My Tuesday evening was disjointed and off-balance, and I spent a good chunk of time vacillating between being frantic, frustrated, and overcome with hysterical laughter. Which, as it turns out, is actually the perfect mindset in which to see the Richmond Hill Players' One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

A unique collaboration between stage artists and spouses Ryan Scott Oliver and Matthew Murphy serves as the first student-produced presentation in Augustana College's 2019-20 theatre season, with the October 10 through 13 run of 35mm: A Musical Exhibition blending songs and photographs to create an experience DC Metro Theatre Arts called “a thought-provoking, soul-searching exploration of two mediums fused together as one.”

Lauded by Time magazine as a “family drama that really sticks with you” and “easily the best play of the season,” 4000 Miles enjoys an October 11 through 13 run as the final production in the Playcrafters Barn Theatre's 2019 Barn Owl Series – a work whose off-Broadway run inspired the New York Times to rave, “Plays as truthful and touching and fine as Amy Herzog's 4000 Miles come along once or maybe twice a season, if we're lucky.”

Described by Variety magazine as “a fast-moving story with action and staccato dialogue that literally bring Bogart to life,” author Andrew J. Fenady's The Man with Bogart's Face will be staged in radio-play format at Moline's Black Box Theatre October 11 through 19, the mystery-comedy praised by The Hollywood Reporter as “a loving tribute to the genre of hard-boiled detectives of the 1940s and the Hollywood movies that glorified their derring-do.”

Based on novelist Ken Kesey's counterculture classic that inspired the legendary, Oscar-winning film starring Jack Nicholson, the exhilarating drama One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest enjoys an October 3 through 13 run at Geneseo's Richmond Hill Barn Theatre, a stage work described by the New York Daily News as “funny, touching, and exciting,” and one that WNYC Radio said “transforms the audience into one wild cheering section.”

Described by the Chicago Tribune as “earnest, family-friendly, and heartwarming” and by Variety magazine as “meaningful, emotional, tasteful, theatrically imaginative, and engaging,” Broadway's Big Fish opens St. Ambrose University's 2019-20 season of mainstage productions, its October 4 through 6 run sure to demonstrate why Variety called the work “a show that speaks to anyone pining for a studiously heartwarming musical.”

A staged reading and recital of a debuting Irish-American musical will enjoy its first public performance on October 6, with Moline's Black Box Theatre hosting the world premiere of Aaron Power!, a tune-filled celebration of cultural heritage directed, written, and composed by familiar area-theatre talents Dan Haughey and Michael Callahan.

Move over Romeo and Juliet – there are new star-crossed lovers in town. The QC Theatre Workshop’s latest production, Gruesome Playground Injuries, explores both pain and possibility in a tale of lifelong friendship and love.

As I parked in the Playcrafters Barn Theatre lot, I noticed a deer lingering in the tree line. The sight made me chuckle, as Bambi apparently missed the memo that the show currently playing is The Wolves. Or maybe it knew the title refers to a girl’s indoor-soccer team named after the big, bad woodland creature.

I always like rooting for the underdog, and Saturday’s matinée performance of Disney’s Newsies: The Musical at the Timber Lake Playhouse is a David-versus-Goliath story full of vibrant and energetic dancing, coupled with excellent singing, as the cast of 27 took on this delightful Broadway smash. I especially enjoyed the scenic design by David Goldstein – an expanded set of rusty steel bars that were constructed into high platforms and stairs, reminding me of Elvis Presley's Jailhouse Rock set.

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