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River Cities' Reader | Theatre
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.

 
That Old Barn Magic: Moline’s Barn Theatre Presents Its First Musical in Nearly a Decade PDF Print E-mail
Feature Stories
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 10 May 2006 02:36
Over the past 10 months, the stage space at the Playcrafters Barn Theatre in Moline has been transformed into a ballpark (for the venue’s production of Rounding Third), an Italian villa (for Enchanted April), and the entire town of Bedford Falls (for It’s a Wonderful Life).

But these days, after climbing the stairs to the second level of the Barn, the first thing you notice about the set for Sweet & Hot: The Songs of Harold Arlen (running through May 21) is something more unexpected than anything found on those previous sets: a piano.


 
A Double-Play … and a Hit: "The Real Inspector Hound" and "Black Comedy" at Augustana College PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 02 May 2006 18:00
Tom Stoppard’s The Real Inspector Hound concerns theatre critics who wind up personally involved in the thriller they’re reviewing, which puts me in the position of being a theatre critic critiquing a play about theatre critics critiquing a play. Stoppard must love this.

 
Absolutely Fabulist: "Aesop's Dynamic Duo" at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 02 May 2006 18:00
Aesop’s Dynamic Duo – the Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse’s new family musical – focuses on several of the renowned storyteller’s famous characters, and one of its first songs is entitled “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.” Bret Churchill plays The Boy, and the actor, with his usual exuberance and vigor, begins the number with: “I’m the Boy Who Cried Wolf / I’m the one who frightened the town / I told them the story / And, boy, it was gory / I told them the wolf ate / the Smith’s Bassett hound.”

 
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