You've got to move it, move it over to the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse for the children's-theatre production of Madagascar: A Musical Adventure. It's showtime at the Central Park Zoo, and these animals are on the prowl.

With the popularity of television series such as Downton Abbey and The Crown, contemporary audiences have become intrigued by, even addicted to, European aristocracy. I can’t help but think that in comparison to the many works of William Shakespeare, our obsession with binge-worthy TV must be like attending live theatre over 400 years ago. Take, for example, the twisted path of dysfunction, poor leadership, and random acts of stupidity as illustrated in Shakespeare’s tug-of-war tale King John.

Described by TheatreMania.com as “an artful amalgamation of oral history, fashion show, and musical theatre,” Crowns: A Gospel Musical will fill Moline's Black Box Theatre with glorious singing and spectacular style April 26 through May 6, author Regina Taylor's tune-filled play lauded by the New York Times as “wholly theatrical” and “a show that seems to arise out of spontaneous combustion.”

A classic Hans Christian Andersen tale gets a zany makeover when Davenport Junior Theatre presents the world premiere of author Aaron Randolph III's The Emperor's New Clothes, its April 28 through May 6 presentation telling the fabled story through a student-performed, fourth-wall-breaking slapstick featuring modern-day references, surprise guests, and leading characters named Table-Cloth and Low-Fat-Greek-Yogurt.

Winner of five 2006 Tony Awards and described by Variety magazine as “irresistible” and “superior, smartly crafted pastiche,” the joyous musical-comedy spoof The Drowsy Chaperone will receive a season-ending staging at Augustana College April 27 through May 6, its feel-good delights suggesting why the New York Times stated that “few productions have ever pulled an audience so immediately and unconditionally on their sides.”

One of the most beloved forces in comedy, comic books, movies, and podcasting visits Maquoketa's Codfish Hollow Barn for two April 28 performances of An Evening with Kevin Smith – 7 and 11 p.m. presentations and Q&A sessions featuring the legendary, baseball-cap-wearing indie filmmaker, author, and “Silent Bob” icon.

Does sex sell? That question is dissected by every Marketing 101 class every semester on virtually every college campus. Professors will have students review magazine ads, Web-site pop-ups, and television commercials. They study the branding of perfume, women's-underwear slogans, and the sensuality of eating a luscious cheeseburger. I think most can agree that sex does sell. And if theatre is any indication, the older the targeted market, the better it sells! Just check out the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre's Sex Please, We're 60, and you'll know exactly what I mean.

On April 20 and 21, Ballet Quad Cities leaps, taps, spins, and pliés into spring with the dance vignettes of Defining Dance: Distrinctly Ballet Quad Cities, two evenings of mixed repertoire at Moline's new Spotlight Theatre (located in the Scottish Rite Cathedral) featuring brand-new pieces and audience favorites by choreographers Margaret King, Emily Kate Long, and the company's Artistic Director Courtney Lyon.

A dramatic and thrilling tale of bloodshed, betrayal, and bastards will be presented by the area's verse-theatre troupe the Prenzie Players when William Shakespeare's history play King John opens on April 20, its six-performance run at Davenport's QC Theatre Workshop a rare local staging of this noted work originally published in 1623, five years after the Bard's death.

One of American theatre's most exciting, acclaimed, and tune-filled entertainments receives a St. Ambrose University staging in the April 20 through 22 run of Cabaret, the legendary Kander & Ebb musical that earned a combined 12 Tony Awards for Broadway's 1966 original and 1998 revival, and that was adapted into a 1972 film classic that received eight Oscars including Best Actress for Liza Minnelli and Best Director for Bob Fosse.

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