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BWW Reviews: JERSEY BOYS National Tour at Durham Performing Arts Center Review BWW Reviews: JERSEY BOYS National Tour at Durham Performing Arts Center
by Jeffrey Karasarides - April 08, 2015

Set in the 1960's, Jersey Boys is presented in a documentary-style format that dramatizes the formation, success and eventual breakup of The Four Seasons. The musical is structured as four 'seasons', where each member of the group narrates giving their own perspective on the story. (more...)


BWW Reviews: KINKY BOOTS National Tour at Durham Performing Arts Center Review BWW Reviews: KINKY BOOTS National Tour at Durham Performing Arts Center
by Jeffrey Karasarides - March 12, 2015

Based on the 2005 British independent film of the same name which was inspired by a true story, this musical tells the story of Charlie Price, who inherits a shoe factory from his father. To save the business, Charlie forms an unlikely partnership with cabaret performer and drag queen, Lola. With Lola's help, Charlie develops a plan to produce a line of high-heeled boots. In the process, he and Lola discover that they are not so different after all. (more...)


BWW Reviews: PETER & THE STARCATCHER National Tour at North Carolina Theatre Review BWW Reviews: PETER & THE STARCATCHER National Tour at North Carolina Theatre
by Jeffrey Karasarides - March 11, 2015

Based on the novel Peter & the Starcatchers by Dave Barry & Ridley Pearson, this play features a company of twelve actors play more than a hundred unforgettable characters, all on a journey to answer the century-old question: How did Peter Pan become The Boy Who Never Grew Up? (more...)


BWW Reviews: MOTOWN: THE MUSICAL National Tour at Durham Performing Arts Center Review BWW Reviews: MOTOWN: THE MUSICAL National Tour at Durham Performing Arts Center
by Jeffrey Karasarides - February 19, 2015

Based on Berry Gordy's 1994 autobiography To Be Loved: The Music, the Magic, the Memories of Motown, this musical tells the true story behind Mr. Gordy's founding and running of the Motown record label, and his personal and professional relationships with Motown artists such as Diana Ross, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye, and Michael Jackson. The music and lyrics for the musical are taken from selections from the Motown catalog. (more...)


BWW Reviews: North Carolina Theatre's BILLY ELLIOT THE MUSICAL Review BWW Reviews: North Carolina Theatre's BILLY ELLIOT THE MUSICAL
by Jeffrey Karasarides - February 11, 2015

Based on the 2000 British independent film directed by Stephen Daldry, this musical tells the story of Billy Elliot, a young English kid who trades boxing gloves for ballet shoes. His personal struggle and fulfillment is balanced against a counter-story of family and community strife caused by the UK miners' strike in County Durham, in North Eastern England. (more...)


BWW Reviews: NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT National Tour at North Carolina Theatre Review BWW Reviews: NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT National Tour at North Carolina Theatre
by Jeffrey Karasarides - January 21, 2015

Based on material previously written by Guy Bolton and P.G. Wodehouse, featuring a catalog of many recognizable songs by George and Ira Gershwin, Nice Work If You Can Get It tells the story of wealthy playboy Jimmy Winter, who meets rough female bootlegger Billie Bendix on the weekend of his wedding. Jimmy, who had been married three times before, is preparing to marry Eileen Evergreen, a self-obsessed modern dancer. Thinking that Jimmy and Eileen wouldl be out of town, Billie and her gang hide cases of alcohol in the basement of Jimmy's Long Island mansion. But when Jimmy, his wife-to-be and her prohibitionist family show up at the mansion for the wedding, Billie and her cohorts pose as servants, causing hijinks galore. (more...)


BWW Reviews: WICKED National Tour at Durham Performing Arts Center Review BWW Reviews: WICKED National Tour at Durham Performing Arts Center
by Jeffrey Karasarides - January 09, 2015

Based on the Gregory Maguire novel titled Wicked: The Life & Times of The Wicked Witch of the West, this musical tells the story of The Wizard of Oz from the witches' perspective long before Dorothy dropped in. Wicked tells the story of two unlikely friends, Elphaba (the Wicked Witch of the West) and Glinda the Good, who struggle through opposing personalities and viewpoints, rivalry over the same love-interest, reactions to the Wizard's corrupt government, and, ultimately, Elphaba's public fall from grace. (more...)


BWW Reviews: ANNIE National Tour at Durham Performing Arts Center Review BWW Reviews: ANNIE National Tour at Durham Performing Arts Center
by Jeffrey Karasarides - December 11, 2014

Based on the Harold Gray comic strip Little Orphan Annie, the musical tells the story of a little orphan with equal measures of pluck and positivity who charms everyone's hearts despite a next-to-nothing start in 1930s New York City. She is determined to find her parents who abandoned her years ago on the doorstep of a New York City Orphanage run by the cruel, embittered Miss Hannigan. With the help of the other girls in the Orphanage, Annie escapes to the wondrous world of NYC, finds herself a new home and family in billionaire Oliver Warbucks, his personal secretary Grace Farrell, and a lovable mutt named Sandy. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Raleigh Little Theatre's CINDERELLA Review BWW Reviews: Raleigh Little Theatre's CINDERELLA
by Jeffrey Karasarides - December 08, 2014

Based on the classic fairy tale of the same name, this musical version of Cinderella concerns a young woman forced into a life of servitude by her cruel stepmother, who dreams of a better life. With the help of her Fairy Godmother, Cinderella is transformed into an elegant young lady and is able to attend the ball to meet her Prince. (more...)


BWW Reviews: RODGERS & HAMMERSTEIN'S CINDERELLA National Tour at Durham Performing Arts Center Review BWW Reviews: RODGERS & HAMMERSTEIN'S CINDERELLA National Tour at Durham Performing Arts Center
by Jeffrey Karasarides - November 20, 2014

Based upon the fairy tale Cinderella, particularly the French version Cendrillon, ou la Petite Pantoufle de Verre, by Charles Perrault. The story concerns a young woman forced into a life of servitude by her cruel stepmother, who dreams of a better life. With the help of her Fairy Godmother, Cinderella is transformed into an elegant young lady and is able to attend the ball to meet her Prince, but, in this version, she must open the Prince's eyes to the injustice in his kingdom. (more...)


BWW Reviews: North Carolina Theatre's A CHORUS LINE Review BWW Reviews: North Carolina Theatre's A CHORUS LINE
by Jeffrey Karasarides - October 15, 2014

Focused on seventeen dancers auditioning for spots on the chorus of a Broadway show, A Chorus Line is set on the bare stage of a Broadway theatre during an audition for a musical. It also provides a glimpse into the personalities of the performers as they describe the events that have shaped their lives and their decisions to become dancers. (more...)


BWW Reviews: DIRTY DANCING National Tour at Durham Performing Arts Center Review BWW Reviews: DIRTY DANCING National Tour at Durham Performing Arts Center
by Jeffrey Karasarides - September 18, 2014

Based on the 1987 film of the same name, Dirty Dancing tells the classic coming of age story documenting a teenage girl's relationship with a dance instructor whom she encountered during her family's summer vacation. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Raleigh Little Theatre's HAIRSPRAY Review BWW Reviews: Raleigh Little Theatre's HAIRSPRAY
by Jeffrey Karasarides - August 25, 2014

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BWW Reviews: North Carolina Theatre's THE LITTLE MERMAID Review BWW Reviews: North Carolina Theatre's THE LITTLE MERMAID
by Jeffrey Karasarides - July 30, 2014

In my humble opinion, North Carolina Theatre's production of 'The Little Mermaid' is absolutely a delightful night out to the theatre! (more...)


BWW Reviews: Theatre Raleigh Shines with PARADE Review BWW Reviews: Theatre Raleigh Shines with PARADE
by Larisa Mount - July 13, 2014

I'm going to cut to the chase, because I want everyone who reads this to come away with this: Theatre Raleigh's Parade is not something you can afford to miss, so buy your ticket now. (more...)


BWW Reviews: OTHER DESERT CITIES Brings Exciting Drama to Downtown Raleigh Review BWW Reviews: OTHER DESERT CITIES Brings Exciting Drama to Downtown Raleigh
by Larisa Mount - June 30, 2014

Currently playing at Theatre Raleigh's Hot Summer Nights, Other Desert Cities, by playwright John Robin Baitz, is the tumultuous story of the Wyeth family. Brooke Wyeth and younger brother Trip are both visiting their parents Polly and Lyman in Palm Springs, California for Christmas. Brooke has just finished writing a book about a tragic event in the family's past having to do with her older brother Henry. The book brings up a lot of tension and, of course, drama for the family. Differing political views add a layer to the story that rings very true for many American families. Adding another dimension to the family drama is Polly's sister Silda, who is staying at the family home after just finishing a stint in rehab. (more...)


BWW Reviews: RLT's BLITHE SPIRIT is Simply Delightful Review BWW Reviews: RLT's BLITHE SPIRIT is Simply Delightful
by Larisa Mount - June 16, 2014

Raleigh Little Theatre closes its very diverse and entertaining season with a 'haunting' comedy in Blithe Spirit, currently playing through next weekend. (more...)


BWW Reviews: MAMMA MIA! Brings Fun to Durham Review BWW Reviews: MAMMA MIA! Brings Fun to Durham
by Larisa Mount - June 06, 2014

The national touring company of Mamma Mia! made a brief pit-stop in the Triangle last weekend, doing several performances at the Durham Performing Arts Center. The show closed out the 2013-2014 theater season at DPAC. (more...)


BWW Reviews: BLOOD DONE SIGN MY NAME is NYC-Caliber Theater in NC Review BWW Reviews: BLOOD DONE SIGN MY NAME is NYC-Caliber Theater in NC
by Larisa Mount - June 04, 2014

Right now at Theatre Raleigh is a piece of theater that you won't want to miss. Blood Done Sign My Name, based on the book of the same name, tells the true story of the killing of 'Dickie' Marrow in Oxford, North Carolina, in 1970. Told by researcher and interviewer Tim Tyson (through playwright and performer Mike Wiley), there's plenty of personal details of Tyson's life as well, as his father was a progressive Methodist minister who found himself in the middle of tense racial debates, including this one. Wiley tells the story in an almost documentary sort of format, playing narrator Tyson as an adult and as a child, identifying the speaker, and playing all the other townspeople Tyson interviewed for his book. The content and the performance bring up plenty of important questions about the state of race in America today in a way that feels experiential and authentic rather than didactic. Work of this caliber belongs on a New York stage. (more...)


BWW Reviews: TWO NOBLE KINSMEN Brings Theater Outdoors Review BWW Reviews: TWO NOBLE KINSMEN Brings Theater Outdoors
by Larisa Mount - May 29, 2014

As we reach that wonderful time to be North Carolinians when the mildness of spring begins to fade into the heat of summer, the folks at Bare Theatre, Raleigh Little Theatre, and Cirque de Vol Studios are capitalizing on Mother Nature's generosity by bringing theater outdoors to present Two Noble Kinsmen at the Stephenson Amphitheatre at Raleigh Little Theatre. Audience members can bring their picnic blankets and beach chairs, enjoy food trucks and cold beverages while the sunset provides ambience that the best lighting designers in the world could never create and the fireflies join to watch a unique piece of theater by William Shakespeare and John Fletcher. One would be hard-pressed to think of a better way to welcome summer. (more...)


BWW Reviews: VANITIES Has Regional Premiere at Theatre Raleigh Review BWW Reviews: VANITIES Has Regional Premiere at Theatre Raleigh
by Larisa Mount - May 22, 2014

Opening the 2014 season at Theatre Raleigh's Hot Summer Nights is Vanities, a musical which bowed Off-Broadway in 2009. Featuring three talented actresses, a heartfelt story, and interesting music, it's a great kick-off to what promises to be an awesome summer of theater. (more...)


BWW Reviews: JOSEPH Brings Fun and Excitement to Durham Review BWW Reviews: JOSEPH Brings Fun and Excitement to Durham
by Larisa Mount - May 16, 2014

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BWW Reviews: PRC's ASSASSINS Brings a Killer Story to Chapel Hill Review BWW Reviews: PRC's ASSASSINS Brings a Killer Story to Chapel Hill
by Larisa Mount - April 18, 2014

Having made its debut Off-Broadway in 1990 and bowing on Broadway in 2004, Assassins is the creative musical telling of the lives of the most notorious killers of American presidents, as well as those who had varying degrees of success in their attempts at the life of a president. Now playing at PlayMakers Repertory Company in Chapel Hill, these bad guys include such famous names as John Wilkes Booth and Lee Harvey Oswald, as well as less well-known names as Leon Czolgosz (assassinator of President McKinley), and those who have gone down in history for their less-than-solid relationship with reality, Squeaky Fromme among them. The show's music and lyrics were written by Stephen Sondheim, accompanied by a book by John Weidman. (more...)


BWW Reviews: THE WIZARD OF OZ Flies into Durham Review BWW Reviews: THE WIZARD OF OZ Flies into Durham
by Larisa Mount - April 13, 2014

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BWW Reviews: OPQRS, ETC. is Fun for All Ages at RLT Review BWW Reviews: OPQRS, ETC. is Fun for All Ages at RLT
by Larisa Mount - March 21, 2014

The latest project of Raleigh Little Theatre's Youth Series is a modern-day fable called OPQRS, Etc. OPQRS, Etc. is the story of Otto the Official, who is always right and has decided that orange is the official - and only - color in the town. 'O' is declared by Otto to be the best letter, and children learn their OPQs instead of ABCs. To add to the orange oppression, Otto has given every townsperson one specific character trait - silly, quiet, and so on - to which that person must adhere. It's not until art student Edward Johnson wanders into town that the people realize just how terribly Otto is treating them. Eventually, they discover that no person is just one thing, and the world needs all the colors to be interesting. It's a new spin on the always-worthwhile be-true-to-yourself lesson. (more...)