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Edited by Robert W. McDowell

A FREE Weekly Arts Newsletter
March 30, 2017 Issue



PART 5A -- DANCE CALENDAR ADDITIONS: April 2017 Triangle Dance Calendar.

PART 5B -- McDOWELL THEATER PREVIEW: My Fair Lady (PlayMakers Repertory Company in the Paul Green Theatre at UNC-Chapel Hill).

PART 5C -- SECOND OPINION: The Andrews Brothers (Temple Theatre of Sanford); and Something Rotten! (Durham Performing Arts Center's SunTrust Broadway Series).

NOTE: Please note that Triangle Arts and Entertainment ( is Triangle Review's Internet partner. A dynamic regional website that covers art, theater, dance, music, and much, much more, Triangle Arts and Entertainment will reprint Triangle Review previews and reviews -- in their entirety -- in eye-pleasing magazine-style web page layouts, complete with photos and other graphics. -- R.W.M.


April 2017 Triangle Dance Calendar Additions

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the Triangle Review's Master Dance Calendar for the entire month of April 2017. (To view the annotated online version of the April 2017 calendar, see below or click

If your productions are not listed in this calendar, please e-mail the SHOW TITLE(S), DATE(S), LOCATION(S), and the name of the PRESENTER(S) to, and be sure to e-mail all your news releases and publicity PHOTOS -- with CAPTIONS and PHOTO CREDITS -- to that address. (Our "snail mail" address is Triangle Review, 1828 Honeysuckle Road #13, Raleigh, NC 27609-6220.)


April 11: Black Grace (NC State LIVE in Stewart Theatre in NCSU's Talley Student Union in Raleigh). [NEW LISTING.]

April 22-23: In Time, with special guests Elizabeth Burke (both days) and Michelle Dorrance (Sunday only) (North Carolina Youth Tap Ensemble at The Carolina Theatre of Durham). [NEW LISTING.]

EDITOR'S NOTE: Robert W. McDowell has written articles for The News & Observer, The Raleigh Times, Spectator Magazine, CVNC, and Triangle Arts and Entertainment, all based in Raleigh. He edits and publishes two FREE weekly e-mail newsletters. Triangle Review provides comprehensive, in-depth coverage of local performing-arts events. (Start your FREE subscription by e-mailing and typing SUBSCRIBE TR in the Subject: line.) McDowell also maintains a FREE list of movie sneak previews. (To subscribe, e-mail and type SUBSCRIBE FFL FREE in the Subject: line.)



PlayMakers Repertory Company Preview

PlayMakers Rep Reimagines Lerner and Loewe's
Magnificent 1956 Musical My Fair Lady April 5-29

Mia Pinero makes her PlayMakers debut as cockney flower girl Eliza Doolittle (photo by HuthPhoto)

          PlayMakers Repertory Company's April 5-29 presentation of Lerner and Loewe's magnificent 1956 musical, My Fair Lady, boasts plenty of candlepower, onstage with its effervescent mixture of newcomers and PlayMakers regulars and backstage with its all-female design team. PRC first-time guest director Tyne-Rafaeli's reimagining of My Fair Lady, especially tailored for the thrust stage of the Paul Green Theatre in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's Center for Dramatic Art, will preview April 5-7, officially open April 8, and run April 9, 11-16, 18-23, and 27-29.

          My Fair Lady, which is based on Pygmalion, George Bernard Shaw's biting 1913 satire of the British upper class, made its Broadway debut, under the direction of legendary playwright and director Moss Hart (1904-61), with choreography by Hanya Holm, on March 15, 1956 at the Mark Hellinger Theatre, transferred twice, and racked up a total of 2,717 performances, before closing on Sept. 29, 1962, making it the 20th-longest-running Broadway show.

          My Fair Lady, which features a book and lyrics by Frederick Loewe (1901-88) and music by Alan Jay Lerner (1918-86), won six 1957 Tony Awards®, including Best Musical. It also added "Wouldn't It Be Loverly?," "With a Little Bit of Luck," "I Could Have Danced All Night," "On the Street Where You Live," "Get Me to the Church on Time," and "I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face" to the show-tune repertoire.

          "I have never worked on My Fair Lady before, and was not very familiar with it," admits New York City-based British-American director Tyne Rafaeli. "I'm sure I watched the [1964] movie as a kid, but I didn't have an intimate relationship with the musical. I did know Pygmalion, and am very interested in Shaw's politics and world view."

          She adds, "I think my newness to the material was helpful, because I came to it with fresh, unencumbered eyes. My first response to it was that it's an exquisitely written piece of musical-theater writing; and that in light of our current political climate, it is ripe for revisiting and reinterpretation....

          "Over the last few months," says Rafaeli, "many of us in the theater have been asking with more urgency, 'What work are we doing, and why are we doing it?' Asking the question, 'Should the theater be a place of transcendence and entertainment, removing us from the unsettling political landscape? Or should it be a place where we encourage -- or even force -- the audience to confront our current reality?'

The PRC production of My Fair Lady stars (from left) Ray Dooley as Colonel Pickering, PRC newcomer
Mia Pinero as Eliza Doolittle, and Jeffrey Blair Cornell as Henry Higgins (photo by Jon Gardiner)

          "This whole season has explored stories of transformation and sparked discussion on some of today's most important issues," claimed PlayMakers Rep producing artistic director Vivienne Benesch in the PRC news release for the show. She added, "What better way to end our 2016-17 mainstage series than to be transported by a relevant, thoughtful, fresh take on one of the best-known stories of transformation of all time. In the hands of Tyne [Rafaeli] and her marvelous creative team, this production brings the complexity of Shaw's story to arresting new life while honoring the beloved musical's original frame and richness. With the heightened intimacy of a two-piano orchestration, this beloved musical promises magnificent voices, visual splendor and an energetic, entertaining evening for all."

          The news release also quotes Tyne Rafaeli as saying, "This is a story of transformation. Transformation through education, transformation through smashing down the walls that separate us, transformation through realizing we may be closer to 'the other half' than we think. Approaching this iconic musical is a thrilling opportunity to widen our perspective and shine a light on some of the complexities we face in 2017."

          Earlier this month, Rafaeli told Triangle Review, "When Viv [Benesch] and I first talked about My Fair Lady in 2016, I was struck by the idea that this piece could do both [i.e., be transcendent and entertaining]. This piece has so much joy, beauty, and transcendental potential, while also confronting certain complexities about how we're living [today]."

          Tyne Rafaeli says, "Specifically asking questions about how we can work to break down the walls that divide us. There is an imperative for us to be breaking down walls, rather than building them."

          She notes, "[Phonetics professor Henry] Higgins (played by PRC mainstay Jeffrey Blair Cornell) is a product of his time and his circumstances. So, in light of recent political developments, his world view is sometimes hard to digest -- specifically his attitudes towards women. So, it's been a challenge for me and the company to ensure that Higgins remains an empathetic character: someone we understand is a product of his time and circumstances, like we all are, which limits perceptive and creates certain blind spots.

          "Luckily, we have the incredible Jeff Cornell playing Higgins; and in his hands, I feel we are achieving this humanity in spades," says Rafaeli. "We've talked a lot about it in rehearsal. How, for all of us, our circumstances and the time that we're born into can create certain blind spots where we can't see beyond our privilege.

          "So, Jeff and I have concentrated on where Higgins came from, how that has limited his perspective, and how through his contact with Eliza Doolittle [played by Mia Pinero in her PlayMakers Rep debut], he transforms as a human being," says Tyne Rafaeli. "How when we open up our eyes, when we widen our perspective, when we identify our blind spots, we become better human beings. And our lives, even if they are more complicated and chaotic as we absorb different perspectives, become ultimately richer."

Gary Milner makes his PRC debut as Eliza's father, dustman Alfred P. Doolittle (photo by Jon Gardiner)

          In addition to Mia Pinero as cockney Covent Garden flower girl Eliza Doolittle and Jeff Cornell as Higgins' Universal Alphabet author and confirmed bachelor Henry Higgins, the cast for My Fair Lady includes PlayMakers Rep audience favorites Ray Dooley as Higgins' colleague Colonel Pickering, retired Army officer and author of Spoken Sanskrit, and Julie Fishell as Henry's increasingly exasperated mother, Mrs. Higgins. Their co-stars include Julia Gibson as Professor Higgins' housekeeper Mrs. Pearce, Gary Milner as Eliza's ne'er-do-well father the dustman Alfred P. Doolittle, Jade Arnold as Eliza's totally smitten upper-class suitor Freddy Eynsford-Hill, and Shanelle Nicole Leonard as Freddy's mother Mrs. Eynsford-Hill. The Ensemble includes David Adamson, Carlos Alcala, John Allore, Catherine Baird, Bradley Barefoot, Rishan Dhamija, Alex Givens, Emmett Holladay Anderson, Jenny Latimer, Christine Mirzayan, and Tristan Parks.

          "We started our design process by looking at the end of the piece," explains director Tyne Rafaeli. "I wanted to complicate and deepen the ending of the show."

          She adds, "Our production is very much Eliza's story, and I have worked hard with my design team to see if we can create a space where we can track Eliza's emotional and psychological journey and articulate that through the design. So, I would say the design had to be more poetic and more theatrical than I first anticipated, in order to really get inside of Eliza's experience and psychology, and push her to our new, dynamic ending.

          "I think the result is thrilling, fresh -- and beautiful," Rafaeli says. "We are stripping certain tropes away in order to reveal and put a spotlight on Eliza, and her transformation, education, and triumph."

Mia Pinero's Eliza Doolittle (center) shocks the swells at Ascot's opening race (photo by HuthPhoto)

          Besides director Tyne Rafaeli and PRC producing artistic director Vivienne Benesch, the PlayMakers Rep creative team for My Fair Lady includes choreographer Tracey Bersley, music director Mark Hartman, production manager Michael Rolleri, scenic designer McKay Coble, lighting designer Masha Tsimring, costume designer Andrea Hood, sound designer Anna Warda Alex, voice coach John Patrick, dramaturg Gregory Kable, stage manager Charles K. Bayang, and assistant stage manager Hannah-Jean Farris.

          "Whether you are a frequent theatregoer or whether you are coming to see My Fair Lady specifically," says director Tyne Rafaeli, "I think the universal experience will be one of deep emotion. The more I am inside the score, and the more I am inside the narrative, the more moving it is."

          She adds, "The more you understand how this Greek myth -- Pygmalion -- has stood the test of time, that there is something about this narrative that is exquisitely moving and inspirational about the human capacity for change and the transformational experience of intimacy. I think it will move people tremendously. I think we will also go away with an understanding that by breaking down the barriers between us, it enriches all our lives. It takes enormous will and awareness to see past one's own privilege and to empathize and acknowledge another person's experience. It is essential we do.

          "I think this is an extraordinary company," says Rafaeli. "Because we're reinterpreting the material and trying to push it into a new fresh place, everybody in the company is so invested in creating the show together. It's a real ensemble piece, led by a group of extraordinary lead actors: Mia Pinero, Jeff Cornell, [and] Gary Milner, who's playing Doolittle.

          "In Jeff Cornell we have (as I am learning) a PlayMakers favorite, with Gary Milner we have an absolutely virtuosic performance as Doolittle, and with Mia Pinero, you're watching the next star being born," claims Tyne Rafaeli. "And they are supported by an incredible ensemble of actors.... The company is a force to be reckoned with."

Mia Pinero and Jeff Cornell could have danced all night in My Fair Lady (photo by Jon Gardiner)

          SECOND OPINION: March 25th Chapel Hill, NC WCHL/ interview with director Tyne Rafaeli, conducted by Aaron Keck:

          PlayMakers Repertory Company presents MY FAIR LADY at 7:30 p.m. April 5-7 Previews, 7:30 p.m. April 8 Opening Night, 2 p.m. April 9, 7:30 p.m. April 11-14, 2 and 7:30 p.m. April 15, 2 p.m. April 16, 7:30 p.m. April 18-22, 2 p.m. April 23, and 7:30 p.m. April 27-29 in the Paul Green Theatre in the Center for Dramatic Art, 150 Country Club Rd., Chapel Hill, NC 27514, on the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill campus. TICKETS: $15-$57 ($10 UNC students and $12 other college students), with discounts for UNC faculty and staff and U.S. military personnel, except $15 general admission ($10 for students with ID) on Community Night (Tuesday, Jan. 31st). BOX OFFICE: 919-962-PLAY,, or GROUP RATES (15+ tickets): 919-962-PLAY (7529),, or SHOW: and VIDEO PREVIEWS: and PRC NEWS RELEASE: PRESENTER:,,,, and PRC BLOG (Page to Stage): VENUE: DIRECTIONS/PARKING: NOTE 1: All shows are wheelchair accessible, and assistive-listening devices will be available at all performances. NOTE 2: There will be a gala opening-night performance, starting at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 8th. NOTE 3: There will be an All-Access Performance, with sign-language interpretation and audio description by Arts Access, Inc. of Raleigh, at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 11th. NOTE 4: There will be FREE post-show discussions, with members of the cast and creative team, following the show's 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 12th, and 2 p.m. Sunday, April 16th, performances. NOTE 5: There will be an Open Captioning Performance at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 15th (for more information, click here). NOTE 6: The North Carolina Psychoanalytic Society will sponsor FREE post-show Mindplay psychoanalytic discussions on "Is Transformation 'loverly' or is it not?," led by Natalie Peacock-Corral, MSW, LCSW, after the show's 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 29th, performance. OTHER LINKS: Pygmalion (1913 Vienna and 1914 Broadway play): (Internet Broadway Database) and (Wikipedia). George Bernard Shaw (British playwright, 1856-1950): (The Shaw Society, UK), (Internet Broadway Database), and (Wikipedia). My Fair Lady (1956 Broadway and 1958 West End musical): (Internet Broadway Database) and (Wikipedia). Script: (Scribd.). Study Guide: (Utah Shakespeare Festival). Alan Jay Lerner (book and lyrics, 1918-86): (Internet Broadway Database), (Songwriters Hall of Fame), and (Wikipedia). Frederick Loewe (music, 1901-88): (Frederick Loewe Foundation), (Internet Broadway Database), (Songwriters Hall of Fame), and (Wikipedia). Tyne Rafaeli (New York City-based British-American director): (official website), (PlayMakers Rep bio), (Internet Broadway Database), and (Internet Movie Database).

EDITOR'S NOTE: Robert W. McDowell has written articles for The News & Observer, The Raleigh Times, Spectator Magazine, CVNC, and Triangle Arts and Entertainment, all based in Raleigh. He edits and publishes two FREE weekly e-mail newsletters. Triangle Review provides comprehensive, in-depth coverage of local performing-arts events. (Start your FREE subscription by e-mailing and typing SUBSCRIBE TR in the Subject: line.) McDowell also maintains a FREE list of movie sneak previews. (To subscribe, e-mail and type SUBSCRIBE FFL FREE in the Subject: line.)



          THE ANDREWS BROTHERS (Temple Theatre, 7 p.m. April 6, 2 and 8 p.m. April 7, 8 p.m. April 8, and 2 8 p.m. April 9 at 120 Carthage St., Sanford, NC 27330): March 23rd Durham, NC Sanford Herald preview by Dawn Baumgartner Vaughan: (Note: To read Triangle Arts and Entertainment's online version of the March 25th Triangle Review review by Martha Keravuori and Chuck Galle, click SHOW: 2016-17 MAINSTAGE SEASON: PRESENTER/VENUE:,, and, and,_North_Carolina%29. DIRECTIONS/PARKING: TICKETS: 919-774-4155,, or GROUP RATES (10+ tickets): 919-774-4155,, or OTHER LINKS: The Andrews Brothers (2008 musical play): (Steele Spring Stage Rights). Peggy Taphorn (director): (Temple Theatre bio), (Internet Broadway Database), and (Facebook page).

The Durham Performing Arts Center will present eight performances of Something Rotten! on April 4-9 as part of its SunTrust Broadway Series

          SOMETHING ROTTEN! (Durham Performing Arts Center, 7:30 p.m. April 6, 8 p.m. April 7, 2 and 8 p.m. April 8, and 1 and 6:30 p.m. April 9 at 123 Vivian St., Durham, NC 27701, in the American Tobacco Historic District): April 6th Raleigh, NC Talkin' Broadway Raleigh/Durham review by Garrett Southerland:; April 5th Raleigh, NC Raleigh review by Jeffrey Kare: and March 29th BWW TV interview with actor Josh Grisetti , conducted by Jeffrey Kare:; April 5th Durham, NC Herald-Sun review by Dawn Baumgartner Vaughan: and March 22nd preview by Dawn Baumgartner Vaughan: (Note: You must subscribe to read these articles); April 5th Raleigh, NC News & Observer review by Dawn Baumgartner Vaughan:; and April 5th Burlington, NC Times-News preview by Rachel Teseneer for "Teens & Twenties": and March 29th preview by Rachel Teseneer for "Teens & Twenties": (Note: To read Triangle Arts and Entertainment's online version of the April 4th Triangle Review preview by Robert W. McDowell and the April 4th review by Dustin K. Britt, click and, respectively.) SHOW: and VIDEO PREVIEWS: DPAC NEWS RELEASE: DPAC'S 2016-17 "DREAM BIG" SUNTRUST BROADWAY SERIES: THE TOUR:,,,, and TOUR CAST: CREATIVE TEAM: PRESENTER/VENUE:,,, and DIRECTIONS: PARKING: NOTE: Arts Access, Inc. of Raleigh will audio-describe the show's 8 p.m. Saturday, April 8th, performance. TICKETS: DPAC Box Office: 919-680-ARTS (2787),, or Ticketmaster: 800-982-2787 or GROUP RATES (15+ tickets): 919/281-0587,, or OTHER LINKS: Something Rotten! (2015 Broadway musical): (official website), (Internet Broadway Database), (Facebook page), (Twitter page), and! (Wikipedia). Wayne Kirkpatrick (music and lyrics): (tour bio), (Internet Broadway Database), (Internet Movie Database), (Wikipedia). Karey Kirkpatrick (music, lyrics, and book): (tour bio), (Internet Broadway Database), (Internet Movie Database), (Wikipedia). John O'Farrell (book): (tour bio), (Rogwers, Coleridge & White Literary Agency), (Internet Broadway Database), (Internet Movie Database),'Farrell_%28author%29 (Wikipedia). Casey Nicholaw (Broadway and tour director and choreographer): (tour bio), (Internet Broadway Database), (Internet Movie Database), (Wikipedia).

EDITOR'S NOTE: Robert W. McDowell has written articles for The News & Observer, The Raleigh Times, Spectator Magazine, CVNC, and Triangle Arts and Entertainment, all based in Raleigh. He edits and publishes two FREE weekly e-mail newsletters. Triangle Review provides comprehensive, in-depth coverage of local performing-arts events. (Start your FREE subscription by e-mailing and typing SUBSCRIBE TR in the Subject: line.) McDowell also maintains a FREE list of movie sneak previews. (To subscribe, e-mail and type SUBSCRIBE FFL FREE in the Subject: line.)


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