Theater Critic Picks
New year, new opportunity to take in some culture by seeing any (or all) of these shows that are opening in the first month of the new decade. Make theater-going part of the new 2020 you.
Here are the 11 shows to see in order by start date:
The Color Purple
Broadway at the Bass, January 5
AT&T Performing Arts Center, January 7-12
This 2016 Tony Award winner for Best Musical Revival features a soul-raising, Grammy-winning score of jazz, gospel, ragtime, and blues, giving an exhilarating new spirit to this Pulitzer Prize-winning story.
Imprint Theatreworks, January 9-25
If your House is Hufflepuff, listen up: This clever play gives audience a new look at a familiar adventure from the perspective of three potential heroes just trying to make it through a magic school that proves to be very dangerous for children. Alongside them are the Puffs, a group of well-meaning, loyal outsiders with a thing for badgers.
Ada and the Engine
Stage West, January 9-February 9
Young and curious mathematician Ada Byron is caught between two worlds. Her mother is pushing for a prestigious marriage to Lord Lovelace, hoping to repair the damage Ada's father, the late Lord Byron, imposed on the family name. But Ada sees the creative potential in the analytic engines created by her elder friend and scholar Charles Babbage. As pressures mount and feelings grow, these two form a partnership that will change the course of the future.
Pride & Prejudice
Shakespeare Dallas, January 10-19
For its second annual winter season performance, Shakespeare Dallas is going Austen —Jane Austen — by way of Jon Jory for the adaptation. Elizabeth Bennet, her four sisters, and overzealous match-making mother keep the topic of marriage alive and lively, but when the independent-minded Elizabeth meets the handsome but enigmatic Mr. Darcy, she is determined not to let her feelings triumph over her own good sense. The indoor performance is guest directed by Christie Vela.
Broadway at the Bass, January 14-19
The bold and enchanting Dolly Gallagher Levi (played by Broadway legend Carolee Carmello) is a widow, matchmaker, and professional meddler. When she decides the next match she needs to make is for herself, she weaves a web of romantic complications for her newest client, the cantankerous "half-a-millionaire" Horace Vandergelder, his two clerks, a pretty hat maker, and her assistant.
Broadway Our Way
Uptown Players, January 16-19
For the ninth straight year, B.J. Cleveland writes and directs this fundraising revue of Broadway music that has plenty of twists, laughs, and surprises. The evening features many favorite actors from past Uptown Players seasons performing selections from Broadway shows, both past and present, all done with an Uptown Players twist.
Jake Nice and the Elevator Project, January 16-26
It's the week after the Columbine shootings and Chad Squier is subbing at his former high school amid threats of a copycat attack. Once the state wrestling champ and big man on campus, Chad is now adrift in his twenties, living at home, and carrying the guilt of a suicide that happened his senior year. After learning that most of the teachers have stayed home and the rest of them might be armed (the result of a "hush-hush" district meeting), Chad tries to make it through the day unscathed.
Stuff as Dreams Are Made On
Theatre Three, January 17-18, 24-25
Internationally acclaimed theater artist Fred Curchack performs Shakespeare's The Tempest changed into something rich and strange.
Theatre Three, January 30-February 1
This upbeat musical revue fundraiser features four of Dallas' top vocal talents, showcasing Broadway's best musicals and some familiar favorites from T3's history.
The Drowsy Chaperone
The Firehouse Theatre, January 30-February 23
With the houselights down, a man in a chair appears onstage and puts on his favorite record: the cast recording of a fictitious 1928 musical. The recording comes to life and we watch two lovers on the eve of their wedding, a bumbling best man, a desperate theater producer, a not-so-bright hostess, two gangsters posing as pastry chefs, a misguided Don Juan, and an intoxicated chaperone. Janelle Lutz returns from New York to reprise her leading role.
One Man, Two Guvnors
Circle Theatre, January 30-March 7
In Richard Bean's hilarious comedy, directed by Joel Ferrell, we find ourselves in Brighton, England, 1963. Francis Henshall is in the employ of two men: gangster Roscoe Crabbe and Stanley Stubbers — mortal enemies of one another. However, it turns out that "Roscoe" is already deceased and Roscoe's twin sister, Rachel, has been posing as him. Fighting a mounting sense of confusion and distractions, Francis frantically tries to keep Roscoe and Stubbers apart.