Theater Critics' Picks

Dallas-Fort Worth theater critics declare standouts from 2013-14 season

Dallas-Fort Worth theater critics declare standouts for 2013-14 season

"The Fortress of Solitude" at Dallas Theater Center
The Fortress of Solitude at Dallas Theater Center. Photo by Karen Almond
WaterTower Theatre presents Dogfight
Dogfight at WaterTower Theatre. Photo by Kelsey Leigh Ervi
Cast of Dallas Theater Center's A Raisin in the Sun
A Raisin in the Sun at Dallas Theater Center. Photo by Karen Almond
Dallas Theater Center presents Les Miserables
Les Miserables at Dallas Theater Center. Photo by Karen Almond
"Barbecue Apocalypse" at Kitchen Dog Theater in Dallas
Barbecue Apocalypse at Kitchen Dog Theater. Photo by Matt Mrozek
Dallas actress Tiffany Hobbs will next appear in "The Odd Couple" at Dallas Theater Center.
Tiffany Hobbs was recognized for her work in Raisin in the Sun and Spunk. Photo courtesy of Dallas Theater Center
Dallas actor Janelle Lutz
Janelle Lutz was recognized for her work in The Boy From Oz. Photo courtesy of Janelle Lutz
"Detroit" at Kitchen Dog Theater
Detroit at Kitchen Dog Theater. Photo by Matt Mrozek
"The Fortress of Solitude" at Dallas Theater Center
WaterTower Theatre presents Dogfight
Cast of Dallas Theater Center's A Raisin in the Sun
Dallas Theater Center presents Les Miserables
"Barbecue Apocalypse" at Kitchen Dog Theater in Dallas
Dallas actress Tiffany Hobbs will next appear in "The Odd Couple" at Dallas Theater Center.
Dallas actor Janelle Lutz
"Detroit" at Kitchen Dog Theater

Members of the DFW Theater Critics Forum gathered September 6 to hash out their picks from the 2013-14 season in categories such as best direction, best actor and actress, and best new play. Rather than declare a single winner in each category, the critics dole out accolades to several deserving works.

With stellar seasons from Uptown Players, Jubilee Theatre, Dallas Theater Center and Kitchen Dog Theater, several contenders just missed the five-vote minimum for inclusion, which led to many impassioned pleas from individuals who fought for their favorites, says Lindsey Wilson, CultureMap contributor and critic for D Magazine. So expect to see more people and plays than these on end-of-year best-of lists.

Without further ado, these are the critics’ picks for 2013-14:

Direction

  • Liesl Tommy, Les Miserables (Dallas Theater Center)
  • Tim Johnson, Detroit (Kitchen Dog Theater)
  • Tre Garrett, A Raisin in the Sun (Dallas Theater Center) and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Jubilee Theatre)
  • Susan Sargeant, The Diaries of Adam and Eve and Happy Days (WingSpan Theatre Co.)
  • Daniel Aukin, The Fortress of Solitude (Dallas Theater Center)
  • Terry Martin, Dogfight (WaterTower Theatre)
  • Kevin Moriarty, Oedipus el Rey (Dallas Theater Center)
  • David Denson, Year of the Rooster (Upstart Productions)
  • B.J. Cleveland, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (Uptown Players)

Actor

  • Steven Walters, Les Miserables (Dallas Theater Center)
  • Drew Wall, Nocturne (Second Thought Theatre)
  • Garret Storms, for his season of performances
  • Adam A. Anderson, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Jubilee Theatre)
  • Joey Folsom, Year of the Rooster (Upstart Productions) and Hank Williams: Lost Highway (WaterTower Theatre)
  • Alex Ross, The Boy From Oz (Uptown Players)
  • Jaxon Beeson, Stiff (Fun House Theatre and Film)

Actress

  • Tina Parker, Detroit (Kitchen Dog Theater)
  • Liz Mikel, A Raisin in the Sun (Dallas Theater Center)
  • Tiffany Hobbs, A Raisin in the Sun (Dallas Theater Center) and Spunk (WaterTower Theatre)
  • Allison Pistorius, Venus in Fur (Circle Theatre) and Clybourne Park (Dallas Theater Center)
  • Juliette Talley, Dogfight (WaterTower Theatre)
  • Janelle Lutz, The Boy from Oz (Uptown Players)
  • Sarah Elizabeth Smith, The Boy from Oz (Uptown Players)
  • Ashley Wilkerson, The Mountaintop (Jubilee Theatre)

Ensemble

  • Heroes (Stage West)
  • Barbecue Apocalypse (Kitchen Dog Theater)
  • Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (Uptown Players)
  • The Echo Room Presents: Her Song (Echo Theatre)

Creative Contribution

  • Coy Covington for his wig and makeup design for The Boy From Oz (Uptown Players) and wig designs for Pageant: The Musical (Uptown Players)
  • Gary James for his wig designs for Dogfight (WaterTower Theatre)
  • Clare Floyd DeVries for her set design for Detroit (Kitchen Dog Theater)
  • Jay Dias for his music direction of Nine and Titanic (Lyric Stage)
  • The design team for their season with Trinity Shakespeare Festival
  • Jeffrey Colangelo and Katy Tye for their movement design in Galatea (Prism Co.)

New Play or Musical

  • Stiff by Jeff Swearingen (Fun House Theatre and Film)
  • Booth by Steven Walters (Second Thought Theatre)
  • Barbecue Apocalypse by Matt Lyle (Kitchen Dog Theater)
  • Mania/Gift by Shelby-Allison Hibbs (Echo Theatre)
  • The Fortress of Solitude by Itamar Moses and Michael Friedman (Dallas Theater Center)

Touring Production

  • Evita (Dallas Summer Musicals)
  • Trick Boxing (Sossy Mechanics)
  • The Gershwins’ Porgy & Bess (ATTPAC)
  • Peter and the Starcatcher (ATTPAC)

Special Citations

  • To Matt Tomlanovich for reviving the Margo Jones as a busy performance space; opening it to fledgling companies at a reasonable price; and making it available to small festivals, poetry slams, readings and dance groups.
  • To Lawson Taitte for his distinguished career in arts criticism.

Contributing critics:

  • Lindsey Wilson, D Magazine
  • Elaine Liner and Lauren Smart, Dallas Observer
  • Mark Lowry, TheaterJones.com and Fort Worth Star-Telegram
  • Martha Heimberg, Dallas Weekly and TheaterJones.com
  • Jan Farrington, M. Lance Lusk, David Novinski, TheaterJones.com
  • Alexandra Bonifield, Criticalrant.com
  • Punch Shaw, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
  • Arnold Wayne Jones, Dallas Voice
  • Nancy Churnin, Dallas Morning News