I feel confident in giving Red two thumbs up, but should you attend for yourself and disagree with me … . Well, I think that’s exactly the point of director Cait Bodenbender’s production: You can choose for yourself as long as you do so from a place of honesty.

Did you hear the energetic trumpeting coming from Rock Island this past weekend? Because Elephant & Piggie’s “We Are in a Play!” debuted on the Circa ‘21 Dinner Playhouse stage and was chock full of trumpets, both of the elephantine and brass-instrumental variety. Director Kim Kurtenbach kept the energy in this production high and the overall experience was a joy – a veritable celebration of friendship.

There’s an adage “hurt people hurt people.” It's a cliché, certainly, but it sums up the experience currently on the Playcrafters Barn Theatre stage. Friday was the opening night for Princeton’s Rage, written by local playwright Don Faust, and under the direction of Madison Duling, the evening was full of emotions and pain, but also well-needed healing.

If life is making you lonely, you can always go downtown to the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse and experience their latest offering Beehive: The '60s Musical. Director/choreographer Shelley Cooper and her gang of six ladies will take you on a musical journey through the decade that is chock-full of your classic favorites. This fun night of familiar tunes is exactly the answer – it’s a gas!

Once again, and hopefully for good, theatre is back in the Quad Cities, and the Black Box Theatre is dipping its toe into the world of live performances with Dick Tracy: A Live Radio Play. Director Lora Adams started Saturday's performance by describing it as a helping of Chinese Food Theatre: We would be full when we left, but hungry for more theatre soon. While this metaphor made me chuckle, I soon realized just how true it was. This charming foray back into theatre definitely left me eager for more.

The plot for Waiting for Godot, currently running at Moline’s Black Box Theatre, is rather simple: Two men wait near a tree for the infamous Godot. It’s unclear how many days they’ve already been waiting, or how much longer the wait will take. How the men pass time makes up the meat of this story, and Samuel Beckett’s absurdist classic ultimately grapples with the age-old question: What does it all mean?

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.

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