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Free to Be Junie B.: Sunshine Ramsey Stars in the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse's "Jingle Bells, Batman Smells," November 25 through December 31 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Feature Stories
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 16 November 2011 06:00

Sunshine Ramsey as Junie B. JonesOn November 25, the Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse will debut Junie B. in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells, a holiday comedy based on one of the many children’s books featuring author Barbara Park’s feisty, funny, and unpredictable first-grader Junie B. Jones. It’s the second Junie B. title that Circa ’21 has staged in the past three years, and if you attend this new show and think you recognize its star from 2009’s Junie B. Jones & a Little Monkey Business, you do: Sunshine Ramsey will again be donning Junie’s dress to play a character some 25 years younger than the actress is.

 
Community Effort: Playcrafters and Black Hawk College Team Up for "Leaving Iowa," November 11 through 20 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Feature Stories
Written by Mike Schulz   
Thursday, 03 November 2011 07:22

Pam Kobre, Hannah  McNaught, Don Faust, Dana Moss-Peterson, and Taylor Apple in Leaving IowaDescribed by the Chicago Sun-Times as “simultaneously hilarious and touching,” the road-trip comedy Leaving Iowa is the final presentation in the Playcrafters Barn Theatre’s 2011 season. Leaving Iowa is also the first presentation in Black Hawk College’s 2011-12 theatre season, but don’t chalk that up to either coincidence or some sort of Moline-based rivalry; the productions are actually one and the same.

 
The Last Gasp of the Golden Age of Radio: Scott Community College Presents a New Version of "War of the Worlds," October 20 through 30 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Feature Stories
Written by Mike Schulz   
Thursday, 06 October 2011 06:00

Orson Welles performs for the Mercury Theatre“Most of our students work jobs when they’re not at school,” says Scott Community College (SCC) theatre instructor Steve Flanigin. “So when you say, ‘We’re going to do a play – who’d be interested?’, you have to see who’s available before you decide what play you can do. Because if they have to go to a job when we normally rehearse – Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, from three to five – then they can’t do the show.

“I think that’s one of the challenges of doing theatre at a community college that a lot of people don’t realize,” he continues. “What we do depends on who is here in the fall or the spring, and what their schedules are like. I mean, I’d love to do Hello, Dolly!, but not with four people.”

Happily for Flanigin, he was able to secure roughly a dozen student participants for the school’s latest production. And while that number wasn’t large enough for a Hello, Dolly!, it was perfectly appropriate for the show that he and fellow SCC instructor John Turner did choose: a new adaptation of author H.G. Wells’ alien-invasion classic War of the Worlds, running October 20 through 30.

 
Lady Gaga Goes to Hogwarts: Musical-Comedy Improvisation with Baby Wants Candy, October 1 at Augustana College PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Feature Stories
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 21 September 2011 13:08

cast members of Baby Wants CandyLike most professional performers, Chicagoan Nick Semar has a healthy number of musicals on his résumé.

Unlike most professional performers, Semar can boast acting credits in 26 original, hour-long musicals.

Staged over 27 nights.

All of which were made up on the spot.

 
Release into the Play: A Chat with Actor Eddie Staver III PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Feature Stories
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 07 September 2011 07:25

 Eddie Staver III[Author's note: The following interview with Eddie Staver III was written for TheCurtainbox.com, the Web site for our area's Curtainbox Theatre Company. I'm proud to say that I'm an ensemble member with the theatrical organization, and along with Staver, am a cast member in the company's September 15 – 25 production of Time Stands Still.]

 

A company member since 2009, Eddie Staver III made his Curtainbox Theatre Company debut as the haunted title character in 2008’s Danny & the Deep Blue Sea, and went on to appear as the amoral salesman Moss in 2009’s Glengarry Glen Ross, the troubled son Eddie in 2010’s Fool for Love, and, later that year, clinical oncology fellow Jason Posner in Wit. And when I mention to people that Staver is returning to the Curtainbox to play James in Time Stands Still – his first role for the company in over a year – the response I get is almost always the same: “Where has he been?”

 
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