Photo by Taylor Johnson

Watch and learn: Playback Theatre creates community healing

“Let’s watch.” These words commence the evening’s performance at Playback Theatre. Actors come forward, improvising as they go to illustrate a story. Audience members will likely resonate with the unfolding tale because it is, after all, their story. Within this theatrical environment, actors and audience participate in a night of theater and storytelling that can […]

La Reina: A dream-like world-attachment0

La Reina: A dream-like world

La Reina doesn’t have a genre to contain it. The show features a collage of ancient texts and travels from Antiquity, the Golden, Classical and Dark Ages, to the Medieval and Reformation period. Using shadow puppetry, brightly-illuminated backdrops, stunning costumes, movement-theater and a live electronic soundscape, the production takes on a dream-like quality. It is as if a wild, somewhat surreal vision is playing out before the audience, and its tempo is slow and unhurried.

She said, She said: Asheville Community Theatre’s Steel Magnolias-attachment0

She said, She said: Asheville Community Theatre’s Steel Magnolias

Dramady “Steel Magnolias” was first staged in ’87. The story, about a group of women in Natchitoches, La., was written by playwright Robert Harling around the death of his sister. The local production at Asheville Community Theatre is directed by Michael Lilly and runs through Sunday, Aug. 18. Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m.. Sundays at 2:30 p.m. Mother-daughter reviewers Becky Upham and Cicely Upham discuss.

She Said, She Said: Asheville Community Theatre’s Kiss Me Kate-attachment0

She Said, She Said: Asheville Community Theatre’s Kiss Me Kate

“Kiss Me Kate” runs on Friday and Saturday evenings with a Sunday matinee through June 30th.  This Cole Porter musical opened on Broadway in 1948 and it earned the Tony for Best Musical.  The story within a story weaves together a musical production of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew with the on and off-stage relationship between Fred Graham, (played by John C. Hall) the show’s director, producer, and star, and his leading lady, his ex-wife Lilli Vanessi (played by Wendy Morrison.) Mother-daughter reviewers Becky Upham and Cicely Upham discuss the local production.

Review: Love Child-attachment0

Review: Love Child

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.

Review of Fight Girl Battle World-attachment0

Review of Fight Girl Battle World

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.

Review of Solstice-attachment0

Review of Solstice

Solstice is funny. It is tragic without somberness, moving without sentimentality. It’s squalid, but without a trace of self-pity. … It allows its characters to be fatally screwed up and sublime at once, and the list of playwrights who can do that is short indeed.