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items tagged with Wayne Hess

Knocking 'em Dead: “Curtains,” at the Prospect Park Auditorium through August 15
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2010-08-09 12:00:00

Jim Seward, Andrea Millea, and Mark McGinn in CurtainsCurtains is potentially the only whodunit show I actually like. It certainly doesn't hurt that it's a Fred Ebb & John Kander musical, with catchy, singable songs. And it certainly helps that Quad City Music Guild's production is well-sung, well-acted, and maintains the show's oddball quality without taking it over the top.
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Plainsong: "Oklahoma!," at North Scott High School through June 27
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2010-06-21 12:00:00

Heather herkelman and James Daniel Pepper in Oklahoma!In 1943, Rodgers & Hammerstein wrote Oklahoma!, and consequently created a new genre of theatre that combined elements of drama with vocals and a musical score. Nearly 70 years later, for the first time, I saw the musical performed on stage, in a production by Countryside Community Theatre. I expected antiquity, but instead found the songs inspiring, the relationships (relatively) fresh, and the dialogue surprisingly funny. While Countryside's interpretation of the production incorporates performers of widely varying ages and experience levels - a few of the younger performers were hard to hear at the Thursday-night preview - the show is an example of community theatre at its finest.
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Rats!: "Of Mice & Men," at the Harrison Hilltop Theatre through November 29
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2009-11-23 12:00:00

Matt Mercer and Steve Quartell in Of Mice and MenIn the Harrison Hilltop Theatre's current take on John Steinbeck's Of Mice & Men, actor Jim Seward plays the chatty, friendly ranch hand Candy, and at one point tells a story about his boss treating the workers to a gallon of whiskey for Christmas. It's a charming little reminiscence - Candy, in the terrifically ingratiating personage of Seward, giggles with delight at the memory - but it's also one that would probably be quickly forgotten if the scenes that followed didn't keep bringing it to mind.


Read More About Rats!: "Of Mice & Men," At The Harrison Hilltop Theatre Through November 29...


Oakley Dokely: "Annie Get Your Gun," at North Scott High School through July 25
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2009-07-20 12:00:00

Wayne and Sheri Hess in Annie Get Your GunCountryside Community Theatre's current, charming presentation of Annie Get Your Gun is directed by married couple Christina and William Myatt, and stars married couple Sheri and Wayne Hess as Annie Oakley and Frank Butler. (You'll also find the wedded Cheryl and John Wagner among the show's 38 cast members, plus several parent/child and sibling/sibling combinations.) Yet the production's most endearing, unexpectedly inspired couple turns out to be two performers who don't share 40 years between them, and whose characters you're probably unfamiliar with if your only exposure to this Irving Berlin classic comes via Ethel Merman's glorious blare.


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Here's to You, Mrs. Robinson: "The Graduate," at the Harrison Hilltop Theatre through May 17
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2009-05-11 12:00:00

James Bleecker and Erin Lounsberry in The GraduateThe Harrison Hilltop Theatre's The Graduate provides a respectable amount of fun, considering that almost nothing in it makes the least bit of sense. Adapted from Charles Webb's 1963 novel and/or Mike Nichols' seminal 1967 comedy, Terry Johnson's script frequently feels like the movie version on fast-forward - the playwright clumsily barrels through both the narrative and its complex emotional transitions - and the show's tone and performance styles are all over the map. Yet considering its frequently awkward and unconvincing elements, director Wayne Hess' comedy does at least offer one truly magical ingredient in Erin Lounsberry, whose performance here is insinuating, disturbing, sexy, and richly, deeply funny.


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