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items tagged with Tom Swegle

Family / A Fair: "Meet Me in St. Louis," at the Prospect Park Auditorium through June 17
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2012-06-11 12:01:00

JJ Johnson, John Donald O'Shea, Jay Rakus, Leigh VanWinkle, Sue Somes, and Elisabeth Gonzales (back row); Lauren VanSpeybroeck, Katie Osborne, and Laila Haley (front row) in Meet Me in St. LouisQuad City Music Guild’s Meet Me in St. Louis seems to me a beautifully gift-wrapped empty box. Designer Kevin Pieper’s sets are grand and detailed with touches, such as light fixtures and curtains, that are appropriate for the piece's 1904 setting. Sara Laufer’s choreography fits the feel of the songs, exuding high-energy fun without being overdone. Costume designer Cindy Monroe’s period creations are gorgeous – particularly the women’s feathered, wide-brimmed hats. And the actors are, for the most part, in fine voice, and offer cheerily spirited characterizations. I enjoyed the sights and sounds during Thursday’s performance. The story, however, barely interested me.


Read More About Family / A Fair: "Meet Me In St. Louis," At The Prospect Park Auditorium Through June 17...


The (Re)Play Is the Thing: “Rehearsal for Murder,” at the Playcrafters Barn Theatre through May 22
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2011-05-16 12:00:00

Jordan Smith and Joshua Kahn in Rehearsal for MurderThe Playcrafters Barn Theatre’s production of Rehearsal for Murder suffers from poor pacing, but excels in its sincere sentiment and charm. The actors, for the most part, tend to take too many beats between lines, which leads to sometimes-clunky dialogue progression. Still, Friday night’s performance was appealing for its overall emotional effect, and likable for the cast’s ability to move the audience to sympathetic sorrow for the main character’s heartache.


Read More About The (Re)Play Is The Thing: “Rehearsal For Murder,” At The Playcrafters Barn Theatre Through May 22...


Brandy Is Dandy, Makes Vicar Go Quicker: "See How They Run," at the Playcrafters Barn Theatre through September 20
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2009-09-14 12:00:00

Kevin Brake, Don Hazen, Mike Kelly, Paul Workman, and Vicki Deusinger in See How They RunSee How They Run, currently being staged at the Playcrafters Barn Theatre, is described on the venue's Web site as "a classic farce of mistaken identity and slamming doors." But in actuality, only two parts of that three-part statement turn out to be accurate.


Read More About Brandy Is Dandy, Makes Vicar Go Quicker: "See How They Run," At The Playcrafters Barn Theatre Through September 20...


New England Patriots: "Our Town," at the Playcrafters Barn Theatre, November 10 through 19
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2006-11-08 05:49:45

"Our Town" ensemble members A busier-than-usual weekend dictated that I catch a final dress rehearsal for the Playcrafters Barn Theatre's Our Town on Monday, and at the well-attended preview, I found myself seated behind two couples who chuckled while perusing the program - their amusement stemmed from realizing that Thornton Wilder's play would be produced in three acts, and, as one of the women laughed, "We'll be here past our bedtime."


Read More About New England Patriots: "Our Town," At The Playcrafters Barn Theatre, November 10 Through 19...


Yankee Doodle Not-So-Dandy: "George M!," at the Prospect Park Auditorium through July 16
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2006-07-12 04:37:14

George M! As the title character in the Quad City Music Guild's presentation of George M!, Kevin Pieper works his tail off. His Broadway impresario George Cohan belts out number after number, he tap dances, he storms through scenes with natural authority; in this musical-comedy biography, the role of Cohan is practically a show unto himself, and the energy that Pieper gives the part is admirable.

More often than not, though, it's energy in a void, because with precious few exceptions, the George M! ensemble isn't giving anything back. At any given time, there are up to 44 performers sharing the stage with Pieper, yet it takes little more than one hand to count the number of them who look pleased to be there. Thursday's preview performance, at least, showed Pieper having to work both the audience and the cast, and that's more responsibility than any single performer should be burdened with.


Read More About Yankee Doodle Not-So-Dandy: "George M!," At The Prospect Park Auditorium Through July 16...





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