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items tagged with Mark Ruebling

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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The Bluegrass Is Always Greener ... : "Big Rock Candy Mountain," at the District Theatre through June 8
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2014-05-27 12:00:00

Kyle Jecklin, Tom Vaccaro, Doug Kutzli, Rocky Kampling, and Mark Ruebling in Big Rock Candy MountainA Depression-era band performs an impromptu concert at a small-town theatre, facing off against an overbearing, somewhat inept police officer who later, after getting plastered, takes a shine to them. The group’s biggest adversary is a mean-spirited rich woman who, after boo-worthy attacks on the group, gets her comeuppance when her power is pulled out from under her. The story serves as the bridge to performances of early-20th-Century songs performed by this jukebox musical's cast members, who play on string instruments and out-of-the-ordinary percussion sources.

It’s a description that fits both Southern Crossroads and the District Theatre’s latest debuting production, Big Rock Candy Mountain.


Read More About The Bluegrass Is Always Greener ... : "Big Rock Candy Mountain," At The District Theatre Through June 8...


Take a Walk on the Wilder Side: "Our Town," at the District Theatre through February 9
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2014-01-27 12:00:00

Shelley Walljasper in Our TownDirector Bryan Tank’s production of Our Town fits the District Theatre’s stage like a glove. Or rather, I should say Tank uses the stage so well – especially in his placement of actors and set pieces – that this play seems a perfect fit for the space. With its beautiful employment of backlighting (particularly when we first see the characters grouped together) and set designer/co-star Chris Causer’s large, white pieces of fabric stretched over and draped across the back wall of the stage – and covering set pieces until they're being used – this production, aesthetically speaking, is breathtaking in its simplicity.


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Turn of the Scrooge: "A Christmas Carol," at the District Theatre through December 15
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2013-12-09 12:00:00

Doug Kutzli in A Christmas CarolOn Saturday evening, I was reminded of the local treasure that is the District Theatre’s A Christmas Carol. Written by Tristan Layne Tapscott with music by Danny White, this holiday musical is something special: a locally created piece so good that it could, and should, be staged by theatres throughout the country. And this year – the second the theatre has produced the show – brings some notable changes from last winter's staging of this theatrical gem.


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Nine Singers Walk into a Bar ... : "Last Call: The Songs of Stephen Sondheim," at the QC Theatre Workshop through November 17
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2013-11-04 12:00:00

Erin Churchill, Don Denton, Allison Swanson, Patrick Gimm, Angela Elliott, Jamesd Fairchild (standing), Mark Ruebling, Sara Tubbs, and Kimberly Kurtenbach Furness (seated) in Last Call: The Songs of Stephen SondheimWhat’s perhaps most beautiful about the QC Theatre Workshop’s Last Call: The Songs of Stephen Sondheim aside from it showcasing music by, arguably, our greatest Broadway composer – is the way show creators Tyson Danner and (Reader employee) Mike Schulz weave a story through their revue, offering more than just an “in concert” experience. There’s a natural progression throughout the piece, which they’ve set in a bar where individuals and couples gather to drink, socialize, long for love, or lament love lost. Rather than having a distinct plot and conflict, the production delivers a look at a typical bar evening in which the audience gets to eavesdrop on every table conversation and watch as people mingle, flirt, and attempt to repair relationships. And the flow of this slice of life as told through song is to be admired particularly because it lacks pretense and feels real.


Read More About Nine Singers Walk Into A Bar ... : "Last Call: The Songs Of Stephen Sondheim," At The QC Theatre Workshop Through November 17...





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