Show Stoppers

Entertainment The Arts

July 26, 2019



A Funny Thing Happened on the way to Dixie’s Tupperware Party: The music, art, theater and comedy to add to your agenda for the rest of 2019. 

By Page Leggett

This fall and winter will bring a bit of the old and the new to Charlotte’s cultural scene. Here are 20 events we’re most excited about.

August

The Band’s Visit

Blumenthal Performing Arts Center’s
Broadway Lights Series

Aug. 6 – 25 

After a mix-up at a train station, an Egyptian police band winds up in a remote village in the Israeli desert. With no bus until morning and no hotel in sight, the wayward travelers are taken in for the night by locals. In the middle of nowhere, strangers make very human connections. The musical adaptation of the 2007 Israeli film won 10 Tony Awards, including the 2018 Tony for Best Musical. Belk Theater at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $25-$114.50. carolinatix.org

Silence! The Musical

Actor’s Theatre

Aug. 15 – Sept. 7

Imagine the psychological thriller Silence of The Lambs, but funny — and set to music. One of the most terrifying movies of our time has been reimagined as a musical. Some of the song titles aren’t suitable to be printed here: This one’s for — well, not exactly mature audiences. Be warned — this show contains (very) adult humor. Hadley Theater at Queens University, 2132 Radcliffe Ave. Tickets are $30-$44 weekdays and $35-$50 weekends. atcharlotte.org

Jazz Room Special Edition: Matt Lemmler Reimagines the Music of Stevie Wonder

Jazz Arts Charlotte

Aug. 15 – 17

Renowned New Orleans pianist, singer and composer Matt Lemmler and friends play his jazz-imbued arrangements of the unmistakable music of Stevie Wonder. Boogie On, Reggae Woman. Stage Door Theatre, 155 N. College St. Tickets are $16-$20. thejazzarts.org

Dixie’s Tupperware Party

presented by Blumenthal Performing Arts Center

Aug. 27 – Sept. 8

Fast-talking Tupperware lady Dixie Longate is actually the alter ego of actor/writer/drag performer Kris Andersson. Dixie puts on the most colorful Tupperware parties, regaling guests with outrageously funny tales about life back in an Alabama trailer park. This’ll be a raunchy good time. Booth Playhouse at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $24.50-$54.50. carolinatix.org

September

Oliver!

Theatre Charlotte

Sept. 6 – 22

A big, boisterous cast of about 35 will include 14 kids between ages 9 and 16. Retiring Executive Director Ron Law directs the musical adaptation of Charles Dickens’ beloved novel, Oliver Twist.  Theatre Charlotte, 501 Queens Rd. Tickets are $12-$28. theatrecharlotte.org

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Gynecologic Oncology Unit at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center of New York City

Warehouse Performing Arts Center and
Knight Gallery

Sept. 20 – Oct. 5

Halley Feiffer, daughter of satirist and cartoonist Jules Feiffer, wrote the comedic play about a foul-mouthed 20-something comedian and a middle-aged man forced together when their moms, both cancer patients, become roommates in the hospital. Warehouse PAC Founder and Executive Director Marla Brown calls A Funny Thing “one of those beautiful theatrical experiences that allows you to laugh through your tears. It focuses on two strangers who meet in the shared hospital room of their mothers and the deep connection they create. Halley Feiffer’s work is simultaneously outrageous, crude, hilarious and yet deeply moving, so a fun challenge for actors to capture those transitions quickly.” Brown adds that the play addresses “the invisibility and difficulty of being a caregiver, especially to people we love most and with whom we are closest. Feiffer reminds us that ironically, mortality provides a space to heal fractured relationships.” 9216-A Westmoreland Rd., Cornelius (Sept. 20-29), Knight Gallery at Spirit Square (Oct. 3-5). Tickets are $15-$20. warehousepac.com

Immersed in Light: Studio Drift at the Mint

Mint Museum Uptown

Sept. 21 – April 26

Founded by Dutch artists Ralph Nauta and Lonneke Gordijn, Studio Drift creates larger-than-life sculptures that explore the intersection of humanity, nature and technology. Fragile Future 3 is made of hundreds of tiny dandelion seeds individually hand-glued onto LED lights and held together by bronze electrical circuits. The work is a statement on the impermanence of everything in life — including life itself. 500 S. Tryon St. Admission is $15; free for members and children 4 and under. mintmuseum.org

Wait Until Dark

Davidson Community Players

Sept. 26 – Oct. 13

Desperate to get their hands on a doll stuffed with drugs, a con man and two criminal sidekicks try to fool the unsuspecting — and blind — Susy, who is in possession of the goods. A thrilling game of cat and mouse ensues inside Susy’s apartment. After dark, though, our blind heroine may have the upper hand. Armour Street Theatre, 307 Armour St., Davidson. Tickets are $15-$20. davidsoncommunityplayers.org

October

Itzhak Perlman Plays Mendelssohn

Charlotte Symphony Orchestra

Oct. 5

Itzhak Perlman is to the violin what Yo-Yo Ma is to the cello. Both are the reigning masters. The legend got his break on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1958 and has since performed for Queen Elizabeth II in the East Room of the White House and for President Barack Obama’s 2009 inauguration. Belk Theater. Tickets are $78-$309. carolinatix.org

Peter Pan

Children’s Theatre of Charlotte

Oct. 4 – Nov. 3

The Tony Award-winning musical in which Peter whisks the Darling children off to Neverland is a classic adventure story with a great villain (Captain Hook) and an even better sidekick (Tinkerbell). ImaginOn, 300 E. 7th St. Tickets are $15-$34. ctcharlotte.org

Little Shop of Horrors

CPCC Theatre

Oct. 25 – Nov. 3

The timid floral assistant Seymour Krelborn stumbles across a new breed of plant he names “Audrey II” after his workplace crush. The foul-mouthed, R&B-crooning carnivorous plant promises fame and fortune to the down-on-his-luck Seymour as long as Seymour keeps feeding him. The only problem: Audrey II’s food of choice is human blood. This comedic musical is one of the longest-running off-Broadway shows ever. Halton Theater, 1206 Elizabeth Ave. Tickets are $19-$21. tix.cpcc.edu

Leonce and Lena

Charlotte Ballet

Oct. 24 – 26

Georg Büchner’s political satire was comedic theater before it was a ballet. The story concerns a bored prince (Leonce) and jaded princess (Lena) who have never met, despite being betrothed to each other since birth. On the eve of their wedding, they each flee — only to meet as strangers and fall in love. Knight Theater, 430 S. Tryon St. Tickets are $25-$85; children’s Saturday matinee tickets are $15. charlotteballet.org

November

Protective Custody: PRISONER 34042

Three Bone Theatre

Nov. 1-3, 7-9 

A powerhouse lineup is behind this extraordinary world premiere. Local theater icon Charles LaBorde wrote the play based on the memoir by Charlotte’s Susan Cernyak-Spatz, a Holocaust survivor. Dennis Delamar, who had the idea to turn the story into a play, directs Nicia Carla and Paula Baldwin. Protective Custody: PRISONER 34042 shares Cernyak-Spatz’s real-life experience as a young woman in Europe during the rise of Nazism and her against-the-odds survival in the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camps. Recommended for ages 16+. Duke Energy Theater at Spirit Square, 345 N. College St. Tickets are $22-$28. threebonetheatre.com

The Simon & Garfunkel Story

presented by Blumenthal Performing Arts Center

Nov. 2 

Before they were the duo famous for “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” “Homeward Bound” and “The Sound of Silence,” they were two boys from Brooklyn trying to make it. This concert/theatrical event uses state-of-the-art video projection and a live band to chronicle the rise of the duo once known as “Tom & Jerry.” Knight Theater. Tickets are $25-$74.50. carolinatix.org

Verdi’s Macbeth

Opera Carolina

Nov. 7, 9 and 10

A cautionary tale (“Something wicked this way comes …”) about the dangers of pursuing power for its own sake, Verdi’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s tragedy feels both pressing and ageless. Macbeth gets a prophecy from three witches that he will one day become King of Scotland. Encouraged by his power-hungry wife, he murders the king and assumes the throne. Demented with guilt and paranoia, Macbeth is forced to commit even more murders to stay ahead of suspicion. Lady Macbeth, consumed by her own shame, is slowly driven mad. Belk Theater, 130 N. Tryon St. Tickets are $23-$194. operacarolina.org

Sinatra Returns, featuring Joe Gransden

Jazz at the Bechtler

Nov. 1

Crooner Joe Gransden comes from a long line of musicians: His dad was a singer and pianist, and his grandfather was a professional New York trumpet player. After high school, Gransden toured as a sideman with the big bands of Tommy Dorsey and Glenn Miller. “Emulating the jazz greats is always the very first step,” he has said. “But … to be true to myself — who I am, what I believe in, my family background — I need to have a sound that’s my own. One of the truly enjoyable things about my career has been finding that my audience appreciates my individual talents.” He brings those talents to the stage in a tribute to Ol’ Blue Eyes. The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, 420 S. Tryon St. Tickets are $10-$16. bechtler.org

Ellis Paul

The Evening Muse

Nov. 29 

The singer-songwriter’s ballads have landed on movie soundtracks — Me, Myself & Irene in 2000, Shallow Hal in 2001 and Hall Pass in 2014 — but folk singers don’t typically appear on Billboard’s Top 100. Paul is a Boston-educated, Charlottesville, Va.-based folk troubadour whose literate songs tackle topics such as post-Katrina New Orleans, parenthood and the Civil War. He makes it to Charlotte just once a year. Paul’s Friday-after-Thanksgiving show at the Muse is becoming an annual tradition. 2227 N. Davidson St. Tickets are $20-$22. eveningmuse.com

December

Clara’s Trip: A Cirque & Dance Nutcracker Story

Caroline Calouche & Co.

Dec. 13 – 15

It’s The Nutcracker, but performed up in the air by Calouche and her team of aerial artists and acrobats. You know the familiar tale, but you’ve probably never seen it performed overhead. It’s an exciting twist on a classic. Booth Playhouse, 130 N. Tryon St. Tickets are $20-$45. carolinecalouche.org

Be A Lion

Brand New Sheriff Productions

Dec. 5 – 15

Be A Lion is a sequel of sorts to The Wiz. The lion, whose cowardice has been replaced by courage, is tasked with restoring harmony to Oz. His mission is threatened by the daughter of the late wicked witch. Rory Sheriff’s theatrical company produces plays that illuminate the African-American experience. Duke Energy Theatre at Spirit Square, 345 N. College St. Tickets are $15-$22. brandnewsheriff.com 

Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some!)

Chickspeare

Dec. 13 – 14 

Charlotte’s all-female Shakespeare troupe is bringing back its popular Christmas play — a mashup of everything from A Christmas Carol to It’s a Wonderful Life to Miracle on 34th Street. Santa, The Grinch and George Bailey all make appearances in the 90-minute interactive show. “We’ve had so many people ask us to bring this show back for the holidays,” said the Chicks’ executive director, Sheila Proctor. “The show has all their favorite nostalgic Christmas characters, carols and loads of Christmas cheer.” NoDa Brewing Company, 2229 N. Tryon St. Tickets are $24. chickspeare.org  SP

All information was correct as of press time. However, event details, including dates and pricing, are subject to change. We encourage you to check an event’s website before purchasing tickets.

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