Theater Critic Picks
From concerts by powerhouse women to new works to festivals galore, this month's theatrical offerings are as exciting as all the spring flowers starting to nudge up out of the ground.
In order of start date, here are 15 local shows — and festivals! — to watch this month:
Turtle Creek Chorale, March 5
Tony Award-winning theater legend Audra McDonald headlines Turtle Creek Chorale's fundraising gala, but you can also buy tickets to the show only. Held at the Meyerson Symphony Center, the concert will take audiences through McDonald's vast repertoire.
Ginger Layne Live! Birthday Bitch Bash
The Copper Penny, March 5
Join Dallas drag artist Ginger Layne (Michael B. Moore) for a night that's bawdy, naughty, and more fun than audiences can fit into a pair of size 15 stiletto heels. Joining her are special guests Sherry Etzel, Becki McDonald, and Kim Winnubst with cooking, live music, and audience participation.
Whither Goest Thou America: A Festival of New American Play Readings
Undermain Theatre, March 5-27
This is the fourth series of readings of new American plays examining the American Landscape. In addition to staged readings, Undermain audiences get access to writers featured in the festival in post-show discussions with playwrights, directors, and actors. Each week of the series will focus on a different playwright and play with staged readings by an ensemble cast.
Come From Away
Dallas Summer Musicals, March 8-20
On 9/11, the world stopped. On 9/12, their stories moved us all. Come from Away takes audiences into the heart of the remarkable true story of 7,000 stranded passengers and the small town in Newfoundland that welcomed them. Cultures clashed and nerves ran high, but uneasiness turned into trust, music soared into the night, and gratitude grew into enduring friendships.
Do No Harm
Soul Rep Theatre Co., March 10-19
Presented at the Wyly Theatre as part of the Elevator Project, Soul Rep co-founder Anyika McMillan-Herod's newest play explores the story of three enslaved women — Anarcha, Betsey, and Lucy — who were experimented on without anesthesia by Dr. J. Marion Sims, credited as "the father of modern gynecology."
An Empty Plate in the Café du Grand Boeuf
Circle Theatre, March 10-April 2
On a hot July night in 1961, we await the imminent arrival of Victor, the Café’s owner and sole patron. But when "Monsieur" returns from the bullfights in Madrid, disheveled and morose, his wish is simple: to die of starvation at his own table. In an effort to thwart his attempt, his loyal staff prepares a sumptuous, seven-course meal served on empty plates. Will they succeed in ultimately feeding his soul?
An Evening with Renee Elise Goldsberry
Dallas Symphony Orchestra, March 11-13
The original Angelica Schuyler in Broadway's mega-hit Hamilton will perform selections from Broadway hits like Hamilton, Rent, and The Lion King, along with songs by Aretha Franklin, Curtis Mayfield, Bob Dylan, and more.
Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus
Kitchen Dog Theater, March 17-April 3
This Tony-nominated comedy by Taylor Mac is set just after the blood-soaked conclusion of William Shakespeare's first tragedy, Titus Andronicus. During the fall of the Roman Empire, the years of bloody battle are over. The civil war has ended. The country has been stolen by madmen, and there are casualties everywhere. And two very lowly servants are charged with cleaning up the bodies. A professionally filmed version of the play will be available for streaming ($15) during the final week of performances, March 31-April 3.
Stage West, March 17-April 10
Mischief lurks in the sleepy village of Edmonton, as a slick young devil arrives in search of a few fresh souls. As the townsfolk reveal their deepest secrets and desires, bargains are struck, tables are turned, and an outcast woman living at the edge of the village proves to be much more than she seems in this regional premiere.
Shrek the Musical
Casa Mañana, March 18-April 3
Based on the Oscar-winning, smash-hit DreamWorks Animation film, this Tony Award-winning fairytale adventure brings all the beloved characters you know from the film to life onstage. Join the tale of an unlikely hero who finds himself on a life-changing journey alongside a wisecracking Donkey and a feisty princess who resists her own rescue. Throw in a short-tempered bad guy, a cookie with an attitude, and over a dozen other fairy tale misfits, and you've got the kind of mess that calls for a real hero.
Look Back in Anger
The Classics Theatre Project, March 18-April 9
John Osborne's realist cornerstone profiles the sorrows, despondency, and anger of English working-class 20-30-year-olds, who did not participate in World War II and who found its aftermath lacking in promise. This production is a no-holds-barred staging of this intense kitchen sink drama, starring Joey Folsom as its protagonist, Jimmy Porter.
In a Word
Echo Theatre, March 18-April 10
Today is Fiona's birthday and the two-year anniversary of her son's disappearance, and still nothing makes sense to her: not the incompetent detective, her "understanding" boss, or the neighborhood kidnapper who keeps casually introducing himself at the grocery store. Her husband, Guy, is desperately trying to move on, but Fiona delves back into her memories of that fateful day, struggling to find the right words to bring her son home. Following the live run, the production will be available to stream, April 10-24.
Over Forty, The Musical
Jubilee Theatre, March 25-April 24
This rousing musical chronicle four very different women who are hellishly fighting their entry into middle-ageism. These exhilarating women both celebrate and mourn getting older with witty dialogue and soul-stirring music, taking the audience on an adventurous journey where both men and women will never dread the "big 4-0" again.
The Sound of Music
Dallas Theater Center, March 25-April 24
A country under attack. A family paralyzed by loss. And a woman who is afraid to love. Dallas Theater Center boldly reexamines one of the most exhilarating musical theater classics ever written. The inspirational story follows a young postulate who is dispatched to serve as governess for the seven children of an imperious naval captain, bringing joy and music to the household. But as the forces of Nazism take hold of Austria, Maria and the entire von Trapp family must make a moral decision.
First Impressions: Festival for New Works
Imprint Theatreworks, March 30-April 3
Celebrate five years of First Impressions with another year of 10 brand-new works by local playwrights, as well as a sneak peek at a world-premiere musical. Many of the shows and playwrights featured in this festival have gone on to have their shows fully produced, not only by Imprint but across the country. Readings are available both streamed and in-person.