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

Tag: Lauren Kennedy

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 ›

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 ›

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 ›

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 ›

Cool Summer Evenings: Georgia Stitt and Friends Was Thoroughly Enjoyable

Cool Summer Evenings is the yin to Theatre Raleigh’s yang, Hot Summer Nights. These concerts, held over the course of several Saturdays during the summer, give local artists the opportunity to take the stage and showcase their talents. On Saturday, July 16th, Theatre Raleigh presented Cool Summer Evenings Georgia Stitt and Friends, featuring singer/composer Georgia… Read More ›

Lauren Kennedy (center) doubles as Edwin Drood and Miss Alice Nutting (photo by Curtis Scott Brown)

Theatre Raleigh’s The Mystery of Edwin Drood Is a Riotous, Boisterous Entertainment

Theatre Raleigh’s Hot Summer Nights Series kicks off the summer live-theater season with a rip-snorting rendition of Rupert Holmes’ The Mystery of Edwin Drood (also known as Drood), based on Charles Dickens’ unfinished novel of the same name. The musical, for which Holmes wrote the book, music, and lyrics debuted at the August 1985 New… Read More ›

Theatre Raleigh’s The Mystery of Edwin Drood Is the Most Fun You’ll Have All Year

The Mystery of Edwin Drood is a fun, interactive show, based largely on the unfinished Charles Dickens mystery of the same name. To make it even more fun and to get audiences out in time for a late dinner, Theatre Raleigh, as the opener to its annual Hot Summer Nights series, has developed a self-proclaimed… Read More ›

Theatre Raleigh’s The Wolf is a Delightful Treat for Families

‘ There is definitely a need for more truly family-friendly theatre in the Triangle, and that doesn’t just mean shows geared towards kids. No, it means shows that are short and manageable enough for the littlest of little ones to sit through, shows with big, colorful acting that kids can enjoy. Fortunately, Theatre Raleigh has… Read More ›

The Wolf (Quincy Ellis) menaces the Three Little Pigs (lower right) (photo by Curtis Brown Photography)

The Wolf’s Amazing and Energetic Young Cast Triumphs Over a Problematic Script

Theatre Raleigh’s 2015 world-premiere dance/theater piece, The Wolf, is back, as part of the theater company’s new Family Festivities series; and it’s easy to see why this Family Festivities show has made a triumphant return. Joe Calarco’s script cleverly combines three wolf-centric fairy tales — The Boy Who Cried Wolf, The Three Little Pigs, and… Read More ›

Theatre Raleigh’s “Dreamgirls” Is a Sheer Delight!

Want an evening of top-notch entertainment? Lauren Kennedy directs the answer to your Dreams! Theatre Raleigh’s Hot Summer Nights production of Dreamgirls has excellent singing, acting, and dancing (with choreography by Abbey O’Brien), a superb set (designed by Chris Bernier), costumes to-die-for (designed by Denise Schumaker), and first-rate musical accompaniment (directed by Brian Phoebus). Plus,… Read More ›

Theatre Raleigh will stage "Dreamgirls" on July 8-12, 15-19, and 22-26 in the Kennedy Theater (photo by Curtis Brown Photography)

Rustic and Charming, “Dreamgirls” Is a Hit

Made popular again by a 2006 film of the same name, the musical Dreamgirls, which deals with the rise-to-fame of a female African-American musical act in the racially-charged climate of the 1960s, is the kind of large-scale musical that is typically put on in an equally large-scale theatre. Despite that fact, Theatre Raleigh, as part… Read More ›

"Next to Normal" stars Lauren Kennedy (left) and English Bernhardt (photo by Curtis Brown Photography)

In “Next to Normal” at NCT, Lauren Kennedy Plays a Mother Struggling with Bipolar Disorder

The North Carolina Theatre will present Next to Normal, a 2010 Pulitzer Prize-winning musical with a 2009 Tony Award ®-winning score by Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey, on in May 1-3 and 5-10 in A.J. Fletcher Opera Theater in Raleigh, NC. NCT’s latest gala revival of a recent Broadway musical will star Lauren Kennedy as… Read More ›

“Next to Normal” Opening in May

Lauren Kennedy, Charlie Pollock and Mike Schwitter lead cast of NC Theatre’s NEXT TO NORMAL opening in May RALEIGH, N.C. – North Carolina Theatre, the region’s premiere nonprofit professional regional theatre producing professional Broadway musical revivals, announces the full cast for its upcoming, Next to Normal, playing May 1 to May 10, 2015 at A.J…. Read More ›

The Theatre Raleigh Hot Summer Nights presentation of "Parade," stars Zachary Prince and Raleigh native Lauren Kennedy (photo by Curtis Brown Photography)

The Tony Award®-Winning Musical “Parade” Is a Colossal Hit for Theatre Raleigh

Imagine writing a musical about a famous miscarriage of justice in the South — a musical! Now imagine that it is searingly powerful and poignant. Theatre Raleigh’s Hot Summer Nights production of Parade is both. With book by Alfred Uhry and music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown, Parade will take your breath away with… Read More ›

Theatre Raleigh will stage "Parade," starring Lauren Kennedy and Zachary Prince, on July 9-27 in the Kennedy Theater in Raleigh

Theatre Raleigh’s “Parade” Is Flawless

Alfred Uhry’s “Parade,” onstage now as part of Theatre Raleigh’s Hot Summer Nights, tells the story of how one man’s life changed on Confederate Memorial Day in 1913. That man is Leo Frank (Zachary Prince), the Jewish supervisor of a pencil factory who feels out of place in very-Southern Marietta, Georgia. In the early scenes,… Read More ›

“Les Miserables” Is Emotionally Charged

NC Theatre’s production, directed by Dave Clemmons, proves that, despite its growing age, the musical can still emotionally captivate an audience.

“Les Misérables” C’est Manifique!

Craig Schulman, Chuck Wagner, and Raleigh native Lauren Kennedy all brilliantly reprise their Broadway roles as parole breaker-turned businessman and village mayor Jean Valjean, his implacable nemesis Inspector Javert, and Valjean’s fired former employee-turned-prostitute Fantine with a verve and vibrancy that compares favorably with the best of the various touring companies of Les Misérables that have worked their theatrical magic on the Raleigh Memorial Auditorium stage.

Lauren Kennedy will play Fantine and her daughter, Riley Campbell, with play Fantine's daughter, Young Cosette (photo by Curtis Scott Brown)

“Les Misérables” Returns to Raleigh on Feb. 11-23 with Lauren Kennedy Playing Her Role as Fantine

Broadway star Lauren Kennedy will return to her hometown of Raleigh, NC to play the fired factory worker-turned-prostitute Fantine and Kennedy’s real-life daughter, Riley Campbell, will play Fantine’s daughter Young Cosette in Broadway Series South and the North Carolina Theatre‘s gala joint production of Les Misérables, which will play Feb. 11-16 and 18-23 in Raleigh… Read More ›

“The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” Thoroughly Entertains

Theatre Raleigh and Hot Summer Nights’  The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is a smartly structured and thoroughly entertaining romp that follows six young hopefuls competing in the aforementioned Bee. The production calls for four audience members to become contestants or “guest-spellers” in the Bee, and as some longtime readers of TA&E may recall,… Read More ›

Theatre Raleigh will stage "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" on April 24-28 and May 1-5 in the Kennedy Theater in the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in Raleigh (photo by Curtis Scott Brown)

Competition Is Fierce in Theatre Raleigh’s “25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” April 24-May 5

Theatre Raleigh will kick off Hot Summer Nights’ 2013 season with a gala production of the 2005 Off-Broadway and Broadway hit musical, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, on April 24-28 and May 1-5 in the Sara Lynn and K.D. Kennedy, Jr. Theater in the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in Raleigh… Read More ›

“Oh What a Night! II” Features Songs from Shows Too Big for Hot Summer Nights | Theatre Raleigh

Hot Summer Nights | Theatre Raleigh will end its sizzling Summer of Hits with its second annual summer-season-ending musical revue, “Oh What a Night! II,” directed and choreographed by Broadway star and Raleigh native Lauren Kennedy, on Aug. 31-Sept. 2 in the A.J. Fletcher Opera Theater in the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Raleigh, NC.

Hot Summer Nights and Theatre Raleigh's July 25-29 and Aug. 1-5 production of "Race" stars (from left) Alan Campbell, Lormarev Jones, David McClutchey, and Erick Pinnick (photo by Lauren Kennedy)

David Mamet’s “Race” at HSN Explores Perceptions That Divide White America from Black America

As he proved in “Oleanna” (1992), when he skewered Political Correctness in academia, infamously profane and famously profound Chicago playwright, screenwriter, and director David Mamet is fearless when it comes time to confronting hot-button issues. He is not only unafraid to gore some of society’s sacred cows — he gleefully makes cutlets out of them. In Hot Summer Nights and Theatre Raleigh‘s eyebrow-raising presentation of “Race” (2009), Mamet explores the vast gulf in perception that still divides White America from Black America, especially when it comes to allegations of white-on-black crime.

Hot Summer Nights and Theatre Raleigh's July 25-29 and Aug. 1-5 production of "Race" stars (from left) Alan Campbell, Lormarev Jones, David McClutchey, and Erick Pinnick (photo by Lauren Kennedy)

Lauren Kennedy Will Direct Her Husband, Tony Nominee Alan Campbell, in “Race” by David Mamet

Hot Summer Nights and Theatre Raleigh are staging an eye-opening R-rated drama on a timely but thorny topic — “Race” by David Mamet — on July 25-29 and Aug. 1-5 in the K.D. & Sara Lynn Kennedy Theatre in the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Raleigh, NC. Chock-full of Mamet’s trademark profanity, “Race” frankly explores issues seldom discussed onstage.

Broadway star Lauren Kennedy stars as Eva Peron in "Evita" (photo by Curtis Brown Photography)

Don’t Cry for NCT: “Evita” Is a Dazzler

Lauren Kennedy and Ray Walker are not just 18 years older, but better — much better. Their charismatic characterizations make the North Carolina Theatre‘s home-grown production of “Evita” a must-see musical that outshines some of the touring productions that pass through the Triangle.

Broadway star Lauren Kennedy stars as Eva Peron (photo by Curtis Brown Photography)

Lauren Kennedy and Ray Walker Will Reprise Their Roles as Eva Perón and Ché Guevara in “Evita” at NCT

Lauren Kennedy and Ray Walker will reprise their roles as Argentina’s flamboyant First Lady Eva María Duarte de Perón (1919-52), a.k.a. “Evita,” and dashing Argentinean Marxist and Cuban revolutionary leader Ernesto Guevara (1928-67), a.k.a. “Ché,” in the North Carolina Theatre‘s high-octane Oct. 22-30 revival of “Evita.”

Raleigh's Lauren Kennedy stars as Violet, with Melvin Tunstall III (left) and Jason Sharp

Lauren Kennedy Sizzles in “Violet,” But Shares the Spotlight with Melvin Tunstall and Yolanda Rabun

The current Hot Summer Nights at the Kennedy production of “Violet: A New Musical” is hot, hot, hot. Raleigh native Lauren Kennedy provides much of the sizzle in this Southern-fried 1997 Off-Broadway musical comedy, and Melvin Tunstall III and Yolanda W. Rabun add pizzazz.

Raleigh's Lauren Kennedy stars as Violet

Broadway’s Lauren Kennedy Will Star in “Violet: A New Musical” at Hot Summer Nights at the Kennedy

Critically acclaimed Broadway star Lauren Kennedy will return to her hometown next week to tackle the title role in Hot Summer Nights at the Kennedy’s upcoming production of “Violet: A New Musical,” a 1997 Off-Broadway musical based on N.C. author Doris Betts’ 1973 short story “The Ugliest Pilgrim.”

Lauren Kennedy Provides the Candle-Power and Matthew-Jason Willis Creates a Setting Where She Can Shine in “Tell Me on a Sunday”

Lauren Kennedy can caress a lyric until it purrs like a six-week-old kitten or pump up the volume until her voice rattles the Kennedy Theater rafters. Indeed, her vivacious versions of “Take That Look Off Your Face,” “Unexpected Song,” and “Tell Me on a Sunday” earned lengthy applause and whoops of joy on Wednesday, during her warmly applauded hour-long opening-night performance, which ended with a fervent standing ovation for Kennedy and her effervescent accompanists: musical director Julie Florin (piano), Drew Lile (guitar), John Simonetti (bass), Les Webster (percussion), and Joan Beck (violin).