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items tagged with Tristan Layne Tapscott

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like ... : "Irving Berlin's White Christmas," at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse through December 28
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2014-11-10 12:00:00

the Irving Berlin's White Christmas ensembleAnnoyed by local radio stations that switch to 24 hours of holiday music on November 5, as well as stores that set up holiday displays before Halloween, I wasn’t all that keen on seeing a Christmas musical in early November. However, Irving Berlin’s White Christmas is my kind of holiday production: It’s light on its emphasis on Christmas cheer, and plays out as a musical that just happens to take place ahead of the holidays.


Read More About It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like ... : "Irving Berlin's White Christmas," At The Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse Through December 28...


Knight Lite: "Monty Python's Spamalot," at the District Theatre through August 17
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2014-08-04 12:00:00

Doug Kutzli, Chris Tracy, Matt Holmes, Wendy Czekalski, Mike kelly, and Bob Manasco in Monty Python's SpamalotThe District Theatre's Monty Python's Spamalot seems like an amateur talent show, particularly due to the limitations of the company's new performance space in Rock Island's former Grape Life venue. (The new locale is so small, it redefines "intimate theatre" in the Quad Cities.) Yet while the limited movement due to the lack of stage space creates an amateurish feel, I’m happy to say that much of the rest of Friday's production emphasized talent. If it was an intentional decision to present the material as a novice attempt to recreate Monty Python's (arguably) best-loved film, Monty Python & the Holy Grail, it was a smart one on director Tristan Tapscott's part. Space doesn't allow for a big production, so Tapscott embraces the limitations of the new stage area, and it works.


Read More About Knight Lite: "Monty Python's Spamalot," At The District Theatre Through August 17...


Dough, a Deer, a Female Seer ... : "Love, Lies, & the Lottery," at the Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse through September 6
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2014-07-28 12:00:00

(clockwise from left) Tamarin K. Ythier, James Fairchild, Erin Clark, Tristan Layne Tapscott, Brad Hauskins, Janet Ellen Brucken, and Marc Ciemiewicz in Love, Lies, and the LotteryMaybe you’ll need to have seen a lot of stage farces, or feel like you’ve seen every stage farce, to appreciate what writer/director Jim Hessleman is doing in the Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse’s world-premiere presentation Love, Lies, & the Lottery. Because this isn’t just, as its title implies, a traditional, door-slamming slapstick, despite the numerous doors to be slammed. (Or rather, here, gently closed.) This energetic, sometimes hilarious, incredibly busy production is more accurately a comedic greatest-hits package, and one boasting a larger number of familiar genre conceits than you would’ve thought squeezable into two hours of stage time. You could teach a semester on Intro to Modern Farce using Hesselman’s play as your textbook and still not cover everything in time for the final.


Read More About Dough, A Deer, A Female Seer ... : "Love, Lies, & The Lottery," At The Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse Through September 6...


Delta Nu Attitude: "Legally Blonde: The Musical," at the Prospect Park Auditorium through July 20
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2014-07-14 12:02:00

Autumn Loose, Liv Lyman, Lauren VanSpeybroeck, and Becca Meumann Johnson in Legally Blonde: The MusicalLegally Blonde: The Musical is, of course, based on the 2001 hit starring Reese Witherspoon, a movie that led to a rather woebegone sequel in 2003’s Legally Blonde: Red, White, & Blonde. Yet while watching the original film’s stage version on Thursday, I felt that Red, White, & Blonde also would’ve been a fitting title for Quad City Music Guild’s terrifically peppy new presentation, considering that this solo-star-driven show came off, instead, as pretty wonderfully democratic.


Read More About Delta Nu Attitude: "Legally Blonde: The Musical," At The Prospect Park Auditorium Through July 20...


The Bluegrass Is Always Greener ... : "Big Rock Candy Mountain," at the District Theatre through June 8
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2014-05-27 12:00:00

Kyle Jecklin, Tom Vaccaro, Doug Kutzli, Rocky Kampling, and Mark Ruebling in Big Rock Candy MountainA Depression-era band performs an impromptu concert at a small-town theatre, facing off against an overbearing, somewhat inept police officer who later, after getting plastered, takes a shine to them. The group’s biggest adversary is a mean-spirited rich woman who, after boo-worthy attacks on the group, gets her comeuppance when her power is pulled out from under her. The story serves as the bridge to performances of early-20th-Century songs performed by this jukebox musical's cast members, who play on string instruments and out-of-the-ordinary percussion sources.

It’s a description that fits both Southern Crossroads and the District Theatre’s latest debuting production, Big Rock Candy Mountain.


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