With San Francisco's SFGate.com calling it “two hours of high-class hilarity” and “a generous gag-fest packed with rib-tickling delights,” Geneseo's Richmond Hill Barn Theatre continues its 50th-aAnniversary season of audience favorites with the commedie del'arte slapstick Scapin, a work that the Washington Post labeled “buoyantly self-aware” and “a delightful contemporary farce.”

An unforgettable tale of a ruthless race to power and the love affair that threatened to upend it, the historical drama Henry VIII: All Is True will be staged by verse-theatre troupe the Prenzie Players at Davenport's QC Theatre Workshop October 5 through 13 – the first area staging of ths 17th Century play in decades, and a work believed to be either the final or penultimate play written by William Shakespeare.

For its first musical presentation in the venue's first year of operation, the operators of Moline's Spotlight Theatre will take advantage of their venue's locale – the former site of the Scottish Rite Cathedral – with an ideal production for the architecturally grand space: The Hunchback of Notre Dame, the lauded stage adaptation of Disney's Oscar-nominated hit running October 5 through 14.

On August 26, theatre, film, and television scribe Neil Simon, at age 91, passed away after a legendary career that found him the recipient of the Pulitzer Prize, four Tony Awards, the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, and more combined Tony and Oscar nominations than any other writer in history. And from October 5 through 7, St. Ambrose University will celebrate the man's extraordinary career with its staging of Rumors, Simon's Tony-winning slapstick farce that the New York Post deemed “light, frothy, and fun.”

Nominated for the 1994 Tony Award for Best Musical and boasting a cast of nearly two dozen musical talents, the Rodgers and Hammerstein revue A Grand Night for Singing will be presented October 6 and 7 as a special fundraiser for Quad City Music Guild and the Prospect Park Pavilion, treating patrons to a song-and-dance showcase in which, according to the New York Times, “the songs flow together in a sequence that treats them as lighthearted extensions of one another.”

Theatre fans who actively seek out new and original works can, on October 6, find four of them at the Village of East Davenport's Village Theatre, where New Ground Theatre will house the venue's latest evening of Sudden Theatre – a 7 p.m. presentation of short plays that literally didn't exist one day prior.

There was a certain air of rowdiness at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse's opening-night production of Mama Won't Fly, and rightfully so, as the champagne fountain was flowing in celebration of the theatre's final production of its 41st season. Everyone seemed ready for a good laugh, and on those terms, I don't think any of us left disappointed.

A widely acclaimed work in which, according to Variety magazine, “conflicts explode in consistently intriguing ways,” the comedic drama Speech & Debate serves as the final production in the Playcrafters Barn Theatre's 2018 Barn Owl Series, its September 27 through 29 run demonstrating why the Washington Post deemed it a “suspenseful tale that fuses keen-eyed civic critique with riotous and even campy humor.”

Deemed “a beautiful memorial” by Nebraska's The Reader and “an incredible achievement” by Vada magazine, the lauded collection of monologues and show tunes Elegies for Angels, Punks, & Raging Queens enjoys a one-weekend Augustana College staging September 27 through 30 – a deeply moving work that TheatrePizzazz.com called “an unforgettable evening of material real and raw, touching and joyous, and ultimately, celebratory.”

Friday’s opening night of Tuesdays with Morrie found the Playcrafters Barn Theatre housing the largest audience I’ve ever seen there. It was almost unbelievable, then, that the intimacy of this two-man show directed by Jeff Ashcraft made me feel like the only person in the room – and I feel fortunate to have been a part of this production's history.