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items tagged with Kevin Pieper

The Wonderful Whizzers of Odd: "Urinetown," at the Prospect Park Auditorium through March 29
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2015-03-26 18:02:16

Valeree Pieper, John Weigandt, John Antonin Dieter, Callen Brown, Mark McGinn, David Miller, and Tom Naab in UrinetownUrinetown is one of my top-five-favorite musicals, due to the many songs with memorable, singable melodies by composer/lyricist Mark Hollmann and lyricist Greg Kotis, as well as Kotis' sharply funny, self-referential book. Unfortunately, I was almost immediately disappointed with Quad City Music Guild’s production of the show during Wednesday’s final dress rehearsal, because the first full minute of director Heather Beck’s staging had the ensemble cast frozen in place (and for what actually felt like two to three minutes) during the overture. Yet while my heart sank seeing this dull, uninteresting start to such a creative piece of musical theatre, thankfully, once the overture ended, I wasn’t disappointed at any other point during Music Guild’s presentation.
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You Say You Want a Revolution?: "Les Misérables," at the Prospect Park Auditorium through June 22
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2014-06-16 12:00:00

Patrick Downing, Dan Pepper, Rob Keech, Mark McGinn, and Quincy Keele in Les MiserablesQuad City Music Guild’s Les Misérables has the look and feel of the local community theatre producing its own, specific version of the Broadway favorite, with its music by Claude-Michel Schönberg and lyrics by Alain Boublil and Jean-Marc Natel. And that delights me, given that I wanted to see the group’s take on this much-loved musical, rather than an attempt to recreate one of its previous stagings.


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Who's the Boss?: "9 to 5: The Musical," at the Prospect Park Auditorium through August 18
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2013-08-12 12:00:00

Kelly Thompson, Dolores Sierra, Katie Casey, Valeree Pieper, and Shana Kulhavy in 9 to 5: The MusicalQuad City Music Guild’s production of 9 to 5: The Musical is flat-out fun, with loads of laughs and major amusement delivered throughout the two-and-a-half-hour presentation. Friday’s performance, for me, was one of the most enjoyable stagings of the summer, with exceptional performances from the musical’s three main actors as well as several supporting cast members. The pit band, under the music direction of music Gregg Neuleib, didn’t seem to miss a note during their dynamic accompaniment. And Erin Churchill’s peppy choreography seems of a higher level of difficulty than is customary at Music Guild, but in a welcome way, as the show's ensemble proved up to the task. With its perfect pacing and high energy, and under the capable direction of John VanDeWoestyne, I’d say Music Guild has a definite hit on its (stage)hands.


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Farce of Habit: "Noises Off," at the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre through October 14
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2012-10-08 12:00:00

David Lane, Molly McLaughlin, and Stan Weimer in Noises OffAs much as I love theatre-in-the-round, I recognize that not all plays work in a 360-degree environment. Take, for instance, Noises Off, the current offering at the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre. A farcical comedy about the staging of a play (within the play) titled Nothing On, the show's second act offers, essentially, a view of the first act’s goings-on seen from backstage, and the production’s set is typically turned 180 degrees during the intermission to allow for that behind-the-scenes look. Consequently, prior to Thursday's performance at the Barn, I was baffled as to how director Jalayne Riewerts would pull off, in the round, this production of author Michael Frayn’s farce. She does it, it turns out, by not staging the piece in the round.


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Family / A Fair: "Meet Me in St. Louis," at the Prospect Park Auditorium through June 17
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2012-06-11 12:01:00

JJ Johnson, John Donald O'Shea, Jay Rakus, Leigh VanWinkle, Sue Somes, and Elisabeth Gonzales (back row); Lauren VanSpeybroeck, Katie Osborne, and Laila Haley (front row) in Meet Me in St. LouisQuad City Music Guild’s Meet Me in St. Louis seems to me a beautifully gift-wrapped empty box. Designer Kevin Pieper’s sets are grand and detailed with touches, such as light fixtures and curtains, that are appropriate for the piece's 1904 setting. Sara Laufer’s choreography fits the feel of the songs, exuding high-energy fun without being overdone. Costume designer Cindy Monroe’s period creations are gorgeous – particularly the women’s feathered, wide-brimmed hats. And the actors are, for the most part, in fine voice, and offer cheerily spirited characterizations. I enjoyed the sights and sounds during Thursday’s performance. The story, however, barely interested me.


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