Theatre Review|#GraceForPresident Wins My Vote for #FamilyFun ! @RLT1936 @NCmuseumofhistory 

Raleigh, The votes are in…Grace For President is a win-win! A must see for families who enjoy seeing theatre that is fun for everyone. This play is based on a children’s book, Grace For President (if you haven’t read it, head to your local library to check out this wonderful book) …

…by Kelly S. DiPucchio, with illustrations by LeUyen Pham. It’s now playing at the North Carolina Museum of History as part of the Raleigh Little Theatre Family Series. The book, music and lyrics for this production are by Joan Cushing and will run from October 13 thru October 22, 2017. 

This inspiring tale empowers little girls to believe they can achieve anything, to work hard to be the best person for the job and never rest on being the popular choice. The whole family can enjoy this musical experience and follow Grace’s ambitions as the story unfolds. If you saw my recent #SobeSavvyGiveaway post, I shared the plot of this play in detail as well gave away tickets to see this show. I had a chance to see the Saturday night show with my #HeighPartyof3 and we loved it! Take a look at some of the amazing talent from the local actors ranging from 13 to 21 years old that brought this story to life: 

  • Left to Right: Anthony/Mr. Waller (Matt Ellington), Robbie (Blake Rose), Mrs. Barrington (Emma Johnson), Grace (TaMya Bland), Thomas/Henry (Logan Harrison), Sam (Keith Petersen), Rose/Mrs. Phillips (Jessica Soffian), Carla (Stacey Mejia-Montano)

  • Grace Campbell (TaMya Bland)

  • Mrs. Barrington (Emma Johnson)

  • Thomas/Henry (Logan Harrison)

  • Anthony/Mr. Waller (Matt Ellington)

  • Rose/Mrs. Phillips (Jessica Soffian)

  • Carla (Stacey Mejia-Montano), Sam (Keith Petersen)

Photo Credit: Brandi Swarms 

Admission Prices: Adult ($15), Children ($11) Tickets are available for purchase online or from box office at 919.821.3111 *Seating is General Admission. The show is about an hour long with no intermission.*

SobeSavvy Tip: Go one hour before the show for a “Grace” inspired gallery hunt in the Museum, to create your own campaign button to take home and pose for a selfie as a future North Carolina Hall of Fame-er! Take a look at our #GraceforPresRLT selfies here⤵ 

 https://www.instagram.com/p/BaPh8wXBBtD/

Although based on a fictional book, this play was full of fun facts about our Presidents, American History and how Election Day works! I would recommend this educational musical for everyone, especially any aspiring young leader you may have in your family. Buy tickets TODAY and make plans to see Grace and her classmates discover what it takes to be the best candidate and find the fun and hilarity in the wonderful world of politics! 

This event is presented by the Raleigh Little Theatre http://raleighlittletheatre.org/                

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*Single tickets on sale for the 2017/18 Season of Groundbreakers.

North Carolina Museum of History
Daniels Auditorium
5 E. Edenton Street
Downtown Raleigh






#Raleigh, Win Tix To See @RLT1936 ‘s #GraceForPresident @NCmuseumofhistory #FamilyFun

Grace for Presidenta play based on the book by Kelly S. DiPucchio, with illustrations by LeUyen Pham, is coming to the North Carolina Museum of History as part of the Raleigh Little Theatre Family Series. The book, music and lyrics for this production are by Joan Cushing and will run from October 13 thru October 22, 2017. *One lucky SobeSavvy reader will have a chance to win a family 4 pack of tickets to see the play on Friday Oct. 20, 2017, 7:30pm Entry details will be at end of this post.*

If you are not familiar with this childrens book, it is an inspiring tale that empowers little girls! The whole family can enjoy this musical experience and follow Grace’s ambitions as the story unfolds. Here is the plot: 

One day in class, Grace Campbell discovered that there has never been a female president. “Where are the girls?” she asked, as her third-grade teacher rolls out a poster of all 44 U.S. presidents. Frustrated by the lack of female faces in the White House, Grace decides she wants to be president and inspires a school election. She seems the likely winner until the most popular boy runs against her. Through the throes of campaigning and pep rallies, service projects and posters, Grace and her classmates discover what it takes to be the best candidate and find the fun and hilarity in the wonderful world of politics!

Tickets are available for purchase online or from box office at 919.821.3111 *Seating is General Admission

SobeSavvy Tip: Go one hour before the show for a “Grace” inspired gallery hunt in the Museum, to create your own campaign button to take home and pose for a selfies as a future North Carolina Hall of Fame-er!

#SobeSavvyGiveaway Details: In partnership with Raleigh Little Theatre, I am giving away 4 tickets for 1 winner to enjoy this family friendly show on Friday, October 20, 2017 at 7:30pm . To enter, click >>>HERE. Winner will be chosen randomly on October 13. 

Good Luck!   (..and be sure to stay tuned of my review of this show. I can’t wait to see this play with #outandaboutAva)

North Carolina Museum of History

Daniels Auditorium 

5 East Edenton Street

Raleigh, NC 

*UpdateContest has ended. Congrats to Rada Mills! Thank you all for entering !*

Opening Night Review|HATS OFF to ‘CROWNS’👒 ! Now playing @RLT1936 thru 9/10 in #Raleigh ~Get Tix NOW!

In 1998, North Carolina photographer Michael Cunningham began taking
pictures of women in their hats. His friend, journalist Craig Marberry, thought they should put together a book of the photos and the stories behind them. Marberry was curious why so many African-American women wear flamboyant
hats to church. Their curiosity led to the publication of the now iconic book (which I received as a Christmas gift in 2003 from my in-laws) entitled “Crowns”. They have the picture of 50 African American Women wearing their hats, or Crowns to church. They has a profile of each women to go with the back story behind their hats.

This book ‘CROWNS’ was made into an off broadway play and has had many adaptations nationwide on stage throughout the years that have followed.

Fast forward to 2017, the Raleigh Little Theatre had their premier opening of the musical “Crowns”, now playing from Aug 25 to Sept. 10 . It’s story is about culture, history, tradition, women and their “hattitudes” ! You’ll laugh, you’ll reflect and you may even sing-along to the gospel music performed in the show. Musical Director, Carolyn Colquitt said “This story is telling why women wore the hats and what they represented.” 

More than a few women {including myself} wore their “Crowns” for the Opening Night at Raleigh Little Theatre

The play, directed by Terra Hodge, created six composite characters. Their stories are
told over the course of a Sunday. The audience sees these various women get ready for church, attend a morning service, a wedding, a funeral and a baptism. 

Photos by Brenna Lila Jane Berry-Stewart                    

  • (Top Left) India Williams as Mabel
  • (Center Left) Chanda Branch as Velma
  • (Bottom Left) Lynnette Barber as Mother Shaw
  • (Right) Lynnette Barber as Mother Shaw, Chelsey Moore (kneeling) as Yolanda, LaToya Smith as Jeanette

Five older women are joined by the grandaughter of one of them — a younger woman, 17 year old Yolanda from Brooklyn. The young woman (played brilliantly by Chelsey Moore) is a pivotal character and is changed by this experience of finding out about these women, through their hats. The audience is reminded that we’re still kings and queens with “crowns” that as James Baldwin said …”were already bought and paid for. All we have to do is wear them.” 

Leslie Heigh, Founder of SobeSavvy.com , wears her hat/crown to see “CROWNS”

One of my favorite parts of the show was the music, which had the sold out audience clapping and sometimes stomping their
feet. It was truly a shared experience no matter your age, race, gender or religion. I think everyone felt the uplifting spirit of the play and got the message from the monologues, as well as the lyrics of the songs. BRAVO to all the actors on stage, who were locals who auditioned right here for the chance to show their talent for the entire Triangle to witness!  

Crowns Contest Winners (left to right) Evenlyn Castleberry and Brenda Sanders pose by the winning entries

SobeSavvy Tip:  Arrive early to see the exhibition on display of the CROWNS contest winners. Six women were chosen to be photographed wearing their ‘Crowns’ based on their shared stories of what wearing a hat means to them.

CROWNS Contest Winners Photo Exhibition | Photo Credit: Raleigh Little Theatre, Arts Now

Tickets are available >>>> here. Some shows are already sold out, so don’t wait! On Aug 27 a panel discussion, sponsored by North Carolina State’s African American Cultural Center, will be held after the show to discuss the history behind the hats worn by black women. The talk will be led by Moses T. Alexander.

Raleigh Little Theatre was the perfect intimate atmosphere to experience such a soulful stage presentation

RALEIGH LITTLE THEATRE             301 Pogue St

Raleigh, NC 27607 

Tickets 919.821.3111

Raleighlittletheatre.org

Go see this amazing musical “CROWNS ” by Regina Taylor~ Adapted from the book by Michael Cunningham and Craig Marberry~Directed by Terra Hodge 

Opening Night “CROWNS” at Raleigh Little Theatre ~As Seen on the Scene, by SobeSavvy.com

Be sure to follow Raleigh Little Theatre on social media to stay informed of the 2017/2018 season: 

Twitter: @RLT1936

Facebook: Raleigh Little Theatre

Instagram: raleigh_little_theatre

The Light in the Piazza Shines Bright @NCartmuseum #NCMA presented by @TheatreRaleigh thru 7/14

Last night I had the pleasure of seeing performing arts amongst art as Theatre Raleigh partnered with NCMA to present “The Light in the Piazza”. 

Based on Chapel Hill resident Elizabeth Spencer’s novella, the Tony Award–winning musical centers on a chance meeting between Clara, a childlike young woman who travels from Winston-Salem to the “land of naked marble boys” aka Italy with her mother, and Fabrizio, a handsome Florentine. The Light in the Piazza takes place in Italy in the summer of 1953. Margaret Johnson (Judy McLane), the wife of an American businessman, is touring the Tuscan countryside with her daughter, Clara (Hilary Maiberger). While sightseeing, Clara, a beautiful, surprisingly childish young woman, loses her hat in a sudden gust. As if guided by an unseen hand, the hat lands at the feet of Fabrizio Naccarelli (Conor Ryan), a handsome Florentine, who returns it to Clara. This brief episode, charged with coincidence and fate, sparks an immediate and intense romance between Clara and Fabrizio. Margaret, extremely protective of her daughter, attempts to keep Clara and Fabrizio apart. As The Light in the Piazza unfolds, a secret is revealed: in addition to the cultural differences between the young lovers, Clara is not quite all that she appears. Unable to suppress the truth about her daughter, Margaret is forced to reconsider not only Clara’s future, but her own hopes as well.

Bravissimo! to Eric Woodall, Director and the cast/crew for doing an amazing job of transporting the audience to Italy by way of stories, statues and stellar performances! Theatre Raleigh is known for its intimate and invigorating presentations, so partnering with NCMA to bring this musical love story to life and staging it amid the beautiful Italian and ancient Roman sculpture in the Museum’s Classical Court was brilliant! 

If you are in RALEIGH, NC, this show is a must see!  July 6-10 (all performances sold out *as of 7/6/16 , a few seats have been released and on the day of each performance, just 10 standing room tickets will be made available on Theatre Raleigh’s website for just $20) and July 11-14 (the 14th is sold out).  Tickets are $32.50 adults and $30.50 senior/student/military. NCMA members $27.50- $30 adults and $28 senior/student/military and are available at http://www.theatreraleigh.com. Group rates available by calling the box office – 919-832-9997. Be sure to check out Theatre Raleigh 2016 Hot Summer Night Series to see what other performances are happening this summer before it sells out! 

Here are a few pictures captured prior to the performance/during intermission ..enjoy! 

DREAMGIRLS Dazzles! @TheatreRaleigh #trdreamgirls~ Review by SobeSavvy.Com #soNCsavvy

  

Catch the dream when Theatre Raleigh presents Dreamgirls at Kennedy Theatre on July 8-26 (July 8 Preview Night, July 9 Opening Night). Don’t miss this amazing production and the next installment of the Hot Summer Nights series.

Tickets are on-sale now- $27 for adults, $25 for seniors/students/military. You can purchase at http://www.theatreraleigh.com
Group discounts are available and can be purchased at Theatre Raleigh Box Office:919-832-9997
“What an undertaking!!! But I’m beyond thrilled to be directing our biggest show to date, along side a terrific team including Broadway dancer and our choreographer Abbey O’Brien,” said Director, Lauren Kennedy. ‘We are downsizing the cast but it will feel like we are busting the 133 seat Kennedy Theatre wide open and raising the roof with these 18 actors singing to the rafters.”

Full of onstage joy and backstage drama, the sensational Dreamgirls tells the story of an up-and-coming 1960s girl singing group, and the triumphs and tribulations that come with fame and fortune. A young female singing trio from Chicago, Effie (Brittany Walters), Deena (Alexis Sims) and Lorrell (Dorian McCorey) get their big break at an amateur competition and begin singing backup vocals for James “Thunder” Early (Christian Thompson). However, things begin to spin out of control when their agent, Curtis Taylor, Jr.(Lawrence Street), makes Deena and not Effie, the star of what will become known as “The Dreams.” With music by Academy® Award nominee Henry Krieger and book and lyrics by Tony® and Grammy® Award winner Tom Eyen, Dreamgirls features the unforgettable hits: “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” and “One Night Only”. This Tony® and Academy® Award winning musical sparkles like never before!

EVERYONE in this production puts on a stellar performance. Brittany Walters, as Effie and Christian Thompson, as Jimmy are the soul of the show.

The size of the theatre compliments the play to perfection. Intimacy is often lost in huge broadway or arena size productions, not so here. The sheer physical proximity to the actors lends to itself an authenticity that is missing from far too many big productions.

You have two more nights to catch Dreamgirls. Get your tickets NOW !!

Cast

Brittany Walters – Effie

Alexis Sims – Deena

Dorian McCorey – Lorrell

Destiny Diamond – Michele

Christian Thompson – Jimmy

Jade Arnold – CC

Lawrence Street – Curtis

Gil Faison – Marty

Ben Pluska – Dave/Security Guard

Ahmad Ratliff – Ensemble

Josh Walker – Ensemble

Shaun-Avery Williams – Ensemble

Michael Blake – Ensemble

Sherida McMullan – Ensemble

Terra Hodge – Ensemble

Leilani Carr – Ensemble

Meagan Chieppor – Sweethearts

Lisette Glodowski – Sweethearts

 

Crew

Director – Lauren Kennedy

Stage Manager – Christine Scardino

Choreographer – Abbey O’Brien 

Music Director – Bryan Pheobus

Rehearsal Pianist – Lori Anderson 

Scenic Design – Chris Bernier

Lighting Design – Thomas Mauney

Costume/Properties Design – Denise Schumaker

Sound Design – Eric Collins 

Assistant to the Director – John Ravenscraft

Assistant Choreographer – Lisette Glodowski

Hair and Makeup Mistress – Joyce Hawkins

Sound Intern – Alex Bainbridge

Spot Op #1 – Joanna Mills

Spot Op #2 – Jamella Chantal

Wardrobe #1 – Emily Johns

Wardrobe #2 – Sophie Raymer

PA #1 – Dustin Walker

PA #2 – Kimberly Fiorentino
Remaining 2015 Hot Summer Nights Season:

Sleuth (Kennedy Theatre): August 5-16 

Carousel- In Concert (Fletcher Theatre): August 27-30

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About Theatre Raleigh

The mission of Theatre Raleigh, Inc. is to produce work with an artistic scope that includes musical theatre, drama, comedy, concerts, theatre for young audiences, as well as the development of new theatrical projects. Theatre Raleigh, Inc. will nurture a tradition of intimate, professional live performances while enhancing, stimulating and providing opportunities to our community, thus contributing to its vitality.
Theatre Raleigh, Inc. is the umbrella institution under which the Hot Summer Nights Series, along with a planned Theatre for the Young Series and Backstage at the Kennedy Music Series, operates with the goal of providing audiences diverse programming in the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts.

For more information please go to http://www.theatreraleigh.com.