With the Chicago Reader deeming the work “a Preston Sturges comedy stranded at an I-94 truck stop” and “a wild, crotch-grabbing snapshot of life at the margins,” sibling authors Clay and Nate Sander's Losers Bracket makes its Quad Cities debut at Moline's Black Box Theatre November 15 through 24, its local run sure to demonstrate why the Chicago Tribune raved, “The play hums with the kind of quirky, blue-collar, sports-loving bravado that made Bleacher Bums a Chicago classic.”

Called “hilarious and heartwarming” by the Chicago Tribune and praised for its “bright comic zest” and “swinging music” by the New York Times, the musical adaptation Elf: The Musical – based on the 2003 screen comedy starring Will Ferrell – returns to the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse for a November 6 through December 29 engagement, treating patrons top a holiday tale that Broadway World called an “upbeat, oddball, and tuneful concoction.”

A holiday-themed sequel to the venue's slapstick smash from 2017, A Doublewide, Texas Christmas serves as a season-ending presentation at Geneseo's Richmond Hill Barn Theatre, with the comedy's November 7 through 17 run sure to demonstrate why Theatre Mirror proclaimed, “If you want to spend two hours suspending belief, forgetting your troubles, and just laughing at the silliness, this is the show for you.”

A delightfully engaging stage mystery whose film version introduced the world to the iconic detective Lt. Columbo, authors William Link's and Richard L. Levinson's Prescription: Murder wraps up the Playcrafters Barn Theatre's 2019 season with its November 8 through 17 run, this “arresting” comic thriller sure to prove why British Theatre Guide raved, “For fans of Columbo, and of detective stories in general, this is certainly worth seeing.”

From the moment I entered the QC Theatre Workshop for Friday's opening-night performance of The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?, my head was in a different place than ever before – literally, as the stage and the seating had swapped places since my last visit. From the moment the final spotlight died, my head has been in a different place figuratively. Edward Albee's show, which debuted on Broadway in 2002 and won that year's Tony for Best Play, stirred thoughts and ideas that I'm still pondering.

Deemed “a stylish and funny whodunit” by the Chicago Tribune, the gumshoe slapstick Flemming: An American Thriller serves as the latest student-directed production in Augustana College's 2019-20 theatre season, with the play described by SDGLN.com as a “clever homage to film noir that's “guaranteed to make you laugh.”

Dance, Billy, dance! And that he did during the Spotlight Theatre’s current production Billy Elliot: The Musical. Friday’s opening-night performance was magical and certainly razzle-dazzled me. Directed by one of my favorite local actors, Adam Sanders, there was never a dull moment; the evening was full of spinning chair stunts, great chassés, pirouettes, tap dancing, and lots of outstanding singing.

I attended Tuesday's rehearsal of playwright Michael Frayn's Noises Off at Augustana College's Brunner Theatre, and I have a question: Is it possible for Augustana's students to present a lackluster production? Director Jennifer Popple, her cast, and her crew brought a very challenging script to life.

Winner of the Tony Award for Best Play and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Edward Albee's dark comedy The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia? makes its Quad Cities debut in a October 25 through November 3 presentation at Davenport's QC Theatre Workshop, the New York Post calling the playwright's startling and hilarious meditation on love “as challenging, and as outrageously funny, as theatre gets.”

It has to be said, with a show titled The Man With Bogart’s Face, that I expected it to be primarily about someone who looked a bit like legendary film and theatre actor Humphrey Bogart. And yet, the reference to the lead character’s plastic surgery to resemble Bogart was just a throwaway moment at the beginning of the Black Box Theatre’s latest production.

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