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items tagged with The Phantom of the Opera

Secret Agent Woman: "Fair Game" and "The Warrior's Way"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-12-05 19:03:54

Naomi Watts and Sean Penn in Fair GameFAIR GAME

Presuming that it might not open locally, I caught director Doug Liman’s Fair Game – in which Naomi Watts plays outed CIA operative Valerie Plame, and Sean Penn plays Plame’s husband, former ambassador Joe Wilson – in Chicagoland on Thanksgiving night. I thought the movie was intelligent and intensely well acted, but still didn’t feel much toward it, and with so many of the film’s characters arguing over events that, by 2010, have become old (if still infuriating) news, my eyelids grew droopy during a few scenes too many.


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Bootie Call: "The Bootleggers On Broadway,” at Circa ’21 June 21 Through 24
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Feature Stories

2006-06-21 04:42:16

The Bootleggers Murder. Madness. Cannibalism. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the wonderful world of Broadway musicals!

Or rather, welcome to The Bootleggers "On Broadway," the new, full-length production showcasing the talents of the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse's performing wait staff. (The show runs at Circa '21 June 21 through 24.)


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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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E for Extraordinary: "V for Vendetta," "She's the Man," "The Shaggy Dog," "The Human Body," and "Bugs!"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-03-22 00:00:00

Hugo Weaving and Natalie Portman in V for VendettaV FOR VENDETTA

A day after seeing it, I’m still a bit shaken by John McTeague’s graphic-novel adaptation V for Vendetta. Action blockbusters – not to mention action blockbusters based on comic books – have been so dour and pedestrian of late that I don’t know if I’ve fully grasped the extent of Vendetta’s greatness yet; it’s the kind of explosive, overwhelming work that gets better and better the more you think of it. The film is a little 1984, a little Phantom of the Opera, and, with its screenplay by the Wachowski brothers, more than a little Matrix-y, but it casts an extraordinary, devastating spell. It may be the most fully realized film of a graphic novel the genre has yet seen, a movie you want to talk (and argue) about long after the closing credits.


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Notre Damn! An Extraordinary New "Hunchback": "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" at the Timber Lake Playhouse
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2005-08-03 00:00:00
The Hunchback of Notre Dame, currently being presented at the Timber Lake Playhouse, is a little bit Jesus Christ Superstar, a little bit Frank Wildhorn, and a whole lotta Les Miserables, but it has a narrative structure and momentum that’s all its own, and it’s continually surprising – I can’t recall the last time I felt so alert at the theatre. (It helps that this musical adaptation of Victor Hugo’s novel is unfamiliar to most of us, having been produced only once before – at the Drury Lane Oakbrook Theatre – in 1994, and having gone through extensive revision since then.)
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