Theater Critic Picks
February's a short month, so that just means you've got to really make a plan when it comes to your theatergoing calendar. There are firsts and finals from which to choose, along with local revivals and national tours.
Here are the 11 shows to see, in order by start date:
A Chorus Line
Uptown Players, February 2-4
Local choreographer/director Jeremy Dumont has freshened up this musical theater icon, with all-new moves and a cast of young and lithe dancers who pull back the curtain on showbiz life during one grueling audition. Uptown is moving from the Kalita Humphreys Theater to the Moody Performance Hall for this one, and rumor has it that tickets are very, very scarce.
Dallas Theater Center, February 2-March 4
DTC has enjoyed a partnership with the SMU Meadows School of the Arts when it comes to its grad students, but this is the first production where undergrads are also getting in on the action. Director Joel Ferrell points out that Mary Shelley was only 18 when she wrote her novel, and he sees the youth of this cast as an asset. And it's not just the cast: graduate student Amelia Bransky designed the set.
Undermain Theatre, February 7-March 11
Acclaimed playwright Sarah Ruhl translates Chekhov's classic, about the daughters of a revered commander of a Russian military outpost who yearn to return to their cosmopolitan home in Moscow. With a five-week extended run, Undermain artistic director Katherine Owens leads a cast that includes Shannon Kearns, Jenny Ledel, Joanna Schellenberg, Bruce DuBose, Justin Duncan, and David Meglino.
We're Gonna Die
Jake Nice, February 8-10
DFW got a taste of Young Jean Lee's pop concert/autobiographical lament in 2017, when Jake Nice presented it before one of the closing performances of Lee's Straight White Men at Second Thought Theatre. He went on to mount it at other places around DFW, with local musician Sammy "Rat" Rios as the Singer, who returns for this engagement through the Elevator Project.
Bishop Arts Theatre Center, February 8-25
In partnership with Jubilee Theatre, which presented the show last February, this timely production examines the life of civil rights activist Thurgood Marshall, who, prior to his appointment to the Supreme Court, worked as a lawyer for the NAACP. Still. Timely.
Echo Theatre, February 9-24
It's the final year for this music and dance revue, which transports audiences back in time to a 1930s supper club for an evening of drinks, food, dancing, and songs from female composers of the early 20th century.
Amphibian Stage Productions, February 9-March 4
Playwright and actress Kate Hamill (perhaps you caught her adaptation of Pride and Prejudice at WaterTower Theatre last October?) stars as Roxane in this five-person adaptation of Edmond Rostand's famous love triangle. The "fast-paced romp" by Jason O’Connell and Brenda Withers challenges its actors to play characters of all genders, types and ages.
The Woman Who Knew Too Much
Ochre House, February 10-March 3
Company member and associate producer Kevin Grammer has penned and directed this troupe's latest original play, a "fantasy noir musical" about a woman who awakens with no memory ... but there's a very real possibility she might be an undercover spy.
Performing Arts Fort Worth, February 16-18
Slick you hair for the national tour of this Kander and Ebb musical about celebrity culture, which is even more relevant now than when the play it's based on was first published in 1926. A wannabe starlet kills her lover in cold blood, then fights for both her freedom and more time in the press, all while surrounded by stunning dancers doing Bob Fosse's slinky choreography.
Gog and Magog: Two Clowns Trapped in Hell
Cara Mía Theatre, February 23-March 11
Husband-and-wife team David Lozano and Frida Espinosa Müller star as two clowns trapped in Hell’s kitchen, and their only hope of escape is cooking the perfect meal for God. The world premiere is co-produced with Prism Movement Theater (Jeffrey Colangelo directs), and is a wordless comedy in the tradition of Mump and Smoot and the Three Stooges.
On Your Feet! The Story of Emilio & Gloria Estefan
Dallas Summer Musicals, February 27-March 11
Based on the life story of seven-time Grammy-winning international superstar Gloria Estefan and her husband, 19-time Grammy-winning producer-musician-entrepreneur Emilio Estefan, this musical is a catalog of their chart-topping hits. If you feel like doing the conga to "Rhythm Is Gonna Get You," "1-2-3," "Get On Your Feet," "Mi Tierra," "Don't Want To Lose You Now," and, yes, "Conga," there will be no judgment here.