Four of a Kind: Jeff Catanese shares insights on local theater scene

Jeff Catanese. Photo courtesy of the artist

Editor’s note: This is part of “Four of a Kind,” a recurring Arts & Culture feature. Each month, four new artists share their takes on the local art scene. In addition to individual online posts, you can find all four features as a single spread in this week’s print edition.

Jeff Catanese is an Asheville-based actor and director and the artistic director of Attic Salt Theatre Company.

Xpress: Is there an upcoming theater event happening in Asheville that you’re looking forward to seeing?

I’m excited to catch the latest offering of Different Strokes Performing Arts Collective: the 369 Monologue and Short Play Festival. [Performances run Thursdays-Saturdays, June 6-22, with the audience-voted Best of 369 event on Sunday, June 23.] Last year’s version was some well-done black-box theater that was funny, sad and thought-provoking, often all at once.

I’m also looking forward to heading south to see Hendersonville Theatre‘s Legally Blonde: The Musical, Thursday, July 18-Sunday, Aug. 4. It’s a show that’s been on my radar since its Broadway premiere, but I’ve never gotten the opportunity to catch it in its many regional incarnations. I also haven’t been down to Hendersonville Theatre since their current creative team took over, so I’m interested to see the work they’re doing.

Outside of theater, what other upcoming local arts happening intrigues you?

I’m hoping to make it to one of the days of Asheville Art in the Park in Pack Square. [The event’s summer edition takes place on three consecutive Saturdays: June 8, 15 and 22.] These city-sponsored festivals are such a great opportunity to see a lot of local artists’ work all at once, and it gives one such a great sense that we are a part of a very creative community.

What current project are you working on that you’re especially excited about?

I’m thrilled to be directing the extremely hilarious Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps at Asheville Community Theatre, Friday, June 21-Sunday, July 7. We have such a great script and cast, and it’s the kind of play that appeals to so many of my sensibilities: Hitchcock spy thriller done as an over-the-top farce. I can’t imagine anyone not enjoying this one.


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About Edwin Arnaudin
Edwin Arnaudin is a staff writer for Mountain Xpress. He also reviews films for and is a member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association (SEFCA) and North Carolina Film Critics Association (NCFCA). Follow me @EdwinArnaudin

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