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items tagged with Pat Flaherty

Moral Combat: "The Best Man," at the District Theatre through November 18
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2012-11-12 12:01:00

Jonathan Grafft, Pat Flaherty, and Matt Mercer in The Best ManAfter 12 years in the television-news business, I spent my first Election Day in more than a decade not covering the elections, but rather seeing a play about a bid for the presidency and the decision of whether to use personal attacks on opponents. And while watching the District Theatre’s The Best Man, directed by Bryan Tank, I wondered if the point being made in this political morality play – that the business of politics is on a downward moral spiral – is one that needs to be made. Don’t we, as a nation, already know that dirty politics are wrong, and doesn't this make the message of playwright Gore Vidal’s 1960 work dated? A day later, though, I read an article about personal attacks and dishonesty continuing to be a part of political campaigns because these tactics work, and so Vidal’s play, for better or worse, appears relevant after all.


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Rib It! Rib It!: "The Frogs," at Lincoln Park through August 5
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2012-07-30 12:00:00

Anna Tunnicliff, Neil Friberg, Bryan Woods, and Torey Baxa in The FrogsSince first experiencing one of Genesius Guild's end-of-season comedies two summers ago, I’ve eagerly anticipated playwright/director Don Wooten’s witty work each subsequent year. His sharp, humorous, sometimes biting rewrites of Aristophanes comedies abound with political, pop-culture, and theatre references at the local and national levels. And while I’ve not had the honor of being personally referenced in one of his jokes – at least not while I was present – this year’s The Frogs features hilariously pointed jabs at almost every theatre company in the Quad Cities area, with Saturday’s performance the funniest of the three annual Guild spoofs I’ve yet seen.


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Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Friar: "Measure for Measure," at Lincoln Park through July 1
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2012-06-25 12:00:00

Amanda Wales, Michael King, and Andy Curtiss in Measure for MeasureThree hours goes by quite quickly during Genesius Guild’s well-paced, oftentimes hilarious production of William Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure. While the piece is considered a “problem play,” as the script defies the expectations of a traditional comedy, director Jeff Coussens highlights the work’s ample amounts of humor, particularly in the production's first half. And with Coussens and his cast punching up every punchline through inflection and a sort of “nudge-nudge, wink-wink” attitude, I ended up laughing harder at Saturday's presentation, I believe, than I’ve ever laughed while watching a Shakespeare performance.


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Atlantic Overtures: "Titanic Aftermath," at the Playcrafters Barn Theatre through May 20
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2012-05-15 12:00:00

Byran Woods, Angela Rathman, Stephanie Moeller, Randy Pribyl, Mollie Schmelzer, Faith Hardacre, and Mike Kelly in Titanic AftermathDirector Paul Workman deserves high praise for making the Playcrafters Barn Theatre’s Titanic Aftermath at all watchable, particularly as the boat is sinking in the second act. Throughout Friday’s performance, I kept thinking that playwright Michael Wehrli’s script was a fantastic historical account, but also kept wondering, “Why is it a stage play?” With so much action described, and so little played out visually, especially during the first act, this piece might as well be a radio drama, or the script for a documentary on the Titanic. As a theatrical production, however, Wehrli's work is … well, rather boring.


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One Story, Many Voices: Disaster Tales Are Shared in "Titanic Aftermath," May 11 through 20 at the Playcrafters Barn Theatre
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Feature Stories

2012-05-07 12:00:00

Titanic Aftermath ensemble membersAs Oregon-based playwright Michael Wehrli is the author of Titanic Aftermath – the historical drama being staged at Moline’s Playcrafters Barn Theatre May 11 through 20 – I initially presume that he’s seen James Cameron’s Oscar-winning movie. In our April 25 phone interview, he tells me he has, and that it was even the inspiration for his play.

That’s not exactly the compliment it might seem, though, considering he calls Cameron’s Titanic “visually stunning and incredibly, maddeningly frustrating because of the fictional characters.

“I mean, they took up half the story,” says Wehrli of the young lovers played by Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, “and it was the actual survivors’ stories, to me, that were ... interesting. That, and the corporate-negligence side to the tragedy, which is hardly ever addressed in dramatic form.

“So I thought, ‘All right, well, I’m just going to write a play about all this.’” Wehrli laughs. “‘How the hell do I do that?’”


Read More About One Story, Many Voices: Disaster Tales Are Shared In "Titanic Aftermath," May 11 Through 20 At The Playcrafters Barn Theatre...





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