What to See in the Triangle 2011-2012 Season

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What-to-see-in-the-Triangle-2011-2012-season-20010101

There's so much already going on this season in Triangle theater! I'm so thrilled by what I've seen so far, and I cannot wait to dive into so many more amazing productions. I can't tell you exactly what to see, but I'll let you know what I am definitely going to be seeing this year.

Plays

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Playmakers Repertory Company, Chapel Hill
November 30-December 18, 2011
Playmakers Rep got off to an amazing start this season with In the Next Room (or the Vibrator Play), which I absolutely loved. I'm delighted to see them take on this modern-day classic. I'm glad that I never had to see a drama class production of this in high school, because I want my first Albee experience to be at the hands of Playmakers Rep. After the world-shattering, mind-blowing experience I had seeing Angels in America at this theater, I'm thoroughly convinced that the Playmakers creative team is comprised of some of the best minds in theater today. I am aching to see their vision for 1963's Tony Award-winning best play.

God of Carnage
Raleigh Ensemble Players, Raleigh
January 2012
Making a bold move to produce a play shortly after a film version has been made, the Raleigh Ensemble Players will be presenting the 2009 Tony and Olivier Award-winning best play, God of Carnage, a story of a lively night of discussion between two sets of parents. I wholeheartedly believe that a live show is always better than a movie, so I'm going to skip the star-studded film and see the real thing right here in Raleigh.

Dead Man's Cell Phone
Raleigh Little Theatre, Co-Produced with the Actors Comedy Lab, Raleigh
January 2-February 5, 2012
Having just seen another Sarah Ruhl play, I'm obsessed. I find her to be one of the most compelling and talented playwrights of our time. Her ability to make humorously intelligent points about humanity is unparalleled. I'm sad to say that although I've been a resident of Raleigh for almost two years now, I've yet to visit the Raleigh Little Theatre. That's certainly going to change this January.

Henry IV and Henry V
Playmakers Repertory Company, Chapel Hill
January 28-March 4, 2012
Some of my fondest memories of adolescence involved seeing Shakespeare with my father. Needless to say, I am thrilled to see Playmakers taking on this duo of vibrant histories. I've never seen "the Henries," but I read one in high school (but, like most things from high school, I've forgotten most of it), and I'm excited to see it live. This not-so-secretly die-hard Gilmore Girls fan is also beyond thrilled to see Stars Hollow's own Taylor Doose (Michael Winters) as the iconic Falstaff.

Noises Off
Playmakers Repertory Company, Chapel Hill
April 4-22, 2012
This 1983 Tony-nominated play-within-a-play is sure to be simply delightful at the capable hands of Playmakers. I'm buying my tickets early to make sure I get a good seat to Nothing On and Noises Off.

Jude the Obscure
Burning Coal Theatre Company, Raleigh
Part I: April 12-May 5, 2012; Part II: April 19-May 5, 2012
I am in love with Burning Coal's mission statement, which states that they aim to "produce literate, visceral, affecting theatre that is experiences, not simply seen." Those words are a brilliant echo of how I felt when I first read Thomas Hardy's Jude the Obscure, from which this play is adapted. Jude the Obscure was the only book in my undergraduate British Victorian Novel class that I was actually able to finish - I could not put it down. It is, to this day, my favorite book. Hardy's words are the "visceral" and "affecting" type that Burning Coal strives for. According to an undergrad professor of mine, after Hardy published the book, people reacted so strongly that he didn't write another novel for the rest of his life. Don't expect a feel-good story. But please prepare yourself for a "feel-real" story - if such a thing exists, Jude the Obscure is it, and I am counting the days to April when I get to see this text come to life on stage.

Musicals

Man of La Mancha
Burning Coal Theatre Company, Raleigh
February 2-19, 2012
This classic novel turned award-winning musical is resurfacing in Raleigh at the hands of the Burning Coal Theatre Company. It's been on Broadway five times for a reason - it's a memorable show that you're not going to want to miss.

The Boy Friend
Raleigh Little Theatre, Raleigh
June 8-24, 2012
I'm excited to check out this 1954 musical set in a "School for Young Ladies." This throw-back to a different time is sure to have lively dance numbers and enjoyable songs. This show has an interesting history, including Julie Andrews's American stage debut.

National Tours

John Tartaglia's Imaginocean
The Carolina Theatre, Durham
November 15, 2011
On a trip to NYC in May, my mom and I saw Imaginocean, and we were the only adults in the room who were not accompanying young children. We had such a good time, and so did the children in the audience. A show that is sure to delight the youngest audiences, and which is still a fun theatre experience for those who may only be young at heart, Imaginocean uses visually stunning blacklight puppetry to tell the story of three fish on the adventure of a lifetime. If you have kids, or even if you don't, this is a must-see, one-night-only evening of musical puppetry.

Memphis
Durham Performing Arts Center, Durham
January 24-29, 2012
It's a no-brainer. When the first national tour of the 2010 Tony-Award winning best musical rolls into town, you buy tickets. I am a huge fan of Memphis - the music is the kind that makes your soul soar, the dancing is fantastic, and the story is touching (and real!). Don't miss it.

American Idiot
January 31-February 5, 2012
Raleigh Memorial Auditorium, Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts, Raleigh
I've already got my tickets to see this groundbreaking rock musical from Green Day. The cast is sure to contain the next generation of musical theater stars, and the music is familiar. If you have friends who are skeptical about musical theater being cool and relevant, take them to see this one.

Les Misérables
Raleigh Memorial Auditorium, Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts, Raleigh
February 14-19, 2012
I just saw this production in Washington, DC, and I'm going to be seeing it again when it hits Raleigh. This is the 25th anniversary of this iconic Tony-winning musical. The sets have been re-imagined based on the paintings of Victor Hugo, and the orchestrations have been updated to capture the ears and hearts of a new generation. The cast is stellar, and the show is just as fantastic as you remember.

Bring It On
Durham Performing Arts Center, Durham
April 17-22, 2012
When I first heard that Bring It On was being adapted into a musical, I was skeptical. But after I heard that Lin-Manuel Miranda was involved, I was immediately on board. The talented Tony-winning composer/lyricist, actor, and all-around awesome dude can do no wrong in my book, and I absolutely cannot wait to see what beats he's mixed up for this musical set in the cutthroat world of competitive cheerleading.

 

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Larisa Mount Larisa has been a Broadway fan since before she can remember. When she's not teaching kindergarten, she's seeing every show possible! Her three favorite shows are Hair, Spring Awakening, and In the Heights.


 
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