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The cast of the little independent theatre's world premiere of Conversations with Hitler includes (from left) Livian Kennedy, Liza Guzman, Noelle Barnard Azarelo, Roberto Diaz, Justin Peoples, and Jim Azarelo

LIT’s Conversations with Hitler Is an Epic and Absurdist But Confusing Look at Prison Life

The little independent theatre’s world-premiere production of Conversations with Hitler by Steven R. Bond is a work more than eight months in the making. Bond based this play on a real playwriting support group that he attended, and collaborated with director Julya M. Mirro on this epic and absurdist look into life in prison. Mirro… Read More ›

Conversations with Hitler Has Its Good Points, But Its Drawbacks Create Confusion

Note: We discovered, after the fact, that the Facebook page for this event includes the suggestion: “for an immersive experience, plan to arrive 30 minutes early, meeting around back in the garage.” Unaware, we arrived a scant 15 minutes early, in the middle of this preshow experience and kind of had to play catch-up. Conversations… Read More ›

Nick Petrelli and Skyla Woodard star as Dickon and Mary (photo by Alexa Rose Blazevich)

Theatre Raleigh’s The Secret Garden Is a Truly Magical Experience!

The Secret Garden is a story of love and loss, of redemption and healing. More to the point: it’s a story of magical healing. And Theatre Raleigh’s current production of this musical captures every ounce of that magic, creating a moving, uplifting experience that is not to be missed. With music by Lucy Simon and… Read More ›

1991 Tony® Winner The Secret Garden Brings Frances Hodgson Burnett’s 1911 Novel to Life

The penultimate production of Theatre Raleigh’s critically acclaimed 2017 Hot Summer Nights season is the Tony Award®-winning 1991 Broadway musical The Secret Garden, which will run Aug. 15-20 in the A.J. Fletcher Opera Theater in the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Raleigh, NC. It is based on the beloved 1911 children’s… Read More ›

The Aug. 4th Eyes Up Here Comedy Showcase Was an Evening Full of Laughs at Neptune’s

According the website Know Your Meme, “My Eyes Are Up Here” is an expression typically used by women to remind men that they should maintain eye contact with the female speaker, instead of staring at her breasts. As a longtime fan of stand-up comedy, we must say that we are always tickled to see very… Read More ›

Sweet Tea and Baby Dreams Is Emotional and Hilarious, with Razor-Sharp Comedic Zingers

Every once in a while, I find myself missing “chick flicks,” whether they’re “romcoms” or ensemble pieces of the feel-good variety. I miss movies and media with a distinct three-act structure. I miss seeing stories that are genuinely funny with a sad center and a good resolution. Movies such as Music and Lyrics, Julie and… Read More ›

In Maribeth McCarthy’s Sweet Tea and Baby Dreams Blood Is Thicker Than Sweet Tea

What side of the Mason-Dixon line you’re from not only determines the sweetness of your tea, it may also determine how you define the word “Family.” Sweet Tea & Baby Dreams, written and directed by the highly energetic Maribeth McCarthy and completing its two-week run on Aug. 10-13 weekend in the Studio Theatre in Jones… Read More ›

Little Shop of Horrors starred Lexi Yauch, Nicholas Kraft, and Tyler Ellis as Audrey, Seymour, and Mushnik

Clayton Youth Theater Reprises Little Shop of Horrors with Gusto at The Clayton Center

The Clayton Youth Theater celebrated its 10-year anniversary by going back to its roots. The Saturday, Aug. 5th, closing performance of the musical Little Shop of Horrors was sold out. Director and founder Nikki Dyke created the Clayton Youth Theater in 2007 as a way to provide a positive mentoring environment for the youth of… Read More ›

Motown Is an Entertaining and Important Musical

Anyone who loves music and a good time is sure to love Motown: the Musical, onstage now at the Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC). This fast-paced show goes through many classic songs that were made possible by the famed Motown record label. Songs by some of the biggest names from the 60s to the 80s… Read More ›

National Theatre Live’s Angels in America Broadcast Was Flawed, But Valuable

In 1991, San Francisco’s Eureka Theatre Company premiered a new work by American playwright Tony Kushner. Entitled Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes, Part One: Millennium Approaches, the play examined the interconnecting lives of several New Yorkers during the mid-1980s, as the homophobic Reagan administration dragged its feet in addressing the AIDS… Read More ›

The new national tour of Motown the Musical stars (from left) Gabriella Whiting as Florence Ballard, Allison Semmes as Diana Ross, and Tavia Riveé as Mary Wilson (2017 photo © by Joan Marcus)

On Aug. 1-6, Motown the Musical Will Return to Dazzle, Delight, and Intrigue DPAC Patrons

The high-octane new national tour of Motown the Musical will roar into the Durham Performing Arts Center on Tuesday, Aug. 1st, just in time to remind a lot of Baby Boomers how many Golden Oldies of the soundtrack of their formative years bore the Motown Records label. The First National Tour of this Tony Award®-nominated… Read More ›

On July 26th in Raleigh, Duomuži’s Two-Man Antony & Cleopatra Redefined What an Ensemble Cast Can Do

3,573 lines of Shakespeare. 42 scenes across two continents. 57 characters. William Shakespeare’s fifth-longest play, Antony & Cleopatra, picks up about a decade after the events of Julius Caesar. It blends the politics and passions leading up to the Final War of the Roman Republic when a triumvirate of men share rule over the Empire:… Read More ›

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

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Offers Magical Fun for Viewers of All Ages

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast has been a fan favorite, for both children and children at heart, since it was released as a film in 1991. It has been so longstanding and popular, in fact, that a live action version was released just this year, which makes North Carolina Theatre’s production of the theatrical version… Read More ›

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

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 ›