Another year of great local theater has come to an end, and 2016 proved to be exceptional for audiences who love an evening’s entertainment at one of the many great playhouses and experimental spaces throughout Western North Carolina.
“It’s [Rash’s] material,” Smith says. “What I take the most credit for is knowing good material when I find it.”
Magical comedian Chris Collins and mentalist Erik Dobell recently teamed up to combine their talents into one astonishing show. The result, Impossibilities: An Evening of Magic, Mind Reading and Mayhem, comes to N.C. Stage Company for three nights — Friday, Sept. 4 to Sunday, Sept. 6.
Don’t believe all that can be accomplished by one actor, some able directing and a sensational set? Then what you must do is come see this R. Buckminster Fuller, early, so there is time to come back and see it again.
It’s a one-hour, one-man show that pays tribute to the great folk singer Woody Guthrie, at the same time as endearing his story, music and motivation to a contemporary audience.
Plays about life in the theater can feel a little cliché — the easy image of the play-within-the-play dating back to Shakespeare, and beyond. For an audience of non-actors, such storylines can be a little too self-absorbed to be relatable. Fortunately that’s not the case with Love Child, now at N.C. Stage.
The fast-paced if somewhat chaotic action features bizarre aliens, cool ray guns, girls in tight outfits, a loquacious robot, spaceships and fire-fights, a Chinese dragon ride across a desert planet, an intergalactic zookeeper, copious pseudo kung-fu and/or quasi ninja shenanigans, puppetry so bad it’s good, and an implement of “enhanced interrogation” I’ll call a tickle drill.
Angels in America Part II: Perestroika is crazy in the head. If you happen upon it without having experienced Part I: Millennium Approaches, you might wonder if you’ve just lost your mind, or if the world is going mad. Then again, that seems to also be the position of many of the show’s characters. At least you won’t be alone.
The play won writer Tony Kushner a well-deserved Pulitzer, so it goes almost without saying that the script could be poorly acted or just straight-up read, and still come off as an arresting, emotional quest for truth. But, it’s a treat to see it so well-acted and well-produced as it is here at N.C. Stage.
Michael Sheldon’s presence in character alternates between a stumble and a swagger — some kickass combination of Cher and Johnny Rotten. Despite his years performing in drag, his Hedwig doesn’t come off like a drag queen so much as … well, a bitter old German lady whose sex-change operation went awry.
Otherwise, Hans Meyer’s direction reveals an admirable clarity and restraint that allow his actors to do the work the play requires. The staging is remarkably streamlined and well-integrated, with none of the directorial caprice one sees all too often scrambling a play’s signal.
If you have recurring nightmares involving venomous serpents, Rattlesnake is a show you would do well to avoid. Or perhaps a direct confrontation with your primal fears would be therapeutic?
It’s the 1660s and the silly Restoration has been interrupted by the Plague. A wealthy London family is sealed up in their house by the authorities because their servants have died laden with “tokens” of the scourge, and the nailing up of the windows and the guarding of the doors of afflicted households were all they knew to slow the mysterious progress of the disease.
Our own Ursula Gullow has a new show up at N.C. Stage.
Dark Horse Theatre’s most recent show pulls from three of the more recognizable tales, setting the action in a decidedly more grown-up atmosphere of gossip, gambling and happily-ever-never.
The play sates demand for three classic forms of naughtiness: Girls in Miniskirts, Girls in Their Underwear and Girls Appearing at Exactly the Wrong Time in Either Their Underwear or a Miniskirt.
If you like your Christmas fare retro, radio-oriented and polished, George Bailey’s catharsis awaits, familiar and new all at the same time and doused in good will and cheer.
There are few greater theatre-going pleasures than coming to grips with one of the handful of theatrical masterworks any given culture manages to create.
The Redundant Theatre Company Theatre takes chances with the current show, based on the lives of Italian immigrant anarchists Sacco and Vanzetti. Do they succeed?
If the recent news of ecological catastrophe in the Gulf, or (closer to home) vandalism and hate crimes in Our Fair City have got you feeling a little down, take my advice: Give N.C. Stage a buzz and reserve a ticket for What the Butler Saw, the near-perfect farce by British playwright Joe Orton currently running at the little theatre on Stage Lane.
The play is good entertainment, full of comic quirks and flights of fancy, and yet it also feels intelligent and profound. If that profundity turns out to be less real than imagined, well, you can’t expect to have your lobster bisque and eat it too.