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items tagged with Mark McGinn

Killing Time: "Any Number Can Die," at the Playcrafters Barn Theatre through May 16
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2010-05-10 12:00:00

Bill Bates, Diane Greenwood, and Lisa Kahn in Any Number Can DieAs I watched Friday's performance of Any Number Can Die at the Playcrafters Barn Theatre, I tried to remember that there was (probably) a time when Fred Carmichael's script was considered hilarious. As a spoof of murder mysteries of the 1920s, this 1965 work may originally have been fresh, poking fun at the plays that audiences were used to seeing. Now, though, with so many comedies poking fun at murder-mystery clichés - and with one seemingly presented each year by Playcrafters - the jokes at the expense of the clichés have themselves become cliché. Still, Carmichael's script and Playcrafters' production of it are amusing enough to make the show at least tolerable.


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Eight Times Five: Ensembles, Musical Numbers, Stagecraft, Couples, Newcomers, Collegiate Performers, Minors, & Exits
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Feature Stories

2009-12-21 12:00:00

Five Inspiring Ensembles

Powerful lead performances and scene-stealing supporting turns are always welcome; one- and two-character shows can be a gas. But for my money, nothing quite beats the theatrical pleasure of watching a tightly knit ensemble in action, and the following five productions ensured that this pleasure was a continual one.

 


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Sieg Heilarious!: "The Producers," at the Prospect Park Auditorium through April 5
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2009-03-30 12:00:00

Erika Thomas, Nathan Bates, and Bruce Carmen in The ProducersI'm sure there are those of you who don't think Mel Brooks' musical comedy The Producers is all that enjoyable, especially if your only acquaintance with the show is 2005's film version. But even if you felt burned by that woebegone adaptation, I urge you to check out Quad City Music Guild's current take on Brooks' modern classic, so you can see just how sublimely hysterical this material can actually be; I'm guessing that the only audiences who could possibly leave director Kevin Pieper's glorious show-biz satire in a bad mood are the easily offended and the abjectly humorless. (And you know who you are, because upon reading that, you instinctively presumed I was referring to you.)


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Acting Class: A Dozen Memorable Performances
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Feature Stories

2008-12-16 13:52:04

Jason Platt and Angela Rathman in Misery There was no lack of spectacular work done in area theatre this year, and the following list is hardly exhaustive. But if you were fortunate, you caught at least a few of these 12 performances in 2008; whether taking on a leading role, a supporting role, or (in one case here) the only role, these gifted artists commanded the stage. And, hopefully, your attention.

 

 

 


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Evolutionary War: “Inherit the Wind,” at St. Ambrose University
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2008-10-08 08:33:53

John Hannon, Michael Kennedy, and Dan Hernandez in Inherit the WindAs its storyline was inspired by 1925's notorious Scopes "Monkey Trial," and its original 1955 presentation a response to McCarthyism, Inherit the Wind is one of those theatrical titles that wears its badges of Importance and Social Relevance on its sleeve. And so it isn't until you see the play (or see it again) that you realize (or remember) just how entertaining it is; Jerome Lawrence's and Robert E. Lee's courtroom drama is less a lecture or a harangue than a juicy, if sentimentalized, episode of Law & Order.


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