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‘Detroit’ lands close to home

When is the last time you spoke to a neighbor? For me, I think it was around three years ago, when someone from a unit a few doors down knocked on our door out of the blue and asked to borrow a potato masher. (I lent it to him. In return, along with his thanks, he gave me a recipe for mashed potatoes that I’ve never used.) […]

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Combined Efforts Theatre presents ‘Shell Shocked,’ a new play by Janet Schlapkohl

A new play opening this Friday at Combined Efforts Theatre was the result of a talk that theatre founder Janet Schlapkohl presented on shell shock to the Society of Medicine in Iowa City. Combined Efforts — an inclusive theatre for actors of all developmental abilities — opens ‘Shell Shocked’ on Friday, Dec. 15 and it runs through the weekend. […]

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‘Circle Mirror Transformation’ is uncomfortable in all the right ways

Riverside Theater opened its production of Circle Mirror Transformation last weekend, with Angie Toomsen directing. The piece takes place in an acting studio where a rather dysfunctional group of amateur students has gathered. One of the students, James (Tad Paulsen) is married to teacher (Nina Swanson), the revelation of which sets the tone for what is to be a play that is funny on the surface but extremely uncomfortable underneath. […]

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The weight of skirts: Anna’s costumes in ‘The King and I’

On the day of the Women’s March, Jan. 21, 2017, King and I lead actress Heather Botts was onstage in L.A. playing Anna. When she said the line, “I believe women are just as good as men. just as intelligent, just as important,” Botts remembered, the show stopped. The audiences started cheering, roaring in her ears. She knew then she was apart of something, in a time in history that it was important to be telling the story of The King and I. […]

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Rap is the language we speak in Riverside Theatre’s ‘Bomb-itty of Errors’

The Bomb-itty of Errors, adapted by the Q Brothers, opens Friday evening June 23, the second summer production of Riverside Theatre in the Park. Director Postell Pringle explains that “this is a hip-hop musical, a clown show and mistaken identity romp of a comedy.”

It is also an “ad-rap-tation” of William Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors, which is itself an adaptation of the Roman playwright Plautus’ Menaechmi. The play is a comedy of mistaken identity — two sets of identical twin brothers with shared names are reintroduced to each other after two decades of separation. One set are settled members of their community of Ephesus, while the other are happy-go-lucky drifters from Syracuse. […]

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