Theater Critic Picks
June only has 30 days and there are 13 can't-miss plays and musicals, so by that math you'd better get out and see a show already. Or two, or three, or 10. Among these picks are some big-deal premieres, a few big-name national tours, and the return of a critically acclaimed one-woman show about a strong, influential, real-life heroine.
Here are the 13 shows to see, in order by start date:
WaterTower Theatre, June 2-24
The regional premiere of Karen Zacarías’ play is directed by Cara Mía Theatre Co.'s artistic director, David Lozano. It also stars two Cara Mía company members, real-life married couple Stephanie Cleghorn Jasso and Ivan Jasso, playing a husband and wife who move in next door to Lois Sonnier Hart and John S. Davies. Expect issues of class, privilege, entitlement, and taste from one of the most prominent Latina playwrights in today's theatrical landscape.
Stage West, June 9-July 8
Holland Taylor’s one-woman play portrays Texas governor Ann Richards, and Stage West had a sold-out hit when it first staged the funny and poignant show last year. So the company is bringing it back, this time at the Dupree Theatre in the Irving Arts Center and with original DFW star Linda Leonard once again inhabiting the tough-as-nails politician.
Kitchen Dog Theater, June 9-July 1
As part of its 19th annual New Works Festival, KDT is participating in the rolling world premiere of Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm's searing and timely play. It addresses racism and racial identity between generations, as a young black man deals with all the recent killings of men like him and can't seem to connect with his mother and grandfather about them.
Brides of the Moon
Echo Theatre, June 9-17
For LGBT Pride Month, Echo Theatre went camp with a play by satirists the Five Lesbian Brothers: Maureen Angelos, Babs Davy, Dominique Dibbell, Peg Healey, and Lisa Kron. Five women play nine characters, shooting from Earth to space and beyond as a team of female astronauts sets out to join an all-male crew and populate the galaxy's newest homestead.
Lyric Stage, June 9-18
Based on the 1992 Warner Bros. film starring George Strait, this stage adaptation tells the story of Rusty, a country music superstar who cancels his overblown concert tour in order to find himself and — of course — the love he left behind. Screenwriter Rex McGee wrote the book here, with music by Grammy Award nominee Steve Dorff. John de los Santos returns to direct another world premiere, with Eugene Gwozdz making his Lyric Stage debut as music director.
Performing Arts Fort Worth, June 13-18
Broadway at the Bass brings in this Tony-winning British import, based on Roald Dahl's beloved book about a little girl with a big imagination and a strong sense of what's right and wrong. Tim Minchin's fun score is usually expertly performed by a cadre of young performers who will most certainly make you feel like a massive underachiever.
AT&T Performing Arts Center, June 13-25
This satirical show follows the Bottom brothers as they attempt to write the world's first musical, all while in the shadow of their immensely popular contemporary, Will Shakespeare (played by original Rent star Adam Pascal on the tour). It's chock-full of theatrical references, so brush up on your Shakespeare (and others) before going.
Measure for Measure and Richard III
Trinity Shakespeare Festival, June 13-July 2
The critically lauded Trinity Shakes gets going this summer on the TCU campus, with two Shakespeare plays running in repertory. TSF shows are known for being gorgeously staged (indoors with air conditioning, by the way), so expect this pairing of comedy and drama to look as good as its sounds under the direction of Stephen Brown-Fried and T.J. Walsh.
African American Repertory Theatre, June 16-July 1
The powerful story of the African American military pioneers known as the Tuskegee Airmen is told in Trey Ellis and Ricardo Kahn's play, which AART is presenting in association with Mountain View College. Director Willie Minor leads a cast of eight in this regional premiere.
King O' the Moon
Circle Theatre, June 15-July 15
The Pazinski family returns in the second play in a trilogy inspired by playwright Tom Dudzick's childhood. Circle produced Dudzick’s Over the Tavern in 2005, and King O' the Moon takes place 10 years later, during the rebellious '60s as Apollo 11 is on its way to the moon. Prior knowledge of this working class family is not a prerequisite.
Sex With Strangers
Stage West, June 22-July 23
Laura Eason is a writer and producer of the wildly popular Netflix drama House of Cards, but she's also the former artistic director at Lookingglass Theatre Company in Chicago. Stage West is giving her play Sex With Strangers its regional premiere, which is astonishing when you consider it has been one of the top 50 most produced plays around the country since 2015. Struggling novelist Olivia meets sex blogger Ethan at a B&B, and a bottle of wine later, they are both wondering who, exactly, they just slept with.
Brick Road Theatre, June 23-July 2
Kander and Ebb's musical masterpiece, set on the eve of the Third Reich in Germany, is enduringly popular and prescient. Now this ambitious Plano troupe is giving it a go with a talented cast (Janelle Lutz, Tyler Jeffrey Adams, Sara Shelby-Martin) and even more talented director and choreographer (Jeremy Dumont).