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Cinema Scope: "Blame It on the Movies," at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse through August 28 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 11 August 2014 06:00

Marc Ciemiewicz, Andrea Moore, Sara Nicks, Sunshine Ramsey, Jennifer Diab, Antoinette Holman, and Brad Hauskins in Blame It on the MoviesFor me, the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse's Bootleggers' show is a bi-annual delight. It's a treat to see the men and women who serve our salads, drinks, and desserts all year – and who perform for a few minutes prior to each production – get their own show. This is their chance to shine and, while Blame It On the Movies isn't quite as fun, overall, as past Bootlegger revues, its cast proves that they deserve more time in the spotlight.

 
Sturdy with Fringe on Top: "Oklahoma!", at the Prospect Park Auditorium through August 17 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Monday, 11 August 2014 06:00

Oklahoma!'s Jen Sondgeroth and David M. MillerIf you’re planning to see Quad City Music Guild’s Oklahoma!, I’d recommend getting to the theatre at least 10 minutes before the presentation begins. Those buying – or hoping to buy – tickets at the door should certainly arrive earlier than that; Friday’s opening-night performance was already nearly sold out, and I imagine word-of-mouth will make the musical’s second weekend equally jam-packed. But 10 minutes seems like an appropriate amount of time to take in this production’s absolute beauty of a set, and besides, you might find yourself forgetting about the set once the cast shows up and gives you even more wonderful things to look at.

 
Going Carrolling: "Alice in Wonderland," at the Clinton Area Showboat Theatre through August 17 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 11 August 2014 06:00

the Clinton Area Showboat Theatre presents Alice in WonderlandThe Clinton Area Showboat Theatre’s Alice in Wonderland is one of those productions that must be accepted for what it is. In this case, it’s Lewis Carroll’s classic story adapted for the stage by director Kristin Katsu and the company of Showboat interns, along with a few of this summer’s cast members. In truth, much of the show plays like it was written by high school students (as it was), particularly the early scene in which the cast gathers on stage and shares their hurts, frustrations, and dreams. The teen-centric concerns involving acceptance and the hopes of making a difference in the world came off a bit pretentious during Friday's performance, leaving me thinking, “Ah, youth.” However, these young actors delivered their sentiments with such earnest sincerity that the play is rendered more tolerable through their joy and excitement in sharing their creation.

 
Knight Lite: "Monty Python's Spamalot," at the District Theatre through August 17 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 04 August 2014 06:00

Doug Kutzli, Chris Tracy, Matt Holmes, Wendy Czekalski, Mike kelly, and Bob Manasco in Monty Python's SpamalotThe District Theatre's Monty Python's Spamalot seems like an amateur talent show, particularly due to the limitations of the company's new performance space in Rock Island's former Grape Life venue. (The new locale is so small, it redefines "intimate theatre" in the Quad Cities.) Yet while the limited movement due to the lack of stage space creates an amateurish feel, I’m happy to say that much of the rest of Friday's production emphasized talent. If it was an intentional decision to present the material as a novice attempt to recreate Monty Python's (arguably) best-loved film, Monty Python & the Holy Grail, it was a smart one on director Tristan Tapscott's part. Space doesn't allow for a big production, so Tapscott embraces the limitations of the new stage area, and it works.

 
Hear the People Sing: "Les Misérables," at the Timber Lake Playhouse through August 10 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 04 August 2014 06:00

John B. Leen in Les MiserablesIf the Timber Lake Playhouse’s production of Les Misérables is the only experience some theatre-goers will have with Alain Boublil’s and Claude-Michel Schönberg’s much-loved musical, I think that would be more than okay. Director Matthew Teague Miller and his cast and crew not only do justice to the material, but present it in a memorable way that, for me, actually improves on the long-running Broadway version. This is an exceptional production, boasting fantastic performances and exquisite imagery.

 
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