5/27/2011 - Asheville's live theater scene booming in coming days
by Tony Kiss
New on the stage this week:
o The Altamont, the new downtown performing arts venue, brings out its first big theatrical show this weekend, the musical satire "Prime Ribbing."
The piece, which pokes fun at both national news and the local scene, plays at 8 p.m. Fridays and 2:30 and 8 p.m. Saturdays through June 18 at The Altamont, 18 Church St. The venue is not to be confused with the similarly named Altamont Brewing taproom in West Asheville.
The show was written by Broadway veteran Stephan deGhelder, who now lives here. He describes the piece as "newsical" revue, with elements from The Capitol Steps, "Forbidden Broadway" and TV's "Saturday Night Live." The show includes cameos from Asheville political types.
This will be one of Asheville's first big looks at The Altamont, a 120-seat black box theater which is getting high marks for its acoustics. Tickets are $22, $19 students and seniors, available at the theater box office or online at www.thealtamont.com.
o North Carolina Stage Company, 15 Stage Lane, is turning to a classic: "The Glass Menagerie." Performances are 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays-Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays through June 19, starting Wednesday. One of Tennessee Williams' best-known shows, its the story of a young man, his withdrawn sister, their mother and the "gentleman caller" that could reverse their fortunes.
The cast includes Willie Repoley, Andrew Hampton Livingston, Callan White and Alaska Reece Vance. Hans Meyer will direct this co-production with the Immediate Theatre Project. For tickets call 239-0263 or visit www.ncstage.org.
o The Magnetic Theatre at the Magnetic Field, 372 Depot St., is finishing the comedy "The Family Tree," at 7:30 and 10 p.m. Friday-Saturday. Next up is another edgy piece, "The Witches Quorum," with previews on Thursday and June 3, and an opening June 4.
It's set in 1617 in Jamestown, as the characters of Mistress Hibbins (from "The Scarlet Letter") and Cassy (from "Uncle Tom's Cabin") seek freedom for witches. Playwright David Eshelman calls is a "quasi-historical spectacle."
This one is for adults and includes sexual situations, lesbianism, cross-dressing, murder and more. Tickets for either show are $12 and $14, or $8 for previews. Call 668-2154 or visit www.themagneticfield.com.
o Asheville Contemporary Dance Theater and New Studio of Dance have a second weekend of the modern ballet "Beauty and the Beast," at 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday at the BeBe theater, 20 Commerce St.
The musical satire "Prime Ribbing" opens tonight at The Altamont performance space on Church Street.