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Bloody Good: "Bat Boy the Musical," at the Timber Lake Playhouse through Sunday, July 8 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 03 July 2007 02:41

Samantha Joy Dubina, Jay Reynolds Jr., Hillary Elk, and Ben Mason in Bat Boy the Musical The Timber Lake Playhouse's production of Bat Boy the Musical features a cast of 15 playing some two dozen characters, more than a fifth of whom will be dead by the curtain call. Necks are bitten, throats are slashed, overdoses are administered, and through it all, Bat Boy's performers look as though they couldn't possibly be having more fun. En masse, Timber Lake's ensemble just might compose the happiest musical cast I've seen all year, and considering the material they're working with, and the director they're working for, how could they be anything less?

 
Summer Camp: "Goldilocks & the Three Bears," at the Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse through July 14 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 03 July 2007 02:36

Liz Millea, Russell berberich, Hannah Solchenberger, and Brad Hauskins in Goldilocks & the Three Bears When the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse first produced Goldilocks & the Three Bears in 2002, I was a member of the cast, so I'll admit that there weren't many surprises for me in the venue's new production of the family musical. There was one biggie, though: Beneath the program credit that read "Adapted for the stage by Justin Gebhardt," I saw my own name listed under "With additional material by ... ."

Huh?!

 
Tales of the Cities: "Living Here," at the Nighswander Theatre through July 1 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 27 June 2007 02:21

Lori Adams and the Pats Flaherty in Living Here New Ground Theatre's Living Here is composed of five one-acts by local playwrights, each one set in the Quad Cities, and I applaud New Ground's decision to stage this showcase for local talent; the production as a whole is more than inspiring, it's important, and the efforts of these theatrical artisans deserve to be seen.

Which doesn't necessarily mean that I liked them all.

 
Hitting High Notes: "Lend Me a Tenor," at the Clinton Area Showboat Theatre through Saturday, July 7 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 27 June 2007 02:16

Lend Me a TenorThis is why I love live theatre.

In the Clinton Area Showboat Theatre's production of Ken Ludwig's Lend Me a Tenor, Will Morgan plays Tito Merelli, an egocentric and wildly passionate Italian opera star. Late in Act I, the character discovers that his equally tempestuous wife is leaving him. Merelli subsequently launches into a fit of hysterically inconsolable grief, and on Thursday night, Morgan wailed and moaned with peerless comic abandon.

Yet at the very moment the actor began his tirade, there was an enormous thunderclap, and the evening's rainstorm - which had been percolating for an hour - significantly grew in intensity. For three minutes, the squall outside seemed to echo the personal tsunami that Morgan was enacting on-stage, until finally, with Joshua Estrada's hapless nebbish Max calming him, Morgan's Merelli collapsed on the bed, devastated and exhausted.

And outside, as if on cue, the storm began to subside.

 
Truth in Advertising: "The Fantasticks," at North Scott High School through June 30 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 27 June 2007 02:13

The Fantasticks' ensembleIn his director's notes for the Countryside Community Theatre's presentation of The Fantasticks, William Myatt writes that he was honored to helm the production, but also concerned, as Tom Jones' and Harvey Schmidt's minimalist musical wasn't originally intended for a 900-seat venue such as North Scott High School's Fine Arts Auditorium. "Would a show of such intimacy be swallowed by the size of the North Scott theatre?" asks Myatt in his program notes.

Well, if Friday night's happy audience response didn't already convince him, allow me to answer Mr. Myatt: "Nope."

 
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