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New York State of Mind: "Wonderful Town," at the Clinton Area Showboat Theatre through August 2 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 28 July 2014 06:00

Carly Ann Berg and Jenna Haimes (both aloft) and fellow members of Wonderful TownWonderful Town is one of the few musicals whose soundtracks I love without ever having seen the stage version. That is, until Thursday night’s performance at the Clinton Area Showboat Theatre, and what I saw lived up to the high expectations created by listening to the rich, often humorous songs by composer Leonard Bernstein and lyricists Betty Comden and Adolph Green.

 
The Devil "Made Him" Do It: "Doctor Faustus," at the QC Theatre Workshop through July 26 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 21 July 2014 06:00

Kitty Israel in Doctor FaustusThere were moments during Friday’s performance of the Prenzie Players’ Doctor Faustus in which I was creeped out, but with a fascination that had me begging for more. Director Jake Walker, sound designer Elizabeth Spoerl, and lighting designer Tyson Danner create effectively ominous scenes, particularly those involving chanting or whispering from behind the black curtains surrounding the audience, or red light pouring forth from an opening in that cloth wall. Chills ran up my spine, goosebumps rose along my legs and arms, and the hair on the back of my neck stood up multiple times – all signs of a thrilling production.

 
Guess Who's Not Coming to Dinner: "Rumors," at the Timber Lake Playhouse through July 26 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 21 July 2014 06:00
Rumors ensemble members

The cast of the Timber Lake Playhouse’s Rumors does its best to squeeze out every bit of humor from playwright Neil Simon’s clichéd farce. Some of the actors are wildly successful, eliciting laughter beyond what Simon's script deserves. Others at least have their moments in this play about eight anniversary-party guests trying to figure out why their host (who is never seen) shot himself in the earlobe, and why his wife isn't home for the gathering.

 
Separated at Berth: "Twelfth Night," at Lincoln Park through July 20 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Monday, 14 July 2014 12:39

Cayte McClanathan, Mollie Schmelzner, and Michael Carron in Twelfth NightLike a few dozen other optimistic souls, I attended Saturday’s Genesius Guild production of Twelfth Night hoping that the threatened thunderstorms would bypass the Quad Cities, or at least Rock Island’s Lincoln Park, for three hours or so. Alas, Shakespeare’s game was called on account of rain (and some major lightning) at roughly 8:30 p.m., so those of us who were willing and able were invited to return to see the rest of the show, and its opening half-hour again, on Sunday.

 
Green Piece: "Shrek: The Musical," at Bettendorf High School through July 20 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 14 July 2014 06:03

Melissa Anderson Clark, Matthew McFate, and Brian Peterson in Shrek: The MusicalDirector/choreographer Christina Myatt nails the humor and heart of the story in Countryside Community Theatre’s Shrek: The Musical, borrowing sparingly from the Broadway show’s original directors, Jason Moore and Rob Ashford, without copying their achievement. Myatt’s personal mark on the material is most clear in her choreography, especially in the rousing, showy “What’s Up, Duloc?”, with its Broadway-style kick-lines, and the subtly innocent “I Know It’s Today,” which involves Princess Fiona at three different ages (played, from youngest to oldest, by Ali Girsch, Emily Baker, and Melissa Anderson Clark). Yet while funny and full of energy, Myatt’s Shrek also hits the right notes in its heartfelt moments, during which Myatt’s pacing allows some welcome breathing room. And it also doesn’t hurt that the musical, with its book by David Lindsay-Abaire and its memorably singable songs by Lindsay-Abaire and Jeanine Tesori, is a whole lot of fun.

 
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