Uptown Players continues its tradition of splashy musicals and regional premieres for the 2017-18 season, with all but one to be staged at the Kalita Humphreys Theater.
There are two notable omissions from the lineup, however. First is that there is no partnership with the Turtle Creek Chorale, which in previous years had resulted in grand concert versions of large-cast shows such as Titanic, Ragtime, and Sweeney Todd.
The second is Perestroika, part two of Tony Kushner's epic play set during the AIDS epidemic, Angels in America. After staging Part One: Millennium Approaches this past November, the second play was supposed to follow this season.
"Due to time constraints/conflicts of the actors and designers, we will have to do it at the end of next season as a bonus show," says Uptown's co-producing artistic director Craig Lynch. He promises that part two will happen, but that right now they're still trying to work out all the details.
The company's 17th season begins with The Full Monty, the Americanized musical version of the British film about six down-on-their luck steelworkers who devise a bold way to make some quick cash. Cheryl Denson will direct the Terrence McNally and David Yazbek show, which runs October 20-November 5, 2017.
Next is the regional premiere of the 2015 Off-Broadway comedy The Legend of Georgia McBride, with Uptown favorite Kyle Igneczi (Hedwig and the Angry Inch) in the title role. A broke young man decides it's now or never to make it as an Elvis impersonator, and gets help from "a grand dame of drag" to make his dream happen ... though not as he originally planned. Bruce R. Coleman directs, and it runs December 1-17, 2017.
2018 is welcomed in with a classic: A Chorus Line. Directed by local musical theater treasure Jeremy Dumont (himself a veteran of chorus lines all over the world), the iconic show pulls back the curtain on a grueling audition and lets dancers and choreographers explain the passion they have for their profession. It runs one weekend only — February 2-4, 2018 — at the newly named Moody Performance Hall.
The annual fundraiser Broadway Our Way returns June 14-17, 2018. For the seventh straight year, it will be written and directed by B. J. Cleveland and feature familiar Uptown actors actors performing selections from Broadway shows, both past and present, all done with a twist.
Cheryl Denson is back in July to direct the regional premiere of Priscilla Queen of the Desert. Adapted from the 1994 Academy Award-winning film, the show follows three friends (two drag queens and a transsexual) who tour the Australian outback on a battered bus named Priscilla. The score is a hit parade of dance floor favorites: "It's Raining Men," "I Will Survive," "Hot Stuff," "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun," and "I Love The Nightlife." It runs July 13-29, 2018.
Closing out the season is another regional premiere, Topher Payne’s Perfect Arrangement. The 1950s-set comedy has two U.S. State Department employees, Bob and Norma, tasked with identifying sexual deviants within their ranks. There’s just one problem: Both Bob and Norma are gay, and have married each other’s partners as a carefully constructed cover. The show was inspired by the true story of the earliest stirrings of the American gay rights movement, and it will be directed by B. J. Cleveland. It runs August 24-September 2, 2018.
Individual and season tickets can be purchased online at www.uptownplayers.org or by phone at 214-219-2718.