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Sunday - September 20, 2020
Quad Cities USA - Guide to Davenport & Bettendorf Iowa and Rock Island & Moline Illinois
 

Circa ’21 Reopens With Comedy That’s “Touching Without Touching”

September 8th, 2020

The staggering Covid-19 pandemic has forced most of us to lean on friends and alcohol to cope, and though we can’t (or shouldn’t) physically hug, the return of Circa ‘21’s mainstage aims to provide an emotionally comforting embrace. The historic dinner theater (1828 3rd Ave. Rock Island) opens its first main production Wednesday since theaters everywhere closed in mid-March, with the Quad-City premiere of “The Savannah Sipping Society.” Running Sept. 9 through Nov. 7, this new hilarious and heartwarming comedy is written by the team of Jones Hope Wooten, the authors of such previous... Read More

Filming During Covid Gives Prized Outlet to Quad-Cities Creatives

July 25th, 2020

Saturday in the Arts is a comprehensive, in-depth feature on a topic, trend or personality impacting the Quad-Cities, posted every Saturday morning on QuadCities.com.   The day before the state of Illinois entered Phase 4 of reopening, affecting his longtime acting home of Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse, Moline’s Tom Walljasper was filming scenes as a farmer in small-town Iowa. A full-time actor, Walljasper had not acted since “Kinky Boots” closed at Circa in March, and both he and his wife Shelley were cast in small parts for a TV pilot, “Complete Bull,” filmed in June and July (with... Read More

Quad-Cities Fathers Share Their Love of the Arts with Their Sons And Daughters

June 21st, 2020

Mark McGinn’s love of the theater is literally in his blood. His father Jack (who died in 2000) started performing at Quad City Music Guild in Moline within two years of its founding in 1949, and was in dozens of shows. Mark, a 67-year-old Bettendorf resident, started with Guild at Prospect Park in 1972, playing clarinet for “Fiddler on the Roof,” and his first stage role was in 1976’s “Jesus Christ Superstar” (as one of the apostles). McGinn has since been involved in more than 70 other shows (including last summer as John Wilkes Booth in Black Box’s “Assassins” in Moline), mostly... Read More

Quad-Cities Performers Reflect on What Missing Audiences Means

June 11th, 2020

What a difference a year makes… On June 11, 2019, I was lucky enough to be among the 11,000 or so packed into Moline’s TaxSlayer Center (11th row center on the floor) to witness the first (and possibly last) performance of Sir Paul McCartney and his band in the Quad-Cities. It was an electrifying, unforgettable night – not least of which was due to the jaw-dropping lighting and multimedia displays, including a breathtaking pyrotechnic extravaganza during “Live and Let Die.” Part of what made it so thrilling was simply being in “the room where it happened,” celebrating a musical legend... Read More

Thoughts On A Blacked-Out National Theatre Day

March 28th, 2020

On this day – National Theatre Day – I’m taking it back to September 11, 2001. I know, I know… but stay with me. I was involved with Tom and Shelley Walljasper’s studio and we were set to preview  a new musical version of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow on that fateful day and open the next day. I thought for sure we were going to close the show, or at the very least postpone the preview, but Tom made it very clear that what we are doing is an escape from what is happening outside. It was our job to do the show as planned, and let the 30, 40 people that were there get away from... Read More

Circa’s ‘Kinky Boots’ A Fabulous Early Contender For Show Of The Year

January 17th, 2020

Kinky Boots Through March 14 Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse, 1726 3rd Ave., Rock Island (309) 786-7733, ext. 2 www.circa21.com   We’re barely past two weeks into 2020 and already we’ve got a strong contender for best show of the year. Circa ‘21’s “Kinky Boots” is indeed that good, a fantastic staging of a fabulous show, featuring a number of touching, buoyant moments, wonderful performances and terrific material. It’s such a magical, uplifting evening of entertainment, one of pure joy and spirit, with a positive message that doesn’t feel preachy, but rather, common sense. Wonderfully... Read More

Circa’s ‘Elf’ Is A Cute Holiday Treat

November 22nd, 2019

Circa ‘21’s “Elf” is a cute, fun holiday concoction, and was eaten up and greeted with smiles like Christmas cookies the night I saw it. With a fun live take on the blockbuster holiday film, a fantastic cast, wonderful sets and costumes and a terrific star giving it the perfect tone of goofiness and levity, it’s excellent holiday fare. There are flaws to the show, to be sure, but “Elf” is like winter’s first snowflake – you greet it with a smile, it reminds you of Christmas cheer, and you don’t want to put too much thought into it or it’ll ruin the moment. Sure, there are... Read More

‘Shear Madness’ Is A Hilarious Slice Of Fun

August 1st, 2019

Circa ‘21’s “Shear Madness” is “sheerly” hilarious, a wild, raucous romp that lives up to its name. With a terrifically talented cast that exudes a goofy sense of fun every moment they’re onstage, it’s a must-see for anyone looking for a funny night out. As the longest-running non-musical theatrical production worldwide, the snappy show has been cutting up audiences for decades around the globe, including Circa, and for good reason, it’s a wonderful showcase for talented improvisational performers while retaining the outline of an entertaining premise that promises laughs. “Shear,”... Read More

Irving Berlin’s ‘Holiday Inn’ Hits Stage At Circa ’21

June 18th, 2019

Treating audiences to the stage version of a beloved movie musical, the Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse’s latest presentation is the area debut of a Tony-nominated Broadway hit – HOLIDAY INN. Running through July 20, and boasting unforgettable songs by legendary composer Irving Berlin, this theatrical delight for all ages is being enacted by a wonderful cast of professional talents, many of them making return appearances at Circa ’21. Irving Berlin’s HOLIDAY INN will be staged at Circa ’21 on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 7:45 p.m., Sundays at 5:45 p.m., and... Read More

Circa’s ‘Grumpy’ Will Make You Happy

April 17th, 2019

Circa ‘21’s “Grumpy Old Men” will make you anything but grumpy. It’s a hilarious, ribald, dirty romp, roughly based on the beloved movie of the same name and sporting the same qualities. Prudish types may blush and bluster, but the rest of us will find it quite amusing. “Grumpy” is set in the small northern town of Wabasha, Wisc., where ice fishing rules and a feud on-and-off-the-ice has been chilly for decades between cranky geezers John Gustafson (Luther Chakurian) and Max Goldman (Tom Walljasper). It started in high school, over a girl, and shows no signs of lightening up even... Read More

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