Though it expresses both the highs and lows of life, the Playcrafters Barn Theatre's Avenue Q – the three-time Tony winner with music and lyrics by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx and book by Jeff Whitty – is an uplifting treat overall, packed with superb performances.

The Black Box Theatre's Silent Sky, by Laura Gunderson, is uplifting and brilliantly executed. First produced in 2010, the play follows the adult life of far-seeing astronomer Henrietta Leavitt beginning in the late 19th century. Because she is a woman, she's only allowed to do “scut” work – categorizing and cataloging thousands of stars; a daunting task. However, she used the drudgery to pursue and discover a shining truth which changed our understanding of the universe.

In author Aaron Randolph III’s brand-new adaptation of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s classic tale The Little Prince, we’re immediately introduced to Aviator (Randolph) as he tells us a tale from his past, in which he crashed his plane and met a boy, Little Prince (Daniel Rairdin-Hale), who is traveling from planet to planet. Aviator and Little Prince have a lot to learn from each other, and this charming production serves up many life lessons.

I saw Augustana College's exhilarating April 27 production of the musical How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying – the 1961 show that was adapted for film in 1967, and that won seven Tonys, boasts a script by Abe Burrows, Jake Weinstock, and Willie Gilbert and music and lyrics by Frank Loesser, and is based on the book by Shepherd Mead. When you see it, arrive early, so you have time to gaze properly at RaeEllen Walker's dazzling, Art Deco-inspired set with its white floor and black "marble" inlay, turquoise columns, and gold-trimmed black mezzanine and stairs.

I’ve got to hand it to director Kimberly Kurtenbach, who expertly captured every child’s attention before last Thursday’s performance of the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse's Junie B. Jones Is Not a Crook by blasting the ever-popular Baby Shark. When the dance party was cut off for pre-show announcements, the room full of smiling children was already fully engaged and ready to be wowed.

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).

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.

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.

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.

Pages