Longtime Raleighite and Broadway alum Lauren Kennedy Brady is settling into Theatre Raleigh’s permanent North Raleigh location. The professional, nonprofit theater company performed in Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts for well over a decade before moving into a former church space at 6638 Old Wake Forest Rd. in June 2020.
Now transformed into a modern performing arts hub, the theater is gearing up for its 2023 Main Stage Season with Lauren at the helm as artistic director. We asked Lauren eight questions about upcoming performances, auditions, and where to grab a bite before a show. Keep reading for a preview of what’s to come in the new year.
The theme of Theatre Raleigh’s upcoming season is “The Night Belongs to You.” What does this mean?
I pulled that line from one of our upcoming shows, “The Prom.” When I was curating the season, good, old fashion entertainment was high on my mind. People are looking to enjoy, escape, and be entertained. We have a really varied season of exciting shows that will all be crowd-pleasers in their own way. The theme is also an ode to our patrons over the last 14 years.
First up is “Jersey Boys” in April. Where are you in the production process?
We’re gearing up for auditions in January. We’ll have awesome Broadway talent and some amazing local regional artists as well. I’m so excited because Matt Bogart, who starred as Nick Massi in “Jersey Boys” on Broadway for five years, will be directing it.
What will the auditions be like?
In January, we’ll hold auditions for all shows in New York City. Then we’ll host local open calls February 17-19. We’ll see anybody and everybody — we discover new talent every time we do these open calls.
What show are you most looking forward to in 2023?
I’m really excited about “The Prom.” It’s a feel-good musical with amazing music — it’s so delightful and funny. It also has really great messages about acceptance and inclusivity. A film version is on Netflix with Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, and Ariana DeBose (who performed at Theatre Raleigh in 2019).
What’s something that most people don’t know about Theatre Raleigh?
We have four performance spaces, not only for our shows, but for other performers like up-and-coming theater companies, singer-songwriters, comedians, or really anyone.
Where’s your favorite spot in Raleigh to grab dinner before a show?
Lafayette Village — they have a lot of great restaurants, coffee shops, and wine bars.
Where do you go for inspiration?
I really love going to new places. I’m less of a creature of habit — I want to go to a new restaurant every week until I’ve experienced them all.
What spots have you been loving lately?
I recently discovered St. Roch — I love its aesthetic. My husband, daughter, and I go to Trophy Brewing for pizza and great beer, it’s so fun. And I’m a big fan of chefs Scott Crawford and Ashley Christensen.
Check out the full Main Stage lineup here.