Weekend Theater – A beloved holiday classic

Dana Marks and Emma Nadeau in Jane Eyre

A sampling of Triangle theater performances
for the weekend of December 2-6, 2009, and beyond

This week on Triangle stages: two different productions of a 1946 Frank Capra movie, three adaptations of 19th century novels, and something that sounds like a Rankin/Bass Christmas special on bad acid. How many beloved holiday classics can you spot?

Cirque Dreams – Holidaze – The Cirque (but not du soleil) comes to town with a holiday-themed show. From the press release: “Ornaments come to life as costumed characters who perform astonishing feats… gingerbread men flipping through the air, toy soldiers skillfully marching on thin wires, snowmen daringly balancing, icemen sculpting powerfully, penguins spinning, puppets caroling and reindeer soaring high above a landscape of holiday wonderment…” We dare you to see it stoned. One weekend only: Tuesday-Friday 8:00, Saturday 2:00 and 8:00, Sunday 2:00 and 8:00. Closes December 6. Presented by Broadway Series South. Memorial Auditorium, Raleigh.

Doctor Faustus – “Why this is hell, nor am I out of it.” Christopher Marlowe’s beloved holiday classic. Presented by UNC’s Department of Dramatic Art Undergraduate Productions. This weekend: Friday-Sunday 8:15, plus Monday 4:00 and 8:15, Tuesday 5:00. Closes December 8. Kenan Theatre, Center for Dramatic Art, UNC campus, Chapel Hill.

Holiday Extravaganza – Transactors Improv presents two of its most popular improvised shows: Gender Bender and The Musical! One night only: Saturday 8:00. The ArtsCenter, Carrboro.

It’s a Wonderful Life – Cary Players revives its 2008 production of the beloved holiday classic staged as a 1940’s live radio broadcast. It’s déjà vu! This weekend: Friday and Saturday 8:00, Sunday 3:00, plus Monday 7:00. Closes December 7. Performed in the Cary Town Council Chambers.

Jane Eyre – Return to Thornfield Manor! Little Green Pig’s new stage adaptation of the Charlotte Brontë novel about a rebellious heroine determined to succeed against all odds. This weekend: Thursday-Saturday 8:15, Sunday 3:15. Continues through December 19, at Manbites Dog Theater, Durham.

Much Ado about Nothing – Deceptions, infidelity, eavesdropping, jealousy, and a faked death — must be a Shakespeare comedy. Presented by Burning Coal Theatre. This weekend: Thursday-Saturday 7:30, Sunday 2:00. Continues through December 20. Meymandi Theatre at the Murphey School, Raleigh.

A Trailer Park Christmas – A Durham family has to deal with “crazy neighbors, ghosts, fruitcakes, and a holiday tornado” in this revival of the 2008 hit comedy, sure to become a beloved holiday classic. This weekend: Thursday-Saturday 7:30. Continues through December 19. Common Ground Theatre, Durham.

A Christmas Carol – New adaptation of Charles Dickens beloved holiday classic, incorporating traditional Christmas songs. This weekend: Thursday 2:00 and 8:00, Friday-Saturday 8:00, Sunday 2:00. Continues through December 20. Temple Theatre, Sanford.

The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby – David Edgar’s massive two-part adaptation of the Charles Dickens novel presented in rotating rep. This weekend: Part 1 – Thursday 10:30 and 7:30, Friday 7:30, Sunday 2:00, Tuesday 7:30. Part 2: Wednesday 7:30, Saturday 2:00 and 7:30. Part 1 continues through December 19, Part 2 through December 20. Paul Green Theater, UNC campus, Chapel Hill.

The Phantom of the Opera – The unstoppable musical. If only Gaston Leroux had included a Christmas tree, it could have been a beloved holiday classic. This weekend: Wednesday 7:30, Thursday 2:00 and 7:30, Friday 8:00, Saturday 2:00 and 8:00, Sunday 1:00 and 6:30, Tuesday 7:00. Continues through December 20. Durham Performing Arts Center.

It’s a Wonderful Life – “Where’s that money, you silly stupid old beloved holiday classic?” University Theatre presents the story of George Bailey of Bedford Falls, staged as a 1940’s live radio broadcast. It’s déjà vu all over again! This weekend: Wednesday-Saturday 8:00, Sunday 3:00. Closes December 6. NCSU Campus: Titmus Theatre, Frank Thompson Hall, Raleigh.

For a more complete listing of area theater,
we recommend the arts calendar at Indyweek.com.


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