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Agatha Christie’s Witness for the Prosecution at Neuse Little Theatre Is Entertaining, But Not Without Flaws

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February 19, 2018

Neuse Little Theatre of Smithfield, NC is currently performing its community-theater production of Agatha Christie’s Witness for the Prosecution, under the direction of Shaun Braswell and Meta Toole, in “The Hut.” This quaint venue is always a fun place to see a proscenium-staged show. We found Saturday night’s performance to be entertaining, but not without… Read More ›

Five Women Wearing the Same Dress Is Not William Peace Theatre’s Best, But It Does Have Some Bright Spots

To be frank, William Peace Theatre’s current collegiate production of Alan Ball’s Five Women Wearing the Same Dress, directed by William Peace University Assistant Professor of Theatre/Musical Theatre Amy White, is not among WPT’s best offerings. That said, however, this production is not without its bright spots (to be addressed later). Part of the weakness… Read More ›

Joey Collins stars as Tartuffe (photo by HuthPhoto)

PRC’s Tartuffe Proffers Extravagant Entertainment

Most people know that Moliere was a famous playwright, but most people, at least in the Triangle area, probably haven’t had a lot of exposure to his work, at least not recently or locally. That is what makes PLAYMAKERS Repertory Company’s production of Moliere’s Tartuffe, adapted by David Ball and directed by Saheem Ali, feel… Read More ›

Moses T. Alexander Greene’s Pooled Delivers a Message of Hope, Straight from the Soul

The Feb. 16th opening-night performance of Pooled, a world premiere written by Moses T Alexander Greene and directed by Deb Royals-Mizerk at the Kennedy Theatre at Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in Raleigh, NC, was one of those theatrical events that transcend mere entertainment. It is more of an experience than a show…. Read More ›

Ray Dooley (left) and Joey Collins star as Orgon and Tartuffe (photo by HuthPhoto)

PlayMakers Repertory Company’s Over-the-Top Tartuffe Is Both Too Much and Not Enough

The original 1978 Broadway production of the comedy thriller Deathtrap by Rosemary’s Baby horror novelist-turned-dramatist Ira Levin centers around Sidney Bruhl, an acclaimed writer of Broadway comedy thrillers whose well of inspiration has apparently run dry … until a gifted student of his named Clifford Anderson pens a script for a class assignment that Bruhl… Read More ›

The cast for the Forest Moon Theater's community-theater production of Sylvia includes (from left) Kylee Silvas as Sylvia, Larry Evans as Greg, Tony Hefner as Phyllis, and Shana Fisher as Kate (photo by David Eliot Leone)

Kylee Silvas Walks, Talks, and Thinks Dog in Forest Moon Theater’s Fun, Fast-Moving Production of Sylvia

“The leading lady is a dog!” Don’t misinterpret that statement; you would risk talking yourself out of a very pleasurable theatrical experience. Indeed, the playwright initially had trouble getting this play produced (see below).* Forest Moon Theater has converted the Wake Forest Community House into a theater in order to produce A.R. Gurney’s Sylvia, directed… Read More ›

Alex Givens (left) and Joey Collins star as Associate Pastor Joshua and Pastor Paul (photo by HuthPhoto)

The Christians Fearlessly Tackles the Toughest of Faith-Based Questions

The Christians, onstage now at Playmakers Repetory Company, under the direction of the esteemed Preston Lane, is an interesting dramatic play that will cause viewers to think about tough religious issues. These are the kinds of things, of course, that no one wants to think about, but on which everyone should. The show opens upon… Read More ›

Joey Collins and Nemuna Ceesay star as Pastor Paul and Elizabeth (photo by HuthPhoto)

Lucas Hnath’s 90-Minute Play, The Christians, Raises Some Serious Theological Questions at PlayMakers Repertory Company

A church is a place where people go to see something that is very difficult to see. A place where the invisible is — at least for a moment — made visible. The theater can be that too. — Lucas Hnath, playwright. “It wasn’t what you said; it was how you said it.” How many… Read More ›

The cast for the Forest Moon Theater's community-theater production of Sylvia includes (from left) Kylee Silvas as Sylvia, Larry Evans as Greg, Tony Hefner as Phyllis, and Shana Fisher as Kate (photo by David Eliot Leone)

Forest Moon Theater’s Sylvia Is a Barking-Good Time

If your dog could talk, what would it say? More importantly, what would it say about you? Actually, our dogs say a lot about us already, or at least that’s the theory posited by Forest Moon Theater’s production of Sylvia, written by A.R. Gurney and directed for the Wake Forest, NC community theater by Mike… Read More ›

For All Its Horror, Martin Sherman’s Bent Is, in Fact, a Love Story

The Justice Theater Project, well-known for their mission “to produce compelling theater experiences that create community dialogue and give voice to social concerns,” continues its “Equity and Identity” Season with Martin Sherman’s Bent, first produced in 1979 in London. It is performed from the stage of the Umstead Park United Church of Christ in Raleigh,… Read More ›

The Justice Theater Project’s Production of Martin Sherman’s Bent Is Not Easy to Watch, and It’s Impossible to Forget

The Justice Theater Project opened Bent on Friday, Feb. 9th, at the Umstead Park United Church of Christ in Raleigh. This groundbreaking Martin Sherman play about the persecution of homosexuals during WWII is not an easy one to see, but it is as important and compelling a drama as you will ever witness. The play… Read More ›

Joshua Harmon’s Bad Jews Is Disarmingly Funny, Gently Thought-Provoking, and Well Worth Seeing

If it were true that “possession is nine-tenths of the law,” Joshua Harmon’s Bad Jews would suffer greatly due to the loss of 90 percent of its conflict (along with a great deal of its hilarity). Fortunately, however, this is not the case; and under Beth Brody’s perceptive direction, A Big Wig Production’s opening-night performance… Read More ›

Fresh and Unique, Almost, Maine Is a Must-See

John Cariani’s Almost, Maine, onstage now at the Cary Arts Center under the direction of Randy Jordan and produced by Cary Players, is an oft-forgotten play, perhaps because of its unusual structure. The play, instead of being one comprehensive piece, features nine short vignettes or “mini-plays.” Their connection, other than the fact that previously-seen characters… Read More ›

The Cary Players' community-theater cast of Almost, Maine includes (front row from left): Aaron Young, Cindy Paciocco, Christian O'Neal, Liz Webb, Kirsten Ehlert, and Laura P. Cormier and (back row from left): Thom Haynes, Lauren Meeks, Danny Mullins, Joey DeSena, Any Ortega, and Jordan Long

The Cary Players’ Community-Theater Production of Almost, Maine Is a Rib-Tickling, Heartwarming, and Uplifting Entertainment

How would you like to spend 10 minutes in a small town — 10 minutes in which you meet 19 interesting people and experience nine entertaining, endearing stories? There’s a place where you can do that, well almost, if you come to the Cary Arts Center and let Cary Players’ current community-theater production of John… Read More ›

During the Paris Uprising of 1832, Phoenix Best (center) as Éponine and Matt Shingledecker and Joshua Grosso as student revolutionaries Enjolras and Marius sing "One Day More" as they prepare to man the barricades (photo by Matthew Murphy)

Les Misérables at DPAC Is Great Theater That Reminds Us to Remember Our History

The North American Tour of Les Misérables opened at the Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC) to a full house of people ready to be swept away by the familiar, beloved music and grandeur of one of the longest-running and most-treasured shows in history. They were not disappointed. Les Misérables is a great night of theater…. Read More ›

The An Act of God cast includes (from left) Alison Lawrence, Christopher John Maxwell, and Tom Barbieri

David Javerbaum’s An Act of God at NRACT Is Divine Inspiration at Its Best

Q: What do you call a one-act play in which the central character is God? A: An Act of God. Actors Comedy Lab and North Raleigh Arts and Creative Theatre have teamed up to create a thoroughly delightful production of David Javerbaum’s An Act of God. Directed by Bunny Safron, this show breezes along, entertaining… Read More ›

During the Paris Uprising of 1832, Phoenix Best (center) as Éponine and Matt Shingledecker and Joshua Grosso as student revolutionaries Enjolras and Marius sing "One Day More" as they prepare to man the barricades (photo by Matthew Murphy)

Les Misérables at DPAC Will Breathe New, Glorious Life into Victor Hugo’s Larger-Than-Life Characters

On Jan. 30-Feb. 4, the Durham Performing Arts Center will present eight heart-tugging performances of the North American Tour of the brilliantly reimagined 2014 Broadway Revival of Les Misérables, sans its trademark turntable set but replete with a host of unforgettable characters from French novelist, poet, and dramatist Victor Hugo’s epic 1862 historical novel and… Read More ›

The Towne Players of Garner Provide Loads of Laughs That You Can Take with You

Who remembers The Munsters? That 1960s TV show was about a family in which every member, except one (niece Marilyn), was decidedly quirky. Much of the show’s humor was in the nonchalance with which these zanies pursued their off-the-wall activities. In like manner, the Towne Players of Garner’scommunity-theater production of You Can’t Take It with… Read More ›

Stageworks Theatre’s Rendition of Agatha Christie’s Classic "Whodunnit," And Then There Were None, Is Sprightly, Lively, and Enjoyable

Unfortunately, especially in this deadly flu season, several audience members coughed, sneezed, sniffled, and made other illness-related interruptions throughout the Thursday-night performance of Stageworks Theatre’s community-theater production of Agatha Christie’s classic play, And Then There Were None, at the Holly Springs Cultural Center. Otherwise, this clever and delightful play was sprightly, lively, and enjoyable. The… Read More ›

Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None Keeps the Holly Springs Audience Guessing Right Up Until the End

Everyone loves a good mystery, so I was not surprised to find the parking lot full at the Holly Springs Cultural Center on a chilly Thursday night. Opening night of Stageworks Theatre’s second show of its inaugural season, And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie, played to an almost-packed house and did not disappoint…. Read More ›

Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart Beats Strongly at Burning Coal

RATING: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ In 1991, playwright Tony Kushner employed AIDS as an invisible force that sends his Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes characters pinballing around New York and into each other’s lives. In 1992, the disease’s effects put the bitter in the bittersweet second act of the musical… Read More ›

Trevor Johnson and Lakeisha Coffey star as Percy and Chloe (photo by Ed Hunt)

Howard L. Craft’s The Miraculous and the Mundane Opened to Cheers, Tears, and a Standing Ovation

RATING: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ If a play by an American black author has stood the test of time, it is almost certainly about domestic life — a palatable subject for white ticket-buyers. Durham, NC’s own Howard L. Craft reveals the lives of black workers in Orange Light and the Off-Broadway Freight: The Five… Read More ›

The Normal Heart by Larry Kramer Is a Hard and Honest Story of Panic, Resolve, Fear, and Genuine Love

“This production is part of a three-pronged effort to bring to public awareness the continuing health issues surrounding AIDS by Burning Coal Theatre Company, the United Arts Council of Wake County and Raleigh, and the Alliance of AIDS Services – Carolina…,” according to the program for Burning Coal Theatre Company’s production of The Normal Heart… Read More ›

Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart Indicts Individual and Institutional Hypocrisy During the Early Days of the AIDS Epidemic

Imagine that the people that you know and love are falling victim to a contagion that no one will acknowledge exists. You don’t know what is causing it, or how it is spread, or when or who it will strike next. But people keep getting diagnosed and are dying of this mysterious disease at an… Read More ›

Ward Theatre Company will stage The Mound Builders Jan. 12-14, 19-21, and 26-28 and Feb. 9-11 and 16-18

Ward Theatre Co. Seats Its Audience Inside the World of Lanford Wilson’s Mound Builders

RATING: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ The Durham Performing Arts Center has 55 rows of seating. From the back row, you can experience the audible and visible spectacle of most any production that comes through. But you can’t always feel it. But what if there were no one seated in front of you? Or behind… Read More ›

A.R. Gurney’s Love Letters Features Strong Characters and a Unique Delivery Method

Some friendships are lifelong. Some friendships are incredibly complicated. And, some rare friendships are both of these things. It is one of these rare types of friendships that is showcased in A.R. Gurney’s Love Letters, onstage now through North Carolina Theatre under the direction of Guy Stroman. Gurney’s show is a unique one. Instead of… Read More ›

Brian Westbrook, Samantha Corey, and Simon Kaplan play Ben, Eliza, and Stu in Raleigh Little Theatre's SOLD-OUT production of What We're Up Against (photo by Brenna Berry Photography)

RLT Gets Its "Ducts in a Row" with Theresa Rebeck’s What We’re Up Against

Who remembers that annoyingly patronizing advertising jingle for Virginia Slims cigarettes? “You’ve come a long way, baby/To get where you’ve got to today/You’ve got your own cigarette now, baby/You’ve come a long, long way.” As if having “your own cigarette” was an important accomplishment in the battle for gender equality! Was the illusion of “a… Read More ›

David Wood and Sandy Duncan and star in Love Letters at NCT (photo by Curtis Brown Photography)

NCT’s Love Letters, Starring Sandy Duncan and David Wood, Is a Sensual and Literary Feast

North Carolina Theatre‘s production of A.R. Gurney’s Love Letters is a sensual and literary feast for anyone who has treasured a handwritten letter from a person whom they have admired. This two-character show, which stars Sandy Duncan and Ira David Wood III and runs Jan. 12-14 and 16-21 in Raleigh’s A.J. Fletcher Opera Theater, employs… Read More ›

Brian Westbrook, Samantha Corey, and Simon Kaplan play Ben, Eliza, and Stu in Raleigh Little Theatre's SOLD-OUT production of What We're Up Against (photo by Brenna Berry Photography)

A Battle of the Sexes Becomes a Melee in Theresa Rebeck’s What We’re Up Against at RLT

RATING:   ✭✭✭✭   (out of 5) Why do men in power still condescend, harass, ignore, interrupt, and sabotage women? Why do women sometimes undermine each other? It was 1992 when Emmy-nominated TV writer and playwright Theresa Rebeck asked these questions in the satirical workplace dramedy What We’re Up Against, presented by Raleigh Little Theatre at William… Read More ›

Sandy Duncan and David Wood Will Star in the NCT Production of Love Letters by A.R. Gurney

On Jan. 12-14 and 16-21, North Carolina Theatre will ring in the New Year, in grand style, with a megawatt production of Buffalo, NY-born playwright A.R. Gurney’s two-character 1988 New York Public Library, 1989 Off-Broadway, and 1989 Broadway play, Love Letters, starring 71-year-old Broadway and Off-Broadway, television, and motion-picture actress Sandy Duncan and 70-year-old Enfield,… Read More ›