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Prince Charming. Princess, Too.: "Once Upon a Mattress" at the Prospect Park Auditorium thru April 6 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Thursday, 03 April 2008 01:57

Joe Urbaitis and Heather McGonigle in Once Upon a MattressIf you peruse your program before the Quad City Music Guild's current production of Once Upon a Mattress, you'll see that Joe Urbaitis plays a character named Prince Dauntless the Drab. While watching the actor, it probably won't take long for you to decide that Urbaitis is colossally miscast in the role, as his inventive, fearlessly funny performance in this musical comedy is anything but drab.

 

 
Gospel Truths: "Smoke on the Mountain," through May 24 at the Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 02 April 2008 02:34

Andrew Crowe, Kimberly Furness, Vaughn M. Irving, and Jenny Stodd in Smoke on the Mountain

During the first few minutes of Smoke on the Mountain, the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse's current gospel comedy, the stage is only occupied by the Reverend Mervin Oglethorpe (Vaughn M. Irving), the devout, twitchy preacher at the Mount Pleasant Baptist Church. It's the summer of 1938 in rural North Carolina, and the good Reverend has a problem: He's arranged for the Sanders Family Singers to perform for his congregation, and with the service scheduled to begin, they're nowhere to be found.

 
No Holds Bard: "The Taming of the Shrew," at the Rock Island Masonic Temple through March 16 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 12 March 2008 02:40

Chris Moore and Beth Woolley

The way I see it, the only real problem with the Prenzie Players (and it's more a problem for me than them) is that their performance standard is so consistently high that when they produce a show that satisfies even beyond that standard, you don't quite know how to describe it. Regarding the theatrical troupe's current production of The Taming of the Shrew, then, let me just state that it's the best time I've had at an area show in all of 2008. And, quite possibly, in all of 2007. And 2006. The invention and commitment and laugh-'til-you-cry hilarity of director Jeremy Mahr's presentation is truly staggering; it transports you to a state of complete happiness that you don't ever want to return from.

 
Wife Swap: "Anybody for Murder?," at the Playcrafters Barn Theatre through March 16 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 12 March 2008 02:38

Christopher Tracy, Jean Lupoli, and Pamela Crouch

In the Playcrafters Barn Theatre's current production of Anybody for Murder?, Christopher Tracy plays Max Harrington, a seemingly mild-mannered gentleman who, through the course of the play, will attempt to murder his wife, convince his girlfriend to assume her identity, attempt to murder his girlfriend, drug potential witnesses, and lie to everyone he comes in contact with. Yet while Max may be a monster, it's pretty apparent that Tracy himself is just about the best friend a moderately funny comedic thriller could ask for.

 
Cassioblanca: "Richard Blaine, the Merchant of Morocco," at Scott Community College through March 16 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 12 March 2008 02:37

Chris Wadsager and Daniel Schaub

In November, I had the chance to see Scott Community College's presentation of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare [abridged], and the production, like the play itself, was a hit-and-miss spoof on the Bard's entire output. Not all of the jokes - nor all of the performances - were at peak freshness, but it was still an agreeably goofball entertainment that showcased a number of promising actors, and so I had every reason to expect the same from the school's current offering, Richard Blaine, the Merchant of Morocco, as its subtitle is a pretty fair précis for the show as a whole: Or, If Shakespeare Had Written Casablanca.

 
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