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The BUZZ This Season pre-interview: Mike Collins, panelist

October 18, 2012
The BUZZ This Season is truly for arts fans who want to engage and interact. Bring your questions on Wednesday, Oct. 24, at 7 p.m. The event is in McGlohon Theater at Spirit Square.  It’s free to attend. A panel of local critics and journalists will discuss the current state of the city’s cultural scene.
Today, I asked Mike Collins, host of Charlotte Talks on WFAE, for a sneak peek at what he’s thinking. Collins is familiar to Blumenthal audiences for many reasons. He has hosted special events for the Blumenthal, and he’s one of the creators of “Charlotte Squawks,” an annual show that pokes fun at politics, pop culture and all things Charlotte through satire and musical parodies.
Mike CollinsWhat do you think about this season’s crop of shows? Which show are you most looking forward to? Which one are you keeping an eye on… because of subject matter, cast, musicians, etc.?
This season’s Broadway Lights series is an interesting blend of old and new. The first, JEKYLL & HYDE, is a re-working of a show and I’m eager to see what they’ve done with it. LES MISERABLES is one of my favorite musicals. I saw it opening night in America and have never been the same since. This, too, has been adjusted since its first incarnation and I’ll be glad to see it again. It is one of those defining classics of musical theatre. The show I’m most looking forward to seeing, however, is WAR HOUSE. The Blumenthal gave me an opportunity to get up close and personal with the horse a few months ago. I cannot stress enough what an impression it left on me and those who have seen the show in New York or London say it is beautiful, moving and an artistic tour de force.

What’s your biggest hope for the city’s cultural scene in ’12-’13?

My biggest hope is that our home grown arts groups will continue to build on the foundations they’ve laid. Both Actor’s Theatre and CAST have carved out interesting niches for themselves and seem to be doing a good job of mounting productions that fit their brand and should increase audiences. Theatre Charlotte has been steadily improving the consistency and artistic integrity of their productions. The biggest need for any theatre company is money — money for the productions, money for publicity, money to pay their unpaid or underpaid performers and crews. I would hope that 2012-13 will help these companies continue to grow stronger so that money becomes less of an issue over time — but it will be a long time.

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