Described by the Bay Area Guardian as “inspired and stimulating,” and by the Des Moines Register as a work that “strikes deep into the bones,” author Frank Higgins' evocative Gunplay serves as the fall theatre production at Scott Community College November 21 through 24, its messages so impactful that portions of the play were read on Capitol Hill prior to Congress passing the handgun-violence prevention act known as the Brady Bill.

One of the funniest, most charming, and most popular operas of all time gets a thrilling makeover at Augustana College on November 22 and 23, as the talents of OperX stage their fall production of The Marriage of Figaro – the Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart classic being presented under the direction of Michelle Crouch and boasting a cast of 10 gifted student performers.

It's starting to look a lot like Christmas in the tiny town of Doublewide, Texas, and Saturday's performance of A Doublewide, Texas Christmas by Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope, and Jamie Wooten was a hoot at the Richmond Hill Players' cozy Barn Theatre. It's a silly comedy full of colorful characters and even sillier situations, and judging by the full house and continual laughter, I would venture to say most everyone enjoyed themselves.

Prescription: Murder is the final show in the Playcrafters Barn Theatre's 90th season, which consisted of 11 productions in as many months. (After this, Barn members are taking a well-deserved rest of a month or so before staging their next presentation in February.) I saw Friday's opening-night performance, and if any of the cast, crew, and staff are exhausted from their busy year, it certainly wasn't apparent. Everything flowed.

Described by the Chicago Tribune as “clever, funny, moving, lively, and geeky,” and filled with what Time Out Chicago called “deliciously dorky references to the early days of the Internet,” the Dungeons & Dragons-fueled comedy-drama-action-adventure She Kills Monsters enjoys a new staging at Rock Island's Augustana College, its November 14 through 17 run guaranteed, according to the New York Times, to “slash and shapeshift its way into your heart.”

The Prenzie Players' "The Merry Wives of Windsor" at the QC Theatre Workshop -- November 15 through 23.

A showcase for the beloved Shakespearean figure Falstaff – the jovial, scheming, soliloquizing knight previously featured in Henry VI Parts I and II – the uproarious comedy The Merry Wives of Windsor serves as the latest presentation by classical-theatre troupe the Prenzie Players, its November 15 through 23 run at Davenport's QC Theatre Workshop boasting many familiar area talents in what Broadway World deemed “the most purely farcical of all of [Shakespeare's] works.”

With the Chicago Reader deeming the work “a Preston Sturges comedy stranded at an I-94 truck stop” and “a wild, crotch-grabbing snapshot of life at the margins,” sibling authors Clay and Nate Sander's Losers Bracket makes its Quad Cities debut at Moline's Black Box Theatre November 15 through 24, its local run sure to demonstrate why the Chicago Tribune raved, “The play hums with the kind of quirky, blue-collar, sports-loving bravado that made Bleacher Bums a Chicago classic.”

Called “hilarious and heartwarming” by the Chicago Tribune and praised for its “bright comic zest” and “swinging music” by the New York Times, the musical adaptation Elf: The Musical – based on the 2003 screen comedy starring Will Ferrell – returns to the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse for a November 6 through December 29 engagement, treating patrons top a holiday tale that Broadway World called an “upbeat, oddball, and tuneful concoction.”

A holiday-themed sequel to the venue's slapstick smash from 2017, A Doublewide, Texas Christmas serves as a season-ending presentation at Geneseo's Richmond Hill Barn Theatre, with the comedy's November 7 through 17 run sure to demonstrate why Theatre Mirror proclaimed, “If you want to spend two hours suspending belief, forgetting your troubles, and just laughing at the silliness, this is the show for you.”

A delightfully engaging stage mystery whose film version introduced the world to the iconic detective Lt. Columbo, authors William Link's and Richard L. Levinson's Prescription: Murder wraps up the Playcrafters Barn Theatre's 2019 season with its November 8 through 17 run, this “arresting” comic thriller sure to prove why British Theatre Guide raved, “For fans of Columbo, and of detective stories in general, this is certainly worth seeing.”

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