Theater Critic Picks
May gives audiences a bit of a breather, but just because there are slightly fewer shows to see doesn't mean that they're any less interesting. Several major tours are coming our way, along with a world premiere from a local playwright and the return of a cult favorite. The introduction of TodayTix to DFW means that it's even easier now to get theater tickets at a discount — you don't even have to leave your phone.
Here are the nine shows to see, in order by start date:
Off Broadway on Flora, May 2-4
Flying umbrellas, larger-than-life balloons, giant kites floating over the audience, and the biggest snow globe you've ever seen are part of this circus-style adventure that follows two siblings journeying through a surreal land of air. The creation of husband-and-wife team Seth Bloom and Christina Gelsone, Air Play merges their circus and street theater performance art with Daniel Wurtzel's sculptural artistry.
Soul Rep Theatre Company, May 2-13
This acclaimed production — part of AT&T Performing Arts Center's Elevator Project — is comprised of compelling and colorful true and imagined stories told through poetry, monologue, song, and dance. Written by members of Soul Rep's writing consortium, the show was created to commemorate the opening of Dallas' Freedman's Memorial 20 years ago, and to pay homage to the city's black pioneers and early Freedman's community of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
We're Gonna Die
Amphibian Stage Productions, May 4-5
DFW got a taste of Young Jean Lee's pop concert/autobiographical lament in 2017, when Jake Nice presented it before one of the closing performances of Lee's Straight White Men at Second Thought Theatre. He went on to mount it at other places around DFW, with local musician Sammy "Rat" Rios as the Singer, who returns for this Fort Worth engagement.
AT&T Performing Arts Center, May 8-20
Our modern age of anxiety is keenly observed with humor and compassion in this new American classic that won the 2016 Tony Award for Best Play. Stephen Karam's script — which was also nominated for the Pulitzer Prize — concerns the Blake family, who gather for Thanksgiving dinner at the new lower Manhattan apartment of youngest daughter Brigid and her boyfriend. Get $38 tickets through TodayTix here.
Amphibian Stage Productions, May 11-27
This one-person play is written and performed by U.S. Army veteran Stephan Wolfert, who leads audiences on an interactive journey to meet Shakespeare's veterans using his own military experiences. The play shows us that the military men and women of Shakespeare's time wrestled with the same hopes and worries that occupy our modern lives.
Self Injurious Behavior
Theatre Three, May 17-June 10
For anyone who has cared for a child with ASD, it can be all-consuming and exhausting. In this very personal account from Dallas playwright and actor Jessica Cavanagh, a woman struggles to raise her autistic son and we are reminded that life never turns out the way you plan it. Through every effort to do what is best for her son, she discovers that loss, sacrifice, and little leaps of faith can lead to the life that maybe you didn't plan, but the life you love.
Stage West, May 17-June 17
After returning from the wars, Isaac arrives at his childhood home to discover that the house and family he knew have been upended. His once-timid mother is on a whirlwind crusade to subvert the patriarchy and his sister is now his genderqueer brother who refers to hirself in gender-neutral pronouns. Meanwhile, his stroke-ridden father slumps on the couch in a muumuu and clown makeup. As Isaac attempts to reclaim structure in a household that refuses to be tamed, the family is forced to confront what it is to live in a new world when one is stuck in the past. Get $10 tickets through TodayTix here.
AT&T Performing Arts Center, May 22-27
This is the true story of how a group of blue-collar boys from the wrong side of the tracks became one of the biggest American pop music sensations of all time: Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. They wrote their own songs, invented their own sounds, and sold 175 million records worldwide, all before they were 30. The show features all their hits, including "Sherry," "Big Girls Don't Cry," "Oh What A Night," "Walk Like a Man," "Can't Take My Eyes Off You," and "Working My Way Back To You."
White Rabbit Red Rabbit
Dallas Theater Center, May 30-July 1
When Amphibian Stage Productions mounted this mysterious show in 2017, it ended up being one of the most memorable moments of the year. The actor who will perform this play has never seen it. In fact, there is a new actor every performance, and they've only been told what is absolutely necessary about this global sensation that no one is allowed to talk about.