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River Cities' Reader | Theatre
Varied Treasure: "How I Became a Pirate," at the Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse through July 11 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Monday, 22 June 2015 06:00

Cody King, Antoinette Holman, Chris Galvan, Janos Horvath, Brad Hauskins, Deanna Collins, and Ben Klocke in How I Became a PirateHow long does it take for an area production to become legendary? In the case of the Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse’s How I Became a Pirate, I’d say about one week, because after the show’s debut staging in 2013, that’s how long it took four adult patrons, individually, to tell me it was maybe the best family musical they’d ever seen.

 
Will Plower: "Gianni Schicchi," at Lincoln Park through June 21 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Tuesday, 16 June 2015 11:06

Howard Eckdahl, Michael Callahan, Mischa Hooker, Kristan Mitchell, and Nathan Windt in Gianni SchicchiSaturday's performance of Genesius Guild's and Opera @ Augustana's Gianni Schicchi was rained out, which presented a dilemma: Do I act responsibly and attend and review Sunday's performance instead, or do I make an excuse so that I can watch the season finale of Game of Thrones? I chose the former, and while it was difficult to avoid spoilers from what I hear was a shocking finale, I do not regret attending the opera instead.

 
Just for the Mel of It: "Young Frankenstein," at the Prospect Park Auditorium through June 21 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Monday, 15 June 2015 06:00

Nate Karstens, Abbey Donohoe, and Ian Sodawasser in Young FrankensteinOn at least three occasions during Thursday’s preview performance, Quad City Music Guild’s Young Frankenstein achieved a transcendent silliness – the kind you get with stunning regularity in Mel Brooks’ film-spoof inspiration. If you include everything said and done by Nate Karstens’ hunchback Igor, it was more like 203 occasions, but in the spirit of this tasty musical confection, let’s save the sweetest for dessert.

 
Deaf Poetry Jam: "Tribes," at the QC Theatre Workshop through June 28 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 15 June 2015 06:00

Michael Carron, Calvin Co, and Adam Cerny in TribesThe QC Theatre Workshop’s Tribes didn’t start off well for me on Friday, as I immediately hated Adam Cerny’s overacting, with eye rolls so huge I was sure anyone in the lobby could see them through the curtain that separates it from the performance space. So I prepared myself for two hours of such overly dramatic physicality, after first cursing director Jennifer Popple for casting Cerny as a son in playwright Nina Raine’s troubled-family saga.

It didn’t take long, however, for Cerny to completely change my mind, as it became clear that his Daniel is, himself, over-dramatic, given that his manic figure hears voices in his head. Cerny’s characterization, it turns out, isn’t bad acting; it’s actually spot-on, and moved me from initial dislike – agreeing with Michael Carron’s crotchety, opinionated patriarch Christopher that Daniel should “F--- off!” – to sympathetic pity for this troubled person. It was also through Daniel's viewpoint that I experienced Raine's story of a constantly arguing family that cruelly teases each other, with their only sense of grounding coming from Calvin Vo’s Billy, the clan's ever-patient, deaf-from-birth younger son.

 
Feline Groovy: "Cats," at the Clinton Area Showboat Theatre through June 21 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 15 June 2015 06:00

Natalie Fisher in CatsI struggle with where to begin in praising director Matthew Teague Miller’s Cats at the Clinton Area Showboat Theatre, simply because there’s so much to praise.

 
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