November can be a weird time in the theater world: Spooky Halloween shows are waning but it might seem a little too soon for Christmas and holiday fare. Luckily that makes this month like a grab-bag, with a little something for everyone.
Picnic, November 2-22
If you're longing for some repressed sexual tension, 1950s style, then this Pulitzer Prize-winning dramedy is for you. Haulston Mann plays a drifter (William Holden in the movie) who upends a small Kansas town with his pecs and biceps and aversion to shirt-wearing. It's a sultry, steamy slice of Americana and gives Dallas-Fort Worth actor Amber Devlin the chance to steal the show as a spinster schoolteacher who's desperate to marry.
The Sound of Music, November 3-22
Dallas Summer Musicals
Think you're Alp'ed out by this Rodgers and Hammerstein classic? Though there was a widely mocked live telecast on NBC in 2013, and Lyric Stage mounted a lovely production that same year, this brand-new tour is promising to "tear off the varnish of the past and reveal one of the great, fresh glories of musical theater." Tony-winning director Jack O'Brien — who's also currently behind the helm of Dallas Opera's Great Scott — has grand plans, and the original Mary Poppins from Broadway, Ashley Brown, is featured as Mother Superior.
J. M. Barrie's Peter Pan, November 11-December 6
Much like last year's Cavalia, this larger-than-life production is building its own theater wherever it goes. When it's in Dallas, the tented structure known as The Spire will be erected at 2450 San Jacinto St., and within it will be a truly in-the-round retelling of that famous boy who refuses to grow up. Overhead surround CGI projection, actors flying 40 feet in the air, and puppets are just a few of the tricks in store for audiences.
Death of a Salesman, November 13-21
Fun House Theatre and Film
Continuing with its non-traditional casting, the wonderfully warped minds at Fun House are populating Arthur Miller's 1949 drama with an "age-blind" cast. Jeff Swearingen will slump into the role of Willy Loman, while little rising star Kennedy Waterman will play his wife, Linda. Other 14- to 18-year-olds familiar to Fun House audiences will join them, while Susan Sargeant directs.
The Night Alive, November 18-December 12
Four modern Dubliners find solace in each other as they try to stay ahead of their past in Conor McPherson's latest play, which picked up a few awards Off-Broadway recently. Undermain company members Bruce DuBose, Katherine Bourne, and Teddy Davey will be directed by Dylan Key, whose guiding hand just seems to keep getting better and better.
The Show About Men, November 19-22
Danielle Georgiou Dance Group
The hit of the FIT festival returns for a limited engagement, this time at Eastfield College. DGDG's incisive, multidisciplinary look at the trials and triumphs men face every day charmed critics its first time around, and now hopefully more people will get to experience this unique piece of performance dance/theater.
The Totalitarians, November 20-December 19
Kitchen Dog Theater
Talk about timing: Peter Sinn Nachtrieb's political satire about a charismatic candidate who relies on a speech writer to keep her foot out of her mouth comes just as election hysteria is ramping up. This will be the show's regional premiere, and the last time KDT staged one of Nachtrieb's plays (Boom, in 2010), it was very well received. Tina Parker, Drew Wall, Leah Spillman, and Max Hartman star.
Blood Wedding, November 21-December 13
Cara Mia Theatre Co.
Federico García Lorca's tale of forbidden love sounds even sexier in the playwright's native Spanish, which is how Cara Mia is presenting it (at least partially). There's a runaway bride and a passion-driven hunt through the forest, as well as a handsome stranger. Sounds exciting, right?
A Christmas Carol, November 25-December 26
Dallas Theater Center
Fresh off his acclaimed turn as Dr. Martin Luther King in The Mountaintop, Hassad El-Amin is stepping into the stingy Scrooge's slippers in this DTC annual classic. He'll be joined by Cameron Cobb, who's making the transition from tempted scientist Dr. Faust to the hardworking Bob Cratchit. Every year the DTC team makes tweaks to help this show feel fresh — this year's changes include Christie Vela as the show's first-ever female director — so there are sure to be some fun surprises in store.