Theater Critic Picks
The State Fair of Texas doesn't begin until September 29, so that leaves your September free to catch up on all the new shows opening in Dallas and Fort Worth. Fill your mind and soul with culture before it's time to fill your belly with Corny Dogs and Funnel Cake Bacon Queso Burgers.
Here are the 10 shows to see, in order by start date:
So Go the Ghost of Mexico, Part Two
Undermain Theatre, September 6-October 1
Matthew Paul Olmos' new work, the second play in a three-part trilogy, focuses on two warring gangs undergoing a power shift. But here's the twist: it's all women. Stephanie Cleghorn Jasso returns after starring in part one last year, though this story doesn't focus on her previous character, a 20-year-old criminology student who became police chief of a small town in Chihuahua.
Cedar Springs or Big Scary Animals
Theatre Three, September 7-October 1
Artistic director Jeffrey Schmidt promised that Theatre Three would devote more resources to nurturing new work from local artists this season, and first up is a new work from Matt Lyle. It centers on an older white couple from the country that unknowingly moves to "the gayborhood" to be closer to their granddaughter in Dallas.
Echo Theatre, September 8-23
Dallas favorites Denise Lee and Tyrees Allen star in this Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Lynn Nottage, which follows bar owner Mama Nadi as she gives three young women refuge and an unsavory means of survival in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
Casa Mañana, September 9-17
Dallas native Olivia Sharber, who later served as a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader and danced in the Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes, made her Casa debut in Joseph in 2010. Now she returns — along with DFW performers Alexandra Cassens, Emmie Kivell, Jacob Rivera-Sanchez, Michael Anthony Sylvester, and Seth Womack — in this dramatized parable of (you guessed it) Joseph and his dazzling coat of many colors.
Beautiful: The Carole King Musical
Performing Arts Fort Worth, September 12-17
This bio-musical makes extensive use of Carole King's song catalog, telling the story of the songwriter and performer's early life in jukebox fashion. Chilina Kennedy plays the iconic King, who penned such hits as "One Fine Day," "Will You Love Me Tomorrow," and "(You Make Me Feel Like a) Natural Woman."
AT&T Performing Arts Center Broadway Series, September 13-24
The Tony Award-winner for best musical in 2015 is based on Alison Bechdel’s bestselling graphic memoir, and explores her complicated family relationships and sexual self-discovery. Former Miss America Kate Shindle stars as Alison, and if you're lucky you might see former DFW performer Anthony Fortino, who's touring with the show as an understudy.
In the Tall Grass
TeCo Theatrical Productions, September 14-24
Incredibly timely and still terribly sad, Paul Kalburgi's play was written in response to the murder of Shade Schuler, a 22-year-old transgender woman whose decomposed body was found dumped in a field in the Medical District of Dallas in July 2015. It's told through verbatim first-hand testimonies of transgender women of color in Dallas. This replaces the PlayPride LGBT Competition, which will return in 2018.
Cara Mía Theatre Co., September 14-29
Cara Mía's 2016 collaboration with Dallas Theater Center gets another life on tour, traveling first to Southern Methodist University (September 14-17), then University of North Texas in Denton (September 21-23), and then to Cara Mía's home at the Latino Cultural Center (September 27-29). The powerful play sheds light on the reception immigrants receive when entering and living in America, focusing here on one man's experience as he grows up undocumented.
Shakespeare Dallas, September 20-October 15
Believed to be Shakespeare's first tragedy, this violent tale follows Titus (played by executive director Raphael Parry), a general in the Roman army who is engaged in a cycle of revenge with Tamora, Queen of the Goths. A warning: Don't bring a pie as part of your al fresco picnic at the Samuel Grand Amphitheatre.
Dallas Theater Center, September 22-October 22
Beanbags. Sandwiches. A slide in the Wyly Theatre. A bunch of nude hippies. Kevin Moriarty's immersive staging of this groundbreaking rock musical brings the Age of Aquarius into the 21st century, when the themes of peace, love, and freedom are more relevant than ever.