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The Wonderful World of Disney: Quad City Music Guild's "Beauty & the Beast" PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 09 August 2005 18:00

As Belle, the heroine of the Quad City Music Guild’s Beauty & the Beast, Jenny Winn is a complete cartoon, and I mean that in the best way possible. It’s generally thrilling when performers deviate from the expectations associated with a well-known character, but playing a role exactly the way an audience expects it to be played has its own rewards, and in Beauty & the Beast, Winn gives such a flawless approximation of a living-and-breathing animated figure that you might find it impossible not to stare at her with a big, goofy grin plastered on your face.

 
Running on Half-Empty: "Pump Boys & Dinettes" at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 09 August 2005 18:00
The Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse enjoys a luxury that no other theatrical venues in the area do: Its productions, on average, run about eight weeks each, allowing good shows plenty of time to eventually become very, very good shows. Given this, I’m guessing that the theatre’s latest offering, Pump Boys & Dinettes, will, by its closing night on September 17, end up … fine.

 
In Praise of the CAST Cast: "Don't Drink the Water" at the Clinton Area Showboat Theatre PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 02 August 2005 18:00
Perhaps the biggest pleasure in attending an entire season of summer-stock theatre lies in the chance to see familiar faces in show after show. If a company’s actors have impressed you in the past, just noticing their names in a new program is enough to make you smile, and I’ve now smiled throughout four consecutive shows at the Clinton Area Showboat Theatre (CAST). By this point, I’m so happy just seeing Katherine Walker Hill and Nicole Horton and Chris Amos and Craig Merriman and Patrick Stinson and Sandee Cunningham and Michael Oberfield and the rest of CAST’s 2005 ensemble that it barely matters what show they’re in; with actors this enjoyable, audiences are all but guaranteed to have a great time. (It’s a wonderful argument for remaining faithful to a theatre … and for purchasing season subscriptions.)

 
Notre Damn! An Extraordinary New "Hunchback": "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" at the Timber Lake Playhouse PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 02 August 2005 18:00
The Hunchback of Notre Dame, currently being presented at the Timber Lake Playhouse, is a little bit Jesus Christ Superstar, a little bit Frank Wildhorn, and a whole lotta Les Miserables, but it has a narrative structure and momentum that’s all its own, and it’s continually surprising – I can’t recall the last time I felt so alert at the theatre. (It helps that this musical adaptation of Victor Hugo’s novel is unfamiliar to most of us, having been produced only once before – at the Drury Lane Oakbrook Theatre – in 1994, and having gone through extensive revision since then.)

 
Genesius Guild's "The Knights"’ Script Nearly Triumphs Over Its Execution PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 02 August 2005 18:00
Saturday’s opening-night production of Aristophanes’ The Knights, which closes Genesius Guild’s summer season and runs through this weekend, began with a few words from Guild founder – and uncredited Knights scribe – Don Wooten, and it’s hard to imagine the evening commencing on a more charming note.

 
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