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River Cities' Reader | Theatre
The Odes of March: "Little Women," at the Prospect Park Auditorium through July 20 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 16 July 2008 02:47

Erin O'Shea and J. Adam Lounsberry in Little Women In Louisa May Alcott's Little Women, the storytelling and language are already so musical that the decision to adapt the author's tale into a musical seems a little redundant. But as redundancies go, the musical version of Little Women is actually pretty good, and under the direction of Bob Williams, Quad City Music Guild's take on the show is pretty damned good - marvelously designed, staged, sung, and (apart from two glaringly inappropriate performances) acted. Alcott purists may gripe, and not without cause, but it'd be hard to gripe about Music Guild's presentation of the material, and, I think, impossible to gripe about the portrayal of Erin O'Shea, whose stunningly radiant turn as Jo March seems reason enough for the existence of a Little Women musical.

 
You Gotta Lovett: "Sweeney Todd," at the Clinton Area Showboat Theatre through July 27 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 16 July 2008 02:43

Dallas Milholland and Blake Adams in Sweeney Todd There were a fair number of shocks at Saturday's presentation of the Clinton Area Showboat Theatre's Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street. But one of the biggest came before the show even started: When the house lights dimmed, I looked down from my chair in the Showboat's balcony, and gazed upon ... nearly a half-dozen rows of completely unfilled seats.

 
Hazle(hurst) Nuts: "Crimes of the Heart," at the Playcrafters Barn Theatre through July 20 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 16 July 2008 02:41

Broc Nelson and Ashley Hoskins in Crimes of the Heart In the Playcrafters Barn Theatre's current production of Crimes of the Heart, Ashley Hoskins portrays Babe, the youngest and most eccentric of playwright Beth Henley's Magrath sisters, and the actress is like a nervous breakdown on legs.

This is meant as the highest of praise.

 
Playwright’s Play Rights: "Any Famous Last Words?," at the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre thru July 20 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 16 July 2008 02:38

Elizabeth Buzard, David Bailey, Jackie Skiles, and Bailey O'Neil in Any Famous Last Words?You know a comedy is in trouble when its most engaging scene features an elderly woman's description of her escape from a German concentration camp. You know a comedy is in serious trouble when it uses that description merely to goose its tinny excuse for a plot.

 
Mourning Becomes Her: "Electra," at Lincoln Park through July 13 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 09 July 2008 02:32

Andrea Braddy (masked) and ensemble members in Electra As the organization's annual Greek dramas always do, Genesius Guild's presentation of Electra begins with a processional. During this preamble, the cast members, accompanied by a majestic anthem, slowly make their way across the Lincoln Park stage, and those who'll be wearing the traditional headpieces of the period carry them at waist level, giving us an early peek at Ellen Dixon's costumes, Earl Strupp's masks, and, for the last time before the curtain call, the performers' faces. (Only the play's choral figures remain unmasked throughout the production.) It's a lovely touch, as reassuringly familiar as Genesius Guild's nightly T-shirt giveaway and the shrieking from the children playing on the neighboring swing sets.

 
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