Saturday night’s performance of Venus in Fur at the QC Theatre Workshop was … steamy. Not only in terms of the material, but in the talent on-stage, as real-life married couple Thomas Alan Taylor and Jessica Taylor set the stage ablaze in a two-person show about a young actress who all but forces her way into an audition and proves, over the course of 100 minutes, to be far more then she claims to be.

Augustana College's production of In the Next Room (or The Vibrator Play) takes the audience back to the simpler time of the 1800s, when electricity was being discovered, doctors still worked out of their homes, and females were apparently so sexually repressed they were driving themselves insane.

This past Friday was freaky. Because at the opening night for the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse’s Freaky Friday musical, the many stories of the evening – director Erin Thompson’s return to the theatre where she got her start in 1993’s Annie; her show being Thompson’s first professional directing credit – included the sheer splendor of the entire performance, from the acting to the dancing to the incredible singing. My wife and I definitely left the experience saying, “That was freaky good.”

As I sat in the audience for the Playcrafters Barn Theatre's opening-night performance of Miracle on 34th Street, I had to constantly remind myself that I was watching a Christmas show. Not because the production wasn’t festive, but because I couldn’t believe the holiday season is already here!

At the opening night for the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse's Ring of Fire, the show began with its eight-person cast, one by one, declaring, “I am Johnny Cash.” Throughout the performance, they all at some point embodied the spirit of “The Man in Black.” And while the production boasts a 34-song set list covering much of Cash’s long songwriting career, I use the phrase “set list” intentionally, because the production does feel more like a concert than a traditional musical.

Given its completely sold-out run, it’s hard to say that you should rush to get your tickets to see the Black Box Theatre’s production of Rock of Ages. But for those lucky enough to have tickets – or to find some way to get them – you're in for a good time.

I left Friday’s opening-night performance of Brighton Beach Memoirs – the final show in the Mississippi Bend Players' inaugural season – with several thoughts on my mind: (1) How do I review something of this caliber? (2) Everyone should go see this, so they, too, can realize how lucky we are to have such talent in the Quad Cities. (3) This show is so good I wish I was a part of it!

Let me begin by stating, honestly, that I am a huge Disney fan, and have a major bias toward anything Disney-related. So when seeing The Little Mermaid come to life during Quad City Music Guild's June 8 preview, the show would've had to be a catastrophe for me to not enjoy myself. Thankfully, it wasn't one.

Sometimes a play is written to highlight societal troubles at the time it was written. And sometimes that play gets performed nearly 65 years later, and its message and themes are just as powerful and meaningful now as they were then.

Spoiler Alert: The ship sinks.

But what didn't sink was April 28's opening-night production of Augustana College's musical Titanic. Beginning with its opening number that wowed me in terms of sound quality and the power of its ensemble cast, I had to occasionally remind myself that I was at a college production.

Pages