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

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Rock of Ages at Koka Booth in Cary Is Caught in Between Musical Theater and Rock Concert

It was a comfortable 72 degrees last evening in North Carolina, and I’m sliding my way to my second-row seat — Mountain Dew in one hand, funnel cake in the other. The sun set as both lawn chairs and beer cans are popped open in anticipation of a raucous night of rock music. From the… Read More ›

Glam Metal Hits from the 1980s Propel Rock of Ages into the Jukebox-Musical Stratosphere

For four high-octane outdoor performances on Sept. 7-10, Glam metal hits from the 1980s will propel Theatre Raleigh and the Koka Booth Amphitheatre’s joint presentation of the blockbuster 2005 Los Angeles, 2006 Las Vegas, 2008 Off-Broadway, 2009 Broadway, and 2011 West End jukebox musical Rock of Ages into musical stratosphere. This local production of Rock… Read More ›

Nick Petrelli and Skyla Woodard star as Dickon and Mary (photo by Alexa Rose Blazevich)

Theatre Raleigh’s The Secret Garden Is a Truly Magical Experience!

The Secret Garden is a story of love and loss, of redemption and healing. More to the point: it’s a story of magical healing. And Theatre Raleigh’s current production of this musical captures every ounce of that magic, creating a moving, uplifting experience that is not to be missed. With music by Lucy Simon and… Read More ›

1991 Tony® Winner The Secret Garden Brings Frances Hodgson Burnett’s 1911 Novel to Life

The penultimate production of Theatre Raleigh’s critically acclaimed 2017 Hot Summer Nights season is the Tony Award®-winning 1991 Broadway musical The Secret Garden, which will run Aug. 15-20 in the A.J. Fletcher Opera Theater in the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Raleigh, NC. It is based on the beloved 1911 children’s… Read More ›

The cast for "August: Osage County" includes (from left) Pamela Dunlap, Dorothy Lyman, Julie Fishell, Lauren Kennedy, and Lisa Brescia (photo by Curtis Brown Photography)

Tracy Letts’ “August: Osage County” Is a Scorcher

The current Hot Summer Nights | Theatre Raleigh production of dramatist and screenwriter Tracy Letts’ prize-winning 2007 dark comedy, “August: Osage County,” is a scorcher, with New York television soap-opera star and two-time Emmy Award® winner Dorothy Lyman generating much of the heat as Violet Weston, the irascible pill-popping matriarch of a disintegrating Oklahoma family that could put the D in dysfunctional. Violet has become addicted to pain killers while battling mouth cancer. She is physically fragile, but ferocious and determined to rage, rage against the dying of the light.

HSN | TR's cast for "August: Osage County" includes (from left) Pamela Dunlap, Dorothy Lyman, Julie Fishell, Lauren Kennedy, and Lisa Brescia (photo by Curtis Brown Photography)

Two-Time Emmy Winner Dorothy Lyman Will Star in Tracy Letts’ Dark Comedy “August: Osage County”

Two-time Emmy Award® winner Dorothy Lyman will star in Hot Summer Nights | Theatre’s Raleigh stellar production of “August: Osage County,” award-winning 47-year-old playwright and screenwriter Tracy Letts’ 2007 dark comedy about a dysfunctional Oklahoma family, on Nov. 29-Dec. 2 and Dec. 6-9. The 65-year-old Minneapolis, MN native is probably best known for her performances as Gwen Frame in “Another World” (1976-1980, 1989) and as Opal Sue Gardner in “All My Children” (1981-83).

Jonas Cohen and Lisa Jolley in "Souvenir" (photos by Adam Twiss/Keith Tew)

Jonas Cohen and Lisa Jolley Turn the Offbeat Biodrama “Souvenir” into a Night to Remember

The current Hot Summer Nights | Theatre Raleigh presentation of “Souvenir: A Fantasia on the Life of Florence Foster Jenkins” by Stephen Temperley is a real knee-slapper, starring Lisa Jolley as Jenkins and Jonas Cohen as her long-suffering and increasingly concerned piano accompanist, teacher, and friend Cosmé McMoon, who becomes more and more fearful that one day soon Mrs. J will discover that the joke is on her! But Florence Foster Jenkins is inexplicably oblivious to the smothered laughs and stifled snorts of her audiences.

Jonas Cohen and Lisa Jolley in "Souvenir" (photos by Adam Twiss and Keith Tew)

“Souvenir” Is an Affectionate Tribute to a Wealthy Would-Be Opera Singer — Who Couldn’t Sing!

Hot Summer Nights | Theatre Raleigh will stage London-born Woodstock, NY dramatist Stephen Temperley’s terrific two-hander,” “Souvenir: A Fantasia on the Life of Florence Foster Jenkins, a comedy with music starring consummate local comedienne and Broadway veteran Lisa Jolley (Hairspray) as Jenkins and New York actor Jonas Cohen as her flamboyant gay accompanist Cosmé McMoon, on Oct. 3-7 and 10-14 in Sara Lynn and K.D. Kennedy, Jr. Theater in the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Raleigh, NC.

“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.

The Hot Summer Nights and Theatre Raleigh cast for "Avenue Q" includes (from left) Yolanda W. Rabun, Jessie R. Gephardt, Erik Floor, Maya Naff and Adam Poole (photo by Lauren Kennedy )

“Avenue Q” Wins Over Raleigh Audiences

Avenue Q is a sometimes-raunchy but always-sweet musical. While Hot Summer Nights’ production nails the sweet part, it often glazes over the raunchy bits. Yes, there is a sex scene involving nude puppets, a scene that the cast enacts with gusto, but much of the show’s raunchiness is delivered in a way that softens the blow. Swear words are mumbled and vulgar actions are hidden, as if director Richard Roland had doubts about whether or not Raleigh was ready for the show.

Hot Summer Nights and Theatre Raleigh will present "Avenue Q" on Aug. 15-19 in the A.J. Fletcher Opera Theater

HSN and TR Will Present a Zany PG-13 Production of “Avenue Q” on Aug. 15-19 in Fletcher Opera Theater

Next up for Hot Summer Nights and Theatre Raleigh is a hilarious home-grown presentation of “Avenue Q” on Aug. 15-19 in the A.J. Fletcher Opera Theater in the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Raleigh, NC. The Triangle production of “Avenue Q” will employ puppets originally conceived and designed by Rick Lyon for the show’s Broadway production and national tour.

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.