Theater Critic Picks
These are the 10 can't-miss shows in Dallas-Fort Worth theater for March
Regional premieres are the theme this month, with at least half of the shows in this list qualifying. The number skyrockets, however, if you include each of the original works in WaterTower Theatre's new Detour festival, which makes its debut under the watch of new-ish artistic director Joanie Schultz.
Here are the 10 shows to see, in order by start date:
Kitchen Dog Theater, March 1-18
Marco Ramirez's play about a talented, charismatic African-American boxer who dreams of being the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world — in 1905 — was inspired by the often-overlooked story of Jack Johnson. At the height of the Jim Crow era, Johnson became the most famous and the most notorious black man on Earth. KDT co-artistic director Christopher Carlos is behind this regional premiere, which stars Jamal Gibran Sterling, Adrian Churchill, Jaquai Wade, Marcus M. Maudlin, and Lee George.
Detour: A Festival of New Work
WaterTower Theatre, March 1-4
Instead of its traditional Out of the Loop festival, WaterTower is this year instead partnering with local and national artists to bring audiences four new play readings, three devised works, and two "late nite" comedy/musical performances. Highlights include a reading from Oregon Shakespeare Festival's "Play On!" initiative commissioning modern adaptations of 39 of Shakespeare's works, three new works from rising company Dark Circles Contemporary Dance, the next installment of Brigham Mosley's laugh-out-loud creation, Movies That Should Be Musicals.
Jekyll & Hyde
Casa Mañana, March 3-11
A pop-rock musical from Frank Wildhorn and Leslie Bricusse, this staging stars Broadway veteran Bradley Dean in the title role (he's fresh off playing the part on the international Korean tour). Based on Robert Louis Stevenson's story, the show tells the saga of one man who's battling his two sides: one, a passionate and romantic doctor; and the other, a terrifying madman.
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Gynecologic Oncology Unit at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center of New York City
Stage West, March 3-April 1
A regional premiere, Halley Feiffer's outrageously funny and ultimately touching new play throws together Karla, a young comedian, and Don, a middle-aged man going through a nasty divorce. Both their mothers are fighting cancer and sharing a room, and the pair's initial confrontation eventually leads to mutual understanding and support. Dana Schultes directs, with Janielle Kastner making her Stage West debut as Karla and Thomas Ward playing Don.
The Great Society
Dallas Theater Center, March 9-April 1
The second part of Robert Schenkkan's LBJ saga explores the turbulent presidency amid the Vietnam war, with such historical figures as the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Bobby Kennedy, and Richard Nixon all making an appearance. Just as with 2016's All the Way, this is a co-production with Houston's Alley Theatre (it played there in February). Former DTC company member Brandon Potter returns as President Lyndon Baines Johnson, while Houston's Shawn Hamilton once again plays Dr. King.
She Kills Monsters
Theatre Three, March 8-April 1
Laden with homicidal fairies, nasty ogres, and '90s pop culture references, this comedic romp into the world of fantasy role-playing games is an homage to the geek and warrior within us all. Agnes Evans leaves her childhood home in Ohio following the death of her teenage sister, Tilly, but stumbles into a journey of discovery and action-packed adventure in the imaginary world that was Tilly's refuge once she finds her sister's D&D notebook.
Performing Arts Fort Worth, March 20-25
Thanks to playwright James Graham and composers Gary Barlow and Eliot Kennedy, the popular film starring Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet got the musical stage treatment. Now the national tour of the Broadway production is coming to Bass Hall for a quick run, sprinkling pixie dust with its story of Peter Pan creator J. M. Barrie and the family that inspired him.
Riverdance: The 20th Anniversary World Tour
AT&T Performing Arts Center, March 3
Those fast feet are still flying, and are now coming to North America directly from a sold-out run across Europe and Asia. Drawing on Irish traditions, the combined talents of the performers propel Irish dancing and music into the present day, resulting in an innovative and exciting blend of dance, music, and song.
Circle Theatre, March 22-April 14
Circle is teaming up with Theatre TCU for this regional premiere, which asks its audience if the end always justifies the means. Caroline (Lisa Fairchild), a veteran social worker, swears to protect baby Luna Gale, but her mission may be motivated by a hidden agenda. DFW favorites Jakie Cabe and Ken Orman also star.
Dallas Summer Musicals, March 28-April 8
Grammy winner Sara Bareilles penned the score for this musical, which is based on Adrienne Shelley's cult film. An all-female creative team brought the show to Broadway, and it's a showcase for the lucky actress portraying the aspiring baker looking a way out of her small town and loveless marriage (that would be Desi Oakley on the tour, with Robin Hood alum Nick Bailey as her husband).