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Theatre
Free to Be Junie B.: Sunshine Ramsey Stars in the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse's "Jingle Bells, Batman Smells," November 25 through December 31 PDF Print E-mail
Feature Stories
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 16 November 2011 06:00

Sunshine Ramsey as Junie B. JonesOn November 25, the Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse will debut Junie B. in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells, a holiday comedy based on one of the many children’s books featuring author Barbara Park’s feisty, funny, and unpredictable first-grader Junie B. Jones. It’s the second Junie B. title that Circa ’21 has staged in the past three years, and if you attend this new show and think you recognize its star from 2009’s Junie B. Jones & a Little Monkey Business, you do: Sunshine Ramsey will again be donning Junie’s dress to play a character some 25 years younger than the actress is.

 
Hard Habits to Break: "Nuncrackers," at the Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse through December 30 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 14 November 2011 06:01

Marc Ciemiewicz, Kristen Jeter, Courtney Washington, Jillian Prefach, and Nancy Evans in NuncrackersOf all the installments in the Nunsense series, which includes six sequels and three spinoffs, the Christmas musical Nuncrackers – currently running at the Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse – seems to me the most palatable. For one thing, it has the added benefit of its Christmas theme; there’s just something about the holidays that puts you (or at least me) in a cheery mood, which, in turn, makes it easier to forgive the show’s shortcomings. And when you add the merry goofiness of the Little Sisters of Hoboken, it’s hard not to be in good spirits throughout the show.

 
Oh, I Know All I Owe I Owe Ioway: “Leaving Iowa,” at the Playcrafters Barn Theatre through November 20 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Monday, 14 November 2011 06:00

Tom Morrow, Sandy Glass, Hannah McNaught, and Dana Moss-Peterson in Leaving IowaIt doesn’t happen often, especially if you attend a lot of local theatre – where the on-stage faces tend to become familiar ones. But every once in a while, you’ll be at a production that you’re really enjoying, and gradually realize that you’re routinely focusing on one performer above the others – and asking yourself, with a grin, “Who is that?”

 
Community Effort: Playcrafters and Black Hawk College Team Up for "Leaving Iowa," November 11 through 20 PDF Print E-mail
Feature Stories
Written by Mike Schulz   
Thursday, 03 November 2011 07:22

Pam Kobre, Hannah  McNaught, Don Faust, Dana Moss-Peterson, and Taylor Apple in Leaving IowaDescribed by the Chicago Sun-Times as “simultaneously hilarious and touching,” the road-trip comedy Leaving Iowa is the final presentation in the Playcrafters Barn Theatre’s 2011 season. Leaving Iowa is also the first presentation in Black Hawk College’s 2011-12 theatre season, but don’t chalk that up to either coincidence or some sort of Moline-based rivalry; the productions are actually one and the same.

 
Hinky Panky: "Sex Please, We’re 60," at the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre through October 30 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 24 October 2011 06:01

John Donald O'Shea and Susan Philhower in Sex Please, Weire 60As suggested by the title, the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre’s current offering, Sex Please, We’re 60, involves men and women of a certain age and their libidos, but thankfully it maintains a modicum of decency by placing the “action” off stage. The piece also features many clichéd jokes and absurd situations, but while I cringed at the images conjured by the title, it’s when the work is at its (relatively) raunchiest that the play and the cast work best.

 
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