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Theatre
The Return of the King: "King Henry the Fifth," at the Rock Island Masonic Temple through May 26 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 23 May 2007 02:25

Jeff DeLeon as King Henry the Fifth With King Henry the Fifth, the overall effect of the Prenzie Players' Henriad trilogy can be demonstrated in about five minutes of stage time. Shakespeare's titular ruler, played by Jeff De Leon, is invading the French province of Harfleur, and the scene begins with a literal explosion of sound - an edifice-shaking cannon boom, followed by the impassioned cries of the English and French soldiers engaging in battle. Over the next few minutes, the bellowing and booming hit greater and greater peaks of intensity, until finally Henry is standing at the gates of Harfleur, demanding that the governor surrender his township.

 
They Played “Misty” for Me: "Swinging on a Star," at the Playcrafters Barn Theatre Through May 20 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 16 May 2007 02:27

Alysa Grimes and Joe Urbaitis in Swinging on a StarIt may seem like an odd thing to praise right off the bat, but in Swinging on a Star - the musical revue currently playing at the Playcrafters Barn Theatre - director/choreographer Cindy Ramos-Parmley delivers some absolutely first-rate scene transitions.

 
Bush Leagues: "Stuff Happens," at Augustana College through May 6 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 02 May 2007 02:20

David Hare's Stuff Happens is a political drama based on events that transpired between the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and 2003's invasion of Iraq, and in his director's notes for Augustana College's fascinatingly uneven production of the play, Scott Magelssen writes that the "national, racial, and ethnic backgrounds" of the show's characters - which include Colin Powell, Sadaam Hussein, and Yo-Yo Ma - presented "a steep challenge to Augustana College Theatre's casting pool."

 
’Til Death Do Us Partner: "Tuesdays with Morrie," at ComedySportz through May 6 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 02 May 2007 02:18

Ray Gabica and Adam Michael Lewis in Tuesdays with Morrie You can often pinpoint your favorite moment in a particular stage performance, when an actor does something so fresh or unexpected or wonderfully human that the worlds of fictional "reality" and actual reality blur in the most extraordinary way. Ray Gabica, in My Verona Productions' current presentation of Tuesdays with Morrie, doesn't provide one of these moments. If you try really hard, though, you might be able to narrow your favorites down to about 50.

 
Arachnophabulous: "Charlotte’s Web," at the Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse through May 12 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 25 April 2007 02:18

Lauren Van Speybroeck & Janos Horvath in Charlotte's WebWhen the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse produced Charlotte's Web in 2003, I was lucky enough to perform in the show opposite Janos Horvath's Wilbur, and I vividly remember being amazed that someone could give such a touching, wholly credible performance while wearing a rubber pig nose.

The theatre has now revived the production, and luckily for audiences, Horvath and his adorable pink honker are back, too. Yet with all due respect to Horvath - who's as marvelous in the role now as he was then - this version of Charlotte's Web is currently being stolen by someone else entirely. And she's only in fifth grade.

 
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