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River Cities' Reader | Theatre
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.

 
A Cabin o' White Chicks Sittin' Around Talkin': "The Dixie Swim Club," at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse through September 15 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 06 August 2012 06:00

Carrie SaLoutos, Rachelle Walljasper, Serena Vesper, Autumn O'Ryan, and Lora Adams in The Dixie Swim ClubGiven its “sorority” sort of feel, the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse’s The Dixie Swim Club – which concerns the annual, beach-cabin gatherings of five former members of a college swim team – will likely appeal to the women in the audience. However, not being a woman myself, I can also say that I quite enjoyed Friday’s performance of the show for the chemistry between the actors, the stunning set, and the humor that playwrights Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope, and Jamie Wooten put into their comedy.

 
Matchmaker's Marks: "Hello, Dolly!," at the Prospect Park Auditorium through August 12 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 06 August 2012 06:00

Mike Millar and Charlene Engstrom in Hello, Dolly!Quad City Music Guild's Hello, Dolly! seems something of a self-parody, as director Erin Lounsberry amps up the silliness of the piece, reveling in the fun of it rather than taking this story of the matchless matchmaker too seriously. It's Lounsberry's almost campy approach that makes the production worth seeing, with Tristan Layne Tapscott and Bryan Tank carrying much of its wacky weight.

 
Rib It! Rib It!: "The Frogs," at Lincoln Park through August 5 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 30 July 2012 06:00

Anna Tunnicliff, Neil Friberg, Bryan Woods, and Torey Baxa in The FrogsSince first experiencing one of Genesius Guild's end-of-season comedies two summers ago, I’ve eagerly anticipated playwright/director Don Wooten’s witty work each subsequent year. His sharp, humorous, sometimes biting rewrites of Aristophanes comedies abound with political, pop-culture, and theatre references at the local and national levels. And while I’ve not had the honor of being personally referenced in one of his jokes – at least not while I was present – this year’s The Frogs features hilariously pointed jabs at almost every theatre company in the Quad Cities area, with Saturday’s performance the funniest of the three annual Guild spoofs I’ve yet seen.

 
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