Even though the national tour of Les Miserables is somewhat scaled down from its original Broadway version, there is a grandeur and refinement to this brand that is distinctive. Interestingly, this production appears darker, grittier, and even at times raunchier,… Read More ›
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.
From doo-wop to disco, saddle shoes to stilettos, SUMMER chronicles the life of Donna Summer, also known (on the radio) as the Queen of Disco. Read what Lauren Van Hemert has to say about the show.
Theater Review: The Theatricality of the ‘The Old Man and The Old Moon’ Ennobles its Sweet Simplicity
Theatre in the Park’s production of THE OLD MAN AND THE OLD MOON is a quirky, sweet show that is surprisingly satisfying and sophisticated. Read Lauren Van Hemert’s review.
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.
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?
Onions have layers. Ogres have layers. And the Cape Fear Regional Theatre production of SHREK has enough multifaceted layers to make it surprisingly entertaining. Read what Lauren Van Hemert has to say about the show.
The McGregor Hall production of INTO THE WOODS has all the makings of a great production, including a strong cast, full orchestra, and some impressive creative elements. And yet, somehow it falls flat. Read what Lauren Van Hemert has to say about the production.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
Theater Review: Theatre in the Park’s ‘The Santaland Diaries’ Hauls Out the Holly (and Laughs) for a 13th Time
Read Lauren Van Hemert’s RDU on Stage Triangle theater review of the Theatre in the Park production of THE SANTALAND DIARIES.