Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Memorial Auditorium, Progress Energy Center—Written in 1964 by Ian Fleming, the English writer famous for creating fictional super-spy James Bond, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is the tale of an inventive family's adventures involving gangsters, candy recipes and a car that is half jalopy, half Leonardo Da Vinci's flying machine. The story is far removed from Fleming's normal tales of espionage, machismo and sex; for Bond fanatics, try to picture Chitty Chitty Bang Bang as the childhood of Bond gadget inventor "Q" told through the lens of a fairy tale.
The musical version opened in London in 2002 and is now touring after a short run on Broadway; the play wasn't as well received here, possibly because the story doesn't have as big a fan base in the U.S. as it does in its native England. While it will appeal mainly to families with small children, the imaginative set design is worth note, and a week after audiences saw a helicopter flying onto the Memorial Auditorium stage in Miss Saigon, the titular flying car will continue to showcase what is possible for Raleigh's stages to accomplish. The show opened Tuesday, March 31, and continues through April 5. Showtime is at 8 p.m., and more info and tickets are available at www.broadwayseriessouth.com. —Hobert Thompson
In a Dream
Witherspoon Campus Cinema, N.C. State Campus—The past comes full circle for filmmaker Jeremiah Zagar as he returns to this year's Full Frame Documentary Film Festival to serve on the jury for the very award he won last year: the Charles E. Guggenheim Emerging Artist Award. Zagar got the nod for his art-imbued film In a Dream, whose narrative flow hinges upon the genius of Zagar's father, a local street artist who covers downtown Philadelphia with obscure but stunning mosaics. Zagar's intricate camerawork and cinema verité directorial style set the scene for a disturbing portrait of family life that breaks under the strain of depression, betrayal, addiction and infidelity. An exploration of inspiration muddled with human failings, Zagar's work is a testament to a family's quest for survival. Zagar brings his film and his story to Witherspoon Student Center at 7 p.m. for free. Visit www.ncsu.edu/cinema. —Kathy Justice