I liked Clayton before I moved here. I would come to the Harvest Festival and dance recitals at the JCC auditorium. I got to know some folks who grew up in Johnston County and loved the delightful little local paper. I spent my adult years in Greensboro and enjoyed being in a college town, especially with the plays, lectures, art galleries and historical significance of the county.
I liked the idea that my new town had a season of performances at the Clayton Center, that there was a youth theatre group and there were (free) summer concerts and even lunch concerts in Smithfield and Clayton during the summer.
I also loved the proximity to other cultural arts venues, especially the wonderful art museum. There is always something going on in Raleigh and just down the road we have even more cultural offerings with Chapel Hill and Duke. Yes, I am an ACC fan, but this is about the Cultural Arts that are available.
My crew has been delighted by the DPAC facilities and recently attended CHICAGO there. I would like to tell you just a bit about this version of CHICAGO: the Musical (as opposed to the town and the musical group).
Christie Brinkley was supposed to play the lead, Roxy. Opening night, she wasn’t there. And the third female lead Mama Thornton was also played by an understudy. Bianca Marroquin as a funny Roxy and Kecia Lewis-Evans as the vocally powerful Mama blew the show out of the water. The staging is basically the same…and the Fosse choreography (thankfully) is basically the same. I have seen CHICAG0 several times and none of those Roxys or Mamas touched these two stand-ins. The actor playing Velma was not properly cast (imho), being rather frenetic instead of sultry. Tall and quite thin, with a short blonde shag, Velma seemed more like the spasmodic puppet that Roxy plays with Billy Flynn rather than the somewhat threatening Velma. The Cellblock Tango choreographed to the song “He had it Coming” is a theatrical treat, but I missed the red ribbons and male victims that are traditionally shown.
Overall, the show was great. I am fortunate to live in Clayton where we not only have our own cultural arts venues but are close enough to others as well.