Regional Theater Heavyweight
The Dallas arts community gets another nod, this time for its theater prowess. Time.com recently posted a list of "10 Reasons for Theater Lovers to Leave New York in 2014." Included is The Fortress of Solitude, a musical that begins performances at Dallas Theater Center in March.
Dallas Theater Center appears alongside such well-known and established theaters as the Goodman and Steppenwolf in Chicago, La Jolla Playhouse in California, Signature Theatre in Virginia, and Yale Rep in Connecticut. Heck, even rock stars Sting and Billie Joe Armstrong appear on the list.
A collaboration with Manhattan's Public Theater — which plans to include the show in its 2014/15 season — Fortress is an adaptation of Jonathan Lethem's 2003 novel of the same name, about two boys growing up in 1970s Brooklyn. The friends, one black and one white, confront race, culture, gentrification and self-discovery through the bonding agents of comic books and music.
The title is a reference to Superman's headquarters, the only place the fictional hero could truly be himself. And, as Time notes, it's not an obvious subject for a musical, but these theater heavies are giving a try.
Fortress — directed by Daniel Aukin (Bad Jews,The Winslow Boy) and featuring a score by Michael Friedman (Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson) and book by Itamar Moses (Boardwalk Empire) — is only the latest in a string of productions that have gone on to enjoy New York runs. Among them: Lysistrata Jones on Broadway (which ran under the title Give It Up! in Dallas), Giant (which played the Public Theater in 2012) and Fly By Night (which will play Off-Broadway's Playwrights Horizons in May).