The theatrical season in Charlotte has turned into a horse race, gone to the dog, keeps the Woolf from the door, brings home the bacon (three times), traps us in the web of a spider woman, puts us in the king lions den and introduces a tiger who is convinced things are never GRRRRREAT! Once in a while, humans get a look-in, too especially when they behave like beasts.
The diversity of the 2012-13 roster extends not just to age, gender and color but species and its a jungle out there. The most acclaimed title must be War Horse, the Tony-winning play that became a less-than-riveting movie about a British farm boy and the steed he follows into World War I. A war is also the backdrop of Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, in which the talking big cat ponders the invasion of Iraq. I suppose the eternal war depicted in The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs fits in, as well as the marital melee from end to end of Whos Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Even the national tour of The Lion King gives us the good-evil struggle between Mombasa and Scar for pride of place.
But humans at war with each other and themselves fight equally nasty battles. The two supposedly civilized families in God of Carnage face off over their childrens bad behavior. The two sides of the hero in the revamped Jekyll and Hyde fight each other within the same body. Lynn Nottages Pulitzer-winning Ruined, set during a civil conflict in the Congo, means life or death for its characters. The seasons most innovative show may be a musical version of Stephen Cranes The Red Badge of Courage, performed to a hip-hop score and set during the American Civil War.
Are there light-hearted, peaceful evenings in the theater ahead? Well youll have to read on to find out.