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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.

 
Delta Nu Attitude: "Legally Blonde: The Musical," at the Prospect Park Auditorium through July 20 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Monday, 14 July 2014 06:02

Augumn Loose, Liv Lyman, Lauren VanSpeybroeck, and Becca Johnson in Legally Blonde: The MusicalLegally Blonde: The Musical is, of course, based on the 2001 hit starring Reese Witherspoon, a movie that led to a rather woebegone sequel in 2003’s Legally Blonde: Red, White, & Blonde. Yet while watching the original film’s stage version on Thursday, I felt that Red, White, & Blonde also would’ve been a fitting title for Quad City Music Guild’s terrifically peppy new presentation, considering that this solo-star-driven show came off, instead, as pretty wonderfully democratic.

 
Georgians on My Mind: "Second Samuel," at the Playcrafters Barn Theatre through July 20 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 14 July 2014 06:01

Andy Curtiss in Second SamuelThere are few things in today’s desensitized society that I think will shock audiences. But the Playcrafters Barn Theatre’s Second Samuel, by author Pamela Parker, manages to shock in its secret that's almost carried to the grave by Miss Gertrude, a deceased woman who is never seen on stage. That secret creates the play’s tension, and ultimately leading to a lesson in tolerance that avoids being too preachy, and that applies to the acceptance of anyone’s differences.

 
And the Oscar (Madison) Goes to … : "The Odd Couple," at the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre through July 20 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 14 July 2014 06:00

John VanDeWoestyne and Greg Cripple in The Odd CoupleJohn VanDeWoestyne proves a capable center for the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre's The Odd Couple. Portraying playwright Neil Simon's slovenly divorcée Oscar Madison, VanDeWoestyne’s comedic timing shines as he adeptly pauses here or rushes there in ways that increase his punchlines' comical impact. The actor never quite overcomes his natural poise and intelligence to fully sell the character, but his Oscar is also a bit funnier for those qualities; it's fun seeing this normally classy man speaking and acting like a disorderly bachelor. While there’s plenty that’s worthy of praise in director Mike Skiles’ well-paced production, it’s VanDeWoestyne who deserves extra credit for being the glue that holds it all together.

 
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