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

Tag: Cantey V. Sutton Theatre

Perfect Arrangement at RLT stars (from left) Lauren Knott, Paul S. James, Benoit Sabourin, and Amelia Sciandra

Topher Payne’s Perfect Arrangement at RLT Is Thought Provoking, But with Loads of Laughs

For those who lived through the 1950s in America, few can forget the witch hunt that was Wisconsin Republican U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy’s search to uncover Communists in our midst. His position was that these “subversives” were a threat to our society who were determined to take over government and thereafter change our very way… Read More ›

Lynnette Barber stars as Mother Shaw in Raleigh Little Theatre's production of Crowns (photo by Brenna Lila Jane Berry-Stewart)

Regina Taylor’s Crowns at RLT Is the Best Musical That I’ve Seen in Years

When I went to see Raleigh Little Theatre’s production of Crowns by Regina Taylor, I didn’t know quite what to expect; but what I found was that it was the best musical I’d seen in years. When I think about musical theater, I usually think about sadness. I think about ballads about death, about fighting… Read More ›

Raleigh Little Theatre will present Regina Taylor's gospel musical Crowns on Aug. 31-Sept. 3 and Sept 7-10 in RLT's Cantey V. Sutton Theatre (photo by Areon Mobasher Photography)

We Tip Our Hats to Everyone Involved with Crowns at Raleigh Little Theatre

There’s generally a whole lot of spirit to be found on the stages of Raleigh Little Theatre. At the moment, however, there’s a literal revelation, as director Terra Hodge takes us to church by way of Regina Taylor’s 2002 gospel musical Crowns. The story centers on a young African-American girl, Yolanda, who has lost her… Read More ›

Scott Nagel (left) and Jesse R. Gephart star as Stanley Stubbers and Francis Henshall in Raleigh Little Theatre's production of One Man, Two Guvnors (photo by Duncan Jenner)

Richard Bean’s One Man, Two Guvnors Is Rollicking Good Fun for RLT Patrons

Based upon a zany Italian farce*, One Man, Two Guvnors is a bold choice for Raleigh Little Theatre. We think that director Rod Rich hits a home run with it. As the title suggests, the play is set in England, with British accents all around. It’s set in Brighton in 1963 to be exact —… Read More ›

Raleigh Little Theatre's community-theater presentation of Terrence McNally's Mothers and Sons stars Rebecca Johnston as Katharine Gerard and Brian Westbrook as Cal Porter (photo by Elizabeth Anderson)

Raleigh Little Theatre’s Mothers and Sons Digs Deep

Raleigh Little Theatre’s “Season of Discovery” continues with its first City Series show, Mothers and Sons, staged in the Gaddy-Goodwin Teaching Theatre. This one-act drama by American playwright Terrence McNally opened on Broadway in March of 2014, under the direction of Sheryl Kaller, who also directed the show’s New Hope, PA premiere one year prior…. Read More ›

Raleigh Little Theatre's Sept. 23-Oct. 9 production of Mothers and Sons will star (from left) Chris Maxwell as Will Ogden, Brian Westbrook as Cal Porter, Andrew Farmer as Bud Ogden-Porter, and Rebecca Johnston as Katharine Gerard (photo by Curtis Brown Photography)

RLT’s Mothers and Sons Is a Riveting Drama, Laced with Humor and Some Tender Moments

NOTE: Pamela Vesper was not able to attend this performance. I was accompanied by Sharon Silcox. Her comments appear at the end of this article. — KB Mothers and Sons at Raleigh Little Theatre is an intense, riveting drama, laced with humor and some tender moments. When the curtain rises, it has been 20 years… Read More ›

Zak Caska and Aya Wallace star as Huey and Felicia in Memphis at Raleigh Little Theatre (photo by Curtis Brown Photography)

Raleigh Little Theatre’s Memphis Is Major Fun, with Some Minor Flaws

Raleigh Little Theatre’s 2016-17 “Season of Discovery” opens with its first mainstage show, Memphis, an original musical with music and lyrics by David Bryan and book and lyrics by Joe DiPietro. The team also wrote the 2008 rock musical The Toxic Avenger, which opens October 7 at the North Raleigh Arts and Creative Theatre. Bryan… Read More ›

Zak Caska and Aya Wallace star as Huey and Felicia in Memphis at Raleigh Little Theatre (photo by Curtis Brown Photography

RLT’s Memphis Is a Dynamic, Toe-Tappin’, Hand Clappin’, Jumpin’, and Jivin’ Experience

Memphis, with book and lyrics by Joe DiPietro and music and lyrics by David Bryan, is a lively start to Raleigh Little Theatre’s 2016-17 season. With its first song, “Underground,” the tone and beat are set for nonstop music and patter. Young Huey Calhoun — who represents “Daddy-O” Dewey Phillips and “Moondog” Alan Freed, two… Read More ›

Cantey Performance Award winners included Michael McKenna, Tosin Olufolabi, Jesse R. Gephart (center), Rose Higgins (second from right), and Brian Fisher (right) (photo by Carrie Santiago)

On June 29th, the Cantey Awards Rang Down the Curtain on RLT’s 2015-16 Season

The Cantey V. Sutton Theatre was abuzz with energy and love on Wednesday night, June 29th, as the annual meeting and awards ceremony, The Cantey Awards, was held at Raleigh Little Theatre, in celebration of the community theater’s 80th season. The annual event’s purpose is trifold. First, a brief “state-of-the-theater” meeting to highlight accomplishments, give… Read More ›

The Glass Menagerie at RLT Is Delightful, Takes Risks, and Explores New Sides of Familiar Characters

The first thing that will amaze Triangle theatergoers about Raleigh Little Theatre’s presentation of The Glass Menagerie is Elizabeth Newton’s incredible set. A feat in itself, the execution of the set conjures up feelings of being lost in a surreal memory. Director Patrick Torres is to be commended for his expert casting, as well as… Read More ›

David Henderson Glistens as the Betrayed and Vengeful Title Character of Sweeney Todd

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, playing Thursdays-Sundays through March 3-6 at Raleigh Little Theatre, is a dark, rather unpleasant story of a barber unfairly banished to an Australian penal camp for 15 years, after being set up by a judge who coveted his wife. The barber returns and discovers his wife was… Read More ›

Patrick Torres became Raleigh Little Theatre's 14th artistic director in March 2014

New RLT Artistic Director Patrick Torres’ Inaugural Show, “Much Ado About Nothing,” Is a Smash Hit!

Patrick Torres, the new artistic director of Raleigh Little Theatre, told us in the interview below that he wished to continue RLT‘s legacy. His inaugural show, William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, indicates adherence to his words. The complicated story of two couples — one pair a confirmed bachelor and a bachelorette discovering love, the… Read More ›

Raleigh Little Theatre's upcoming production of "Desire Under the Elms" stars Brian Yandle Heather Strickland as Eben and Abbie (photo by Curtis Brown Photography)

Eugene O’Neill’s “Desire Under the Elms” Is a Backwoodsy, Brutal Classic, Now Playing at RLT

Kudos to Raleigh Little Theatre for shouldering a production of Desire Under the Elms by Nobel Laureate (and three-time Pulitzer Prize winner) Eugene O’Neill, America’s foremost playwright of the 20th century. His work was not easy to deal with in the early part of last century, and is even more difficult in the beginning of… Read More ›

“Blithe Spirit” Is a Witty Laugh-Fest

Noël Coward’s writing is well known for its witty dialogue and quick humor, and those qualities are particularly well-evidenced in his 1941 play, Blithe Spirit, onstage now at Raleigh Little Theatre in a production directed by Tony Lea. The play focuses on Charles (John Allore), a writer seeking inspiration for his latest story. To find… Read More ›

“Pinocchio” Proves Fun for Kids and Adults

Raleigh Little Theatre’s Pinocchio, directed by Linda O’Day Young, is pretty much everything you could want in a children’s play. Featuring big, bright, funny acting, akin to what you’d see in a Disney movie, and a quirky humor that appeals to kids of all ages, this play is a great one for the young in age and the young at heart.

Yasmina Reza’s “Art” Isn’t Perfect, But RLT’s Production Aims to Please Viewers

Anyone who has ever questioned the motives of someone who buys an expensive and questionable “work of art” will identify with the bafflement expressed by Marc (Mark Phialas), one of the central characters in Yasmina Reza’s “Art,” directed by Jesse Gephart and onstage now at Raleigh Little Theatre. Marc’s friend, Serge (Chris Brown), has just… Read More ›

Raleigh Little Theatre’s Musical Comedy “Cinderella” Is a Zany Fractured 17th Century French Fairy Tale

Raleigh Little Theatre will present its gala 29th annual production of “Cinderella” on Dec. 6-9 and 13-16 in its Cantey V. Sutton Theatre. Director Haskell Fitz-Simons has directed all 29 RLT productions of Cinderella, which RLT first performed on Dec. 13, 1984. “Cinderella” features music by Jim Eiler and Jeanne Bargy and a book and lyrics by Eiler, based on the familiar French fairy tale by Charles Perrault (1628-1703).

Raleigh Little Theatre‘s stellar cast for “Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps” includes (from left) Tony Hefner, Jesse R. Gephart, Staci Sabarsky, and Del Flack (photo by Curtis Brown Photography)

Patrick Barlow’s Farce, “Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps,” Now Playing at RLT, Is Not for Everybody

Any fan of the 1935 film The 39 Steps or any Alfred Hitchcock devotee should be positively delighted with Raleigh Little Theatre’s production of the play by the same name. Others, however, will likely be lost, bored, and a little overwhelmed with this excessively silly and frenzied comedy. The show follows Richard Hannay (Jesse Gephart)… Read More ›

Raleigh Little Theatre's stellar cast for "Alfred Hitchcock's The 39 Steps" includes (from left) Tony Hefner, Jesse R. Gephart, Staci Sabarsky, and Del Flack (photo by Curtis Brown Photography)

Patrick Barlow Adapted His 2005 Farce, “Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps,” from the 1935 Film

On Oct. 12-14, 18-21, and 25-28, Raleigh Little Theatre will present a community-theater production of “Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps” in its Cantey V. Sutton Theatre. English actor, comedian, and playwright Patrick Barlow adapted this knee-slapping 2005 farce from John Buchan’s classic 1915 adventure novel and Alfred Hitchcock’s edge-of-your-seat 1935 motion-picture thriller based on Buchan’s nail-biting espionage story.

Tony Hefner as the Roué Lord Brockhurst Steals the Show in “The Boy Friend” at Raleigh Little Theatre

Sarah Moore and Joshua Broadhurst star in “The Boy Friend” as poor little rich girl Polly Browne and her handsome but penniless beau, a messenger boy named Tony; but it is Triangle theater veteran Tony Hefner who steals the show as the aging roué Lord Brockhurst. Hefner, channeling his inner Harpo Marx, is a stitch. He mostly pantomimes his part as a pixilated peer in formal dress who ogles the girls at Mme. Dubonnet’s School for Young Ladies in the Villa Caprice in Nice, France, while dodging the disapproving gaze of his domineering wife Lady Brockhurst (a nice squinty-eyed cameo by Kate Tonner).

Raleigh Little Theatre will present "The Boy Friend" on June 8-10, 14-17, and 21-24 in its Cantey V. Sutton Theatre

Set in the Roaring Twenties, “The Boy Friend” by Sandy Wilson Is a Light-and-Lively Musical at RLT

Long-time Raleigh Little Theatre artistic director Haskell Fitz-Simons will stage a community-theater production of English composer and lyricist Sandy Wilson’s 1954 musical comedy/romance, “The Boy Friend,” on June 8-10, 14-17, and 21-24 in its Cantey V. Sutton Theatre. “The Boy Friend” premiered in 1953 in London’s West End, and made its Broadway debut in 1954.

Raleigh Little Theatre will present "The Crucible" by Arthur Miller on April 13-15, 19-22, and 26-29 in its Cantey V. Sutton Theatre

“The Crucible” by Arthur Miller Is a Cautionary Tale About the Salem Witch Trials’ Rush to Judgment

Raleigh Little Theatre will stage a community-theater presentation of “The Crucible” by American dramatist and essayist Arthur Miller (1915-2005), a cautionary tale about the rush to judgment at the Salem Witch Trials (1692-93), on April 13-15, 19-22, and 26-29. The play is a parable of moral courage in a time of intolerance and mass hysteria, when the criminal justice system was perverted by a few individuals seeking public vengeance and/or private personal gain.

Kirsten Ehlert zestfully portrays town slut-turned-beauty pageant contestant Carnelle Scott in "The Miss Firecracker Contest" (photo by Stuart Wagner)

“The Miss Firecracker Contest” Fizzles at RLT

The Southern Gothic characters of the “The Miss Firecracker Contest” do not lead lives of quiet desperation. Starting with Brookhaven, MS town slut-turned local beauty pageant contestant Carnelle Scott (zestfully portrayed by Kirsten Ehlert), “Crimes of the Heart” playwright Beth Henley’s frisky fictional creations are one big hot mess after another.

Kirsten Ehlert stars as Carnelle Scott of Brookhaven, MS, who will do anything to win the town's annual Fourth of July Miss Firecracker contest, including tap dance and somersault to ''The Star-Spangled Banner,'' while clenching a sparkler in her teeth (photo by Stuart Wagner)

See Beth Henley’s a Splendid Southern Gothic Comedy “The Miss Firecracker Contest” on Feb. 10-26 at RLT

Kirsten Ehlert stars as Carnelle Scott of Brookhaven, MS, in “The Miss Firecracker Contest” by Beth Henley. Carnelle will do anything to win the town’s annual Fourth of July beauty pageant, including tap dance and somersault to ”The Star-Spangled Banner,” while clenching a sparkler in her teeth.

Izzy Burger is a hoot as humdrum housewife Judy Denmark and glamorous Broadway diva Ginger DelMarco

Izzy Burger Is Doubly Delightful in “Ruthless!” at RLT

Raleigh actress Izzy Burger is doubly delightful in her dual roles as humdrum housewife and single mother Judy Denmark and glamorous Broadway diva Ginger DelMarco in “Ruthless! The Musical.” Her miraculous transformation from vapid but perpetually cheerful Judy to petulant Ginger is wonderful to behold.

The cast of "Ruthless!" includes (from left) Izzy Burger as Judy Denmark, Katie Regittko as Tina Denmark, and Timothy Cherry as Sylvia St. Croix (photo by Stuart Wagner)

RLT’s “Ruthless! The Musical” Is a Zany Spoof of 1950s and 1960s Musicals and Movie Melodramas

“‘Ruthless!’ is extraordinarily witty,” claims RLT director Haskell Fitz-Simons. “The playwright just had way too much fun writing it, as did the composer. They are just wicked, wicked men. They took all their favorite movies and satirized them. It’s mostly ‘The Bad Seed,’ but also ‘Gypsy,’ and ‘All About Eve.’ There are references to countless [other] musicals and movies ….”

"Cinderella" 2009 cast (find Cinderella -- she is hidden by a bunch of hams!)

“Cinderella” Sparkles at RLT

“Cinderella” stars Hailey Best as Cinderella and Pelham Jacobs as Prince Charming. They make a handsome pair, and they sing superbly. But once director Haskell Fitz-Simons sends in the clowns, the beautiful but bedraggled scullery maid Cinderella and her handsome Prince get royally upstaged.