Theater Critic Picks
These are the 16 must-see shows in Dallas-Fort Worth theater for November
Can you hear it yet? The jingling of bells, the Christmas carols? The holiday shows are coming, but thankfully most of them are waiting until after Thanksgiving to open.
In the meantime, there is a lot to occupy your time onstage, from Tudor queens to young saints to the King of Pop himself.
In order of start date, here are 16 local shows to watch this month:
Ochre House Theater, through November 18
This original seafaring comedy features the adventures of Captain Chuck, a Nazi hunter; Tappy, his ever-faithful Tugboat; and Tulip, the French revolutionary in search of justice for her little brother Poppy, who wants to be a girl. These three misfits set out together, seeking safe harbor in a cruel, fascistic world, on the world’s most mysterious and dangerous islands called Kaput.
I'm Proud of You
Circle Theatre, November 2-18
In this world premiere, Fort Worth Star Telegram writer Tim Madigan recalls how an interview with the icon of kindness and everyone’s neighbor, Mr. Fred Rogers, led to a wondrous and life-changing friendship. Throughout this friendship, Fred helped Tim mend his relationships and become a better husband, father, and brother.
In the Conservatory with the Knife
Bombshell Dance Project, November 3-4
Part of the AT&T Performing Arts Center's Elevator Project, audience members can venture freely through the billiard room, the ballroom, the library, and the dining room to gather clues as they watch the story unfold. In this eerie dance-theater crossover, all the dinner guests have something to hide and none of them are safe.
Two Kids in the Universe
Teatro Dallas, November 3-19
Venezuelan playwright Gustavo Ott's masterful tale of an extraordinary friendship between two elementary school students whose bond confronts the violence that threatens them has been translated to English by Heather L. McKay. Based on actual events, the play considers what it means for the school to be a protective castle of children's imagination.
The Pin-Up Girls Christmas
Casa Mañana, November 8-18
The Reid Cabaret Theatre kicks off the holiday season with this world premiere, the second in The Pin-Up Girls series, first staged at Casa Mañana in 2019. The Pin-Up Girls are serving up heartfelt holiday classics and some off-the-wall musical surprises as they raise a glass to the man of the hour, Santa.
WaterTower Theatre, November 8-19
Based on the real-life story of Charlie Chaplin, the iconic film actor, writer, producer, and director, this musical spans the comic’s entire career, from Chaplin’s first performance as a child in 19th-century London to his tearful acceptance of an honorary Academy Award in 1972. The show documents the beloved actor’s rise to fame and the people who shaped his life, including his mother Hannah, his older brother Sydney, his fourth wife Oona O’Neill, and gossip columnist Hedda Hopper.
No Man's Land
Undermain Theatre, November 9-December 3
Set against the decayed elegance of a house in London’s Hampstead Heath, two men face each other over a drink. Do they know each other, or is each performing an elaborate character of recognition? Their ambiguity — and the comedy — intensify with the arrival of two younger men, the one ostensibly a manservant, the other a male secretary.
Get Happy: Michael Feinstein Celebrates the Judy Garland Centennial
Eisemann Center for the Performing Arts, November 11
Cabaret legend Michael Feinstein rejoices in the songs and saga of “Miss Show Business” in his new multimedia live show, which features big-screen film clips, archival photos, rare concert footage, never-before-heard audio recordings, and incomparable music.
Scrooge in Rouge
Theatre Three, November 16-December 17
After a widespread case of food poisoning wipes out the majority of The Royal Music Hall Twenty-Member Variety Players, three surviving members of the company soldier on through a performance of A Christmas Carol that abounds in bad puns, naughty double-entendres, and witty songs.
MJ the Musical
Broadway Dallas, November 21-December 3
The music. The moves. The icon. Now, the unparalleled artistry of the greatest entertainer of all time is featured in MJ, the Tony Award-winning new musical centered around the making of the 1992 Dangerous World Tour. The production goes beyond the singular moves and signature sound of the star, offering a rare look at the creative mind and collaborative spirit that catapulted Michael Jackson into legendary status.
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever: The Musical
Casa Mañana, November 24-December 23
Based on the best-selling book and play by Barbara Robinson, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever: The Musical is the story of the Herdmans, who are the worst kids in the history of the world. They lie, they steal, they bully other kids, and they smoke smelly cigars. There used to be only one place where you’d never see them: church.
A Gospel Black Nativity
Jubilee Theatre, November 24-December 24
Black Nativity is an adaptation of the Nativity story by Langston Hughes, performed by an entirely Black cast. Hughes was the author of the book, with the lyrics and music being derived from traditional Christmas carols, sung in gospel style, with a few songs created specifically for the show.
Broadway at the Bass, November 28-December 3
Divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived. From Tudor queens to pop princesses, the six wives of Henry VIII take the mic to remix 50 years of historical heartbreak into an exuberant celebration of 21st-century girl power.
Bishop Arts Theatre Center, November 30-December 17
For 19 years, Bishop Arts Theatre Center's annual holiday production of Black Nativity, inspired by Langston Hughes's iconic 1960 Broadway show, is back with a mesmerizing display of hand-clapping, toe-tapping, and finger-snapping theatrical wonderment like never before.
Stage West, November 30-December 17
Meet Clare: a stylish teen living in medieval Italy, trying out the newest hairstyles, and keeping up with the latest fashions and juicy town gossip. But everything changes when she meets a man named Francis who has started ranting in the streets. Her mother, sister, and maids don’t understand it, but this man’s ideas are, like, totally starting to make sense – and now she can’t unsee the world he has shown her.
A Christmas Carol
Dallas Theater Center, November 30-December 30
Three spirits have come to visit the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge, and to take him on a fantastic journey through Christmases past, present, and future. Brimming with joyful songs, magical spirits, and holiday cheer, this holiday classic embodies a story of joy, redemption, and the spirit of Christmas.