If you’re hoping to see some live theatre to forget COVID-19 and the pandemic we’re in, then the Black Box Theatre’s latest, The 39 Steps: A Live Radio Play, is not for you – because director Lora Adams and her fantastic cast have embraced the challenges of producing theatre in 2020 in a way that manages to pay respect to this invisible virus while still keeping the show lighthearted and charming.

If you missed the perfectly timed Valentine’s Day opening of the Spotlight Theatre’s The Wedding Singer, don’t have a cow. There’s a second weekend of this righteous romantic-comedy musical if you’re in need of an extra opportunity to show your sweethearts how much you love them. The energetic cast, familiar storyline, and totally awesome music make for the perfect escape from reality back to the '80s for a few hours.

There was a moment during Friday’s conclusion to the Black Box Theatre’s latest production, I Never Saw Another Butterfly, in which one of the child actors realized the artwork he was holding was upside down, so he turned it around. A seemingly small action, but an absolutely honest one. Children often set out to right the wrongs they see in the world, and while I’m certain director Lora Adams didn’t plan this incident, that tiny gesture drove home the reality of the night’s story for me. Even in a place full of horror, children continue to learn, grow, and create beauty, because that’s what children do.

With a rather evocative title such as Kinky Boots, you may find yourself a tad wary of the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse's latest production. But bring that wariness in and let director M. Seth Reines and his talented cast broaden your scope. Kinky Boots, you see, is an exciting, engaging story for everyone and about everyone.

If you’re looking for an easy way to get revved up about the holiday season, I suggest director Kevin Pieper’s area premiere of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever: The Musical at Quad City Music Guild. This upbeat musical comedy will certainly warm your heart and sweetly remind you of what’s truly important this time of year: kindness.

You don’t want to be late for the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse's latest presentation Mr. Scrooge! A Musical Christmas Carol. About 15 minutes before the November 30 performance, actor Brad Hauskins appeared, clanging a bell and wandering about the house announcing that the show would begin shortly. With his proclamation, the production's merry band of actors appeared in a flurry of revelry – some delegated to bring props and costume pieces on stage, others to interact with young audience members through amusing games and activities – and immediately lifted the audience energy from unremarkable to “Wow!”

If you have a preconceived notion that William Shakespeare plays are uppity, pretentious, or hard to follow, then you need to get yourself over to the QC Theatre Workshop this weekend to see the Prenzie Players’ current production of The Merry Wives of Windsor. Friday’s opening night of this hilarious romp was just so much fun that it’s hard to properly articulate all that made it so. That’s not, however, going to stop me from trying.

It has to be said, with a show titled The Man With Bogart’s Face, that I expected it to be primarily about someone who looked a bit like legendary film and theatre actor Humphrey Bogart. And yet, the reference to the lead character’s plastic surgery to resemble Bogart was just a throwaway moment at the beginning of the Black Box Theatre’s latest production.

My Tuesday evening was disjointed and off-balance, and I spent a good chunk of time vacillating between being frantic, frustrated, and overcome with hysterical laughter. Which, as it turns out, is actually the perfect mindset in which to see the Richmond Hill Players' One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

Move over Romeo and Juliet – there are new star-crossed lovers in town. The QC Theatre Workshop’s latest production, Gruesome Playground Injuries, explores both pain and possibility in a tale of lifelong friendship and love.

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