“The Real Inspector Hound" at Scott Community College -- April 18 through 21.

Thursday, April 18, through Sunday, April 21

Scott Community College's Black Box Theatre, 500 Belmont Road, Bettendorf IA

Hailed by the New York Times as “a perfect joy” and by the Los Angeles Times as “a timeless farce,” Tony- and Oscar-winning author Tom Stoppard hysterical one-act comedy The Real Inspector Hound enjoys an April 18 through 21 staging in Scott Community College's Black Box Theatre, this theatrical satire also lauded by The Telegraph as a work that "brilliantly nails the clichés of the reviewer's craft."

As Stoppard's devilish comedy opens, it is a foggy and foreboding day at Muldoon Manor, a charming but isolated English country house populated by tortured and suspicious characters. A game of bridge results in raised temperatures and veiled threats; a mysterious man, possibly mad, shows up to charm the lady of the house and her young friend; and a dead body lies under the sofa, waiting to be discovered. All the while, in a play-within-a-play conceit, a pair of pretentious critics comment on the action, munch chocolates, complain bitterly about their professional rivals, and ogle the attractive actresses. In The Real Inspector Hound, Stoppard crafts a witty, surreal, and compelling tale in which identity is as changeable as a moustache, or a pair of boots, and a hack production of a tired whodunit can be the cover for a masterful revenge plot trained on the professional members of the audience.

Directing The Real Inspector Hound is SCC theatre instructor Kevin Babbitt, whose previous works for his department have included Greater Tuna, Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You, The Laramie Project, and last fall's Middletown. Babbitt's on-stage area-theatre appearances, meanwhile, include roles in the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre's Over the River & Through the Woods, Leaving Iowa, and The 39 Steps, as well as the Playcrafters Barn Theatre's On Golden Pond and Tuesdays with Morrie. And featured in Babbitt's cast are nine talented student performers: Eli William Dezarn; Nayah Haley; Chenoa Henderson; Olivia Hoft; MJ Kernan; Perin David McGrath; Jay Ruefer; Alexander Shoemaker; and Callie Thomas.

The Real Inspector Hound will be staged in Scott Community College's Black Box Theatre (in downstairs Room #1021 through Door 3) from April 18 through 21, with performances on Thursday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and Friday and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Admission is $10 at the door, and more information is available by calling (563)441-4339 or e-mailing director Kevin Babbitt at KDBabbitt@eicc.edu.

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