Theater Critic Picks
These are the 13 must-see shows in Dallas-Fort Worth theater for September
Ok, yes, because I included the Fort Worth Fringe there are technically way more than 13 shows opening this month. But let's keep things simple, yes?
What's not simple is decided which of these plays, musicals, national tours, co-productions, and regional premieres you're going to see this month. There's a lot of choice! Some are already picking up on the spooky vibe of October, while others are paying homage to the classics. As far as I'm concerned, you can't go wrong.
In order of start date, here are 13 local shows to watch this month:
Stage West, through October 1
Bill and Nancy are 50 years into their marriage. They can anticipate each other’s every sigh, snore, and sneeze. But just as they settle comfortably into a new senior living community, the unthinkable happens: Nancy wants out. Their two adult sons are shaken to the core, and are forced to re-examine everything they thought they knew about their lives and the people who raised them.
The Classics Theatre Project, September 1-24
Expect a new modern twist on this Chekhov classic, which takes place on a secluded estate and follows a group of contemporary artists as they navigate unrequited love, artistic competition, and personal obsessions.
Fort Worth Fringe Festival
Arts Fort Worth, September 8-10
See a variety of different acts, ranging from rarely produced theater, dance, storytelling, puppetry, poetry, and more from performers from all over Texas and beyond. All productions are an hour or less and have multiple showings. For a full schedule of events, go to the festival website.
The Great American Trailer Park Musical
Lyric Stage, September 8-October 14
There’s a new tenant at Armadillo Acres, and she’s wreaking havoc all over Florida’s most exclusive trailer park. When Pippi, the stripper on the run, comes between the Dr. Phil-loving, agoraphobic Jeannie and her tollbooth collector husband, the storms begin to brew. This will be Lyric Stage's first ever production in its brand-new Studio Space in the Design District.
Casa Mañana, September 9-17
With phenomenal music, memorable characters, and great storytelling, Jersey Boys follows the fascinating evolution of four blue-collar kids who became one of the greatest successes in pop-music history. The jukebox musical takes audiences behind the music of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons to discover the secret of a 40-year friendship as the foursome work their way from the streets of New Jersey to the heights of stardom.
Shakespeare Dallas, September 13-October 15
Depicting a once-great ruler's descent into madness, King Lear is one of the most powerful tragedies ever staged.The king has ruled for many years, but as age overtakes him he divides his kingdom amongst his children. Misjudging their loyalty, he soon finds himself stripped of all the trappings of state, wealth, and power that had defined him. Lear is faced with the harsh reality that the daughter he has banished is the only one that can save him and his kingdom from destruction.
Echo Theatre and Soul Rep Theatre Company, September 14-30
On the day of a much-anticipated speech by Rosa Parks during the height of the Civil Rights Movement, four activists working in a Virginia civil rights office wonder whether the proclamation of equality amongst mankind includes women. This is a regional premiere.
Jagged Little Pill
Broadway at the Bass, September 15-17
Jagged Little Pill is a new musical based on Alanis Morissette’s world-changing music, an electrifying production about a perfectly imperfect American family.
The Rocky Horror Show
Dallas Theater Center, September 23-October 29
In this cult classic, sweethearts Brad and Janet, stuck with a flat tire during a storm, discover the eerie mansion of Dr. Frank-N-Furter. As their innocence is lost, Brad and Janet meet a houseful of wild characters, including a rocking biker and a creepy butler. Through elaborate dances and rock songs, Frank-N-Furter unveils his latest creation: a muscular man named “Rocky.” The deliberately kitschy rock ‘n’ roll sci-fi gothic musical comes complete with sass from the audience, cascading toilet paper, and an array of other audience participation props.
Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters: An African Tale
Dallas Children's Theater, September 24-October 14
The Zimbabwe-based Cinderella tale returns to open the company's 40th season. An African villager named Mufaro has two daughters whom everyone agrees are beautiful. But they have their differences: Manyara possesses a bad temper and is self-centered (but never in front of Mufaro), while Nyasha is kind and considerate to people and to animals. When Mufaro learns that the King is in the process of meeting all the most worthy and beautiful women in order to choose a wife, he decides that both of his daughters should go.
To Kill a Mockingbird
Broadway at the Bass, September 26-October 1
Set in Alabama in 1934, Harper Lee’s enduring story of racial injustice and childhood innocence centers on one of the most venerated characters in American literature: small-town lawyer Atticus Finch. Emmy Award-winning actor Richard Thomas, who recently celebrated a 60-year anniversary of performing on both stage and screen, will play the famous role.
Undermain Theatre, September 28-October 15
Bondage takes place pre-Emancipation on a small island in the South. With the onset of puberty, Zuri must use her wits to outsmart the twisted desires of a drunken master and a sadistic mistress on a haunted plantation. Hierarchies of race and gender collide in this AfroSurreal tale of an enslaved girl who dares to follow her own instincts toward liberation by any means.
Lizzie: The Musical
Theatre Three, September 28-October 29
Lizzie Borden was accused of murdering her father and stepmother with an axe in the late summer of 1892. Lizzie: The Musical explores the mind of Borden and speculates on the motivations she may have had: overwhelming oppression, abuse, and madness. By her side is her older sister Emma, maid Bridget, and neighbor Alice. Together, the four women tell the story of why the legend of Lizzie Borden was born with an electric punk rock score.