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River Cities' Reader | Theatre
Midwestern Union: "A Mighty Fortress Is Our Basement," at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse through June 1 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 18 March 2013 06:00

 Kimberly Steffen, Kay Francis, Tom Walljasper, Nikki Savitt, and Carrie SaLoutos in A Mighty Fortress Is Our BasementBilled as “the funniest and most tuneful Church Basement Ladies yet,” A Mighty Fortress Is Our Basement had me laughing more than I expected to during Friday night’s performance. Having had a too-hearty helping of the first two Lutheran-themed kitchen musicals, I couldn’t help but have low expectations for the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse’s production of this fourth show in the series. Yet while this sequel still falls into some of the expected traps, it also had enough humor – and one especially entertaining song – to keep me amused.

 
Q2: "Avenue Q," at the District Theatre through March 30 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 18 March 2013 06:00

Erin Churchill in Avenue QFive months after its first staging of the bawdy Broadway musical Avenue Q, the District Theatre has brought back its prurient puppets for another round, and with the replacements of just two cast members and minor reworkings made by director Marc Ciemiewicz, this return performance is still enough improved (from an already laudable production) to make the show worth seeing again, if not for the first time.

 
Rhapsody in "Blues": "Blues for an Alabama Sky," at the Playcrafters Barn Theatre through March 17 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 11 March 2013 06:01

Matt Madison, Rita Jett, and Vincent Briley in Blues for an Alabama SkyPlaycrafters Barn Theatre’s Blues for an Alabama Sky manages to be an adjective I’ve come to love regarding theatrical productions: surprising. Playwright Pearl Cleage takes her story in directions I did not expect from the outset of Saturday’s performance, as her play moves from the plight of a recently out-of-work singer in Harlem to a study of societal views on homosexuality and abortion in 1930. I had no idea that was the direction the plot would take, but I was grateful for it, as the proceedings kept me on my mental toes, and continually interested in what was going to happen next.

 
Glasnost Half Full: "A Walk in the Woods," at the Village Theatre through March 17 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 11 March 2013 06:00

Matt Moody and John VanDeWoestyne in A Walk in the WoodsPlaywright Lee Blessing’s A Walk in the Woods successfully re-creates a sense of the Reagan-era Cold War conflict between the United States and the then-Soviet Union ... at least according to an older friend of mine who also attended Friday’s performance of New Ground Theatre’s production. However, my theatre-going companion also agreed with me that the play is reminiscent of the film My Dinner with Andre, famed for simply being a conversation between two people in one setting. And Blessing’s story is just that – a series of discussions between a U.S. and Russian diplomat sitting, or sometimes standing near, a park bench. For two hours.

 
Spring Theatre from A(ntigone) to Z(ine of Grrrl): 99 Days of Area Stage Productions PDF Print E-mail
Feature Stories
Written by Mike Schulz   
Monday, 04 March 2013 06:00

Rock of Ages at the Adler TheatreWelcome to the Reader’s annual article on springtime area-theatre productions, where our trek through the season’s comedies, dramas, and musicals will have us taking a walk in the woods with Antigone, wandering into suburbia with Eurydice, and realizing that something’s afoot in our town when Talley’s folly makes Cinderella go boom on Avenue Q.

Okay, so that takes care of 10 upcoming titles ... only 50 or so to go ... .

 
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