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Theatre
Summer of 69: Theatre in the Quad Cities and Surrounding Areas, May through August PDF Print E-mail
Feature Stories
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 15 May 2013 06:00

Jersey Boys at the Civic Center of Greater Des MoinesAt last count, there were a grand total of 69 theatrical productions scheduled to debut at area venues between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend. That’s awfully impressive. Yet what’s even more impressive – and, in all honesty, really unusual – is that you could actually catch all 69 without ever seeing the same show twice.

 
A Full House, with Jokers: "The Trouble with Cats," at the Playcrafters Barn Theatre through May 19 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 13 May 2013 06:00

Liz Paxton and Matt Moody in The Trouble with CatsThe trouble with the Playcrafters Barn Theatre’s The Trouble with Cats is that Patti Flaherty is not featured enough during its two-and-a-half-hour length. Playing a dry, crass, flirtatious lowbrow named Joy Bombay, Flaherty proves it’s possible to present bad material in a way that’s enjoyable to watch, and when I laughed during Friday’s performance, it was usually due to Flaherty’s comedically nuanced deliveries or comically condescending or cruel facial expressions and body language. The actor is clearly gifted when it comes to comedy.

 
Apocalypse Now-ish: "boom," at the QC Theatre Workshop through May 18 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 06 May 2013 06:00

Thomas Alan Taylor and Jessica Denney in boomWhile playwright Peter Sinn Nachtrieb’s boom is slyly hilarious, and the QC Theatre Workshop’s production of it laudable for so many reasons, there is one aspect of the performance that stands out in particular: Angela Elliott’s laugh.

 
The Young and the Restless: "subUrbia," at Augustana College through May 5 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 29 April 2013 06:00

John D'Aversa, Joshua Malone, and Bill Cahill in subUrbiaAugustana College’s production of subUrbia features one of the most (if not the most) layered and fascinating sets I’ve yet seen on a local stage, as Adam Parboosingh's scenic design manages to give us both a brick storefront – including parking spaces, cement parking bumps, scaffolding, a dumpster, and even a period-appropriate, mid-'90s pay phone – and the fully stocked interior of a convenience store at the same time. Consequently, Parboosingh’s set rendered Friday’s performance interesting well before the play even started, offering much to take in visually while we waited for the proverbial curtain to rise.

 
Turning Children's Theatre Into Ar-r-r-rt: "How I Became a Pirate," at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse through May 11 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 15 April 2013 06:03

Chris Causer, Brad Hauskins, Janos Horvath, Sarah Hayes, Nikki Savitt, and Antoinette Holman in How I Became a PirateWhile I’ve loved every children’s production I’ve reviewed at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse, How I Became a Pirate marks the first in which I wish I had the soundtrack to enjoy with my partner’s nine-year old daughter Madison on our way to and from school each day. With music and lyrics by Janet Yates Vogt and Mark Friedman (both of whom also wrote the musical’s book), the songs are worth revisiting for their singable melodies and enjoyable styles, particularly the calypso numbers and a speedy, staccato, complexly rhymed nod to Gilbert & Sullivan’s “I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General.” After Saturday's performance of the show, in fact, Madison and I were singing lyrics from several of the songs on our car ride home, which I hope suggests how fun and memorable they are.

 
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