The first show of the Playcrafters Barn Theatre's 2019 season, running January 11 through 20, is writer/director Alexander Richardson's (a work in progress) – a backstage/front-of-stage comedy Richardson originally wrote in 2015 and drastically re-wrote for its area debut. And the play serves as a fitting introduction to what may be the venerable venue's most ambitious season yet, with 11 wildly varied productions scheduled for the next 11 months. One might call it (an experiment in progress).
You asked for 'em! You're getting 'em!
Okay, fine, none of you officially asked for them. But 'tis the season of giving, so-o-o-o … .
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Third-Annual Reader Tony Awards!
“God bless us, everyone!” is the heartwarming wish from the cast of writer/director Tristan Tapscott's and Countryside Community Theatre's A Christmas Carol musical, now playing at Princeton's charming Boll's Community Center along the banks of the Mississippi River. This delightful production is a pure and humble presentation of the classic tale of Ebenezer Scrooge (Doug Kutzli) and his struggle to find purpose and love in his life, and Saturday’s show was full of both joy and sadness. But most of all it felt cozy. From the scrumptious desserts by Susan Burda, carefully displayed in a small booth at the rear of the theatre, to members of the cast greeting patrons before the show in full character and costume, the atmosphere was exceptionally festive.
Before the start of Tuesday night's dress rehearsal for the Spotlight Theatre's The Happy Elf, there was a little bit of pre-holiday spirit in the air, with various cast members' children and siblings laughing and playing in the aisles, enjoying candy canes and cookies. However, once the performance started, they were as quiet as (dare I say it?) church mice. This may be the best indication of the musical's ability to hold the interest of a young audience.
Amidst the joys and festivities of the season, it wouldn't be the holidays if they didn't also come complete with a hearty cry of “Bah, humbug!” And from December 14 through 22, Countryside Community Theatre will deliver that cry – along with messages of hope and wonder and scores of beautiful music – in the Boll's Community Center production of A Christmas Carol, the seasonal delight boasting music and lyrics by Danny White and a book by the show's director Tristan Tapscott.
Nominated for three 2013 Tony Awards including Best Musical and described by Broadway World as “a twinkling Christmas delight,” the eagerly awaited touring production A Christmas Story: The Musical lands at Davenport's Adler Theatre on December 18, its score by the Oscar- and Tony-winning team of Benj Pasek and Justin Paul inspiring the New York Times to write, “You'd have to have a Grinch-sized heart not to feel a smile spreading across your face.”
It must be a daunting task to adapt a film for the stage, and there are dozens of examples of movies – everything from Little Shop of Horrors to King Kong – reinvented for the theatre. But how can you even hope to take one of the most revered American films of all time, a non-musical no less, and turn it into a full-blown musical success? Easy. Do what Quad City Music Guild has done, and simply find good actors, a creative director, talented musicians, and other dedicated artists to recreate the holiday classic It’s A Wonderful Life in the form of the stage musical Miracle in Bedford Falls.
Boasting what the Washington Post called “fresh, off-kilter elements” and a score that “bubbles with New Orleans shuffle and sass,” the family holiday musical The Happy Elf makes its area debut at Moline's Spotlight Theatre December 6 through 9, its music and lyrics courtesy of none other than Grammy-winning and Tony-nominated music legend Harry Connick Jr.
An American stage drama as powerful, affecting, and deeply relevant today as it was in its 1934 debut, Lillian Hellman's classic The Children's Hour will be produced in Augustana College's Brunner Theatre Center December 6 through 9, its tale of clandestine love and small-minded bigotry standing as a haunting reminder of the continued horrors of intolerance.
Christmas can be magical. It’s a time for love, cheer, and miracles. And all three of those holiday attributes are currently being dished up at the Black Box Theatre in its production of It Had to Be You.
You'll get a rundown of What's Happenin' along with your keys to the Quad Cities' culture.
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