I can't stress this enough: Nearly all the theaters in Dallas-Fort Worth are air conditioned. If that's not enough of a draw, then remember that the theater here is awesome. How awesome? Here are 7 examples of can't-miss shows coming up this month.
Pippin, July 7-19
Dallas Summer Musicals
The national tour of the recent Broadway revival not only features acrobats, stunt artists, illusionists and other circus-inspired acts, it also has a pretty cool co-star: John Rubinstein, who originated the role of Pippin and is now playing his war-loving father, King Charles.
Festival of Independent Theatres, July 10-Aug. 1
Bath House Cultural Center
After last year's lackluster lineup, FIT Fest is back and ready to rumble. A roster of small indie plays from groups including Gorilla Theater, Upstart Productions, DGDG and WingSpan Theatre Company will play in twofers, giving audiences the chance to experience radically different productions they might not otherwise have seen. Some of the city's most in-demand actors — Michael Federico, Joey Folsom, Janielle Kastner, Bradley Campbell, Jeffrey Colangelo — join fresh-faced new performers, some from Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing Arts.
Othello, July 15-Aug. 8
Second Thought Theatre
Did you miss Jenny Ledel in Belleville? First, shame on you. Second, here's another chance to see the actress do her thing, this time alongside her real-life husband Alex Organ in Shakespeare's expert display of manipulation and betrayal. Joel Ferrell is directing, and since his last collab with STT yielded the magnificent Gruesome Playground Injuries in 2013, this bodes well.
Catch Me If You Can, July 24-Aug. 9
Another based-on-a-true-story story, this musicalization of Frank Abagnale Jr.'s stint as a con man is as energetic and lively as the young man who duped dozens into thinking he was a pilot, a lawyer, a doctor and more. The bubbly, '60s-influenced score is from Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, the duo behind Hairspray and the Bombshell songs in the television show Smash.
Sweet Charity, July 24-Aug. 16
"The stripper with a heart of gold" trope is often attributed to this musical, about down-on-her-luck dance hall girl Charity Hope Valentine (played at WTT by comic actress Whitney Hennen) and her unflagging optimism. Adapted from Nights of Cabiria, a film by Federico Fellini, the musical includes hits such as “Hey, Big Spender,” “Rhythm of Life” and “If My Friends Could See Me Now."
Motown the Musical, July 28-Aug. 16
AT&T Performing Arts Center
You know Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson and Marvin Gaye, but how much do you know about the man behind the sound, Barry Gordy? This former featherweight boxer founded Motown and forever changed the soundtrack of America, and it's fascinating to see his story played out onstage. Get ready to tap your toes and bob your head...
The Glass Menagerie, July 30-Aug. 23
How's this for a powerhouse cast: Connie Coit as Amanda, Blake Blair as Tom, Sterling Gafford as Jim and Allison Pistorius as Laura. The first show of Theatre Three's 54th season is poised to be a lovely production of Tennessee Williams' classic memory play.