Prescription: Murder is the final show in the Playcrafters Barn Theatre's 90th season, which consisted of 11 productions in as many months. (After this, Barn members are taking a well-deserved rest of a month or so before staging their next presentation in February.) I saw Friday's opening-night performance, and if any of the cast, crew, and staff are exhausted from their busy year, it certainly wasn't apparent. Everything flowed.

I attended the Wednesday preview performance of the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse's Elf: The Musical, and director Jeremy Littlejohn and musical director Travis Smith have clearly concocted a sweet, fluffy treat. The songs may be standard fare, but they're given freshness by the performers, as well as the beautiful costuming by Greg Hiatt.

Described by the Chicago Tribune as “clever, funny, moving, lively, and geeky,” and filled with what Time Out Chicago called “deliciously dorky references to the early days of the Internet,” the Dungeons & Dragons-fueled comedy-drama-action-adventure She Kills Monsters enjoys a new staging at Rock Island's Augustana College, its November 14 through 17 run guaranteed, according to the New York Times, to “slash and shapeshift its way into your heart.”

The Prenzie Players' "The Merry Wives of Windsor" at the QC Theatre Workshop -- November 15 through 23.

A showcase for the beloved Shakespearean figure Falstaff – the jovial, scheming, soliloquizing knight previously featured in Henry VI Parts I and II – the uproarious comedy The Merry Wives of Windsor serves as the latest presentation by classical-theatre troupe the Prenzie Players, its November 15 through 23 run at Davenport's QC Theatre Workshop boasting many familiar area talents in what Broadway World deemed “the most purely farcical of all of [Shakespeare's] works.”

With the Chicago Reader deeming the work “a Preston Sturges comedy stranded at an I-94 truck stop” and “a wild, crotch-grabbing snapshot of life at the margins,” sibling authors Clay and Nate Sander's Losers Bracket makes its Quad Cities debut at Moline's Black Box Theatre November 15 through 24, its local run sure to demonstrate why the Chicago Tribune raved, “The play hums with the kind of quirky, blue-collar, sports-loving bravado that made Bleacher Bums a Chicago classic.”

Called “hilarious and heartwarming” by the Chicago Tribune and praised for its “bright comic zest” and “swinging music” by the New York Times, the musical adaptation Elf: The Musical – based on the 2003 screen comedy starring Will Ferrell – returns to the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse for a November 6 through December 29 engagement, treating patrons top a holiday tale that Broadway World called an “upbeat, oddball, and tuneful concoction.”

A holiday-themed sequel to the venue's slapstick smash from 2017, A Doublewide, Texas Christmas serves as a season-ending presentation at Geneseo's Richmond Hill Barn Theatre, with the comedy's November 7 through 17 run sure to demonstrate why Theatre Mirror proclaimed, “If you want to spend two hours suspending belief, forgetting your troubles, and just laughing at the silliness, this is the show for you.”

A delightfully engaging stage mystery whose film version introduced the world to the iconic detective Lt. Columbo, authors William Link's and Richard L. Levinson's Prescription: Murder wraps up the Playcrafters Barn Theatre's 2019 season with its November 8 through 17 run, this “arresting” comic thriller sure to prove why British Theatre Guide raved, “For fans of Columbo, and of detective stories in general, this is certainly worth seeing.”

From the moment I entered the QC Theatre Workshop for Friday's opening-night performance of The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?, my head was in a different place than ever before – literally, as the stage and the seating had swapped places since my last visit. From the moment the final spotlight died, my head has been in a different place figuratively. Edward Albee's show, which debuted on Broadway in 2002 and won that year's Tony for Best Play, stirred thoughts and ideas that I'm still pondering.

Deemed “a stylish and funny whodunit” by the Chicago Tribune, the gumshoe slapstick Flemming: An American Thriller serves as the latest student-directed production in Augustana College's 2019-20 theatre season, with the play described by SDGLN.com as a “clever homage to film noir that's “guaranteed to make you laugh.”

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