An 1882 stage classic that the New York Times, in 2018, called “suddenly as timely as a tweet,” Henrik Ibsen's An Enemy of the People will be presented, in a modern-day re-imaging, at Davenport venue the Mockingbird of Main September 30 through October 9, its exploration of the impacts of pollution and moral complacency perhaps even more relevant now than it was in the 19th century.

A darkly funny, disturbing, and iconic one-act by the absurdist legend Eugène Ionesco, The Lesson kicks off St. Ambrose University's 2021-22 theatre season in the Galvin Fine Arts Center's Studio Theatre, the show's September 30 through October 2 run sure to demonstrate why Stage-Door raved, “The Lesson may be the greatest of Ionesco's plays.”

I was delighted to catch Friday’s opening-night performance of the new musical comedy Disenchanted! at the Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse. Directed by Corinne Johnson, with musical direction by Ron May, this show is about the other sides – more disgruntled sides – of the lives of fairytale characters made famous through the wonderful world of Walt Disney, with Snow White and her gang of dissatisfied co-princesses venting their frustrations as storybook/movie characters.

Lauded by Theatre in L.A. as “a touching and human comedy” about characters who “discover an unlikely but profound connection,” playwright Richard Alfieri's Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks enjoys an October 1 through 10 run at Moline's Playcrafters Barn Theatre, the two-person show praised by the Los Angeles Times as a “crowd-pleasing combination of sass and sentiment.”

It may be fall, but it will also be several “Seasons of Love” at the Adler Theatre on October 3 when the Davenport venue hosts a 25th-anniversary touring stop – and one of the official “farewell performances” – for Rent, creator Jonathan Larson's iconic and beloved rock opera that earned four Tony Awards, the Pulitzer Prize, and the hearts of countless millions of stage fans the world over.

The timeless musical tale of boy, girl, and man-eating plant, the beloved and iconic stage sensation Little Shop of Horrors enjoys a September 24 through October 3 run at Moline's Spotlight Theatre, this Tony-nominated delight an early hit for its composers and eventual Oscar winners Howard Ashman and Alan Menken (The Little Mermaid, Beauty & the Beast, Aladdin) and, according to the New York Times, a show that remains “a genially gruesome classic.”

There were people dancing in the aisles at the Timber Lake Playhouse on Friday night, with patrons enjoying the theatre's current and vibrant musical production Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story. Audience members absolutely went wild for author Alan Janes' show – they were on their feet, clapping, cheering, and singing along to such classic tunes as “Peggy Sue,” “Maybe Baby,” and “Oh Boy.” The atmosphere was positively charged, and I found myself singing along, too. It was so good to see people cutting loose and having a fantastic time.

On Wednesday night, I attended a preview of the Black Box Theatre’s latest presentation The Guys, written by Anne Nelson. Based on a true story, the play follows an editor named Joan (Jennifer Cook Gregory), who receives an unexpected phone call from Nick (Jim Harris), a fire captain who has lost most of his men in the 9/11 attacks. Directed and designed by Lora Adams, The Guys is a poignant and conversational piece that brought forth, to me, many horrific and sad images from that devastating day.

Over the past decade-plus, theatre audiences have seen her in such area productions as A Streetcar Named Desire, Oedipus Rex, The Gift of the Magi, and this past June's Hate Mail. They've heard her sing in such musicals as Thoroughly Modern Millie, Monty Python's Spamalot, The Drowsy Chaperone, and Assassins. But until now – or rather, until its September 16 through 18 run at Davenport venue The Mockingbird on Main – stage fans haven't spent a full 75 minutes in her solo (albeit piano-accompanied) theatrical company until the debut of her one-act cabaret Wishes: An Evening with Wendy Czekalski.

Described by the New York Times as “a girls'-night-out retro rebellion” and praised by DC Metro Theater Arts for its “knowingly cheeky attitude” and “witty, often rapid-fire lyrics,” the Disney-princess musical-comedy spoof Disenchanted! enjoys a September 15 through November 6 run at Rock Island's Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse, with this new stage work, according to Chicago Critic, full of “fun music and even funnier characters [that] will have you laughing all the way to the palace.”