Only a day after a comprehensive COVID-19 plan was outlined by the newly sworn-in President Biden, Dallas Summer Musicals felt optimistic enough to announce a 2021 line-up, with live, in-person touring musicals ostensibly coming to Dallas in August of this year.
It's an ambitious announcement, as Actors' Equity Association is still mandating that "there must be a sustained decrease in new COVID-19 cases for a minimum of 14 days with a local community rate less than 5 per 100,000 population and a positive test rate of new tests done for COVID-19 less than 5 percent for at least one week prior to the start of the work session."
And those regulations were first written and released in May 2020. Granted, sometimes touring operators like DSM and AT&T Performing Arts Center present non-equity tours, which are not beholden to the same restrictions. But Hamilton, which is on DSM's list for a triumphant return engagement, is definitely equity.
But we'll push all skepticism aside for now. Thought DSM does not indicate a contingency plan if these shows are not able to go on as scheduled (something that happened frequently last year), president Ken Novice does say this:
"Broadway is coming back to Dallas in a big way. This is a massive season spanning an entire calendar year, and we can't wait! Our announcement today is made with great optimism related to in-progress wide-spread COVID-19 vaccinations and the soon-to-come reopening of our in-person cultural economy. As the months progress, we will be closely monitoring the on-going health crisis while developing, adapting, and sharing safety protocols to ensure everyone's safe return to live theater."
Assuming that DSM is able to safely present it, here is its proposed lineup:
Wicked flies back into Dallas' Music Hall at Fair Park August 4-September 5, 2021, to open the season as an optional add-on (this was its originally scheduled date). The tale of what happened before Dorothy dropped in follows the green-skinned Elphaba and her bubbly best friend Glinda as they navigate growing up and challenging authority.
Jersey Boys, the hit jukebox musical about pop group Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, is next (another season add-on). They were just four guys from Jersey, until they sang their very first note. They had a sound nobody had ever heard, and the radio just couldn't get enough of. But while their harmonies were perfect onstage, off stage it was a very different story. It runs at the Music Hall at Fair Park October 19-31, 2021, (rescheduled from November 10-22, 2020).
The mega-smash Hamilton returns to Fair Park November 16-December 5, 2021. It was last here in April 2019, bringing rap battles and hip-hop to America history and the story of one of America's Founding Fathers. Currently, the only way to guarantee a ticket to Hamilton is to purchase a season ticket to the six-show Germania Insurance Broadway Series which launches with Jersey Boys above.
Hadestown, the big winner at the 2019 Tony Awards, will be at the Winspear Opera House January 18-30, 2022, (it was originally scheduled for May 18-30, 2021) as part of an ongoing collaboration with AT&T Performing Arts Center. Intertwining two mythic tales — that of young dreamers Orpheus and Eurydice, and that of King Hades and his wife Persephone — the musical invites you on a hell-raising journey to the underworld and back.
There's one more season option: Jonathan Larson's genre-changing musical Rent, playing at the Music Hall February 18-20, 2022. A retelling of Puccini's La Boheme set in 1990s New York, it covers true love, artistic disillusionment, and the AIDS crisis.
There are also a few reschedulings from the 2019-2020 season:
- Come From Away, March 8-20, 2022, at Music Hall at Fair Park (remember, this closed prematurely when the pandemic started)
- Jesus Christ Superstar, April 5-17, 2022, at Music Hall at Fair Park
- Mean Girls, May 3-15, 2022, at Music Hall at Fair Park
- Oklahoma!, May 31-June 12, 2022, at Winspear Opera House
- Disney's Frozen, July 20-August 7, 2022, at Music Hall at Fair Park
Tootsie, previously rescheduled to play in 2021, has been canceled and will no longer be included in the season.
Season tickets for the revised line-up are available now, with single tickets on sale at a later date. For more information, patrons can visit DallasSummerMusicals.org or call 1-866-276-4884.