“Crowns” (Gospel Musical), by Regina Taylor and adapted from the book by Michael Cunningham and Craig Marberry.
A moving and celebratory musical play in which hats become a springboard for an exploration of Black history and identity is seen through the eyes of a young black woman who has come down south to stay with her aunt after her brother is killed in Brooklyn. Hats are everywhere, in exquisite variety, and the characters use the hats to tell tales concerning everything from the etiquette of hats to their historical and contemporary social functioning. There is a hat for every occasion, from flirting to church going to funerals to baptisms, and the tradition of hats is traced back to African rituals and slavery to the New Testament and current fashion.
“Grace for President” (Musical), based on the book by Kelly S. DiPucchio and book illustrations by LeUyen Pham. Book, music and lyrics by Joan Cushing.
One day in class, Grace Campbell discovered that there has never been a female president. “Where are the girls?” she asked, as her third-grade teacher rolls out a poster of all 44 U.S. presidents. Frustrated by the lack of female faces in the White House, Grace decides she wants to be president and inspires a school election. She seems the likely winner until the most popular boy runs against her. Through the throes of campaigning and pep rallies, service projects and posters, Grace and her classmates discover what it takes to be the best candidate and find the fun and hilarity in the wonderful world of politics!
Children’s Theatre – Presented at Daniels Auditorium in partnership with the North Carolina Museum of History (5 East Edenton Street in downtown Raleigh)
“Perfect Arrangement” (Dark Comedy), by Topher Payne.
It’s 1950, and new colors are being added to the Red Scare. Two U.S. State Department employees, Bob and Norma, have been tasked with identifying sexual deviants within their ranks. There’s just one problem: Both Bob and Norma are gay and have married each other’s partners as a carefully constructed cover-up. Inspired by the true story of the earliest stirrings of the American Gay Rights Movement, madcap classic sitcom-style laughs give way to provocative drama as two “All-American” couples are forced to stare down the closet door.
“Cinderella” (Musical), based on the fairy tale by Charles Perrault. Adaptation and lyrics by Jim Eiler. Music by Jim Eiler and Jeanne Bargy
This musical comedy is a holiday sugarplum for the whole family. Just the right mixture of comedy and romance can add the sparkle of magic to your holiday season. This visually stunning musical combines elegant costumes and scenery with singing, dancing, conniving step relatives and resourceful fairy folk.
Children’s Theatre – Sutton Theatre (Reserved Seating)
“What We’re Up Against” (Comedy), by Theresa Rebeck.
Set in a highly competitive architecture firm, this play is an explosive and hilarious look at the complicated battle of the sexes raging across Cubicle Land. A funny, yet insightful, view of what it means to be female in a male-dominated career and one woman’s response when she tires of slamming into the glass ceiling.
“Little Shop of Horrors” (Musical Comedy), book and lyrics by Howard Ashman, music by Alan Menken and based on the film by Roger Corman; screenplay by Charles Griffith.
The meek floral assistant, Seymour Krelborn, stumbles across a new breed of plant that he names “Audrey II” after his coworker crush. This foul-mouthed, R&B-singing carnivore promises unending fame and fortune to the down-and-out Krelborn, as long as he keeps feeding it BLOOD. Over time, though, Seymour discovers Audrey II’s out-of-this-world origins and intent toward global domination!
“Beanstalk! The Musical!”, based on the book by Ross Mihalko and Donna Swift with music by Linda Berg and lyrics by Ross Mihalko.
Exactly like nothing that you’ve ever seen before, not even in a book! This fun, family show follows the adventures of Jack, a young boy with his head in the clouds and his nose in a book of fairy tales. Filled with hilarious characters, toe-tapping tunes, and more twists than a climbing vine, this is one show that’s guaranteed to grow and grow and grow right into your heart.
“Alice @ Wonderland” (Fairytale), By Jonathan Yukich.
The folly of the 21st century collides with the madness of Wonderland in this adaptation that remains fairly faithful to Lewis Carroll’s original tale. Alice is a texting, tweeting and Googling girl of the modern digital era, but she finds herself in the Wonderland of old. With all of the characters that you know and love including the Mad Hatter, the White Rabbit and the Queen of Hearts, this musical imagines a present-day Alice encountering the Wonderland that so many of us treasure. Meanwhile, the younger generation will appreciate and relate to the many references to the digital age.
“Blood Done Sign My Name” (Drama), By Mike Wiley, Adapted from the novel by Tim Tyson.
In this world premiere version, Mike Wiley brings to life the recollections of author Tim Tyson surrounding the 1970 murder of Henry “Dickie” Marrow in Oxford, NC, and the events that followed. Marrow, who was black, was chased from a local store by three white men after reportedly making a crude remark to one of the men’s wives. They brutally beat Marrow, and then killed him with a bullet to the head in view of multiple witnesses. Despite the eyewitness reports, an all-white jury acquitted the men. The town’s black community responded to the events with an uprising that destroyed downtown businesses and several tobacco warehouses that held at least a million dollars in harvested crops. Tyson, who was 10 at the time, recounts how the conflagration of events shaped his life. He offers us an opportunity to examine our own roles in the complex and often confusing racial fabric of America.
“Don’t Dress for Dinner” (Comedy), by Marc Camoletti.
Bernard is planning a romantic weekend with his mistress in his charming converted French farmhouse, while his wife, Jacqueline, is away. He has arranged for a Cordon Bleu cook to prepare gourmet delights and has invited his best friend, Robert, along to provide the alibi. It’s foolproof. What could possibly go wrong? Well… Suppose Robert turns up, not realizing quite why he has been invited. Suppose Robert and Jacqueline are secret lovers and consequently determined that Jacqueline will not leave for the weekend. Suppose the cook must pretend to be the mistress, and the mistress is unable to cook. Suppose everyone’s alibi is confused with everyone else’s. An evening of hilarious confusion ensues as Bernard and Robert improvise at breakneck speed.