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River Cities' Reader | Theatre
Family Feud: "Blood Wedding," at Augustana College through October 26 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 22 October 2008 02:20

Ben Webb and Veronica Smith in Blood Wedding Federico García Lorca's Blood Wedding isn't a play that's "fun" in any traditional sense of the word; you're thrown into complex states of grief and anger within this classic's first few lines of dialogue, and even the infrequent moments of levity are suffused with dread. (By all accounts, the Spanish playwright wasn't exactly a load of laughs, and for understandable reason.)

 
Jacksonville: "The Summer People" and "The Lottery," at Scott Community College through October 18 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 15 October 2008 02:17

Patrick Joslyn and Caitlin Herrera in The Lottery The short stories of author Shirley Jackson frequently kick you in the gut. The current presentations of Jackson's The Summer People and The Lottery at Scott Community College frequently tickle your ribs.

 
The Haunting of Hilltop: "The Woman in Black," at the Harrison Hilltop Theatre through October 18 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 15 October 2008 02:15

James Bleecker in The Woman in Black There's an awful lot going on in the Harrison Hilltop Theatre's current presentation of the ghost story The Woman in Black - including two concurrent storylines, a wealth of exposition, a pair of actors taking on multiple roles and perspectives, and sound and lighting effects galore - and it winds up being much too much. But I'm generally happier watching a theatrical production that aims for the stars and doesn't get there than one that doesn't reach at all, so it was still easy to enjoy this wildly ambitious, if ultimately disappointing, presentation; I had just enough fun at Saturday's performance to regret not having more fun.

 
Victorian’s Secret: "Angel Street," at the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre through October 12 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 08 October 2008 02:36

Tom Naab and James V. Driscoll in Angel Street Playwright Patrick Hamilton's Angel Street, the season-closing presentation at the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre, was the stage inspiration for George Cukor's mystery/thriller Gaslight, so it's kind of appropriate that the production's gas lights are perhaps its cleverest touch. I'm often remiss in praising the design for Richmond Hill shows, especially given the inherent (and considerable) challenges of theatre-in-the-round. But Angel Street is so technically assured and aesthetically pleasing that I found myself grinning in the first mood-setting seconds of director Tom Morrow's Victorian drama. (I'm calling it a drama rather than a mystery and/or thriller because the show isn't really much of either. But more on that later.)

 
Evolutionary War: “Inherit the Wind,” at St. Ambrose University PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 08 October 2008 02:33

John Hannon, Michael Kennedy, and Dan Hernandez in Inherit the WindAs its storyline was inspired by 1925's notorious Scopes "Monkey Trial," and its original 1955 presentation a response to McCarthyism, Inherit the Wind is one of those theatrical titles that wears its badges of Importance and Social Relevance on its sleeve. And so it isn't until you see the play (or see it again) that you realize (or remember) just how entertaining it is; Jerome Lawrence's and Robert E. Lee's courtroom drama is less a lecture or a harangue than a juicy, if sentimentalized, episode of Law & Order.

 
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