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Theatre Feature Print

The 10 Best Shows of 2009 - & The Best of the Best

January 2, 2010 - Triangle-Wide, NC:

Every year, Triangle theatergoers feast on a smorgasbord of some of the finest home-grown shows and bus-and-truck productions available anywhere on this side of the Atlantic Ocean. Indeed, many of us believe that the Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill theater scene is the liveliest, most exciting, and most creative between Washington, DC, and Atlanta, GA.

In 2009, the Triangle was blessed with an overabundance of exceptional presentations. To narrow the field to the top 10 shows and five runners-up, I solicited suggestions from my fellow critics Kate Dobbs Ariail and Alan R. Hall and from the readers of Triangle Theater Review. By press time, too few readers had responded to generate a separate article from their comments; however, both our principal critics weighed in. (Note: The ultimate responsibility for the final choices below is mine and mine alone.)

I have listed the top 10 shows of 2009, followed by five runners-up, both in alphabetical order. Seven of the thumbnail write-ups on each production — followed by the reviewer's initials — are from the shows' Classical Voice of North Carolina online reviews; the eighth and ninth are Triangle Theater Review exclusives; and the 10th is a show we didn't review at all (at the presenter's request) but that should be on any list of the top 10 theatrical productions of 2009.

o Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean (Ghost & Spice Productions, April 17-May 2): There are fireworks aplenty in this audience-attention-grabbing presentation of Ed Graczyk's 1976 comedy/drama. Ghost & Spice assembled a crackerjack cast to impersonate the denizens of the H.L. Kressmont Five & Dime in McCarthy, Texas, as their 1955 teenage fan club called "The Disciples of James Dean" holds its eyebrow-raising 20-year reunion — and unpacks a whole closet full of vintage skeletons and even adds some shocking revelations of more recent origin to the mix. Ghost & Spice guest director Tom Marriott expertly interweaves the past and present, projecting period photos on right and left screens to help keep the audience oriented to the right decade as well as underscore comic and dramatic points. Melissa Lozoff gets every tic and twitch of the high-strung and sometimes delusional Mona just right; Tracey Coppedge is a hoot as Sissy the goodtime girl; Hope Hynes Love shows moxie as Stella; and Katja Hill is hilarious as a very pregnant Edna, who is as slow of mind as she is afoot. Also good are Bethany Fannin as Mona at 18, Jennifer Evans as Sissy at 18, and especially Travis Edgerton as poor shy, sensitive Joe. But it is Rachel Klem as Joanne and Lenore Field as Juanita who combine with Melissa Lozoff as Mona at 38 to take acting honors. They are a gritty group, and they make their colorful and complicated characters truly unforgettable. — R.W.M. (To read the complete Triangle Theater Review review, go to Part 2A of our April 23, 2009 issue.)

o I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change (Hot Summer Nights at the Kennedy, July 8-12, 15-19): This rib-tickling presentation of the long-running 1996 Off-Broadway hit is a fresh, new take on what my fellow South Carolinians used to call “he-ing and she-ing.” The rocky road to romance has never before had so many hilarious bumps on it. Joe DiPietro (book and lyrics) and Jimmy Roberts (music) quickly locate the audience's funny bone and pound on it often. Hot Summer Nights guest director/choreographer Tito Hernandez's snappy staging of a series of hilarious skirmishes in the ongoing War Between Men and Women is always buoyant and sometimes brilliant. He elicits effervescent performances from a pair of Triangle theater veterans — Yolanda Rabun and Andrea Schulz Twiss — and a pair of newcomers — recent East Carolina University graduate Aaron Pratt and Shenandoah Conservatory alumnus Jason Sharp. This imaginative and resourceful foursome is always on their toes and as nimble with a quip or a lyric as they are with a dance step.— R.W.M. (To read the complete Classical Voice of North Carolina review, go to http://cvnc.org/reviews/2009/072009/ILoveYou.html.)

o Jersey Boys (Broadway Series South, June 24-July 18): Oh, what a show! When Broadway Series South booked this much-ballyhooed national tour for a four-week run at Raleigh Memorial Auditorium, expectations were stratospheric — and this explosive backstage musical about Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons exceeded them. Indeed, there are more fireworks onstage than there are in a typical Fourth of July celebration. Jersey Boys is fabulous — as foul-mouthed as a typical episode of “The Sopranos” on HBO — but still fabulous. Even if the humor is often coarse, the harmonies are always heavenly as Jersey Boys traces the evolution of these 1990 Rock-and-Roll Hall of Fame inductees from street-corner doo-wop to a cover band to chart-toppers with five number-one hits — ”Sherry” and “Big Girls Don't Cry,” “Walk Like a Man,” “Rag Doll,” and “December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)” — plus two more number ones — ”My Eyes Adored You” and “Grease” — and a number-two hit — “Can't Take My Eyes off You” — for Frankie Valli as a solo act. In the current national tour of Jersey Boys, produced by Dodger Theatricals et al., Joseph Leo Bwarie and Josh Franklin imbue their portrayals of the group's dynamic duo — lead singer Frankie Valli, with his trademark falsetto giving “Walk Like a Man” an ironic twist, and songwriter and tenor Bob Gaudio (rhythm guitar and keyboards) — with plenty of panache. Matt Bailey and Steve Gouveia also make indelible impressions with their gritty performances as baritone Tommy DeVito (lead guitar) and bass Nick Massi (bass guitar). — R.W.M. (To read the complete CVNC review, go to http://cvnc.org/reviews/2009/062009/JBoys.html.)

o Jitney (Deep Dish Theater Company, April 30-May 23): Jim Becker (Lester Hill) has run Becker's Car Service for over 18 years, but all does not run smooth. Youngblood (Prince T. Bowie), one of Becker's younger drivers, has been working hard but being secretive; this suspicious behavior has raised the hackles of the office meddler, Turnbo (C. Delton Streeter), who is convinced that all this secrecy hides an affair between Youngblood and the sister of his common-law wife, Rena (Connie McCoy). Fielding (Gil Faison), the newest member of the crew at five years' tenure, has turned to drink. Doub (John Rogers Harris), who has been with Becker the longest at 13 years, is an easygoing man who most often ends up playing peacemaker between Turnbo and the other members of the company. The opinionated Turnbo has a hair-trigger temper, and even his own friends cross him at their peril. The cast includes Shealy (Thomasi McDonald), a man who takes advantage of Becker's friendship by using the company phone to run his numbers racket, and Philmore (Michael S. Goolsby), a big, gentle powerhouse of a man who proudly works at a local hotel and often uses the Car Service. But Becker has two deadlines approaching that, for different reasons, threaten him. Becker's only son, born Clarence but known to all as Booster (Mike Wiley), has been in jail for 20 years for murder; he is being released. Director Kathryn Hunter-Williams melds this ensemble in a crucible that threatens to reach its flash-point in a staggering climax. This production is the revival of a landmark play that well deserves a return to the stage, and creates a work that is well-deserving of your attention. These actors fill the skins of their characters and recreate a time and circumstance that, propelled by these players, draws us relentlessly in. Jitney is a surprisingly powerful play that confirms the staying power of one of America's leading playwrights. — A.R.H. (To read the complete CVNC review, go to http://cvnc.org/reviews/2009/052009/Jitney.html.)

o The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later (staged reading) (Burning Coal Theatre Company, Oct. 12): Written by Moisés Kaufman, Leigh Fondakowski, Greg Pierotti, Andy Paris, and Stephen Belber of the New York City's Tectonic Theater Project, The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later was based on follow-up interviews about events before, during, and after the brutal 1998 murder of one-time Triangle resident Matthew Shepard (1976-98) in Laramie, WY. This riveting epilogue to The Laramie Project (2000) made its simultaneous world premiere at Burning Coal and at 99 other participating theaters. Although local critics were asked not to review it, the Raleigh theater's staged reading was unquestionably one of the theatrical events of the year, because Burning Coal's all-star cast, under the direction of Burning Coal's director of education Ian Finley, included James Anderson, Burning Coal artistic director Jerome Davis, Quinn Hawkesworth, David Henderson, Tamara Farias Kraus, Kathryn Milliken, Julie Oliver, Jenn Suchanec, Stephen LeTrent, and Theatre in the Park artistic director Ira David Wood III. (Note: The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later was performed as a fundraiser for the statewide Equality North Carolina Foundation (http://www.equalitync.org/), which works for justice and equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender [LGBT] people.) — R.W.M. (To read the Triangle Theater Review preview, see Part 1B of our October 8, 2009 issue.)

o The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby (PlayMakers Repertory Company, Nov. 11-Dec. 20): It is hard to know where to start praising this spectacular undertaking. Let's start with the script, which takes the unwieldy 800-page novel and renders from it a kaleidoscopic whirl of incident, comedy, tragedy, moralization, and social criticism that keeps the audience happily engaged through the hours. The direction, which is shared by PRC producing artistic director Joseph Haj and guest director Tom Quaintance, keeps the show moving at a brisk, not to say blistering, pace overall, while allowing variation with delicious pauses and slow scenes. Between them, the directors have elicited some very fine performances. Twenty-five actors play 150 characters, and some of those characters play other characters in the play's play-within-a-play produced by the Crummles Company, a roving theatrical troupe that takes in our hero Nicholas (Justin Adams) and his companion Smike (Jason Powers) — whom Nicholas has just rescued from a whipping at the dreadful Doutheboys Hall “school” in Yorkshire. Nicholas and Smike are the only characters who don't share their actors with any other characters, and their actors pay them the honor of inhabiting them completely. All the cast is strong, but special mention must be made of Jeffrey Blair Cornell in his multiple roles, but especially as Vincent Crummles and as Ned Cheeryble, where he plays opposite Scott Ripley as Charles Cheeryble, both in funny Tweedledum/Tweedledee outfits. Ripley plays his own opposite as the horrible one-eyed Wackford Squeers, the villain who runs Doutheboys Hall, as does Jimmy Kieffer, who appears as the hearty John Browdie and the loathsome Sir Mulberry Hawk. Ray Dooley reminds us that this is, after all, a serious play with his chilly and chilling portrayal of Ralph Nickleby, unredeemed and unredeemable usurer, man of machinations, caught in his own snare. Marianne Miller as Kate Nickleby gives another lovely performance as an innocent young woman, and Dede Corvinus is fabulous as Mrs. Squeers, Miss LaCreevy, and particularly as Mrs. Crummles, the force behind the throne in the Crummles Company. — K.D.A. (To read the complete CVNC review, go to http://cvnc.org/reviews/2009/112009/NicholasNickleby.html.)

o Much Ado about Nothing (Carolina Performing Arts, Feb. 12-14): The imaginative and amazingly resourceful Actors from the London Stage sparkled like the finest diamonds during a delightful Valentine's Day matinee of William Shakespeare's zany romantic comedy Much Ado about Nothing. Even for those seated, as I was, far back on the main floor of Gerrard Hall, where the actors could only be seen from the chest up, the show was deliriously funny — a comic acting clinic that will surely number among the high points of the 2009 Triangle theater season. Highlights include crackerjack characterizations by Stephen Rashbrook as the victorious Don Pedro, the dashing Prince of Aragon who stops in Messina for a month of rest and relaxation as the guest of the town's governor Leonato, as well as Friar Francis, who's on hand to marry Leonato's virginal daughter Hero to Don Pedro's Florentine lieutenant Claudio, and as Hero's devoted lady-in-waiting Ursula; Peter Bankolé as Hero's fickle fiancé Claudio and Don John's Machiavellian henchman Borachio, who fools Claudio into thinking Hero has been unfaithful and denouncing her in church on her wedding day, as well as Leonato's indignant brother Antonio and Hero's hot-blooded lady-in-waiting Margaret, whose passionate wedding-eve assignation with Borachio fools Claudio and Don Pedro into thinking Leonato's daughter has a secret lover; Joannah Tincey as the noble Leonato and his unjustly accused daughter Hero; Charlie Walker-Wise as Don Pedro's swashbuckling Paduan lieutenant Benedick, a confirmed bachelor indifferent to womankind and outspokenly contemptuous of marriage — until he meets his match in Hero's quick-witted cousin and confidant Beatrice, as well as the dunderheaded constable Dogberry and the villainous Conrade, who like Borachio is up to no good where the other characters are concerned; and the magnificent Sri Lanka-born actress Thusitha Jayasundera as Leonato's beautiful sharp-tongued niece Beatrice, as Don Pedro's melancholy and constantly conniving but ineffectual illegitimate half-brother of Don Juan, as Don Pedro's musician Balthazar, and as Dogberry's superannuated companion on the night watch Verges. The comic chemistry between the gifted comedienne Thusitha Jayasundera and the highly talented Charlie Walker-Wise, as Beatrice and Benedick, is particularly potent; and their battle of wits is positively lethal. Walker-Wise is also a stitch as the fumbling, stumbling, bumbling constable Dogberry, Messina's muddleheaded Mr. Malaprop; and Jayasundera adds a brooding portrait of the surly Don Juan, consumed with envy for his brother Don Pedro, and as a doddering, drooling portrayal of a hunchbacked Verges — who seems a whole head shorter than her Beatrice. Together, they help make Much Ado about Nothing a must-see comedy. — R.W.M. (To read the complete Triangle Theater Review review, see Part 2B of our Feb. 19, 2009 issue.)

o The Phantom of the Opera (Durham Performing Arts Center, Nov. 26-Dec. 20): Andrew Lloyd Webber's 1986 London and 1988 Broadway mega-hit is not the longest-running musical in the history of London's West End and Broadway for nothing. Lloyd Webber's pastiche of musical styles — rock-opera, faux-operatic, and traditional show tunes — creates some haunting melodies, and Charles Hart and Richard Stilgoe's expressive lyrics add a dash of humor to ease the rising tension in Stilgoe and Lloyd Webber's riveting dramatization of French reporter and author Gaston Leroux's Gothic horror novel Le Fantôme de l'Opéra (1910). This terrific touring version of Phantom, produced by Cameron Mackintosh and The Really Useful Theatre Company, Inc. and directed by Harold Prince, with musical staging and choreography by Gillian Lynne, boasts a stellar cast and outstanding production values designed by the West End and Broadway team of Maria Björnson (sets and costumes), Andrew Bridge (lighting), and Martin Levan (sound). Don't worry. This traveling production brings with it the famous giant chandelier that an irate Phantom hurls onto the stage of the Paris Opéra House and the Technicolor costumes of the macabre “Masquerade” ball — plus invigorating accompaniment of an orchestra under the baton of musical director and conductor Jonathan Gorst. In donning the famous silver half-mask worn with distinction in the West End and on Broadway by Michael Crawford, Tim Martin Gleason knows that he has some sizable boots to fill, and fill them he does. Gleason brings his own brand of panache to the title role of the unhinged musical genius who terrorizes the Opéra Populaire; and his vibrant vocals, especially his solo of “The Music of the Night,” are simply haunting. Trista Moldovan is likewise splendid as the Phantom's reluctant protégée, the talented but inexperienced Swedish soprano Christine Daaé, whom the “opera ghost” grooms for stardom. Sean MacLaughlin is dashing and in fine voice as Christine's childhood sweetheart Raoul, Vicomte de Chagny. Indeed, MacLaughlin's dreamy duet with Moldovan on “All I Ask of You” is positively heavenly. Kim Stengel is a delight as the opera's resident prima donna Carlotta Giudicelli, whose star in the operatic firmament wanes even as Christine's waxes. Nancy Hess added a chilly portrayal of Madame Giry, the opera's stern ballet mistress and the Phantom's choice to deliver his menacing messages to the company. Inspired staging by director Hal Prince and choreographer Gillian Lynne, exceptional production values, and incandescent performances by some of Broadway's rising stars make the latest tour of The Phantom of the Opera a must-see musical. This superlative presentation will surely be one of the highlights of the 2009 Triangle theater season. — R.W.M. (To read the complete CVNC review, go to http://cvnc.org/reviews/2009/112009/Phantom.html.)

o Waiting for Godot (Duke Performances presents the Classical Theatre of Harlem, Oct. 23-25): After a week in residency at Duke University, the Classical Theatre of Harlem presented three performances of Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot as part of Duke Performances' “At the Crossroads” series. This touring production stems from a performance of the play that took place outside, in November 2007, in the Lower Ninth Ward of still-ravaged, post-Katrina New Orleans. This modern urbanization of the “blasted heath” staging that playwright Samuel Beckett calls for has struck a nerve, renewing the urgency and galvanizing the need of this still-unaddressed rebuilding process. The four-man cast — J. Kyle Manzay as Estragon, Billy Eugene Jones as Vladimir, Christian Rummel as Pozzo, and Glenn Gordon as Lucky — seemed to make something new out of Beckett's classic play, as the actors worked their magic on a set made up of a crossroads, not in an empty, rural landscape, but at the intersection of two streets in a once-populated, but now destroyed, urban setting. A partial wreck of a home flanked each side of the crossroads, stage left and right, and Beckett's single nod to nature, the requisite tree, stood upstage center. Though the streets were cleared, this was so only to their curbs; garbage and debris littered every other inch of the stage. This marvelous and arguably complex set is the brainchild of Troy Hourie of Classical Theatre of Harlem. Classical Theatre of Harlem co-founder Christopher McElroen makes a dynamic ensemble of these four talented actors. McElroen is careful to emphasize both the comedy and tragedy of the situation, and we find ourselves laughing, as well as musing on the obvious futility. — A.R.H. (To read the complete CVNC review, http://cvnc.org/reviews/2009/102009/Godot.html.)

o West Side Story (North Carolina Theatre, Oct. 16-25): In transposing Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare's epic tragedy of 16th century star-crossed lovers, set in Verona, Italy, to the mean streets of Manhattan, circa 1957, composer Leonard Bernstein, lyricist Stephen Sondheim, and librettist Arthur Laurents created a classic Broadway musical, which the North Carolina Theatre has revived in a magnificent production. This vibrant version of West Side Story has something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue. That would be Jerome Robbins' original choreography (as recreated by guest director and choreographer Joshua Bergasse); stellar performances by Josh Young as Tony and Catherine Cheng Jones as Maria; spectacular scenery designed by Leo Meyer for Theater of the Stars in Atlanta, GA, and vivid costumes created for the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem; and a raunchy rendition of “Gee, Officer Krupke,” followed by the public humiliation and attempted rape of Anita (the sultry Asmeret Ghebremicheal) by the Jets in the “Taunting” episode set in Doc's drugstore. In truth the TOTS sets and the UNC School of the Arts costumes are both on the original 1957 Tony Award®-winning designs by Oliver Smith (sets) and Irene Sharaff (costumes). But it is the ingenious way that producer Carolee Baxter and dynamic director/choreographer Josh Bergasse have put the pieces together with a vivacious cast and invigorating full orchestral accompaniment, with musical director Edward G. Robinson wielding a deft baton, that makes this 2009 Triangle edition of West Side Story not only a must-see musical, but a home-grown production to rival any Broadway tour. — R.W.M. (To read the complete CVNC review, go to http://cvnc.org/reviews/2009/102009/WestSide.html.)

Runners-up: Charley's Aunt (Theatre in the Park, June 12-21); Opus (PlayMakers Repertory Company, Sept. 23-Oct. 11); The Receptionist (Manbites Dog Theater, Feb. 12-28); Side by Side with Sondheim (Raleigh Little Theatre, May 8-16); and Way to Heaven (Burning Coal Theatre Company, Jan. 22-Feb. 8).

Honorable Mentions: Ain't Got Long to Stay Here: A Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., starring Barry Scott (The Carolina Theatre, Jan. 9 ); Always ... Patsy Cline (Raleigh Ensemble Players and Theatre in the Park, Dec. 10-13 and Jan. 15-17); Cabaret (Raleigh Little Theatre, June 5-28); Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (Broadway Series South, March 31-April 5); A Chorus Line (Broadway Series South, Jan. 6-11); DRIFT (Hot Summer Nights at the Kennedy, Sept. 12-27); Edward Albee's At Home at the Zoo (Ghost & Spice Productions, Sept. 11-26); The Fantasticks (The Towne Players of Garner, Jan. 16-24); The Glass Menagerie (PlayMakers Repertory Company, Jan. 25-Feb. 28); Glengarry Glen Ross (Deep Dish Theater Company, Oct. 23-Nov. 14); Grease, starring American Idol winner Taylor Hicks as Teen Angel (Durham Performing Arts Center, Oct. 6-11); Hormonal Imbalance: A Mood Swinging Musical Revue, featuring The Four Bitchin' Babes (Clayton Center Auditorium & Conference Center, Feb. 22); Intimaces (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Department of Communication Studies presents Michael Kearns, Nov. 13-14); It's A Wonderful Life: A Radio Drama (Cary Players, Dec. 4-7); The Last Flapper (Theater of the American South, May 15-31); Legally Blonde (Durham Performing Arts Center, April 14-19); Love Letters (North Raleigh Arts and Creative Theatre, Jan. 30-Feb. 15); The Lower D's (Duke University Theater Studies, Nov. 12-21); Master Class, starring Lynda Clark (Theatre in the Park, Aug. 14-23); Much Ado about Nothing (Burning Coal Theatre Company, Dec. 3-20); 1960 (Burning Coal Theatre Company, April 9-26); Pieces of War, starring Kenny Carnes (The Carolina Theatre, March 13); Rent (Durham Performing Arts Center, Jan. 20-25); Someone Who'll Watch over Me (The Justice Theater Project, Feb 13-March 1); South Pacific (Broadway Series South, Nov. 3-8); Sylvia (Hot Summer Nights at the Kennedy, June 17-28); Uncle Vanya (Deep Dish Theater Company, Feb. 19-March 14); and Vicki Lawrence & Mama: A Two-Woman Show (The Carolina Theatre, Jan. 31).

The Best of the Best of 2009

Best theater: PlayMakers Repertory Company.

Best show (three-way tie): Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean (Ghost & Spice Productions); Jitney (Deep Dish Theater Company); and The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby (PlayMakers Repertory Company).

These are strange days for Triangle theater 10-best lists for 2009. The Durham, NC Independent Weekly picked 10 shows (as opposed to nine last year), but our sources tell us the Raleigh News & Observer has decided to forego its top 10 annual list. Although there is no question about the best theater of 2009 — PlayMakers Repertory Company of Chapel Hill is the only presenter with three shows on the two 2009 top 10 lists — there is a three-way tie for best production of the year between Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean (Ghost & Spice Productions, April 17-May 2); Jitney (Deep Dish Theater Company, April 30-May 23); and The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby (PlayMakers Repertory Company, Nov. 11-Dec. 20). (In all, there were 17 shows by 13 theater companies named to one or more of the two 10-best lists.)

In terms of artistic achievement on an epic scale, top-show honors would have to go to Nicholas Nickleby — but that's just one man's opinion and, without the N&O's vote, there is no tiebreaker.

Although PlayMakers Rep is the clear winner as the area's top theater with Nicholas Nickleby, The Glass Menagerie (Jan. 25-Feb. 28), and Opus (Sept. 23-Oct. 11) listed among the best productions of 2009, two other local theater tied for second. They are: Burning Coal Theatre Company of Raleigh and Deep Dish Theater Company of Chapel Hill. Top 10 Burning Coal productions include their stage reading of The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later and Much Ado about Nothing (Dec. 3-20); and top 10 Deep Dish shows include Jitney (April 30-May 23) and Glengarry Glen Ross (Oct. 23-Nov. 14).

The 17 shows honored by The Independent Weekly and Triangle Theater Review in the 2009 top 10's include (in alphabetical order):

o Age of Arousal (Manbites Dog Theater, May 28-June 13): The Independent Weekly.

o Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean (Ghost & Spice Productions, April 17-May 2): The Indy and Triangle Theater Review.

o A Dog from Hell (Little Green Pig Theatrical Concern, Feb. 5-14): The Indy

o The Glass Menagerie (PlayMakers Repertory Company, Jan. 25-Feb. 28): The Indy.

o I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change (Hot Summer Nights at the Kennedy, July 8-12, 15-19): TTR.

o Jersey Boys (Broadway Series South, June 24-July 18): TTR.

o Jitney (Deep Dish Theater Company, April 30-May 23): The Indy and TTR.

o Glengarry Glen Ross (Deep Dish Theater Company, Oct. 23-Nov. 14): The Indy.

o The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later (staged reading) (Burning Coal Theatre Company, Oct. 12): TTR.

o The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby (PlayMakers Repertory Company, Nov. 11-Dec. 20): The Indy and TTR.

o Much Ado about Nothing (Carolina Performing Arts presents Actors from the London Stage, Feb. 12-14): TTR.

o Much Ado about Nothing (Burning Coal Theatre Company, Dec. 3-20): The Indy.

o Opus (PlayMakers Repertory Company, Sept. 23-Oct. 11): The Indy.

o The Phantom of the Opera (Durham Performing Arts Center, Nov. 26-Dec. 20): TTR.

o Shakespeare's R & J (Raleigh Ensemble Players, Aug. 7-30): The Indy.

o Waiting for Godot (Duke Performances presents the Classical Theatre of Harlem, Oct. 23-25): TTR.

o West Side Story (North Carolina Theatre, Oct. 16-25): TTR.