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Evolutionary War: “Inherit the Wind,” at St. Ambrose University PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 08 October 2008 02:33

John Hannon, Michael Kennedy, and Dan Hernandez in Inherit the WindAs its storyline was inspired by 1925's notorious Scopes "Monkey Trial," and its original 1955 presentation a response to McCarthyism, Inherit the Wind is one of those theatrical titles that wears its badges of Importance and Social Relevance on its sleeve. And so it isn't until you see the play (or see it again) that you realize (or remember) just how entertaining it is; Jerome Lawrence's and Robert E. Lee's courtroom drama is less a lecture or a harangue than a juicy, if sentimentalized, episode of Law & Order.

 
Undressed to Kill: "The Full Monty," at the Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse through November 8 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 24 September 2008 02:32

Dave Adamick, Nikkieli Demone, Don Denton, Vaughn Irving, Hernando Umana, and Brad Hauskins I was really looking forward to the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse's production of The Full Monty, but that anticipation was nothing compared to how much I was looking forward to watching Friday's audience watch The Full Monty.

 
Alone/Together: "Closer Than Ever," at the Village Theatre through September 28 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 24 September 2008 02:26

Sheri Hess, Tyson Danner, Jackie Madunic, and Larry Adams in Closer Than EverIncluding pianist Craig Clough, there are five cast members in New Ground Theatre's Closer Than Ever, and at the show's opening-day matinée, that was one more person than the number of people who came to see it. This isn't the sort of thing I'd usually mention right off the bat, if at all, but I think it's an important point to make before proceeding, because while this vocally beautiful offering may be deficient in certain areas, the only thing Thursday's production was really lacking was an audience. And for this particular production, the absence of a crowd proved to be a considerable distraction.

 
Swingers: "Promises, Promises," at the Playcrafters Barn Theatre through September 21 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 17 September 2008 02:18

Chris Walljasper and Jaci Entwisle in Promises Promises Chris Walljasper isn't exactly a new face in area theatre, as the actor (and recent co-founder of Davenport's Harrison Hilltop Theatre) appeared in Genesius Guild's and Opera@Augustana's Patience last year summer, the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse's Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story this past winter, and, most memorably, Carousel and A Year with Frog & Toad for Rock Island's The Green Room.

Yet it's entirely conceivable that audiences for the Playcrafters Barn Theatre's Promises, Promises will watch his performance and, on the drive home, ask one another, "Who was that guy?", because Walljasper is delivering the sort of terrifically engaging and endearing musical-comedy turn that makes you wonder why you haven't seen even more of him.

 
"Stella-a-a-a-ar!": "A Streetcar Named Desire," at the Harrison Hilltop Theatre PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Friday, 29 August 2008 09:01

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Well, it turns out that crossing my fingers and rubbing my lucky rabbit's foot didn't do a damned bit of good, as the Harrison Hilltop Theatre's A Streetcar Named Desire closed, after a mere four performances, on August 31. (There was a chance that the show - originally scheduled to open August 21, but delayed due to scheduling conflicts - would run one or two more times in September, yet subsequent scheduling conflicts wound up precluding a second weekend.) Thursday's production was so enjoyable, though, and Kimberly Furness, Eddie Staver III, and Stephanie Burrough were so thrillingly good in it, that I'm more than happy to offer a post-mortem; had director Derek Bertelsen's take on Tennessee Williams' classic run another weekend, it's unimaginable that any devotee of the art of acting would've even thought of missing it.

 
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