I attended Tuesday's rehearsal of playwright Michael Frayn's Noises Off at Augustana College's Brunner Theatre, and I have a question: Is it possible for Augustana's students to present a lackluster production? Director Jennifer Popple, her cast, and her crew brought a very challenging script to life.

It has to be said, with a show titled The Man With Bogart’s Face, that I expected it to be primarily about someone who looked a bit like legendary film and theatre actor Humphrey Bogart. And yet, the reference to the lead character’s plastic surgery to resemble Bogart was just a throwaway moment at the beginning of the Black Box Theatre’s latest production.

The Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse's Singin' in the Rain will have you laughin' at clouds, no matter how dark the weather. The 1983 musical is based on the beloved 1952 film, with its screenplay (and the musical's book) by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, and Nacio Herb Brown and Arthur Freed writing music and lyrics for most of its tunes, many of which are borrowed from 1920s and 1930s films (by MGM, natch, which concocted this film). Thus, the show is in many ways a jukebox musical, and Circa '21's production uses the 2012 revival's script, which is a pared-down and shuffled version of the original.

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.

As an offering in the Playcrafters Barn Theatre's Barn Owl Series comprised of newer shows with lower ticket prices, 4000 Miles runs for only three days, so you can't put off seeing it this weekend. You also can't put off seeing it because … . Well, you just can't. With its compelling script by Amy Herzog and the talents of director Jennifer Kingry and her crew and cast, this particular production has the pedigree to be a must-see show, and it proves its lineage.

My Tuesday evening was disjointed and off-balance, and I spent a good chunk of time vacillating between being frantic, frustrated, and overcome with hysterical laughter. Which, as it turns out, is actually the perfect mindset in which to see the Richmond Hill Players' One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

Move over Romeo and Juliet – there are new star-crossed lovers in town. The QC Theatre Workshop’s latest production, Gruesome Playground Injuries, explores both pain and possibility in a tale of lifelong friendship and love.

As I parked in the Playcrafters Barn Theatre lot, I noticed a deer lingering in the tree line. The sight made me chuckle, as Bambi apparently missed the memo that the show currently playing is The Wolves. Or maybe it knew the title refers to a girl’s indoor-soccer team named after the big, bad woodland creature.

I always like rooting for the underdog, and Saturday’s matinée performance of Disney’s Newsies: The Musical at the Timber Lake Playhouse is a David-versus-Goliath story full of vibrant and energetic dancing, coupled with excellent singing, as the cast of 27 took on this delightful Broadway smash. I especially enjoyed the scenic design by David Goldstein – an expanded set of rusty steel bars that were constructed into high platforms and stairs, reminding me of Elvis Presley's Jailhouse Rock set.

While enjoying my Saturday afternoon at the Timber Lake Playhouse, I believe I realized what the “steel” means in the theatre’s latest production – playwright Robert Harling’s Steel Magnolias. Based on Harling’s own personal life experience and the death of his sister, this show has many poignant moments, involving both laughter and tears, as we take a look inside the lives of six eccentric, delicate, but tough-as-steel Southern women in northwest Louisiana.

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