Triangle Arts and Entertainment – News and Reviews Theatre Dance Music Arts

A&E Theatre Reviews rss

The Justice Theater Project’s Regional Premiere of Zuccotti Park Is Nice … in Theory

The Justice Theater Project is taking a risk with its current production of Zuccotti Park: The Musical. Their theme for the 2016-17 season is “Economic Justice”, with their mission statement being to provide professional theater with outreach, advocacy and education. Zuccotti Park appears to promote their mission; but unfortunately, through no fault of their own,… Read More ›

Conor McPherson’s The Night Alive Gives a Stellar Cast a Chance to Shine at NRACT

Honest Pint Theatre Co. and North Raleigh Arts and Creative Theatre’s joint production of The Night Alive by Irish playwright and screenwriter Conor McPherson, which is playing now through Feb. 26th at NRACT, is a kind of nihilist joke. “What is the purpose of life if we keep on making the same mistakes?” director Susannah… 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 ›

David Hudson, Courtney Christison, and Beau Clark’s Ensemble Work in The God Game at Sonorous Road Is Absolutely Amazing

I remember that in my high school Law and Justice class, my teacher asked a simple question, “How many of you would vote for an atheist presidential nominee?” When I looked around the classroom, I found that there were only two hands were raised with mine, which ultimately was not that surprising. Suzanne Bradbeer, in… 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 ›

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 ›

On Jan. 28th, The Civilians’ New Workshop Reading for Duke Performances Examined the Charter-School Controversy

It is Tuesday, Jan. 18th. The staged reading of our new play is in 10 days. Ten. Days. Tickets have been sold. Furniture is being arranged. Lights are being focused. Maybe we should start writing the show. Seven days later, after completing 40 interviews with local teachers, parents, students, administrators, and lawmakers, including yours truly,… 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 (front center) stars as as Hedwig in Hedwig and the Angry Inch (photo by Joan Marcus)

Hedwig and the Angry Inch Is a Delightful, Raunchy Rock-Romp

Raunchy rock and roll show meets Broadway musical in DPAC’s presentation of John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask’s Hedwig and the Angry Inch, onstage now under the direction Tony Award-winner Michael Mayer . For those not familiar with this totally original, totally fun musical, it chronicles rockstar Hedwig Robinson, played to sleazy, hilarious perfection by… 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)

The Towne Players’ Production of The Sunshine Boys Is Hilarious and Extremely Satisfying

Hilarious is the best word to describe this show, just to start; but on top of the bright, clever writing and quirky plot, The Towne Players of Garner performed Neil Simon’s The Sunshine Boys crisply and extremely satisfyingly at the Garner Performing Arts Center. Towne Players artistic director Beth Honeycutt reached back to 1972 and… 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 ›

On Jan. 20th in Garner, James Gregory Proved That He’s Still Hilarious After All These Years!

AUTHOR’S NOTE: Kurt has been a fan of Mr. Gregory since the 1990s; the show on Friday, Jan. 20th, however, was Pam’s “first time.” It was 1982 when James Gregory started doing comedy. It was on a certain open mic night at The Punchline in Atlanta, GA. He and his pals were regulars, and they… Read More ›

Bare Theatre’s Inauguration Day Reading of The Taming Sticks It to Trump

Art is a nation’s most precious heritage. For it is in our works of art that we reveal to ourselves and to others the inner vision which guides us as a nation. And where there is no vision, the people perish. — President Lyndon B. Johnson, signing into existence the National Endowment for the Arts… 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 ›

RuPaul’s Drag Queens Delivered and Delighted on Jan. 17th at The Carolina Theatre of Durham

With appropriate swagger and in outrageously high heels, Bob the Drag Queen (Christopher Caldwell), winner of Season 8 of RuPaul’s Drag Race, opened Murray & Peter Present’s production of Season 8: The Queens. Love Across America on Tuesday, Jan. 17th, at The Carolina Theatre of Durham. The laughs began the moment that his foot stepped… 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 ›

RLT’s The Whipping Man is Gritty, Gripping, and Important

Set in April of 1865, Matthew Lopez’s The Whipping Man, onstage now at Raleigh Little Theatre under the direction of Patrick Torres, is a gritty and gripping emotional drama. The intimate show focuses on the intertwined lives of three Jewish men: Caleb (Ryan Ladue), a wounded southern soldier; sagacious Simon (Phillip Bernard Smith), a recently… Read More ›

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

Orlando at Manbites Dog Bends Genders Like Gumby

One of the reasons classic literature and drama exists is because it works on a number of different levels; and each time you read/watch/visualize/experience that classic piece, you are able to see yet another aspect of it that you might have missed previously. Virginia Woolf is one of those masterful writers who not only writes… Read More ›

Nicole Villamil will star Brian Mertes and Jim Findlay's workshop production of De Profundis on Jan. 11-15

PlayMakers Rep’s De Profundis Is a Work-in-Progress That Might Just Be "Your Cup of Tea"

PlayMakers Repertory Company’s PRC2 series is hosting a new work this weekend: De Profundis, co-created by Brian Mertes and Jim Findlay, directed by Mertes, designed by Findlay, and performed by Nicole Villamil. This piece would be more aptly referred to as “performance art,” rather than a “play.” It chronicles a performer’s attempts to approach a… Read More ›

Nicole Villamil will star in Brian Mertes and Jim Findlay's workshop production of De Profundis Jan. 11-15 at PlayMakers Rep (photo by Ken Huth)

PlayMakers Repertory Company’s De Profundis Is Unquestionably a Work-in-Progress

1897. A Prison in Berkshire, England. Solitary Confinement. Oscar Wilde writes a letter — 80 pages over 80 days — to his lover, Lord Alfred Douglas. 1905. Oscar Wilde has been dead for five years. A former lover, Robbie Ross, has the letter published. He assigns it the title De Profundis (Latin for “From the… Read More ›

South Stream Productions’ Blackbird Takes Flight at Sonorous Road Theatre

South Stream Productions has another hit on its hands with Blackbird, a powerful examination of an inappropriate relationship between Ray, a 40-year-old man, and Una, a 12-year-old child, who was the daughter of a neighbor. From the first scene, the audience is uncomfortably riveted as these two characters navigate through an extremely awkward encounter many… Read More ›

John Honeycutt and Katie Barrett sparkle in Blackbird (photo by Jennifer Sanderson)

John Honeycutt and Katie Barrett Give Tour-de-Force Performances in Blackbird

South Stream Productions raises questions, questions, questions. Playwright David Harrower lives up to his name with a crushing journey through a scarily delicate topic. Blackbird is a play that premiered at the Edinburgh International Festival in 2005. (It is reported the play’s title comes from having the song “Bye Bye, Blackbird” playing as Harrower wrote… Read More ›