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items tagged with Spiro Bruskas

And the Oscar (Madison) Goes to … : "The Odd Couple," at the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre through July 20
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2014-07-14 12:00:00

John VanDeWoestyne and Greg Cripple in The Odd CoupleJohn VanDeWoestyne proves a capable center for the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre's The Odd Couple. Portraying playwright Neil Simon's slovenly divorcée Oscar Madison, VanDeWoestyne’s comedic timing shines as he adeptly pauses here or rushes there in ways that increase his punchlines' comical impact. The actor never quite overcomes his natural poise and intelligence to fully sell the character, but his Oscar is also a bit funnier for those qualities; it's fun seeing this normally classy man speaking and acting like a disorderly bachelor. While there’s plenty that’s worthy of praise in director Mike Skiles’ well-paced production, it’s VanDeWoestyne who deserves extra credit for being the glue that holds it all together.


Read More About And The Oscar (Madison) Goes To … : "The Odd Couple," At The Richmond Hill Barn Theatre Through July 20...


Acting in a Suspicious Manor: "The Mousetrap," at the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre through October 13
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2013-10-07 12:00:00

Stan Weimer, John VanDeWoestyne, Bryan Woods, and Spiro Bruskas in The MousetrapThe Richmond Hill Barn Theatre's The Mousetrap is a reasonably entertaining presentation of author Agatha Christie’s material. There were plenty of good laughs during Thursday’s performance, and director Gary Clark and his cast did well in not giving away what’s known as “the best kept secret in theatre” until its final reveal – that secret being the identity of a London murderer who is now, very likely, among the guests in the newly opened Monkswell Manor boarding house.


Read More About Acting In A Suspicious Manor: "The Mousetrap," At The Richmond Hill Barn Theatre Through October 13...


Community Effort: Playcrafters and Black Hawk College Team Up for "Leaving Iowa," November 11 through 20
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Feature Stories

2011-11-03 13:22:49

Pam Kobre, Hannah  McNaught, Don Faust, Dana Moss-Peterson, and Taylor Apple in Leaving IowaDescribed by the Chicago Sun-Times as “simultaneously hilarious and touching,” the road-trip comedy Leaving Iowa is the final presentation in the Playcrafters Barn Theatre’s 2011 season. Leaving Iowa is also the first presentation in Black Hawk College’s 2011-12 theatre season, but don’t chalk that up to either coincidence or some sort of Moline-based rivalry; the productions are actually one and the same.


Read More About Community Effort: Playcrafters And Black Hawk College Team Up For "Leaving Iowa," November 11 Through 20...


Killing Time: "Any Number Can Die," at the Playcrafters Barn Theatre through May 16
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2010-05-10 12:00:00

Bill Bates, Diane Greenwood, and Lisa Kahn in Any Number Can DieAs I watched Friday's performance of Any Number Can Die at the Playcrafters Barn Theatre, I tried to remember that there was (probably) a time when Fred Carmichael's script was considered hilarious. As a spoof of murder mysteries of the 1920s, this 1965 work may originally have been fresh, poking fun at the plays that audiences were used to seeing. Now, though, with so many comedies poking fun at murder-mystery clichés - and with one seemingly presented each year by Playcrafters - the jokes at the expense of the clichés have themselves become cliché. Still, Carmichael's script and Playcrafters' production of it are amusing enough to make the show at least tolerable.


Read More About Killing Time: "Any Number Can Die," At The Playcrafters Barn Theatre Through May 16...


Done Inn: "The Mousetrap," at the Playcrafters Barn Theatre through January 25
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2009-01-19 15:50:42

Don Hazen and Dee Canfield in The MousetrapIf you haven't yet attended a production of the show, Agatha Christie's murder mystery The Mousetrap - which has been running in London's West End for more than 56 years now - is definitely worth a look-see. Boasting ripe British caricatures and the author's signature brand of mordant wit, this clever, funny play is one of Christie's most enjoyably constructed contraptions.

If, however, you have seen The Mousetrap before, you'll still find plenty to enjoy in the Playcrafters Barn Theatre's current presentation of the piece ... even if the most enjoyable aspects of director Tristan Layne Tapscott's production are ones I can't get into here (at least not without plastering SPOILER ALERT at the top of every paragraph).


Read More About Done Inn: "The Mousetrap," At The Playcrafters Barn Theatre Through January 25...





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