Coming Up at Lee Street Theatre: Music, Mystery and More

by | Jul 26, 2023 | Arts

Season 16 at Lee St theatre https://leestreet.org offers mystery, thrills, celebrations, big characters, plenty of laughs, and lively music.

“When we started putting the season selections together, we decided to shake up a couple of our traditional slots and offer some newer works, going back to very much how Lee St started,” says Executive Director Rod Oden. “If there was an intentional theme, I believe we are looking introspectively into the lives of people and their stories.”

Tickets sell fast — the current production of Legally Blonde, the Musical sold so quickly that performances were added. Check the website or call 704-310-5507 or Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/leesttheatre

Lee Street is a smaller venue, Oden says, “But our productions fill the stage to the extreme. Our audiences have generally been filling up and selling out and are clamoring for more to attend. We are excited as we already have seen tremendous responses to our upcoming season. We anticipate the shows to fill up quickly, and we will respond by offering more selections for their patronage. We have been so thankful that audiences have been returning so robustly to the theaters and it really helps during this time,” he said.

The hot summer days could use a little mystery. Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap runs Aug. 11-26, Fridays and Saturdays, 7:30 p.m.; Aug. 20, 2:30 p.m.

After a local woman is murdered, the guests and staff at Monkswell Manor find themselves stranded during a snowstorm. It soon becomes clear that the killer is among them, and the seven strangers grow increasingly suspicious of one another. A police detective interrogates the suspects: the newlyweds running the house; a spinster with a curious background; an architect who seems better equipped to be a chef; a retired Army major; a strange little man who claims his car has overturned in a drift; and a jurist who makes life miserable for everyone. When a second murder takes place, tensions and fears escalate. This record-breaking murder mystery features a brilliant surprise finish from Dame Agatha Christie, the foremost mystery writer of her time. The quickest way to reserve seats is online at


Lee St. Cast of Legally Blonde.

Lee St Legally Blonde – The cast and crew of ‘Legally Blonde, the Musical’ at Lee St theatre. The new season starts in August and tickets always sell fast. Photo Credit: Tim Coffey

Don’t Mess with Science

Jekyll & Hyde, the Musical, will be Oct. 13-28, Fridays and Saturdays, 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, Oct. 22, 2:30 p.m.

An evocative tale of two men — one, a doctor, passionate and romantic; the other, a terrifying madman – and two women — one, beautiful and trusting; the other, beautiful, and trusting only herself — both women in love with the same man and both unaware of his dark secret. A devoted man of science, Dr. Henry Jekyll is driven to find a chemical breakthrough that can solve some of mankind’s most challenging medical dilemmas. Rebuffed by the powers that be, he decides to make himself the subject of his own experimental treatments, accidentally unleashing his inner demons along with the man that the world would come to know as Mr. Hyde.


Great Christmas Present

For family fun, treat yourself to The Best Christmas Pageant Ever Dec. 1-16, Fridays and Saturdays, 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, Dec. 10, 2:30 p.m.

“Our Christmas slot has always been well received, and we wanted to find a way to bring youth into our mainstage series,” says Oden. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever really seemed to fit the bill, and “audiences have already been positively responding to the production. We want to meet our family-friendly audiences during the time of year when they get together to create family memories or experiences.

In this hilarious Christmas classic, a couple struggling to put on a church Christmas pageant is faced with casting the Herdman kids — probably the most inventively awful kids in history. You won’t believe the mayhem — and the fun — when the Herdmans collide with the Christmas story head-on!


“We are also excited for this season as we are bringing back our Trolley Tours, and that includes Scrooge’s Christmas Trolley Tour.”

Best Christmas Pageant Ever Billing

Lee St Christmas – ‘The Best Christmas Pageant Ever!’ is a classic for all ages to enjoy and get into the Christmas spirit.

Women in Science

Learn more about real women working in science without proper recognition in Silent Sky Jan. 12-27, 2024; Fridays and Saturdays, 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, Jan. 21, 2:30 p.m.

Oden says they decided to look into female works written specifically for female figures. “Lauren Gunderson has a powerful voice and is well-represented in this field. The work itself is inspiring, and we will be presenting the production in full-environmental seating ‘under the stars,’ which is a first for Lee Street.”

When Henrietta Leavitt begins work at the Harvard Observatory in the early 1900s, she isn’t allowed to touch a telescope or express an original idea. Instead, she joins a group of women “computers,” charting the stars for a renowned astronomer who calculates projects in “girl hours” and has no time for the women’s probing theories. As Henrietta, in her free time, attempts to measure the light and distance of stars, she must also take measure of her life on Earth, trying to balance her dedication to science with family obligations and the possibility of love. The true story of 19th-century astronomer Henrietta Leavitt explores a woman’s place in society during a time of immense scientific discoveries, when women’s ideas were dismissed until men claimed credit for them. Social progress, like scientific progress, can be hard to see when one is trapped among earthly complications; Leavitt and her female peers believe in both, and their dedication changed the way we understand both the heavens and Earth.


Thanks, Coach

Get inspired by the words of a sports legend in Lombardi Feb. 16-March 2, 2024, Fridays and Saturdays, 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, Feb. 25, 2:30 p.m.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”

Sport produces great human drama and there is no greater sports icon to bring to theatrical life than Hall of Fame football coach Vince Lombardi, unquestionably one of the most inspirational and quotable personalities of all time. Though football’s Super Bowl trophy is named after him, few know the real story of Lombardi the man — his inspirations, his passions, and his ability to drive people to achieve what they never thought possible.


Can’t Stop Laughing

Have a good laugh in the spring at Ken Ludwig’s Moon Over Buffalo April 5-20, Fridays and Saturdays, 7:30 p.m.; Sunday April 14, 2:30 p.m.

“When all the world’s a stage, and your family’s all the players!”

In the madcap comedy tradition of “Lend Me a Tenor,” the hilarious “Moon Over Buffalo” centers on George and Charlotte Hay, fading stars of the 1950s. Now, they’re playing “Private Lives” and “Cyrano De Bergerac” in rep in Buffalo, NY, with five actors. On the brink of a disastrous split-up caused by George’s dalliance with a young ingénue, they receive word that they might just have one last shot at stardom: Frank Capra is coming to town to see their matinee, and if he likes what he sees, he might cast them in his movie remake of The Scarlet Pimpernel. Unfortunately for George and Charlotte, everything that could go wrong does go wrong, abetted by a visit from their daughter’s clueless fiancé and hilarious uncertainty about which play they’re actually performing, caused by Charlotte’s deaf, old stage-manager mother who hates every bone in George’s body.



“We are so excited to offer everyone something different, between show selection, seating format, cast makeup and performers, as well as our show thematic drinks, and experiences,” Oden says. “I really am humbled and proud of the talent we get to work with in Salisbury and want our patrons to experience the award-winning community theatre work of Lee St. They will be glad they did.

Lee St theatre is at 329 N. Lee St.

Lee St. Celebrates

Lee St celebration – In 2022, Lee St theatre won 13 Metrolina Theatre Association Awards. Here they’re celebrating their wins at the gala. Photo Credit: Tim Coffey

Awards. 6

Lee St awards – Just a few of the awards Lee St theatre won in 2022 from the Metrolina Theatre Association. Photo Credit: Tim Coffey

Hot as July

Talk about hot summer action, check out The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas July 5-20, 2024, Fridays and Saturdays, 7:30 p.m., Sunday, July 14, 2:30 p.m.

This happy-go-lucky view of small-town vice and statewide political side-stepping recounts the good times and the demise of the Chicken Ranch, known since the 1850s as one of the better pleasure palaces in all of Texas. Governors, senators, mayors, and even victorious college football teams frequent Miss Mona’s cozy bordello until that Puritan nemesis Watchdog focuses his television cameras and his righteous indignation on the institution.


All is Not well, But Funny

Even Shakespeare would get a kick out of I Hate Hamlet May 10-25, Fridays and Saturdays, 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, May 19, 2:30 p.m.

“To be or not to be…what a STUPID question!”

Andrew Rally seems to have it all: celebrity and acclaim from his starring role in a hit television series; a rich, beautiful girlfriend; a glamorous, devoted agent; the perfect New York apartment; and the chance to play Hamlet in Central Park. There are, however, a couple of glitches in paradise. Andrew’s series has been canceled; his girlfriend is clinging to her virginity with unyielding conviction; and he has no desire to play Hamlet. When Andrew’s agent visits him, she reminisces about her brief romance with John Barrymore many years ago, in Andrew’s apartment. This prompts a seance to summon his ghost. From the moment Barrymore returns, dressed in high Shakespearean garb, Andrew’s life is no longer his own. Barrymore, fortified by champagne and ego, presses Andrew to accept the part and fulfill his actor’s destiny. The action becomes more hilarious with the entrance of Andrew’s deal-making friend from LA, spouting the laid-back hype of the Coast and offering Andrew a fabulous new TV deal worth millions of dollars. The laughs are nonstop as Andrew wrestles with his conscience, Barrymore, his sword in Central Park.


Hamlet billing

Lee St Hamlet – Everybody will love ‘I Hate Hamlet’ at Lee St theatre next spring.

And There’s More in 2023

Piedmont Players Bye Bye Birdie, July 21-22, 28-29, at 7:30 pm; Sundays July 23 and 30 at 2:30 pm. https://piedmontplayers.com/show/bye-bye-birdie/

Gold Rush Art and Craft Festival – Historic Gold Hill Saturday, July 22, 10 am-5 pm, Historic Gold Hill, 755 St. Stephens Church Rd., Gold Hill. Free. Local artisans will showcase and sell their work. Check out the unique village shops, gold panning, gem mining, music and food.

https://www.salisburypost.com/calendar/#!/det ails/Gold-Rush-Art-and-Craft-Festival-in-Historic-Gold-Hill/11591004/2023-07-22T10

Salisbury Symphony – Lunch and Learn, Aug. 5, 11:30 am to 1 pm, Rowan Museum, 202 N. Main St., Salisbury. $30 (50% tax deductible). A community luncheon that celebrates the intersection of music, camaraderie, and the upcoming offerings of the symphony. Reserve tickets by July 31 at https://salisburysymphony.org/shows/community-luncheon/

BBQ and Bluegrass, Aug. 19, 5-7 pm, Vista at Walnut Hill, Cleveland. A symphony fund-raiser, tickets are $50 (50% tax deductible) and include toe-tapping bluegrass music, a mouthwatering barbecue buffet, and a cash bar overflowing with libations to ensure an evening of merriment. Reserve tickets by Aug. 15 at https://salisburysymphony.org/shows/bbq-and-bluegrass/

Also on Aug. 26 in Historic Gold Hill, 5-7 pm. St. Stephens Church. For ticket reservation by Aug. 15, https://salisburysymphony.org/shows/bbq-and-bluegrass-aug-26/

About The Author

Deirdre Parker Smith

I grew up in the theater; my father was a set designer and my mother was an actress. My most magical memories are from the days when we worked on stage and backstage together. My father, James “Parkie” Parker was a well-respected member of the theatre arts department at Catawba College for 33 years. Though I was born in New York City, and lived for a time in Washington, D.C., I graduated from Salisbury High School and Wake Forest University and was a writer and editor at the Salisbury Post for 35 years. Watching talented people do their thing is a great joy — acting, singing, playing an instrument, painting, drawing, writing. I’ve been lucky to meet many awesome creative people over the years. Art, in all its forms, heals people, makes connections and gives us a deep joy.