Theater Critic Picks
These are the 13 can't-miss shows in Dallas-Fort Worth theater for April
Lots of new works this month — five, in fact! — so do yourself a favor and see something no one else has ever seen before.
Looking for a little familiarity? Try out Jesus Christ Superstar, Summer: The Donna Summer Musical, Torch Song, and The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe.
In order of start date, here are 13 local shows to watch this month:
AT&T Elevator Project, through April 9
This one-act play by Janelle Gray explores the stories of Black US women throughout the history of the United States. Ten women take their place onstage at the Wyly's Studio Theatre to share their stories of strength, resilience, perseverance and struggle across the history of the nation.
Amphibian Stage, through April 17
Kymbali Craig plays all 16 characters in this tour-de-force exploration of the New York City public school system.
Cara Mía Theatre, April 2
This public performance event and installation was created in an empty lot in Pleasant Grove by cohort participants, including Alexandra Hernandez, Anita Sanchez, Ajua Powell, Classi Nance, Cocoatlicue, J Davis- Jones, Judah Agbonkhina, Kirschen Wolford, Lyrique Jaye, Nora Soto, Priscilla Rice, Priscilla Solis Ybarra, Tamitha Barbosa Curiel, and Victoria Ferrell Ortiz.
The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe
Dallas Children's Theater, April 2-May 15
Young adventurers Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy step through the not-so-ordinary wardrobe and into the mythical land of C.S. Lewis' Narnia. Facing fantastic creatures and fierce battles in the heart and on the land, the four siblings must find the courage to battle the treacherous White Witch in order to end the deadly eternal winter in the beautiful forest.
Jesus Christ Superstar
Broadway Dallas, April 5-17
The North American tour celebrates 50 epic years since the original rock opera concept album release. Jesus Christ Superstar is set against the backdrop of an extraordinary series of events during the final weeks in the life of Jesus Christ, as seen through the eyes of Judas.
Stede Bonnet: A F*cking Pirate Musical
Theatre Three, April 7-May 1
The world premiere of this swashbuckling musical is a hilarious, touching tale based on the true story of the Gentleman Pirate. Stede, depressed and exhausted of his luxurious life, chooses to leave everything behind and become the best pirate in the world. One problem … he doesn't know what he's doing.
Leos Ensemble Theatre, April 8-9
This world premiere is by Oak Cliff-based playwright A. Emmanuel Leadon, conceived by Nick Leos, and loosely framed by technology activist Jaron Lanier's Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts. Ten sketches set over the last decade are all about the ways social media is undermining our lives. It's MadTV crossed with The Colored Museum wrapped up in uncle's conspiracy Twitter rants.
Uptown Players, April 8-17
This new and shortened revival of Harvey Fierstein's original 1983 Torch Song Trilogy followsArnold Beckoff, a Jewish drag queen who makes it his life's journey to find happiness in 1970s New York in the midst of homophobia and intolerance, even by his own family and partners.
Second Thought Theatre, April 14-30
The same week KMM Capital Management private equity firm forced massive layoffs at a national grocery chain, the founder and president threw himself an extravagant engagement party, setting off a publicity nightmare. Fortunately, one of the partners has a dream of a deal that will rescue his boss from the PR disaster. But are they willing to maximize returns, no matter the consequences? The game is on in this gripping, razor-sharp play about the price of success and the real cost of getting the deal done.
Bars and Measures
Bishop Arts Theatre Center, April 14-May 1
Commissioned by B Street Theatre, Bars and Measures is the fascinating tale of two brothers, one a classical pianist, the other a jazz bass player. One is Christian, and the other a Muslim. One living in freedom. The other in jail. Separated by bars, the brothers try to reconcile their differences through the language they know best: music.
What to Send Up When It Goes Down
Stage West, April 14-May 8
This play-pageant-ritual-homegoing-celebration blurs the lines between actors and audience. In a series of vignettes, it builds to a moment in which performance and reality collide, a unifying theatrical response to the physical and spiritual loss of Black lives.
Pressure Makes Diamonds
Circle Theatre, April 21-30
This original production will shine a bright light on a diamond's similarities to life. Denise Lee, with the help of her band, will touch audiences' souls with a collection of songs from many classic artists. This new production is both a collaboration with and directed by Monique Midgette.
Summer: The Donna Summer Musical
AT&T Performing Arts Center, April 26-May 1
She was a girl from Boston with a voice from heaven, who shot through the stars from gospel choir to dance floor diva. But what the world didn't know was how Donna Summer risked it all to break through every barrier, becoming the icon of an era and the inspiration for every music diva who followed. From Janet Jackson to Beyoncé, they all began with Donna.