Thursday - June 8, 2023
Quad Cities USA - Guide to Davenport & Bettendorf Iowa and Rock Island & Moline Illinois

‘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

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