One of America’s most popular children’s-book and comic-strip characters is set to come to life in a brand-new way, as the Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse stages the area premiere of the family comedy BIG NATE: THE MUSICAL. Running through May 13, this charming, hilarious treat based on writer/illustrator Lincoln Peirce’s beloved creation is filled with songs and spirit, and boasts a sensational cast of professional talents.

Circa ’21 will present BIG NATE: THE MUSICAL on scheduled Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday mornings and afternoons through May 13. Morning performances, with the doors opening at 9:30 a.m. and the shows beginning at 10 a.m., will take place on April 20, 25, 27, and 28, and also May 2, 4, 5, 6, 9, 11, 12, and 13. Afternoon performances, with 12:30 p.m. doors and 1 p.m. show times are scheduled for April 22, May 5, and May 6.

Ticket prices are $8.50 per person, with reduced pricing of $7.50 for groups of 12 or more.  For tickets and information, contact the Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse at 1828 Third Avenue, Rock Island, IL, or by calling (309)786-7733, extension 2.  Reservations can also be made online at

In BIG NATE: THE MUSICAL, Nate Wright – a detention-riddled sixth-grader and garage-band drummer for Enslave the Mollusk – hopes to capture beautiful Jenny’s heart by winning “The Nicholodeon,” the first prize in his school’s Battle of the Bands. But when Jenny teams up with school friend Artur and Nate’s arch-rival Gina to form the pop band Rainbows & Ponies, Nate has to take his game to an all-star level.

Using his superior cartooning skills, Nate concocts a super-charged, spectacular dedication to Jenny during his song’s climax, which he believes will blow Rainbows & Ponies away and make Jenny realize her mistake. Nate being Nate, though, the plan backfires, and what results in BIG NATE: THE MUSICAL is a funny, fast-paced, hour-long stage entertainment that’s sure to charm audiences of all ages.

Directing BIG NATE: THE MUSICAL is longtime Circa ’21 Bootlegger, actor, writer, and director Brad Hauskins, whose stage appearances at the venue have includes roles in Fiddler on the Roof, A Christmas Carol, and the theatre’s current production of The Music Man. The show’s musical director is another Circa ’21 favorite – Rachelle Walljasper, whose own credits for the theatre include The Music Man, Church Basement Ladies, and The Dixie Swim Club.

Featured among BIG NATE: THE MUSICAL’s cast of seven exquisitely talented performers are two members of the theatre’s performing wait staff of Bootleggers (Chris Galvan and Brooke Schelly), three cast mates from the current The Music Man (Brett Mutter, Erika Peckhardt, and Anna Segatti), and two actors making their Circa ’21 debuts (Derrick Bertram and Nik Kmiecik).


Circa ’21 is thrilled to gather this group of tremendous talents for such a delightful, debuting stage adventure, and encourages audiences to quickly make reservations at (309)786-7733 extension 2 for the dazzling delight of BIG NATE: THE MUSICAL!


Sean Leary is an author, director, artist, musician, producer and entrepreneur who has been writing professionally since debuting at age 11 in the pages of the Comics Buyers Guide. An honors graduate of the University of Southern California masters program, he has written over 50 books including the best-sellers The Arimathean, Every Number is Lucky to Someone and We Are All Characters.