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

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

REVIEW: Circa ’21’s ‘Winter Wonderland’ Is A Sweet Holiday Treat

November 18th, 2021
REVIEW: Circa '21's 'Winter Wonderland' Is A Sweet Holiday Treat

Circa ’21’s “Winter Wonderland” gave me everything I would want in a holiday special — it was lighthearted, cute, funny and full of snowflake fluffy holiday cheer. It’s what you want in a Christmas special, and I wholeheartedly recommend it as a perfect family gift for the holiday season. Expertly produced, director/choreographer Sean McCall, musical director Ron May, scenic designer Susan Holgersson, costume designer Greg Hiatt and lighting designer Heather Hauskins have created a winter wonderland of their own on the stage, a beautiful and cozy setting for... Read More

Playcrafters Offers Tremendous Heart and Talent in Zany “You Can’t Take It With You”

November 17th, 2021
Playcrafters Offers Tremendous Heart and Talent in Zany “You Can’t Take It With You”

There’s a heartfelt, inspiring story both on the Playcrafters stage and off in the wacky, wonderful “You Can’t Take It With You,” a classic American comedy by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman. Due to factors beyond the control of director Vicki Deusinger and the great 18-member cast (I think the most I’ve seen in any one show at the Barn Theatre in Moline), the madcap production will be presented just one weekend — Thursday, Nov. 18th through Sunday, Nov. 21st. It should not be missed, for several reasons. Winner of the 1937 Pulitzer for drama, and adapted by Frank Capra for... Read More

REVIEW: Haus of Ruckus’ ‘Jacques Alope’ Is A Hilariously Bizarre And Inventive Romp

November 10th, 2021
REVIEW: Haus of Ruckus' 'Jacques Alope' Is A Hilariously Bizarre And Inventive Romp

I’ve always loved absurdist comedies. From the sketch comedies I’ve written and produced to stuff I watch over-and-over like “I Think You Should Leave” and “Mr. Show,” I’ve always gravitated towards humor that seems to continually come from the far reaches of the galaxy of the mind to offer unexpected laughs, and sometimes just complete and utter tangents into the bizarre. It’s no surprise then, that I loved “Jacques Alope,” the new show from Haus of Ruckus, playing at 7:34 p.m. (with doors open at 6:59 p.m.) Thursday through Saturday... Read More

REVIEW: Fun, Fantastic ‘Rocky Horror’ Is A Must-See At Rock Island Speakeasy

October 22nd, 2021
REVIEW: Fun, Fantastic 'Rocky Horror' Is A Must-See At Rock Island Speakeasy

The Rock Island Speakeasy’s latest incarnation of “Rocky Horror” to slink out of the lascivious basement of ill repute is an absolute must-see, a tongue in cheek, tongues in cheeks, ribald riot. Driven in particular by the wonderfully smarmy performance of narrator Doug “Dougie” Kutzli, the powerful and sexy belt of Kira Rangel as Janet, and the marvelously campy Anthony Hendricks as Frank N Furter, it’s an absolute blast, one of the most fun and funny “Rocky’s” I’ve ever seen — and I’ve seen quite a few. I’ve probably... Read More

REVIEW: Poignant, Boisterous, Fantastic “Company” is Great Company at Moline’s Black Box

October 11th, 2021
REVIEW: Poignant, Boisterous, Fantastic “Company” is Great Company at Moline’s Black Box

The Davenport church for which I play piano had a brief dedication of lovingly handmade quilts Sunday morning that really hit home. The wonderful, open-hearted pastor (Clark Olson-Smith) said these colorful quilts – to be donated around the world – are each so much more than just a piece of material, but are an expression of love. “There is no way for us to imagine the power and effect an act of love can have on a person’s life — how you can use something as small as a quilt to radiate your love from us to the world. May these be used in your service and become blessings for all those... Read More

REVIEW: Playcrafters Presents Affecting, Soulful “Six Dance Lessons” as Study in Contrasts

October 5th, 2021
REVIEW: Playcrafters Presents Affecting, Soulful “Six Dance Lessons” as Study in Contrasts

The outstanding “Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks” at Playcrafters shows us the essence of excellent live theater. Just two actors – with lots of costume changes, a varied musical soundtrack and dance styles – responsible for drawing and holding our attention for an entire story of two very different, colorful, strong-willed characters. With Playcrafters veterans Stephanie Naab and Adam Cerny playing (respectively) Lily, an aging but formidable retiree, and Michael, an acerbic and blunt dance instructor, we’re in the best possible hands. And with the meticulous, energetic dances choreographed... Read More

REVIEW: Thought-Provoking New “Enemy” a Friend to Quad-Cities Theater at Mockingbird

October 3rd, 2021
REVIEW: Thought-Provoking New “Enemy” a Friend to Quad-Cities Theater at Mockingbird

When I heard that the prolific, amazing Alex Richardson was updating the 1882 Henrik Ibsen play “An Enemy of the People” to a tighter, slimmer, modern version – addressing science, disease, truth, corruption, adultery and journalism – I briefly wondered if there would be a spin on one of Donald Trump’s endlessly repeated lies, the press as the real enemy of the people. That phrase is surprisingly not uttered in the utterly absorbing, thought-provoking “Enemy of the People” at the new Mockingbird on Main in downtown Davenport, but Richardson has made the taut drama (with good doses... Read More

REVIEW: Circa ’21 Shows More Girl Power With Fun, Raunchy, Entertaining “Disenchanted”

September 25th, 2021
REVIEW: Circa ’21 Shows More Girl Power With Fun, Raunchy, Entertaining “Disenchanted”

“Disenchanted” is the name of an upcoming 2022 Disney+ live-action/animated musical fantasy film, a sequel to the 2007 “Enchanted,” with Amy Adams, Patrick Dempsey, James Marsden, and Idina Menzel reprising their roles. But that title was taken years before, first in a 2009 New York workshop (in its own way a sequel), as Dennis T. Giacino wrote the snarky book, lyrics and music to “Disenchanted!” – which pops a good-natured (and often bitingly accurate) pin in the inflated, unrealistic images of 10 Disney princesses. The fun-filled, energetic musical revue is given its winningly... Read More

REVIEW: Latest Black Box Play A Twisty, Tense, Threatening, Thrilling, Terrific Time

August 27th, 2021
REVIEW: Latest Black Box Play A Twisty, Tense, Threatening, Thrilling, Terrific Time

There’s a foreboding line early in the excellent “Murder in Green Meadows” (which concludes its run Saturday at the Black Box Theatre) – “Everything is perfect. What could be wrong?” Well, as we’ll soon learn, quite a lot. The new production at the Black Box Theatre, 1623 5th Ave., Moline, features a quartet of the Quad-Cities’ most talented, experienced actors in a tense, psychological thriller, and it’s helmed by an enthusiastic, dedicated student director. Even before a line is uttered, the upscale, sophisticated living room set is impressive to behold. I’d love to live there... Read More