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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.

St. Ambrose University’s "Urinetown": So Funny I Almost... PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 18 October 2005 18:00
Since St. Ambrose University’s production of Urinetown at the Galvin Fine Arts Center has already closed, there’s probably not much point in a review. So consider this a thank-you note instead. I had more fun at the school’s production of this 2001 musical comedy than I have at nearly any other entertainment I’ve been to over the past few months. The show was terrifically staged and, almost across the board, vibrantly performed, but most inspiring of all, the audience was truly alive to it; Urinetown smashes the understood conventions of musical theatre to smithereens, and the Friday night crowd appeared positively delighted that it did. The show was a risk, and one that paid off big time.

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