Wayyyy down upon the Swami River... Greetings from the future, psychic theater and dance fans. Boy is it hot up here.
I told the paper that on my upcoming vacation in the Fourth Dimension I'd send back a list of shows that had run between here (your present tense) and now (my now that is, about three months up the road). After all, why go with the lesser papers' predictions about the future? The Indy knows!
The good news, of course, is that extremely muggy summer nights due to global warming will be driving folks indoors in record numbers looking for relief (just a little forward-looking humor there). Kids, they weren't all going to the movies. Or will be. (Hm. Language does strange things when it's coming from the future.) Now that it's too late, I'll just say get your tickets early.
Festivals first. Kenny Gannon's new enterprise delivers truth in advertising at Hot Summer Nights at the Kennedy, a six-show festival featuring potent out-of-towners (and local heroes Lauren Kennedy and Alan Campbell) mixed in with local talent. The musical The Last Five Years opens matters June 1-12, with two Ellen Byron one-acts, Graceland and Asleep on the Wind, June 15-26. Those who missed 2001 Pulitzer Prize winner Proof in earlier incarnations at PlayMakers and Triad Stage can catch this iteration June 29-July 10. Tennessee Williams' Cat on a Hot Tin Roof convenes July 20-31, before the musical revue Starting Here, Starting Now, Aug. 3-14. The inaugural season closes with local Broadway heroes Lauren Kennedy and Alan Campbell in concert, Aug. 17-28. Reservations and scheduling information are through Ticketmaster (834-4000).
Whodunit? NCSU TheatreFest 2005 dun--did--will do it with a month of venerable mysteries. Bring deerstalker cap, magnifying glass and meerschaum pipe for The Butler Did It, Agatha Christie's Appointment with Death, and Dial "M" for Murder, May 26-June 26. Further clues: 515-1100.
If a stranger from the future suggested you leave town, would you check out the first annual Stoneleaf Festival in Asheville, May 27-June 5? This collection of 26 performances features eight from the Triangle region. Christine Morris reprises Romulus Linney's Silver River, and Burning Coal revisits Lipstick Traces, its recent anti-tribute to the Sex Pistols. Deep Dish Theatre and EbZb Productions remount Via Dolorosa, David Hare's biographical account of a Middle East trip, and Theatre Or transports Motti Lerner's Hard Love (reviewed on page 36 of this issue).
Bringing up the rear, Raleigh Ensemble Players takes that trailer park uphill with the return of Killer Joe. Though she's strictly speaking not a native, we'll still claim Rebecca Holderness from her distinguished guest directing stands with Burning Coal when she stages a reading of a new adaptation of Strindberg's Miss Julie, before noting actor David Harrell's Quest, a children's show about difference and diversity. In the midst, Transactors Improv Company inhabits Asheville Arts Center. The most interesting of the rest include productions of Six Degrees of Separation, a curious adaptation of The Divine Comedy entitled Nine Modern Cantos, Albee's Everything in the Garden, The Vagina Monologues, and Andy Corren's gay, multi-character three-person comedy, Backyard Fruit (www.stoneleaftheatrefestival.com).
If smaller festivals are more your thing, the ArtsCenter in Carrboro obliges with the 10 by 10 Triangle 10-Minute Play Festival, July 14-24.
The outdoor gatherings--for the truly hearty--include Paperhand Puppet Intervention's Forest Theater Festival , Aug. 12-Sept. 4, and Sword of Peace and Pathway to Freedom, in rotation out at Snow Camp, June 30-Aug. 20.
Before that, we were intrigued to note that One Song Productions produces Mary Zimmerman's adaptation of Ovid's Metamorphoses, May 25-28 at UNC's historic Playmakers Theater. June 2 sees a new group, Chinchilla House Theater, investigating marital dissatisfaction in Dragon Lady at Manbites Dog Theater. Carl Martin (Nixon's Nixon) directs Derrick Ivey, Cynthia de Miranda, Greg Paul and Alisha Wolf, through June 12.
2003 Indy Art Award winner Howard Craft restages his award-winning play The Wise Ones, a turbulent account of the 1960s Alabama voter registration drives, June 3 and 4 at UNC's Sonja Stone Center (962-9001). The ArtsCenter in Carrboro welcomes Winston-Salem's Blue Moon Theater June 26 for The Exonerated (929-ARTS).
Triad Stage proposes a comic Texan version of Wagner's Ring Cycle, Das Barbecü, June 12-July 10 (336-272-0160), before North Carolina Theater presents Sheena Easton in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat , June 9-17 (831-6950).
Now, when it comes to dance, we have this crazy little thing called the American Dance Festival , June 9-July 23. I predict we'll have a few more words about that in the June 8 edition of the Indy. But get these items on your calendar as well: The N.C. Rhythm Tap Ensemble's Rhythm Tap Festival takes over Durham's Carolina Theatre on June 10 and 11. And after packing the Carrboro Century Center last winter, dance photographer/impresario Steve Clark curates his second and third evenings of regional modern dance, Multiple Exposure: Dance and Images , at Durham Arts Council's PSI Theatre. Two entirely different programs featuring some of North Carolina's hottest new dancers, June 17 and 18. Amazingly, admission again will be free--which means get there early to beat the ADFers up the road.