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items tagged with Mike Kelly

Knight Lite: "Monty Python's Spamalot," at the District Theatre through August 17
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2014-08-04 12:00:00

Doug Kutzli, Chris Tracy, Matt Holmes, Wendy Czekalski, Mike kelly, and Bob Manasco in Monty Python's SpamalotThe District Theatre's Monty Python's Spamalot seems like an amateur talent show, particularly due to the limitations of the company's new performance space in Rock Island's former Grape Life venue. (The new locale is so small, it redefines "intimate theatre" in the Quad Cities.) Yet while the limited movement due to the lack of stage space creates an amateurish feel, I’m happy to say that much of the rest of Friday's production emphasized talent. If it was an intentional decision to present the material as a novice attempt to recreate Monty Python's (arguably) best-loved film, Monty Python & the Holy Grail, it was a smart one on director Tristan Tapscott's part. Space doesn't allow for a big production, so Tapscott embraces the limitations of the new stage area, and it works.


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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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Home on the Ranch: "Of Mice & Men," at the Playcrafters Barn Theatre through January 19
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2014-01-13 12:00:00

Cody Johnson, Ed Villarreal, and Greg Boulijon in Of Mice & MenThe Playcrafters Barn Theatre’s production of John Steinbeck’s Of Mice & Men begins with a scene in which Cody Johnson’s George and Ed Villarreal’s Lenny share a slow and (mostly) gentle conversation about their plans to work as ranch hands, and their dreams of using their money to buy their own piece of land and “live off the fat” of it. The patient way in which Johnson, with obvious compassion, speaks with Villarreal’s not-so-bright Lenny leaves no doubt as to George’s sincere concern for his daft companion, and Lenny's wide-eyed trust, shown as he hangs onto every word George says, suggests the loving connection Lenny has with George. Their relationship is immediately both clear and touching, and sets the foundation for the deeply emotional events that transpire through the course of this story.


Read More About Home On The Ranch: "Of Mice & Men," At The Playcrafters Barn Theatre Through January 19...


Golf Ball: "The Fox on the Fairway," at the Playcrafters Barn Theatre through July 21
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2013-07-15 12:00:00

Melissa Scott, Mike Kelly, Clare VanEchaute, Alex Richardson, Mollie A. Schmelzer, and Greg Bouljon in The Fox on the FairwayThe Playcrafters Barn Theatre’s production of The Fox on the Fairway is a bit of a conundrum, as the script isn’t as consistently funny as much of playwright Ken Ludwig’s other fare, specifically Lend Me a Tenor and Moon Over Buffalo. But his tale of rival golf clubs duking it out at their annual tournament remains riveting nonetheless. While the laughs were there during Friday’s performance – and those laughs were oftentimes hearty, if not as plentiful as they could’ve been – it was the uncertainty regarding which direction Ludwig's tale would go, and the outcome of his plot, that maintained interest in this story.


Read More About Golf Ball: "The Fox On The Fairway," At The Playcrafters Barn Theatre Through July 21...





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