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The cast includes (from left) Daryl Ray Carliles, Lorelei Lemon, and Greg Guiliano

Hold on to Your Seat as The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) Takes Off

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February 20, 2017

For the next few weeks, a trio of actors — Lorelei Lemon, Greg Guiliano, and Daryl Ray Carliles — will take Cary Players patrons on a madcap 90-minute ride through all 37 plays of William Shakespeare as they perform The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) [revised]. You do the math, and then hold onto… Read More ›

Performing the "Othello Rap" are (from left) Greg Guiliano, Daryl Ray Carliles, and Lorelei Lemon

The Complete Works of Shakespeare (abridged) Is a Zany, High-Energy Roller-Coaster Ride

Who in the world thought performing 37 Shakespearean plays in 90 minutes, with only three actors, was a good idea? Lucky for us, the Sonoma, CA-based Reduced Shakespeare Company did. In 1987, they created The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged), written by Adam Long, Daniel Singer, and Jess Winfield. On Feb. 17-19 and 24-26,… Read More ›

Temple Theatre's cast for Jones Hope Wooten's The Savannah Sipping Society includes (from left) Shirley Proctor, Greta Marie Zandstra, Lynda Clark, and Peggy Taphorn (photo by Tracy Kittrell Spaulding)

The Savannah Sipping Society Is a Tour de Force of Comedy at Temple Theatre of Sanford

Jesse Jones, Nicholas Hope, and Jamie Wooten have been knocking out laughter filled scenarios for many years. Collectively known as Jones Hope Wooten, they have more the 4,400 productions and 35,000 performances of their combined works occurring around the world, including The Dixie Swim Club and Always a Bridesmaid, both done in recent years at… Read More ›

NOTE: NLT's Good Ol' Girls has added a 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 26th, show

Neuse Little Theatre’s Good Ol’ Girls Is a Foot-Stomping, Feel-Good Time

On the edge of downtown Smithfield, NC, sits an inconspicuous log cabin known by locals as “The Hut.” I have often driven past this building without giving it much thought, until last night. After picking up my tickets for Neuse Little Theatre’s production of Good Ol’ Girls, I entered the front door of the former… Read More ›

William Peace Theatre’s Noises Off! Is a Highly Charged, Madcap Comedy

A farcical comedy is fun. A farcical comedy that contains a farcical comedy is double the fun! And when it this genre is performed quickly and with precision, the fun increases exponentially. Michael Frayn’s Noises Off! is a farce that contains a farce. William Peace Theatre’s production, directed by Wade Newhouse, is performed quickly and… Read More ›

Hazel S. Edmond, Byron Jennings II, and Ira David Wood IV star in Theatre in the Park's world premiere of Adrienne Earle Pender's N

Adrienne Earle Pender’s N Is Tight and Electric, Another Must-See Production at TIP

Who owns the character — the actor or the playwright? Adrienne Earle Pender’s world premiere of N, now playing at Raleigh, NC’s Theatre in the Park, asks that very question. The play looks at the relationship between playwright Eugene O’Neill and actor Charles Sidney Gilpin in 1920, as they mount O’Neill’s first box office hit,… Read More ›

Saturday Night Fever: The Musical plays Raleigh Memorial Auditorium on Feb. 14-19

Saturday Night Fever Is a Feel-Good Piece of Nostalgia

Watching Broadway Series South and the North Carolina Theatre‘s presentation of Saturday Night Fever: The Musical last night, I wanted to break out my wedge-heeled shoes and learn how to hustle! Although Tuesday was opening night for Saturday Night Fever, the North Carolina Theatre and Broadway Series South made the Raleigh Memorial Auditorium crowd feel… Read More ›

Saturday Night Fever: The Musical plays Raleigh Memorial Auditorium on Feb. 14-19

You Should Be Dancing! Saturday Night Fever: The Musical Plays Raleigh on Feb. 14-19

You should be — and you will be — dancing! Broadway Series South and the North Carolina Theatre will present Saturday Night Fever: The Musical on Feb. 14-19 in Raleigh Memorial Auditorium in the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in the heart of downtown Raleigh, NC. According to NCT’s news release, Saturday Night… Read More ›

Zuccotti Park Is a Solid Musical with a Great Cast to Match

The Oxford English Dictionary defines déjà vu as “A feeling of having already experienced the present situation”. It is a word of French origin in the early 20th century, meaning literally “already seen.” Watching The Justice Theater Project’s production of Zuccotti Park: The Musical, it’s hard not to feel that overwhelming sense that We’ve been… Read More ›

Hazel S. Edmond, Byron Jennings II, and Ira David Wood IV star in Theatre in the Park's world premiere of Adrienne Earle Pender's N

Art, Ego, and the Weight of a Word: N Is an Important Play at a Pivotal Time

Adrienne Earle Pender’s new play N, playing Feb. 10-26 at Raleigh’s Theatre in the Park, is powerful treatise on art, ego, and how the weight of a single word can crush the human soul. N is the story of Charles Sidney Gilpin, one of the most acclaimed black actors of the 1920’s and his volatile… Read More ›

HRT’s To Kill a Mockingbird Transports Viewers to a Different, But Not So Distant Time

Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird has been a classic ever since the story, adapted from the novel of the same name, first made its way to the stage in 1990. The play, which sticks closely to the novel, tells the story of a three year period in the Great Depression, a period during which… Read More ›

The Further Adventures of Nick Danger… Provides an Evening of Laughter at the Holly Springs Cultural Center

Are you old enough to have enjoyed radio drama? Have you ever listened to Firesign Theatre? Do you enjoy “Guy Noir” segments on NPR’s A Prairie Home Companion? If you answered any of those questions in the affirmative, or if you are simply scratching your head in wonder, consider spending an evening at Holly Springs… Read More ›

Carolina Ballet will stage The Little Mermaid Feb. 2-19 in A.J. Fletcher Opera Theater in >the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in Raleigh (photo by 20/20 Photo Video)

Carolina Ballet’s Little Mermaid Is a Classic Fairy Tale with a Progressive Twist

In the land of basketball and BBQ, it is easy to forget that North Carolina also has a notable ballet company. Carolina Ballet’s production of Lynne Taylor-Corbett’s The Little Mermaid, running Feb. 2-19 in the A.J. Fletcher Opera Theater in Raleigh, will delight the young and the young at heart, with its cartoon colors, stunning… Read More ›

Suzanne Bradbeer’s The God Game Is Aptly Named, Brilliantly Written, and Expertly Performed at Sonorous Road Theatre

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof ….” — First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. It’s always fun to attend a game, especially when it’s well-played, when all of the players go all out, when every aspect of the game is at its best. Likewise, it… Read More ›

Carolina Ballet will stage The Little Mermaid Feb. 2-19 in A.J. Fletcher Opera Theater in >the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in Raleigh (photo by 20/20 Photo Video)

The Little Mermaid Is a Big Hit for Carolina Ballet

The littlest mermaids were not necessarily on stage Thursday night when the Carolina Ballet premiered its latest ballet of the season, The Little Mermaid, based on the fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen. Little girls in fancy dresses, tutus, and tiaras filled the seats at Raleigh’s A.J. Fletcher Opera Theater to see (and hear!) one… Read More ›

Rasool Jahan (left) and Kathryn Hunter-Williams star as Esther and Mrs. Dickson (photo by Jon Gardiner)

PRC’s Intimate Apparel Proves Engaging and Deeply Moving

When the curtains first open on Lynn Nottage’s Intimate Apparel, onstage now at Playmakers Repertory Company under the direction of Raelle Myrick-Hodges, the audience is introduced to 35 year old Esther (Rasool Jahan) and immersed into the world she has created for herself stitch-by-stitch. Esther is an African-American seamstress, a maker of “intimate apparel” for… Read More ›

Hannah Corneau (left) and Euan Morton star as Yitzhak and Hedwig at DPAC (photo by Joan Marcus)

Hannah Corneau’s Yitzhak Steps Out of the Shadows, and Steals the Show in Hedwig and the Angry Inch at DPAC

Hedwig and the Angry Inch, playing tonight through Sunday evening at the Durham Performing Arts Center as part of DPAC‘s SunTrust Broadway Series, tackles controversial issues with an unapologetic rawness and flamboyant flair! In the aftermath of North Carolina’s infamous House Bill 2 bathroom bill and the Trump Administration’s recent Muslim travel ban and threats… Read More ›

Euan Morton stars as Hedwig in Hedwig and the Angry Inch (photo by Joan Marcus)

HB2 Be Damned: Hedwig and the Angry Inch Will Raise Eyebrows at DPAC Jan. 31-Feb. 5

House Bill 2 be damned: Hedwig and the Angry Inch, composer and lyricist Stephen Trask and librettist and star John Cameron Mitchell’s gender-bending, 90-minute 1998 Off-Broadway, 2000 West End, and 2014 Broadway concert musical about the travails of a brassy transsexual East German-American punk-rock singer recovering from a gruesomely botched sex-change operation, will definitely raise… Read More ›

Intimate Apparel stars Rasool Jahan and Myles Bullock as Esther and George (photo by Jon Gardiner)

Lynn Nottage’s Intimate Apparel at PlayMakers Rep Is a Story About Intimacy, Not Lingerie — About Hopes, Longing, and Pain

As the name suggests, Intimate Apparel by Lynn Nottage is a very personal drama about love and relationships, hope, desire, and dreams. It follows the story of Esther, played by Rasool Jahan in the current PlayMakers Repertory Company production, directed by Raelle Myrick-Hodges. Esther is a hardworking yet plain African-American seamstress who creates fashionable lingerie… Read More ›

Jim O'Brien (on left in center photo) and Michael Dunavan star as Al Lewis and Willie Clark in The Towne Players' production of The Sunshine Boys (photos by Ken Hall)

Neil Simon’s The Sunshine Boys Shines Brightly at the Garner Performing Arts Center

The Towne Players of Garner’s production of Neil Simon’s 1972 Broadway hit The Sunshine Boys is a solid evening of entertainment, which will complete its all-too-brief two-week run on Feb. 3rd and 4th at the Garner Performing Arts Center. Simon’s script is rife with one-liners, witty exchanges, slapstick routines, and sight-gags. Towne Players artistic director… Read More ›

Tom McCleister and Sarah Hankins star as Alex and Georgie (photo by Right Image Photography, Inc.)

Simon Stephens’ Heisenberg at Burning Coal Is an Intelligent Antidote to Love Story Cliché

A monolithic black wall. In silver, a slender, curving integral sign (∫) reaches from floor to ceiling. Its twin is on the floor of the playing space. The integral sign is a calculus operation that determines the characteristics of a variable as it changes over time. It features heavily in the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, which… Read More ›

You’re Invited to the Immersive, Uproarious Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding at Cypress Manor

You are seated in Vinnie Black’s Chapel of Love. It is precisely as tacky as it sounds. The Wedding March begins, and you look over your shoulder. The wedding party is coming down the aisle: a sassy grandma, a flamboyant go-go boy, a slightly goofy Southern priest, a nerdy sci-fi/fantasy girl, a pissed-off pregnant bridesmaid,… Read More ›

Rasool Jahan (left) and Shanelle Nicole Leonard star as Esther and Mayme (photo by Jon Gardiner)

Intimate Apparel at PlayMakers Repertory Company Chronicles a Black Seamstress’ Quest for Love and Respect in New York in 1905

PlayMakers Repertory Company will present Intimate Apparel, Brooklyn, NY African-American playwright Lynn Nottage’s prize-winning 2004 Off-Broadway play about the life and loves of a middle-aged African-American seamstress named Esther Mills, who lives in New York City at the dawn of the 20th century, on Jan. 25-29 and Jan. 31-Feb. 5 and Feb. 7-12 in the… Read More ›

Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding Is a Marvelous, Interactive, Improvisational Entertainment at Cypress Manor at Cary

This weekend, we attended a wedding, mounted and staged by The Pirate Stage Company LLC, at the Cypress Manor at Cary. No indication was made, as we gathered in the rustic-appearing venue, that we were attending anything other than a regular old wedding between two young Italian-American lovebirds. The funniest thing about Tony n’ Tina’s… Read More ›

Sarah Hankins and Tom McCleister star as Georgie and Alex (photo by Right Image Photography, Inc.)

Burning Coal’s Heisenberg Has Promise but Lacks Passion

Simon Stephens’ Heisenberg, onstage now at Burning Coal Theatre Company under the direction of Emily Ranii, is a sort of poor man’s Harold and Maude. It is a story of what happens when a woman in her 40s, Georgie Burns (Sarah Hankins), forcefully wheedles herself into the life of a much older man, Alex Priest… Read More ›

Carter Calvert (left) and Sally Struthers will star at NCT as charttopper Patsy Cline and her number-one fan, Louise Seger (photo by Jay Goldsmith for the 2012 Ogunquit Playhouse production)

NCT’s Always… Patsy Cline Is Friendship Set to Music and a Fantastically Entertaining Show

Friday night, there were a lot of Patsy Cline fans enjoying award-winning actresses Sally Struthers and Carter Calvert in the North Carolina Theatre‘s production of Always… Patsy Cline, which opened on Jan. 20th in Raleigh’s A.J. Fletcher Opera Theater. It is not surprising that the show appeals to Cline’s loyal fans, but I urge you… Read More ›

Sarah Hankins and Tom McCleister star as Georgie and Alex (photo by Right Image Photography, Inc.)

Emily Ranii’s Staging of Heisenberg at Burning Coal Couldn’t Be Better

Introduced first in 1927 by the German physicist Werner Heisenberg (1901-76), the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle states that the more precisely the position of some particle is determined, the less precisely its momentum can be known, and vice versa. Or to put it another way, the more one focuses on an object, the less you know… Read More ›

Carter Calvert (left) and Sally Struthers will star at NCT as charttopper Patsy Cline and her number-one fan, Louise Seger (photo by Jay Goldsmith for the 2012 Ogunquit Playhouse production)

Sally Struthers and Carter Calvert Will Star in Ted Swindley’s 1997 Off-Broadway Hit, Always… Patsy Cline, on Jan. 20-29 at NCT

Broadway and national and international tour veteran Carter Calvert (It Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues) and fellow Broadway veteran Sally Struthers, who won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy or Comedy-Variety or Music Series in 1972 and 1979 for playing Gloria Bunker Stivic in Norman Lear’s groundbreaking CBS television sitcom… Read More ›

Emily Anderson (left) and Skylar Gudasz star as Orlando and Sasha in Orlando by Sarah Ruhl

Sarah Ruhl’s Orlando at Manbites Dog Is Comedic, Queer, and Contemplative

In the Russian tradition of Stanislavski, the actor says, “I will tell you a story about me.” In the German tradition of Brecht, the actor says, “I will tell you a story about them.” In the Vietnamese tradition, the actor says, “You and I will tell each other a story about all of us.” From… Read More ›

Phillip Bernard Smith stars as Simon in RLT's production of The Whipping Man (photo by David Watts)

Raleigh Little Theatre’s Production of The Whipping Man Demands Witness

When Israel was in Egypt’s land: Let my people go, Oppress’d so hard they could not stand, Let my People go. Go down, Moses, Way down in Egypt’s land, Tell old Pharaoh, Let my people go. Negro Spiritual It is April 10, 1865. Yesterday, in the Virginian village of Appomattox, Confederate Army Gen. Robert E…. Read More ›