Theater Critic Picks

These are the 18 can't-miss shows in Dallas-Fort Worth theater for June

The 18 can't-miss shows in Dallas-Fort Worth theater for June

Casa Mañana presents The Producers
The Producers high-kicks its way to Casa Mañana. Photo by Chip Tompkins
Circle Theatre presents Sweeney Todd
Circle Theatre is getting bloody with the musical Sweeney Todd. Photo by Tim Long
Aladdin national tour
The national tour of Aladdin at Dallas Summer Musicals features two DFW natives. Photo by Deen van Meer
Girl Dad by Justin Lemieux
Justin Lemieux wrote and stars in Girl Dad, at the Dallas Solo Festival. Photo by Jordan Fraker
Shakespeare in Love
Shakespeare Dallas is running Shakespeare in Love and As You Like It concurrently. Photo by Jordan Fraker
The Play that Goes Wrong
The Play That Goes Wrong will hopefully go right at the Winspear. Photo by Jeremy Daniel
The Classics Theatre Project presents Summer and Smoke
The Classics Theatre Project presents Tennessee Williams' Summer and Smoke. Photo by Evan Michael Woods
Kitchen Dog Theater presents Reykjavik
Steve Yockey's Reykjavik headlines Kitchen Dog Theater's New Works Festival. Photo by Matt Mrozek
Drunk Enough to Say I Love You? and Here We Go
Second Thought Theatre is presenting two rarely produced Caryl Churchill plays: Drunk Enough to Say I Love You? and Here We Go. Photo courtesy of Second Thought Theatre
Theatre Three presents The Armor Plays
Theatre Three also has a double bill, with Cinched and Strapped by Selina Fillinger. Photo by Jeffrey Schmidt
The national touring company of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical
Beautiful: The Carole King Musical returns to the Winspear. Photo by Matthew Murphy
WaterTower Theatre presents The Ballad of Little Jo
The Ballad of Little Jo at WaterTower Theatre is inspired by a true story. Photo by Evan Michael Woods
Casa Mañana presents The Producers
Circle Theatre presents Sweeney Todd
Aladdin national tour
Girl Dad by Justin Lemieux
Shakespeare in Love
The Play that Goes Wrong
The Classics Theatre Project presents Summer and Smoke
Kitchen Dog Theater presents Reykjavik
Drunk Enough to Say I Love You? and Here We Go
Theatre Three presents The Armor Plays
The national touring company of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical
WaterTower Theatre presents The Ballad of Little Jo

For a quick second, I thought we'd broken a record with this month's lineup. Eighteen shows. And that's not even individually counting the several that comprise the Dallas Solo Festival. But alas, there is one previous roundup that featured more plays and musicals: June 2018. Must be something about early summer that makes DFW want to experience some culture.

Here are the 18 shows to see in order by start date:

The Producers
Casa Mañana, June 1-9
A down-on-his-luck Broadway producer and his mild-mannered accountant come up with a scheme to produce the most notorious flop in history, thereby bilking their backers out of millions of dollars. Winner of a record 12 Tony Awards, the show skewers Broadway traditions and is based on Mel Brooks' classic cult comedy film.

Summer and Smoke
The Classics Theatre Project, June 1-22
One of Tennessee Williams' most subtle and tender works, the Mississippi-set Summer and Smoke follows Alma (Gretchen Hahn), the minister's daughter, and John Buchanan (Evan Michael Woods), the doctor's son, who are magnetically drawn to each other. The spiritual and physical romance that almost blooms between them is among the most engaging, romantic, and heartbreaking love stories in Williams' canon.

Drunk Enough to Say I Love You? and Here We Go
Second Thought Theatre, June 5-29
A double feature of two rarely produced Caryl Churchill plays, both of which are both directed by Alex Organ. The first is an examination of American identity through the characters of "Guy, a man" and his seducer, "Sam, a country." The second is a meditation on that most universal of human experiences: death.

Penny Candy
Dallas Theater Center, June 5-July 14
DTC playwright-in-residence Jonathan Norton based this world premiere on his own childhood growing up in Pleasant Grove, where he helped his father run a candy store out of their rundown, one-bedroom apartment.

Dallas Solo Fest
Audacity Theatre Lab, June 6-16
Eight unique one-person shows highlight the fifth year of this festival, which mix local solo performers with performers from around the country. The line-up includes Based On Actual Events by Jaye Lee Vocque; Brigham Mosley's Critical, Darling!; Cyrano A-Go-Go by Brad McEntire; Justin Lemieux's Girl Dad; Keeping Up With the Jorgensons by Jeremy Julian Greco; Carmel Clavin's The Marvelous Musical Mechanical Maiden; Melanie Moseley's Sexology: The Musical; and Who You Calling a Bitch!?! by Sacha Elie. Head here for a full schedule and lineup.

Aladdin
Dallas Summer Musicals, June 6-23
The national tour of this Disney stage hit stars two DFW natives: Clinton Greenspan as Aladdin and Major Attaway as the Genie (he will be returning to the role on Broadway later this year). You'll also find the Academy Award-winning score by Alan Menken, Howard Ashman, and Tim Rice, as well as jaw-dropping dance numbers, and even a flying carpet or two.

Reykjavík
Kitchen Dog Theater, June 6-30
Steve Yockey's latest world premiere is the headliner of KDT's New Works Festival. In the city of Reykjavík, we eavesdrop on the intertwined lives of lovers, hospitality workers, partygoers, and even a really handsome bird or two. This frank exploration of honesty in relationships offers a glimpse into a cold, dark, magical, and sometimes violent world where everyone still hopes to find joy beneath the glow of the Northern Lights.

The Armor Plays: Cinched and Strapped
Theatre Three, June 6-30
Two one-acts by another young female playwriting talent, Selina Fillinger, explore gender and rebellion by examining the past and exploring the future. The first is set during a 19th-century high-class dinner party. Fast forward several centuries to the second piece, which introduces hardened warriors in a dystopian future.

The Ballad of Little Jo
WaterTower Theatre, June 6-30
After giving birth to a son out of wedlock, Josephine Monaghan makes the difficult decision to leave him in the care of her sister and head out west in search of a new life. She finds herself stranded in a small Idaho mining town, disguises herself as a man called "Jo," and quickly finds a job mining silver. Things start looking up for Jo as she finds success as a man, but the dream of a better life starts to crack when news from back home in Boston reaches her.

Sweeney Todd
Circle Theatre, June 6-July 13
Stephen Sondheim's heart-pounding thriller is set on the seedy side streets of 19th-century London, telling the diabolical tale of an exiled barber's quest to avenge the wrongs done to him and his family by a lecherous judge.

The Play That Goes Wrong
AT&T Performing Arts Center Broadway Series, June 11-16
Welcome to opening night of The Murder at Haversham Manor, where things are quickly going from bad to utterly disastrous. With an unconscious leading lady, a corpse that can't play dead, and actors who trip over everything (including their lines), this award-winning smash comedy was a hit both on Broadway and in London.

Shakespeare in Love and As You Like It
Shakespeare Dallas, June 12-July 21
From one of the Bard's most comedic romances to the fictional romance of the Bard himself, Shakespeare Dallas' summer season is both modern and classic. Shakespeare in Love performs Tuesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays, while As You Like It runs Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. Both are performed outdoors, so bring a blanket, sand chair, picnic, and beverages, if you're so inclined.

The Man of La Mancha
Lyric Stage, June 14-16
Inspired by Miguel de Cervantes' 17th-century masterpiece Don Quixote, this Tony winner by Dale Wasserman, Joe Darion, and Mitch Leigh is one of the most successful musicals in Broadway history.

Beautiful: The Carole King Musical
AT&T Performing Arts Center Broadway Series, June 18-23
Long before she was Carole King, chart-topping music legend, she was Carol Klein, Brooklyn girl with passion and chutzpah. This inspiring true story follows King's remarkable rise to stardom, from being part of a hit songwriting team with her husband Gerry Goffin, to her relationship with fellow writers and best friends Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann, to becoming one of the most successful solo acts in popular music history.

Les Miserables
Broadway at the Bass, June 25-30
This new production of Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg's Tony Award-winning musical phenomenon comes direct from an acclaimed two-and-a-half-year return to Broadway. Set against the backdrop of 19th-century France, it tells an enthralling story of broken dreams and unrequited love, passion, sacrifice, and redemption.