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Theatre
Performance Anxiety: "The Actor's Nightmare," at Scott Community College through November 10 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 05 November 2012 06:00

Scott Community College presents The Actor's NightmareDuring Thursday's presentation, actor James Thames seemed out of place in Scott Community College's The Actor’s Nightmare, acting like he was acting, offering a limited range of emotions and inflections, and speaking with a note of desperation in his tone. However, his amateurish performance, whether by design or not, actually proved spot-on for this comedy in which a non-actor finds himself forced to perform roles in four plays with no prior rehearsals.

 
Carnival Cruising Lines: "The Rover," at the QC Theatre Workshop through October 28 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 22 October 2012 06:00

Diane Emmert and Jeremy Mahr in The Rover; photo by Shared Light Photography's Jessica SheridanJeremy Mahr seems to be dancing with his dialogue as Willmore, the titular character in the Prenzie Players’ The Rover. Author Aphra Behn’s words trip the light fantastic off his tongue, with Mahr presenting his rakish playboy so playfully that it's as though he’s fluent in the stylized, 17th Century language of the period. And when the meaning of what he’s saying is expressed through his entire body – particularly during Willmore's more amorous lines – the obviously fully invested Mahr is incredibly fun to watch.

 
Burning Down the House: "The Arsonists," at Augustana College through October 21 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 15 October 2012 06:00

Luke Currie, Leslie Kane, Jaylen Marks, Macy Hernandez and Elyssa Lemay (top row), and Corbin Delgado and Bill Cahill (bottom row) in The Arsonists; photo by Long NguyenDirector Jeffrey Coussens makes some beautiful choices regarding the positioning of his Greek chorus of public-safety officers in Augustana College’s The Arsonists. At different points in the play, he places this group of seven – with the character of the Policeman leading six firefighters – huddled on the stairs to the set’s attic, flanking both sides of the stage with the same legs crossed, and sitting along the front of the stage, watching the action. And their orderly placement, along with the chorus members' bright yellow uniforms, are a striking contrast to the escalating destruction that’s taking place on stage.

 
This Musical Is Brought to You by the Letters "A," "O," and "K": "Avenue Q," at the District Theatre through October 21 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 08 October 2012 06:00

the District Theatre's Avenue Q ensembleAvenue Q is one of a few musicals that I thought should maybe only be staged by Broadway professionals. However, it didn’t take long during Friday’s performance at the District Theatre for director Marc Ciemiewicz and his cast to prove they can handle Avenue Q, and handle it well.

 
Farce of Habit: "Noises Off," at the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre through October 14 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 08 October 2012 06:00

David Lane, Molly McLaughlin, and Stan Weimer in Noises OffAs much as I love theatre-in-the-round, I recognize that not all plays work in a 360-degree environment. Take, for instance, Noises Off, the current offering at the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre. A farcical comedy about the staging of a play (within the play) titled Nothing On, the show's second act offers, essentially, a view of the first act’s goings-on seen from backstage, and the production’s set is typically turned 180 degrees during the intermission to allow for that behind-the-scenes look. Consequently, prior to Thursday's performance at the Barn, I was baffled as to how director Jalayne Riewerts would pull off, in the round, this production of author Michael Frayn’s farce. She does it, it turns out, by not staging the piece in the round.

 
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