To borrow a term from a current contentious candidate, this week in Triangle theatre is going to be “YUGE.”
SPARKcon, the biggest “underground” festival in town, opens for a historic 10th year and offers hundreds of events including thousands of artists and performers providing visual art, music, dance, film, comedy, theatre, circus – all free of charge. Be sure to take in at least some of the many theatre offerings this year, which include first-ever “Musical Karaoke” and “The Monologue Jam.”
Opening this week Playmakers Rep presents Ayad Akhtar’s lighting rod of a play about Muslim/American relations, “Disgraced,” Forest Moon Theatre with the wicked comedy, “Death Trap,” and Cary Players with Wendy Wasserstein’s New York comedy, “Isn’t It Romantic.”
Should be a gorgeous weekend to get out and enjoy!
Death Trap (OPENING) – Sept. 18 – 26, Wake Forest Renaissance Center, Wake Forest – A successful writer who finds himself struggling and short on cash will stop at nothing – even murder – to improve his fortunes in this 1978 Ira Levin thriller/comedy, staged by Forest Moon Theater
Disgraced (OPENING) – Sept. 16 – Oct. 4, Paul Green Theatre, UNC, Chapel Hill – Playmakers Repertory presents Ayad Akhtar’s Pulitzer and Obie Award-winning 2012 play depicting a dinner party in which the hosts, a Pakistani-American couple, find themselves in a much deeper and more dangerous conversation about politics and religion
Dracula – Sept. 11 – 27, Theatre in the Park, Raleigh – The world’s most famous vampire terrorizes the stage in Ira David Wood III’s adaptation of the Bram Stoker classic
Isn’t It Romantic (OPENING) – Sept. 18 – Oct. 4, Cary Cultural Center, Cary – Two New York Women take on the city, men, friends and family in this 1983 Wendy Wasserstein comedy from Cary Players
Monty Python’s Spamalot (CLOSING) – Aug. 28 – Sept. 20, Sutton Theatre, Raleigh Little Theatre, Raleigh – “Lovingly ripped off” from the cult film “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” by Python alum Eric Idle and John du Prez, this Tony Award-winning musical promises that those who miss it will be taunted a second time.
PlaySlam (ONE NIGHT ONLY) – Sept. 19, The ArtsCenter, Carrboro – The 13th annual PlaySlam lets the audience choose their favorite playwright in a fast-moving competition of original short plays by local playwrights
The Shipment (CLOSING) – Sept. 3 – 19, Common Ground Theatre, Durham – Black Ops and Little Green Pig team up for a season opener by Young Jean Lee that asks what roles black performers have always wanted to play and which roles society has given them
SPARKcon – theatreSPARK (ONE WEEK ONLY) – Sept. 17 – 20, Downtown Raleigh – Fifteen Triangle theatre companies join together at Raleigh’s annual “creative explosion of the South” to celebrate SPARKcon’s 10th year running – ALL EVENTS ARE FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC:
Straight Play Showcase – Sept. 17, Artspace – Actors Comedy Lab & Raleigh Little Theatre, Bare Theatre, Burning Coal, Cary Playwrights’ Forum, and William Peace Theatre offer short plays and scenes from current work, ranging from bar plays to an original rap battle between Titus Andronicus and Macbeth
Musical Karaoke – Sept. 18, London Bridge Pub – Theatre folk and the general public are invited to sing their hearts out to some of the greatest show tunes of all time, hosted by DJ Collin
Musical Showcase – Sept. 19, Main Stage at City Plaza – NC State University Theatre, North Raleigh Arts & Creative Theatre (NRACT), William Peace Theatre, and Raleigh Area Children’s Theatre (Raleigh ACT) present numbers from the current season, ranging from “Shrek: The Musical” to “Reefer Madness”
The Monologue Jam – Sept. 19, London Bridge Pub – Triangle actors are invited to a friendly competition in which they perform their best 1 – 2 minute monologue for the hearts and minds of a jury of directors and the general public
Improvisation Class & Theatre Games – Sept. 20, Main Stage at City Plaza – Sonorous Road Productions hosts a free workshop for anyone ranging in age from middle-school through adult, followed by theatre games
Children’s Musical Karaoke – Sept. 20, Main Stage at City Plaza – Not to be outdone by the adults, kids take the stage to sing some of their favorite family-friendly numbers from hit musicals, hosted by Fun Times with Robert White
Street Pop-Ups – Sept. 17 – 20, various locations downtown – Spontaneous theatre will be erupting all over the festival this week with seven groups: Cary Playwrights Forum serves up “Bar Plays” in various drinking establishments, Bare Theatre rap battles in the street, Meredith Ensemble Theatre sends out the faeries from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” Nickel Shakespeare Girls perform acrobatics and The Bard’s most famous speeches, fightSPARK lets audiences choose who duels in the street, Partners Against Human Trafficking offer three very real glimpses into a very real societal problem by the courthouse, and Seed Art Share opens a play in the Raleigh City Museum that turns into a fight that spills out into the street
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