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River Cities' Reader | Theatre
Italian Beefs: "The Two Gentlemen of Verona," at the QC Theatre Workshop through December 15 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 09 December 2013 06:00

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.

 
Holly Dazed: "A Christmas Survival Guide," at the Prospect Park Auditorium through December 8 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Thursday, 05 December 2013 13:10

Chris Castle and Tom Naab in A Christmas Survival GuideQuad City Music Guild’s A Christmas Survival Guide, with its sentiment, irreverence, and cheeky humor, is almost exactly my kind of holiday celebration. Wednesday night’s dress rehearsal – and the show was so finely polished that I hardly think it necessary to state that it was a dress rehearsal – had me smiling, chuckling, and itching to sing along with the familiar songs included in this musical revue.

 
Holiday Cheerful: "A Fairy Tale Christmas," at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse through December 28 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 02 December 2013 06:00

Kelly Lohrenz and Cara Chumbley in A Fairy Tale ChristmasFemale fans of princesses will likely enjoy the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse’s children’s-theatre holiday offering A Fairy Tale Christmas. Thanks to the always-impressive costume designer Gregory Hiatt and actors Cara Chumbley and Kelly Ann Lohrenz, respectively, Cinderella and Snow White each bear striking resemblances to their characters' Disney designs. Despite slight variations in style, Hiatt’s costumes are remarkable re-creations of the most well-known looks for the two princesses, and Chumbley and Lohrenz amusingly mimic the fluttery voices and laughs of the storybook ladies.

 
Nontraditional Tradition: Quad City Music Guild Presents "A Christmas Survival Guide," December 5 through 8 PDF Print E-mail
Feature Stories
Written by Mike Schulz   
Monday, 25 November 2013 06:00

Chris Castle, Jennifer Sondgeroth, Tom Naab, Faith Hardacre, and Zach Hendershott in A Christmas Survival GuideSitting down with director John Weigandt, assistant director Jaci Weigandt (John’s wife), and cast members Faith Hardacre and Jennifer Sondgeroth prior to a Tuesday-night rehearsal for Quad City Music Guild’s A Christmas Survival Guide, I mention that this forthcoming show seemed like a rather unusual choice for the organization’s wintertime slot.

What?” asks Hardacre with mock surprise. “We don’t normally have drunken dances on stage?”

 
Once on This Island: "The Tempest," at the District Theatre through November 24 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 18 November 2013 09:14

Ed Villarreal, Tristan Tapscott, and Bryan Tank in The TempestDirector Chris Causer plays up the baser parts of William Shakespeare’s The Tempest in the District Theatre’s latest production, taking the debauchery of Bryan Tank’s Trinculo, a coxcomb of a servant, and Ed Villarreal’s Stephano, a drunken butler, to their limits. (And sometimes mine.) The scenes involving the two men bickering, and their leading around of Todd Schwartz's crazy-ish castaway Caliban – a native to the island that serves as the play's setting – drew large laughs from Friday’s audience, and broke up the serious tone of the rest of the tale.

 
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