Theater Critic Picks
UPDATE: AT&T Performing Arts Center announced that Charlie & the Chocolate Factory will now have a shortened run, from August 22-25.
Do you like new work? Do you like lots of new work? Then August is a good month for you, as there are not one, but two, festivals showcasing pieces written by local and visiting playwrights and tackling everything from healthcare to the border crisis. There are also two new full-length plays written by locals, as well as beloved classics like the universal story of family that pays a visit to both Dallas and Forth Worth.
Here are the 10 shows to see in order by start date:
Imprint Theatreworks, August 2-17
Leah Nanako Winkler, recipient of the 2018 Yale Prize for Drama, explores identity, religion, and love in this coming-of-age story with a kick (complete with a chorus and a talking cat). Hiro is an Asian-American, self-made woman making it in New York. She is also estranged from her dysfunctional family in Kentucky. When her little sister, a born-again Christian, decides to marry at 22, Hiro takes it upon herself to do whatever she can to stop the wedding and salvage any shred of hope she had for her sister's future.
Fiddler on the Roof
Dallas Summer Musicals, August 7-18
Broadway at the Bass, August 20-25
Rich with musical hits you know and love, including "Tradition," "Sunrise, Sunset," "If I Were A Rich Man," "Matchmaker, Matchmaker," and "To Life (L'Chaim!)," this heartwarming story of fathers and daughters; husbands and wives; and life, love, and laughter has been a crowd-pleaser since 1964.
Broadway or Bust
Pegasus Theatre, August 8-24
In a converted strip-mall carpet store somewhere in Dallas, The Plush Pile Players are primed to stage Dicky Steinberg's Off-Off-Broadway flop Broadway Glitz when director Jan Flaggit trips on a toaster and breaks her ankle. A lifeline comes in the shape of bona fide Broadway director Percy Scott, but Jan's eccentric ensemble soon learn that their new messiah may not be all he seems.
One-Minute Play Festival
Kitchen Dog Theater, August 10-12
America's largest and longest running grassroots theater event investigates the zeitgeist of different communities through a performance of 50-100 short moments generated by local playwrights of all ages, genders, races, cultures, and points of career.
Uptown Players, August 9-25
Bekah Brunstetter's new comedy focuses on North Carolina baker Della, who is overjoyed when her best friend's daughter returns from New York to get married and asks Della to make her wedding cake. Della, a sweet-natured Christian, is forced to re-examine her deeply-held beliefs and her own marriage when she realizes there is not one bride, but two.
Latinidades: A Festival of Solo Shows
Cara Mía Theatre Co., August 15-September 8
The festival will open with Puerto Rican poet, singer, and actor Flaco Navaja's love letter to salsa and the Bronx, Evolution of a Sonero (August 15-18), and continues with Your Healing is Killing Me, a play about healthcare, nutrition, and traumatic stress for people of color by Virginia Grise (August 22-25). It finishes with Ursula, a border experience through the eyes of child by CMT artistic ensemble member Frida Espinosa-Müller (August 29-September 8).
As You Like It
Dallas Theater Center, August 16-18
The Public Works collaboration with Southern Methodist University's Meadows School of the Arts and AT&T Performing Arts Center is back with its groundbreaking community engagement and participatory theater project designed to deliberately blur the line between professional artists and Dallas community members. The production features 200 actors and community members, only five being professional actors. Featuring an original folk-pop score by Shaina Taub and running 90 minutes long, As You Like It is appropriate for all audiences and groups.
A 3D Adventure
Circle Theatre, August 15-September 14
A small theater troupe's madcap production goes inexplicably, spectacularly off the rails in Matt Lyle's latest comedy. The actors find themselves cast into a strange, surreal world resembling some of your most beloved films.
Charlie & the Chocolate Factory
AT&T Performing Arts Center, August 20-September 1
Willy Wonka is opening his marvelous and mysterious chocolate factory to a lucky few, and that includes Charlie Bucket, whose bland life is about to burst with color and confection beyond his wildest dreams. He and four other golden ticket winners will embark on a mesmerizing joyride through a world of pure imagination. Get ready for Oompa Loompas, incredible inventions, the great glass elevator, and more, more, more at this everlasting showstopper.
What We Were
Second Thought Theatre, August 28-September 21
Following 2017's The Necessities and 2018's Enemies/People, Second Thought presents its third world premiere from acclaimed local playwright Blake Hackler. It tells the story of Carlin, Nell, and Tessa, three sisters who suffered a childhood of abuse. Now adults, each lives in some degree of denial, but the lies are starting to become more unbearable than the truth.