Theater Critic Picks

These are the 6 can't-miss shows in Dallas-Fort Worth theater for May

These are the 6 can't-miss shows in DFW theater for May

If Pretty Hurts, Ugly Must Be a “MF” at Playwrights Horizons
The Off-Broadway production of If Pretty Hurts, Ugly Must Be a “MF.” Photo by Joan Marcus

There's a nice mix of classic big Broadway and shows with international flair this month, touching on ancient Rome, Russia, and Africa (beyond Mean Girls).

In order of start date, here are six local shows to watch this month:

Mean Girls
Broadway Dallas, through May 15
Do you even go here? Cady Heron may have grown up on an African savanna, but nothing prepared her for the vicious ways of her strange new home: suburban Illinois. Soon, this naïve newbie falls prey to a trio of lionized frenemies led by the charming but ruthless Regina George. But when Cady devises a plan to end Regina’s reign, she learns the hard way that you can’t cross a Queen Bee without getting stung.

Fair Assembly, May 5-15
This interdisciplinary performance at Arts Mission Oak Cliff uses live sound, original music, and dance to tell Shakespeare's story of power, greed, and hauntingly bad decisions.

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum
Lyric Stage, May 12-15
Set in Ancient Rome, this musical laugh-fest combines the 2000-year-old comedies of Roman playwright Plautus with the infectious energy of classic vaudeville, all backed by an 18-piece orchestra directed by Vonda K. Bowling.

AT&T Performing Arts Center, May 10-15
Meet Jenna, a waitress and expert pie-maker who dreams of a way out of her small town and rocky marriage. When a baking contest in a nearby county — and a satisfying encounter with someone new — show Jenna a chance at a fresh start, she must find the courage to seize it. Featuring an all-female creative team and original music and lyrics by eight-time Grammy nominee Sara Bareilles.

Sex, Guns & Vodka
The Classics Theatre Project, May 20-June 11
In a work that remained untitled and went undiscovered until 1923, two decades after his death, Anton Chekhov turns a farcical eye to a Russian retelling of the story of Don Juan. It wouldn't be Chekhov without parties, suicide attempts, and affairs, blended together in a tragi-comedy.

If Pretty Hurts, Ugly Must Be a “MF”: An African Folktale
Jubilee Theatre, May 27-June 26
Combining West African folklore and contemporary American culture, this show follows four teenage girls — Kaya, Massassi, Adama and Akim — all in their respective internal wars with the societal definitions of beauty and how it makes them feel. Set in the fictional village of Affreakah-Amirrorkah, the young women are given an opportunity to live in a society where their individual beauty can reign supreme. But that high stature also brings heart-wrenching pitfalls they must deal with to keep their souls sacred.