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Sunday - August 1, 2021
Quad Cities USA - Guide to Davenport & Bettendorf Iowa and Rock Island & Moline Illinois
 

Mike Schulz — “Red”’s Rothko — Reflects on a Rare Feat, a Double Play

June 20th, 2021
Mike Schulz -- “Red”’s Rothko -- Reflects on a Rare Feat, a Double Play

Before the remarkable run of “Red” – the Mississippi Bend Players production that concluded earlier today, lead actor Mike Schulz reflected on getting to play the real-life abstract-expressionist artist Mark Rothko. Twice. Now 53, the thoughtful, passionate and intense Schulz reflected on his past nine years living with the play – done first with a tiny group at QC Theatre Workshop, running over three weekends, and recently with a crew of at least a dozen at MBP, with just four performances over one weekend. “John Logan’s script is so amazing, and so engaging and audience-friendly,... Read More

REVIEW: Schulz And Odenkirk Give Rock Star Performances In Fantastic ‘Red’

June 18th, 2021
REVIEW: Schulz And Odenkirk Give Rock Star Performances In Fantastic 'Red'

Imagine me sitting in a car like Brad Pitt in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood giving finger guns to Mike Schulz and saying, “You’re Mike F-ing Schulz! Don’t you forget it.” He deserves this level of hype, this level of praise, this level of Lets-Put-An-Actor-On-An-Unecessary- Pedastal-ness for Mississippi Bend Players’ new “Red.” All. Of . It. Schulz is pretending at new and frightening heights giving a performance that I found myself simultaneously getting lost in AND studying so I could get bring even a small percentage of this bloke’s grace, believability and sheer... Read More

REVIEW: Electrifying, Literate “Red” Pulses With Emotion, Brilliance at Augustana

June 17th, 2021
REVIEW: Electrifying, Literate “Red” Pulses With Emotion, Brilliance at Augustana

Words and art are my business – as tools, objects of affection, contemplation and worship, ways to make sense and meaning of life – as they are for “Red,” the brilliant, caustic, literate John Logan play given a fantastic, thrilling new production by Mississippi Bend Players at Augustana College. Over an emotional 90-minute rollercoaster — in an action-packed, dialogue-dense one act, first-class director Cait Bodenbender and peerless actors Mike Schulz and Tristan Odenkirk grab your attention and never let go. It’s as riveting, passionate, thought-provoking – and deeply committed... Read More

Rock Island’s Mississippi Bend Players To Go Small for 2021 Summer Season

May 5th, 2021
Rock Island's Mississippi Bend Players To Go Small for 2021 Summer Season

The fourth full season of Mississippi Bend Players will feature a total of five performers over three productions this summer at Augustana College’s Brunner Theatre Center. After it was forced to cancel its 2020 in-person season, the 2021 lineup will be: “Red” (June 17-20), by John Logan, directed by Catherine Bodenbender and featuring MBP favorites Mike Schulz and Tristan Odenkirk. Master abstract expressionist Mark Rothko has just landed the biggest commission in the history of modern art, a series of murals for New York’s famed Four Seasons Restaurant. In the two fascinating years... Read More

Long Wait Over for “Waiting for Godot” at Moline’s Black Box

October 21st, 2020
Long Wait Over for “Waiting for Godot” at Moline’s Black Box

The 1953 Samuel Beckett classic “Waiting for Godot” has had a long wait for its premiere Thursday at Moline’s Black Box Theatre. But it’s perfect for a pandemic-plagued 2020. Directed by local theater veteran Mike Schulz (an Augustana College alum), he started rehearsals in May, originally as a partnership between QC Theatre Workshop and Mississippi Bend Players. A plan to do the mainly two-person play outside at a pavilion behind Brunner Theatre Center was later shelved, and it’s now going up independently at the small Black Box with a maximum audience of 26 – masks are required –... Read More

Moline’s Black Box Theatre Stages Small, Affecting Plays During Pandemic

October 2nd, 2020
Moline's Black Box Theatre Stages Small, Affecting Plays During Pandemic

Being an artist means being creative and adaptable, and no one knows this more than longtime Quad-Cities theater veteran Lora Adams. Co-owner of the Black Box Theatre, 1623 5th Ave., Moline, she was the first in the area to reopen for an indoor production during the Covid-19 pandemic, on July 16 with Jeffrey Hatcher’s adaptation of “The Turn of the Screw,” starring Matt Walsh and Kayla Jo Pulliam (wearing clear face shields), with Walsh playing four different characters. The theater (which originally planned to open “Turn of the Screw” in late March) has been abiding by the state of... Read More

Coronavirus Crisis Claims More Theatrical Victims

April 17th, 2020
Coronavirus Crisis Claims More Theatrical Victims

Theaters in the Quad-Cities and nationwide are canceling spring and summer shows, due to Covid-19. The latest response to the global pandemic is the Augustana College-based Mississippi Bend Players (MBP), which is shelving its 2020 season. Jackie McCall is in her first year as MBP producing artistic director, and this was to be the fourth season for the professional summer-stock company. It planned to start rehearsals for Neil Simon’s “Broadway Bound” June 7, with performances June 19-28 at Brunner Theatre Center, Rock Island. “When we just looked at ahead at what could happen,... Read More