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Playcrafters’ Latest Showcases an Enchanting Ensemble: "Enchanted April" PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 12 July 2005 18:00

“It’s a shame it all has to end,” says our heroine, Lotty (Karrie McLaughlin), at the end of Playcrafters’ Enchanted April. I completely agreed. The production currently running at Moline’s Barn Theatre is unexpected in the best way possible: Who knew this light, frothy, harmless little romp could be this intoxicating?

 
A Heroic "Pooh," and a Load of Crap: Circa '21's "Winnie the Pooh," and My Verona Productions' "Dingo Boogaloo 2: Taco's Revenge" PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 12 July 2005 18:00

Circa ’21’s Winnie the Pooh at The Rocket through July 23

 

At the opening-day performance of Winnie the Pooh, the air was already so festive – their doors may be temporarily closed, but the Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse is still in business! – that the show was the recipient of enormous goodwill even before it began. Balloons decorated the street, the Rocket Theatre was alive with the noise of excited young uns, the parents seemed in surprisingly good moods … it was a pretty sweet sight. If you have as much fondness for Circa ’21 as I do – and I know some of you do, ’cause I’ve seen you there … – the atmosphere alone would have made Winnie the Pooh worthwhile.

 
A Fully Satisfying "Monty": "The Full Monty" at the Timber Lake Playhouse PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 05 July 2005 18:00
By the time the amateur male strippers perform their exuberant, baring-it-all finale in the Timber Lake Playhouse’s The Full Monty, it might take all your will to not leap from your seat and join them. The high spirits generated by this show are a little overwhelming; with the possible exception of the Clinton Area Showboat’s current production of Ruthless, The Full Monty is the best time I’ve had at the theatre in two months. It’s joyous, technically dexterous, thrillingly performed, and, best of all, absolutely fearless. (You’re aware of this by the end of the overture, when a bare-assed stripper, hounded by female groupies, races across the stage.)

 
Comic Subversion on the Showboat: "Ruthless" at the Clinton Area Showboat Theatre PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 28 June 2005 18:00
Black comedy is tough to pull off, and camp is even tougher, so it’s no small praise to say that the Clinton Area Showboat Theatre’s production of Ruthless is a huge success. This savvy, ballsy musical about a mother-daughter duo who will literally kill to succeed in show biz is so mean and bitchy that it’s sure to piss off or offend all the right people, and it’s a credit to the comic subversion of the theatre’s artistic director, Jay Berkow, that he chose Ruthless as the theatre’s Sound of Music follow-up. The show is vicious and borderline inhuman … and I could barely see my notepad through my tears of laughter.

 
Genesius Guild’s "The Pirates of Penzance" the Right Show for the Right Venue PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 21 June 2005 18:00

When you take in a Genesius Guild production at Rock Island’s Lincoln Park – when you take in any theatrical performance outdoors – you’re at the mercy of the weather, and every once in a while the elements and the production itself will align in a way that feels like perfection.

 
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