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items tagged with Susan Perrin Sallak

Deaf Poetry Jam: "Tribes," at the QC Theatre Workshop through June 28
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2015-06-15 12:00:00

Michael Carron, Calvin Co, and Adam Cerny in TribesThe QC Theatre Workshop’s Tribes didn’t start off well for me on Friday, as I immediately hated Adam Cerny’s overacting, with eye rolls so huge I was sure anyone in the lobby could see them through the curtain that separates it from the performance space. So I prepared myself for two hours of such overly dramatic physicality, after first cursing director Jennifer Popple for casting Cerny as a son in playwright Nina Raine’s troubled-family saga.

It didn’t take long, however, for Cerny to completely change my mind, as it became clear that his Daniel is, himself, over-dramatic, given that his manic figure hears voices in his head. Cerny’s characterization, it turns out, isn’t bad acting; it’s actually spot-on, and moved me from initial dislike – agreeing with Michael Carron’s crotchety, opinionated patriarch Christopher that Daniel should “F--- off!” – to sympathetic pity for this troubled person. It was also through Daniel's viewpoint that I experienced Raine's story of a constantly arguing family that cruelly teases each other, with their only sense of grounding coming from Calvin Vo’s Billy, the clan's ever-patient, deaf-from-birth younger son.


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Georgians on My Mind: "Second Samuel," at the Playcrafters Barn Theatre through July 20
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2014-07-14 12:01:00

Andy Curtiss in Second SamuelThere are few things in today’s desensitized society that I think will shock audiences. But the Playcrafters Barn Theatre’s Second Samuel, by author Pamela Parker, manages to shock in its secret that's almost carried to the grave by Miss Gertrude, a deceased woman who is never seen on stage. That secret creates the play’s tension, and ultimately leading to a lesson in tolerance that avoids being too preachy, and that applies to the acceptance of anyone’s differences.


Read More About Georgians On My Mind: "Second Samuel," At The Playcrafters Barn Theatre Through July 20...


Brotherly Loathe: "True West," at the QC Theatre Workshop through June 1
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2014-05-19 12:01:00

Jeremy Mahr and Mike Schulz in True WestThe approach that director Tyson Danner takes with the QC Theatre Workshop's True West frustrates me in that, with leading actors Jeremy Mahr and (Reader employee) Mike Schulz playing either Austin or Lee depending on the results of a flipped coin minutes before the metaphorical curtain rises, I want to see them in both roles. With the character assignments left to chance, however, it's possible to attend every performance of the play's run and not get an opportunity to see Schulz and Mahr ever swap characters. And in a way, that's too bad, as the performers were so remarkable in Friday's presentation that I imagine a switch would make a subsequent viewing all the more interesting.


Read More About Brotherly Loathe: "True West," At The QC Theatre Workshop Through June 1...


Stirring Quartet: 2014 Playwrights Festival, at the Village Theatre through May 11
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2014-05-05 12:00:00

I've noticed a common thread among amateur playwrights, in general, that gets me cringing a bit at the thought of seeing a locally-written play – or, in the case of the one-acts for New Ground Theatre’s 2014 Playwrights Festival, several locally-written plays, which I viewed on Saturday evening. All too often, I've found these writers struggle with dialogue, particularly in regard to writing phrases and conversations in a manner in which people actually speak. I’m happy to say, however, that this is not the case with New Ground's presentation, as all four of its playwrights manage to provide believable dialogue and discussions, removing from the equation the distraction of annoyingly obvious and unrealistic speech.


Read More About Stirring Quartet: 2014 Playwrights Festival, At The Village Theatre Through May 11...


WWJD?: "Next Fall," at the Village Theatre through February 2
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2014-01-27 12:00:00

David Turley and Creighton D. Olsen in Next FallA year-and-a-half after enjoying his performance in New Ground Theatre’s The Beauty Queen of Leenane, I am glad to see David Turley on a Quad Cities stage again in the company's Next Fall. It was Turley's portrayals of John Hinckley in the Green Room Theatre’s 2008 Assassins and William Barfee in the Harrison Hilltop Theatre’s 2010 The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee that initially endeared me to his comedic deliveries. And I’m grateful to see him employ his skills as this new play's 40-year-old gay atheist Adam, a character performed with more subtlety than those aforementioned roles, but one that still employs Turley's amusing brand of dry, sarcastic, slightly dark humor.


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