The PlayMakers Repertory Company of Chapel Hill and the North Carolina Symphony of Raleigh will present a joint production of English playwright Peter Shaffer’s heavily fictionalized 1979 stage play, Amadeus, starring “Ugly Betty” actor Michael Urie as Austrian composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-91) and PlayMakers mainstay and arguably the Triangle’s finest actor Ray Dooley as Mozart’s “friend” and rival, Italian composer Antonio Salieri (1750-1825), on Dec. 3-5 in Meymandi Concert Hall in the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Raleigh, NC.
According to the North Carolina Symphony:
“Sir Peter Shaffer’s beloved play Amadeus is the foundation for a one-of-a-kind hybrid of music and theater that will receive its only three performances this December in Raleigh. Actors Ray Dooley and Michael Urie (‘Ugly Betty’) star in the first-ever collaboration between the North Carolina Symphony and PlayMakers Repertory Company, bringing music’s most famous prodigy to life on the concert hall stage.
“This unique collaboration between two of the Triangle’s premier arts organizations takes place at Meymandi Concert Hall in downtown Raleigh’s Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts ….
“With the full North Carolina Symphony, led by music director Grant Llewellyn on stage, Ray Dooley plays Austrian court composer Antonio Salieri, Mozart’s scheming musical rival, along with other PlayMakers favorites returning from the cast of the hit 2007-08 season production. Making a special appearance as the Emperor will be PlayMakers‘ own producing artistic director Joseph Haj, who is also directing the action. Television, film, and theater actor Michael Urie stars in the title role. This original adaptation includes full costuming, props, and all the key scenes from PlayMakers‘ staging of the Tony Award®-winning play.
“‘To collaborate with Grant Llewellyn and his extraordinary colleagues at the North Carolina Symphony is a rare gift, both for our organization and our community,’ says Haj. ‘I am thrilled to direct and act in a production with this company and to share the stage with Maestro Llewellyn.’
“‘We’re overjoyed to be working with PlayMakers on this innovative and inspiring project,’ adds Symphony vice president for artistic operations and general manager Scott Freck. ‘To work closely with Joseph Haj and the entire PlayMakers team for these past months has been an incredible privilege. By coming together to break new ground, our audience members will gain insight not otherwise possible in a single-discipline performance.”
“These concerts are the second entries in the Symphony’s ‘Composer Portraits’ series, which allows concertgoers the chance to go deeper than they ever have into the work of classical music vanguards. Audience members can also take home the limited edition Composer Portraits book and poster. Visit the Symphony’s ‘Explore the Score’ page (http://www.ncsymphony.org/explorethescore/) to learn about all the special packages available during this innovative program.
SECOND OPINION: Dec. 4th Durham, NC Independent Weekly review by Zach Smith (who awarded the show 4 of 5 stars): http://www.indyweek.com/artery/archives/2010/12/04/amadeus-at-meymandi-powerful-music-transcends-technical-issues; and Dec. 4th Raleigh, NC News & Observer review by Roy C. Dicks: http://www.newsobserver.com/2010/12/04/843011/playmakers-nc-symphony-strike.html and Nov. 28th preview by Rebecca J. Ritzel: http://www.newsobserver.com/2010/11/28/827869/playmakers-amadeus-comes-alive.html.
PlayMakers Repertory Company and the North Carolina Symphony present AMADEUS, starring Michael Urie and Ray Dooley, at 8 p.m. Dec. 3 and 4 and 3 p.m. Dec. 5 in Meymandi Concert Hall in the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts, 2 E. South St., Raleigh, North Carolina 27601.
BOX OFFICE: North Carolina Symphony: 877/627-6724 or 919/733-2750. Ticketmaster: 800/745-3000, 919/834-4000, or http://www.ticketmaster.com/venueartist/115204/804126. SHOW: http://playmakersrep.org/performances/event.aspx?id=98aa40bf-6e39-4a96-990f-b7b2fd47af24 and http://www.ncsymphony.org/events/index.cfm?view=details&viewref=calendar&detailid=806&eid=1319.
PRESENTERS: PlayMakers Repertory Company: http://www.playmakersrep.org/. North Carolina Symphony: http://www.ncsymphony.org/. VENUE: http://www.progressenergycenter.com/page.php?mode=privateview&pageID=23.
NOTE 1: At 6:30 p.m. Dec. 3rd, there will be a Meet-the-Artists pre-concert event in the West Pavilion lobby. Immediately following the concert, there will be a post-concert question-and-answer session in the orchestra level.
NOTE: 2: There will be pre-concert talks at 7 p.m. on Dec. 4 and 2 p.m. on Dec. 5th, both in the West Pavilion lobby, and post-concert Q&A sessions immediately following the concert in the orchestra level.
The Play: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amadeus (Wikipedia).
The Playwright: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Shaffer (Wikipedia).
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolfgang_Amadeus_Mozart (Wikipedia).
Antonio Salieri: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antonio_Salieri (Wikipedia).
Michael Urie: http://michaelurie.net/home/ (official website) and http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1235530/ (Internet Movie Database).
Ray Dooley: http://playmakersrep.org/aboutus/artist.aspx?id=8af68993-6769-49d2-a611-58e367e5526f (PlayMakers Repertory Company).
Grant Llewellyn: http://www.ncsymphony.org/about/index.cfm?subsec=people&peoplecat=staff (North Carolina Symphony).
Joseph Haj: http://www.playmakersrep.org/aboutus/artist.aspx?id=69bcb020-c4f9-4507-a976-dc964c388637 (PlayMakers Repertory Company).
Robert W. McDowell is editor and publisher of Triangle Theater Review, a FREE weekly e-mail theatrical newsletter that provides more comprehensive, in-depth coverage of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill theater than all of the other news media combined. This review is reprinted with permission from Triangle Theater Review.
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