Director Rebecca Casad and musical director Christine Rogers have wrangled a large, impressive cast, crew, and staff into an energetic singing, dancing, overall good time.

Let it be known: I’m not a true crime kind of gal. As such, the opening night of Thrill Me: The Leopold & Loeb Story at the Black Box Theatre was perhaps the most unsettling theatrical experience I’ve had in recent memory. I couldn’t quite get past the fact this was a true story. While it has certainly been dramatized – and as a musical, for Pete’s sake! – I found this somber tale quite disturbing.

Mysteries should surprise you. Murder on the Orient Express, the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse's current offering, did so for me in … well, surprising ways.

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.

It’s February, so love must be in the air – or at least affection. The Playcrafters Barn Theatre's first production of 2024, director Jake Ladd's Harvey, is a hoot, and a hearty helping of classic comedy.

It’s actually difficult to know where to begin. What started as a fairly straightforward tale about rescuing a crustacean from an upscale restaurant tank evolved into an existentialist crisis for almost every character as they collectively grappled with their current realities. While that sounds potentially deeper than you’re perhaps expecting, please note that Haus of Ruckus' Punk Rock Lobster is a comedy, and never takes itself too seriously.

One last Christmas show for the season: The Black Box Theatre’s newest production, director Andrea Moore's The Ho Ho Ho Show, is a pleasant, quick evening out for those looking for a pleasant, quick Christmas fix.

“Bah, humbug!” is the opposite reaction I had after attending Saturday's performance of the Spotlight Theatre’s A Christmas Carol: The Musical, which is arguably the cleanest, best-sounding, most visually pleasing presentation I've yet seen at the venue. Director Adam Sanders and his team of designers put together a sleek, refreshing production that makes me excited for future shows that can explore theatre-making in this space in similarly different ways.

I don’t know about you, but I’m a Christmas-Music-After-Thanksgiving-and-Not-Halloween kind of person.. This isn't to say I’m a Grinch or a Scrooge; it's more that I find the charm of the holidays best enjoyed in smaller doses. Thankfully, the Timber Lake Playhouse’s most recent production Million Dollar Quartet Christmas, directed by Tim Seib, offers a rousing alternative to typical Christmas fare.

Augustana College’s latest production, directed and choreographed by multi-hyphenate Shelley Cooper, is an area debut and a pleasant surprise. While I knew nothing about Nine before the musical's Tuesday-night dress rehearsal, the show offers a slew of treats for anyone who chooses to attend, regardless of one's familiarity with the material.

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