Theater Critic Picks
November is a month when some theaters start up with the holiday-themed shows while others treat the season as if it were any other. You'll find both in this list, spanning everything from a new work to national tours to annual traditions.
Here are the nine shows to see, in order by start date:
Next to Normal
Casa Mañana, November 3-11
This musical about mental health won both the Tony and Pulitzer a decade ago, but it's still highly relevant today. A rock score by Brian Yorkey and Tom Kitt accompanies the story of a suburban housewife whose breakdown is breaking down her family, too.
The Lady From the Sea
Undermain Theatre, November 7-December 2
Blake Hackler directs the Dallas premiere of Henrik Ibsen's rarely-performed play, about a lighthouse-keeper's daughter who's caught between her loving devotion to her husband and her attraction to a mysterious, seagoing stranger from her past.
Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella
Performing Arts Fort Worth, November 15-18
A new book by Douglas Carter Beane freshens up this fairytale, which has a score by Broadway royalty: Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. In this updated version, Ella not only fights for her own dreams, but forces the prince to open his eyes to the world around him and realize his dreams, too.
Cara Mía Theatre Co., November 15-December 2
This co-production with The Laboratorio de la Máscara from Mexico City might sound a bit familiar to fans of the film Coco: A young girl, her family, and her ancestors hope to cross the U.S.-Mexico border before the Day of the Dead holidays. Tina leaves a trail of marigolds for her ancestors to safely follow her family across the border, but her new reality in the United States makes her ill to the edge of death. Performed in contemporary and Mexican folk masks, the show is a joyful and accessible way for young people to learn about the migration of children into the United States.
The Majestic Unplugged
Lyric Stage, November 16-18
Grammy Award-winning singer Cynthia Clawson joins a cast of Lyric favorites for a collection of songs and comedy performed without microphones. The sound of the unamplified human voice will be celebrated with an all-acoustic performance of some of the greatest music of the golden years of the Majestic Theater, from its opening as a vaudeville house in 1921 to its closing as a movie palace in 1973.
A Christmas Carol
Dallas Theater Center, November 21-December 30
Resident company member Alex Organ puts on the nightcap this year as the stingy Ebenezer Scrooge in DTC artistic director Kevin Moriarty's adaptation of Charles Dickens' tale. Expect flying ghosts, a stunning set, and actors playing their own instruments onstage.
The First Noel
Jubilee Theatre, November 23-December 23
This memory musical flashes us back to 1985 Harlem, where Noel is wishing for Christmas in a house where holiday joy has been unwelcome for years. Her parents struggle to recover from the death of their first child until an unexpected visitor turns things upside down and brings three generations of the family together just in time for Christmas.
The Great Distance Home
WaterTower Theatre, November 23-December 16
This movement-based, mainly wordless theatrical event was devised by director Kelsey Leigh Ervi and her cast of five, who take the audience on a journey through one man's life. The actors use props to create everything from speeding cars to soaring mountains, with familiar holiday tunes providing the soundtrack.
Dallas Summer Musicals, November 27-December 2
Based on the film starring Will Ferrell, this modern holiday favorite has morphed into a Broadway musical. Buddy the Elf travels from the North Pole to New York City in sparkly style, finding love and family along the way.