Lauren Van Hemert

A native of Miami, Florida, Lauren’s love of musicals started at the age of six when her dad took her to Radio City Music Hall to see a revival of the movie THE SOUND OF MUSIC. Prior to graduating from Indiana University-Bloomington, she hosted her own weekly talk show on Public Radio WDNA Miami and worked as a production intern for ‘As The World Turns.’ As the former Contributing Editor for Broadway World Raleigh, she covered over 50 shows in the Triangle. In January, she launched the RDU on Stage website to expand coverage of the Triangle theater community. She also hosts the weekly RDU on Stage podcast. Lauren is a proud member of the American Theatre Critics Association. She lives in Cary with her supportive husband and two children.

Theater Review: Entertaining and Enlightening ‘Kinky Boots’ is the Happy Pill You Didn’t Know You Needed

The interesting is, while many angst-filled teens (and their parents) won’t hesitate to flock to the Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC) to see Tina Fey’s MEAN GIRLS, the less obvious yet perhaps more sensible choice for a morality play is the North Carolina Theatre production of KINKY BOOTS. Read Lauren Van Hemert’s review of KINKY BOOTS.

Theater Review: ‘Mean Girls’ Underwhelms

When the national touring production of MEAN GIRLS opened at DPAC earlier this week, the lobby was buzzing about the fact that Raleigh native English Bernhardt would be covering the role of Janis Sarkisian. Bernhardt can belt, but what did RDU on Stage’s Lauren Van Hemert have to say about the rest of the show?

Theater Review: Emotionally Charged ‘Bourbon at the Border’ Interrogates the Retelling and Rewriting of History

From organizing sit-ins, Freedom Rides, marches, and massive voter registration drives, like the one in Mississippi in 1964, champions of civil rights were often beaten, arrested, and left for dead. So, what was the psychological toll of the Civil Rights Movement on the Emmett Till Generation? That is the central question of Pearl Cleage’s play BOURBON AT THE BORDER, now playing at North Raleigh Arts and Creative Theatre (NRACT). Read what Lauren Van Hemert has to say about the timely significance of the production.

Theater Review: Burning Coal’s Production of ‘Talley’s Folly’ Masterfully Ebbs and Flows

It is hard to know if Lanford Wilson was aware of the concept of beshert when he wrote his Pulitzer Prize-winning play TALLEY’S FOLLY, or if the team at Burning Coal Theatre understood its cultural significance prior to mounting its current production, but there is something about this particular “no-holds barred” love story that is so enchanting, it’s almost spiritual. Read what Lauren Van Hemert has to say about the Burning Coal Theatre production of this Pulitzer Prize-winning play.

Theater Review: ‘Rent’ Still Resonates with a New Generation of Theatergoers

“I was once asked if RENT was still relevant. At that time, I wasn’t sure what to say. But I know now, after seeing it live, and seeing parts of myself reflected on stage, that in the current climate of the world we live in, RENT is still relevant, and will be for as long as it runs. Read what else Junior Critic Grace Niesel, has to say about the national tour of RENT.

Theater Review: Solid Performances Can’t Rescue ‘The Last 5 Years’

It’s hard to reconcile the Temple Theatre/RhinoLeap production of Jason Robert Brown’s THE LAST 5 YEARS. On the one hand, the performances are quite good and well worth seeing. On the other hand, the haphazardness of the show, from its structure to some of the creative choices, is puzzling. Read Lauren Van Hemert’s RDU on Stage review of the Temple Theatre/RhinoLeap production of Jason Robert Brown’s THE LAST 5 YEARS.