While Friday’s opening night for Countryside Community Theatre’s production of Newsies: The Musical didn’t completely change my mind about the plot points (why is “Santa Fe” now the opening number?!), director/choreographer Ashley Mills Becher’s version packed big punches of fun and personality that made the night undeniably exciting.

This past weekend, in all its masked glory, Genesius Guild’s Hippolytus featured gorgeous face coverings designed by Daitlyn Duffy and fitted by Bob Hanske, and these were certainly not your typical COVID-era face masks, either; they were works of art that amazingly kept mouths uncovered. When paired with Sara Wegner’s absolutely beautiful costumes, I was swept up in the story before anyone said a single word.

Family history can often be synonymous with family drama. And anyone who has ever argued over ownership of a family heirloom with their sibling will probably appreciate the Playcrafters Barn Theatre's current production.

Once Mamma Mia!'s overture started and the curtains opened – my my – it was nothing short of theatre magic.

Many questions were raised this last Fourth-of-July weekend, such as: Do you prefer hot dogs or hamburgers? Which summertime dessert should you bring to the barbeque? Most importantly: How much do you really know about Shakespeare? While the first two questions are a mere matter of opinion, Genesius Guild looks forward to helping you better answer that third question with the company's latest production Shakespeare’s Life in His Works.

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.