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Weekend In Entertainment: Dear Evan Hansen, Comedy And Brewery Fun


It’s officially spring, that means the days are longer and the weather, of course, is getting warmer. More people are out and about and looking for something to do. Emma Way, editor of Charlotte Magazine joined WFAE’s Mark Rumsey to talk about how to get tickets to an award-winning musical and tons of brewery fun this weekend.

Emma Way
Credit Sarafina Wright
Emma Way, editor of Charlotte Magazine.

Mark Rumsey: The Tony Award-winning musical "Dear Evan Hansen," which is likened to the Broadway hit "Hamilton," will be in town this weekend at the Belk Theater.  "Dear Evan Hansen" is so popular that there is a digital lottery to get tickets. Emma tell us a little bit more about this musical?

Emma Way: You're exactly right. "Dear Evan Hansen" is such a hot ticket in town that there is a digital lottery for an extra chance to get tickets this weekend. This is the last weekend. So all you have to do is go to luckyseat.com and enter in and they'll tell you at 11:00 a.m. on the morning of the performance if you've gotten one or two tickets for $25 each.

Rumsey: Okay. Worth knowing for sure. But what about the musical itself. What's it about?

Way: So as you mentioned it's a Tony Award-winning musical. It follows the story of Evan Hansen who is a teenager in high school, who is an anxious kid having a hard time fitting in and he gets wrapped up in a lie after a tragedy strikes a classmate.

Rumsey: And boy that sounds like just scratching the surface I'm sure. Do you know who this is appealing to? Demographic or age group wise?

Way: I think that the show has become so massive that it really does appeal to everyone. I think everyone can remember the time back in high school, and they're the awkward kid in class and they're just struggling to fit in. I mean I think that that's a story that really resonates with everyone.

Rumsey: And who is putting this on?

Way: This is the Blumenthal. So this will happen at the Belk Theater. Sunday is the last show at 7 p.m. and this is, of course, the traveling Broadway show. It's a new cast from the original Broadway performance.

Rumsey: Okay. And on another page of the performances calendar for the weekend there's stand-up comedy tomorrow night at Lenny Boy Brewing down in South End. What's going on there?

Way: So, at Lenny Boy they're really pushing past beer and they're offering this really unique event that sold out last time. They're having three stand-up comedians, all with ties to North Carolina and it's gonna be a great show with lots of laughs

Rumsey: I guess it depends on how familiar one is with the comedy scene, but any top names worth mentioning?

Way: Yes. So Lauren Ansley who has risen through the Comedy Zone classes and is now a regular there. she is performing. She's a Charlotte person. Will Maxwell is from Wilmington, North Carolina and then there's Tyrone Burston who's also living in Charlotte. All three are really hilarious. I gotta say I think Lauren is my pick though.

Rumsey: Okay. And Emma how active and diverse is the comedy scene in Charlotte?

Way: It's very diverse and it's definitely growing. Crown Station, for example, has a comedy open mic every Wednesday and lots of other venues are starting to add programs like that. And there's also the Charlotte Comedy Theater. And as mentioned the Comedy Zone which offers local classes and then those graduates often go on to become regulars at the club.

Rumsey: Well how else might people want to celebrate this first weekend of spring in Charlotte?

Way: Olde Mecklenburg Brewery is the oldest brewery in Charlotte and they're celebrating 10 years on Saturday and Sunday as they're having a two-day festival. It’s really more so a celebration of Charlotte and beer in general.

Rumsey: So you know Charlotte and beer, we don't have time to tell the whole story here but just a little bit. How many local breweries are there?

Way: There's definitely more than 20, I want to say 22 but OMB was the first although they are German style beer. Charlotte is now mostly IPA’s, but there's no doubt that they really kicked off the Charlotte brewery scene. I think that breweries are becoming even a family event. You don't just go there with your friends anymore you can bring your dogs, you can bring your mom, you can bring your kids. So it's really become just synonymous with Charlotte culture.

Rumsey: And what would there be for kids to do specifically?

Way: So besides some live music for kids they're doing face painting, balloon animals and you can just go dance to the live music, too.

Rumsey: All right well we'll hope for some good weather to kick off spring with those and other options around town. Emma, thanks a lot of course.

Way: Thanks for having me.