Noël Coward's 1941 comedy Blithe Spirit was adapted for film in 1945, as well as for television and radio and as a musical. It's been offered by multitudes of theatres, now including the Clinton Area Showboat Theatre – which proved, on Friday, that their production can stand with the best of them.

The opening-night, sell-out crowd filling the Black Box Theatre appeared engaged by, and mostly appreciative of, Little Women: The Musical. The talented cast performed with gusto, intelligence, and tenderness, as required. Unfortunately, however, the adaptation itself of the late-19th-century Louisa May Alcott classic left me disappointed overall.

A classic Greek tragedy making its first return to the Quad Cities in more than 15 years, Euripides' arresting tale of The Bacchae will be staged by Genesius Guild June 28 through July 7, the outdoor Lincoln Park presentations boasting a cast of 17 and its central characters performing in period-appropriate Greek masks.

Let’s just go ahead and say it: There was nothing inherently groundbreaking about director Bob Williams’ Beauty & the Beast at Quad City Music Guild. But, in this instance, saying that makes the show an unquestionable success.

The Mississippi Bend Players' third season opened on Friday with Neil Simon's Biloxi Blues, a tribute to our military veterans and all the brave men and women who currently serve this great country. This second installment in Simon's semi-autobiographical comedic trilogy – one that begins with Brighton Beach Memoirs and concludes with Broadway Bound – had me rifling through my purse to find a tissue to dry my eyes, given that they were watering so much from laughter. Director and St. Ambrose University theatre professor Cory Johnson, who also gave us MBP's Brighton Beach in 2017, delivered a hilarious show that was not only extremely funny, but touched on some very serious subject matter.

I knew nothing about Five Women Wearing the Same Dress when I walked into the Playcrafters Barn Theatre on Tuesday evening. But it makes the experience even more satisfying when a show goes beyond my expectations. This one did.

With its source material named one of the “Top 100 Picture Books of All Time” by School Library Journal, the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse's The True Story of the Three Little Pigs will treat audiences to huffing, puffing family fun from June 18 through July 6, bringing authors Jon Scieszka's and Lane Smith's 1989 book to life in an hour-long comedy filled with hilarious escapades, colorful costumes, and a healthy dose of storybook magic.

A literary classic becomes a moving and tune-filled stage entertainment at the Black Box Theatre June 20 through 30, when the Moline venue treats audiences to the beloved characters and timeless charm of Little Women: The Musical, the Tony Award-nominated adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's novel that the Chicago Reader called “an absolute delight” and Broadway.com deemed “a chamber-size musical [that] pulses with a generous affection for its source material.”

The Clinton Area Showboat Theatre's production of A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder is likely the most purely entertaining show I've ever seen. Everything exists to delight, laugh at, or marvel over – as long as you can accept murder as entertainment, which humanity has been doing for at least 2,500 years of recorded history.

Paraphrasing from the latest presentation at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse, “If you need musical medication, the Holiday Inn fills the prescription." And June 7's opening night for this Irving Berlin spectacle was certainly therapeutic, delivering a fantastic, high-energy, fast-paced, never-a-dull-moment performance. With its seasoned dancers and strong vocals, you'll thoroughly enjoy this production. It does not disappoint.

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