What's the buzz? I'll tell you what's happening over at the Clinton Area Showboat Theatre – the rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar. And from the outstanding choreography by Katie Johannigman to the stellar vocals by Jesus portrayer Ben Cherington, I was thoroughly entertained.

Big-band music and huge dance numbers filled with sequin gowns and big-city lights are what I experienced at Quad City Music Guild's latest production Mame. With a multitude of cast members to fill the ensemble, Saturday's June 9 performance was packed with comedy, fantastic singing, and extravagant sets.

My kids grew up on Disney's Beauty & the Beast. I've seen the animated movies and TV specials. I've tripped over toys. I have faded photos of my daughter dressed in a brilliant ballroom gown. I've listened to Alan Menken’s soundtrack (with lyrics by Tim Rice and Howard Ashman) hundreds of times, seen the story performed on ice, and watched the live-action film earlier this year. But I’d never seen the Broadway-musical adaptation, and now that the Timber Lake Playhouse has opened its extravagant version of this classic tale, I can cross the live version off of my theatrical bucket list, too.

Based on the beloved Caldecott Honor-winning picture book by six-time Emmy Award winner Mo Willems, Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical will delight family audiences at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse from June 12 through 30, its tuneful score, charming sentiment, hilarious comic adventures, and on-stage puppets resulting in a show that, according to ChicagoTheatreReview.com, “hits it out of the park.”

One of William Shakespeare's most beloved pastoral comedies gets some youthful spring in its step when Genesius Guild presents its 2018 season debut As You Like It, with the June 16 through 24 run graced by a cast boasting professional actors and Guild veterans alongside no less than 16 students from area high schools.

Nominated for seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical, and the winner of a 1984 Theatre World Award, the delightful musical comedy Baby enjoys a June 14 through 23 staging at Moline's Black Box Theatre, treating patrons to a life-affirming show the New York Times praised for its “buoyancy and charm,” and for “addressing the show's concerns with both humor and intelligence.”

Marijuana is an “unspeakable scourge,” warns The Lecturer (played by an augmentedly-bearded Andy Curtiss) at the start of the QC Theatre Workshop's hilarious production of Reefer Madness. A scourge, warns the man, that's “turning all our children into hooligans and whores!”

Do a quick Google search and you’ll find innumerable lists of the greatest books of all time. But if you aren’t quite as well read as you’d like, the Spotlight Theatre has a solution for you with their inaugural production of All the Great Books (Abridged).

There’s a big reunion in Geneseo! To celebrate the 50th-anniversary season of the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre, director John VanDeWoestyne got some of the 2008 Dearly Beloved gang back together for this summer’s sweetly nostalgic revival. The theatre’s audience voted to add the show to the season, and, along with over half the original production’s actors returning, the plot features its own reunion in the form of a family wedding. Dearly Beloved must have been remembered fondly because Thursday night’s opening was packed.

A legendary comic opera about a single day of madness in a Spanish palace, Mozart's classic The Marriage of Figaro will enjoy rare area performances at St. Ambrose University on June 8 and 10. But the presentation of this romantic, hilarious, and gloriously composed work is rarer still in being a community collaboration between Genesius Guild, Opera @ Augustana, the St. Ambrose music department, and Opera Quad Cities – the latter group making its large-scale public return for the first time this decade.

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