Shows are springing up right and left in Dallas-Fort Worth, bringing fresh premieres and beloved classics in with the (slightly) warmer weather. You can travel to the Appalachian Mountains or Harlem, hop aboard a floating disco or catch a ride on the Trans-Continental Express, and even drop in on a girls' soccer team (don't worry, you don't have to bring your old cleats).
Here are the nine shows to see, in order by start date:
Casa Mañana, March 2-10
Calling all T-Birds and Pink Ladies: Everyone's favorite rock-and-roll musical is back. Put on your dancing shoes and hand-jive to electrifying hits like "You're the One that I Want," "Summer Nights," "Greased Lightnin'," and more.
Fool For Love
The Classics Theatre Project, March 6-30
Sam Shepard's play focuses on May and Eddie, former lovers who have met again in a motel in the desert. It also asks, "How can love feel so right when you know it's so wrong?" A surrealist, romantic, darkly comic, full-length one-act, the play was the winner of the 1983 Pulitzer Prize and Obie Award.
Dallas Theater Center, March 6-April 14
Produced in association with the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University, this production of Sarah DeLappe's Pulitzer Prize finalist play plunks its audience right in the middle of an elite squad of teenage soccer players. They meet every Saturday to stretch before their games, and high school gossip rapidly evolves into mature meditations on the girls' understanding of themselves and their place in the world.
Pegasus Theatre, March 14-23
It’s "all aboard!" for murder in this Kurt Kleinmann original, which takes place on the Trans-Continental Express from Los Angeles to New York. Inept but endearing detective Harry Hunsacker and his paid-by-the-hour friend and assistant, Nigel Grouse, (along with Lt. Foster of the real police) find themselves trapped on a train headed for murder. Presented in RadioVizion, an alternative technique devised by Pegasus Theatre for the presentation of the Living Black & White series of Harry Hunsacker adventures, the show does not employ the trade-secret makeup but instead focuses on evoking the experience and glamour of being in a live radio studio of the 1930s and 1940s.
Theatre Three, March 14-April 7
Annie Nations, an indomitable Appalachian widow of 79, lives on her North Georgia mountain farm with her husband, Hector. Her tranquility is threatened by a brash real estate developer who wants to turn her land into a vacation resort, and by concern over her son Dillard, a country singer who has come home with two stranded children because his wife ran away. Susan Cooper, Hume Cronyn, and Jonathan Brielle's play with music draws on the oral history, traditions, and folklore of the dwindling Appalachian Mountain descendants.
Down for #TheCount
Bishop Arts Theatre Center, March 22-April 7
Back for a fourth year, Down for #TheCount features six dynamic female playwrights from diverse social and ethnic backgrounds, including nationally recognized playwrights Emily Mann, France-Luce Benson, Kiana Rivera, and Kat Ramsburg, as well as North Texas playwrights Gabrielle Denise Pina and Blue McElroy. Less than 29 percent of all theater produced in America is written by women, with only 6 percent of that by women of color. This festival breathes life into their compelling, hilarious, and heartbreaking stories.
Disaster! The Catastrophic '70s Musical
Uptown Players, March 22-April 7
It's 1979, and New York's hottest A-listers are lining up for the opening of a floating casino and discotheque. What begins as a night of boogie fever quickly changes to panic as the ship succumbs to multiple disasters, including earthquakes, tidal waves, and infernos. This hilarious homage to the disaster movies of the '70s was written by Seth Rudetsky and Jack Plotnick, with concept by Rudetsky and Drew Geraci. Rudetsky himself will be at the Kalita for a post-show talk-back on March 28.
Bubbling Brown Sugar
Jubilee Theatre, March 22-April 28
Journey back in time to the Harlem Renaissance, when audiences flocked to the area's popular nightclubs to see the greatest talents entertain. Artists like Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, and Billie Holliday created a golden age of music with their exciting sounds and glamorous shows. You'll jam, jump, and jive to this exuberant, three-time Tony-nominated musical revue.
The Higher Love
WingSpan Theatre Company, March 29-30
Adrian Godinez, Barrett Nash and Diana Gonzalez Yager star in this staged reading of Germaine Shames' new play, which follows two impressionable actors as they land the roles of a lifetime: poet Khalil Gibran and his patron, Mary Haskell. As the rehearsals progress, the actors grapple with their unpredictable characters, the meaning of love, and the stage kiss to end all. Offstage, a tragedy strikes the play's director, casting into doubt Gibran’' and Haskell's lofty, if unrealized, ideals.