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Supper Heroines: "The Church Basement Ladies in: The Last (Potluck) Supper," at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse through May 16 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 30 March 2015 05:00

Kaitlyn Casanova, Deborah Kennedy, Tom Walljasper, Rachelle Walljasper, and Kay Francis in The Church Basement Ladies in The Last Potluck SupperThe fifth time is apparently the charm for writer Greta Grosch and composer/lyricist Drew Jansen, as the final installment in the Church Basement Ladies series is, for me, the most cohesive and amusing from beginning to end. Primarily, this is because there’s a clear plot that ties together the story as, through flashbacks, we learn about the founding of the show's rural-Minnesota church, the initial introduction of the titular ladies to their basement kitchen, and the eventual disbanding of the congregation. This musical is the history of the ladies’ Lutheran church in its entirety, a thread that pulls together the proceedings in a beautiful way.

 
The Wonderful Whizzers of Odd: "Urinetown," at the Prospect Park Auditorium through March 29 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Thursday, 26 March 2015 12:02

Valeree Pieper, John Weigandt, John Antonin Dieter, Callen Brown, Mark McGinn, David Miller, and Tom Naab in UrinetownUrinetown is one of my top-five-favorite musicals, due to the many songs with memorable, singable melodies by composer/lyricist Mark Hollmann and lyricist Greg Kotis, as well as Kotis' sharply funny, self-referential book. Unfortunately, I was almost immediately disappointed with Quad City Music Guild’s production of the show during Wednesday’s final dress rehearsal, because the first full minute of director Heather Beck’s staging had the ensemble cast frozen in place (and for what actually felt like two to three minutes) during the overture. Yet while my heart sank seeing this dull, uninteresting start to such a creative piece of musical theatre, thankfully, once the overture ended, I wasn’t disappointed at any other point during Music Guild’s presentation.

 
Copping Attitude: "A Steady Rain," at the QC Theatre Workshop through March 29 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Tuesday, 17 March 2015 05:00

Mike Schulz and Thomas Alan Taylor in A Steady Rain, photo by Shared Light Photography's Jessica SheridanI want to see Thomas Alan Taylor bomb on stage, and actually fail to portray a role well. This isn’t said out of disdain or schadenfreude, but because, to date, I’ve seen no evidence that he can do any wrong as an actor.

 
I Saw a Londoner, I Saw France, I Saw the Lead in His Underpants: "The 13th of Paris," at the Playcrafters Barn Theatre through March 22 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Tuesday, 17 March 2015 05:00

Anna Tunnicliff, Jordan Smith, and Tyler Henning in The 13th of Paris, photo by Captured Moment PhotosPlaycrafters Barn Theatre’s romantic comedy The 13th of Paris leans more toward the romantic than the comedy, yet remains charming. Director Dana Moss-Peterson handles playwright Mat Smart’s examination of imperfect love held up against idealized standards with respect for its eventual moral, and while the production could undoubtedly be funnier, it’s not ruined by the more serious approach taken here.

 
How to Build a Better Mousetrap: "The Mousetrap," at the District Theatre through March 22 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Tuesday, 10 March 2015 05:00

Mike Kelly and Doug Kutzli in The MousetrapAgatha Christie’s whodunit The Mousetrap is among my favorites in the genre, mostly due to the humor the author wrote into it, as well as the clues she included that make it possible to actually discern who did do it. Although the murderer’s identity still comes as something of a shock, the game of figuring out the killer remains fun. I just wish the District Theatre’s current production of the piece were as enjoyable.

 
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