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Bedford Falls ... and Falls ... and Falls ... : "A Wonderful Life," at Circa ’21 through January 3 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 19 November 2008 02:11

ensemble members in A Wonderful LifeI've seen worse musicals than A Wonderful Life, the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse's new stage version of Frank Capra's film classic It's a Wonderful Life. I've even seen worse stage versions of It's a Wonderful Life, one of them, produced way back in 1987, at Circa '21.

 
A Fine Mess: "The Odd Couple," at the Harrison Hilltop Theatre through November 23 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 19 November 2008 02:09

Don Hazen and Greg O'Neill in The Odd CoupleAs the lights rise on the Harrison Hilltop Theatre's presentation of The Odd Couple, neither Oscar Madison nor Felix Ungar is on stage, though it's clear from the trash-strewn décor that we're in Oscar's living room. Four of the duo's pals are in the midst of their weekly poker game, and eventually one of them calls out to the off-stage kitchen, asking Oscar if he's in or out. Oscar replies, yet before we see him, his voice - moderately high-pitched and a little strangled, and with distinct East Coast cadences - is unmistakable. Oh my God!, you think. Steve Buscemi!

 
Rules of Engagement: "Jack, or the Submission," at Black Hawk College through November 22 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Friday, 14 November 2008 10:00

Elizabeth Paxton, Tommy Ratkiewicz, and Lynn AaronsonA bridegroom - petulant, abused, and unwilling to utter the five words that would please his family most: "I adore hash brown potatoes."

His father - abrasive, tyrannical, and ready to walk out on his family ... though he will be back for mealtimes.

His mother - overbearing, hypochondriacal, and vociferously proud of her questionable child-rearing tactics. ("I gave you your first spanking!")

And the bride-to-be - nearly mute, and the possessor of feet like Shrek's and two noses ... which would be fine if her intended didn't prefer a fiancée with three noses.

 
Little Orphan Anne: "Anne of Green Gables," at the Playcrafters Barn Theatre through November 16 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 12 November 2008 02:12

Greg Bouljon, Sydney Crumbleholme, and Karen Decker in Anne of Green Gables Sydney Crumbleholme, a freshman at Moline High School, plays the title character in the Playcrafters Barn Theatre's current Anne of Green Gables, and I doubt there has been a better, more inspiring piece of casting on area stages in all of 2008.

 
Heaven-Sent: "Angels in America: Millennium Approaches," at The Green Room through November 9 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 05 November 2008 02:32

the Angels in America: Millennium Approaches ensemble Tony Kushner's Angels in America has an intimidating reputation: It's a work in two parts - Millennium Approaches and Perestroika - that earned its playwright a Pulitzer Prize; it boldly explores religion, politics, and homosexuality in Reagan's America; and its two leading figures are men recently diagnosed with AIDS. So where, in regard to The Green Room's current presentation of Millennium Approaches, do I begin in describing just how much freaking fun this show is?

 
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