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Wednesday - May 18, 2022
Quad Cities USA - Guide to Davenport & Bettendorf Iowa and Rock Island & Moline Illinois
 

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

REVIEW: Black Box Latest is Haunting, Twisty Roller-Coaster Ride of Madness, Horror

April 12th, 2022
REVIEW: Black Box Latest is Haunting, Twisty Roller-Coaster Ride of Madness, Horror

The latest production at Moline’s intimate Black Box Theatre isn’t one necessarily to be enjoyed, but is a terrifying thriller – tailor-made for fans of suspense, mystery and horror. The whiplash-inducing, psychological roller-coaster “Veronica’s Room” (1973) truly puts the “black” in Black Box. Director and co-founder Lora Adams warns as much in her brief introduction to the exhilarating, hard-to-watch four-actor play by the demented genius Ira Levin (1929-2007) — author of “Rosemary’s Baby,” “Deathtrap,” “The Stepford Wives” and “The Boys From Brazil.” “I... Read More

New Richmond Hill “Habits” is a heavenly delight

April 6th, 2022
New Richmond Hill “Habits” is a heavenly delight

As a lapsed Catholic and current wine lover, I was fully prepared to be intoxicated by “Drinking Habits,” the latest feel-good farce at Richmond Hill Players in Geneseo. I wasn’t prepared for how drunk with delight I got, I could barely drive home after Sunday’s picture-perfect matinee at the Barn Theater in Richmond Hill Park. In the silly Tom Smith story (intricately deep with secrets and many surprise romantic and family connections), two nuns at the 1965 Sisters of Perpetual Sewing have been secretly making wine to keep the convent’s doors open, but Paul and Sally, reporters and former... Read More

Crazy, Chaotic “Peter and the Starcatcher” Soars at Spotlight

April 4th, 2022
Crazy, Chaotic “Peter and the Starcatcher” Soars at Spotlight

Rick Elice’s Broadway hit “Peter and the Starcatcher is A LOT – a lot of characters (allegedly 100), a lot of story (with intermission, 160 minutes), a lot of action, sound and fury, and in its ADD-fueled, childlike soul, a heck of a lot of fun. Though you couldn’t pay me enough to summarize its crazy, complicated, silly plot, the new production at the Spotlight Theatre, 1800 7th Ave., Moline, is an exuberant, enthusiastic riot. Fitting snugly into its stellar reputation for family-friendly shows, the boisterous (and at times poignant) comedy with lots of music certainly shines with a starry... Read More

REVIEW: ‘Just Desserts’ A Sweet Treat At Rock Island’s Circa ‘21

March 29th, 2022
REVIEW: ‘Just Desserts’ A Sweet Treat At Rock Island’s Circa ‘21

I just love what Circa ’21 has done this year in regard to its shows. Its last show, “The Play That Goes Wrong,” was wonderfully absurd and hilarious, a terrific bit of humorous escapism. It’s latest show, “Just Desserts,” isn’t quite as unhinged and wacky, it’s far more conventional in terms of plotline and structure, but it’s just a warm, funny, and comforting show that extends the same escapist mood that we really all need right now. The last two years have been tough, and this year, even slogging out of covid, has been fraught with challenges from an economic and world perspective.... Read More

Circa ’21’s Hilarious ‘Play That Goes Wrong’ Gets All The Laughs Right

February 1st, 2022
Circa '21's Hilarious 'Play That Goes Wrong' Gets All The Laughs Right

Circa ’21’s latest show, “The Play That Goes Wrong,” gets one huge thing right: It hits all the comedic notes to make it a hilarious show. These types of silly, goofy, farces are exactly what we need right now, in my opinion. The last two years have sucked, let’s face it, and things aren’t exactly looking fantastic on the horizon either. What we need more than ever is levity and distraction, and Circa’s “Play That Goes Wrong” is the epitome of both. The show is pretty much explained in its title. It’s a murder mystery show where anything... Read More

REVIEW: Supremely Silly New Holiday Musical ‘Deck The Halls’ is A Fast-Paced Fun Time

December 13th, 2021
REVIEW: Supremely Silly New Holiday Musical 'Deck The Halls' is A Fast-Paced Fun Time

The new Christmas-themed musical at Mockingbird on Main in downtown Davenport is the ultimate stocking stuffer – not a major present in any way, but a sweet, silly, delicious trifle in more ways than one. When a huge snowstorm hits and the star-studded cast of a 1953 radio show can’t make it into the studio, those who are trapped inside the studio — the janitor, the writer, the assistant station manager and the young frazzled producer — must take over and see that show does indeed go on. Performed without intermission (running less than an hour), “Deck the Halls” is a frantic, fast-paced,... Read More

REVIEW: Circa ’21’s ‘Seussical’ Is A Wonderfully Colorful Show For The Whole Family

December 10th, 2021
REVIEW: Circa '21's 'Seussical' Is A Wonderfully Colorful Show For The Whole Family

Exploding with vibrant costuming and swirling with clever choreography, Circa ‘21’s enchanting “Seussical” is an absolutely wonderful show for the whole family. Full of energy and charged with a talented and exuberant cast, it nicely captures the spirit and buoyancy of Dr. Seuss’ work and briskly unspools a smart tale germane to today while avoiding a heavy hand. “Seussical” revolves around a little girl, JoJo (Ellerie Hurley), who lives a rather banal but generally pleasant life with her straight arrow parents in a grey town. However, JoJo dreams of bigger things, and wishes for... Read More

REVIEW: Spotlight Theatre Soars in Spectacular Production of “Sound of Music”

December 5th, 2021
REVIEW: Spotlight Theatre Soars in Spectacular Production of “Sound of Music”

“The Sound of Music” may seem like an overdone, ancient warhorse – with its 1938 Austrian setting and ruthless, invading Nazis – but classics are classics for a reason. Live theater presents the chance for actors to interpret iconic roles in their own way, putting their own spin on them, letting us see the familiar stories with fresh eyes, and absorb the messages and emotions in ways the original creators and performers could not have anticipated. The intolerance and hate speech reflected by the Third Reich in “Sound of Music” (which premiered in 1959) take on whole new meanings in... Read More

REVIEW: Energetic, Old-Fashioned “Holiday Inn” at Music Guild a True Gift to be Treasured

December 2nd, 2021
REVIEW: Energetic, Old-Fashioned “Holiday Inn” at Music Guild a True Gift to be Treasured

If you close your eyes during the terrific, open-hearted, snarky musical “Holiday Inn,” now at Music Guild in Moline, there is virtually no way to tell that the incredibly talented, dedicated volunteer performers are singing with cloth masks on. (Precise diction helps and those must be powerful body mics, thank God.) As we approach our third year of the interminable Covid pandemic, the Prospect Park theater is continuing to abide by the strict Illinois regulations that require everyone above age 2 to wear face masks while in indoor public places. That makes theater-going more safe and secure... Read More