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items tagged with Playcrafters Barn Theatre

The Playwright Did It:"Out of Sight, Out of Murder," at the Playcrafters Barn Theatre Thru September
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2006-09-20 04:47:56

"Out of Sight, Out of Murder" Offhand, I can think of no type of play more annoying than one that won't stop insisting on how clever it is.

The latest production at the Playcrafters Barn Theatre is the comedic mystery Out of Sight, Out of Murder, and it should have made for a happily lightweight diversion; beginning with the title, nothing about the show takes itself too seriously, and the cast is filled with game performers looking to provide, and have, a good time.

But, in all honesty, I found the production hard to sit through, and for reasons that go well beyond its bloated two-and-three-quarter-hour running length. With playwright Fred Carmichael thwacking us in the head with his every "clever" comic observation, Out of Sight ... proved the opposite of lightweight - I found myself depressed by the heavy-handedness of it all.


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Cheery "Tomatoes": "A Bad Year for Tomatoes," at the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre through August 20
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2006-08-16 04:52:36

Diane Greenwood, Kevin Brake, & Bill Giebel Last August, in writing about the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre's production of Over the Tavern, I prefaced my review by mentioning the conversation I had with the couple sitting next to me; none of us had previously heard of the Tom Dudzick comedy we were about to see, and were looking forward to the surprise.

One year later, as luck would have it, I found myself seated beside the very same couple for another Richmond Hill presentation unfamiliar to us - John Patrick's A Bad Year for Tomatoes, directed by Joseph R. DePauw - and I'm thinking that my accidental theatre-going companions are some kind of good-luck charm. For while Patrick's comedy is nowhere near as strong as Over the Tavern, it, too, is a fine surprise, a silly piece of fluff made enjoyable by its delightfully nutty cast. Tomatoes itself is only borderline funny, but luckily for Patrick - and for the Richmond Hill audience - DePauw's actors elicit more laughs from the material than they should be expected to.


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By the Might of the Slithery Loon: "One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest" at Playcrafters through July 23
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2006-07-19 04:30:45

cuckoosnest_thumb The production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest that opened at the Playcrafters Barn Theatre this past weekend is well-designed and entertaining, and features a bunch of really fine individual performances - nearly a dozen, in fact.

Yet the show, directed by Jeri Benson, is a strange one, because everything that's off in it is off by just a few degrees - not enough to ruin the piece, but enough to make it play less successfully that it might have, and to make several key elements of Dale Wasserman's work no longer make sense. It's not a bad production of Cuckoo's Nest, but it's not quite Cuckoo's Nest, either.


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Not Exactly Hot, but Awfully Sweet: "Sweet & Hot: The Songs of Harold Arlen" at Playcrafters
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2006-05-17 07:39:18
About four months ago, my schedule forced me to catch the first dress rehearsal of Playcrafters’ Over the River & through the Woods as opposed to a paid performance, and so I took some personal responsibility for my dissatisfaction with the show; a lot of what seemed to be lacking, I thought, could easily have improved by opening night. It seemed a little unfair to be critiquing a rehearsal. (What better place to err than rehearsal?)

Well, circumstances dictated that I again catch a Playcrafters production before its official opening – I saw the Barn Theatre’s Sweet & Hot: The Songs of Harold Arlen at a preview on Monday, May 8 – for which I apologize. But I don’t apologize much, because this revue already has the right spirit and a host of good feelings (and good performances) exuding from it. This didn’t feel like a rehearsal; it felt like a performance, and a delightful one.

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That Old Barn Magic: Moline’s Barn Theatre Presents Its First Musical in Nearly a Decade
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Feature Stories

2006-05-10 08:36:35
Over the past 10 months, the stage space at the Playcrafters Barn Theatre in Moline has been transformed into a ballpark (for the venue’s production of Rounding Third), an Italian villa (for Enchanted April), and the entire town of Bedford Falls (for It’s a Wonderful Life).

But these days, after climbing the stairs to the second level of the Barn, the first thing you notice about the set for Sweet & Hot: The Songs of Harold Arlen (running through May 21) is something more unexpected than anything found on those previous sets: a piano.



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