Spring onstage

Mondy Carter and Tom Chalmers star in Greater Tuna as part of The Front Porch Theatre at Black Mountain Center for the Arts' programming. Photo courtesy of the Arts Center

Asheville’s theater season heats up

Provocative works and cutting-edge performance collectives are still making their presence felt — and in fact, the arrival of longer days and warmer temps means dramatic offerings can now be presented outdoors. For more local theater, check out our calendar and mountainx.com.

Flat Rock Playhouse’s season continues at a breathless pace. Neil Simon’s comedy Laughter on the 23rd Floor runs through Saturday, April 19, nightly at 8. That production will be followed by The Fantasticks (a musical about two fathers who trick their children into falling in love), April 17-May 11; Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (Chekhov characters set in modern-day Pennsylvania), May 8-25; and The Last Five Years (a contemporary musical about love and marriage), May 29-June 22. Shows take place at 2661 Greenville Highway in Flat Rock and at 125 S. Main St. in Hendersonville. flatrockplayhouse.org

The Magnetic Theatre produces Julian Vorus’s play The Bog, which sold out during previous runs. It’s “a haunting, emotionally rich, strangely comic drama about three very different men who meet by accident on a bog island and, step by step, discover how much they have in common — with unexpected, life-changing results,” according to a press release. The play stars Darren Marshall, Sean David Robinson and Glenn Reed, and is directed by Steven Samuels. Shows are held at The BeBe Theatre (20 Commerce St.) Friday and Saturday, April 18 and 19; and Thursday-Saturday, April 24-26, at 7:30 nightly. themagneticfield.com

Asheville Community Theatre’s Mainstage Season continues with two comedies and one thought-provoking tale. Dearly Departed, onstage through Sunday, April 27, is a Southern-fried romp through the wacky Turpin family’s misfortunes. The Monty Python-inspired musical Spamalot runs June 6-29, and the season concludes with Driving Miss Daisy, the story of an unlikely but long-running Deep South friendship, Aug. 1-17. All shows are presented Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., Sundays 2:30 p.m., at 35 E. Walnut St. ashevilletheatre.org

A-B Tech Drama Club announces its 20th and final production, after which the community college’s drama program will be discontinued. Like true stars, club members are drawing the curtain in style with a run of Unnecessary Farce. The Paul Slade Smith comedy is set in a hotel room at the Grand Pines Inn. An embezzling mayor is supposed to be meeting with his female accountant, while two undercover cops wait in an adjacent room to catch the meeting on videotape. But wires are crossed, identities are confused, and assorted high jinks ensue. Shows will be held in Ferguson Auditorium on the A-B Tech campus (340 Victoria Road in Asheville) April 24-May 4. Thursdays-Saturdays 7:30 p.m.; Sundays at 2:30 p.m. abtech.edu

Different Strokes! Performing Arts Collective is a nonprofit that aims to present “works which confront issues of social diversity in a provocative way, and by providing opportunities for audiences to explore visions of our diverse world.” The group will stage Stop Kiss, by Diana Son, at The BeBe Theater (20 Commerce St.). Two women both with boyfriends become friends and through “their shared experiences and sense of humor they come to understand more of who they are. Spotted in a park late at night during their first kiss, Callie and Sara are singled out, mocked and assaulted,” says press for the show. Thursday-Saturday, May 1-17, at 7:30 p.m. The season also includes Sisters, Aug. 7-23.  differentstrokesavl.com

Montford Park Players kick off their outdoor season at the Hazel Robinson Ampitheatre (92 Gay St.) with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. Tom Stoppard’s absurdist tragicomedy, first performed at the 1966 Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, follows the adventures of two minor characters in Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Performances run Thursday-Sunday, May 8-31, at 7:30 p.m. The season will also include Henry V, June 6-28; Tartuffe, July 4-26; and The Taming of the Shrew, Aug. 1-23, among others. montfordparkplayers.org

N.C. Stage Company’s Mainstage Series may have concluded for the season, but the theater (15 Stage Lane) continues its lineup of boundary-pushing productions. In A Conversation with Edith Head, the legendary Oscar-winning costume designer tells all. The play runs Wednesday-Sunday, May 14-June 8, at 7:30 p.m. ncstage.org

The Front Porch Theatre at Black Mountain Center for the Arts (225 W. State St., Black Mountain) will present Greater Tuna, starring Mondy Carter and Tom Chalmers. In this “tour de force … the two actors depict the 20 different characters — men, women, children and animals — who make up this hilarious comedy about Texas’ third smallest town.” Thursday-Saturday, May 15-17 and 22-24, at 7:30 p.m. blackmountainarts.org  — A.M.

About Alli Marshall
Alli Marshall is the arts section editor at Mountain Xpress. She's lived in Asheville for more than 20 years and loves live music, visual art, fiction and friendly dogs. Alli is the winner of the 2016 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize and the author of the novel "How to Talk to Rockstars," published by Logosophia Books. Follow me @alli_marshall

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