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

REVIEW: Bettendorf Accountant Makes Impassioned, Impressive Debut With New Playcrafters Show

August 16th, 2021
REVIEW: Bettendorf Accountant Makes Impassioned, Impressive Debut With New Playcrafters Show

Embezzlement, fraud investigation, and misuse of state research and development reimbursements wouldn’t seem at first glance to make fertile ground for comedy and romantic sparks. But they say write what you know, right? Jim Sederquist, a 39-year-old accountant who lives in Bettendorf and loves to write, adds up his years of number-crunching in supremely suspenseful, entertaining fashion in his first full-length play, “The Whistleblower’s Dilemma,” given a top-notch production at Playcrafters Barn Theatre as part of its original Barn Owl season. “New work is an incredibly important part... Read More

REVIEW: Music Guild’s “Matilda” a Loud and Quiet (and Sometimes Muffled) Delight

August 7th, 2021
REVIEW: Music Guild's “Matilda” a Loud and Quiet (and Sometimes Muffled) Delight

As much as it pains me to say this, attending the last dress rehearsal for the new Quad City Music Guild production, “Roald Dahl’s Matilda,” was not a very pleasant experience. That’s not to say the super enthusiastic 32-member cast (most of whom are under 18) is not talented. They did about the best possible job under some very trying circumstances, beyond everyone’s control. Namely, that Music Guild has complied with the recent CDC recommendations that everyone (cast and audience, vaccinated or not) wear face masks indoors.’ Not only was it distracting for me to have a mask on through... Read More

REVIEW: Thrilling, Energetic “Newsies” at Countryside Worthy of a Pulitzer in Performance

August 2nd, 2021
REVIEW: Thrilling, Energetic “Newsies” at Countryside Worthy of a Pulitzer in Performance

It’s hard to go wrong with “Disney’s Newsies: The Musical.” But that doesn’t mean at all that it’s easy to get right. The glorious, massive show – given an expert, exhilarating production by Countryside Community Theatre – is a classic “underdog vs. topdog” battle. Scrappy, poor, relentlessly tenacious newspaper carriers (the newsies) go on strike after the cold, conniving, egomaniacal publishing titan Joseph Pulitzer hikes the cost they must pay to sell copies – in a bid to boost his bottom line. In the pre-broadcasting days, circa 1899, newspapers were THE king of communication... Read More

REVIEW: New Davenport Mockingbird Theater Scales Thrilling Mountain in Debut

July 30th, 2021
REVIEW: New Davenport Mockingbird Theater Scales Thrilling Mountain in Debut

One of the absolute thrilling joys of theater is not only how it brings fictional characters to life, but illuminates the intimately human struggles and triumphs of well-known, real-life icons. The Quad-Cities premiere of “The Mountaintop” – an emotional, haunting reimagining of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s last night on earth – is an extraordinary example. The 90-minute, two-person Katori Hall play debuted Thursday night at the new Mockingbird on Main, a beautiful, 40-seat cabaret at 320 N. Main St., Davenport, created by Tristan Tapscott and Savannah Bay Strandin. The mood before... Read More

REVIEW: Circa’s “Saturday Night Fever” A Brilliant Mix Of Escapism And Coming-Of-Age Tale

July 29th, 2021
REVIEW: Circa's "Saturday Night Fever" A Brilliant Mix Of Escapism And Coming-Of-Age Tale

The economy is in shambles. The world is a mess. Young people feel as if they have little to no hope to achieve the American dream they’ve been promised. And so, for many young people struggling with this realization, escapism is paramount to balancing out their lives and getting them through. Sound familiar? It should, because it certainly describes the world today, particularly for the millenial and Gen Z generations, and, as Circa ’21’s great and gritty musical adaptation of “Saturday Night Fever” displays, there’s a fine line between the blinding dazzle of... Read More

REVIEW: Playcrafters’ “The Piano Lesson” Has Strong, Charismatic Cast, But Doesn’t Quite Hit The Right Notes

July 19th, 2021
REVIEW: Playcrafters' “The Piano Lesson” Has Strong, Charismatic Cast, But Doesn’t Quite Hit The Right Notes

I wanted to like the African-American drama “The Piano Lesson” at Playcrafters Barn Theatre much more than I did. It truly has all the ingredients to make something special, but Saturday night’s version appeared undercooked and not quite ready to serve as a fully satisfying meal. The Pulitzer Prize-winning play by August Wilson (1945-2005), who died of liver cancer at age 60, is part of the playwright’s epic “American Century Cycle” that documents the Black experience. Each of the 10 works reflects a different decade of the 20th century, and “The Piano Lesson” is set in 1936, as... Read More

REVIEW: Amazing Vocals and Dance in Circa ’21’s “Saturday Night Fever” Lift Light Over Darkness

July 16th, 2021
REVIEW: Amazing Vocals and Dance in Circa '21's “Saturday Night Fever” Lift Light Over Darkness

The stage musical “Saturday Night Fever” has a serious split personality. Adapted from the Oscar-nominated 1977 movie smash that catapulted the Bee Gees to international fame and made a household name of star John Travolta, the jukebox musical that makes its stunning area premiere at Circa ’21 wants to be a carefree disco dance party. But behind the sparkly glitter, multi-colored lights and comfortably familiar hits lies a dark, depressing story – full of anguish, conflict and dashed dreams. In a way, it’s the opposite vibe of “Mamma Mia!” (another show built on 1970s favorites, by... Read More

REVIEW: Mississippi Bend Presents Another Fantastic Show With New ‘No Child…’

July 10th, 2021
REVIEW: Mississippi Bend Presents Another Fantastic Show With New 'No Child...'

QuadCities.com apologizes for the previous version of this review which had a few glitches in it due to a technical error in translating the text between systems. The error has been fixed and here is the review in its entirety. Thank you. Mississippi Bend has managed to go three-for-three this season with stellar productions of Red and Mary and Ethel: How I Learned to Sing preceding the incredible No Child…, which debuted this weekend. It’s hard to put into words what Jalyn Greene accomplishes in Mississippi Bend’s latest triumph, No Child… In the span of 65 minutes, Greene successfully... Read More

REVIEW: “Mamma Mia!” at Music Guild is a Spectacular, Fun Feast for the Senses

July 9th, 2021
REVIEW: “Mamma Mia!” at Music Guild is a Spectacular, Fun Feast for the Senses

For someone like me, who hadn’t seen a big musical with a big cast – live and in person – in 18 months, getting back to Quad City Music Guild Thursday night for the last dress rehearsal of the new “Mamma Mia!” (after nabbing next to the last spot in the parking lot) was a terrific treat. My son Josh and I wore masks and sat in the back row – but every one of the 535 seats in the Prospect Park theater is great, because you’re at Music Guild, seeing immensely talented people pursuing their passion: putting on the best possible entertainment and faithfully reflecting some of the greatest... Read More

REVIEW: Countryside’s ‘Music Man’ Hits Inconsistent Notes

June 27th, 2021
REVIEW: Countryside's 'Music Man' Hits Inconsistent Notes

There’s a moment when Countryside’s The Music Man sparks and crackles to life and it’s courtesy of tiny Grace Shinn (played by the sweet Mary Murphy). She single handedly puts the show in her pocket and runs away with it three different times. It’s heart-warming, downright adorable and makes you so happy theatre is back LIVE and off the SCREEN! It makes you wish more of the show was about HER. Unfortunately, it’s not and unfortunately, we rarely get that high from the rest of this production of The Music Man. The Music Man is a treasure. It is a tried and true old school chestnut that... Read More