Playbill Picks: Upcoming local theater highlights

SPOOKY SELECTIONS: Xpress takes a look at upcoming local theater productions. Photo by iStock

If you’re a fan of local theater, Western North Carolina offers plenty of options. Below are some highlights of productions hitting various stages across the region.

There will be blood

Here’s a first: The Magnetic Theatre’s The Splatter Play, which runs Friday, Oct. 6-Saturday, Oct. 21, involves so much fake blood sprayed in various directions that attendees will either need to bring their own ponchos or purchase one at the box office — seriously. Katie Jones, the theater’s co-artistic director, refers to the horror/comedy as “a punny, outrageous good time,” and one of the few spooky season productions to feature puppets.

“This is a show that is going to be an experience,” adds playwright Abby Auman. “The idea is for you to step away with a genuine lifetime memory that is worth telling at dinner parties. And let me tell you, everyone at the dinner party is going to think you’re very cool.”

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Rabbit hole horror

More eerie fun awaits under the open sky in the world premiere of Wonderland Legacies: Alice’s Adventures in Murderland, produced by Montford Park Players at the Hazel Robinson Amphitheatre, Friday, Oct. 6-Saturday, Oct. 28. Playwright Will Storrs’ adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s source material finds Alice Liddle attempting to save her native Wonderland after returning home and finding it transformed into a violent, unrecognizable wasteland.

Alice’s Adventures in Murderland is a dark and twisted tale full of neon lights, sporadic romances and witticisms that cut deeper than any blade,” Storrs says.

No poncho necessary (except in the event of rain).

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A Mel Brooks comedy classic

Following in the footsteps of The Producers, Mel BrooksYoung Frankenstein continues the tradition of the writer/director’s beloved comedies making their way to the world of musical theater. The hilarious tale of Frederick Frankenstein (pronounced “Fronk-en-steen”) trying like hell not to repeat the mistakes of his Transylvanian grandfather, Victor, heads to Hendersonville Theatre for shows running Friday, Oct. 13-Sunday, Oct. 29.

“Young Frankenstein appeals to people not only for the madcap slapstick and dad-worthy puns but also for the ability to take B-movie horror character stereotypes and make us love them instead of dismissing them,” says director Elizabeth DeVault. “It gives the mad scientist a weirdly charming sense of heart.”

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Women in harmony at HART

Not in the mood for anything resembling horror? Haywood Arts Regional Theatre in Waynesville is here to serve with Good Ol’ Girls, which opened Sept. 22 and runs through Sunday, Oct. 8.

Director Shelia Sumpter describes the musical as “a tapestry woven with the stories, laughter, tears and triumphs of women who have navigated the complex landscapes of life with grace, wit and determination.” Set against the backdrop of a tightknit Southern community, the show is, according to Sumpter, a celebration of female friendships that defy time, distance and adversity.

Good Ol’ Girls is more than a performance — it’s an invitation to be part of an extended family where you’ll laugh, cry and ultimately leave with your heart fuller and your spirit uplifted,”
 she says. “Join us as we celebrate the enduring bonds of sisterhood, the magic of Southern traditions and the wisdom that can only be gained through a life well-lived.”

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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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