Variety is the spice of life. This week’s openings include a pair of tales from India (“Chakra: The Wheel of Life”); John Waters’ Broadway sensation, “Hairspray;” and everyone’s favorite spelling bee at NRACT. Shakespeare fans can take in a dance perspective on “The Tempest” in Carolina Ballet’s “Tempest Fantasy” in the ongoing Wherefore: Shakespeare in Raleigh series.
There’s lots of great theatre for young audiences as well, including “The Hundred Dresses” in Wake Forest, “The Lion King” at DPAC, “Gustafer Yellowgold” at The ArtsCenter in Carrboro, and “The Wolf” in Raleigh.
Here’s the week onstage across the Triangle:
The 25th Annual Putnam Spelling Bee (OPENING) – Mar. 4 – 20, North Raleigh Arts & Creative Theatre (NRACT), Raleigh – The Tony and Drama Desk Award-winning musical comedy from William Finn and Rachel Sheinkin in which six awkward mid-pubescents battle it out in a championship spelling contest
brownsville song (b-side for tray) – Feb. 25 – Mar. 12, Manbites Dog Theatre, Durham – Kimber Lee’s 2014 script about a Brooklyn family dealing with sudden loss looks at resilience in the face of what has now become an all-too-common event in today’s news
Chakra: The Wheel of Life (ONE WEEK ONLY) – Mar. 4 – 6, Paul Cooper Room, Cary Arts Center, Cary – Cary Playwright’s Forum presents two one-acts – one from the ancient Indian epic, “The Mahabharata,” which will include classical Indian music, and the other a shadow theatre prologue “The Story of Draupadi,” developed partly in a workshop with Paperhand Puppet Intervention
Hairspray (ONE WEEK ONLY) – Mar. 4 – 6, The ArtsCenter, Carrboro – Company Carolina presents the hit Broadway musical that deals with body image, race, and appearance adapted from the John Waters cult film
The Hundred Dresses (OPENING) – Mar. 3 – 13, Wake Forest Renaissance Center, Wake Forest – Forest Moon Theater presents an adaptation of Eleanor Estes’ 1945 Newbery Honor book, exploring bullying, friendship, and forgiveness in this show for all ages
Jacuzzi – Feb. 20 – Mar. 20, Ward Theatre Company, Durham – Ward Theatre makes its Triangle debut with a thriller from Hannah Bos and Paul Thureen in which a working class couple relax in a wealthy Colorado family’s luxury retreat – but something darker bubbles underneath
The Lion King – Feb. 16 – March 20, DPAC, Durham – Disney’s soaring score and grandiose puppetry turn DPAC into the savanna for a month-long touring production of the smash hit musical
SuperFun Show! Gustafer Yellowgold (ONE DAY ONLY) – Mar. 5, The ArtsCenter, Carrboro – Somewhere between Dr. Seuss and “Yellow Submarine,” Gustafer and his friends blend music, animation, and storytelling in this live, family-friendly performance
Sweeney Todd (CLOSING) – Feb. 12 – Mar. 6, Raleigh Little Theatre, Raleigh – The Demon Barber of Fleet Street cuts more than just hair in the twisted 1979 hit musical from Hugh Wheeler and Steven Sondheim
Tempest Fantasy (OPENING) – Mar. 3 – 20, Fletcher Opera Theatre, Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, Raleigh – Paul Moravec’s Pulitzer Prize-winning 2004 score meets Shakespeare’s magical island romance in this “dance meditation,” the company’s second entry into the Wherefore: Shakespeare in Raleigh series
Transactors Improv (ONE NIGHT ONLY) – Mar. 5, Common Ground Theatre, Durham – Relive Oscar Night, Transactor-style, in this live improv spoof of the Academy Awards
We Are Proud to Present a Presentation About the Herero of Namibia, Formerly Known as South-West Africa, From the German Sudwestafrika, Between the Years 1884-1915 – Feb. 24 – Mar. 13, Paul Green Theater, UNC, Chapel Hill – Jackie Sibblies Drury’s 2012 drama unfolds as six actors – three black and three white – rehearse a piece based on a relatively unknown genocide in Africa, only to reveal personal resentments and ingrained prejudices; presented by Playmakers Repertory
The Wolf (OPENING, pictured above) – Mar. 3 – 20, Kennedy Theatre, Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, Raleigh – Theatre Raleigh remounts its popular 2015 theatre-dance piece about tweens who come together in the woods to overcome a common adversary
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