Sunday - March 3, 2024
Quad Cities USA - Guide to Davenport & Bettendorf Iowa and Rock Island & Moline Illinois

Rock Island’s Circa ’21 Presents ‘Christmas Story’ Musical

November 22nd, 2023
Rock Island's Circa '21 Presents 'Christmas Story' Musical

With the show nominated for three Tony Awards including Best Musical and described by Broadway World as “a twinkling Christmas delight,” Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse will bring loads of holiday cheer to area audiences in the yuletide treat A CHRISTMAS STORY: THE MUSICAL. Running through December 30, this sensational opener to the dinner theatre’s 2023-24 season inspired the New York Times to rave, “You’d have to have a Grinch-sized heart not to feel a smile spreading across your face,” and its Rock Island production boasts a top team of professional talents. A CHRISTMAS... Read More

Rock Island’s Circa ’21 Has A Winner With Political Comedy ‘The Outsider’

September 29th, 2023
Rock Island's Circa '21 Has A Winner With Political Comedy 'The Outsider'

I didn’t know much and didn’t really know what to expect going into Circa ’21’s latest show, the political comedy, “The Outsider.” The cast looked good, with Brad Hauskins, Bobby Becher, and a few others I enjoy. And director Dennis Hitchcock has helmed some great shows in the past. But I was unfamiliar with the script or the show. To be honest, the first few minutes didn’t do much to interest me. They were largely perfunctory plot points, where a charisma-free policy wonk, Ned (Hauskins), is reeling from a horrible public appearance after he’s unexpectedly... Read More

Circa ’21 Provides A Nice ‘Escape’ For Jimmy Buffett Fans

July 21st, 2023
Circa '21 Provides A Nice 'Escape' For Jimmy Buffett Fans

I’ve always had kind of a mixed relationship with the music of Jimmy Buffett. I’ve seen him in concert a couple of times because I have friends who are Parrotheads and absolutely love him, and after seeing him once, I found his show really entertaining so I’ve gone along with them subsequent times to gigs even though my feelings on his music are, again, pretty mixed. One of my favorite songs of all time is actually a Jimmy Buffett song. “Come Monday.” It’s a beautiful ballad that hits just right when you’re missing someone, and it’s a wonderful song. One... Read More

‘Grumpy Old Men’ Will Put A Smile On Your Face At Rock Island’s Circa ’21

March 31st, 2023
'Grumpy Old Men' Will Put A Smile On Your Face At Rock Island's Circa '21

I laughed a lot during the wonderfully cast “Grumpy Old Men,” running through May 6 at Rock Island’s Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse, and I would bet you will too. Much like the movie it’s based upon, its charm is heavily dependent upon its cast. And much like the film starring Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon as the battlin’ oldsters duking it out over Ann Margret, Circa brings out the comedy heavy hitters with Brad Hauskins, Tom Walljasper and, particularly, Kim Vanderginst, in those three roles. That trio is likewise surrounded by a terrific comedic ensemble (most... Read More

New Queen Musical At Rock Island’s Circa ’21 Really ‘Rocks’

January 29th, 2023
New Queen Musical At Rock Island's Circa '21 Really 'Rocks'

If you love the music of Queen (as I do), and you love creative and original visual spectacles on stage (I do), and you love so-dumb-it’s-funny humor (ditto), then you’ll love “We Will Rock You,” the Queen jukebox musical playing at Rock Island’s Circa ’21 through March 11. (Call (309) 786-7733, ext. 2 for tickets and showtimes.) I’ve honestly never seen a show quite like this at Circa before, and I mean that as a compliment. It’s just so different looking and feeling from most of the stuff that hits their stage that it’s both exhilarating and... Read More

Treat Yourself To Circa ’21’s Wonderful ‘White Christmas’

December 3rd, 2022
Treat Yourself To Circa '21's Wonderful 'White Christmas'

If you’re looking for a delightful holiday treat of a show this season, treat yourself to Circa ’21’s “White Christmas.” The Rock Island dinner theater’s latest is a warm, inviting holiday classic with fantastic wardrobe, wonderful choreography, and a big hearted, fun cast of characters reminiscent of a Bing Crosby/Bob Hope vintage tale. There’s a reason Irving Berlin’s standby has lasted this long, and that’s because it’s right down the middle in pretty much all ways. It’s just a fun, fluffy show for a season of levity and cheer,... Read More

Get A ‘Clue’ For A Fun And Funny Show At Rock Island’s Circa ’21

October 21st, 2022
Get A 'Clue' For A Fun And Funny Show At Rock Island's Circa '21

Casting is critical when a show has a weak script, and that’s the case in Circa ’21’s latest show, “Clue,” which is thoroughly entertaining due to its cast elevating material that could’ve clunked in other hands. Basing an entire musical on a board game was a risky proposition from the start (pun intended), and the writers had to have a clue (ditto) that it was going to be difficult to stretch out the plotline of a narrative gaming experience into a complete two-act show without going a lot deeper on the plot. Unfortunately, the script for “Clue”... Read More

Rock Island’s Circa ’21 ‘Disaster’ Is A Wild Riot Of Laughs And Goofiness

August 20th, 2022
Rock Island's Circa '21 'Disaster' Is A Wild Riot Of Laughs And Goofiness

Circa ‘21’s latest show, “Disaster!,” is far from a disaster, as its name would imply. It’s controlled chaos, a rampaging beast of strangeness and random oddity packed with laughs and inspired goofiness. “Disaster!” is a truly unusual show in that it parodies a film subgenre from almost 50 years ago. Back in the ‘70s, there were an array of “disaster films,” big-budget blockbusters featuring ensemble casts, usually of b-list and c-list stars, who all ended up in some awful situation – a plane going down, a ship sinking, a building being exploded by a terrorist, horrible... Read More

Rock Island’s Circa ’21 Presents A Wonderful ‘Beauty And The Beast’

June 10th, 2022
Rock Island's Circa '21 Presents A Wonderful 'Beauty And The Beast'

I am not a Disney fan. In fact, quite the opposite. I find most Disney fare to be cloying, predictable, archaic, boring, and tiresome, and the only Disney material I’ve ever really loved has been “Aladdin” (in large part due to Robin Williams’ genie) and “The Jungle Book,” because it holds fond memories from my childhood. I say this to begin this review because if someone like me, someone who is not a Disney fan by any means, and who found the “Beauty And The Beast” movie to be fairly ridiculous aside from the music, if someone like me loved Circa... Read More

REVIEW: Davenport’s Mockingbird Nails Its Mark with Killer New Mystery

April 12th, 2022
REVIEW: Davenport's Mockingbird Nails Its Mark with Killer New Mystery

Writing a new play is murder. Well, it certainly was for busy Q-C actor, director, and theater owner Tristan Tapscott, whose latest original work – “Murder at Mistwell Manor” – is a breezy blast. Known in part — before he opened The Mockingbird on Main theater last summer — for penning a new musical adaptation of “A Christmas Carol” (with composer Danny White), Tapscott now has three original plays under his belt in the new cabaret-style space that welcomes new works. In December, the Mockingbird opened the silly holiday show “Deck the Halls,” and in March, it staged... Read More