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Whose Life is it Anyway?: "Inside Out," at the Village Theatre Complex through April 13 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Saturday, 12 April 2008 07:49

the Inside Out ensembleMy Verona Productions' last stage presentation premiered almost a year ago, so you could argue that the company is simply making up for lost time with its production of Christian Krauspe's Inside Out, a play within a play within a play (within another play, if I interpreted the climactic scene correctly). Yet based on its April 10 preview performance, the author's work-in-progress is still less a play than a stoner's conceit - "What if, like, everything we say and do is being written by, like, some unseen higher power who's, like, determining our actions without, like, our knowing it?" - and holds together about as well as most stoned ramblings; a few hours and a few bags of chips later, your "insights" begin to look rather dim.

 
Uncivil War: "Moonlight & Magnolias," at the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre through April 13 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 09 April 2008 02:02

Jason Platt and Don Faust in Moonlight & Magnolias It doesn't happen often, thank heavens. But I occasionally leave a theatrical production less disappointed than pissed off, as I'm occasionally forced into watching talented people dedicate their energies to a show that's clearly beneath them. Such is the case, sadly, with the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre's Moonlight & Magnolias, playwright Ron Hutchinson's comedy about the (imagined) farcical re-writing of the Gone with the Wind screenplay, and a work so confused and offensive that it all but completely nullifies the enthusiasm with which it's being produced.

 
Prince Charming. Princess, Too.: "Once Upon a Mattress" at the Prospect Park Auditorium thru April 6 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Thursday, 03 April 2008 01:57

Joe Urbaitis and Heather McGonigle in Once Upon a MattressIf you peruse your program before the Quad City Music Guild's current production of Once Upon a Mattress, you'll see that Joe Urbaitis plays a character named Prince Dauntless the Drab. While watching the actor, it probably won't take long for you to decide that Urbaitis is colossally miscast in the role, as his inventive, fearlessly funny performance in this musical comedy is anything but drab.

 

 
Gospel Truths: "Smoke on the Mountain," through May 24 at the Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 02 April 2008 02:34

Andrew Crowe, Kimberly Furness, Vaughn M. Irving, and Jenny Stodd in Smoke on the Mountain

During the first few minutes of Smoke on the Mountain, the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse's current gospel comedy, the stage is only occupied by the Reverend Mervin Oglethorpe (Vaughn M. Irving), the devout, twitchy preacher at the Mount Pleasant Baptist Church. It's the summer of 1938 in rural North Carolina, and the good Reverend has a problem: He's arranged for the Sanders Family Singers to perform for his congregation, and with the service scheduled to begin, they're nowhere to be found.

 
No Holds Bard: "The Taming of the Shrew," at the Rock Island Masonic Temple through March 16 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 12 March 2008 02:40

Chris Moore and Beth Woolley

The way I see it, the only real problem with the Prenzie Players (and it's more a problem for me than them) is that their performance standard is so consistently high that when they produce a show that satisfies even beyond that standard, you don't quite know how to describe it. Regarding the theatrical troupe's current production of The Taming of the Shrew, then, let me just state that it's the best time I've had at an area show in all of 2008. And, quite possibly, in all of 2007. And 2006. The invention and commitment and laugh-'til-you-cry hilarity of director Jeremy Mahr's presentation is truly staggering; it transports you to a state of complete happiness that you don't ever want to return from.

 
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