Theater Critic Picks
UPDATE: Lyric Stage's production of I Do! I Do! now stars Sarah Gay and Christopher J. Deaton.
The theatrical community of Dallas-Fort Worth has 14 perfect little valentines for you, spanning the romantic to the thought-provoking. And need we even mention that seeing a show is a date that's sure to impress?
Here are the 14 shows to see, in order by start date:
Amphibian Stage Productions, February 1-24
Denise Lee makes her Amphibian debut alongside Jamal Gibran Sterling in Steven Dietz's 1993 play about the AIDS epidemic and how it's rapidly growing among Hispanic and African American communities — yet that fact is rarely discussed. The play was originally written for two men, but director Bill Earl Ray cast Lee as only one way to update a script that still feels frighteningly relevant.
Circle Theatre, February 2-March 9
Kelsey Milbourn stars as the Stage Manager in this production of Thornton Wilder's classic. Told in three acts — "Daily Life," "Love and Marriage," and "Death and Eternity" — Wilder's Pulitzer Prize-winning play reminds us of the importance of love, loss, and living in the moment.
Undermain Theatre, February 6-March 3
Bruce DuBose and Paul Semrad are reprising their roles as the Poet and the Musician in Lisa Peterson and Denis O'Hare's "one-man" play. They first stunned Undermain audiences in 2012, when Katherine Owens directed the modern-day retelling of Homer's classic.
La Llorona: A Love Story
Bishop Arts Theatre Center, February 7-24
Kathleen Anderson Culebro is not only the artistic director of Amphibian Stage Productions, but also a respected playwright. Her piece premiered Off Broadway in 2007, and now Adam Adolfo is directing a cast of BATC newcomers in the haunting, humorous love story where tradition, superstition, and love collide.
Echo Theatre, February 8-23
The audience co-stars with Kristin McCollum in Leslie Ayvazian's one-woman play about an American celebrating her 50th birthday in Greece. From their "poolside tables," audience members will be asked to jump in and play various parts, echoing the play's theme about being willing to take risks.
AT&T Performing Arts Center, February 12-17
A starry cast of Broadway names headlines this tour of William Finn and James Lapine's musical, about a dysfunctional family navigating modern challenges and trying to remember that love tells a million stories.
Performing Arts Fort Worth, February 12-17
Those street corner-singing boys are back, showing how Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons rocketed to fame and fortune while battling personal struggles and changing the sound of American music.
I Do! I Do!
Lyric Stage, February 14-17
Broadway veteran and Mesquite native Kristen Beth Williams returns to Lyric Stage with her husband, Broadway actor James Ludwig, to star in this musical celebration of marriage. Written by Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt, of The Fantasticks fame, the show was originally written as a star vehicle for theater legends Mary Martin and Robert Preston.
Are You Now or Have You Ever Been
Stage West, February 14-March 10
In the regional premiere of Carlyle Brown's play about the tense but necessary relationship between the arts and politics, poet Langston Hughes is preparing to appear before McCarthy's committee for "un-American activities." As Hughes fitfully tries to compose a poem, accusations whirl, censorships abound, and freedoms are called into question.
You Got Older
Kitchen Dog Theater, February 14-March 10
What happens when your life path leads you right over a cliff? In this bawdy, irreverent, and touching new play that reunites Jenny Ledel and Barry Nash, Pulitzer-nominated playwright Clare Barron blends reality and fantasy in a dark comedy about falling apart as you're failing to launch.
Bless Me, Ultima
Cara Mía Theatre Co., February 15-March 3
The beloved Chicano novel by Rudolfo Anaya is brought to the stage in physical style in a highly theatrical production. It tells the story of a young boy facing the toxic masculinity of a society who is mentored by the curandera Ultima, a native healer who uses herbs and magic.
Dallas Summer Musicals, February 19-March 3
Journey to the past with this stage adaptation that boasts a score by Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens and a book by Terrence McNally. Years after the Russian royal family is executed, a young woman surfaces with knowledge only a princess would have.
First Impressions Festival
Imprint Theatreworks, February 20-23
In its second year, this newish company promises more local works under the guidance of local directors. A complete list of performances hasn't been announced yet, but is promised to be soon.
Guadalupe in the Guest Room
WaterTower Theatre, February 22-March 17
Guadalupe is living in the guest room of her son-in-law, Steve, while she works to translate from English to Spanish the children's books her deceased daughter has written. Overcome with grief and separated by a language barrier, the unlikely housemates struggle to communicate — until they begin watching the same television show. Then the two bond in the most unexpected of ways, leading Guadalupe and Steve to learn that understanding doesn't always require speaking the same language.