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Sets Appeal: St. Ambrose University’s "Charlotte’s Web" and Music Guild’s "Miracle on 34th Street" PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 05 December 2007 02:40

Ryan Westwood and Emily Christiansen in Charlotte's Web If I counted correctly, St. Ambrose University's Charlotte's Web and Quad City Music Guild's Miracle on 34th Street featured a grand total of five dozen actors between them. Yet the true stars of both musicals weren't among those individuals; despite boasting an excellent Wilbur the Pig in Ryan Westwood, Charlotte's Web was primarily a triumph for set designer Kristofer Eitrheim, and Miracle belonged to no one so much as scenic artist Bob Williams. Eitrheim's and Williams' contributions were dazzling, and my only regret in raving about their work now is that it's too late for new audiences to admire it. (Both presentations ran only one weekend and closed on December 2.)

 
Spirited Away: "A Christmas Carol," at the Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse through December 23 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 28 November 2007 02:46

Brad Hauskins, Jordan Schmidt, and Adam Michael Lewis in A Christmas Carol When the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse last produced A Christmas Carol in 1998, the family musical's daytime performances ran concurrently with evening performances of Miracle on 34th Street. I was a member of Carol's cast at the time, and as I recall, we kind of thought the shows should have swapped positions; the chipper, candy-colored Miracle seemed ideal for kids, while the frequently dark Charles Dickens tale, with its themes of regret and mortality, appeared better-suited to a more mature crowd.

 
A Play in a Manger: "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever," at Richmond Hill through November 24 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 21 November 2007 03:01

Lauren Plumley in The Best Christmas Pageant EverI'd be tempted to call the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre's latest offering the best Christmas pageant ever even if that wasn't its title. Yet that description wouldn't come close to suggesting just how successful it is as a play.

 
Play It Again, Irv: "Irving Berlin’s White Christmas," at Circa ’21 through January 5 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 14 November 2007 02:27

Erin Dickerson and Gabriel Beck in White ChristmasAmong those I spoke with during the show's subsequent opening-night party, the prevailing opinion seemed to be that the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse's new production of Irving Berlin's White Christmas was superior to the 2006 production, and I guess that maybe, in several respects, it was.

 
Holiday Punch for the Soul: "Uh-Oh, Here Comes Christmas," at Playcrafters through November 18 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 14 November 2007 02:25

the Uh-Oh, Here Comes Christmas ensemble At last Monday's well-attended preview performance of the Playcrafters Barn Theatre's Uh-Oh, Here Comes Christmas, most of the mostly senior audience seemed delighted by the show.

 
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