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River Cities' Reader | Theatre
Caught Between Church and Family: Melissa McBain's "Altar Call" PDF Print E-mail
Feature Stories
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 26 April 2005 18:00

The time: the present invaded by the past. The setting: sanctuaries in the southwest desert. The play: Altar Call. And the playwright: Melissa McBain, who has appropriated one of the country’s most volatile current debates – where the church stands on the subject of homosexuality – as her play’s subject.

 
Humor Helps Elevate "Rosencrantz": St. Ambrose University's "Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead" PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 19 April 2005 18:00

Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, which recently closed St. Ambrose University’s 2004-5 theatre season, is a tough play to produce effectively at the collegiate level: How do you present Tom Stoppard’s mordantly funny rumination on mortality and the meaninglessness of existence with performers this young?

 
"Pippi" Never Starts Making Sense: "Pippi Longstocking" at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 19 April 2005 18:00

So far as I know, there are no steadfast rules regarding children’s theatre, but two certain “don’t”s would have to be: (1) Don’t bore the kids, and (2) Don’t confuse the kids.

 
Why Theatre? PDF Print E-mail
Feature Stories
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 12 April 2005 18:00
"So," you might be asking, “why is the movie guy writing about theatre?” A fair question. I love theatre. A lot. I was a theatre major in college and, until recently, have spent the past decade employed at Rock Island’s Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse, where I’ve learned about and appreciated this great art form all the more.

 
Leads Help This "King" Shine: "The King & I" at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 12 April 2005 18:00

Chief among many surprises in Circa ‘21 Dinner Playhouse’s current production of The King & I is the re-discovery of just how funny the show is. For many, myself included, the news of another Rodgers & Hammerstein revival is enough to fill you with trepidation; must we sit through one of their timeless extravaganzas yet again? But it’s easy to forget that this theatrical duo is legendary for good reason. Beyond their undeniable musical talents, Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein wrote strong, well-constructed shows and empathetic characters, and their productions always feature an intriguing, nearly treacherous dark side; Rodgers & Hammerstein felt no compunction about casually killing off major characters. (Every time I see The Sound of Music I have to remind myself: Oh, right. There are Nazis in this.) And although I’d be content to never see South Pacific again, a recent, invigorating production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s State Fair at Assumption High School was a welcome reminder of the duo’s gifts, and Circa ’21’s The King & I is fantastically fine, engaging and memorable and, to a quite unexpected degree, hilarious.

 
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