I think exposure to the theatre is so important for kids, and Circa 21's children’s show Madagascar: A Musical Adventure, directed by Brad Hauskins, did not disappoint, with life lessons continually pouring through the plot.

After a rough few weeks, I wanted a diversion. So even though I hadn't read the Natalie Babbitt novel on which it's based, I was happy to attend Thursday's final dress and tech rehearsal for Tuck Everlasting at the Spotlight Theatre. I left feeling both impressed and refreshed.

Knowing the Peanuts characters' backgrounds, and aspects of the comics and the animated specials, will boost your enjoyment, but it's an amazing, worthwhile experience either way.

Honesty is the best policy – except, apparently, when it comes to what’s currently playing at the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre, because Here Lies Jeremy Troy is one heck of a play on words. It turns out that Jeremy Troy – a lawyer seven years into his career, played by Matthew McConville – isn’t dying; he’s lying. But I am being completely honest when I say Thursday’s opening night for director Dana Skiles’ show was full of humor as the characters tried to work themselves out of these lies.

In November, I saw the original play "Jacques"alope by the Haus of Ruckus team of TJ Green and Calvin Vo at the Mockingbird on Main. It was a lively, uproarious quest story. Imagine my delight when I learned that it had gotten a baby brother!

This family favorite, smartly directed and choreographed by Shane Hall for the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse, was spectacular from start to finish. In fact, you should get your tickets now, and finish reading this review later. Name recognition alone could sell this show out, and once word gets out that it’s also great, seats will no doubt be hard to come by.

Playcrafters has staged a true, old-fashioned whodunit in A Murder Is Announced, and while there were a few things I figured out as the night went on, there were also plenty of things I didn’t.

Director Shelley Cooper, vocal-music director Maureen Holmes, and instrumental-music director Michelle Crouch led the performers, crew, and staff in Augustana's The Threepenny Opera, and I was confident that the theatre and music departments here could pull the show off beautifully. They did, with energy, enthusiasm, and so much talent. The expressive actors here are skilled beyond their years.

Many Ambrosian theatre students’ stories have been guided by Cory Johnson and Kris Eitrheim, which makes it almost fitting that a literary classic marks the duo’s final on-stage chapter at St. Ambrose University (SAU). Little Women: The Musical, Louisa May Alcott’s story as adapted for the stage with a book by Allan Knee, music by Jason Howland, and lyrics by Mindi Dickstein, is not some big and splashy farewell. Rather, this is an extremely well-thought-out presentation showcasing the formidable Johnson/Eitrheim talents one last time before their retirements.

Circa 21’s Grace for President delivered an adorable and lively performance that no doubt engaged and inspired hopeful young politicians.

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