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Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC)

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me! comes to (sigh) “Durm”

Posted By on Sun, May 24, 2015 at 11:56 AM

Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me! Thursday, May 21 Durham Performing Arts Center I already dispensed with my complex relationship to NPR’s comedy programming last week, so let’s cut to the chase: I went into the sold-out DPAC taping of Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me!, the long-running news quiz from WBEZ in Chicago, with a mixture of excitement about witnessing one of my favorite radio shows in the flesh and trepidation about witnessing how the sausage is made. Based on his voice, I always imagined charismatic host Peter Sagal, “a man who has completely squandered an expensive education,” with...

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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Exclusive video preview: Shen Wei's "Collective Measures" world premiere at 2013 ADF (NSFW)

Posted By on Thu, Jun 13, 2013 at 4:44 PM

Video clip contains partial nudity and is not safe for work. Viewer discretion is advised. Exclusive video footage from the world premiere of choreographer Shen Wei's Collective Measures at the 2013 American Dance Festival. The company performs at the Durham Performing Arts Center, Thursday, June 13 and Friday, June 14, 2013. Video preview produced by Byron Woods....

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Thursday, May 2, 2013

(Far) too much of a good thing: Priscilla, Queen of the Desert at DPAC

Posted By on Thu, May 2, 2013 at 6:43 PM

(c) Joan MarcusFashion risk? Wade McCollum, Scott Willis and Bryan West in PRISCILLA, QUEEN OF THE DESERTPRISCILLA, QUEEN OF THE DESERTDurham Performing Arts CenterThrough May 5 Its characters may or may not be the kind of folks they used to warn some of us about back on the farm. But PRISCILLA, QUEEN OF THE DESERT is most definitely the kind of show they warned me about in grad school. “Beware of spectacle,” one theater teacher said. “Sure, it’s flashy. And it’s undeniably effective—in the short term. "But as the audience acclimates to it, it takes greater and greater dosages just...

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Friday, March 22, 2013

Lush life: Anything Goes is a dazzling, old-fashioned romp

Posted By on Fri, Mar 22, 2013 at 9:10 AM

Photo by Joan Marcus ANYTHING GOES* * * * 1/2 stars@ DPACThrough March 24 “Times have changed,” croons dazzling nightclub star Reno Sweeney in the title song of Anything Goes. “The world has gone mad today and good’s bad today.” Maybe so, but the touring production of this Broadway revival shows that some good things have staying power. This comic tale of romance and madcap hijinks aboard a luxury liner originally opened on Broadway in 1934, starring the legendary Ethel Merman as Sweeney. Nearly 80 years later, Cole Porter’s delicious songs set against an updated book by Timothy Crouse and...

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Monday, March 4, 2013

The most amazing season, eh? A closer look at DPAC's new Broadway line-up

Posted By on Mon, Mar 4, 2013 at 1:23 PM

Photo by Joan MarcusThe Book of Mormon comes to Durham Feb. 11-23, 2014.To summarize the lineup of touring Broadway shows coming through the Durham Performing Arts Center’s new season as succinctly as possible: Hope you like Andrew Lloyd Webber. Sir Andrew’s work may be found in three of the seven new shows announced at DPAC’s SunTrust Broadway Preview Event on Friday, specifically the touring version of the recently-closed revival of Evita, the 2011 West End musical version of The Wizard of Oz film with new songs by Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, and a whole concert featuring songs from Lloyd...

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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Leave 'em wanting more: Deborah Cox sparkles, briefly, in Jekyll and Hyde at DPAC

Posted By on Wed, Jan 9, 2013 at 4:40 PM

Photo by Charles BennionConstantine Maroulis and Deborah CoxJekyll and Hyde: The Musical* * 1/2 starsDurham Performing Arts CenterThrough Jan. 13Tickets $35-$95 If you’re not a Deborah Cox fan, you’ll probably become one if you see Jekyll and Hyde: The Musical at the Durham Performing Arts Center this week. The Grammy-nominated R&B star pushes the rest of the cast out of the way with her round, rich voice and nuanced singing. It’s too bad this show doesn’t keep her onstage enough. Cox, as hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold Lucy Harris, belts bawdy brothel songs like “Bring On the Men” as well as she croons moony...

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Thursday, October 4, 2012

The animals have the advantage in War Horse

Posted By on Thu, Oct 4, 2012 at 6:18 PM

© Brinkhoff/Mögenburg 2011Horses in wartime: Topthorn and Joey, from WAR HORSE.WAR HORSE3.5 stars (out of 5)Durham Performing Arts CenterThrough Oct. 7 The image has come to symbolize the chaos and carnage of war: A panic-stricken horse, impaled by a spear, whose death-dance dominates the center of Pablo Picasso’s Guernica. Man’s inhumanity to man is a fundamental trope in the discourse of war—and one we can grow all too quickly numb to. But evidence of the widespread suffering of animals—in World War I accounts of biological agent testing, or the massacre at Tokyo’s Ueno Zoo in 1943—provides a different, and...

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Saturday, July 21, 2012

ADF 2012: Paul Taylor's flawed program

Posted By on Sat, Jul 21, 2012 at 1:49 PM

Photo by Paul B. GoodeBig BerthaPAUL TAYLOR DANCE COMPANYAmerican Dance Festival@ DPACThrough July 21 The Paul Taylor Dance Company took the stage at the Durham Performing Arts Center last night for their annual visit to the American Dance Festival, which concludes this evening. The mainstay company brought out a crowd expecting to see virtuosic performances from the principal dancers, and Michael Trusnovec, Amy Young and Michelle Fleet didn’t disappoint them. The real star, however, was the flawed program. A bit long with four pieces and two intermissions—and lengthened more by a curtain mishap that required repairs—the program spanned a half-century...

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Friday, March 23, 2012

This American iPad: A Q&A with Ira Glass

Posted By on Fri, Mar 23, 2012 at 1:39 PM

Those familiar with Ira Glass' wry, quizzical voice as the host of public radio's This American Life will get to experience his unique brand of storytelling in person when he appears at the Durham Performing Arts Center on Saturday, March 23. The appearance comes after a week in which This American Life made headlines when a piece involving monologist Mike Daisey's trip to a factory creating Apple computer products was revealed to be mostly fabricated. We were able to get Glass on the phone in New York to talk about his appearance at DPAC, and while we were told by...

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Joey the war horse comes to Durham, and what the new DPAC season says about Broadway

Posted By on Wed, Mar 14, 2012 at 1:33 PM

Photo by D.L. AndersonUnveiling JoeyLast week, the slogan "New York Has Never Been So Close!” was proclaimed at least four times in the presentation for the 2012-2013 SunTrust Broadway series at the Durham Performing Arts Center. But while I’m certainly looking forward to several of the touring productions, including the season opener, War Horse, I was left wondering, What does this lineup say about the current state of Broadway? Eight plays will come through DPAC starting in October: War Horse, Jersey Boys, Million Dollar Quartet, Jekyll & Hyde, Mary Poppins, Anything Goes, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and Sister Act....

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Rock Of Ages is rote and uninspired

Posted By on Thu, Oct 27, 2011 at 8:02 AM

Bourbon Room Rocks/ DPACROCK OF AGES* * 1/2 starsDurham Performing Arts Center A visit to the Durham Performing Arts Center for the touring production of Rock of Ages yields a number of odd sights. Audience members, mostly people in their 40s and 50s, are wearing suits and evening wear to a play that’s based, in part, on the fashion excesses of 1980s youth culture. They also sip cups of red wine in front of a set labeled “The Bourbon Room.” And as they trudge along the red-carpeted floors, the sound system blasts the likes of Warrant’s “Cherry Pie” and Def...

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Saturday, October 1, 2011

People-watching at the club, with Twyla and Frank:
Come Fly Away at DPAC

Posted By on Sat, Oct 1, 2011 at 8:02 PM

Cody Green and Laurie Kanyok in COME FLY AWAYCOME FLY AWAY4 stars out of 5Durham Performing Arts CenterThrough Oct. 2dpacnc.org It’s understandable that modern dance aficionados might have paused when considering the touring version of COME FLY AWAY, choreographer Twyla Tharp’s evening-length tribute to musical legend Frank Sinatra which closes a stand at Durham Performing Arts Center on Sunday. As mentioned in our preview, Tharp had already gone to the well three times with Ol’ Blue Eyes between 1976 and 1983, reconfiguring various groupings of his hits that she’d choreographed into what ultimately became one of her most widely interpreted—and...

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Exclusive ADF video preview:
PAUL TAYLOR's THE UNCOMMITTED

Posted By on Thu, Jul 21, 2011 at 5:08 PM

Exclusive video footage from the world premiere of THE UNCOMMITTED by PAUL TAYLOR DANCE COMPANY at the 2011 American Dance Festival. Taylor has dedicated the work to departing ADF president Charles Reinhart. The Paul Taylor Dance Company closes the 2011 ADF with performances at the Durham Performing Arts Center through Saturday, July 23. Regular viewers will note the brevity of this entry when compared with the eight other video previews we have produced during the 2011 ADF season, and the one company-produced video we reposted, Emanuel Gat's "trailer" for BRILLIANT CORNERS. Taylor's company restricted our finished video preview of...

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Friday, July 15, 2011

Exclusive video preview: SHEN WEI's LIMITED STATES world premiere at ADF (NSFW)

Posted By on Fri, Jul 15, 2011 at 5:28 PM

Please note that this video clip contains nudity and should be considered not safe for work. Viewer discretion is advised. Exclusive video footage from the world premiere of LIMITED STATES by SHEN WEI DANCE ARTS at the 2011 American Dance Festival. The company performs at the Durham Performing Arts Center through Saturday, July 16....

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Friday, July 8, 2011

First facts: Shen Wei's upcoming world premiere,
LIMITED STATES, at ADF

Posted By on Fri, Jul 8, 2011 at 9:13 AM

Metropolitan Museum of Art, June 2011 - photo courtesy Shen Wei Dance Arts"> Metropolitan Museum of Art, June 2011." title="Hunter Carter, Jessica Harris and Brandon Whited in STILL MOVING. Metropolitan Museum of Art, June 2011." width="300" height="355" />photo courtesy Shen Wei Dance ArtsHunter Carter, Jessica Harris and Brandon Whited in STILL MOVING.Metropolitan Museum of Art, June 2011Thursday afternoon, the American Dance Festival released the tantalizing first details of choreographer SHEN WEI's new work, whose world premiere next Thursday is easily anticipated as one of the high points of ADF’s 2011 season. Its name is LIMITED STATES. Rumors concerning a video...

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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Please—no photos: Emanuel Gat Dance at ADF

Posted By on Wed, Jul 6, 2011 at 3:45 PM

When a film studio foregoes all previews of an upcoming release, that usually conveys a certain lack of faith in the finished product. This week, we'll find out what a similar circumstance means in choreographer EMANUEL GAT's case when his company performs during the American Dance Festival at the Durham Performing Arts Center. The festival scheduled no photo shoot for Gat. There was no need for one, since the company wanted no press photography of any kind taken of his latest work, BRILLIANT CORNERS, which premiered two weeks ago in Vienna. The company has made its own trailer for the...

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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Exclusive video preview: SERAPH, Pilobolus world premiere

Posted By on Thu, Jun 30, 2011 at 5:29 PM

Exclusive video footage from the world premiere of SERAPH, a collaboration between the dance company PILOBOLUS and the MIT Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence Lab, at the 2011 American Dance Festival. Pilobolus performs at the Durham Performing Arts Center through July 2....

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Friday, June 24, 2011

Video preview: Ronald K. Brown / Evidence at ADF

Posted By on Fri, Jun 24, 2011 at 6:42 PM

New video preview of the dance company Evidence performing a section of Ronald K. Brown's new suite to Stevie Wonder, ON EARTH TOGETHER, at the 2011 American Dance Festival. The company appears with Dayton Contemporary Dance Company through June 25 at Durham Performing Arts Center....

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Exclusive video preview: Dayton Contemporary Dance Company at ADF

Posted By on Fri, Jun 24, 2011 at 2:01 PM

Exclusive video preview of the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company performing a section of Donald McKayle's RAINBOW 'ROUND MY SHOULDER at the 2011 American Dance Festival. The company appears with Evidence through June 25 at Durham Performing Arts Center....

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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Cutting thinning HAIR:
A new conspiracy theory about an old rock musical

Posted By on Sun, May 15, 2011 at 1:01 PM

(c) Joan Marcus, 2010Steel Burkhardt and Paris Remillard in the touring production of HAIRHAIR2.5 stars (out of 5)Durham Performing Arts Centerthrough May 15 I believe I’ve stumbled upon a late-breaking conspiracy theory—so please say you heard it here first: A Vast (or, possibly, Half-Vast) Right Wing Conspiracy is actually funding the revival and tour of that touchstone 60s rock musical, HAIR. Impossible, you say? Hard to believe? Beyond the realm of possibility? Yes, I thought all those things, too—once. But then I saw the touring version this week at Durham Performing Arts Center. And then I started connecting all the...

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Saturday, February 5, 2011

A bittersweet homecoming for the Merce Cunningham Dance Company

Posted By on Sat, Feb 5, 2011 at 1:40 AM

MERCE CUNNINGHAM DANCE COMPANYPresented by Duke Performances@Durham Performing Arts CenterFeb. 4-5 The Durham Performing Arts Center was energized Friday night with the North Carolina homecoming of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company. Cunningham founded the company in 1953 at Black Mountain College in western North Carolina; he died a year and a half ago, and his will outlined plans for a final two-year tour for his company, which will disband for good in December. Though turnout on Friday night was modest, those who did turn out were treated to a spectacular farewell for the storied troupe, which will perform one...

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Friday, December 10, 2010

When is good, good enough?
DPAC's YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN and TIP's A CHRISTMAS CAROL

Posted By on Fri, Dec 10, 2010 at 8:28 AM

YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN3½ stars out of 5 Durham Performing Arts CenterThrough Dec. 12 A CHRISTMAS CAROL3 stars out of 5Theatre in the ParkThrough Dec. 15 Christopher Ryan as the Doc, Cory English (kneeling) as Igor, and Preston Truman Boyd, chilling, in YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN It’s a hideous proposition, particularly for a theater critic. Still, I must admit: On some occasions, the biggest question we’re asked to answer isn’t if a show is good. It’s “Is it good enough? ” Take the professional touring version of YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN. Under the circumstances, I’m tempted to follow that sentence with the Youngman-esque rejoinder, “Please.” Clearly...

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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Dancing toward solidarity: sensational Billy Elliot at DPAC

Posted By on Thu, Nov 4, 2010 at 5:32 PM

Photo by Michael BrosilowHe's not that kind of contender: Billy (Giuseppe Bausilio) and George (Joel Blum)BILLY ELLIOT5 starsDurham Performing Arts CenterThrough Nov. 14 Most of us will never know the kind of community solidarity that features so movingly in Billy Elliot The Musical because most of us in "right-to-work" North Carolina have little experience with organized labor. But the real-life British coal miners’ strike of 1984-85 that forms the backdrop of this rousing story heralded a lasting change in the relations between labor, capital and government. When British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and her gang broke the coal miners’ union,...

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Building a musical—literally: BILLY ELLIOT at DPAC

Posted By on Thu, Oct 28, 2010 at 8:33 AM

photo by Jeremy M. LangeMichael Dameski, one of five actors sharing the title role, performing during a press previewIn its first two years, Durham Performing Arts Center has hosted the professional touring versions of 12 Broadway musicals. But the demands of number 13, BILLY ELLIOT, which opens this Saturday, Oct. 30, have posed a set of challenges new to the venue. It’s forced DPAC to go dark for a month and a half—the longest period of inactivity since the center opened in November 2008. It’s converted the building’s spacious lobbies—on all four stories—into rehearsal spaces for the cast and orchestra....

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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Preview: Pilobolus and Art Spiegelman's
"Hapless Hooligan in 'Still Moving'"

Posted By on Thu, Jul 1, 2010 at 2:39 PM

The news is already breaking on the new Pilobolus Dance Theater collaboration with cartoonist Art Spiegelman, creator of In the Shadow of No Towers and the ground-breaking graphic novel, Maus. Laura Collins-Hughes' June 20 article in the Boston Globe first tantalized us with descriptions of the working process and still images from the work. Then Dartmouth, where the ADF co-commission work premiered, released three juicy minutes of highlights from the work, on YouTube: About the same time, Pilobolus published a ten-minute featurette on the work, including behind the scenes intervews with Spiegelman, chhoreographer Michael Tracy and animators Dan and Jason...

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