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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

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June 24, 2017

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 ›

Anna Leonowenss (Laura Michelle Kelly) teaches the Royal Children (photo by Matthew Murphy)

Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King and I at DPAC Looks and Sounds Gorgeous, But Its Racial Stereotypes Are Troubling in 2017

In April 2017, the Twitterverse exploded with outrage when Pepsi® created a socially tone-deaf TV ad in which Kendall Jenner seemingly solved the pandemic of police brutality by handing a police officer a soda. People cried “Wasn’t there a meeting? Did no one suggest that this might be offensive? Am I the only one paying… Read More ›

Bare Theatre’s EverScape Respawns at the New Sonorous Road Studio

respawn (v.): to re-enter gameplay after being killed. EverScape, by triangle native Allan Maule, made its regional premiere last October, having been a smash hit at the New York Fringe Festival. Bare Theatre co-produced a remounted EverScape as the inaugural production in the new Sonorous Theatre and Film Studio location on Hillsborough Street. The crew… Read More ›

RLT Ends its Season with the Crowd-Pleasing Avenue Q

Opening on Broadway in 2003, Avenue Q features a book by Jeff Whitty (Bring it On: The Musical) and score by Robert Lopez & Jeff Marx (The Book of Mormon, Disney’s Frozen). The sleeper hit surprised Tony® viewers by beating out mega-musical Wicked for Best Musical, Best Book, and Best Score. Given its puppeteering demands,… Read More ›

Refreshing, Pleasant, and Utterly Enjoyable, Theatre Raleigh’s Smokey Joe’s Café Is a Nice Change of Pace

Smokey Joe’s Café, onstage now through Theatre Raleigh and directed by Julia Murney, is a true musical revue- meaning it features short vignettes, none of them related to one another, that go along with songs. In this case, the songs in question are 39 hits from Leiber and Stoller. And, while the songs are somewhat… Read More ›

Theatre Raleigh’s Rendition of Smokey Joe’s Café Is a Spectacular Toe-Tapping, Rib-Tickling, Wow-Wasn’t-That-Great Kinda Show

Picture this: You are looking back at the 1950s, a time when doo-wop had taken the world by storm. It was a time when the girls wore tailored dresses and the men wore belts and jackets. (Belts!) You are looking at the cement stoops of some brownstones, lights on in some of the windows. On… Read More ›

Bartlett Theater will perform a site-specific production of Anton Chekhov's The Seagull May 20-June 4

Bartlett Theater’s Outdoor Staging of The Seagull Is Inventive, Funny, Moving, and Thoroughly Entertaining — a Must See

I am walking up a gravel driveway, a playbill and a church-style hand fan in tow. To my left is an elegant home with a front porch running the length of the house front and a perfectly manicured lawn. To my right is a sprawling green meadow with a tree line in the distance. I… Read More ›

Ghost: The Musical at NRACT Blooms Gloriously in Performance

Ghost: The Musical, with music and lyrics by Dave Stewart and Glen Ballard and book and lyrics by Bruce Joel Rubin, opened Friday night at the North Raleigh Arts and Creative Theatre (NRACT). This musical, which came out in 2011, is, of course, based on the Paramount Pictures 1990 movie, Ghost, starring Whoopi Goldberg, Demi… Read More ›

The Matilda the Musical cast performs "Revolting Children" (photo by Joan Marcus)

Matilda the Musical Has Lots to Love

Onstage now through Broadway Series South and the North Carolina Theatre, under the direction of Matthew Warchus, Matilda, based on the book of the same name by Roald Dahl, is just as fabulous as ever. And, while diehard fans of the original story might be surprised to learn that some features of the original story- such… Read More ›

Ghost: The Musical at NRACT Is Haunting

If you have not yet ventured up to the North Raleigh Arts and Creative Theatre, what are you waiting for? You are truly missing out on some amazing theater. Friday’s opening-night performance of Ghost: The Musical was my third visit to NRACT, and each visit is more impressive than the last. I will admit I… Read More ›

The Matilda the Musical cast performs "Revolting Children" (photo by Joan Marcus)

Matilda the Musical at the Duke Energy Center Is Powerfully Designed But Weakly Written

Broadway Series South and the North Carolina Theatre‘s joint presentation of Matilda the Musical, playing tonight through Sunday evening in Raleigh Memorial Auditorium, was originally commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company. Based on British author Roald Dahl’s popular 1988 children’s book, which Dennis Kelly adapted for the stage, Matilda features rousing music and witty lyrics… Read More ›

Christine Dwyer stars as Sylvia Llewelyn Davies in Finding Neverland (photo by Jeremy Daniel)

DPAC’s Finding Neverland Is Inspiring and Powerful

Finding Neverland, onstage now at DPAC under the direction of Diane Paulus, is a story about the power and beauty of the imagination. It’s also, of course, the life story of writer J.M. Barrie and the things that inspired his famous Peter Pan story. It’s fitting, then, that the show would open with all of… Read More ›

Christine Dwyer and Billy Harrigan Tighe star as Sylvia Llewelyn Davies and J.M. Barrie in Finding Neverland (photo by Jeremy Daniel)

Peter Pan Flies High in Finding Neverland May 23-28 at the Durham Performing Arts Center

Few stories are more iconic in literature than Scottish playwright J.M. Barrie’s tales about Peter Pan, the boy who never grew up. And even less common are interesting tales about the inspiration behind the stories that become the archetypes that everyone recognizes. With Finding Neverland, now playing at the Durham Performing Arts Center, we are… Read More ›

Sonorous Road Ends Its Oberlin Road Tenure with Young Jean Lee’s Straight White Men

Note: This script fits perfectly into Sonorous Road Productions’ mission of offering engaging, thought-provoking theater. Merry Christmas! And welcome to Ed’s place! Ed is a widower, Matt (his oldest adult son) has moved back in with him, and Matt’s two brothers (Jake and Drew) have come to visit. They’ll be having a Christmas Eve dinner… Read More ›

Flying Machine’s Curious Accidents & Unintended Consequences Is Improv with a Twist: Funny, Clever, and Heart-Touching

The art of improvisation in theater, while very old, really came to the fore in America with the TV show “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” The form goes back in the BCE period, and has roots in commedia dell’arte, and a nod to The Second City in Chicago. It has been widely seen in recent… Read More ›

DPAC’s Mamma Mia! Dazzles and Delights Audiences (Republished)

*NOTE: This review was republished on May 15, 2017 due to a failure with the Triangle Arts & Entertainment website. Since its premiere in 1999, Mamma Mia, a musical inspired by the music of ABBA, has been a fan favorite, and during its farewell tour at DPAC, under the direction of Phyllida Lloyd, it’s obvious… Read More ›