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Discomfort Food: "Strangers on a Train," at the Playcrafters Barn Theatre through January 21 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 17 January 2007 02:20

Alexa Florence and Chris Zayner in You can tell that the Playcrafters Barn Theatre's production of Strangers on a Train is doing its job, and doing it quite well, because - at Friday's opening-night performance, at any rate - the show appears to be making a large segment of its audience really uncomfortable.

 
Bah!: "Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol," at the Nighswander Theatre through December 16 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 13 December 2006 02:40

Jessica Denney & Earl Strupp in "Jacob Marley's Christmas Carol"After attending the New Ground Theatre's production of Jacob Marley's Christmas Carol, I wasn't much surprised to learn that Tom Mula's play has been broadcast on NPR numerous times now; a dramatization of Charles Dickens' Christmas Carol story through Marley's point-of-view, the show, with its blend of performance and frequent narration, seems tailor-made for radio. What I can't understand, though - at least based on New Ground's presentation - is what makes it a good fit for the stage.

 
Sole Patrol: "The Elves & the Shoemaker," at the Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse through December 26 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 06 December 2006 02:31

"The Elves & the Shoemaker"I'm good friends with more than a few actors who frequently perform at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse, and I'm occasionally asked if my ties to them - and to the venue itself - skew my opinions about Circa ‘21 productions. I'd like to think they don't ... but then I'll be confronted with a production such as The Elves & the Shoemaker. I had a blast at the theatre's new family musical, yet I'm forced to address a nagging issue: Did I enjoy it because it's good, or did I enjoy it because the act of watching my pals doing goofy-ass shtick in goofy-ass costumes makes me unaccountably happy?

 
The Roar of the Crowds: St. Ambrose University's "Narnia" and Quad City Music Guild’s "It’s a Wonderful Life: The Musical" PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 06 December 2006 02:29

Mike Millar & Stephanie Perry in "It's a Wonderful Life: The Musical"This past Saturday, I had the unique opportunity to catch two local theatrical productions: St. Ambrose University's Narnia (an hour-long stage version of C.S. Lewis' The Lion, the Witch, & the Wardrobe) and the Quad City Music Guild's presentation of It's a Wonderful Life: The Musical. (Both closed on Sunday, December 3.)

Despite obvious differences in subject matter and audience demographic - Narnia was geared toward the 10-and-under set, while Wonderful Life was designed for ... well, pretty much everyone else - the shows did bear a striking similarity, in that both were musical adaptations of decidedly un-musical works with enormous fan bases; St. Ambrose and Music Guild could probably have secured full houses based on the titles alone.

 
Ich Bien ein Berliner: "Irving Berlin’s White Christmas," at Circa ’21 through January 6 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 15 November 2006 02:26

"Irving Berlin's White Christmas" ensemble Friday's performance of Irving Berlin's White Christmas at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse was so joyous, so committed to giving audiences a good time, that it easily transcended its opening-night technical gaffes. Hell, the sound system could've exploded and the set could've come crashing down - knock knock knock - and the cast still would have sold the show.

 
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