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Theatre
Magic Moments: "The Tempest," at Lincoln Park through July 2 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 27 June 2006 23:15

Emily Coussens and Pat Flaherty in "The Tempest"The Tempest is one of Shakespeare's most magical offerings - a wildly theatrical concoction set on an enchanted isle populated by fairies, sprites, and spirits, and governed by a benevolent (yet easily enraged) ruler in possession of a supernatural cloak.

Given the built-in limitations in budget and production design at Rock Island's Lincoln Park, though, no one attending Genesius Guild's current production of the play should expect to be wowed by spectacle; Ariel, for instance, won't be flying in on any invisible wires. Yet from its first scene, this Tempest is graced by spectacle of a different variety: the sort of stage alchemy that occurs when fine performers tear into rich material, and when a strong director orchestrates the actors' contributions and stage pictures with inventiveness and grace. Imagination, of course, is its own kind of magic.

 
Murder Ball: "The Mousetrap," at the Clinton Area Showboat Theatre through Sunday, July 8 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 27 June 2006 23:11

The Mousetrap As the lights dimmed for the Clinton Area Showboat Theatre's production of The Mousetrap - based on Agatha Christie's mystery novel - I already knew whodunnit. But don't be fooled into thinking that I possess superhuman powers of deduction or anything. I was in a high-school production of the play some 20 years ago. (Fine. Twenty-three years ago. Happy, Mom?)

So I'm not exactly fit to comment on how successfully Christie's murderous plot plays itself out here. Yet my familiarity with the story didn't lessen my enjoyment of CAST's endeavor in the slightest. Quite the contrary: I loved this production, because the vigor with which the Mousetrap ensemble played their comically shady characters was positively exhilarating.

 
What’s the Story?: "The Philadelphia Story," at the Timber Lake Playhouse through June 24 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 20 June 2006 22:45

The Philadelphia Story The morning after attending the Timber Lake Playhouse's production of the romantic comedy The Philadelphia Story, I drove to my local video store and rented the DVD of the beloved 1940 film, which I had never seen. I would love to report that Timber Lake's production put me in such a happy state that I was simply eager to re-live the stage experience. But unfortunately, the rental was more of a necessity than an indulgence; I had to see what about Philip Barry's play made the movie such a treasure, because its reputed charms, sadly, weren't at all apparent on the Mt. Carroll stage.

 
A "Night" to Remember: "Twelfth Night," at Iowa City’s Riverside Theatre through July 9 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Audra Beals   
Tuesday, 20 June 2006 22:44

Twelfth Night It's hot. It's muggy. Bugs are everywhere. And in Iowa City, that means it's time for Shakespeare.

Every summer, the Riverside Theatre trades its stage in downtown Iowa City for an outdoor venue in lower City Park, one that was actually modeled after London's Globe Theater. Appropriately enough, the company uses this Shakespeare-inspired space to stage two Shakespearean productions in repertory, and this year's schedule - running through July 9 - alternates between Twelfth Night and The Tempest.

 
Bootie Call: "The Bootleggers On Broadway,” at Circa ’21 June 21 Through 24 PDF Print E-mail
Feature Stories
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 20 June 2006 22:42

The Bootleggers Murder. Madness. Cannibalism. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the wonderful world of Broadway musicals!

Or rather, welcome to The Bootleggers "On Broadway," the new, full-length production showcasing the talents of the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse's performing wait staff. (The show runs at Circa '21 June 21 through 24.)

 
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