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items tagged with Prenzie Players

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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Carnival Cruising Lines: "The Rover," at the QC Theatre Workshop through October 28
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2012-10-22 12:00:00

Diane Emmert and Jeremy Mahr in The Rover; photo by Shared Light Photography's Jessica SheridanJeremy Mahr seems to be dancing with his dialogue as Willmore, the titular character in the Prenzie Players’ The Rover. Author Aphra Behn’s words trip the light fantastic off his tongue, with Mahr presenting his rakish playboy so playfully that it's as though he’s fluent in the stylized, 17th Century language of the period. And when the meaning of what he’s saying is expressed through his entire body – particularly during Willmore's more amorous lines – the obviously fully invested Mahr is incredibly fun to watch.


Read More About Carnival Cruising Lines: "The Rover," At The QC Theatre Workshop Through October 28...


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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To Laugh, Perchance to Participate: The Prenzie Players' "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare [abridged]," through June 24
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2012-06-19 12:00:00

Jake Walker, Andy Koski, Adam Lewis, and Nate Curlott in The Complete Works of William Shakespeare [abridged]There are rough edges to the Prenzie Players’ The Complete Works of William Shakespeare [abridged], due to a lack of polish and predetermined staging, that make it seem like you're watching the entertainment at a frat party. This, however, is much of what makes the Prenzies' production so much fun; its frenetic, improvisational feel heightens the entertainment value. With director Catie Osborn’s staging making it feel like we, the observers, were actually part of the production itself, Saturday’s performance was so raucous that patrons felt free to interact with the actors – such as by offering humorous back-talk – in ways audiences normally wouldn’t.


Read More About To Laugh, Perchance To Participate: The Prenzie Players' "The Complete Works Of William Shakespeare [Abridged]," Through June 24...


A Bloody-Good Mess: “Titus Andronicus,” through April 7 at the Stern Center
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2012-04-03 18:33:40

Cole McFarren and Aaron E. Sullivan in Titus AndronicusMany cast members in the Prenzie Players’ current offering, Titus Andronicus, are at their best expressing physical and emotional pain. There’s Aaron E. Sullivan’s shift from utter despair to cackling insanity as the title character, Catie Osborn’s post-rape brokenness as his daughter Lavinia, and Jessica White’s shrieks as she watches her character’s son slaughtered. The desperation is so penetrating in its realism and sincerity that I was often uncomfortable during Friday night’s performance – which is to say that the production is shockingly effective at delivering the darkness of Shakespeare’s work. I walked away in awe.


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