Friday - July 1, 2022
Quad Cities USA - Guide to Davenport & Bettendorf Iowa and Rock Island & Moline Illinois

‘Music Man’ Review Controversy Raises Some Interesting Questions, And Answers

June 28th, 2021
'Music Man' Review Controversy Raises Some Interesting Questions, And Answers

In the past 24 hours, a review on this site of Countryside Community Theater’s “The Music Man” written by Tristan Tapscott has become embroiled in controversy. So much so that it prompted a guest column from local actor Lou Hare, and my invitation, still open, for any other interested parties to send me rebuttals to Tristan’s review. As always, we look forward to hearing from people and stimulating conversation about the local arts scene, whether the responses are pro or con, particularly in regard to a review, which is an opinion of the writer meant to prompt thought and... 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

REVIEW: Augustana Musical Theater Prof Offered a Wonderful Time in Personal “Mary and Ethel” Tribute

June 27th, 2021
REVIEW: Augustana Musical Theater Prof Offered a Wonderful Time in Personal “Mary and Ethel” Tribute

You know when they say film versions of stage plays often “open them up” with exterior settings or other visual changes that are not possible or feasible in a theater? Well, two already remarkable stage shows at this month’s Mississippi Bend Players – the top-notch professional summer stock at Augustana College – have benefitted from that approach, both without leaving an indoor theater. Just a week after its first 2021 production, “Red” (which premiered in 2012 at QC Theatre Workshop), MBP again transformed the Brunner Theatre Center into a spacious, sophisticated cabaret with Shelley... Read More

Moline’s Black Box Offers Up A Supremely Cool ‘Dick Tracy’

March 19th, 2021
Moline's Black Box Offers Up A Supremely Cool 'Dick Tracy'

Former Quad City Times David Burke reporter once referred to the cast of my production of Company as being “the cool kids lunch table” and if he were still reviewing shows in this area, he’d say the same and MORE about this cast. This is the new “cool kids lunch table.” James Driscoll. Jenny Winn. Sara Wegener. Tom Vaccaro. Matt Walsh. Mark Ruebling. Doug Kutzli. It’s like producers Lora Adams and David Miller broke into my brain and picked one of my dream team casts and put them on stage for the new Black Box Theater production of “Dick Tracy.” Unfortunately, they... Read More

Black Box Theater’s ‘Turn Of The Screw’ Is Creepy, Must-See Theater

July 17th, 2020
Black Box Theater's 'Turn Of The Screw' Is Creepy, Must-See Theater

If Lora Adams’ name is on something there’s one guarantee: it’s going to look AMAZING. And Black Box’s Turn of the Screw is no exception to that rule. The latest offering from the intimate Black Box – and ONLY live theatre event in the Quad Cities this summer – looks and feels as eerie as it should. This particular production has that Disney detail thing going on. It’s like a bunch of Imagineers flew in from Anaheim and rocked a stellar set, lighting and costume design. It looks THAT good. The “Imagineers” in the case are set designer (and director) Lora Adams,... Read More