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River Cities' Reader | Theatre
Homeward Bound: "The Whipping Man," at the Village Theatre through March 30 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Tuesday, 25 March 2014 06:00

The Whipping ManIf I were to detail the plot of playwright Matthew Lopez’s The Whipping Man, it would sound like the outline of a soap opera, given that the twists seem so melodramatically shocking. However, the story doesn’t play out that way, both because Lopez handles the revelations so well, and because New Ground Theatre presents this story of a Confederate soldier and two of his family’s freed slaves with respect and sincerity.

 
I Went to a "Garden" Party ... : "The Secret Garden," at the Playcrafters Barn Theatre through March 23 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 17 March 2014 06:02

Emma Terronez and Bill Peiffer in The Secret GardenThe Playcrafters Barn Theatre’s The Secret Garden seems, to me, to be the quintessential type of production to grace its stage: a classic story told with community-theatre charm, which director Donna Weeks’ staging has in spades. Through the show's almost perfect casting and a less-is-more approach in her set design, Weeks manages to create some magic.

 
CAT-Scan-tastic: "A New Brain," at the District Theatre through March 22 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 17 March 2014 06:01

Tom Vaccaro and Bret Churchill in A New BrainBeautiful vocalizations, rich harmonies, nuanced performances, and a fun, interesting set aside, what I enjoyed most about Saturday’s performance of the District Theatre’s A New Brain was that the musical felt both familiar and original; it's a fresh take on musical theatre, yet doesn't suggest any unnecessary effort made to reinvent the wheel. With its songs by William Finn and book by Finn and James Lapine, the piece manages to be odd, joyful, irreverent, and silly all at once, but also delivers an overarching sense of hope without being pandering or sugary.

 
To the Manners Born: "Miss Abigail's Guide to Dating, Mating, & Marriage," at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse through March 23 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 17 March 2014 06:00

Jonathan Iglesias and Kateri Demartino in Miss Abigail's Guide to Dating, Mating, & MarriageWednesday evening’s audience clearly had a lot of fun watching and interacting with the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse’s Miss Abigail’s Guide to Dating, Mating, & Marriage. In truth, the performance would not have been quite as much fun if there were more watching and less interacting.  While there are plenty of laughs to be had as the titular character in this PG-13-style comedy offers advice on flirting, relationships, and sex, there are also a few missteps made along the way.

 
A "Leagues" of Their Own: Davenport Junior Theatre Stages a Jules Verne Classic, in Musical Form, February 15 through 23 PDF Print E-mail
Feature Stories
Written by Mike Schulz   
Monday, 03 February 2014 06:00

ensemble members in Davenport Junior Theatre's 20,000 Leagues Under the SeaFans of Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea – either the novel or 1954’s live-action Disney movie – should be excited to attend Davenport Junior Theatre’s debuting stage version of the adventure classic, running February 15 through 23. Just as long, says playwright Aaron Randolph III, as those 20,000 Leagues fans aren’t also 20,000 Leagues purists.

 
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