Theater Critic Picks
UPDATE: Kitchen Dog Theater's High Five has new performance dates, June 16-26. Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf at Theatre Three has been postponed to July 7-17.
As summer begins, you are presented with a choice: Escape to the crisp air conditioning of the theater, or pack your blanket, wine, and picnic and head outdoors for Shakespeare Dallas' 50th anniversary season.
In order of start date, here are 13 local shows to watch this month:
Amphibian Stage, June 3-26
Spun-sugar wigs and a candy-coated sheen can’t cloak the terror bubbling underneath this surreal and witty comedy from Guggenheim Award-winning playwright David Adjmi. Extravagance, artifice, and one neurotically affectionate sheep accompany the queen as the chants of “Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité!” grow too loud to ignore in this modern, satirical spin on the young, doomed Queen of France.
Hip Pocket Theatre, June 3-26
Johnny Simons' whimsical adaptation of the Carlo Collodi classic is presented in the style of the Italian commedia dell'arte, replete with character masks, slapstick, and puppetry while featuring a cast of Hip Pocket veterans.
Under the Moon
Ochre House Theatre, through June 4
The fourth and final In the Garden show is about an old wizard who, along with the help of his cuckoo bird apprentice and captive angel, attempts one last work of magic: to marry the moon.
Casa Mañana, June 4-12
Based on the 1992 motion picture and inspired by a true story, this is the rousing tale of Jack Kelly, a charismatic newsboy and leader of a band of teenaged “newsies” in New York City at the turn of the 20th century. When titans of publishing raise distribution prices at the newsboys’ expense, Jack rallies newsies from across the city to strike against the unfair conditions and fight for what’s right.
Broadway Dallas, through June 12
Broadway at the Bass, June 21-26
Stripped down to reveal the darker psychological truths at its core, Daniel Fish’s production tells a story of a community circling its wagons against an outsider, and the frontier life that shaped America. Upending the sunny romance of a farmer and a cowpoke, this Oklahoma! allows the classic musical – and the country – to be seen in a whole new light.
Broadway Our Way
Uptown Players, June 9-12
The Uptown Players divas return for another entertaining weekend of Broadway music with plenty of twists, laughs, and surprises. The evening features many favorite actors from past Uptown Players seasons performing selections from Broadway shows, both past and present, all done with an Uptown Players spin.
Lyric Stage, June 9-12
Set in Berlin as the 1920s draw to a close, Cabaret focuses on the hedonistic nightlife at the seedy Kit Kat Klub while exploring the dark and tumultuous life in Germany as the Third Reich ascends to power. This fully staged concert production is directed and choreographed by Penny Ayn Maas, while the 13-piece, all-female orchestra is led by music director Vonda K. Bowling.
Into the Breeches!
Stage West, June 9-July 3
It’s 1942, and there’s a problem at the Oberon Playhouse. With the director and leading men all off at war, it looks like the season will be cancelled. That is, until a determined group of ladies rally the troops at home to mount an all-female production. The hilariously unexpected team comes together, united by their determination that the show must go on.
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Theatre Three, June 9-July 3
Late one evening, after an alcohol-fueled university faculty party, middle-aged couple Martha and George receive an unwitting younger couple, Nick and Honey, as late-evening guests. They draw them into their bitter and frustrated marital love-hate ambivalence and pummel each other senseless in a verbal slugfest. T3 artistic director Jeffrey Schmidt and associate artistic director Christie Vela take on the roles of George and Martha.
Kitchen Dog Theater, June 9-26
To close its its 31st season, Kitchen Dog Theater is presenting the world premiere of High Five by Midgalia Cruz, Matt Lyle, Allison Moore, Jonathan Norton, and Regina Taylor. These five short plays each shine a spotlight on one of the five senses: taste, touch, vision, hearing, and smell.
A Midsummer Night's Dream
Shakespeare Dallas, June 15-July 23
Four Athenians run through the forest pursuing each other while Puck, a mischievous fairy, helps his master play a trick on the fairy queen. This production plays in repertory with The Tempest.
Circle Theatre, June 16-July 23
From the creators of the Broadway sensation The Producers comes this monstrously mad musical. Frederick Frankenstein reluctantly inherits his infamous family’s estate in Transylvania. Urged on by a hunchbacked sidekick, Igor, and a leggy lab assistant, Inga, Frederick finds himself fulfilling his grandfather’s corpse-raising legacy.
Shakespeare Dallas, June 22-July 22
Prospero, a magician, creates a vast magical storm, wrecking the ship of his enemies and leaving them to wash up on shore. When they wake, they find themselves lost on a fantastical island where nothing is as it seems. Plays in repertory with A Midsummer Night's Dream.