Theater Critic Picks
UPDATE: The Off Broadway on Flora production of Small Mouth Sounds has been canceled due to "an unforeseen scheduling issue that is unavoidable and would make performances impossible." Ticket holders will be notified via phone by the box office, and all ticket purchases will be automatically refunded.
It's not too late to add "be more cultured" to your list of New Year's resolutions. Lucky for you, here's a handy list of plays and musicals that are opening this month all over Dallas and Fort Worth. Some are big, splashy touring productions, while others are more intimate works from newer local companies.
Here are the 12 shows to see, in order by start date:
Hillary and Clinton
Second Thought Theatre, January 10-February 3
This area premiere by Lucas Hnath opens STT's first four-show season since 2013, and is also Laura Colleluori's directorial debut with the company. "A work of total fiction," the play is about a woman named Hillary who is trying to become the president of a country called the United States of America in an alternate universe light years away. Stormi Demerson is continuing the STT debut theme, playing Hillary opposite Barry Nash as her husband, Bill.
I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change
Theatre Three, January 11-March 4
The musical about falling in and out of love returns to the Theatre Too space for the 18th and final time, with director B.J. Cleveland at the helm. The theater promises some surprises and special events as it says goodbye to the longtime audience favorite, including a special fundraiser performance on Valentine’s Day with an all-star cast of actors from the production's past 18 years. The closing cast includes returning performer Janelle Lutz, along with Aaron Green and the recently engaged Greg Hullett and Liz J. Millea.
Glengarry Glen Ross
Imprint Theatreworks, January 12-27
The new Dallas theater company tackles David Mamet for its first production, which focuses on a group of men caught in the cutthroat chase for their piece of the American Dream. Director Ashley H. White leads an all-female creative team in the re-imagining of an American dramatic classic, staged at the Bath House Cultural Center.
Fun House Theatre and Film, January 15
Want to see a different take on Mamet's tale? Local playwright Jeff Swearingen wrote an homage to the playwright's iconic work in 2013, only he turned it into a dark comedy about a group of pre-teen girls trying to make their way through both childhood and cookie-sale season. For one night only at Theatre Too, some of DFW's most accomplished actresses — Emily Scott Banks, Lydia Mackay, Marianne Galloway, Sherry Jo Ward, Tina Parker, Kim Lyle, and Whitney Holotik — are assembling for a staged reading of this laugh-out-loud play. Original cast member Kennedy Waterman is also returning, and all funds raised from the event will go toward bringing another of Swearingen's original comedies, Stiff, to Off Broadway in February.
Performing Arts Fort Worth, January 17-21
This satirical show follows the Bottom brothers as they attempt to write the world's first musical, all while in the shadow of their immensely popular contemporary, Will Shakespeare (played by original Rent star Adam Pascal on the tour). It's chock-full of theatrical references, so brush up on your Shakespeare (and others) before going.
Like a Billion Likes
Stage West, January 18-February 11
Winner of the 2016 Southwest Playwriting Competition, this world premiere by Erik Forrest Jackson follows high school sophomore Misty, who's desperate to stand out. After one setback too many, she makes a final, desperate bid for glory — the terrible culmination of her burning desire to be recognized for something, anything, no matter how she achieves it.
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Theatre Three, January 18-February 11
Jeffrey Hatcher's adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's tale, about a Victorian-era doctor's experiment on himself that goes horribly wrong, is a "new and shocking" version. Director Christie Vela guides a cast that portrays the many facets of Dr. Jekyll's alter-ego, Edward Hyde.
Daddy Long Legs
Lyric Stage, January 19-21
For one weekend only at the Majestic Theatre, Lyric Stage is mounting a production of the intimate Off Broadway musical by Paul Gordon and John Caird. It's about a witty orphan named Jerusha Abbott and the mysterious benefactor that helps her grow into a life of sophistication, adventure, and knowledge. Samantha McHenry plays Jerusha, and Lyric favorite Christoper Deaton is Jervis Pendleton, the "youngish" uncle of one of her roommates who introduces her to the world.
The Color Purple
Dallas Summer Musicals, January 23-February 4
The Tony-winning revival is a musicalized version of Alice Walker's Pulitzer Prize-winning book, about a Southern woman named Celie who overcomes hardship with the help of her friends. Scottish director John Doyle staged a minimalist version of the story that focuses more on the songs and relationships than the set, inviting the audience to imagine much of the scenery.
This Random World
Circle Theatre, January 25-February 24
Steven Dietz’s heartwarming comedy kicks off Circle's 37th season, exploring the lives that may be happening just out of reach of our own. Is also poses the question: Does serendipity bring us together or is that only a myth? Steven Pounders directs a cast that includes Catherine D. DuBord, Desirée Fultz, and Kyle Igneczi.
Elliot, A Soldier's Fugue
WaterTower Theatre, January 26-February 18
Pulitzer Prize-winning dramatist Quiara Alegría Hudes takes a poignant look at the way war permeates young men’s lives in a play spanning three generations of the same Puerto Rican-American family. David Lozano directs Christopher Llewyn Ramirez as Elliot, a Marine Corps hero who's back from Iraq with an injured leg and a Purple Heart; David Lugo as his Pop, who was wounded in Vietnam; and Rodney Garza as Grandpop, who fought in Korea. In a fugue-like form, different wars and different tales are strung together as Ginny (Gloria Vivica Benavides), his mother, seeks to reconcile the disparate parts and heal emotional wounds.
Small Mouth Sounds
Off Broadway on Flora, January 31-February 4
In the quiet of the woods, six strangers embark on a silent retreat. As they struggle to confront their internal demons, their vows of silence collide with their achingly human need to connect. Written by Drama Desk Award winner Bess Wohl and directed by Obie Award winner Rachel Chavkin, the 100-minute play asks how we address life’s biggest questions when words fail us.