We're in that weird time between summer and fall, but luckily there's a wide variety of plays and musicals to help us bridge the gap.
Two play festivals for Dallas Pride also happen to be occurring, almost at the same time: September 15-25 for the Bishop Arts Theater Center's PlayPride LGBT Festival, and September 16-25 for Uptown Players' Dallas Pride Performing Arts Festival. At both you'll find several short plays featuring local actors.
Here are the 10 shows to see, in order by start date:
The Sum of Us
Theatre Three, September 1-25
The season opener for Theatre Too, the downstairs space at Theatre Three, might sound familiar if you've seen the Australian film starring Russell Crowe. If not, it's about an aging widower and his gay son, both of whom are starting tentative relationships. This is T2's acknowledgement of Dallas Pride, exploring how different people perceive being open about homosexuality.
Theatre Britain, September 2-25
You can't go wrong with Agatha Christie, as this Plano-based theater company has found. This thriller finds friends and family gathering at a country house, only to encounter murder. Sound too familiar? Don't underestimate the Queen of Crime.
Echo Theatre, September 8-24
Marsha Norman's contemporary classic seems like a quiet mother-daughter drama, but the emotions that surface have chilled theatergoers since 1983. Powerhouse actors Amber Devlin and Jessica Cavanaugh play Thelma and Jessie Gates, with direction by another Dallas female star, Christie Vela.
Lyric Stage, September 9-18
The leading lady of Lyric's latest musical might look and sound familiar if you caught the recent national touring production of A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder. Dallas native Kristen Beth Williams, who played Sibella, takes a small break from the tour to assume the crown as Guinevere, with Brent Alford as her King Arthur and Christopher J. Deaton as Sir Lancelot. Music whiz Jay Dias is once again conducting the massive (38 pieces!) orchestra for which Lyric is revered.
so go the ghost of méxico, part one
Undermain Theatre, September 14-October 8
Matthew Paul Olmos' new work, a three-part trilogy, will be produced by Undermain over the next three seasons. It's a poetic take on the Mexican/American drug wars, where a young woman volunteers to replace the murdered police chief in a small border town because no one else will accept the job. The play is described as "a nightmare-land where the dream world and the real world intertwine."
AT&T Performing Arts Center, September 20-October 2
Whether you want to believe it or not, it's been 20 years since Jonathan Larson's rock opera about East Village bohemians and the AIDS epidemic premiered. The new national tour is celebrating the work, which, despite a few fashion choices and lack of technology, still feels as immediate today as it did when it opened Off-Broadway in 1996.
The Wedding Singer
Theatre Three, September 22-October 16
The '80s never died, much like this story, which started as a film with Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore and will next be singing at T3 with Cameron Cobb and Katie Moyes Williams. Though the musical has its own score instead of '80s pop hits, it does still include that tearjerker from the movie, "Grow Old With You."
Crystal City 1969
Cara Mía Theatre Co., September 24-October 16
This revival of one of Cara Mía's most popular plays is terrifyingly timely, as it tells the true story of the students of Crystal City High, who staged a walkout after facing prejudice for their heritage. Though the event, which was sparked by the students not being allowed to speak Spanish on campus or eat Mexican food in the cafeteria, happened in 1969, it mirrors today's turbulent racial climate.
The Elephant Man
L.I.P. Service, September 29-October 15
Most people remember the movie, where John Hurt's incredible makeup actually spurred the Academy to add an award for that very talent the next year. But the stage play doesn't rely on prosthetics to bring the real-life Joseph Merrick to life — it's up to the actor to use his body and voice to convince you that he's the malformed man who started in side shows and eventually took London society by storm. Cool acting challenge from a company that's been all about the tough stuff lately.
Bella: An American Tall Tale
Dallas Theater Center, September 22-October 22
DTC's partnership with Off-Broadway company Playwrights Horizons will bear fruit once again, this time for a new musical from one of the creatives behind Fly, which DTC mounted a few years ago. Kirsten Childs' "tall tale" of a 19th-century woman who travels Old West American looking for her sweetheart sounds like it'll be a fun road trip, and we get to see it first. It will play in New York next year.