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Pay attention: TCR’s ‘Assassins’ is timely and terrifying

Assassins Theatre Cedar Rapids — through March 4 It’s no secret that I’m not a Sondheim fan. And while Assassins pushes the boundaries of his typical style with more edge and rawness than one gets from a production of Company or Into the Woods, it utterly lacks the kind of cohesive story you get in […]

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Missing ‘A View From the Bridge’ at Riverside Theatre will haunt you

A View From the Bridge Riverside Theatre — through Feb. 12 Every once in a great while I see a piece of theatre that reminds me why I wanted to be in theatre to begin with. The opening night performance of Arthur Miller’s A View From the Bridge at Riverside Theatre was just such a […]

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Go down the ‘Rabbit Hole’ with Giving Tree Theater

Rabbit Hole Giving Tree Theater — through Nov. 13 I hadn’t planned to write this review. I worried any critique I could level at this production of David Lindsay-Abaire’s Rabbit Hole would come across as base jealousy, since I auditioned and wasn’t cast. Then, last week, I was invited to attend preview night, and I […]

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Go forth, eastern Iowa, and baptize yourself in the ‘The Book of Mormon’

The Book of Mormon Hancher Auditorium — through Sunday, Oct. 16 When I first heard that Trey Parker and Matt Stone had written a full-on Broadway musical, I was intrigued — and also a bit scared. I mean, I’ve seen Baseketball, so I know for a fact that not everything they touch is gold. Perhaps […]

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LV Recommends: Red Vespa

Photo by Jordan Sellergren

Brick walls, industrial piping and stamped metal bar backing greet you when you enter Red Vespa in Solon. The vibe of the place is chic, cozy rather than cramped, with an open kitchen that lends a comforting transparency to the inner workings of the pizzeria. The telltale aromas of tomato and mozzarella mingling with basil […]

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Raise a cheer for ICCT’s ‘You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown’

ICCT's 'You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown

You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown Johnson County Fairgrounds — through Sept. 18 In one of my favorite television shows, a seasoned director is waxing poetic about doing Hamlet when he says, “My reason may very well be hanging by a thread. Well, my friends, it is my belief that the best things happen just […]

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TCR’s ‘American Idiot’ kicks off the 4th of July weekend with a bang

American Idiot at TCR

Green Day’s American Idiot Theatre Cedar Rapids — through July 23 American Idiot is an ambitious show — a rock musical, with a script I’ll address later, that is a non-stop belt-fest of powerful anthems and wistful ballads that all share a persistent, percussive angst. This show is more concept album than play and requires […]

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To see or not to see, there is no question: A review of Theatre Cedar Rapids’ ‘Hamlet’

Hamlet at TCR

Hamlet Theatre Cedar Rapids — through Apr. 16 I fell in love with Hamlet at a very young age. The titular character of one of Shakespeare’s most celebrated tragedies was exactly the kind of goth-y antihero that I went for, and his bloodthirsty revenge fantasy was utterly relatable to me. The romance of Ophelia, so […]

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LV Recommends: Lebowski’s Bar & Grill

White Russian

As a connoisseur of both stoner flicks and all vodka-related beverages I was thrilled to learn of a Big Lebowski-themed restaurant opening in Robins, Iowa (925 Robins Square Dr.). Advertised as a bar and grill, this establishment, opened in February by Shawn and Nola Bodensteiner, was practically begging me to come judge their White Russians […]

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