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items tagged with William Shakespeare

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...

"Blonde" Ambition: Lauren VanSpeybroeck Reflects on Her (Pre-College) Theatrical Career
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Feature Stories

2014-07-02 12:00:00

Lauren VanSpeybroeck, courtesy of Nick West PhotographyAs with many things in life, it can be blamed on a friendly purple dinosaur.

“I used to be obsessed with Barney,” says area actor Lauren VanSpeybroeck of her pre-school interest in performing. “I always used to pretend I was on Barney [& Friends], so I guess that’s where it started. And then I would see, say, The Wizard of Oz or something, and for that week, I would be Dorothy Gale from Kansas. My mom would take me to the grocery store and people would say, ‘Oh, you’re so cute – what’s your name?’ ‘Dorothy Gale from Kansas.’

“That,” says VanSpeybroeck with a laugh, “was probably when my mom was like, ‘Hmmm ... maybe she wants to play characters ... ?’”

Read More About "Blonde" Ambition: Lauren VanSpeybroeck Reflects On Her (Pre-College) Theatrical Career...

Queen B.: "Lear," at the QC Theatre Workshop through April 12
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2014-04-05 12:00:00

Cait Bodenbender in LearIt doesn’t take long for Cait Bodenbender, in the Prenzie Players' Lear, to prove that director/adapter J.C. Luxton’s idea to reverse his characters' genders was a great one.

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Are You Not Entertained?!: "Pompeii," "3 Days to Kill," and "Winter’s Tale"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-02-23 19:23:46

Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje and Kit Harington in PompeiiPOMPEII

About a half-hour into Paul W.S. Anderson’s Pompeii, the film’s protagonist – a gladiator-turned-slave amusingly named Milo – hears the unfamiliar sound of the nearby Mount Vesuvius preparing to erupt. “It is the mountain,” says Milo’s comrade Atticus. “It grumbles from time to time.” So do movie reviewers, and this latest 3D action spectacle by the director of Mortal Kombat, Death Race, and a trio of Resident Evil flicks would, at first glance, appear to be exactly the sort of thing I’d personally grumble about: a predictably corny, derivative, overscaled costume party with loads of generic violence and nothing in the way of subtlety or emotional nuance.

Yet while it’s easy to name the movie’s most direct influences, Gladiator and Titanic chief among them, what I didn’t at all expect was for this swords-and-sandals outing to be so thoroughly, cheerfully indebted to 1970s disaster epics in the vein of The Towering Inferno and The Poseidon Adventure; Pompeii, to its cheeky credit, is kind of like 1974’s Earthquake with the ancient Roman city cast in the role of Los Angeles.

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Italian Beefs: "The Two Gentlemen of Verona," at the QC Theatre Workshop through December 15
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2013-12-09 12:00:00

Adam Michael Lewis and Sergeant Leon Maxwell Edison VonPepper in The Two Gentlemen of VeronaThe women of The Two Gentlemen of Verona shine in the Prenzie Players’ latest production. Maggie Woolley’s effervescent Julia and Catie Osborn’s enrapturing Silvia – characters courted by the two gentlemen of the title – are especially captivating, thanks to Woolley's and Osborn's layered portrayals of ladies in (and later out of, and then back in) love. They’re among a group of female actors here that offer dynamic, entertaining performances filled with notable nuance, aplomb, and, when called for, titillating humor. And they are a credit to director Andy Lord’s vision for what seems to me one of William Shakespeare’s weaker, less refined plays. The women help add emotional depth to the text, while Lord wisely places the comedic aspects of the tale at the forefront through his cast's energetic performances.

Read More About Italian Beefs: "The Two Gentlemen Of Verona," At The QC Theatre Workshop Through December 15...

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