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items tagged with Neil Simon

Stage (Dumb)Struck: Summer Theatre in the Quad Cities and Surrounding Areas
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Feature Stories

2010-05-24 12:00:00
J. Adam Lounsberry, Tracy Pelzer-Timm, Jenny Winn, and Nathan Bates in Quad City Music Guild's Guys & DollsAs with summer movies, the area's summer-theatre scene - featuring, at last count, a whopping 68 productions scheduled by 22 organizations - is jam-packed with escapist fare: musicals, comedies, mysteries, musical-comedy mysteries. But like the random art-house release that manages to sneak into Hollywood's blockbuster-centric season, this summer will also feature occasional dramas and classical works, plus no less than four Pulitzer Prize-winners - five, if you count one of them being produced at two separate venues.
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Yakety Yak, These Girls Talk Back: "Jake’s Women," at Scott Community College through April 17
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2010-04-12 12:00:00

Megan Baumunk, Patrick Joslyn, and Riley Hantz and Jake's WomenThe phrase "glorified high school" came to mind when I saw Jake's Women - the Neil Simon comedy that opened last week at Scott Community College - and that's not meant as an insult. Rather, it's a commentary on the limited space and resources the SCC theatre department has to work with, which are a mere step up from those available to local high-school drama departments. Performances are held in the auditorium of the Student Life Center on a proscenium stage fringed by red curtains and flanked by American flags on eagle-topped poles; a rudimentary sound system hangs overhead, beside a single row of lights. (I expected, at any moment, to see Sam the Eagle stride into a scene and deliver a political speech.) Admittedly, the visuals were a bit of a sleep-inducer, but director Steve Flanigin's casting choices kept me awake.


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The Essentials 2009: A Dozen Names to Remember ... and a Bunch You Shouldn’t Forget
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Feature Stories

2009-12-21 12:00:00

Back in 2006, when I composed my first list of a dozen theatre "Essentials" - theatrical talents whose gifts were employed in a number of area productions - I couldn't have imagined that I'd find a dozen new names to add year after year. Well, as 2009 draws to a close, we can officially add another " ... after year" to that sentence.


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Heaven and Hellions: “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever,” at the Clinton Area Showboat Theatre through December 13
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2009-11-30 12:00:00

Sarah Stephan and Noah Strausser in The Best Christmas Pageant EverThe Best Christmas Pageant Ever, the one-act play Barbara Robinson adapted from her beloved book, is set primarily in a church that stages a grade-school re-telling of the Nativity story - the exact same pageant, we're told, that the church puts on year after year after year. And after attending Friday night's hilarious, intensely charming production of Robinson's show, I, for one, would be totally on board with the Clinton Area Showboat Theatre opting to stage The Best Christmas Pageant Ever year after year after year, at least if director Jalayne Riewerts wouldn't mind making it an annual commitment.


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Army Brats: “Biloxi Blues,” at the Clinton Area Showboat Theatre through August 2
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2009-07-27 15:09:18

Drew Simendinger, Dale Hawes, Alex Fenzel, Nick Divarco, Joshua Sohn, Kris Doss, and Rob Engelson in Biloxi BluesAs the second in a three-part series of autobiographical works, Neil Simon's Biloxi Blues is, I think, something truly rare: a play that not only succeeds independently of its precursor (Brighton Beach Memoirs) and follow-up (Broadway Bound), but that's a smarter, funnier, stronger piece than either of its trilogy partners. Even those of us who are casually dismissive of the playwright's style generally agree that this military-themed outing showcases Simon at his absolute finest; the drama is lightly poignant and unforced, and the jokes - and there are dozens of great ones - seem to spring naturally from personality and situation. (In a wonderful break from his punchline-driven norm, Simon's characters here don't all sound interchangeable.)


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