The spring seasons of Carolinas theater and stage productions companies are filled to the brim with exciting and engaging musicals, plays, concerts and other entertaining and must-see performances. Wading through the seemingly endless lists of upcoming arts productions, there were a few that really caught my eye.
These are definitely five A&E hits I’m not missing:
The Edge Theatre Company
Jan. 29-Feb. 1
Russel Middlebrook is convinced he’s the only gay kid at Robert L. Goodkind High School. Then his online gay-chat buddy turns out to be none other than Kevin, the popular, but closeted star of the school’s baseball team. Soon Russel meets other gay students too. How can kids this diverse get together without drawing attention to themselves?
“We just choose a club that’s so boring nobody in their right mind would ever in a million years join it. We could call it the Geography Club!”
Geography Club is for anyone, gay or straight, who’s ever felt like an outsider — a fast-paced and funny tale of teenagers who may not learn any actual geography in their latest club, but who discover plenty about the treacherous social terrain of high school, and the even more dangerous landscape of the human heart.
South Pointe High School Auditorum.
801 Neely Rd. www.theedgetheatre.org.
The Actor’s Lab
Established in 1990 by openly gay director and actor J.D. Lewis, The Actor’s Lab has created several original projects and earned a reputation for “developing working actors through its approach of incorporating the business of acting with the study of the craft.” Recently relocated to Charlotte, the Actor’s Lab presents its original play, “AmerWrecka,” featuring original music and written and directed by Lewis.
The play begins with the historic killing of the four unarmed American students at Kent State University, shot by the National Guard at a peace rally on May 4, 1970. Thirty-five years later, they return to earth on a mission to peacefully shake up the current political climate in the States. They set their sites on four Americans: a New York City firefighter, a conservative politician, a stripper and a Latina lesbian. Filled with humor, music and drama, this play is provocative, challenging and a gut-wrenching call to action.
The Charlotte Arts League
1517 Camden Rd., Charlotte.
Pride and Prejudice
PlayMakers Repertory Company
Out of all classic novels and tales, my favorite is Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice.” Every time I read the book, watch the film adaptation or see a staged version, my heart flutters like a little school girl’s. Mr. Darcy should be mine! I never pass up the opportunity to read, or better yet, see Austen’s most famous work.
Queen City Theatre Company
Written by Tom Smith, “Dangerous” is a contemporized, gay adaptation of the novel “Les Liaisons Dangereuses” (Dangerous Liaisons) by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos. Marcus’ boyfriend has been caught cheating with Jason. To gain revenge, Marcus enlists his friend Alexander to seduce Jason; Alexander agrees and simultaneously seduces Trevor, a soon-to-be-ordained priest. But, Alexander finds himself trapped in a web of lies and deceit as he and Marcus battle for social domination. Never have you seen Alexander Valmont so passionate, so manipulative, so dangerous.
Duke Energy Theatre.
345 College St., Charlotte.
Age of Arousal
Manbites Dog Theater
May 28-June 13
In this witty and shocking comedy of manners, five Victorian women pursue a new age where erotic and economic freedom reign supreme. It’s 1885 and a population imbalance leaves England flooded with half a million more women than men. A former militant suffragette battles for equal opportunity by teaching female students to master the technology of the male-dominated workplace. Can new ideas triumph over forbidden Victorian desires?
Manbites Dog Theater.
703 Foster St., Durham.
— compiled by Matt Comer from arts and entertainment groups’ seasonal listings and brochures.