Dance is where it's at this month, as most of the big musicals seem to be all about keeping rhythm with tap or flamenco shoes. But there are a few quiet plays in the mix, dealing with love and forgiveness. And did we mention murder? Shakespeare's on the summer bill, both in traditional form and satire, so get ready for the blood to flow.
Here are the 10 shows in order by start date:
Mothers and Sons
Uptown Theater, June 3-19
This Tony-nominated play from Terrence McNally is a heavy one, but Uptown Players has a knack for tackling serious subject matters such as AIDS and familial relationships with class and compassion. Twenty years after her son dies, the mother in question visits his partner, now remarried and with a young son, to try to smooth things over. Keep an eye out for 10-year-old Alex Prejean — Uptown also has a knack for plucking the best young actors in DFW and showcasing their astonishing talents in adult-centered dramas.
WaterTower Theatre, June 3-26
Battling against Mothers and Sons for the best play Tony in 2014 was also this four-person romantic drama by John Patrick Shanley. Unrequited love of the decidedly somber sort plagues two farmers in the Midlands of Ireland, but it's that straightforwardness that makes the short play lyrical and real. Jeremy Schwartz and Jessica Cavanagh play the restrained lovers Anthony and Rosemary.
Beautiful: The Carole King Musical
AT&T Performing Arts Center, June 7-19
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. Jessie Mueller, who won the Tony for portraying King on Broadway, isn't part of the national tour — but her sister is. Look-alike sibling Abby Mueller takes over as 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."
Dallas Theater Center, June 10-July 24
London's West End is prepping for its premiere of the fictionalization of the female musical super-group the Supremes, but we have our own flashy production right here in Dallas. DTC is doing it up big, with Broadway actress Marisha Wallace starring as the troubled Effie White and Michael O. Mitchell directing the 1960s Motown-inspired score. He's the current music director for the famous Amateur Night at the Apollo, by the way.
Bullets Over Broadway
Dallas Summer Musicals, June 14-26
Surely the Music Hall at Fair Park has worked out its sound issues from the last tour and can better present this stage adaptation of Woody Allen's slapstick film. Hopefully there's a live orchestra, too, to accompany the cast of high-kicking cuties in this zany backstage romp.
House of Bard's
Fun House Theatre and Film, June 16-20
First it was Mamet, then Albee, now Underwood. Jeff Swearingen and the Fun House kids are mashing up politics with Shakespeare in their latest spoof, with the help of scholar M. Lance Lusk and dramaturg Kyle Eric Bradford. What to expect? Who knows — that's half the fun every time at Fun House.
Lyric Stage, June 17-26
There have been plenty of productions of the tap-happy Cole Porter musical lately — on Broadway and off — but, in true Lyric Stage fashion, this one will be the first to revive the show in its original form since it originally closed on Broadway in 1935. Daron Cockerell stars as the vivacious nightclub singer Reno Sweeney, with Max Swarner, Andy Baldwin, Kelly Silverthorne, and Clayton Winters helping to populate the ship.
Ochre House Theatre, June 22-July 2
This mixture of flamenco and storytelling has played the Expo Park theater before, to great acclaim. Now it's back, as part of Ochre House's longstanding collaboration with the Dallas Flamenco Festival, painting a picture of pioneering filmmaker Luis Buñuel; his wife, Jeanne Buñuel; and his friends and collaborators Salvador Dali and Federico Garcia Lorca as they form their own artistic fraternity called the Order of Toledo.
Richard III/She Stoops to Conquer
Shakespeare Dallas, June 22-July 23/June 15-July 22
Grab your picnic blanket and plastic tumbler of wine and head to Samuell Grand Amphitheater for this summer tradition. Brandon Potter is taking on the Shakespearean villain Richard III in one company, while Anastasia Munoz is dressing herself down to win at love as Kate in She Stoops to Conquer. The two plays will run in repertory.
Dallas Summer Musicals, June 28-July 10
It's the year of tap dancing, as evidenced by this classic backstage musical doing a shuffle-ball-change into the Music Hall right after Bullets Over Broadway and on the heels of Anything Goes at Lyric Stage. You might be familiar with the trope of the understudy suddenly getting to be the star, but this show is where that all originated.