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Beer Giggles: "Lone Star" and "Laundry & Bourbon," at Black Hawk College through November 16 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 15 November 2006 02:24

"Lone Star" and 'Laundry & Bourbon" ensemble membersJames McLure's Lone Star, currently being produced at Moline's Black Hawk College, is one of the most delightful theatrical surprises of 2006. Set in the mid-'70s outside a small-town bar in Texas, McLure's one-act is an extended conversation between two brothers - Roy (Damian Cassini), newly returned from Vietnam with emotional baggage and a serious drinking problem, and his sweetly obtuse younger sibling Ray (Jeremy Kelly), whose "football knee" kept him out of service. Over the course of an hour, the brothers bicker, bond, and briefly converse with the town dweeb, Cletis (Nicholas Waldbusser), and all throughout, Lone Star beers are endlessly consumed; by the play's end, Roy will barely be able to stand.

 
New England Patriots: "Our Town," at the Playcrafters Barn Theatre, November 10 through 19 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 07 November 2006 23:49

"Our Town" ensemble members A busier-than-usual weekend dictated that I catch a final dress rehearsal for the Playcrafters Barn Theatre's Our Town on Monday, and at the well-attended preview, I found myself seated behind two couples who chuckled while perusing the program - their amusement stemmed from realizing that Thornton Wilder's play would be produced in three acts, and, as one of the women laughed, "We'll be here past our bedtime."

 
New Ground Ball: "The Winning Streak," at the Nighswander Theatre through November 12 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 07 November 2006 22:25

Pat Flaherty and Jason Platt in "The Winning Streak"Lee Blessing's The Winning Streak, currently at Davenport's Nighswander Theatre, is one of those shows that could easily read better than it plays.

This two-man comedy-drama concerns an estranged father and son who tentatively bond during the late-season rally of a struggling Midwestern baseball team; over the course of seven scenes, Omar (Pat Flaherty) and Ry (Jason Platt) squabble, reach an impasse, and begin squabbling again.

 
Majesty: "King Richard the Second," at the Rock Island Masonic Temple through November 4 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 31 October 2006 22:37

The Prenzie Players in "King Richard the Second" Here's one for fellow fans of Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy: You know how badly we wanted to see The Two Towers after The Fellowship of the Ring? That's how badly I want to see the Prenzie Players' King Henry the Fourth after Saturday night's production of King Richard the Second.

For those of you who aren't Lord of the Rings fans, I think you still get my meaning; King Richard the Second - the first installment in the Shakespeare troupe's three-part cycle of Henry plays, entitled The Henriad - is so thrillingly staged and sublimely well acted that the February continuation can't possibly come soon enough.

 
Wage Rage: "Nickel & Dimed," at Augustana College through November 5 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 31 October 2006 22:35

Augustana ensemble members in "Nickel and Dimed" Most people - whether they've had theatrical experience or not - understand the concept of the Actor's Nightmare. You don't know your lines, you're not in costume, you don't even know what play you're in ... yet you somehow find yourself on stage, in front of an audience, and expected to perform. Now.

Nickel & Dimed, currently playing at Augustana College's Potter Hall, opens with the Server's Nightmare. In the span of five minutes, our protagonist, the newly employed Barbara (Christine Barnes), is briefly introduced to the eatery's wait staff, gets a quick tutorial on procedure, takes breakfast orders from her first (uncooperative) table, brings out their meals, and is immediately ordered to return them - the toast is wrong, the oatmeal is cold, and could I change my side dish to prunes?

At which point Barbara turns to the audience and says, with a frozen grin indicating barely concealed rage, "This is not my real life."

 
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