Adapted from the literary phenomenon and Clint Eastwood's Oscar-nominated movie, the musical version of The Bridges of Madison County makes its Quad Cities debut at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse May 23 through July 14 – a rare romantic drama at the venue whose Broadway production was praised by the Associated Press for its “superb, thrilling score,” and by Time Out NY for being “a new work that plays like a classic.”

Called “warm-hearted and witty” by the Chicago Tribune and “bouncy and well-crafted” by Variety magazine, the family-friendly comedy Bingo! The Winning Musical will be staged at the Playcrafters Barn Theatre May 11 through 20 – a presentation that's not only a rare musical for the Moline venue, but a rarer one that allows audience members to be part of the show themselves.

This past Friday, on a lovely spring night, we had church over at the Black Box Theatre. Powerful, soulful, and believable, the April 27 performance of Crowns: A Gospel Musical was also both entertaining and engaging – a truly spiritual experience that left me with goosebumps and a better understanding of African-American head adornments.

What would happen if you invited a friend over to listen to an original Broadway cast album? You’d probably turn it on and imagine the show in your head, inserting your opinions about what was going on as you listened. That is exactly what you will get from attending Augustana College's production of The Drowsy Chaperone.

Currently co-starring in the slapstick hit Super Troopers 2 – a movie that earned back its $13.5 million budget in its first three days of release – comedians Kevin Heffernan and Steve Lemme take the stage at the Rhythm City Casino Resort Event Center on May 4, treating fans to a night of hilarious reminiscences on their lives, careers, and history as members of the Broken Lizard comedy troupe.

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.”

Pages