Don’t let the title of the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse's Grumpy Old Men: The Musical fool you. I was expecting much yelling at young-'uns and kvetching over chessboards. It’s actually a colorful, fast-paced feast containing no young-'uns (but, yes, one chessboard).

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.

I had the pleasure of attending Wednesday night's rehearsal of Marie & Rosetta at Moline's Playcrafters Barn Theatre, and it was so refreshing to experience a true gospel music production.

Stepping into the beautiful Richmond Hill Barn Theatre is always a pleasure, with the warmth of the rustic wood floor and walls, comfortable seats, and professional-grade technical equipment creating an expectation of a fine dramatic experience. The current On Golden Pond delivers.

What’s it like being big? I guess it all depends on perspective and age. After all, adulthood is filled with all kinds of responsibilities and stress that accompany being grown; when we're young, we wish to be old, and when we’re old(er), we yearn to be young. So goes the storyline for Big: The Musical, the lighthearted comedy now playing at Moline's Spotlight Theatre. And Friday’s opening-night performance was loads of fun for everyone.

If you’ve secretly always wanted to see one of William Shakespeare’s plays performed just to try it out, the Prenzie Players' current production of The Comedy of Errors is the perfect high-energy, introductory show for you. Directed by Adam Lewis, the production’s run time of just an hour and 15 minutes is stuffed full of physical comedy and mistaken identities, keeping you fully engaged and entertained.

Statistically speaking, 40 to 50 percent of U.S. marriages end in divorce. Such is the case with the union in The Last Five Years, the current musical running at Moline's Black Box Theatre. Somehow, though, with its upbeat songs interspersed with dramatic ballads, this production is surprisingly sweet, even though you know from the start that the marriage will eventually sour.

JC is in the house – by which I mean Quad City Music Guild's really modern-day Jesus Christ Superstar, a production complete with skinny jeans, loafers, and cell phones. Friday's opening-night performance of this classic with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice was still working out its bugs; there were missed microphone cues in which you couldn't hear the beginnings of songs, and personally speaking, I was a bit confused by Heather Blair's costume design, as it appeared that every actor just went into their closets and picked out something peculiar to wear. But straight out of the gate, Adam Sanders' Judas Iscariot, at least, was powerful in his rendition of “Heaven on Their Minds.”

A cold chill ran through the Playcrafters Barn Theatre at Friday's opening-night performance of Arthur Miller's 1953 play The Crucible; a riveting, partially fictionalized story about the hysteria that took place during the Salem Witch Trials in the Puritan town of Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1692. A group of young women are accused of casting spells, communing with the dead, and putting curses on children. The subsequent Salem Witch Trials, meanwhile, consisted of depositions, legal proceedings, hearsay, evidence (or lack thereof), and religious leaders of the day investigating alleged heresy and evil-doings involving the practices of witchcraft and black magic. Director Patti Flaherty delivered a provocative and captivating production that kept you interested and on the edge of your seat.

It was mentioned – more than once – at its opening-night performance that the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse’s production of Diamonds & Divas: A Murderous Fiasco was the comedy's United States professional premiere. If we were supposed to be impressed by that fact, it really isn't saying much, as author Robin Hawdon's script would feel right at home with a group of American middle-schoolers. However, the cast, composed of many familiar Circa '21 favorites, injects talent amidst the chaos of this melodramatic escapade, almost fully redeeming an otherwise ridiculous affair.

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