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Sonorous Road Examines the Privilege of Straight White Men

“I don’t think this is gonna be a good conversation.” Political debate around the dinner table is inadvisable. At best, it leads to indigestion. At worst, relationships are irreparably damaged.   Sonorous Road Productions’ final mainstage show at its Oberlin Road location (they move to Hillsborough street next month) is the regional premiere of Straight… Read More ›

Kings Raleigh Served CAKE on May 5th, and It Was Delicious, with Four Different Flavors

“Give me a C! Give me an A! Give me a K! Give me an E!” The CAKE Comedy Tour, which played Kings Raleigh on Friday, May 5th, started out in 2012 as “The Pink Collar Comedy Tour.” These are four upbeat, energetic, smart female comics who pull out all stops to make their audience… Read More ›

Jon (Michael Brocki) is lost in memories of his late wife Tess (Lenore Field) (photo by Alan Dehmer)

Rewriting the Future in Manbites Dog’s Marjorie Prime

“Why don’t you tell me a little more about myself?” When I was seven years old, my brother, a deaf child of three, ran off. The entire neighborhood jumped into action as sunset approached. Some local boys jumped on a muddy fourwheeler and began tearing around the neighborhood to find him as Mom cried and… Read More ›

The Characterizations in A Piece of My Heart at RLT Are Clear and Emotionally Stirring

Raleigh Little Theatre closes its Sutton Series with a subset series concerning “Women and War,” the first play of which, A Piece of My Heart by Shirley Lauro, based on the 1985 book by Keith Walker, opened Friday, May 5th, in RLT‘s Gaddy-Goodwin Teaching Theatre. This has been an infrequently treated aspect of war until… Read More ›

The farewell tour of Mamma Mia!, now playing at DPAC, stars (center, from left) Cashelle Butler as Tanya, Betsy Padamonsky as Donna, and Sarah Smith as Rosie (photo by Kevin Thomas Garcia)

Can’t Stand Another Day of the News? "Take a Chance" on Mamma Mia! at DPAC

Mamma Mia!, running May 5-7 at the Durham Performing Arts Center, might just be the antidote for the poison of our currently reality. Its earwig ABBA songbook harkens back to a time when ridiculous hair and neon orange were just harmless fashion trends; and if love wasn’t exactly free, it was still very reasonable. The… Read More ›

The North American farewell tour of Mamma Mia! stars (from left) Cashelle Butler as Tanya, Betsy Padamonsky as Donna, and Sarah Smith as Rosie (photo by Kevin Thomas Garcia)

Mamma Mia! Hits the DPAC Stage on Friday, May 5th

  Mamma Mia!, the smash hit musical, opens Friday, May 5 at Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC). The musical, based on the songs of ABBA and followed by a hit film of the same name in 2008, is much-loved, making this event a super-exciting happening for fans of the franchise. We were lucky enough to… Read More ›

The N.C. Opera’s Production of The Pearl Fishers Features Divine Costumes and Stupendous Sets

Georges Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers premiered in Paris in 1863. The story is set in ancient Ceylon; and the action revolves around two fishermen, Nadir and Zurga, played by John Bellemer and Jarrett Ott in the current North Carolina Opera production. Zurga has just become the village chief, and Nadir has just come back to… Read More ›

Harnett Regional Theatre Offers Up a Charming Version of Annie

Everyone knows the story of Annie, the optimistic orphan who finds a home all her own, as told by Thomas Meehan. However, Harnett Regional Theatre has breathed new and charming life into this well-loved tale under the fanciful direction of Leanne Bernard and Rachel Strickland. For those few not familiar with the story, it takes… Read More ›

Manbites Dog Theater's production of Marjorie Prime stars Marcia Edmundson as Marjorie and Derrick Ivey as Walter, an artificial intelligence modeled after her late husband (photo by Alan Dehmer)

Jordan Harrison’s Marjorie Prime Is Both Entertaining and Thought-Provoking

There are several nagging questions that audiences will take away from the new offering at Manbites Dog Theater in Durham, Marjorie Prime. First, “How do we know another person?” Implicitly, “How do we know ourselves?” “How do we know when our life is over?” “How do we know our purpose in life?” “How reliable are… Read More ›

Sassy Alan Cumming Brings Sappy Tunes to Bull City

Read Dustin K. Britt’s preview of Alan Cumming Sings Sappy Songs. Backstage at Studio 54, after a performance of the 2014 revival of Cabaret (his second time in the role) lead actor Alan Cumming is hosting a miniature party. A neon sign identifies his dressing room as “Club Cumming.” Celebrities and close friends sneak backstage… Read More ›

The cast includes (from left) Page Purgar, Morrisa Nagel, Gilly Conklin, Alison Lawrence, and Kirsten Ehlert

Rod Rich Sets a Brisk Pace for the Tightly Focused Scenes of Love, Loss, and What I Wore

It has been said that “Clothes make the man.” But let’s be less gender-specific and theorize: “Clothes make the person.” Love, Loss, and What I Wore, the latest offering of Actors Comedy Lab and North Raleigh Arts and Creative Theatre, solidly supports that theory. Written by sisters Nora Ephron and Delia Ephron, based on Ilene… Read More ›

The Towne Players will stage A.R Gurney's Sylvia, starring Maribeth McCarthy, at 8 p.m. April 28th and 2 p.m. April 29th in Garner Performing Arts Center

Come! Sit! Stay! for The Towne Players’ Production of Sylvia by A.R. Gurney

Even if you had no clue that A.R. Gurney’s Sylvia is about a dog, it would take roughly 15 seconds from lights-up to discern that Maribeth McCarthy’s character in the current Towne Players of Garner production is, indeed, a dog. Her high-energy portrayal is that accurate and that intense. You would also very quickly learn… Read More ›

Alan Cumming Will Sing Sappy Songs at DPAC on Thursday, April 27

Did you ever ask a kid what they wanted to be when they grew up? You probably got one or two answers. A young Alan Cumming must have had about a dozen. You likely know him from one of two places: CBS’s The Good Wife or the 1998 Broadway revival of the musical sensation Cabaret…. Read More ›

Lean In and Brace Yourself for Ward Theatre Company’s Revival

Don’t think. What are you feeling right now? At this very moment and place. That feeling has more influence on your behavior than any conscious thought. Sanford Meisner would say that to be an effective actor, that premise must guide one’s every move. In 1935, Meisner introduced a set of exercises designed to bring an… Read More ›

The PRC production of My Fair Lady stars (from left) Ray Dooley as Colonel Pickering, PRC newcomer Mia Pinero as Eliza Doolittle, and Jeffrey Blair Cornell as Henry Higgins (photo by Jon Gardiner)

The Fairest of Ladies

PlayMakers Repertory Company once again has produced a spectacular performance in their rendition of the classic My Fair Lady. It is clear that the cast was chosen carefully not only to portray each character perfectly, but also to display a unique chemistry between themselves. Mia Pinero performed splendidly in her PlayMakers debut, her voice alone… Read More ›

Jesus (Aleks Pevec) shares the Last Supper with his disciples (photo by Curtis Brown Photography)

NCT Masterfully Resurrects Jesus Christ Superstar

It is 1971 and we have a new Broadway musical in which Mary Magdalene lusts for Jesus, an African-American actor plays a sympathetic Judas Iscariot, there is no resurrection scene, and the score is full-on rock-and-roll. Jesus Christ Superstar earned more than its fair share of protesters from the Religious Right upon its opening. But… Read More ›

The PRC production of My Fair Lady stars (from left) Ray Dooley as Colonel Pickering, PRC newcomer Mia Pinero as Eliza Doolittle, and Jeffrey Blair Cornell as Henry Higgins (photo by Jon Gardiner)

PlayMakers Rep Solves the Misogyny Problem of Lerner and Loewe’s My Fair Lady

A sculptor, on tiptoes, reaches up to kiss the ivory girl that he has carved. His lips barely graze hers before he draws back, a sudden realization crossing his face. The lips of the statue are warm. His name is Pygmalion; and his creation, Galatea, has come to life. More than 1,900 years after Ovid’s… Read More ›

Mia Pinero makes an auspicious PRC debut as Eliza Doolittle (photo by HuthPhoto)

PlayMakers Repertory Company’s My Fair Lady Is Fresh and Enlightening

Since it first appeared on Broadway in 1956, Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Lowe’s My Fair Lady has been a success with audiences everywhere. The famous musical, adapted from George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion tells the story of iconic character Eliza Doolittle, a poor Cockney flower seller living in 1912 London who sees a chance to… Read More ›

Katurian recounts the story or "The Little Jesus Girl" (photo by Josh Walker)

The Pillowman Is a Captivating Production by Peace University’s Dramatic Irony Drama Club

After seeing The Pillowman, the latest offering from William Peace University’s Dramatic Irony drama club, we felt sick and wanted to throw up … but in a good way! No, wait! Give us a chance to explain! How else do you describe the feelings evoked by a thoroughly provocative play that centers on an author… Read More ›

The Andrews Brothers Is Another Smash Hit for Temple Theatre of Sanford’s Peggy Taphorn

The Andrews Brothers is another smash hit staged by Temple Theatre of Sanford artistic director Peggy Taphorn. Created and written by Roger Bean, with music and vocal arrangements by Bean, Michael Borth, and Jon Newton, The Andrews Brothers is a tour through World War II music made popular by the great singing trio, The Andrews… Read More ›

Sinbad Brought Down the House on March 19th with Contagious Nonstop Laughter

Comic legend Sinbad certainly has not lost his touch, as he proved Sunday, March 19th, when he performed in a one-night special engagement in Raleigh’s Meymandi Concert Hall, presented by Bob Nocek Presents LLC and Broadway Series South. Sinbad (born David Atkins) has been charming audiences for over three decades and has been ranked by… Read More ›

Canadian R&B/pop singer/songwriter Deborah Cox stars in The Bodyguard (photo © Joan Marcus)

The Bodyguard Soars Higher than Whitney Houston’s High Notes at DPAC

From the moment The Bodyguard opens the curtains until the spellbinding finale, the smash 2012 West End musical demanded attention from the sell-out crowd at the Durham Performing Arts Center on opening night, March 14th. With stunning music, a suspenseful plot line, and one of the most memorable romances in movie/theater musical history, the show… Read More ›

Jasmin Richardson (left) and Deborah Cox star as Nicki and Rachel Marron (photo © Joan Marcus)

The Bodyguard Entertains at DPAC

For many people, The Bodyguard is considered an iconic film, one that holds its value and appeal despite the many years since its release. This was made evident by the large and enthusiastic crowd present at DPAC’s presentation of The Bodyguard: The Musical, adapted from the original screenplay by Alexander Dinelaris and under the direction… Read More ›

Theatre Raleigh Creates a Magical, Musical Midsummer Night’s Dream Like None Other

“Up and down, up and down, I will lead them up and down, I am feared in field in town. Goblin, lead them up and down.” — Puck; Act III, Scene II           These lines, spoken by the mischievous Puck are musical and magical — almost Seussian in nature — and beg to be delivered… Read More ›

Master Storyteller John Waters Gets Even Filthier at Durham’s Carolina Theatre

“We should be using humor as terrorism — embarrass the enemy into submission.” Indie filmmaker John Waters is only partly joking when he says this on Thursday, March 9th, during John Waters: This Filthy World: Dirtier & Filthier, presented by NS2 of Nashville, TN and The Carolina Theatre of Durham in Fletcher Hall at The… Read More ›

Theatre Raleigh’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream Is Lots of Fun for Old and Young

We think that Young Willy Shakespeare would have loved what Lauren Kennedy Brady and Morgan Parpan have done to his great comedy, or rather to A Thirty-Minute Dream, which Bill Tordoff adapted from The Bard’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The show, which lasts for not quite an hour, and is aimed directly at the young… Read More ›

Forest Moon Theater's production of Anne of Green Gables stars Elly Boldizar as Anne Shirley and Wayne Burtoft as Matthew Cuthbert (photo by David Leone)

Peter DeLaurier’s Anne of Green Gables Is a Nice Old-Fashioned Play, with Valuable Messages

On March 10-12 and 17-19, Forest Moon Theater takes on the daunting task of staging the childhood classic Anne of Green Gables at the Wake Forest Renaissance Centre in Wake Forest, NC. The play is based on the 1908 novel, written by Canadian author Lucy Maud Montgomery (L.M. Montgomery) and adapted for the stage by… Read More ›

The Acting Is Superb in N.C. Opera’s First-Rate Production of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro

I had forgotten how much fun it is to listen to Mozart! I am by no means an opera buff, but I can readily testify that the North Carolina Opera’s production of The Marriage of Figaro, co-produced with Opera Saratoga and performed at Raleigh’s A.J. Fletcher Opera Theater), is an unqualified success. Whether performed by… Read More ›

Allison Altman and Jenny Latimer star as Viola and Olivia in PlayMakers Rep's all-star presentation of Twelfth Night (photo by Jon Gardiner)

PlayMakers Rep’s Production of Twelfth Night Is Entertaining, But Offers Nothing New

“What is decreed must be; and be this so.” Countess Olivia’s point is well-made: what is meant to happen will happen. This appears to have been PlayMakers Repertory Company’s philosophy when staging its new production of Twelfth Night. Follow the playbook. Originally written for the close of the Christmas season, circa 1601-02, Twelfth Night, or… Read More ›

Gene Gillette (left) and Adam Langdon star as Ed and Christopher Boone (photo by Joan Marcus)

Autism Takes Center Stage at DPAC in an Ingenious Adaptation of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

“It was too loud,” the pink-haired boy declares. He is soft-spoken, eyes cast downward as he tugs at his jacket zipper. We are standing in the red-carpeted lobby after Tuesday night’s opening performance of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time at the Durham Performing Arts Center. As the crowd spilled into the… Read More ›