Each time I've attended a show at Augustana College's Brunner Theatre Center, I'm astonished by both the acting and technical brilliance. We had some great performers and techies during my St. Ambrose days, to be sure – but our theatre certainly wasn't equipped like this one. However, my justifiable envy doesn't lessen my enjoyment while at Augustana, including at Tuesday's dress rehearsal for The 39 Steps, directed by theatre professor Jeff Coussens.

Winner of the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the inspiration for an Oscar-nominated film, playwright David Lindsay-Abaire's family drama Rabbit Hole enjoys a March 18 through 27 run at Moline's Playcrafters Barn Theatre, the acclaimed work lauded by Entertainment Weekly as “a transcendent and deeply affecting new play which shifts perfectly from hilarity to grief.”

Seeing a play by Lauren Gunderson at the Black Box Theatre is now one of my favorite pastimes. On Thursday, I attended the opening-night performance of Gunderson's The Revolutionists, and my third go-'round with this playwright and this theatre proves that they harmonize as deliciously as Brie and a baguette.

I'll admit I was never a hearty fan of the Animaniacs approach, and as such, found it difficult to fully appreciate this production’s comedic offerings. But note: Just because this particular brand of comedy isn’t my personal favorite doesn’t mean that others on Saturday didn’t wholly love it.

Praised by Chicago Theatre Review as an "enthralling" play "that audiences who like their entertainment spiced with controversy and seasoned with today’s headlines will absolutely enjoy," author Eleanor Burgess' The Niceties runs at Iowa City's Riverside Theatre March 11 through 27, the work lauded by the New York Times as “a bristling, provocative debate play about race and privilege in the United States, and it begs to be argued with.”

Boasting a new score by Richard Rodgers Award-winning composer Brad Ross, the tasty musical comedy Just Desserts will be making its area debut in a March 16 through May 14 run at Rock Island's Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse, the show lauded by Connecticut's Patch magazine as "a delightfully sweet musical with some savory elements."

Winner of two 2008 Tony Awards and the prestigious Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Comedy of 2007, author Patrick Barlow's slapstick thriller The 39 Steps enjoys a March 10 through 13 run at Rock Island's Augustana College, the show's creative team and its four-person cast sure to demonstrate why the New York Times called this Alfred Hitchcock celebration/spoof an “indomitably funny” comedy of “virtuosic clowning.”

Nominated for seven 2014 Tony Awards and the winner of two, one of Broadway's biggest recent hits makes its long-awaited debut at Davenport's Adler Theatre with the arrival of touring production Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, a March 9 tribute to the beloved singer/songwriter boasting a book by Oscar nominee Douglas McGrath and some of the most unforgettable pop tunes of all time.

Lauded by the Cincinnati Enquirer as "a sassy, hold-on-to-your-seats theatrical adventure" as well as "a play that is wonderfully wild and raucous," Lauren Gunderson's The Revolutionists enjoys a March 3 through 12 area debut at Moline's Black Box Theatre, the author's acclaimed comedy praised by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution as "an astoundingly accomplished show" that's "ingeniously conceived and delivered."

Winner of the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and nominated for four Tony Awards including Best Play, Marsha Norman's haunting and affecting 'night, Mother serves as the latest student-produced theatre offering in Augustana College's 2021-22 season, a powerful work that caused the New York Times to rave, "It is Marsha Norman's profound achievement that she brings both understanding and dignity to forgotten and tragic American lives.”

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