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Circa '21's "Christmas from the Heart" Rates a Holiday Cheer PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 15 November 2005 18:00
Christmas from the Heart, which opens the Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse’s 29th season, is a holiday-themed musical revue, and as such, it has a built-in advantage that many stage works don’t: Audiences don’t make many demands of it. When presented with a piece of this sort – in which the production is essentially an excuse for linking together a diverse group of carols and holiday hits – no one really cares what the story is about or whether the characters have any depth; all we ask is that the numbers are well-sung and that the show maintains a lively pace, and if it’s funny or touching or particularly well-designed, those are just added bonuses.

 
Passable Entertainment, Questionable Education: "The Scottish Play: A Travesty!" at Black Hawk College PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 15 November 2005 18:00
I love attending local college and university stage productions, partly because it’s such a wonderful reminder of my days as a theatre major – ah, the reassuring familiarity of Augustana College’s Potter Hall! - but also because the shows’ participants are generally involved with theatre because they truly want to be; with the possible exception of staff members, no one’s doing it just for the paycheck. (No one should ever be doing theatre for the paycheck, but that’s another issue entirely.)

 
"It’s a Wonderful Life" at Playcrafters, but Not a Wonderful Script PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 08 November 2005 18:00
Your enjoyment of the stage version of It’s a Wonderful Life – at least the James W. Rogers adaptation currently playing at the Playcrafters Barn Theatre – will likely depend on your familiarity with the classic film. I’m guessing that those who don’t already know the story will get more out of the experience than those who do, but how many of us, exactly, does that leave?

 
A Freshman Talent Provides the Importance for Seeing "Earnest": "The Importance of Being Earnest" at Augustana College PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 01 November 2005 18:00
Augustana College’s production of Oscar Wilde’s classic comedy of manners The Importance of Being Earnest is perfectly acceptable entertainment, rarely inspired but always watchable. Yet it has the enormous good fortune to feature one performance that shoots way past the acceptable and enters the realm of the extraordinary – David Cocks’ portrayal of the delectably devious John Worthing is the sort of riotously funny and brilliantly executed stunt that makes you more than eager for his next appearance; he’s so elemental to the show’s success that it’s nearly distracting when he’s not on stage. And here’s the kicker: This is freshman Cocks’ first appearance on the Potter Hall stage. The mind boggles at what may be in store for audiences over the next four years.

 
Shakes-peerless: The Prenzie Players' "Twelfth Night: Or, What You Will" PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 25 October 2005 18:00

In the Prenzie Players’ hugely entertaining production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night: Or, What You Will, there’s an encounter so heart-stoppingly strong that it might be the single most effective stage moment I’ve witnessed all year.

 
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