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Tag: Jesse R. Gephart

Jesse R. Gephart Channels David Sedaris’ Snark, Wit, and Scathing Humor in The SantaLand Diaries at TIP

The SantaLand Diaries by David Sedaris is, perhaps, my favorite short story by a beloved North Carolina author. That’s why I was particularly excited to see Theatre in the Park’s holiday one-man-show The SantaLand Diaries, starring Jesse R. Gephart as David Sedaris and his elfin alter ego, Crumpet. The show, which concludes its two-week run… 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 ›

Most of The SantaLand Diaries Is Engaging, Funny and, Eventually, Quite Moving

Beginning as an essay for NPR’s Morning Edition in 1992, David Sedaris’ The SantaLand Diaries has become a holiday classic in both book and audio formats. Sedaris, who was raised in Raleigh, has made a career of publicly sharing his most humiliating moments with a trademark dry wit. In 1996, a much longer version of… Read More ›

You Absolutely Must See Jesse R. Gephart in The SantaLand Diaries at Theatre in the Park

Even though many of the Triangle’s favorite holiday shows are currently in production, you absolutely must see Theatre in the Park’s The SantaLand Diaries, starring Jesse R. Gephart. The SantaLand Diaries is a stage adaptation by Joe Mantello of an autobiographical essay written by former Raleigh author and humorist David Sedaris, who initially read the… Read More ›

Theatre in the Park’s True West Is Truly Worthwhile

Local actor-directors Jesse R. Gephart and Ira David Wood IV shine very brightly as they co-direct and star in Sam Shepard’s True West, which (unfortunately) only plays one weekend at Raleigh’s Theatre in the Park. Often quite funny, True West is an extended interaction between two brothers. (Can you say “dysfunctional”?). But there is much… Read More ›

Theatre in the Park Kicks Off Its Three-Week Repertory Run with Sam Shepard’s True West

Over the next three weeks, Theatre in the Park is presenting three plays: Sam Shepard’s True West (Sept. 8-11), John Cariani’s Almost, Maine (Sept. 15-18), and Del Shores’ Southern Baptist Sissies (Sept. 22-25). Although advertised as being performed “in rep,” this mini-festival does not fit the typical repertory structure (in which two or more shows… 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 ›

Theatre in the Park will donate all proceeds from its 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 21st, performance of The Elephant Man to Jesse R. Gephart

There Will Be a Benefit Performance of The Elephant Man for Jesse R. Gephart on April 21st at TIP

Few of us have ever had our lives literally go up in smoke, but that’s what happened to local actor, director, and reviewer Jesse R. Gephart on Saturday, April 9th, when the 12-unit structure where he lived in the Pinnacle Apartments in North Raleigh burned completely to the ground (for details, click here). Jesse lost… Read More ›

Mortall Coile Theatre Company's presentation of "Master Harold" ... and the boys by Athol Fugard stars Ben Pluska (center) as Hally and Gil Faison (right) as Sam (photo by Curtis Scott Brown)

Mortall Coile’s Rendition of Athol Fugard’s "Master Harold" … and the boys Is Most Impressive

Mortall Coile Theatre Company’s presentation of South African dramatist Athol Fugard’s 1982 play, “Master Harold” … and the boys, takes place on a rainy afternoon in 1950 in South Africa during the the country’s infamous apartheid era. Its protagonist, “Hally,” is the 17-year-old son of the owners of St. George’s Park Tea Room in Port… Read More ›

Mortall Coile Theatre Company’s "Master Harold" … and the boys Is a Masterpiece!

On Thursday, April 14th, Mortall Coile Theatre Company founder and artistic director Jesse R. Gephart said, “I’ve waited two years to produce this show,” during his opening-night statement for “Master Harold” … and the boys, which he also directed. Well, we are here to tell you: it was worth the wait — the production is… Read More ›

“Sleuth” Is a Perfect Mix of Mystery, Mayhem, and Comedy

For anyone who loves lots of plot twists and a healthy dose of comedy, Anthony Shaffer’s Sleuth is an excellent choice. Theatre Raleigh’s production, as part of its Hot Summer Nights Series, features two of the Triangle’s most gifted actors- Michael Brocki and Jesse Gephart– and also benefits from precise direction by John McIlwee and… Read More ›

"Sleuth" stars Jesse R. Gephart (seated) and Michael Brocki (photo by Curtis Brown Photography)

Theatre Raleigh Lets the Audience Become the “Sleuth”

SO: Milo Tindle wants to marry Andrew Wyke’s wife, and he drops by to ask for permission. What could possibly happen? As members of the Aug. 5th opening-night audience of Theatre Raleigh’s Hot Summer Nights production of Sleuth, we become the detectives, trying to gauge not just “Who done it?” but also “who done what”… Read More ›

Mortall Coile’s Presentation of “The Pride” is Gripping and Raw — Theatre at Its Finest

The time in which a person lives can have a huge impact on the way his life turns out. At least that’s one of the theories rippling under the surface of Alexi Kaye Campbell’s “The Pride,” which just finished a run at North Raleigh Arts & Creative Theatre. Kaye’s script, brought to the stage by… Read More ›

Theatre in the Park’s “The SantaLand Diaries” Offers Holiday Fun for the Grown-Ups

This time of year, Theatre in the Park is pretty busy (and pretty popular), thanks to its annual production of Ira David Wood III’s A Christmas Carol. What a lot of people don’t know, however, is that the theatre also puts on another Christmas themed show of the one-man variety, and it’s just as hilarious… Read More ›

Theatre Raleigh’s “Other Desert Cities” Starts Strong, But Is Ultimately Unsatisfying

One of the characters in Jon Robin Baltz’s play, “Other Desert Cities,” onstage now through Theatre Raleigh, sums his family, and perhaps all families, up nicely by saying that, “We all live with each other’s divergent truths.” That statement definitely applies in this tense drama centered on the Wyeth family, its secrets, and the pain… Read More ›

Theatre Raleigh's cast for "Other Desert Cities" includes (from left) Maggie Rasnick, Pamela Dunlap, Mark Phialas, Dana Marks, and Charlie Brady (photo by Curtis Brown Photography)

Family Secrets and Lies Are the Subject of Jon Robin Biatz’s 2011 Off-Broadway Play “Other Desert Cities”

The Wednesday, June 18th, opening-night audience for Theatre Raleigh’s production of Other Desert Cities was too often subjected to very low volume, which may have made us miss a lot of the meat of this play. Somehow it never affected us as it was intended to. We felt no affinity for the three main characters;… Read More ›

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 ›

“Fuddy Meers'” Humor Serves as a Guise for Deeper Musings

“Fuddy Meers,” onstage now at Theatre in the Park and directed by Jesse R. Gephart, is a perplexing play, one in which nothing is as it seems and everything, including the title (which refers to one character’s mispronunciation of the phrase “funny mirrors”) is a strange distortion of reality. At least, that’s how things seem… Read More ›

“Nocturne” Paints a Painstakingly Vivid Picture of Grief

When viewers walk into Mortall Coile Theatre Company’s production of Nocturne, a one-man play written by Adam Rapp and part of Burning Coal Theatre Company’s “Wait ‘Til You See This Series, the set is the first thing that catches their attention. Beautifully designed by Jon Haas and director Dana Marks, the set features hundreds (possibly… Read More ›

Jesse R. Gephart Returns as David/Crumpet in “The SantaLand Diaries” Dec. 12-16 at Theatre in the Park

Automatic Vaudeville and Theatre in the Park will reprise their hilarious joint presentation of David Sedaris’ sardonic PG-13-rated Christmas story, “The SantaLand Diaries,” starring local comic actor extraordinaire Jesse R. Gephart, on Dec. 8-11 and 16-18 in the Ira David Wood III Pullen Park Theatre in Raleigh, NC. Gephart’s sidesplitting performance previously brought local audiences to their feet in December 2008, 2010, and 2011.

"The SantaLand Diaries" will run Dec. 8-11 and 16-18 at Theatre in the Park

Jesse Gephart Is a Hoot as King of Snark David Sedaris in “The SantaLand Diaries” at TIP

“Attitude” is everything as Jesse Gephart impersonates the youthful, out-of-work, and dead-broke Sedaris, who took a seasonal job as an elf in Macy’s “SantaLand,” and turned the humiliation of walking around in pointy shoes dressed as an elf into a classic Christmas story.

"The SantaLand Diaries" will run Dec. 8-11 and 16-18 at Theatre in the Park

Jesse R. Gephart Will Reprise His Dual Role as David Sedaris and Crumpet in “The SantaLand Diaries”

Jesse Gephart has fine-tuned and deepened his impersonation of David/Crumpet. His increased confidence is palpable, and he is so comfortable in the role … that he can stop the show and break character to harangue latecomers — much to the audience’s delight.

Ryan Brock (left) and Jesse R. Gephart star as George and Lennie in "Of Mice and Men"

Jesse Gephart Dazzles as Director and Co-star of John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men” at Theatre in the Park

Undaunted by the dual challenge of staging 1962 Nobel Laureate John Steinbeck’s Depression-era drama, “Of Mice and Men,” while co-starring in it as circa 1937 migrant worker Lennie Small, popular Triangle actor and director Jesse R. Gephart scores a double triumph in Theatre in the Park‘s 2011-12 powerful season-opener.

Ryan Brock (left) and Jesse R. Gephart star as George and Lennie

TIP Opens Its 2011-12 Season with “Of Mice and Men”

“It’s … a major challenge directing a show that I’m also acting in,” TIP guest director Jesse R. Gephart confesses. “It’s the first time I’ve done anything like that, and thankfully I’ve had my long-time friend Maggie Rasnick at my side as my assistant director, helping mold and shape the show.”

"The Real Thing" runs until Feb. 20th

“The Real Thing” Hasn’t Quite Gelled

On opening night last Friday, Theatre in the Park‘s presentation of British playwright Tom Stoppard’s 1984 and 2000 Tony Award®-winning backstage comedy, “The Real Thing,” had not quite gelled.

"The Real Thing" opens Feb. 4th and runs until Feb. 20th

“The Real Thing”: No One Said Love Was Easy

Theatre in the Park will present The Real Thing, a Tony Award®-winning backstage comedy by Czech-born British playwright and screenwriter Tom Stoppard (nee Tomas Straussler), on Feb. 4-6, 10-13, and 18-20 in its Ira David Wood III Pullen Park Theatre in Raleigh, NC. “I first read this show several months ago,” recalls TIP guest director… Read More ›

"The SantaLand Diaries" ran Dec. 9-12

Jesse Gephart Repeated His Hilarious Performance as David Sedaris/Crumpet in “The SantaLand Diaries”

Jesse R. Gephart had TIP audiences in stitches once again as he repeated his knee-slapping 2006 performance in the title role of out-of-work and increasingly desperate actor David Sedaris and his evil twin Crumpet in “The SantaLand Diaries.”

"The SantaLand Diaries" opens Dec. 9th

“The SantaLand Diaries” Stars Jesse R. Gephart

Adapted for the stage in 1996 by Joe Mantello from a sardonic PG-13-rated Christmas story by former Raleigh resident, National Public Radio commentator, and author David Sedaris, “The SantaLand Diaries” is based on Sedaris’ autobiographical radio essay, first broadcast in 1992 on NPR’s “Morning Edition,” chronicling his merry misadventures as an out-of-work writer hired to play an elf named Crumpet in SantaLand in Macy’s in New York City.


Thanks to the hilarious hijinks of Broadway funny lady Lisa Jolley as agoraphobic housewife Jeannie Garstecki, sultry chanteuse Canady Vance Thomas as runaway stripper Pippi, and Jesse R. Gephart as Pippi’s crazed Magic Marker-sniffing boyfriend, gun-toting boyfriend Duke, THE GREAT AMERICAN TRAILER PARK MUSICAL comes with a bladder-control advisory: Don’t try to watch this show with a full bladder, even if you’re wearing adult diapers! Your cup will runneth over.


David Wood struts and frets hilariously, and digs deep into his repertoire of funny voices, as the disgraceful Chuck Smith, hopelessly behind in the polls but still determined to enjoy every perq of his presidency and squeeze every nickel that he can from lobbyists and trade associations