Director Michael Brindish’s production is the perfect introduction to this venue; even the Rock Island theatre's seasoned patrons are in for a treat. While this Mamma Mia! felt familiar – here I go again – there were a few tricks up its sleeve, making it, for me, a unique experience.

Reviews by Rochelle Arnold, Jeff Ashcraft, Patricia Baugh-Riechers, Audra Beals, Pamela Briggs, Dee Canfield, Madeline Dudziak, Kim Eastland, Emily Heninger, Heather Herkelman, Paula Jolly, Victoria Navarro, Roger Pavey Jr., Alexander Richardson, Mark Ruebling, Mike Schulz, Joy Thompson, Oz Torres, Brent Tubbs, Jill Pearson Walsh, and Thom White.

Can you call yourself a theatre buff if you haven't seen a play by Václav Havel?

I must begin with an apology and a confession. Sorry to my British Literature professor in college: I never read Jane Austen's Sense & Sensibility, nor did I read her Pride & Prejudice. If you were generous, you could say I skimmed. But it’s okay (at least for me), because the most recent production at the Playcrafters Barn Theatre is so good, it makes me regret being a negligent student.

The Richmond Hill Players’ latest offering, the Tom Smith farce Drinking Habits 2: Caught in the Act, is a sequel to Drinking Habits, which was a part of the company’s season last year. I didn't attend the first one, but was still able to easily follow the plot and characters. Not only that, but Richmond Hill’s Sunday performance, helmed by director Mike Skiles, was lighthearted, fun, and an easy-to-watch piece of theatre.

Prolific theatre pioneer Charles Ludlum wrote some 30 plays; taught; founded an acclaimed theatre company; and acted on stage, film, and TV. His most popular work was 1984's penny dreadful The Mystery of Irma Vep, in which he and his partner Everett Quinton played all the characters, with full costume changes for each entrance. Ludlum's life was cut short by AIDS in 1987. Quinton, who revived the show off-Broadway in 1998, died this past January. And the Black Box Theatre's current production may be seen as a fond tribute to these inspired men.

Admittedly, Oliver! is one of those musicals that instantly takes me back to my formative years, as I fondly remember watching the 1968 film version at school and at home. It would have taken a total disaster for the Spotlight Theatre to leave me disappointed. Luckily for everyone, though, director Sara Tubbs’s production is a sensory delight: it looked and sounded terrific. Sure, the “unwashed” youth of this production went a little extreme with the makeup's dirt smudges. But if given the chance, who wouldn’t overly grime up, right?

With its brisk pace, lean hour-and-10-minute duration, lack of intermission, and lively, accomplished cast, this show is so tasty you won't even think about food.

I’ll be honest: The crazy, early-spring, heavy snowstorm that knocked out power to my house earlier in my Saturday soured my mood, and I was not really looking forward to going out to see playwright Bradley Robert Jensen's Anywhere But Here. This, though, made it all the better that this workshop production turned out to be such a gem – Jensen's slice-of-life piece is heartfelt and laugh-out-loud funny while still broaching some heady topics.

The performers at Sunday's performance of director Curt Wollan's production shined, as they most always do at this theatre, and the jokes – most of them innuendos and phallic allusions – were actually pretty funny, and delivered well.