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items tagged with John Donald O Shea

Prince Charming. Princess, Too.: "Once Upon a Mattress" at the Prospect Park Auditorium thru April 6
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2008-04-03 07:57:27

Joe Urbaitis and Heather McGonigle in Once Upon a MattressIf you peruse your program before the Quad City Music Guild's current production of Once Upon a Mattress, you'll see that Joe Urbaitis plays a character named Prince Dauntless the Drab. While watching the actor, it probably won't take long for you to decide that Urbaitis is colossally miscast in the role, as his inventive, fearlessly funny performance in this musical comedy is anything but drab.

 


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Truth in Advertising: "The Fantasticks," at North Scott High School through June 30
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2007-06-27 08:13:41

The Fantasticks' ensembleIn his director's notes for the Countryside Community Theatre's presentation of The Fantasticks, William Myatt writes that he was honored to helm the production, but also concerned, as Tom Jones' and Harvey Schmidt's minimalist musical wasn't originally intended for a 900-seat venue such as North Scott High School's Fine Arts Auditorium. "Would a show of such intimacy be swallowed by the size of the North Scott theatre?" asks Myatt in his program notes.

Well, if Friday night's happy audience response didn't already convince him, allow me to answer Mr. Myatt: "Nope."


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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 Playwright Did It:"Out of Sight, Out of Murder," at the Playcrafters Barn Theatre Thru September
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2006-09-20 04:47:56

"Out of Sight, Out of Murder" Offhand, I can think of no type of play more annoying than one that won't stop insisting on how clever it is.

The latest production at the Playcrafters Barn Theatre is the comedic mystery Out of Sight, Out of Murder, and it should have made for a happily lightweight diversion; beginning with the title, nothing about the show takes itself too seriously, and the cast is filled with game performers looking to provide, and have, a good time.

But, in all honesty, I found the production hard to sit through, and for reasons that go well beyond its bloated two-and-three-quarter-hour running length. With playwright Fred Carmichael thwacking us in the head with his every "clever" comic observation, Out of Sight ... proved the opposite of lightweight - I found myself depressed by the heavy-handedness of it all.


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