A celebrated seasonal event described by DC Metro Theater Arts as “an exhilarating must-see” and “a pulse-pounding pageant full of talent and praise,” Langston Hughes' iconic Black Nativity enjoys a December 6 through 8 run at Moline's Playcrafters Barn Theatre, its presentation by Breath of Encouragement Productions sure to prove why the Maryland Theatre Guide deemed it “a celebration of life and spirit that is at once essential and timely.”

Daniel Rairdin-Hale directs The Little Prince at St. Ambrose University -- December 7.

After its successful run at Davenport's QC Theatre Workshop this past spring, author Aaron Randolph III's new adaptation of the literary classic The Little Prince lands at St. Ambrose University for two performances on December 7 in a presentation boasting an expanded cast, plus direction and original puppet creations by the original production's “Little Prince” himself, SAU's theatre-department associate professor and chair Daniel Rairdin-Hale.

“Mr. Scrooge! A Musical Christmas Carol" at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse -- November 29 through December 28.

Praised by Columbus Theatre Scene as “a sweet, family-friendly show that tells its story succinctly and with charm,” the stage adaptation Mr. Scrooge! A Musical Christmas Carol makes its area debut with a November 29 through December 28 run at Rock Island's Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse, the show boasting all of your favorite characters in a song-filled treat by the gifted creative team behind the family smash How I Became a Pirate.

Described by USA Press as “a dazzling holiday spectacular” and by Broadway World as “an amazing and joyous experience for everyone of all ages,” the touring sensation Christmas Wonderland Holiday Spectacular lands at Davenport's Adler Theatre on November 29, the latest production in the venue's Broadway at the Adler series, and a show to high-kick the holiday season into high gear.

If you have a preconceived notion that William Shakespeare plays are uppity, pretentious, or hard to follow, then you need to get yourself over to the QC Theatre Workshop this weekend to see the Prenzie Players’ current production of The Merry Wives of Windsor. Friday’s opening night of this hilarious romp was just so much fun that it’s hard to properly articulate all that made it so. That’s not, however, going to stop me from trying.

The Black Box Theatre’s current show, Losers Bracket, isn’t exactly like the '80s sitcom Cheers, and Saturday’s theatrical barroom brawl was rife with profanity and strobe light effects that, for me, were painful. This tale of insurance fraud, dysfunctional relationships, and greed that all unfolds in a Chicago tavern known as Boo’s featured a few one-liners that I found funny – but other than that, I'd have to say, “Not my cup of tea.”

I was fortunate to attend Tuesday's rehearsal of Augustana College's current offering She Kills Monsters by playwright Qui Nguyen. Director Jeff Coussens and assistant director James Wheeler did stunning work in creating this ambitious production. When we enter the theatre, the stark stone ledges and pre-show music tell us that the show takes place (mostly) in a magical fantasy world, and the set comes to vigorous life after video screens light up, employing film, photos, computer animation, and amusing eight-bit color graphics to establish and enhance settings. I've rarely seen, in local presentations, stagecraft this sophisticated.

Described by the Bay Area Guardian as “inspired and stimulating,” and by the Des Moines Register as a work that “strikes deep into the bones,” author Frank Higgins' evocative Gunplay serves as the fall theatre production at Scott Community College November 21 through 24, its messages so impactful that portions of the play were read on Capitol Hill prior to Congress passing the handgun-violence prevention act known as the Brady Bill.

One of the funniest, most charming, and most popular operas of all time gets a thrilling makeover at Augustana College on November 22 and 23, as the talents of OperX stage their fall production of The Marriage of Figaro – the Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart classic being presented under the direction of Michelle Crouch and boasting a cast of 10 gifted student performers.

It's starting to look a lot like Christmas in the tiny town of Doublewide, Texas, and Saturday's performance of A Doublewide, Texas Christmas by Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope, and Jamie Wooten was a hoot at the Richmond Hill Players' cozy Barn Theatre. It's a silly comedy full of colorful characters and even sillier situations, and judging by the full house and continual laughter, I would venture to say most everyone enjoyed themselves.

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