Theater Critic Picks

These are the 13 can't-miss shows in Dallas-Fort Worth theater for October

These are the 13 can't-miss shows in DFW theater for October

Fabulation or, the Re-education of Undine
Jubilee Theatre presents Fabulation or, the Re-education of Undine. Photo courtesy of Jubilee Theatre

I didn't plan it, but somehow we ended up with a list of 13 shows for this spooky month. So in order not to anger the spirits, perhaps you'd better go see all 13 — just to be safe.

In order of start date, here are 13 local shows to watch this month:

Pizza Chapel Theatre Company, October 1-9
The truth is out there and Noah is looking for it. Camping in the Texas desert and hoping that the stars at night will shed light on personal matters, Noah is surprised by unexpected visitors and a few manipulations of the space-time continuum. Pizza Chapel will use nontraditional staging techniques and storytelling methods to create an original theater piece that blends the familiar and strange in a manner both immersive and DIY. Audiences are invited to join in on the fun and bring their own camping chair or picnic blanket to gather together around the campfire.

Fabulation or, the Re-education of Undine
Jubilee Theatre, October 1-24
Written by Lynn Nottage and directed by Ayvaunn Penn, Fabulation tells the saga of Undine Barnes Calles, an ambitious and extremely confident (perhaps over-confident) socialite, businesswoman, wife, and mother-to-be who has climbed her way to the pinnacle of success. When a major cold dose of betrayal and reality hits her smack in the face, she plummets all the way to the bottom, in despair. To repair her life, Undine must return to her urban roots: Brooklyn’s hard-knock Walt Whitman projects.

Little Shop of Horrors
Theatre Three, October 6-31
A deliciously devious Broadway and Hollywood sci-fi smash musical, Little Shop of Horrors has devoured the hearts of theatre goers for over 30 years. The meek floral assistant Seymour Krelborn stumbles across a new breed of plant named "Audrey II" — after their co-worker crush. As the plant grows, Seymour begins to realize how the plant that gave them everything desires to take everything (and everyone) in return. Performed at the Samuell-Grand Amphitheatre.

In The Heights
The Firehouse Theatre, October 7-17
If you caught the movie, now's the time to see Lin-Manuel Miranda's pre-Hamilton musical about a community at the top of Manhattan performed live and onstage. It’s a community on the brink of change, full of hopes, dreams and pressures, where the biggest struggles can be deciding which traditions you take with you, and which ones you leave behind.

Stage West, October 7-31
John Quincy Adams lived his life backwards: brilliant diplomat in his youth, fervent congressman as a man, ineffectual president in his prime. This unique and timely play — a regional premiere — imagines a kaleidoscope of confrontations between JQA and some of his key contemporaries.

Good Latimer
Kitchen Dog Theater, October 8-24
A world premiere by Dallas native playwright Angela Hanks, the play follows Dallasites Ravinia and Good as they reach a crossroad in their 35-year relationship. Ravinia has had a sudden epiphany: she is no longer in love with Good. And Good? Far from accepting his fate, he is determined to win her back, even if it means overcoming a sky that rains armadillos, a rare North Texas earthquake, and Dallas's maddeningly ever-evolving landscape.

The Taming
WaterTower Theatre, October 13-24
A patriotism obsessed Miss Georgia has kidnapped a Republican Senator’s campaign manager & a liberal activist who is fighting to save the endangered pandashrew and is holding them hostage in her hotel room the night before the big Miss America Pageant. In this hilarious, raucous, all-female “power-play” inspired by Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, contestant Katherine has political aspirations to match her beauty pageant ambitions.

The Hairy Ape
The Classics Theatre Company, October 13-November 6
Adapted and directed by Joey Folsom, with an original score created and performed live by Braden Socia and Petra Milano, the ensemble cast tackles O'Neill's take on expressionism in this work that directly challenges the underlying rags-to-riches mythology of America and powerfully examines the effects of alienation in the modern world.

Come From Away
Broadway at the Bass, October 19-24
On 9/11, the world stopped. On 9/12, their stories moved us all. Come From Away is the true story of the small town that welcomed the world. The musical takes audiences into the heart of the remarkable true story of 7,000 stranded passengers and the small town in Newfoundland that welcomed them.

St. Nicholas
Undermain Theatre, October 20-November 7
Undermain brings its most widely-viewed and nationally acclaimed streaming production back for live performances with a vivid soundscape and lighting design. A cynical and jaded drama critic falls for a beautiful young actress. On a drunken bender one weekend he pursues her to London, where he falls in with a coven of modern-day vampires. Is it a drunken fairytale or his own vision of a higher truth? Storytelling at its spooky best comes to life in this haunting solo story performed by Undermain artistic director Bruce DuBose.

The Glass Menagerie
Circle Theatre, October 28-November 20
From her cramped St. Louis apartment, Amanda Wingfield dreams of her days as a Southern debutante while worrying about the future of her aimless son Tom and unmarried daughter Laura. With their father absent and the Great Depression in motion, the siblings find comfort in their foibles — alcohol, movies, and writing for Tom and a collection of glass animals for Laura — which only heightens Amanda’s anxiety. When a gentleman caller arrives for dinner, the Wingfields are flooded with hope. But it’s unclear if his presence will change things for the better or shatter their fragile illusions.

The Merit System
Teatro Dallas, October 29-November 13
Edwin Sanchez's play, the second production in the Latino Cultural Center’s new blackbox theater, centers on Ray Rivers (Danny Lovelle), a young Puerto Rican man on the way up. Everything is going great for him except he doesn’t believe he deserves it. Struggling with the cost of assimilation, he walks a tightrope both at the factory where he has been recently promoted to management, and with his fiancée. When a recently divorced Cuca (Dolores Godinez) joins the assembly line, with the sole purpose of making enough money to return to her beloved Puerto Rico, an unexpected friendship between Ray and Cuca develops and allows him to finally accept the part of himself that he’s long denied.

Amphibian Stage, October 29-November 14
This world premiere is a psychological thriller examining the way spaces can protect or trap us. Picture this: You’re an architecture professor specializing in modes of egress. You try to teach your students to care about safe passage through spaces and they write about doors and windows. They write about transparent open spaces versus closed systems with no entrances or exits. You don’t sleep soundly at night because you startle awake wondering what had just been in the room with you. You know it was something big and cold and damp and it just walked in like it owned the place. What do you expect to come find you? How do you get away?