Reviews by Jeff Ashcraft, Patricia Baugh-Riechers, Audra Beals, 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 knew that something as benign as bingo could be a cutthroat, super-competitive soap opera, complete with callers enjoying something extra for announcing the right bingo balls, zany rituals performed over cards, rice-cereal-treat bribes, and WWE-style heels and heroes? It just goes to show that the competitiveness of the human experience filters even into the most unlikely and folksy slices of Americana, as demonstrated in Bingo! The Winning Musical, the kooky musical offering at Moline's Playcrafters Barn Theatre.

This past Friday, on a lovely spring night, we had church over at the Black Box Theatre. Powerful, soulful, and believable, the April 27 performance of Crowns: A Gospel Musical was also both entertaining and engaging – a truly spiritual experience that left me with goosebumps and a better understanding of African-American head adornments.

What would happen if you invited a friend over to listen to an original Broadway cast album? You’d probably turn it on and imagine the show in your head, inserting your opinions about what was going on as you listened. That is exactly what you will get from attending Augustana College's production of The Drowsy Chaperone.

With the popularity of television series such as Downton Abbey and The Crown, contemporary audiences have become intrigued by, even addicted to, European aristocracy. I can’t help but think that in comparison to the many works of William Shakespeare, our obsession with binge-worthy TV must be like attending live theatre over 400 years ago. Take, for example, the twisted path of dysfunction, poor leadership, and random acts of stupidity as illustrated in Shakespeare’s tug-of-war tale King John.

You've got to move it, move it over to the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse for the children's-theatre production of Madagascar: A Musical Adventure. It's showtime at the Central Park Zoo, and these animals are on the prowl.

Does sex sell? That question is dissected by every Marketing 101 class every semester on virtually every college campus. Professors will have students review magazine ads, Web-site pop-ups, and television commercials. They study the branding of perfume, women's-underwear slogans, and the sensuality of eating a luscious cheeseburger. I think most can agree that sex does sell. And if theatre is any indication, the older the targeted market, the better it sells! Just check out the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre's Sex Please, We're 60, and you'll know exactly what I mean.

Faith, hope, and brotherly love wrapped up in comic genius and superb writing was what I witnessed this past Good Friday. I must admit, I had never heard of the Church Basement Ladies series until recently, and was not sure what to expect. But the theatre's current The Church Basement Ladies in Rise Up, O Men was one of the best shows I've ever seen at the Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse.

Clue: The Musical is the latest production to open in this wonderfully intimate venue in downtown Moline, and speaking candidly, I was blown away by the packed house as audience members loudly chattered away before the opening curtain. It was as if they all had been cooped up in their homes for the last 24 hours, but needed to venture out just to see a classic board game brought to life via a Broadway-esque style musical.

“One day you’ll look at yourself and you won’t be who you were.”

Ladies and gentlemen, that is foreshadowing in Catch Me If You Can – but there are more than simple plot devices in director Michael Turczynski’s staging that runs this weekend at Quad City Music Guild's Prospect Park Auditorium.

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