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Class Clowns: "Miss Nelson Is Missing," at the Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse through May 10 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 23 April 2008 02:13

Miss Nelson is Missing ensemble members The latest presentation at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse is titled Miss Nelson Is Missing, and as family-oriented stage entertainments go, Miss Nelson is about the only thing that is missing from it. An hour-long one-act based on a pair of popular children's books by Harry Allard and James Marshall, this show - snappily directed by Brad Hauskins, who also co-stars - bubbles with color, personality, and wit. And the people wearing the costumes aren't too shabby, either.

 
Cabin Pressures: "The Melville Boys," at the Green Room through April 27 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 23 April 2008 02:10

Jonathan Gregoire, Colleen Winters, Abby Van Gerpen, and Andrew Harvey in The Melville Boys The Green Room's production of the comedic drama The Melville Boys features a great deal of charm, some dramatic heft, and more than a few laughs. Yet it's difficult to describe precisely where the charm, heft, and laughs stem from, because the show's finest moments have little to do with Norm Foster's script, and lots to do with the inflections and invention of its performers. The playwright's offering is, at best, perfectly pleasant, but the Green Room's acting quartet of Jonathan Gregoire, Andrew Harvey, Colleen Winters, and Abby Van Gerpen - under the lively direction of Donna Hare - oftentimes lends it authentic depth of feeling, and that depth results in warmer, more honest humor, and more earned sentiment, than even Foster may have anticipated.

 
Glory!: "Pippin," at St. Ambrose University through April 20 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Saturday, 19 April 2008 06:45

Ryan Westwood, Emily Kurash, Seth Kaltwasser, and Jeremy Pack in PippinGranted, I'm twice the age of most of the show's cast members, but is it unseemly to admit that St. Ambrose University's production of Pippin is sexy as hell?

 
A Corpse Is a Corpse, Of Course, Of Course: "Death in Character" at Black Hawk College thru April 17 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 16 April 2008 02:13

Dana Jarrard, Alysa Grimes, and Neil Friberg in Death in Character As Black Hawk College's current production of Death in Character is a comedic murder mystery, I wouldn't dream of revealing whodunit. But I do feel the need - and here's your requisite Spoiler Alert - to reveal who gets it, because author Stuart Ardern's one-act is one of the few plays of its type I've seen in which its victim, for the two minutes he's on stage, is the most entertaining figure in the show.

 
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.

 
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