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items tagged with Frank Capra

It Ain’t Over ’Til It’s Ogre: "Shrek Forever After" and "MacGruber"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-05-23 21:15:00
Shrek Forever After

SHREK FOREVER AFTER

Has there ever been a cinematic storybook adventure - to say nothing of an animated, comedic one - as profoundly joyless as Shrek Forever After? It's not just that the subject matter for this latest, potentially last, and certainly least of the Shrek series concerns middle-aged dissatisfaction and inertia, themes that aren't exactly conducive to lighthearted escapism. The bigger problem is that nearly everything about the film, from the plotline to the jokes to the voice acting, is lethargic and heavy-spirited, and that air of fatigue is likely intensified if, like me, you catch it in 3D, with the gray of your eyewear dulling the movie's already-pretty-dull color palette. From its opening beats, Shrek Forever After feels less like a follow-up than the grudging fulfillment of a contract obligation, and I left this third sequel feeling about 10 years older than I did before it began.
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Promising, Promising: Fall Theatre in the Quad Cities and Surrounding Areas
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Feature Stories

2008-09-10 08:41:54

the Promises, Promises ensemble During a recent post-show conversation, an actor friend and I agreed that perhaps the most exciting moments at any theatrical production are those few seconds before the production even starts, when the lights dim, cell phones (please God) are turned to silent or vibrate, and the venue becomes alive with possibility - with the awareness that, in this live art form, absolutely anything can happen.


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Sycamore Treat: "You Can’t Take It with You," at the Clinton Area Showboat Theatre through August 5
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2007-08-01 09:46:15

You Can't Take It with You ensemble members Thursday's opening-night presentation of You Can't Take It with You at the Clinton Area Showboat Theatre was polished, snappily paced, and almost universally well-performed. But attendance was hardly what it should have been for this venerated Kaufman & Hart comedy - I'd venture that less than two-thirds of the seats were filled - and truth be told, it's not hard to figure out why.


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Community (Theatre) Spirit
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Feature Stories

2006-12-20 09:18:49

"Aida"There seems to be a pretty safe rule of thumb regarding the productions at Quad City Music Guild and the Richmond Hill and Playcrafters Barn theatres: When the actors appear to believe in their material (whether that material is strong or weak), the shows are terrific, and when they don't, they're not.


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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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