BEST ARTS SHEPHERD
Notwithstanding the dyspeptic antiquated ravings of the Observer's theater reviewer, Charlotte will be near the head of the line when the hot new Tony Award winner, The Book of Mormon, goes on tour. Thank God somebody knows that edgy fare, like In the Heights or Next to Normal, draws uncommonly well on Tryon Street. Blumenthal Performing Arts czar Gabbard thinks more of this town than some folks stuck in an Angels in America time warp do, and the programming at Belk, Knight, Ovens, and McGlohon proves it. Meanwhile, Gabbard keeps things humming with varied fare at the smaller venues in the Blumenthal portfolio, namely Booth Playhouse, Duke Energy, and the Stage Door. That includes sweet deals for local companies performing regularly at Spirit Square. Just ask the Q's on the local scene, Queen City Theatre Company and On Q Productions, whether irreverence is welcomed in Charlotte. Or here's an idea, Larry: Just ask Gabbard.