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Happy New Year! The holidays have come and gone and now it’s time to look ahead at what our area theaters have in store for 2016.

Kicking off the year is Theatre Alliance, which is performing Bent, a controversial drama opening next week, January 15. The play takes place in 1934 Berlin, during the Nazis rise to power. Max and Rudy, a homosexual couple, are taken by Nazi soldiers and hope to survive on little more than the comfort and courage they can offer one another.

“Bent is a powerhouse of a show that delivers a slice of life that should have never been served,” said Jamie Lawson, artistic director. “The play allows us to explore, only superficially, the horrors to which millions were subjected. Stories like this must be told over and over, so we cannot forget them, lest we, as a race, repeat our mistakes.”

“This piece of art history holds a very dear spot in my heart ever since I first saw the Holocaust Museum in DC,” added actor Thao Nguyen. “This is a story that falls into the shadows of history. People who were the minorities of the minorities and whose stories were seldom told. We tell these stories so that they may never be forgotten and to teach the children.”

Community Theatre of Greensboro is starting its season back up on January 22, when it will be showing Doctor Dolittle, Jr. The quirky doctor can talk to animals and is in pursuit of the Great Snail, but is suddenly wrongly accused of murder. He’ll have to prove himself innocent before continuing his worldly search. Productions run through January 31.

Also this month, North Carolina Opera will present a concert performance of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin January 24 at the Meymandi Concert Hall in the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Raleigh. The stirring and lively opera is only showing for one performance in its Triangle premiere. Sung in Russian with English supertitles, the opera depicts a young and earnest woman who pours her heart out to the brooding Onegin, only to be rejected. After she instead marries a wealthy older man, Onegin realizes his mistake.

Triad Stage’s first production of 2016 will be VROOOMMM!, a play about NASCAR’s first female driver, which will open at Hanesbrands Theatre on January 27. !

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