Abbey Players

Performances take place in Haid Theatre at Belmont Abbey College in Belmont. The season blends classic and contemporary plays, and casts may be made up of regional performers and/or students.

No plays have been announced at press time.

Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte

Professional, Off-Broadway-style company favors contemporary playwrights. The troupe has found a permanent home at Queens University’s Hadley Theater, 2132 Radcliffe Ave. 704-342-2251;

Aug. 30-Sept. 22: “The Legend of Georgia McBride.” Matthew Lopez (“The Whipping Man”) wrote this cheerful comedy about an unemployed Elvis impersonator with a wife and child on the way who reinvents himself by trading one sequined outfit for another.

Oct. 4-27: “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.” Simon Stephens’ winner of the 2015 Tony for best play puts us inside the mind of an autistic boy, who tries to learn who killed his neighbor’s dog and why his mother has gone missing.

December (or so): “The Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical.” Armadillo Acres residents have Texas rockin’ around the Christmas cactus again.

Jan. 24-Feb. 16: “Nina Simone: Four Women.” The title refers to Simone’s 1965 song about black female archetypes who suffer at society’s hands. Christina Ham’s play follows the singer’s progress as a voice of the Civil Rights Movement, especially after a Birmingham, Ala., church bombing killed four girls in 1963.

ATC Season 30_Great Beyond

Actor’s Theatre takes us to “The Great Beyond.”

Courtesy of ATC

March 14-April 6: “The Great Beyond.” Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte and Children’s Theatre of Charlotte commissioned Steven Dietz to write two plays that take place in the same house on the same night. This half of the joint world premiere shows what happens to the adults upstairs, while their kids congregate in the basement.

June 6-29: “Fun Home.” Alison Bechdel’s graphic novels tell her story of growing up gay in a funeral home run by her closeted dad; Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron made them a musical about Bechdel at three times in her life and won the 2015 best musical Tony.

Blumenthal Performing Arts

The region’s leading presenter produces shows but usually imports them, mainly for its Broadway Lights series (local premieres marked with “BL” in the list below, and running autumn to autumn) and its “Encore” series (marked “E” below.) Belk Theater, Booth Playhouse, Stage Door Theater, 130 N. Tryon St.; McGlohon Theatre and Duke Energy Theatre at Spirit Square, 345 N. College St.; Knight Theater, 430 S. Tryon; Ovens Auditorium, 2700 E. Independence Blvd. 704-372-1000;;

Through Sept. 9: “The Lion King.” (E) Disney’s re-telling of “Hamlet,” turned into a musical set on the African veldt, has perhaps the most amazing staging of any opening number in Broadway history.

Sept. 11-16: “Love Never Dies.” (BL) Andrew Lloyd Webber’s sequel to “The Phantom of the Opera” has the Phantom running a freak show on Coney Island, where he encounters the now-famous diva Christine, the now-dissolute Viscount Raoul, and their 10-year-old son.

Oct. 10-Nov. 4: “Hamilton.” (BL) Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical about the chap on the $10 bill won 11 Tony Awards in 2015.

Nov. 27-Dec. 2: “Potted Potter: The Unauthorized Harry Experience.” (E) This will be the third Charlotte outing for the comedy, which boils down the “Harry Potter” series in an affectionate, teasing way.

Dec. 4-9: “A Christmas Story: The Musical.” (BL) When this faithful musical adaptation of the perennial holiday movie about Ralphie and his family opened in 2012 – and closed after 15 previews and 51 performances – Pasek and Paul had not shared an Oscar with Justin Hurwitz or won two Tonys for “Dear Evan Hansen.”

Dec. 27-31: “Rock of Ages.” (E) The jukebox musical, which offers hook-laden songs from the 1980s, will provide an alternative way to celebrate New Year’s Eve. Despite semi-joking swipes at the excesses of rockers (especially aging ones), it’s mostly a simple romance between two young folks chasing the dream of stardom in Los Angeles.

Jan. 6-12: “Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella.” (BL) His name signifies a new take on a familiar story, as fans of “Sleeping Beauty” and “The Red Shoes” know. Cinderella’s a nurse during the blitz in 1940s London, caring for a Royal Air Force pilot. (It’s Prokofiev’s music.)

Jan. 15-20: “The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical.” (E) This musical adapts Rick Riordan’s 2005 fantasy-adventure novel and a 2010 movie version about a teen who discovers his dad is the Greek god Poseidon and must find Zeus’ stolen lightning bolt.

Feb. 19-24: “Miss Saigon.” (BL) The producers of the 25th-anniversary revival, which opened in London in 2016 before reaching Broadway last year, reportedly have cherry-picked the best elements from productions over the last 25 years and made the show more grittily realistic.

March 19-24: “Dear Evan Hansen.” (BL) Speaking of Pasek and Paul, this show won six Tonys last year and inspired rabid fandom via brilliant use of social media. When a high school student commits suicide, a classmate invents a relationship with the dead boy to impress peers and forge a relationship with the suicide’s family.

April 2-7: “Tap Dogs.” (E) This 80-minute, intermissionless show has been stomping around the world for 23 years. Six guys in big boots and work clothes tap-thunder through choreographed routines with props (including basketballs and water), while women blast away on percussion instruments.

April 16-21: “A Bronx Tale.” (BL) Alan Menken re-teams with Glenn Slater (“Sister Act”) to produce a 1950s-style score that takes us back to the days of street-corner doo-wop groups. Chazz Palminteri’s story focuses on a boy torn between loyalty to his bus-driver father and the friendship of a charismatic gangster.

May 28-June 9: “Bat out of Hell.” (E) Composer-lyricist-librettist Jim Steinman used songs from the two Meat Loaf “Bat” albums to weave a story described as “a loose retelling of Peter Pan and Wendy, set in a post-apocalyptic Manhattan now named Obsidian.”

June 25-30: “Falsettos.” (BL) The William Finn-James Lapine musical was decades ahead of its time when it debuted in 1992. Act 1 depicts relationships among an elementary schooler, his mom, his gay dad, his dad’s male lover and a therapist. Act 2, set two years later on the eve of a bar mitzvah, introduces a lesbian couple.

July 9-14: “Hello, Dolly!” (BL) We’ll see Betty Buckley, the original Grizabella in Broadway’s “Cats” and a memorably tragic Norma Desmond in “Sunset Boulevard,” as the forceful matchmaker who straightens out lives in 1900s New York.

Aug. 6-25: “The Band’s Visit.” (BL) Though the 2007 Israeli movie barely made a ripple at U.S. cinemas, the Broadway version won 10 Tony Awards. An Egyptian police band on a concert tour to Israel mistakenly ends up in a small town in the Negev Desert. David Yazbek (“The Full Monty”) wrote the lyrics and Middle Eastern-flavored music.

Aug. 13-18: “Cats.” (E) The national tour will be based on the less-epic Broadway revival of the show by T.S. Eliot and Andrew Lloyd Webber that won seven Tonys in 1983.

Sept. 10-29: “Disney’s Aladdin.” (BL) The musical, which adapts the 1992 film of the Arab story about a boy who finds a miraculous lamp and woos a princess, pairs composer Alan Menken with lyricists Howard Ashman, Tim Rice and Chad Beguelin (“The Wedding Singer”).

Brand New Sheriff Productions

This company does a wide range of work, most of it recent, concerning all facets of African-American life. It performs at Duke Energy Theater in Spirit Square.

Oct. 3-13: “Having Our Say.” Emily Mann adapted the best-selling book “Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years,” about two civil rights pioneers who were raised in Raleigh and eventually moved to Harlem.


Brand New Sheriff’s “Be A Lion.”

Jay Sweat Photography

Dec. 12-15: “Be a Lion.” Rory Sheriff’s first play, inspired by the film “The Wiz,” follows the characters in Oz beyond Dorothy’s story. The Emerald City lives in a state of lawlessness, until the Lion – now leader of a nearby tribe – returns to restore order and harmony.

Jan. 30-Feb. 9: “Two Trains Running.” The seventh play in August Wilson’s “Pittsburgh Cycle,” which covers a range of African-American experiences across the 20th century, takes place in a city torn by racial unrest and urban gentrification in the 1960s.

May 8-18: “Jitney.” The eighth play in Wilson’s decade-by-decade cycle concerns denizens of a gypsy cab company office in the 1970s, including a recently returned Vietnam veteran, an easygoing Korean War vet, a gossipy hothead, an alcoholic and a flamboyant numbers runner.

CPCC Theatre

As a rule, musicals take place in Halton Theatre, straight plays in Pease Auditorium. (But see below.) Both are near the corner of Kings Drive and Elizabeth Avenue. 704-330-6534;

Sept. 28-Oct. 7: “Becket.” The title character in Jean Anouilh’s play, a playboy turned archbishop, antagonizes King Henry II of England when he takes his new duties seriously and refuses to let his old friend tell the Catholic Church what to do.

Oct. 26-Nov. 4: “The Music of the Night: An Andrew Lloyd Webber Revue.” As Pease faces demolition during an expansion and renovation project, the college bids it farewell with this evening of songs by the Broadway composer.

Feb. 15-24: “Gypsy.” The Jule Styne-Stephen Sondheim musical depicts not only the rise of Gypsy Rose Lee but the psyche of the affectionate, controlling, lonely mother who pushed her to stardom.

April 5-14: “Our Town.” Thornton Wilder’s play runs the gamut of adolescence, love, mature matters and death in a New Hampshire town at the beginning of the 20th century.

Children’s Theatre of Charlotte

Professional troupe for young audiences mounts its own productions, teams with local artists and imports tours to two stages at ImaginOn, 300 E. Seventh St. 704-973-2828;

Sept. 28-Oct. 21: “Roald Dahl’s Matilda: The Musical.” This winner of five Tony Awards adapts Roald Dahl’s novel about a 5-year-old genius with magical powers; she protects the kindly teacher who takes an interest in her and outfoxes a vicious disciplinarian of a headmistress.

Nov. 2-18: “Last Stop on Market Street.” CTC has commissioned three pieces through its Kindness Project. Gloria Bond Clunie has adapted Matt de la Pena’s book about a little boy who wonders why his family can’t afford a car or electronic devices like his classmates have, until his grandma sets him straight.

Nov. 23-Dec. 23: “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever: The Musical.” The perennial moneymaker runs for a whole month, as the ill-natured Herdman kids learn a lesson about tolerance at Christmas – and teach judgmental townspeople one, too.

Dec. 7-16: “Spelling 2-5-5.” Another revival, this one a Jennifer Overton play about a talented speller who realizes his autistic brother may be even more gifted than he – in an unusual way.

Jan. 18-Feb. 10: “Judy Moody and Stink: The Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Treasure Hunt.” Seven children’s theaters commissioned playwright Allison Gregory to re-work Megan McDonald’s books, and this joint world premiere is the result.

Feb. 8-24: “Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds.” This uses parts of Marley’s songs but isn’t about him. His daughter Cedella came up with the story about Ziggy, a shy boy terrified to go outside in Jamaica because voodoo villain Duppy might steal his hair. Nansi, his confident friend, helps Ziggy overcome his fear.

March 8-9: “Step Afrika!” These frequent CTC guests blend percussive dance styles practiced by African-American fraternities and sororities, African traditional dance, songs, storytelling, humor and audience participation.

Ghost of Splinter Cove artwork

To Children’s Theatre will come “The Ghost of Splinter Cove.”

Courtesy of Children’s Theatre of Charlotte

March 22-April 7: “The Ghost of Splinter Cove.” CTC and Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte hired Texas-based playwright Steven Dietz to write two shows – one with young adult characters, one with adults – that take place in the same house on the same night. This one unfolds in the basement, as two siblings make a new friend who hurtles them into a spooky adventure.

April 12-May 5: “Pete the Cat.” A blue rock ’n’ roll feline takes an uptight second-grader on a liberating road trip in this adaptation of the wildly popular kids’ books.

April 27-28: “Picaro.” CarlosAlexis Cruz will use his brand of physical theater – movement, circus elements, acrobatics, maybe a bit of clowning – to tell this long-gestating, one-man story about a Guatemalan boy who makes a difficult trip toward the United States and a better life.

May 29-June 9: “A Sick Day for Amos McGee.” Another entry in the Kindness Project, this one adapted by Nicole Adkins from the book by Philip and Erin Stead. Amos hangs out at the zoo, playing chess with an elephant and reading to an owl who fears the dark. When he fails to appear one day, his pals (embodied by puppets) decide to help their buddy.

Citizens of the Universe

This group adapts film scripts to plays and does original theatrical works, mostly at small clubs and spaces around Charlotte. (COTU also performs around the country.) No schedule has been announced, but the next production in Charlotte seems to be “Wonderland” in 2019.

Davidson Community Players

This community theater has a home at 307 Armour St., Davidson, and does bigger shows on the Davidson College campus. The Connie Company, an offshoot, does shows for young audiences. The full season for 2019 will be announced in late autumn. 704-892-7953;

Sept. 27-Oct. 14: “Death Trap.” Ira Levin’s clever thriller pits a struggling Broadway playwright whose star is fading against a student whose brilliant script he decides to steal. Or does it?

Nov. 2-11: “The Little Mermaid Jr.” (Connie Company) An abbreviated version of the musical about Ariel, the mermaid who longs to be human.

Nov. 29-Dec. 16: “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.” The Herdmans run amuck after being cast in a Christmas pageant, until they and the town learn lessons about tolerance and kindness.

Matthews Playhouse

This multi-generational troupe sometimes abridges popular works to make them easier for kids to absorb. Matthews Community Center, 100 McDowell St., Matthews. 704-846-8343.

Oct. 12-21: “The Hundred Dresses.” Friendless second-grader Wanda Petronski wears the same dress every day, telling classmates she has a hundred dresses at home of all fabrics and colors. When they bully her, she disappears from school.

Nov. 30-Dec. 16: “Miracle on 34th Street.” An adaptation of the Oscar-winning script for the 1947 movie, in which a young lawyer defends an old man who claims to be Santa Claus against commitment for insanity.

Feb. 1-March 10: “Grey Gardens.” This musical about the cousin and aunt of Jacqueline Kennedy, who lived in squalor on a once-beautiful Long Island estate, earned 10 Tony nominations in 2007.

Feb. 22-March 3: “The Jungle Book: A Musical.” A tuneful version of Rudyard Kipling’s stories about Mowgli and the animals who surround him, lovingly or menacingly.

June 7-23: “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.” Stephen Sondheim’s first beloved solo effort concerns a slave who longs to be free, his lovelorn master and a pimp who lives next door.

On Q Performing Arts

Dedicated to classic, contemporary and original works that reflect the black experience, with performances usually at Duke Energy Theater in Spirit Square. Founder Quentin Talley says the troupe is on “mainstage hiatus” for 2018-19, except for its holiday show at McGlohon Theater.

Dec. 21-22: “Soulful Noel,” a multidisciplinary evening of holiday music, poetry and surprises.

PaperHouse Theatre

This troupe adapts classic and modern plays into interactive performances that let audience members enter the action if they like. Shows take place all over the old house at 901 Central Ave. that now contains Frock Shop, and audiences get treats to eat and drink. The company announces one show at a time and has not revealed its schedule.

Shakespeare Carolina

The material ranges from modern plays by Jo Clifford (“Ines de Castro”) and Suzan-Lori Parks (“Topdog/Underdog”) to adaptations of the Bard with modern twists. It’s based in Rock Hill, but you’ll often find it at Duke Energy Theatre in Spirit Square. The company announces one show at a time and has not revealed its schedule.

Theatre Charlotte

The state’s oldest community theater performs at 501 Queens Road. 704-376-3777;

Sept. 7-23: “Peter and the Starcatcher.” Rick Elice’s 2009 play adapts a novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson to provide a back story for characters in James Barrie’s tale about the boy who never grew up: Peter Pan, Captain Hook, Wendy and the others.

Oct. 26-Nov. 12: “The Philadelphia Story.” Philip Barry wrote this 1939 comedy to revive the career of Katharine Hepburn, who’d failed in Hollywood. She triumphed as the socialite whose upcoming wedding is complicated by her ex-husband and a journalist sent to cover the event.

Dec. 7-16: “A Christmas Carol.” The holiday tribute to Dickens, now in an adaptation by Julius Arthur Leonard, returns for its 12th visit.

Feb. 1-17: “Ain’t Misbehavin’.” This homage to Fats Waller, one of the first great “jukebox musicals” to honor a composer of pop songs, won the Tony for best musical 40 years ago.

March 22-April 7: “Terms of Endearment.” Dan Gordon reworked Larry McMurtry’s novel and James L. Brooks’ screenplay about the loving, contentious relationship between a mother and daughter who face romantic complications and physical hardships.

May 24-June 10: “The Producers.” Mel Brooks’ tale of two scammers who try to swindle investors by producing a Broadway flop won a record 12 Tony Awards when it reached the Great White Way in 2001.


Three Bone Theatre will do “The Daffodil Girls” in November.

Courtesy of Three Bone

Three Bone Theatre

This company, which does contemporary work, performs in Duke Energy Theater to be “a catalyst for hope, strength and humor.”

Nov. 8-17: “The Daffodil Girls.” Jeff Swearingen riffs on David Mamet’s “Glengarry Glen Ross” in a dark comedy about pre-teen girls trying to make their way through cookie sale season – by any means necessary – for their scout troupe.

Feb. 28-March 9: “By the Water.” Sharyn Rothstein’s drama begins after Hurricane Sandy has torn up Staten Island. Family conflicts emerge as two sons arrive to help their beleaguered parents recover from the disaster.

May 23-June 1: “Oslo.” J.T. Rogers’ drama won the 2017 Tony for best play for its depiction of back-channel negotiations in the Oslo Peace accords, as representatives of Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization meet in the early 1990s.

Aug. 22-31: “Detroit ’67.” A brother and sister in the Motor City turn their basement into an after-hours joint in Dominique Morisseau’s play, but must deal with a woman with a hidden agenda and the turmoil of a city rioting around them.

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