aaron Sorkin‘s courtroom drama to breathe in ways that, for the District Theatre, it otherwise couldn’t have.
Read More About Courting Danger: "A Few Good Men," At The District Theatre Through July 12...


How to Build a Better Mousetrap: "The Mousetrap," at the District Theatre through March 22
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2015-03-10 11:00:00

Mike Kelly and Doug Kutzli in The MousetrapAgatha Christie’s whodunit The Mousetrap is among my favorites in the genre, mostly due to the humor the author wrote into it, as well as the clues she included that make it possible to actually discern who did do it. Although the murderer’s identity still comes as something of a shock, the game of figuring out the killer remains fun. I just wish the District Theatre’s current production of the piece were as enjoyable.


Read More About How To Build A Better Mousetrap: "The Mousetrap," At The District Theatre Through March 22...


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...





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