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River Cities' Reader | Theatre
Body Count: "The Passion of Dracula," at Augustana College through October 26 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 20 October 2014 06:00

John D'Aversa and Giselle Gaztambide in The Passion of Dracula, photo by the Augustana Photo Bureau and Lauren Beckerand Amanda MooreIf any local-theatre venue sets the bar for scenic design, I’d make a case for Augustana College. Anyone who doubts the theatre department’s candidacy should see its presentation of The Passion of Dracula, with its set that’s the latest in a long line of remarkable constructs.

 
Sherlock Gone Wilde: "Sherlock Holmes & the Case of the Jersey Lily," at the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre through October 12 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 06 October 2014 06:00

Dana Moss-Peterson and Larry Lord in Sherlock Holmes & the Case of the Jersey LilyThere's a line in the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre's production of Sherlock Holmes & the Case of the Jersey Lily, delivered by Tommy Ratkiewicz's Oscar Wilde (yes, that Oscar Wilde), that goes, “People are either charming or tedious.” His observation is true of director John VanDeWoestyne's staging, too, and particularly of the show's cast members. Thankfully, though, several of the supporting actors bring a charm to the stage that lightens the mood, and makes playwright Katie Forgette’s script more bearable.

 
Job Shadowing: "Working," at St. Ambrose University through October 5 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Friday, 03 October 2014 06:00

Kelci Eaton, Becca Brazel, and Chris Galván in WorkingThe cast members in St. Ambrose University’s production of Working offer a somewhat unexpected and altogether delightful sincerity in their portrayals of American workers in various trades. These young actors, after all, presumably don’t have much, if any, career experience as full-time masons, receptionists, or prostitutes, among other professions. Yet they handle this musical as though possessing full knowledge of the experiences of the average worker, which, during Wednesday’s dress rehearsal, helped me connect with the oftentimes funny, sometimes touching material.

 
It's a Grandma Night for Singing: "Funny, You Don't Look Like a Grandmother," at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse through November 1 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 15 September 2014 06:00

Deborah Kennedy, Karen Pappas, and Andrea Moore in Funny, You Don't Look Like a GrandmotherThank goodness for second acts, because Saturday's production of the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse’s Funny, You Don’t Look Like a Grandmother, with its first act that almost put my own mother-who-doesn’t-look-like-a-grandmother to sleep, had us laughing fairly heartily during its second half. Director Ann Nieman’s staging of this modern-granny revue is fun and comfortably paced, and her choreography is oftentimes peppy and clever, especially in the yoga-class number and the jazzy, early-20th-Century-styled footwork of the musical’s high-energy “Grandmas to Go,” which features the play’s three leads – Karen Pappas, Deborah Kennedy, and Andrea Moore – singing gorgeous, tight, impressive Andrews Sisters-type harmonies.

 
Fiancé What? : "Marrying Terry," at the Playcrafters Barn Theatre through September 21 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 15 September 2014 06:00

Eric Landuyt, Jamie Bauschka, Melissa Hummel, Terri Nelson, Shawn Sutton, David Lane, and Victor Angelo in Marrying TerryReading through the program for the Playcrafters Barn Theatre’s Marrying Terry filled me with eager anticipation for Friday’s performance, as the cast is mostly composed of newcomers to either the Playcrafters stage or any stage. While it’s fun to see familiar actors in different roles, it can be even more exciting to see fresh faces take to the theatre, and with this production, the new talents are a blend of fine actors and those who, with time, could become fine ones, too.

 
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