Harvey and Mike Kelly in HarveyI've not seen the Jimmy Stewart take on playwright Mary Chase's Harvey, so I cannot attest whether the movie's fans will appreciate the Playcrafters Barn Theatre's production. However, in the absence of any comparison, I can say that I liked this presentation and now want to see the film - though it'll have to successfully stand up against director James Fairchild's version, rather than the other way around.

634 Cover - Summer Guide 2007 Ted Neeley portrayed Jesus Christ in the 1973 film version of Andrew Lloyd Webber's and Tim Rice's seminal rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar. He is currently reprising the role in a national tour of the show, which lands at Davenport's Adler Theatre on May 23. And in between these gigs, Neeley has performed the part in numerous other touring productions, benefits, and, once, alongside a cast of grade-school apostles.

It's impossible to ignore the irony: Ted Neeley has now been playing Jesus for longer than Jesus was alive.

"Yeah, I've been doing it now for just over 2,000 years," says Neeley with a laugh.

Author's note: Prior to my full-time tenure at the Reader, I worked at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse, and for Dennis Hitchcock, for 11 years. This was one of those rare interviews that didn't start with a handshake, but rather a hug.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame, currently being presented at the Timber Lake Playhouse, is a little bit Jesus Christ Superstar, a little bit Frank Wildhorn, and a whole lotta Les Miserables, but it has a narrative structure and momentum that's all its own, and it's continually surprising - I can't recall the last time I felt so alert at the theatre. (It helps that this musical adaptation of Victor Hugo's novel is unfamiliar to most of us, having been produced only once before - at the Drury Lane Oakbrook Theatre - in 1994, and having gone through extensive revision since then.)

Mark Ruffalo and Jennifer Garner in 13 Going on 3013 GOING ON 30

When you watch a body-switching comedy such as Big or Freaky Friday, you know immediately that the movie is going to require a huge suspension of disbelief; these are comedy fantasies, after all, and bitching about logic and realistic plotting is the surest way to kill your good time.

The Passion of the ChristTHE PASSION OF THE CHRIST

Leaving a screening of The Passion of the Christ, I felt pummeled, confused, and very, very angry, feelings I can't imagine director Mel Gibson wanting to inspire with his cinematic take on Jesus Christ's last 12 hours on earth.

With bright, rainbow wardrobes and electric intensity, the 12-person Opera @ Augustana ensemble of Godspell resembled a contemporary (and Christian) version of Hair. The vibrant student actors last weekend filled Wallenberg Hall at Augustana College with the spirit of music and tromped about the stage praising God and engaging hundreds of audience members with optimistic songs.

Ryan Riewerts thought the best way to mark the one-year anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks would be to travel 226 years back in time. Not really, of course. But he wanted to recognize and celebrate the beginning of America's freedom as a country, and to relate that experience to the uniting of Americans in response to the events of last September 11. He decided the closest thing to time travel would be to use the medium of theatre, two local drama groups, and a musical called 1776. A Riewerts-directed production of that play is scheduled for September 11 through 14 at Davenport's North High School.

The years have turned it into a classic of musical theatre, but when it first appeared on stage, Andrew Lloyd Webber's and Tim Rice's Jesus Christ Superstar met with criticism as well as critical acclaim. And even though it's no longer controversial, Jesus Christ Superstar still has all of its power and theatrical brilliance.

The Creation story has been spun into a multitude of tales that have captivated audiences for centuries, but few are as entertaining as Ghostlight Theatre's current production of Stephen Schwartz's Children of Eden.