Thursday, August 10, and Thursday, August 17, 7:15 p.m.
Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse, 1828 Third Avenue, Rock Island IL
Boasting solos and ensemble numbers from Broadway hits, pop-music smashes, and the beloved Disney canon, The Best of the Bootleggers: Post-COVID Edition will showcase the sensational professional talents of the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse's staffers, the August 10 and 17 performances featuring memorable numbers delivered by one of only two performing waits staffs in dinner theatres nationwide.
Famed for producing and performing 15-minute song-and-dance revues prior to the mainstage entertainment, Circa '21's Bootleggers have created 15 original pre-shows since reopening from the venue's COVID-forced closure in early 2021. In The Best of the Bootleggers, the wait staff's first full-length showcase in four years, the theatre's performing servers recreate some of their favorite song-and-dance routines, including numbers from the popular pre-show from Disney's Beauty & the Beast that boasted such classic tunes as "Shiny," "When Will My Life Begin," "Mother Knows Best," and the Lion King favorite "Circle of Life," From the Beehive pre-show will come songs from the Broadway musical Hair, and from the Saturday Night Fever performance, the Bootleggers deliver a salute to disco classics such as "Boogie Nights," "Kung Fu Fighting," "Turn the Beat Around," and the Oscar-winning "Last Dance. Collectively, The Best of the Bootleggers will stage re-creations of six of the staff's favorite pre-shows from the past two-and-a-half years, as well as a medley of well-remembered numbers from many others presented during the post-COVID era.
This latest showcase was written and directed by Bootleggers Brad Hauskins and Micah Bernas, the former a staff member since 1987 who appears in the current Escape to Margaritaville and co-created the last iteration of The Best of the Bootleggers in 2019, and the latter a castmate in the Circa '21 Speakeasy's The Rocky Horror Show who has composed scores for area productions including the Mockingbird on Main's The Glass Menagerie and the QC Theatre Workshop's Dead Man's Cell Phone. Both Hauskins and Bernas also appear among their fellow Bootleggers in the full-length revue's August 10 and 17 performances, their co-worker co-stars including Derrick Bertram, Kat Calhoun, Sydney Dexter, Kelsi Ford, Sarah Hayes, Bradley R, Heinrichs, Gillian McMahon, Nicholas Munson, Joseph Nguyen, Kirsten Sindelar, and Rachel Winter. Circa '21's concert event also boasts the two-night return of Bootlegger Jennifer Diab, a longtime audience favorite since she joined the wait staff in the mid-1990s.
The Best of the Bootleggers: Post-COVID Edition will be staged at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse on August 10 and 17, with the 7:15 p.m. Thursday shows preceded by 6 p.m. plated dinners. Admission is $60.55, and more information and tickets are available by calling (309)786-7733 extension 2 and visiting Circa21.com.