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River Cities' Reader | Theatre
Tales of the Cities: "Living Here," at the Nighswander Theatre through July 1 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 27 June 2007 02:21

Lori Adams and the Pats Flaherty in Living Here New Ground Theatre's Living Here is composed of five one-acts by local playwrights, each one set in the Quad Cities, and I applaud New Ground's decision to stage this showcase for local talent; the production as a whole is more than inspiring, it's important, and the efforts of these theatrical artisans deserve to be seen.

Which doesn't necessarily mean that I liked them all.

 
Hitting High Notes: "Lend Me a Tenor," at the Clinton Area Showboat Theatre through Saturday, July 7 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 27 June 2007 02:16

Lend Me a TenorThis is why I love live theatre.

In the Clinton Area Showboat Theatre's production of Ken Ludwig's Lend Me a Tenor, Will Morgan plays Tito Merelli, an egocentric and wildly passionate Italian opera star. Late in Act I, the character discovers that his equally tempestuous wife is leaving him. Merelli subsequently launches into a fit of hysterically inconsolable grief, and on Thursday night, Morgan wailed and moaned with peerless comic abandon.

Yet at the very moment the actor began his tirade, there was an enormous thunderclap, and the evening's rainstorm - which had been percolating for an hour - significantly grew in intensity. For three minutes, the squall outside seemed to echo the personal tsunami that Morgan was enacting on-stage, until finally, with Joshua Estrada's hapless nebbish Max calming him, Morgan's Merelli collapsed on the bed, devastated and exhausted.

And outside, as if on cue, the storm began to subside.

 
Truth in Advertising: "The Fantasticks," at North Scott High School through June 30 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 27 June 2007 02:13

The Fantasticks' ensembleIn his director's notes for the Countryside Community Theatre's presentation of The Fantasticks, William Myatt writes that he was honored to helm the production, but also concerned, as Tom Jones' and Harvey Schmidt's minimalist musical wasn't originally intended for a 900-seat venue such as North Scott High School's Fine Arts Auditorium. "Would a show of such intimacy be swallowed by the size of the North Scott theatre?" asks Myatt in his program notes.

Well, if Friday night's happy audience response didn't already convince him, allow me to answer Mr. Myatt: "Nope."

 
Overcoming-Obstacles Course: "As You Like It," at Lincoln Park through July 1 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 27 June 2007 02:11

As You Like It Rating its Degree of Difficulty on a scale of one through ten, I'd give Genesius Guild's opening-night performance of Shakespeare's As You Like It... hmm... about a 27.

 
Necking: "Dracula," at the Timber Lake Playhouse through Saturday, June 23 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 20 June 2007 02:32

Cassandra Marie Nuss, Daniel Trump, and Zach Powell in Dracula The scariest thing about the Timber Lake Playhouse's world-premiere production of Dracula is the set, and I mean that as a compliment. Designed by Joseph C. Heitman, the industrial playing space includes a series of metallic walkways with perilous inclines, some 20 feet above the floor, and the walkways themselves are slightly askew. The best way I can describe Dracula's architecture is by saying that, if the set were an amusement-park attraction, you'd be both ecstatic and petrified about riding it.

 
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