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Tag: theatre in the park

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 ›

Dale Wolf and Caitlin Wells appear in the ensemble of "Orlando," a co-production of The Delta Boys and Manbites Dog.

Bartlett, Manbites Dog, and Ward Theatre Companies Top Dustin K. Britt’s “Best Of 2017” List

Now in its second year, Dustin K. Britt’s “Britt Picks Live” is an overview of the best in triangle theatre. Presented via Facebook Live, Britt announced his picks on Sunday night after nearly 60 published reviews in 2017. A recording of the broadcast can be found HERE. The discussion will continue alongside other triangle arts… Read More ›

Barbara Field’s Playing with Fire (After Frankenstein) at TIP Is a Hot One

Barbara Field’s Playing with Fire (After Frankenstein) belongs to the literary category that I refer to as the “But What Happened Next?” genre. Many such works can be tedious and unsatisfying, but this one is very interesting. Indeed, it was quite fun to watch the Sept. 22nd opening-night performance of Theatre in the Park’s production,… Read More ›

Theatre in the Park’s Glorious! Gets Lots of Laughs, But Suffers from a Mediocre Script and Arrhythmic Direction

There are two ways to get noticed on the Internet. Option 1: Be very, very good at something. Option 2: Be very, very bad at something. William Hung’s 2004 American Idol audition garnered 6 million YouTube views thanks to Option 2. His off-key rendition of Ricky Martin’s “She Bangs” is infamous for being unashamedly abysmal… Read More ›

Hazel S. Edmond, Byron Jennings II, and Ira David Wood IV star in Theatre in the Park's world premiere of Adrienne Earle Pender's N

Adrienne Earle Pender’s N Is Tight and Electric, Another Must-See Production at TIP

Who owns the character — the actor or the playwright? Adrienne Earle Pender’s world premiere of N, now playing at Raleigh, NC’s Theatre in the Park, asks that very question. The play looks at the relationship between playwright Eugene O’Neill and actor Charles Sidney Gilpin in 1920, as they mount O’Neill’s first box office hit,… Read More ›

Hazel S. Edmond, Byron Jennings II, and Ira David Wood IV star in Theatre in the Park's world premiere of Adrienne Earle Pender's N

Art, Ego, and the Weight of a Word: N Is an Important Play at a Pivotal Time

Adrienne Earle Pender’s new play N, playing Feb. 10-26 at Raleigh’s Theatre in the Park, is powerful treatise on art, ego, and how the weight of a single word can crush the human soul. N is the story of Charles Sidney Gilpin, one of the most acclaimed black actors of the 1920’s and his volatile… 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 ›

The outrageous antics of David Wood 9right) as Charles Dickens' misanthropic miser Ebenezer Scrooge have TIP audiences rolling inn the aisles

Ira David Wood III’s Christmas Carol Is the Gift That You Unwrap First

Theatre in the Park executive and artistic director Ira David Wood III delivers a sumptuous gift to Triangle theatergoers in this year’s presentation of A Christmas Carol, which runs Dec. 7-11 in Raleigh Memorial Auditorium and Dec. 15-18 at the Durham Performing Arts Center. Wood’s production is a feast for the senses. Mark Pirolo’s set,… Read More ›

Theatre in the Park will stage Del Shores' Southern Baptist Sissies Sept. 22-25 in the Ira David Wood III Pullen Park Theatre in Raleigh

TIP’s Southern Baptist Sissies Stimulates Plenty of Laughter, Thought, and Feeling

What’s it like to be part of a society that teaches you to hate and reject yourself? You don’t have to be gay to experience this kind of cognitive dissonance. Likewise, you don’t have to be part of a society that is Baptist or even “Southern.” We all experience conflicting pushes and pulls in our… Read More ›

Theatre in the Park's Sept. 22-25 presentation of Del Shores' Southern Baptist Sissies stars (from left) Benoit Sabourin, Thomas Porter, Edward Freeman, and Brent Blakesley (photo by Stephen J. Larson)

Southern Baptist Sissies Provides a Witty, Cathartic Ending for TIP’s Three-Week Run

A mere two weeks ago, Theatre in the Park began its presentation of a trio of plays: Sam Shepard’s True West, which ran Sept. 8-11; John Cariani’s Almost, Maine, which ran Sept. 15-18; and Del Shores’ Southern Baptist Sissies, which runs tonight through Sunday, Sept. 25th. (Please click here to read my reviews of True… Read More ›

Page Purgar and Brian Yandle star in Almost, Maine (photo by Stephen J. Larson)

Almost, Maine at Theatre in the Park Offers Wry Humor, Comedy, Pathos, Drama, and Love

Theatre in the Park is presenting three “plays in repertory,” which in fact is not what that term usually means; but three shows in a row during the month of September are True West by Sam Shepard, which ran Sept. 8-11, Almost, Maine by John Cariani, which is running Sept. 15th through the 18th, and… Read More ›

Brian Yandle (left) and Byron Jennings II star in Almost, Maine (photo by Stephen J. Larson)

Theatre in the Park’s Almost, Maine Is a Delightful Production of a Dreadful Play

Staging three fully-produced plays in three weeks in the same space is an impressive undertaking, especially if the plays are done well. Last week, Theatre in the Park of Raleigh, NC began its presentation of a trio of contemporary plays: Sam Shepard’s True West, which ran Sept. 8-11; John Cariani’s Almost, Maine, which will run… 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 ›

Theatre in the Park's presentation of Hair is completely sold out (photo by Curtis Brown Photography)

Theatre in the Park’s Sold-Out Production of Hair Reaches Across Generations

A time of racial strife, a seemingly unending and unpopular war, a contentious political election, a general feeling of doom. Sound familiar? We could say those words described America last week or last month or 10 years ago. Those words also described an equally confused and divided America back in 1967, when Hair debuted Off-Broadway…. Read More ›

Lydia Kinton and TIP's cast for Hair let the sun shine in (photo by Curtis Brown Photography)

Theatre in the Park’s Hair Lets All the Sunshine In

In the spring of 1968, on Manhattan’s West 47th Street, a musical opened on Broadway that would become legendary in the world of theater for decades afterwards. Hair (subtitled The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical) is an autobiographical musical with book and lyrics by James Rado and Gerome Ragni and a score by Galt MacDermot. Hair… Read More ›

Zero Headspace at Theatre in the Park: The Writing Is Top-Notch, and the Actors Bring Their A-Games

One weekend. A dozen comedians. A dozen scripts. Kernels of brilliance. Belly laughs. Groans. Stand-up comedy. More, please! Last night, Theatre in the Park unveiled Zero Headspace, a brand-new sketch-comedy troupe, under the direction of Ira David Wood IV. Kevin Darbro, Preston Campbell, Kat Lanier Froehlich, Patrick Whalen, Philip Kruh, Shane Smith, Robert Angelo, Natalie… Read More ›

Diana Cameron McQueen (left) and Sandi Sullivan star as Louise Maske and Gertrude Deuter (photo by Stephen J. Larson)

The Underpants at Raleigh’s Theatre in the Park Is a Barrel of Laughs, from Beginning to End

According to one dictionary, a farce is: “a comic dramatic work using buffoonery and horseplay and typically including crude characterization and ludicrously improbable situations,” and the Theatre in the Park production of The Underpants, originally written in 1911 by Carl Sternheim and adapted in 2002 by Steve Martin, is certainly farcical. The premise — which… Read More ›

TIP’s Production of Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” Is Masterfully Staged: Light, Dark, and Sexy!

We find it fun to see a familiar story retold. Likewise, it’s fun to see old “friends” with new, yet familiar faces. If you agree, check out Theatre in the Park’s Dracula. You won’t be disappointed. Ira David Wood III masterly directs his own adaptation of Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel. This production is light enough… Read More ›

“Equivocation” Is a Riveting, Entertaining Lesson in History, Politics, Theater, Family … and Truth

Is art always political? Is it always didactic? Does it always hold the “mirror up to nature”? Bill Cain’s Equivocation explores multiple aspects of creating a timeless theatrical masterpiece (while becoming such a masterpiece itself). A brief Cliff’s Note of the play: “William Shagspeare” is commissioned by Sir Robert Cecil to write a play: The… Read More ›

“Regrets Only” Is Mildly Funny But Easily Forgettable

Paul Rudnick’s Regrets Only is set in high-powered Manhattan and focuses in on an array of shallowly developed characters. There’s Jack (Michael Brocki), a big-time attorney, his wife Tibby (Lynda Clark), and their soon-to-be-married daughter Spencer (Lori Ingle Taylor), as well as long-time friend and fashion designer Hank (Rick Meadows) and a saucy maid named… Read More ›

“Black Pearl Sings!” Deftly Explores Origins of Song and Self

Black Pearl Sings!, onstage now at Theatre in the Park, is a heavily fictionalized account of the work of ethnomusicologists John and Alan Lomax, who worked tirelessly to collect songs from the past for the Library of Congress. Representing the Lomaxes in female form is the beautifully developed character of Susannah, portrayed by Lynda Clark,… 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 ›

Chris Milner, Page Purgar, and Brenda Lo star in "Somewhere In Between"

Strong Cast Can’t Save Pender’s Non-Compelling Script

What, exactly, is love? How do the ways in which we perceive others interact with our definitions of love? These are questions explored by Adrienne Earle Pender’s “Somewhere in Between,” onstage now at Theatre in the Park. Pender’s story, directed by Maggie Rasnick, attempts to answer these queries through a close examination of McKenna Hahn… Read More ›

Theatre in the Park of Raleigh will present "The Coarse Acting Show" on July 17-20 and 25-27 in the Ira David Wood III Pullen Park Theatre

TIP’s “The Coarse Acting Show” Is a Little Too Heavy on the Coarse

Michael Green’s “The Coarse Acting Show,” onstage now at Theatre in the Park, invites viewers to sit back and watch a collection of four one act plays, all performed by the fictional “South Hampton Institute of Theatre.” The catch is that this theatre troupe isn’t exactly as…gifted…as one would hope. Not only is the acting… Read More ›

Theatre in the Park’s “Pageant” Is Positively Perfect

Anyone who has sat through an actual beauty pageant knows that they can be long, arduous, and just not very interesting. The complete opposite is true of Theatre in the Park’s production of Pageant, directed by Ira David Wood IV. This pageant is everything you always wanted a pageant to be, plus “that something extra.”… Read More ›

The Theatre in the Park cast for "Psycho Beach Party," directed by Ira David Wood IV, includes (from left) Preston Campbell, Katie Bottomley, and Joe Kessler (photo by Stephen J. Larson)

Theatre in the Park Serves Up the Perfect Summer Show

Theatre in the Park’s “Psycho Beach Party” is set on a beach in Malibu in the early 60s, but viewers expecting a sweet little love story or something equally tame are in for a surprise. While “Psycho Beach Party” plays off of retro beach-blanket movies, it puts a whole new spin on the genre by… Read More ›

TIP executive and artistic director Ira David Wood III stars as heroic smalltown attorney Atticus Finch and directs "To Kill a Mockingbird"

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: David Wood Responds to Susie Potter’s TAE Review of “To Kill a Mockingbird”

Dear Susie, Thank you so much for your kind words about our current production of To Kill a Mockingbird. It’s an honor to share the stage with such a talented cast, backed up by such an incredible production crew. I couldn’t help but smile, though, at your reference to the eyeglasses slipping as being accidental…. Read More ›

Theatre In the Park’s “The Pillowman” Invites Audiences to Get Wonderfully Uncomfortable

  Theatre in the Park’s “The Pillowman” wastes no time diving into its incredibly tense first act. Viewers are introduced to Katurian (Ira David Wood IV), a largely unsuccessful writer of dark short stories, most of which feature brutal child killings. He finds himself being interrogated by two violent cops, the unstable but strangely kindhearted… Read More ›