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items tagged with Valeree Pieper

Saving Mrs. Bankrupt: "The Way West," at the Village Theatre through May 24
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2015-05-18 12:00:00

Sarah Baxter and Valeree Pieper in The Way WestIt was difficult to go into Saturday’s performance of New Ground Theatre’s The Way West without high expectations given the cast of women involved. I’ve enjoyed all four of them in the past and was certain I’d be impressed yet again, and by the end of the night, my respect for their talents was mostly renewed due to each one's admirable characterization.
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The Wonderful Whizzers of Odd: "Urinetown," at the Prospect Park Auditorium through March 29
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2015-03-26 18:02:16

Valeree Pieper, John Weigandt, John Antonin Dieter, Callen Brown, Mark McGinn, David Miller, and Tom Naab in UrinetownUrinetown is one of my top-five-favorite musicals, due to the many songs with memorable, singable melodies by composer/lyricist Mark Hollmann and lyricist Greg Kotis, as well as Kotis' sharply funny, self-referential book. Unfortunately, I was almost immediately disappointed with Quad City Music Guild’s production of the show during Wednesday’s final dress rehearsal, because the first full minute of director Heather Beck’s staging had the ensemble cast frozen in place (and for what actually felt like two to three minutes) during the overture. Yet while my heart sank seeing this dull, uninteresting start to such a creative piece of musical theatre, thankfully, once the overture ended, I wasn’t disappointed at any other point during Music Guild’s presentation.
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Who's the Boss?: "9 to 5: The Musical," at the Prospect Park Auditorium through August 18
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2013-08-12 12:00:00

Kelly Thompson, Dolores Sierra, Katie Casey, Valeree Pieper, and Shana Kulhavy in 9 to 5: The MusicalQuad City Music Guild’s production of 9 to 5: The Musical is flat-out fun, with loads of laughs and major amusement delivered throughout the two-and-a-half-hour presentation. Friday’s performance, for me, was one of the most enjoyable stagings of the summer, with exceptional performances from the musical’s three main actors as well as several supporting cast members. The pit band, under the music direction of music Gregg Neuleib, didn’t seem to miss a note during their dynamic accompaniment. And Erin Churchill’s peppy choreography seems of a higher level of difficulty than is customary at Music Guild, but in a welcome way, as the show's ensemble proved up to the task. With its perfect pacing and high energy, and under the capable direction of John VanDeWoestyne, I’d say Music Guild has a definite hit on its (stage)hands.


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Farce of Habit: "Noises Off," at the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre through October 14
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2012-10-08 12:00:00

David Lane, Molly McLaughlin, and Stan Weimer in Noises OffAs much as I love theatre-in-the-round, I recognize that not all plays work in a 360-degree environment. Take, for instance, Noises Off, the current offering at the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre. A farcical comedy about the staging of a play (within the play) titled Nothing On, the show's second act offers, essentially, a view of the first act’s goings-on seen from backstage, and the production’s set is typically turned 180 degrees during the intermission to allow for that behind-the-scenes look. Consequently, prior to Thursday's performance at the Barn, I was baffled as to how director Jalayne Riewerts would pull off, in the round, this production of author Michael Frayn’s farce. She does it, it turns out, by not staging the piece in the round.


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Kind of a Drag: "More Than Meets the Eye," at the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre through July 15
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2012-07-09 12:00:00

Molly McLaughlin, Wayne Hess, and Alex Klimkewicz in More Than Meets the EyeI quite like the tone of the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre's More Than Meets the Eye, as director Joseph R. DePauw’s production brings a natural feel, and a welcome lack of affectation, to a play that kind of screams for affectation. Instead of overplaying the plot’s cross-dressing humor, Friday night’s performance offered a softer, more realistic approach to its comedy that rendered the jokes more subtle, but still laugh-out-loud funny. Unfortunately, the laughs in author Fred Carmichael’s play are, if not few, fairly far between (though when the jokes do hit, they’re good ones), and it doesn’t help that DePauw’s pacing is a bit on the slow side, lengthening the wait between punchlines.


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