The Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse Bootleggers have a cult following of enthusiastic fans that are very passionate about, and dedicated to, these talented performers who also double as the theatre's efficient wait staff, and Thursday's opening-night presentation of the group's mainstage show The Best of the Bootleggers certainly did not disappoint. There was a lot of clapping and singing along as 12 of the most talented Booties I've ever seen delivered a variety of musical numbers that left our audience longing for more.

Madness. It was madness how much fun I had at the July 25 preview performance of the interactive mystery comedy Shear Madness at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse.

Local Theatre Auditions/Calls for Entry

Updated Monday, August 12, 2019

Reviews by Jeff Ashcraft, Patricia Baugh-Riechers, Audra Beals, Pamela Briggs, Dee Canfield, Kim Eastland, Emily Heninger, Heather Herkelman, Paula Jolly, Victoria Navarro, Mark Ruebling, Mike Schulz, Joy Thompson, Oz Torres, Brent Tubbs, Jill (Pearson) Walsh, and Thom White.

Who doesn't like a singing and dancing nun? Because everyone seemed to be delighted at Thursday night's preview of Quad City Music Guild's Sister Act. The evening was filled with comedy and profound contemplation as the habit-wearing sisters praised the Lord in song and dance proclaiming, "It's good to be a nun!"

Assassins, at the Black Box Theatre, is the cheeriest musical about unhappy people who made bad choices that I've ever seen. And prior to Thursday's performance, I didn't know it was literally about those who killed American presidents, or tried to – I just saw "music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim" and said, "I'm in."

It’s a dog-eat-dog world. Literally, in fact, at New Ground Theatre’s production of playwright Micah Schraft's A Dog’s House, when Jock – the dog of Michael (Kyle Taylor) and Eden (Tabitha Oles) – kills the dog new neighbors Robert (Jordan L. Smith) and Nicole (Ashley Hoskins). As Michael and Eden struggle with the moral implications of what to do next, they find out a lot about themselves and their relationship, and Friday's opening-night performance of director Jacque Cohoon’s production was an intimate, emotional experience I wasn’t expecting.

Chivalry is not dead. In fact, in the form of Miguel de Cervantes' Don Quixote, it's very much alive at the Timber Lake Playhouse in the theatre's latest production: the 1965 Broadway-musical hit Man of La Mancha.

The Clinton Area Showboat Theatre's Shout! The Mod Musical played to a full boat on Friday. The performances were exhilarating, and the winning score was comprised of 1960s hits. However, the script made that of Mamma Mia! seem Oscar Wildean. Well, you can't have everything. And what you do have here is substantially entertaining.

Earlier this week, the Educational Theatre Association released its annual “10 Most-Produced High School Plays” list. She Kills Monsters, by Qui Nguyen, is number seven. And other than having plans to see Tuesday’s dress rehearsal at the Playcrafters Barn Theatre, I honestly hadn’t even heard of the play before – but now, after seeing it, understand why it’s such a popular choice.

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