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Quad Cities USA - Guide to Davenport & Bettendorf Iowa and Rock Island & Moline Illinois
 

‘Seven Brides’ Overcomes Problematic Premise With Entertaining Show

August 24th, 2017

In theory, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers has an unflinchingly chauvinistic  premise; Adam Pontiphee decides that he’s going to marry Milly. He proposes right after meeting her. He brings her up to his homestead in the mountains of Oregon in 1850. He neglects to mention that he’s got six other younger brothers, and that she’ll have to cook, clean, and mend clothing for all of them. But he baits her with romance and switches to that. Add to that, his six younger brothers actively kidnap six other young women from town in order to take them as brides. So why does Seven Brides for Seven Brothers... Read More

Take A Dip With ‘Dixie Swim Club’

July 19th, 2017

One of the great things about living in the Quad Cities is that at this time of year, you are never more than a ten minute drive from a playhouse putting on a good show. Case in point: I bus greeted for Quad City Music Guild’s production of West Side Story last night, and then jumped in my car and still made it to Playcrafter’s Barn Theater for the 7:30 curtain for Dixie Swim Club. Directed by Jacque Cohoon, working from a script by Jones, Hope, and Wooten, Dixie Swim Club is about a group of five women who rent out the same beach house every year, on the year in August. We meet them when... Read More

Music Guild’s ‘West Side Story’ A Classic

July 12th, 2017

In the book Let it Snow!, jointly written by John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle, the character Tobin is terrified to ask his best friend Angie out because he doesn’t want to risk an unhappy ending. But he secretly loves her. And over the course of their adventure to get to a Waffle House during a blizzard in North Carolina, Tobin starts to court the idea of a happy middle… regardless of whether things go to pieces. Composer Leonard Bernstein, lyricist Stephen Sondheim, and bookwriter Arthur Laurents, approached West Side Story with the same sensibility. Quad City Music Guild... Read More

Little Shop Is Far From Horrendous

April 6th, 2017

Little Shop of Horrors at Quad City Music Guild: A Review I recently had the opportunity to see Little Shop of Horrors at Quad City Music Guild. It is my second time seeing it at the theatre. Book and lyrics are by Howard Ashman. Musical arrangements by Alan Menken. The storyline is, to be sure, twisted. Adapted for the stage from the 1985 movie starring Rick Moranis, Little Shop of Horrors is about a dweeby man named Seymour who works at a flower and plant shop on Skid Row in Los Angeles. He is privately in love with Audrey, his coworker. Traditional enough set-up. But we work in a blood-sucking... Read More

The ‘Rumors’ Are True: This Show Is Hilarious

March 16th, 2017

The reason the wheels were so well-greased on Playcrafter’s Barn Theater’ production of Rumors for several reasons: a.) The characters weren’t particularly likable, b.) the actors playing the characters are likable, and c.) Their Comic Timing Was So Crisp! Written by Neil Simon, and directed by Alex Richardson, Rumors is about hoity toity New Yorkers of the social class that can afford to enjoy the finer things, but are susceptible to bad behavior. As I got to know Ken, Len, Glenn, Ernie, Claire, Cookie, Cassie and Chris, I thought of Billy Joel’s “Big Shot.”... Read More

Playcrafters’ ‘Steel Magnolias’ Is Sweet And Strong

January 27th, 2017

The most powerful dramas come with a healthy dose of comedy. And I might add the most powerful dramas have at least as many laughs as tears. I saw Fried Green Tomatoes with my mom and my grandma when I was ten. Forrest Gump, My Girl, Big Fish, How to Make An American Quilt, these are all dramatic stories. Tearjerkers. And yet… every one of them had long, satisfying stretches of laugh-out-loud humor. Steel Magnolias joins that club. I saw it with my dad at Playcrafter’s Barn Theater yesterday. A play by Robert Harling, which was adapted into a movie in 1989 with Olympia Dukakis, Sally Field,... Read More

‘In-Laws, Outlaws’ A Brilliant ‘SNL’ Sketch In Play Form

December 14th, 2016

Whenever a Saturday Night Live cast sketch gets adapted into a full length movie, seldom is it the case where a critic doesn’t make the remark “what was a successful fifteen minute sketch ran thin in this 2 hour movie.” In-Laws, Outlaws, and Other People That Should Be Shot played like a fifteen minute Saturday Night Live sketch that got stretched into a two hour play. And it worked. It was brilliant. The premise; the Douglas family is celebrating Christmas. The dad, Tom (Don Faust) has to run around finishing the whole meal while awaiting his wife’s return from Vermont. His feisty emo... Read More

Music Guild’s ‘Christmas Carol’ A Great Echo Of A Holiday Classic

December 7th, 2016

One of the great pleasures about seeing a show at Quad City Music Guild, or any theatre for that matter, is the chestnuts. The easter eggs. The little chocolate nuggets. The moments that happen upstage, behind a group of people, that you notice because you’re like Bill Marsoun or me and you’re watching everybody up there. A Christmas Carol, produced by Music Guild and going up at Prospect Park Auditorium, is just that show. The show, which only had a one-weekend run Dec. 1-4, was a great echo of the perennial holiday classic, full of great inside moments. Tom Naab (Peter Pan, A Christmas Survival... Read More

Flowers For Algernon Strikes Familiar, Tragic Chords

October 12th, 2016
Quad Cities flowers-for-algernon

I thought of The Notebook, Away From Her, and Still Alice while watching Flowers for Algernon at Richmond Hill Theatre. Directed by Dana Moss-Peterson, this production evoked memories of those three movies, all Directed by Dana Moss-Peterson, this production evoked memories of those three movies, all about Alzheimer’s patients and their respective spouses making the slow goodbye. Jonathan Grafft plays Charlie Gordon, a mentally challenged man of about 42 years age. He gets bullied at his job, in a bakery kitchen. But the meanness of the remarks sails over his head. He takes night classes. His... Read More

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