Ready or not, here come the holidays! I had the privilege to attend the Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse’s Wednesday-night preview of their latest musical Winter Wonderland. Upon entering the theatre, I was greeted with a lovely arrangement of lighted Christmas wreaths and a cozy set design consisting of a fabulous cabin decked out in all kinds of sparkling ornaments and tinsel, compliments of scenic designer Susan Holgersson and scenic artist Trinity Filut. The surroundings absolutely got me in the holiday spirit.

I fell hard in love with playwright Qui Nguyen's She Kills Monsters the first time I saw it at the Playcrafters Barn Theatre in the summer of 2019. We trysted again that fall at Augustana College. I was consequently happy, on Saturday, to enjoy a new rendezvous at St. Ambrose University. Director Daniel Rairdin-Hale and the show's staff, crew, and cast have assembled a singularly beautiful, big-scale-impressive production of Nguyen's play.

Make no mistake: Augustana College’s Macbeth doesn’t even try to skirt around the fact that it’s a tragedy. In fact, director Jennifer Popple’s production begins with a funeral. It’s an artistic funeral, certainly, in that it’s set to modern-dance movements (care of movement director Shelley Cooper), but this Scottish play is well prepared to heighten reality while remaining heartfelt in the midst of tragedy.

New venue: the Mockingbird on Main. New endeavor: Calvin Vo's and T.J. Green's Haus of Ruckus. New play: "Jacques"alope. But new actors? Happily, no. I don't mean that they're old – they're experienced, and delightful to watch.

Having just enjoyed a summer refreshingly filled with small-cast productions, I've rarely seen more than a handful of folks gathered together onstage this year. Yet somehow, Company director, lighting and set designer, and venue co-founder David M. Miller – along with choreographer Beth Marsoun – accommodated 14 people on that compact playing area without anyone looking constricted.

I love playing board games. I also love a good night at the theatre, which made Saturday night’s production of Clue: On Stage the perfect combination to bring a smile to my face. Luckily, director Dana Skiles’ Richmond Hill Barn Theatre production lived up to my expectations and provided the anticipated zany and farcical evening.

Having seen Saturday's production of Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks, I'd argue that director Jennifer Kingry could not have chosen a more dynamic duo to perform this work than Stephanie Naab and Adam Cerny.

It was a fast-paced, immersive night of theatre on Saturday during the Mockingbird on Main’s production of An Enemy of the People.

You don't need to know anything about Patsy Cline, one of the all-time queens of country music, to love A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline.

If you know this musical's title, and have seen any ad artwork, you already know that the show involves a very bad sentient plant. So I'll now reveal that it grows, as plants do. Except real big. And it's a carnivore. And it keeps wanting heftier portions of meat.

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