Theater Critic Picks
These are the 12 can't-miss shows in Dallas-Fort Worth theater for July
If the words "immersive theater" light your fire, then July is your month to go out and explore. And if that phrase makes you cringe, well, there are still plenty of other options — both live and streaming — for you to enjoy.
In order of start date, here are 12 local shows to watch this month:
Bishop Arts Theatre Center, streaming through July 17
Inspired by Southern African-American and Japanese folktales and playwright Andrew Saito’s multicultural family, this radio play follows Momotaro, a magical Japanese boy born to an elderly Black couple after an encounter with a power-filled peach. While his mother Vonda resists the encroachment of a billionaire ogre's capitalist mega-corporation, Momo wanders the wilds of Georgia, meeting animal friends and foes along the way.
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) [Revised]
Shakespeare Dallas, through July 24
Written by the Reduced Shakespeare Company and directed by Raphael Parry, this play has three actors parody Shakespeare’s entire library of plays in comically shortened form. The performance features Ryan Matthieu Smith, Marti Etheridge, and Shawn Gann.
Second Thought Theatre, streaming July 2-17
The beauty of art is that it captures the present moment and preserves it. But what happens when an artist moves on from the art they create? Marcus is back with new music, but it soon becomes clear that his fans miss the old music, made by a man who no longer exists. Written for a COVID-facing world and set during a Facebook Live Concert, Matt Harmon's play stars STT director of operations Drew Wall.
Artstillery and Nasher Sculpture Center, July 2-31
The first offsite Nasher Public project, Family Dollar is the result of Artstillery's last five years of working with the residents of West Main Street, a tiny neighborhood with a long history in West Dallas. It's an extensive archiving effort that includes documentary film; architectural preservation; and live, immersive, oral history-based performances. The performances are outdoors, taking place in three interpretive shotgun homes, and visitors are encouraged to walk around the buildings and follow several stories as they unfold simultaneously.
Working: A Musical
Dallas Theater Center, July 7-18
Based on Studs Terkel’s bestselling book, this unique musical features the real-life words of average working Americans, set to music by a diverse collection of extraordinary storytelling songwriters. Through original songs by Stephen Schwartz, Lin-Manuel Miranda, James Taylor, and others, Working lifts up the voices of teachers, waiters, truck drivers, and the essential workers who often go unnoticed but whose work uplifts our lives day in and day out.
When Pigs Fly
Uptown Players, July 9-25
Uptown is making its return to live performance with the first show it ever produced: Howard Crabtree, Mark Waldrop, and Dick Gallagher's backstage musical. In a hastily booked theater under renovation, Howard struggles to put on a lavish musical revue over numerous obstacles, including the near-mutiny of his cast and the nagging memory of his high school guidance counselor who told him he'd succeed "when pigs fly."
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
WaterTower Theatre, July 14-31
15-year old Christopher is an extraordinary boy with an extraordinary brain who lives with his dad in a working class town west of London. When Christopher finds himself under suspicion for the murder of a neighbor’s dog, he becomes determined to solve the mystery. This regional premiere is a Tony-winning Best Play from 2015 and is based on Mark Haddon’s bestselling novel of the same title. The production will also be available to stream July 21-31.
Prism Movement Theatre, July 15-24
This bilingual show follows a young rambunctious male luchador who teams up with a more experienced female luchador to gain the championship title. Dallas Theater Center company member Chris Ramirez and Prism artistic director Jeff Colangelo wrote and directed this show, which is an immersive experience that places the audience ringside.
Committed: Mad Women of the Asylum
Cry Havoc Theater Company, July 22-August 1
Presented in the historic Southside on Lamar building in its basement art gallery, Cry Havoc’s first fully immersive production invites audience members to move freely through a surreal Victorian world, hearing an original story built from first-person accounts from women who were wrongfully institutionalized in the late 1800s.
Ochre House Theatre, July 22-August 3
Written and directed by artistic director, this brand-new original show is a collaboration with the Dallas Flamenco Festival and is to be performed at Eight Bells Alehouse. It's a down and dirty musical about the Biblical prophet, Enoch, and the Watchers, angels sent by God to teach mankind the ways of life.
Me and Jezebel
Mainstage Irving-Las Colinas, July 23-August 7
On May 28, 1985, star-struck Elizabeth Fuller's dream came true when the legendary Bette Davis came to dinner at her Connecticut home. Four weeks later, as the hotel strike in New York dragged on, she was still there. This is an intimate, funny, and true story of a Hollywood legend coming face-to-face with her most ardent fan.
Southern Boys: Sons of Sharecroppers
Jubilee Theatre at Bass Hall, July 29-August 29
The beginning of America's historic post-slavery era comes alive through the eyes of emancipated slaves and their free children, with all its jubilant excitement as well as its debilitating realities. Following the live production — which will reopen Bass Hall's doors after its COVID shutdown — Jubilee will offer a streaming version on it website August 16-29.