Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte
Off-Broadway-style company performs bold works by contemporary playwrights. 650 E. Stonewall St. 704-342-2251. atcharlotte.org. Two previews are offered at reduced prices.
Sept. 12-Oct. 5
“Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson”
History gets all sexypants in this high-octane rock musical that re-imagines our nation’s seventh president as a rock star maverick through blazing-hot, anarchically infectious music. AJ fought for the common man, shafted Native Americans, doubled the nation’s size — and looks hot in a pair of skinny jeans!
Oct. 31-Nov. 23
“Venus in Fur”
When a young actress arrives hours late for her appointment, she may have blown her chances at the leading role. But, her sexually-charged audition for a demanding playwright/director becomes an electrifying game of cat and mouse — blurring the lines between fantasy and reality, seduction and power, love and lust. Does life imitate art? Or, is it the other way around? This sizzling new play will have you guessing until the end!
“Hedwig and the Angry Inch”
Ladies and Gentlemen, whether you like it or not, here’s Hedwig! You voted…we listened, and now, it’s your chance to get some HED! This glam rock musical follows Hedwig, the internationally-ignored rock goddess who fell victim to a botched sex change operation. Billy Ensley will reprise this defining role that he originated in 2002.
Feb. 20-March 15:
“By the Way, Meet Vera Stark.”
What starts out as a 1930’s screwball comedy becomes a 40-year glimpse into the life of Vera Stark, a headstrong African-American actress who paved the way for future black actors. But, who was the real Vera Stark? Part comedy and part commentary, playwright Lynn Nottage uses today’s fascination with celebrity and controversy to get the truth behind this little-known legend.
Blumenthal Performing Arts Center
The region’s leading presenter produces shows, but usually imports them, mainly for its Broadway Lights Series. Belk Theater, Booth Playhouse, Stage Door Theater, 130 N. Tryon St.; McGlohon Theatre and Duke Energy Theatre at Spirit Square, 345 N. College St.; Knight Theater, 430 S. Tryon; Ovens Auditorium, 2700 E. Independence Blvd. 704-372-1000. carolinatix.org. blumenthalarts.org.
“Potted Potter: The Unauthorized Harry Experience”
This parody performance of the favorite “Harry Potter” series is written by former BBC Television hosts Daniel Clarkson and Jefferson Turner. The play takes on the ultimate challenge of condensing, or “potting,” all seven Harry Potter books into 70 madcap minutes, aided only by multiple costume changes, brilliant songs, ridiculous props and a generous helping of Hogwarts magic.
“Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty”
Broadway Lights Series: Dance choreographer Matthew Bourne and his company New Adventures bring their new production of “Sleeping Beauty” to Charlotte, direct from a record-breaking season in London’s West End. Bourne is the only British artist to have won a Tony Award on Broadway for both Best Choreographer and Best Director and has won over 50 international awards for his choreographic work, including the Broadway production of “Mary Poppins.”
Dec. 26-Jan. 5
“The Book of Mormon”
Broadway Lights Series: Ben Brantley of The New York Times calls it “the best musical of this century.” Entertainment Weekly says it’s “the funniest musical of all time.” From “South Park” creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, it’s “The Book of Mormon,” winner of nine Tony Awards including Best Musical. Jon Stewart of “The Daily Show” calls it “a crowning achievement. So good it makes me angry.”
Carolina Actors Studio Theatre
Expect the unexpected from CAST, which ranges from Broadway classics to off-off-Broadway discoveries — and redesigns its theater for each show. 2424 N. Davidson St. 704-455-854. nccast.com.
Through Sept. 21
Set on Martha’s Vineyard, “Elemeno Pea” follows Simone, a personal assistant to Michaela Kell. Simone has invited her estranged sister, Devon, to visit her employer’s lavish beach-side guest villa. The sisters’ weekend is disrupted when Michaela returns unexpectedly, having been dumped by her wealthy husband Peter. To complicate matters, the 40-something Ethan, the couple’s best friend, wants to whisk Simone away on his yacht, The Ethan II. Devon, who lives in her mother’s basement, isn’t having any of this ludicrous behavior and just wants time alone with her sister. Refereeing the whole comedy clambake is Jos-B, the property caretaker…named Jos-B because the Kells already had a servant named Jose!
Oct. 17-Nov. 19
Welcome to Southie, a Boston neighborhood where a night on the town means a few rounds of bingo…where this month’s paycheck covers last month’s bills…and where Margie Walsh has just been let go from yet another job. Facing eviction and scrambling to catch a break, Margie (pronounced with a hard “g”) thinks an old fling who’s made it out of Southie might be her ticket to a fresh new start. But, is this apparently self-made man secure enough to face his humble beginnings? Margie is about to risk what little she has left to find out.
The state’s oldest community theater performs at 501 Queens Road. 704-376-3777. theatrecharlotte.org. carolinatix.org.
Through Sept. 22:
Considered by many critics as one of the crowning achievements of the American musical theatre, “Gypsy” is loosely based on the memoirs of burlesque legend Gypsy Rose Lee. It tells the story of the ultimate “stage mother” who is willing to go to any lengths to transform her daughters into winning stars.
Oct. 25-Nov. 10
“Arsenic and Old Lace”
This American classic comedy revolves around Mortimer Brewster, a drama critic who must deal with his crazy family as he debates whether to marry the woman he loves. His two spinster aunts have taken to poisoning lonely old men and burying them in the cellar. His older brother believes he is Teddy Roosevelt and he has a murderous brother who, after botched plastic surgery performed by his accomplice, Dr. Einstein, now looks like Boris Karloff.
— The Charlotte Observer contributed. qnotes is a member of The Observer’s Charlotte News Alliance. Other information compiled from publicity materials.