Getting Kinky Again

Dallas Summer Musicals stocks 2016-17 season with underwhelming titles

Dallas Summer Musicals stocks 2016-17 season with underwhelming titles

Let It Be Beatles musical
Let It Be reunites The Beatles. Photo by Paul Coltas
Circus 1903
Circus 1903 is from Cirque de Soleil. Photo by Jose Leon Photography
An American in Paris
The DSM-produced An American in Paris makes its way to Dallas. Photo by Angela Sterling
Broadway Christmas Wonderland
Broadway Christmas Wonderland officially kicks off the season. Photo courtesy of Dallas Summer Musicals
Kinky Boots Broadway 2015 J. Harrison Ghee as Lola
Pull out your heels, it's time for Kinky Boots again. Photo by Matthew Murphy
The Bodyguard
U.K. import The Bodyguard will always love you. Photo by Paul Coltas
The Illusionists
The Illusionists return after a Broadway stint. Photo courtesy of The Illusionists
Stomp company
Stomp brings its percussive sound to North Texas. Photo by Steve McNicholas
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer the Musical
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is back again this holiday season. Photo courtesy of Dallas Summer Musicals
Let It Be Beatles musical
Circus 1903
An American in Paris
Broadway Christmas Wonderland
Kinky Boots Broadway 2015 J. Harrison Ghee as Lola
The Bodyguard
The Illusionists
Stomp company
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer the Musical

When Dallas Summer Musicals president Michael Jenkins was suddenly ousted in May, the board of directors and interim managing director David Hyslop promised a new direction for the 76-year-old institution. Not that new, apparently, as the 2016-17 season has been announced, and it's less than exciting.

It all begins with a quick stop November 25-27 from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. The annual tour has played the Majestic Theatre for its Dallas stops in the past, but this year it's making its way to Fair Park instead. This will be an add-on to the main season, and also one of the four productions co-presented with Bass Hall.

Next up is "one of the most delightful and enchanting Christmas shows ever," Broadway Christmas Wonderland. The holiday revue promises leggy chorus girls, a dancing Santa Claus, and a song catalog bursting with traditional Christmas tunes. It plays December 6-18.

Proving that nothing is safe from a stage adaptation, 2017 begins with Cheers Live On Stage, January 6-8. Yes, someone made a live version of the classic sitcom, and no, it does not feature any new storylines or characters. Just reenactments of popular moments from the TV show. This is another add-on to the main season.

Perhaps the most anticipated of all next season is An American in Paris, the Tony-winning musical that Jenkins and DSM co-produced for Broadway. We knew long ago that this tour was coming, but it's still a bright spot in an otherwise lackluster lineup. Catch it January 31-February 12.

The stalwart musical Stomp is next, February 14-19, clanging its way to a percussive stop at Fair Park as another add-on. Running in some form or another since 1991, the theatrical experience makes rhythms out of everyday items.

The final add-on show is the return of The Illusionists, a magic extravaganza that stopped at Fair Park in spring 2015 before heading on to Broadway. Now it boomerangs back here, and the conjurers are actually pretty worthy of the gasps they elicit. If you missed it the first time around, see it February 28-March 5 in 2017.

Reliving the past seems to be a theme this year, as the next show is a "time capsule" of the Beatles at the height of their popularity. Let It Be is "a reunion that never happened" because of, well, the group's breakup and John Lennon's murder and other unavoidable events. But in this fantasy, the Fab Four is back for one night only and performing all their greatest hits. Wonder what local tribute band A Hard Night's Day thinks of this show, which is playing March 7-19.

Kinky Boots is back March 28-April 9, so soon after its visit in 2015. The last tour lacked the energy of the long-running Broadway production, but perhaps second time's the charm?

The oddly named Circus 1903: The Golden Age of Circus doesn't put nearly enough emphasis on its two most important components: Cirque du Soleil and the puppeteers from War Horse. Those two ingredients might mix up a thrilling theatrical experience from May 23-June 4, provided the final product is as pretty and mysterious as the promo shots.

Even Broadway diva Heather Headley couldn't save the stage adaptation of The Bodyguard when it premiered in London. But in the queasy tradition of Ghost, Flashdance, and Dirty Dancing, DSM is bringing the movie-turned-musical to Dallas July 18-30. This tour is starring Deborah Cox, whom you may remember from the abysmal tour of Jekyll & Hyde that played the Winspear a few years ago and starred Constantine Maroulis. Cox proved then that she's adept at "park and bark" — planting yourself in one spot and singing for all you're worth — so perhaps that'll translate well to some of Whitney Houston's greatest hits.

Performing Arts Fort Worth's Broadway at the Bass season will include Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (November 22-23), Cirque Dreams Holidaze (December 3-4), Annie (January 17-22), An American in Paris (February 14-19), Let It Be (March 21-26), Greater Tuna (March 29-30), Matilda (June 13-18), The Bodyguard (August 1-6), Beautiful: The Carole King Musical (September 12-17), Rent (October 17-22), and Irving Berlin's White Christmas (November 14-19).

Dallas Summer Musicals tickets are available by calling 214-346-3300; visiting the website; or in person at the box office, located at 5959 Royal Ln., Ste. 542 in Dallas.

Tickets for Broadway at the Bass in Fort Worth are available over the phone at 817-212-4280, online, or in person at the Bass Hall box office.