Thursday, July 24, 2014

Queen City Theatre Company rides again!

When Blumenthal Performing Arts decided last summer that Duke Energy Theatre would be available to local groups for only two consecutive weekends instead of three, two of its regular tenants -- Charlotte Shakespeare and Queen City Theatre Company -- went on hiatus.

Around Charlotte, that phrase can mean "into a deathlike coma." So I was glad to see Charlotte Shakespeare pop up last month at its appointed time on The Green uptown, doing "Love's Labour's Lost" outdoors. And I was glad to hear that QCTC is getting back on the Duke Energy boards Friday with "Things You Shouldn't Say Past Midnight." (That's the cast in the photo.)

I don't know Peter Ackerman's play, though I assume it's more transgressive than his script for the animated "Ice Age." He's creating a TV series named after this comedy, so he must figure it has legs. But I have missed QCTC's brand of all-encompassing outrageousness over the 2013-14 season, and I'm glad to hear it will follow "Things" with "The Performers" next month.

Officially, the mission statement at says the company "wishes to present theater that celebrates the many different races, religions, genders, and sexual orientations that exist in both Charlotte and the world." Founders Glenn T. Griffin and Kristian Wedolowski have spotlighted characters seldom seen at local theaters and asked us to listen to voices that are rarely heard, whether in musicals ("Side Show," "Grey Gardens"), dramas ("Bent") or comedies such as this one. They have inevitably provoked thought and frequently provoked comment, pro or con.

An old adage says the duty of a newspaper "is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable." That's true in a different way of live theater, which can simply amuse us but more worthily gets us thinking about things we take for granted. Queen City can be counted on to do that.