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River Cities' Reader | Theatre
Wonder Fall: Autumnal Theatre in the Quad Cities and Surrounding Areas PDF Print E-mail
Feature Stories
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 29 August 2012 06:00

Sean Christopher Lewis and Tim Budd in Riverside Theatre's True WestAs of this writing, area venues have announced the titles to a collective 70 plays and musicals opening between August 31 and November 30. You wanna know my favorite title? Theatre Cedar Rapids’ The Time When Presley and Mrs. Luther Took a Stand in the Alley, Kinda Sorta. It’s the Kinda Sorta that makes it priceless.

 
The Bipolar Express: "Next to Normal," at the District Theatre through September 8 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 27 August 2012 06:00

Sara King, Kelly Lohrenz, and Steve Lasiter in Next to NormalThe District Theatre's production of Next to Normal may feature the best performance I've ever seen from Sara King, one that even tops her notably angst-ridden, humorous Van's Sister in the former Harrison Hilltop Theatre's Dog Sees God two years ago, and her subtle, hurt, hopeful Lucille in the District Theatre's Parade earlier this year.

 
Mature Focus: "The World Goes ’Round," at the Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse August 23 and 30 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 22 August 2012 13:50

Rodney Swain, Brad Hauskins, Jennifer Diab, Andrea Moore, Sara Nicks, Bret Churchill, Jan Schmall, Marc Ciemiewicz, and Laura Hammes in The World Goes 'RoundThe fleet, funny noir opening to the Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse’s Bootlegger revue The World Goes ’Round is actually quite misleading, as it bears almost no resemblance to the show that follows. Yet rarely have I been so happy to be misled, because the show that follows is a real beauty – thoughtful and nuanced and serious, and oftentimes boasting a gravity and sadness that, coming from the Circa ’21 stage, feels legitimately shocking.

 
The Deal of the Art: "Red," at the QC Theatre Workshop through September 8 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 20 August 2012 06:00

Thomas Alan Taylor and Mike Schulz in RedI went into Red, playwright John Logan's drama about abstract expressionist Mark Rothko and his young assistant Ken, with uncertainty about how to appreciate visual art beyond just liking pretty things I see. I left Friday’s QC Theatre Workshop production with a better understanding of meaning and intent in art, while also feeling a disdain for abstract expressionism, particularly Mark Rothko’s “color fields.” And while I’m not certain that Logan’s intent is for viewers to dislike Rothko or his paintings, I do think he wants audiences to walk away with emotion and opinions about the artist's creations – making my distaste for Rothko evidence that Logan’s work is effective.

 
Mad Men (and Women): "The Curious Savage," at the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre through August 26 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 20 August 2012 06:00

Mollie Schmelzer, Jackie Patterson, Renaud Haymon, Taylor McKean, and Jordan L. Smith in The Curious SavageThe Curious Savage is the best production I’ve seen at the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre so far this season. With its sharply funny script, interesting and endearing characters, and director Don Hazen's gentle touch rendering the piece heartfelt and sincere, I was captivated from beginning to end during Thursday’s performance, curious as to how the story would unfold, and caring what would happen to the show's cast of sanatorium residents.

 
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