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River Cities' Reader | Theatre
The Value of Words: Tom Dugan and Mel Johnson Jr. Return to QC Arts with "In the Shadow of Slavery" PDF Print E-mail
Feature Stories
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 30 January 2008 02:37

Mel Johnson Jr. as Frederick Douglass Last winter, in conjunction with his impending Visiting Artist residency with Quad City Arts, I had the opportunity to interview Los Angeles-based actor/director/playwright Tom Dugan. He was heading to our area to perform Robert E. Lee: Shades of Gray - a self-written solo production in which he portrayed the Confederate general under the direction of Mel Johnson Jr. - and during our phone conversation, Dugan recalled the process by which much of the play was written: In the back of a van, surrounded by books, while touring On Golden Pond with Jack Klugman.

 
Lions, Liza, and Lynch: Mel Johnson Jr. on Some Career Achievements PDF Print E-mail
Feature Stories
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 30 January 2008 02:34

Mel Johnson Jr.Though a familiar television presence through such series as The Practice, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - in which the actor played the Cardassian Broca in the program's final two episodes - Mel Johnson Jr. is primarily a stage actor, with more than 30 years of professional credits on Broadway, off-Broadway, and in regional theatres and touring productions across America; most recently, he portrayed Hoke Colburn in an acclaimed presentation for Hartford TheatreWorks of Driving Miss Daisy (which the New York Times called "a splendid 20th-anniversary revival").

 
Restaurant Tour: "Fully Committed," at the Green Room PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 30 January 2008 02:25

Eddie Staver III in Fully CommittedAt several points during Friday's opening-night production of Fully Committed - which ran at Rock Island's Green Room through January 27 - actor Eddie Staver III took generous swallows of water from an onstage bottle, and rarely has a beverage looked more thirst-quenching, or more necessary.

 
“Comedy Scares Me”: Eddie Staver III Takes on 35 Roles in The Green Room’s "Fully Committed" PDF Print E-mail
Feature Stories
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 23 January 2008 02:33

Eddie Staver III in Fully CommittedFive minutes into our interview, local actor Eddie Staver III says something that I can't quite believe: "Comedy scares me."

He does, however, quickly amend the statement: "Comedy scares the hell out of me."

 
Rock-it Man: "Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story," at the Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse through March 22 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 23 January 2008 02:32

Justin Droegemueller, Todd Meredith, and Tristan Layne Tapscott in Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story By their very nature, biographical jukebox musicals such as Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story - currently being performed at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse - have to be a little glib. Given roughly two hours of stage time, how can book writers adequately detail a performer's personal and professional arcs without drastically simplifying the experience?

 
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