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River Cities' Reader | Theatre
How the West Was Wonderful: "Annie Get Your Gun," at the Clinton Area Showboat Theatre through June 29 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 23 June 2014 06:01

Nathan McHenry and Heather Baisley (center) and ensemble members in Annie Get Your GunThere were moments during Friday’s performance of Annie Get Your Gun at the Clinton Area Showboat Theatre in which I forgot that I was watching a performance. That is to say, the audience around me disappeared as I became lost in the production, and particularly captivated by Heather Baisley’s Annie Oakley. This, for me, was a true escapist experience: I was absolutely taken in by Baisley’s fantastic portrayal.

 
It Was a Dark and Stormy Night ... : " An Inspector Calls," at the Timber Lake Playhouse through June 28 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Monday, 23 June 2014 06:00

Danielle Brothers, John Chase, and Grant Brown in An Inspector CallsPrior to last Thursday, I had seen 40 productions at Mt. Carroll’s Timber Lake Playhouse, and somehow, during all those visits, I had never been there when it rained. Yet rain it did on Thursday, and it rained hard, and I couldn’t imagine more fitting weather for the venue’s opening-night performance of An Inspector Calls, an eerie, succulent psycho-drama (with laughs) that made the literal storm clouds a spectacular match for the figurative ones on-stage.

 
You Say You Want a Revolution?: "Les Misérables," at the Prospect Park Auditorium through June 22 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 16 June 2014 06:00

Patrick Downing, Dan Pepper, Rob Keech, Mark McGinn, and Quincy Keele in Les MiserablesQuad City Music Guild’s Les Misérables has the look and feel of the local community theatre producing its own, specific version of the Broadway favorite, with its music by Claude-Michel Schönberg and lyrics by Alain Boublil and Jean-Marc Natel. And that delights me, given that I wanted to see the group’s take on this much-loved musical, rather than an attempt to recreate one of its previous stagings.

 
Going Bat-ty: "Die Fledermaus," at Lincoln Park through June 22 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 16 June 2014 06:00

Steven Sepson and Sean Lynch in Die FledermausMy enjoyment of Die Fledermaus, presented by Opera@Augustana and Genesius Guild, started with the first notes heard by the orchestra playing Johann Strauss' operetta. The beauty of this ensemble’s seemingly flawless performance caused my spirit to swell with delight, and added to the experience of sitting in Lincoln Park's outdoor theatre, watching the stars appear and listening to the sounds of nature. Due to the mixture of the open-air atmosphere and the richness of Strauss’ splendidly well-performed composition, I was overwhelmed during Saturday’s performance with a sense of art and culture – and all this before a single note was sung.

 
O Brother, Why Art Thou?: "The Melville Boys," at the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre through June 15 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 09 June 2014 06:00

Nathan Johnson and Victor Angelo and The Melville BoysThe title The Melville Boys implies that the two men in this four-character play are at the crux of its plot. For me, though, the highlight of the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre's production of Norm Foster’s script was watching Dianna McKune provide the performance’s heart and soul. As Mary, the character whose home neighbors the family cabin that the Melville brothers are using for the weekend, McKune brings a centered warmth to the proceedings, and is responsible for the play’s biggest laughs and most heartfelt moments.

 
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