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Bush Leagues: "Stuff Happens," at Augustana College through May 6 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 02 May 2007 02:20

David Hare's Stuff Happens is a political drama based on events that transpired between the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and 2003's invasion of Iraq, and in his director's notes for Augustana College's fascinatingly uneven production of the play, Scott Magelssen writes that the "national, racial, and ethnic backgrounds" of the show's characters - which include Colin Powell, Sadaam Hussein, and Yo-Yo Ma - presented "a steep challenge to Augustana College Theatre's casting pool."

 
’Til Death Do Us Partner: "Tuesdays with Morrie," at ComedySportz through May 6 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 02 May 2007 02:18

Ray Gabica and Adam Michael Lewis in Tuesdays with Morrie You can often pinpoint your favorite moment in a particular stage performance, when an actor does something so fresh or unexpected or wonderfully human that the worlds of fictional "reality" and actual reality blur in the most extraordinary way. Ray Gabica, in My Verona Productions' current presentation of Tuesdays with Morrie, doesn't provide one of these moments. If you try really hard, though, you might be able to narrow your favorites down to about 50.

 
Arachnophabulous: "Charlotte’s Web," at the Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse through May 12 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 25 April 2007 02:18

Lauren Van Speybroeck & Janos Horvath in Charlotte's WebWhen the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse produced Charlotte's Web in 2003, I was lucky enough to perform in the show opposite Janos Horvath's Wilbur, and I vividly remember being amazed that someone could give such a touching, wholly credible performance while wearing a rubber pig nose.

The theatre has now revived the production, and luckily for audiences, Horvath and his adorable pink honker are back, too. Yet with all due respect to Horvath - who's as marvelous in the role now as he was then - this version of Charlotte's Web is currently being stolen by someone else entirely. And she's only in fifth grade.

 
Designing Woman: "Crème de Coco," at St. Ambrose University PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 25 April 2007 02:17

Kimberly Furness & Jack C. Kloppenborg in Creme de CocoBefore Friday night's presentation of Crème de Coco commenced, St. Ambrose University theatre professor Corinne Johnson briefly took the stage, and related how proud she was of the evening's entertainment - a world premiere by Broadway playwright William Luce, directed by Broadway veteran Philip William McKinley (both of whom were in attendance). As theatrical coups go, this one was way up there.

Yet as understandably proud as the school's staff was, it's inconceivable that they were any less proud of St. Ambrose alumna Kimberly Furness, who portrayed famed designer Coco Chanel in Luce's 80-minute one-act. For those in attendance for last weekend's shows, memories of Crème de Coco's grandeur will likely last several years. Memories of Furness' performance may last even longer.

 
Death Becomes Him: "Death Takes a Holiday," at the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre through April 22 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 18 April 2007 02:21

Dave Rash, Jim Driscoll, & Molly McLaughlin in Actors frequently speak of performers who "raise the bar," whose personal performance standards are so high that they challenge - and inspire - their co-stars to match them. In Death Takes a Holiday, the comedy/drama/supernatural romance currently playing at the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre, James Driscoll raises the bar so high it's practically celestial.

 
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