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.

Two powerhouse vocal legends will be celebrated by one supremely gifted Augustana College professor from June 24 through 27 when the Mississippi Bend Players present Mary & Ethel: How I Learned to Sing, with area stage performer, director, and instructor Shelley Cooper showcasing the musical talents of her musical idols Mary Martin and Ethel Merman in an exuberant one-woman show.

One of the most enduring and entertaining stage musicals of all time will be the first of two summer shows presented by Eldridge's Countryside Community Theatre, with the company returning to stage performance for the first time in two years in its June 25 through July 3 run of composer Meredith Willson's classic The Music Man.

Described by the Hollywood Reporter as “infectiously fun” and a show that exudes “propulsive, nonstop energy,” Smokey Joe's Cafe serves as the second production in the Clinton Area Show Boat Theatre's summer season, its June 17 through 27 run sure to demonstrate why, after more than a quarter-century, this thrilling assemblage of pop standards remains the longest-running musical revue in Broadway history.

The winner of five Tony Awards for its 1973 debut and four Tonys for its 2013 revival, composer Stephen Schwartz's musical-comedy smash Pippin returns Mt. Carroll's Timber Lake Playhouse to the presentation of live theatre for the first time since 2019, kick-starting the theatre's 60th-anniversary season with a spectacle-driven extravaganza that ran on Broadway for a staggering 1,944 performances and was deemed “a thrilling piece of eye-popping razzle dazzle” by the New York Post.

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.

Returning to the presentation of classical theatre in Rock Island's Lincoln Park for the first time since 2019, the venerated stage company Genesius Guild – which originated in 1957 – opens its 2021 season with the June 19 through 27 run of William Shakespeare's Measure for Measure (abridged), a 90-minute rendition of the timeless comedy that led River Cities' Reader reviewer Thom White to state, “I ended up laughing harder … than I've ever laughed while watching a Shakespeare performance.”

Davenport Junior Theatre wraps up its 69th season of theatre “for kids, by kids” with the organization's first in-person production in 15 months: the premiere of playwright Aaron Randolph III’s The True Tale of Robin Hood, a funny and exciting outdoor production, running June 11 through 20, that will be free for patrons and held outside on the Great Lawn of the Annie Wittenmyer Complex.

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!

Local Theatre Auditions/Calls for Entry

Updated: Monday, June 14, 2021