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Theatre
Old-Fashioned Entertainment with the "Modern" Touch: "Thoroughly Modern Millie" at Timber Lake PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 06 June 2006 23:30

Erin Childs and Seth LieberFrom the Quad Cities, a trip to the Timber Lake Playhouse will take roughly 80 minutes. But I was so happy to be returning to Mt. Carroll, Illinois, for its 2006 season opener, Thoroughly Modern Millie, that I don't think I stopped smiling once during the entire trek. The theatre's 2005 presentations of The Full Monty and The Hunchback of Notre Dame were, for me, two of last summer's absolute high points - both shows beautifully staged and refreshingly risky - and the venue itself, nestled in the woods, is large and inviting, with its productions boasting terrific design and costumes and a game, go-for-broke ensemble. It was a thrill to be returning after 10 months.

 

 
Pillow Talk: "The Pillowman," at ComedySportz through June 3 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 30 May 2006 23:07
Adam Michael Lewis and Tristan TapscottDegree of difficulty counts for a lot, so director Sean Leary and his estimable cast would earn points merely for the area existence of Martin McDonagh’s horrific fairy tale The Pillowman, the latest – and certainly riskiest – endeavor from My Verona Productions.

 
Physics Class: "String Fever" at the Nighswander Theatre, through May 28 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 24 May 2006 00:12

According to the elusive Theory of Everything, espoused in Jacquelyn Reingold’s String Fever, life is composed of a series of hidden dimensions that fold up within one another and overlap, creating unseen, generally unacknowledged connections, and giving meaning to even our most random encounters.

 
The Pretender: Things You Should Know About – and From – the Area’s Best Actor, Tom Walljasper PDF Print E-mail
Feature Stories
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 23 May 2006 23:33
"I think my forte is storytelling. I just like to pretend. And any experience that I have where I believe the actor or actors are as close to pretending as possible? That's what gets me off, man. To me, that's what acting's all about." -- Tom Walljasper

 
Not Exactly Hot, but Awfully Sweet: "Sweet & Hot: The Songs of Harold Arlen" at Playcrafters PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 17 May 2006 01:39
About four months ago, my schedule forced me to catch the first dress rehearsal of Playcrafters’ Over the River & through the Woods as opposed to a paid performance, and so I took some personal responsibility for my dissatisfaction with the show; a lot of what seemed to be lacking, I thought, could easily have improved by opening night. It seemed a little unfair to be critiquing a rehearsal. (What better place to err than rehearsal?)

Well, circumstances dictated that I again catch a Playcrafters production before its official opening – I saw the Barn Theatre’s Sweet & Hot: The Songs of Harold Arlen at a preview on Monday, May 8 – for which I apologize. But I don’t apologize much, because this revue already has the right spirit and a host of good feelings (and good performances) exuding from it. This didn’t feel like a rehearsal; it felt like a performance, and a delightful one.

 
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