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Running, Running, Running: The Prenzie Players Venture Beyond Shakespeare with "Life's a Dream" PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Feature Stories
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 30 April 2008 02:16

Reader issue #682 The latest undertaking by the Quad Cities' classical-drama troupe the Prenzie Players is an adaptation of Spanish playwright Pedro Calderón de la Barca's Life's a Dream, and at one point during a recent interview, group co-founder and Dream director J.C. Luxton tells me, "This show is just running, running, running. There aren't a lot of breaks for anybody."

Including, as it turns out, the audience.

 
The Value of Words: Tom Dugan and Mel Johnson Jr. Return to QC Arts with "In the Shadow of Slavery" PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Feature Stories
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 30 January 2008 02:37

Mel Johnson Jr. as Frederick Douglass Last winter, in conjunction with his impending Visiting Artist residency with Quad City Arts, I had the opportunity to interview Los Angeles-based actor/director/playwright Tom Dugan. He was heading to our area to perform Robert E. Lee: Shades of Gray - a self-written solo production in which he portrayed the Confederate general under the direction of Mel Johnson Jr. - and during our phone conversation, Dugan recalled the process by which much of the play was written: In the back of a van, surrounded by books, while touring On Golden Pond with Jack Klugman.

 
Lions, Liza, and Lynch: Mel Johnson Jr. on Some Career Achievements PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Feature Stories
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 30 January 2008 02:34

Mel Johnson Jr.Though a familiar television presence through such series as The Practice, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - in which the actor played the Cardassian Broca in the program's final two episodes - Mel Johnson Jr. is primarily a stage actor, with more than 30 years of professional credits on Broadway, off-Broadway, and in regional theatres and touring productions across America; most recently, he portrayed Hoke Colburn in an acclaimed presentation for Hartford TheatreWorks of Driving Miss Daisy (which the New York Times called "a splendid 20th-anniversary revival").

 
“Comedy Scares Me”: Eddie Staver III Takes on 35 Roles in The Green Room’s "Fully Committed" PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Feature Stories
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 23 January 2008 02:33

Eddie Staver III in Fully CommittedFive minutes into our interview, local actor Eddie Staver III says something that I can't quite believe: "Comedy scares me."

He does, however, quickly amend the statement: "Comedy scares the hell out of me."

 
Theatre by the Numbers: Not-So-Random Moments from 2007 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Feature Stories
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 19 December 2007 02:56

West Side StoryI love making lists. Love it. And I get an annual charge out of composing "10 best"s for the Reader based on my movie-going experiences: 10 Best Films, 10 Best Guilty Pleasures, 10 Best Action Blockbusters Based on a Pre-Existing
Toy ... .

So when I started thinking about my forthcoming Year in Theatre recap a few weeks ago, I thought it might make for a fun change of pace to compose "best" lists for area stage productions.

 
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