‘Superstar,’ ‘Normal Heart’ push boundaries at Theatre Charlotte

04/03/2014 1:57 PM

04/03/2014 1:58 PM

The last slot in the Theatre Charlotte season has become a go-to spot for rock operas over the last few years: “Rent,” “Avenue Q” (more of a pop opera) and now “Hair,” which starts May 16. The company will carry on the tradition, capping its 2014-’15 lineup with Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s “Jesus Christ Superstar.”

The company’s 87th season will contain another surprise: “The Normal Heart,” Larry Kramer’s angry drama about a city in denial during the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s. It won three Tonys in 2011, including best revival of a play.

Here’s the roster:

“Footloose,” Sept. 5-21: This 1998 musical adapts the 1984 film about a city boy who stirs up a small town by romancing the daughter of a preacher who hates rock ’n’ roll music.

“To Kill a Mockingbird,” Oct. 24-Nov. 19: Christopher Sergel adapted Harper Lee’s novel about two children in 1950s Alabama whose white attorney father defends a black man accused of rape.

“A Christmas Carol,” Dec. 5-14: The John Jakes version of Charles Dickens’ novella has been dropped in favor of one by Romulus Linney.

“Harvey,” Jan. 23-Feb. 8: Mary Chase wrote this 1944 comedy about a man who insists his best friend is an invisible 6-foot rabbit and ends up (not surprisingly) in a “sanitarium.”

“The Normal Heart,” March 20-April 5: In 1985, Kramer took on the citizens of New York (and, by extension, America), whom he perceived as indifferent to the suffering of gays with HIV and AIDS.

“Jesus Christ Superstar,” May 15-31: Forty-four years to the month after the original concept album topped the U.S. charts, the musical depicting the last days of the title character gets a revival.

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