Augustana College's production of In the Next Room (or The Vibrator Play) takes the audience back to the simpler time of the 1800s, when electricity was being discovered, doctors still worked out of their homes, and females were apparently so sexually repressed they were driving themselves insane.

Even though many fans of The Sound of Music know this legendary Rodgers and Hammerstein musical by heart, audiences will be in for a thrilling treat on February 8 when the Adler Theatre's Broadway at the Adler series hosts the show in its nationally touring presentation directed by Jack O'Brien, the three-time Tony Award winner who directed Broadway's original production of Hairspray.

Written by award-winning author Jennifer Haley, the stage cyber-thriller The Nether opens New Ground Theatre's 2018 season in a production running February 2 through 11, with Haley's acclaimed play earning this rave from the New York Times: “As a parable for where we’re headed on that big old highway in the digital sky, The Nether exerts a viselike grip while taking you down avenues of thought you probably haven’t traveled yet.”

A biting period comedy about sexual desire, motherhood, jealousy, and the early days of its parenthetical object, Sarah Ruhl's Tony-nominated In the Next Room (or The Vibrator Play) runs at Augustana College January 26 through February 4, treating audiences to a work the New York Times called “insightful, fresh, and funny” and “as rich in thought as it is in feeling.”

The most famed work by one of the most famed authors of stage mysteries will be presented at the Black Box Theatre January 27 through February 11, with the Moline venue housing Anthony Shaffer's mind-twisting Sleuth, which received the 1971 Tony Award for Best Play and was adapted into an Oscar-nominated film starring Michael Caine and Sir Laurence Olivier.

Director Craig Cohoon's production was such a ticklish and sustained creep-out that I chuckled and smiled in appreciation as much as amusement, even when I was silently begging one of our leads to not, not, open that scary-ass door.

Called “a delightfully spunky musical” by Variety magazine and “lively, agile, and full of fun, fun, fun” by DC Theatre Scene, the stage-musical adaptation of Disney's family favorite Freaky Friday runs at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse January 17 through 24, bringing to theatrical life the body-switching slapstick, generational laughs, and warm sentiment beloved from the 1976 film with Jodie Foster and Barbara Harris and the 2003 remake with Lindsay Lohan and Jamie Lee Curtis.

Described by Time Out New York as a play that “provides a pleasurable ripple of fear down ones spine and an uncomfortable lurch in the pit of one's stomach,” the two-man chiller The Woman in Black opens the Playcrafters Barn Theatre's 2018 season January 12 through 21, with audiences invited to witness an evocative stage tale that The Daily Mail called “a truly nerve-shredding experience.”

The River Cities' Reader is looking to add two or three area-theatre reviewers to our team, so if you've ever read one of our stage critiques and thought, “Gee, I could do that … “, here's your chance!

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