Described by Variety as “Disney's happiest outing since The Lion King” and by USA Today as boasting “easy infectiousness” and “youthful exuberance,” the Tony-winning Newsies: The Musical concludes the 2021 summer season for Eldridge's Countryside Community Theatre, the show's July 30 through August 8 run treating crowds to an energetic work that, according to the Hollywood Reporter, “adheres to a time-honored Disney tradition of inspirational storytelling in the best possible sense.”

Winner of Great Britain's Oliver Award for Best Play and described by London's Independent as “wondrous, hilarious, and heartbreaking,” the fascinating two-character drama The Mountaintop, from July 29 through August 7, serves as the inaugural production at Davenport's new venue The Mockingbird on Main, the play's imagined tale involving Martin Luther King Jr. lauded by the Los Angeles Times as “a powerful, poetic take on (King's) legacy.”

Based on the beloved Janet Letnes Martin and Suzann Nelson book Growing Up Lutheran and an ever-popular stage entertainment for more than 15 years, Church Basement Ladies serves as the latest musical-comedy presentation at the Clinton Area Showboat Theatre, its run sure to demonstrate why Broadway World called the experience “a completely fun evening” that's “really, really funny.”

Including its music direction by Michael McBride and Stancato's and associate Felicia Finley’s choreography, this outstanding production brought a brand-new, never-before-seen concept to this powerful musical. It really made me think about the story I was witnessing in a very contemporary, creative way.

This past weekend, in all its masked glory, Genesius Guild’s Hippolytus featured gorgeous face coverings designed by Daitlyn Duffy and fitted by Bob Hanske, and these were certainly not your typical COVID-era face masks, either; they were works of art that amazingly kept mouths uncovered. When paired with Sara Wegner’s absolutely beautiful costumes, I was swept up in the story before anyone said a single word.

At last! After being pandemic-delayed for 17 months, it was finally opening night for the long-awaited Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse production Saturday Night Fever. And Friday’s performance transported an extremely excited audience back to the 1970s for a disco revolution in which there was a whole lot of incredible dancing going on.

Family history can often be synonymous with family drama. And anyone who has ever argued over ownership of a family heirloom with their sibling will probably appreciate the Playcrafters Barn Theatre's current production.

Even within the subset of meritorious solo or duo shows, author Lauren Gunderson's I & You is a particularly outstanding and imaginative two-person play unlike any I've seen in the Quad Cities, and one to which the Black Box Theatre did full justice. I attended opening night as one member of an equally appreciative crowd.

A famous William Shakespeare title featuring the Bard's most famous stage direction serves as the first of two free summertime Riverside Theatre productions held in Iowa City's Lower City Park, with The Winter's Tale, from July 15 through 25, treating audiences to passion, treachery, low comedy, high drama, and a potentially unforgettable “exit, pursued by a bear.”

Once Mamma Mia!'s overture started and the curtains opened – my my – it was nothing short of theatre magic.

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