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You Say You Want a Revolution?: "Les Misérables," at the Prospect Park Auditorium through June 22 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 16 June 2014 06:00

Patrick Downing, Dan Pepper, Rob Keech, Mark McGinn, and Quincy Keele in Les MiserablesQuad City Music Guild’s Les Misérables has the look and feel of the local community theatre producing its own, specific version of the Broadway favorite, with its music by Claude-Michel Schönberg and lyrics by Alain Boublil and Jean-Marc Natel. And that delights me, given that I wanted to see the group’s take on this much-loved musical, rather than an attempt to recreate one of its previous stagings.

 
Going Bat-ty: "Die Fledermaus," at Lincoln Park through June 22 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 16 June 2014 06:00

Steven Sepson and Sean Lynch in Die FledermausMy enjoyment of Die Fledermaus, presented by Opera@Augustana and Genesius Guild, started with the first notes heard by the orchestra playing Johann Strauss' operetta. The beauty of this ensemble’s seemingly flawless performance caused my spirit to swell with delight, and added to the experience of sitting in Lincoln Park's outdoor theatre, watching the stars appear and listening to the sounds of nature. Due to the mixture of the open-air atmosphere and the richness of Strauss’ splendidly well-performed composition, I was overwhelmed during Saturday’s performance with a sense of art and culture – and all this before a single note was sung.

 
O Brother, Why Art Thou?: "The Melville Boys," at the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre through June 15 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 09 June 2014 06:00

Nathan Johnson and Victor Angelo and The Melville BoysThe title The Melville Boys implies that the two men in this four-character play are at the crux of its plot. For me, though, the highlight of the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre's production of Norm Foster’s script was watching Dianna McKune provide the performance’s heart and soul. As Mary, the character whose home neighbors the family cabin that the Melville brothers are using for the weekend, McKune brings a centered warmth to the proceedings, and is responsible for the play’s biggest laughs and most heartfelt moments.

 
Fratricide Effects: "Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," at the Timber Lake Playhouse through June 15 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Monday, 09 June 2014 06:00

Melissa Weyn in Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor DreamcoatFewer than 90 minutes after it began, the Timber Lake Playhouse’s season-opening production of Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat ended, appropriately, with a blast of exuberant, life-affirming color. Yet at the curtain call for this fantastically well-sung presentation of composer Andrew Lloyd Webber’s and lyricist Tim Rice’s beloved biblical musical, it became clear that the stars of the show weren’t the gifted performers portraying Joseph, the Narrator, or any of director James Beaudry’s 19 other cast members. The real stars, it turned out, were the streamers.

 
Do-Wop-ers with Cheese: "The Taffetas," at the Clinton Area Showboat Theatre through June 15 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 09 June 2014 06:00

Carly Ann Berg, Sarah Randall, Heather Baisley, and Jenna Haimes in The Taffetas; photo by Jean BlackTight harmonies, effervescent smiles, and pastel-colored dresses are the highlights of the Clinton Area Showboat Theatre’s The Taffetas, a jukebox musical featuring songs from the 1950s. Yet it's barely a musical. The production plays out as the titular girls' group makes its national television debut on the Spotlight on Music show – with the Showboat crowd serving as the “live studio audience” for a televised concert – and as there isn’t much dialogue, or much plot, The Taffetas is really more of a revue.

 
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