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Ben Michael plays The Beast in Beauty and the Beast (photo by Curtis Brown Photography)

NCT’s Production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Is Lively and Enchanting

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July 26, 2017

North Carolina Theatre enjoyed a sold-out opening-night performance on Tuesday, July 25th, of their current production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. The show, which is being performed from July 25th to July 30th in Raleigh Memorial Auditorium in the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, has some beautiful tender moments, highly energetic group… Read More ›

Quality Acting Rescues Ward Theatre Company’s Honour from Its Trite Script

We are entirely welcoming of new theater companies in the Triangle area, and always hope for their success. This has been the case for the several years that we have been reviewing. We applaud Ward Theatre Company of Durham, NC, for their effort, energy, and ambition. On Sunday afternoon, we made our debut audience experience… Read More ›

RLT’s Teen Production of Shakespeare’s The Tempest Is Such Stuff as Dreams Are Made On

Currently entering its fifth season, Public Works is a major initiative of New York’s Public Theater. It was formed specifically to engage the diverse people of the city with the theatrical process. In collaboration with local civic organizations, Public Works founder and resident director Lear deBessonet seeks to blur the line between professional artists and… Read More ›

Ben Michael and Catherine Charlebois star as The Beast and Belle (photo by Curtis Brown Photography)

NCT Retells "A Tale as Old as Time," Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, on July 25-30 in Raleigh

On July 25-30, the North Carolina Theatre will retell “A Tale as Old as Time,” Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, in Raleigh Memorial Auditorium in the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in the heart of Raleigh, NC. NCT will stage eight high-octane performances of the perennially popular 1994 Broadway musical, based on the… Read More ›

Theatre in the Park’s Glorious! Gets Lots of Laughs, But Suffers from a Mediocre Script and Arrhythmic Direction

There are two ways to get noticed on the Internet. Option 1: Be very, very good at something. Option 2: Be very, very bad at something. William Hung’s 2004 American Idol audition garnered 6 million YouTube views thanks to Option 2. His off-key rendition of Ricky Martin’s “She Bangs” is infamous for being unashamedly abysmal… Read More ›

Lombardi stars Adam Poole (left), David Henderson, and Judy McLaine (photo by Alexa Rose Blazevich)

Theatre Raleigh’s Lombardi Is a Winning Production of a Play About a Winning Coach!

Even the most peripheral of football fans have heard of Vince Lombardi. In his eight seasons with the Green Bay Packers, he coached them to five NFL championships, including Super Bowls I & II. Indeed, the Super Bowl Trophy is now named after him. Among his most famous quotes are his thoughts on winning through… Read More ›

David Henderson Is Astonishing as the Legendary Packers Coach in Lombardi

Because football actually happens right onstage between two very realistic sets of bleachers, audience members will not be admitted (nor re-admitted) during the 90-minute duration of Theatre Raleigh’s July 19-23 and 26-30 presentation of Lombardi in the Kennedy Theatre in the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Raleigh, NC. The 2010 Broadway… Read More ›

NRACT’s Dogfight the Musical Is a Winner!

The term “dogfight” conjures up a myriad of images: two or more fighter planes in a combat duel (usually during World War I), two pit bulls fighting to the death or, perhaps, a riotous drunken brawl. (One might also conjure up an image of a certain hotshot NFL quarterback who fell from grace a few… Read More ›

The WTF’s Licked Cupcake Is Delightful

The Women’s Theatre Festival’s production of Licked Cupcake, playing now through Sunday, July 23rd, at the Sonorous Road Theatre & Film Studio in Raleigh, is a brand-new collaborative effort conceived by author Cori Vella and director Johannah Maynard Edwards and created by the members of the cast. On Thursday, July 13th, we had the privilege… Read More ›

Dogfight at NRACT Features Superb Production Values and Near-Professional Performances

Dogfight the Musical, the stage version of the 1991 movie Dogfight, with screenplay by Bob Comfort, opened Friday night at North Raleigh Arts and Creative Theatre to a jam-packed full house of very receptive theatergoers. Like many war stories Dogfight the Musical, which features book by Peter Duchan and music and lyrics by Benj Pasek… Read More ›

The Women's Theatre Festival's cast for The Woodstock Tontine by Steffi Rubin includes (from left) Judy McCord, Jennifer Kuzma, Lisa Leonard, Julie Oliver, and Verlene Oates (photo by Steffi Rubin)

Steffi Rubin’s Woodstock Tontine Is an Emotional Journey of Love, Loss, and Friendship

The Women’s Theatre Festival’s production of The Woodstock Tontine, written by Steffi Rubin and directed by Lucia Foster, is a sentimental journey through friendship and life. Imagine a chance encounter with a random group of people who could not be more different from you. On the surface, the only things you have in common are:… Read More ›

The WTF’s Woodstock Tontine by Steffi Rubin Features Six Excellent Performances

The Woodstock Tontine is a new play, written by Steffi Rubin and presented on July 7-9 and 14-16 in Burning Coal Theatre Company‘s Murphey School Auditorium in Raleigh as part of this year’s Women’s Theatre Festival. All of the festival’s shows are written and directed by women, and feature woman actors and behind-the-scenes talent. The… Read More ›

Albert Strong

The Al Strong Quintet — One Down, One to Go!

Composer/arranger/trumpeter/band leader Al Strong is a central part of the Triangle area jazz scene. In addition to playing jazz locally (and worldwide), Strong teaches in the Jazz Studies program at his alma mater, North Carolina Central University in Durham, NC. And he is a co-founder of The Art of Cool Project, a nonprofit organization that… Read More ›

Space Girl Is a Queer, Punk, Satirical 2017 Sci-Fi Comedy by Pittsburgh Dramatist Mora V. Harris

A lesbian roller girl from the Planet Zlagdor? No, this is not an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000. This is the Women’s Theatre Festival’s production of Space Girl, which concludes its two-week run on July 6-9 at the new Sonorous Road Theatre & Film Studio in The Royal Bakery Building at 3801 Hillsborough St… Read More ›

The ADF brought Pilobolus back to DPAC on June 30th and July 1st (photo by Robert Whitman)

Pilobolus’ Diverse ADF 2017 Program Featured Something for Everyone June 30th and July 1st

This summer marks the 84th season of the American Dance Festival. World-renowned American modern company Pilobolus has been visiting Durham since the festival moved here 40 years ago. Founded by non-dancers at Dartmouth College in 1971, Pilobolus adds about two pieces per year to their 120+ piece touring repertoire. They have performed on the Academy… Read More ›

The Forest Moon Theater's cast for The Curious Savage includes (from left) Kathleen Jacob as Lily Belle, Joey Desena as Hannibal, Randy Jordan as Titus, and Danny Mullins as Jeffrey (photo by David Leone)

Forest Moon Theater’s Production of The Curious Savage Is Both Comical and Surprisingly Touching

Sometimes, the difference between “sane” and “insane” isn’t as cut and dry as two letters. It is this difference and the blurred lines between the definitions of these words that The Curious Savage, John Patrick’s well-known 1950 play, ponders. It does so comically but with plenty of poignant moments along the way. The latest to… Read More ›

Emily Kron (left) and Melissa Macleod play Vera and Vicky in Struck (photo by Alexa Blazevich)

Theatre Raleigh Strikes Gold with Sandy Rustin’s Struck

Theatre Raleigh has “struck gold” with Sandy Rustin’s Struck. Directed by Gina Rattan, this production entertains and engages for a very brisk 90 minutes. And it left us with some rather tasty food-for-thought. Vera (Emily Kron) and Nate (Sid Solomon) are a young Jewish couple who live in a New York City apartment. Vicky (Melissa… Read More ›

Emily Kron and Sid Solomon play Vera and Nate in Struck (photo by Alexa Blazevich)

Struck Is Another Fast-Moving, Laugh-a-Minute Comedy from Theatre Raleigh

Theatre Raleigh’s Hot Summer Nights production of Struck, a new play from a relatively newly discovered playwright named Sandy Rustin, opened Wednesday night, the first day of summer. This is another delightfully funny show, with a powerful mood-shaking twist part way through its 90-minute duration. Rustin’s humor consists of great and often preposterous gags —… Read More ›

Emily Kron (left) and Melissa Macleod star in Struck (photo by Alexa Blazevich)

Fresh, Engaging, and Contemplative, Struck Tackles Tough Issues with a Light Touch

Does everything happen for a reason? Or do people just search for reasons to makes life seem less bleak? These are some of the big questions at the heart of Struck, an engaging new play, written by Sandy Rustin, onstage now through Theatre Raleigh’s Hot Summer Nights and under the direction of Gina Rattan. The… Read More ›

Justice Theater Project’s Version of The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess Is a Must-See Show with a Wonderful and Talented Cast

The Justice Theater Project, headed up by Deb Royals, has been producing socially important entertainment for 12 years now. They never fail at both massive jobs — entertaining and driving home the various gaping inequities in American society. This season JTP’s theme, according to Kristi Vincent Johnson, chairperson of the theater’s board of directors, is… Read More ›

JTP’s Rendition of The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess Is Beautiful and Captivating!

The Justice Theater Project’s rendition of The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, which concludes its two-week run on June 23-25 at the Umstead Park United Church of Christ in Raleigh, tells a hauntingly beautiful story, set in “Catfish Row,” a tenement in Charleston, SC. Porgy is a disabled beggar. Bess is a beautiful, sultry woman with… Read More ›

The Stonewater Rapture stars Matthew Hager and Lexie Braverman (photo by Sarah Guizard)

The Stonewater Rapture at Imurj Is Delightfully Humorous and Frighteningly Serious

The Stonewater Rapture by Doug Wright has been making the rounds since it won first in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 1984. This one-hour, two-character show, dealing with the conflict between hormonic drives and religious convictions in a small Texas town is currently being performed by Aggregate Theatre Company in the basement of Imurj in… Read More ›

The Curious Savage at Forest Moon Theater Is Quirky, Endearing, and Bittersweet

When you look in the mirror do you see yourself, or do you find refuge in an eggshell world where you don’t belong? Do you believe a man is what he claims to be? Or you do you see the worst, in hopes the worst isn’t as bad as you had expected? Or at the… Read More ›

The Stonewater Rapture stars Matthew Hager and Lexie Braverman (photo by Sarah Guizard)

The Stonewater Rapture Is a Very Robust First Production for Aggregate Theatre Company

On the ninth day of Sunday School, I learned that “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.” But nothing was said about bearing false witness against myself. Generally speaking, we all know why we lie to ourselves: to protect ourselves from the truth. Shakespeare, Camus, and Vonnegut made careers of telling us so…. Read More ›

TheatreFEST 2017’s Hay Fever at N.C. State Is a 1920’s British Version of "The Bickersons"

N.C. University Theatre’s production of Noël Coward’s Hay Fever, presented as part of TheatreFEST 2017, under the direction of John C. McIlwee, is a fast-paced laugh-fest. Imagine you have made plans to spend a relaxed weekend at your country estate and have invited one or two guests to join you in this pleasant, quiet endeavor…. Read More ›

Lynda Clark as Diana Vreeland Takes Audiences on a Roller-Coaster Ride of Emotions in Full Gallop

Lynda Clark as Diana Vreeland Takes TheatreFEST 2017 Audiences on a Roller-Coaster Ride of Emotions in Full Gallop

N.C. University Theatre’s TheatreFEST 2017 production of Full Gallop, written by Mark Hampton and Mary Louise Wilson, is a one-woman show about the life of the iconic Diana Vreeland (1903-89). She was born Diana Dalziel in Paris, France, circa 1903; and she later became the editor-in-chief of Vogue magazine. The play takes place in New… Read More ›

Ian L. Finley’s The Greeks Explores the Oedipus Trilogy on June 9-25 at CAM Raleigh

You might already know how Oedipus Rex is going to end. If you do not, but you know what the Freud’s “Oedipus complex” is, you can likely predict the play’s climactic realization. In the mid-Fifth Century BCE, Sophocles — arguably the most celebrated Greek tragedian in history — wrote a trilogy collectively known as the… Read More ›

McQueen & Company’s First-Rate Cast and Crew for Fool for Love Really Deliver

McQueen & Company Theatre might be a new entity in the Triangle theater scene, but their initial show is quite obviously a collaboration of seasoned veterans. Sam Shepard’s Fool for Love calls for raw, gritty characters who interact in a seedy, run-down motel, and this production delivers on both — in spades! Director Andy Hayworth… Read More ›

McQueen & Company’s Inaugural Production, Sam Shepard’s Fool for Love, Shows Promise

The newly minted McQueen & Company Theatre has launched its inaugural production, Sam Shepard’s Fool for Love, finalist for the 1984 Pulitzer Prize in Drama. With a flair for social media marketing, a borrowed theater space (Research Triangle High School in Research Triangle Park), and a $3,000 Kickstarter cache, founder-producer Diana Cameron McQueen seems to… Read More ›

Jose Llana and Laura Michelle Kelly star as The King and Anna Leonowens (photo by Matthew Murphy)

DPAC’s The King and I Is a True Classic

Set in the 1860s in Siam, the classic Rogers and Hammerstein’s musical  The King and I recently hit the stage  at DPAC under the direction of Bartlett Sher. The musical, based on the novel Anna and the King of Siam, tells the story of Anna (Laura Michelle Kelly), a widowed woman who has been brought… Read More ›