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items tagged with Jennifer E. Popple

Farce to Be Reckoned With: "Figaro," at Augustana College through October 27
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2013-10-21 12:00:00

Leslie Kane and Joshua Pride in Figaro (photo by Daisy Hoang, Augustana Photo Bureau)Augustana College’s Figaro is a fine example of how witty, self-referential humor makes for a better farce than does banal innuendo and silly, unrealistic door slamming. Playwright Charles Morey’s recent adaptation of Pierre Beaumarchais’ The Marriage of Figaro (written in 1778) is sharply funny, filled with references to Beaumarchais’ original trilogy (“It would take an Italian opera to describe [the plot.]”) and digs at the rich (“How clever of you, sir, to be rich rather than smart.”) There’s still sexual innuendo and slamming doors, but Morey’s script is so much quick-paced, pointedly humorous fun that the two-hour presentation rises above the level of most bedroom farce, especially considering that this production is populated by such a well-cast ensemble.


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The Young and the Restless: "subUrbia," at Augustana College through May 5
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2013-04-29 12:00:00

John D'Aversa, Joshua Malone, and Bill Cahill in subUrbiaAugustana College’s production of subUrbia features one of the most (if not the most) layered and fascinating sets I’ve yet seen on a local stage, as Adam Parboosingh's scenic design manages to give us both a brick storefront – including parking spaces, cement parking bumps, scaffolding, a dumpster, and even a period-appropriate, mid-'90s pay phone – and the fully stocked interior of a convenience store at the same time. Consequently, Parboosingh’s set rendered Friday’s performance interesting well before the play even started, offering much to take in visually while we waited for the proverbial curtain to rise.


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If Memory Swerves: "How I Learned to Drive," at Augustana College through February 5
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2012-01-30 12:00:00

Jacquelyn Schmidt, Michael Pazzol, Amy Sanders, Robin Quinn, Mike Schulz, and Jo Vasquez in How I Learned to DriveAugustana College’s How I Learned to Drive offers an interesting opportunity to compare the acting talents of performers at different points in their lives, as there’s a marked contrast between Reader editor Mike Schulz’s work and that of the students who compose the rest of the cast. Being beyond college-age (and hired here as a guest actor), Schulz is presumably more aware of the darkness in the world, the pain of real life, and the reality of what some would call sin. I imagine he's subsequently able to draw from what he knows and use it to shape his character, whereas it’s apparent that the students are feigning their feelings. To be clear, that’s not to say that the students are poor actors, and each one offered a notable performance during Friday’s presentation. Compared to Schulz’s effort, however, there are distinct differences in the sincerity of their portrayals.


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