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Don't Move!: "Love Thy Neighbor," at the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre through August 25 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 19 August 2013 06:00

Jim Strauss, Jan Golz, and Stacy McKean Herrick in Love Thy NeighborThe sharp wit of playwright Gary Ray Stapp’s dialogue goes a long way to overcome the occasional humorless spots in the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre's production of Love Thy Neighbor. And when the cast is delivering Stapp’s most amusing banter, director Eugenia Giebel’s presentation titillates sometimes to the point of tears, particularly as Jan Golz’s self-important, riff-raff-hating busybody Leona Crump squares off against Diane Greenwood’s dolled-up, somewhat pompous Tupperware and Avon saleswoman Ava. The two create sparks of entertaining disdain for each other, and best suggest the overall tone Stapp apparently intended for his play.

 
Who's the Boss?: "9 to 5: The Musical," at the Prospect Park Auditorium through August 18 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 12 August 2013 06:00

Kelly Thompson, Dolores Sierra, Katie Casey, Valeree Pieper, and Shana Kulhavy in 9 to 5: The MusicalQuad City Music Guild’s production of 9 to 5: The Musical is flat-out fun, with loads of laughs and major amusement delivered throughout the two-and-a-half-hour presentation. Friday’s performance, for me, was one of the most enjoyable stagings of the summer, with exceptional performances from the musical’s three main actors as well as several supporting cast members. The pit band, under the music direction of music Gregg Neuleib, didn’t seem to miss a note during their dynamic accompaniment. And Erin Churchill’s peppy choreography seems of a higher level of difficulty than is customary at Music Guild, but in a welcome way, as the show's ensemble proved up to the task. With its perfect pacing and high energy, and under the capable direction of John VanDeWoestyne, I’d say Music Guild has a definite hit on its (stage)hands.

 
The Down-and-Dirty Dozen: "12 Angry Men," at the District Theatre through August 10 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 05 August 2013 06:00

the District Theatre's 12 Angry Men ensembleIt only takes the jurors of the District Theatre’s 12 Angry Men an hour to deliberate and arrive at a verdict in the play’s murder trial, but director Tristan Tapscott’s production in no way feels rushed or stunted. Instead, Thursday’s 60-minute trip through this classic piece of theatre did a fine job of showcasing the excellence of playwright Reginald Rose’s script. Plus, purists be damned, Tapscott’s decision to cast women in what’s traditionally – even titularly – an all-male drama proves not at all problematic, and allows for the inclusion of Patti Flaherty, and her infusion of humorous personality traits, in the role of Juror Four.

 
No Taxation Without (Satiric) Representation: “The Acharnians,” at Lincoln Park through August 4 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 29 July 2013 06:00

Calvin Vo and Bryan Woods in The AcharniansThis year’s end-of-season Greek comedy by Genesius Guild, The Acharnians, is high on political humor, musical numbers, and sharply funny barbs at the expense of local organizations – especially Genesis Health System and Trinity Regional Health System (now UnityPoint Health) – and the cities of Moline, Davenport, and Rock Island. And I was smiling from ear to ear during almost the entirety of Saturday’s performance, tickled by the clever jokes, amusing songs, and even the groan-worthy puns.

 
He and His Shadow: "Peter Pan," at the Prospect Park Auditorium through July 21 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Monday, 15 July 2013 06:00

Sarah Lounsberry in Peter PanQuad City Music Guild’s Thursday-night preview performance of Peter Pan – which, it should be stressed, was still technically a rehearsal – clocked in at roughly an hour and 55 minutes, making director Beth Marsoun’s presentation at least a half-hour shorter than any of the four other Peter Pans I’ve thus far seen on stage. This proved, at alternating times, to be both a very good thing and a rather unfortunate thing. But let’s start with the good.

 
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