The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Jun 23, 2011

Take your pick from summer’s theatrical crop

Posted by carmella.jarvi

Looking for some local theater to entertain and get you thinking? This weekend is your last chance to catch some shows from a summer crop of quite interesting performances. From local original productions to classics, our Charlotte venues are offering diverse themes for a variety of audiences.

Theater, like so many of the arts, is an umbrella for an assortment of theatrical, dramatic entertainment. In a city our size, there’s almost always — if not always — a performance of some kind happening. The following are some of the local shows running from Thursday, June 23 to Sunday, June 26. Most shows run in the evening. Dates vary and so do ticket prices. Check each venue for details. (Also check websites for audience recommendations, as several of these have adult content.)

The Actor's Theatre of Charlotte is finishing its run of "[title of show]," a Tony Award-nominated musical about friendship. "[title of show]" is an original musical that chronicles the struggles of two writers trying to create a new musical in only three weeks. They quickly discover that composing a musical about the process of writing one was way more interesting.

Not only is "[title of show]" an original musical that chronicles its own journey from inception to opening night on Broadway, but also at its heart, this show is about four friends. It’s about risk and learning to be true to yourself and your friends — your chosen family.

One of the most popular romantic comedies of all time, “Same Time, Next Year,” is being performed by Theatre Charlotte. This widely loved comedy by Bernard Slade ran four years on Broadway, was a successful movie and remains one of the most widely produced plays in history. It follows a love affair between two people who rendezvous once a year. Twenty-five years of manners, morals and attitudes are hilariously mirrored by the lovers. It is funny and romantic.

If history and comedy are your thing, check out CPCC’s performance of "Will Rogers Follies: A Life in Review." Billy Ensley, as Will Rogers, tells the story of a beloved American figure remembered for his humor, wisdom and just plain common sense.

On Q Productions is a local favorite theater company started by Quentin “Q” Talley that focuses on works reflecting the minority experience, especially that of African-American culture. The final show of its season is "Fabulation: or the reeducation of Undine." This show, written by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lynn Nottage follows Undine, a well-to-do black executive with an ill attitude, who finds out her company is bankrupt after her husband leaves, but not before getting knocked up. She has to return home to a family with whom she hasn’t spoken to in years. In the end, she learns valuable lessons about family, love and life. Stacey Rose will direct this biting humorous play.

Although it’s not live theater, the unprecedented documentary “Fear of a Black Republican” is running one-night only on June 25 at the Duke Energy Theater at Spirit Square. This film questions stereotypes, examining why there are so few black republicans and how this affects the U.S. political system and guarantees a lively discussion to follow.

Finally, on a lighter note, check out the "Charlotte Squawks: 7-Year Bit©#" performance. In this local show, returning for the seventh edition, the creative team of Mike Collins and Brian Kahn collaborate with the area’s most talented singers, dancers and actors to parody pop culture, politics, sports and our own Queen City. Think of "7-Year Bit©#"as Broadway meets "Saturday Night Live" meets Charlotte. It is sure to make you laugh many times.

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