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Italian Beefs: "The Two Gentlemen of Verona," at the QC Theatre Workshop through December 15 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 09 December 2013 06:00

Adam Michael Lewis and Sergeant Leon Maxwell Edison VonPepper in The Two Gentlemen of VeronaThe women of The Two Gentlemen of Verona shine in the Prenzie Players’ latest production. Maggie Woolley’s effervescent Julia and Catie Osborn’s enrapturing Silvia – characters courted by the two gentlemen of the title – are especially captivating, thanks to Woolley's and Osborn's layered portrayals of ladies in (and later out of, and then back in) love. They’re among a group of female actors here that offer dynamic, entertaining performances filled with notable nuance, aplomb, and, when called for, titillating humor. And they are a credit to director Andy Lord’s vision for what seems to me one of William Shakespeare’s weaker, less refined plays. The women help add emotional depth to the text, while Lord wisely places the comedic aspects of the tale at the forefront through his cast's energetic performances.

 
Holly Dazed: "A Christmas Survival Guide," at the Prospect Park Auditorium through December 8 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Thursday, 05 December 2013 13:10

Chris Castle and Tom Naab in A Christmas Survival GuideQuad City Music Guild’s A Christmas Survival Guide, with its sentiment, irreverence, and cheeky humor, is almost exactly my kind of holiday celebration. Wednesday night’s dress rehearsal – and the show was so finely polished that I hardly think it necessary to state that it was a dress rehearsal – had me smiling, chuckling, and itching to sing along with the familiar songs included in this musical revue.

 
Holiday Cheerful: "A Fairy Tale Christmas," at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse through December 28 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 02 December 2013 06:00

Kelly Lohrenz and Cara Chumbley in A Fairy Tale ChristmasFemale fans of princesses will likely enjoy the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse’s children’s-theatre holiday offering A Fairy Tale Christmas. Thanks to the always-impressive costume designer Gregory Hiatt and actors Cara Chumbley and Kelly Ann Lohrenz, respectively, Cinderella and Snow White each bear striking resemblances to their characters' Disney designs. Despite slight variations in style, Hiatt’s costumes are remarkable re-creations of the most well-known looks for the two princesses, and Chumbley and Lohrenz amusingly mimic the fluttery voices and laughs of the storybook ladies.

 
Once on This Island: "The Tempest," at the District Theatre through November 24 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 18 November 2013 09:14

Ed Villarreal, Tristan Tapscott, and Bryan Tank in The TempestDirector Chris Causer plays up the baser parts of William Shakespeare’s The Tempest in the District Theatre’s latest production, taking the debauchery of Bryan Tank’s Trinculo, a coxcomb of a servant, and Ed Villarreal’s Stephano, a drunken butler, to their limits. (And sometimes mine.) The scenes involving the two men bickering, and their leading around of Todd Schwartz's crazy-ish castaway Caliban – a native to the island that serves as the play's setting – drew large laughs from Friday’s audience, and broke up the serious tone of the rest of the tale.

 
All I Want for Christmas Are Two Front-Row Seats: "A Christmas Story: The Musical," at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse through January 4 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 11 November 2013 06:02

Ben Klocke (center) and ensemble members in A Christmas Story: The MusicalThere's magic in the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse's A Christmas Story: The Musical, most notably in the fantasy sequences and any scene involving the children's chorus. Adapted from the much-loved 1983 movie, this stage musical is familiar without being an exact copy, making it a fresh take on the holiday-tradition entertainment. Plus, the musical numbers, by composers and lyricists Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, add a lot of fun to an already laugh-worthy tale.

 
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