Theater Critic Picks

These are the 20 can't-miss shows in Dallas-Fort Worth theater for June

The 20 can't-miss shows in Dallas-Fort Worth theater for June

The Comedy of Errors
Shakespeare Dalla is mounting The Comedy of Errors in repertory with The Taming of the Shrew. Photo courtesy of Shakespeare Dallas
The Classics Theatre Project presents The Cherry Orchard
Emily Scott Banks stars in The Cherry Orchard, the inaugural production for The Classics Theatre Project. Photo by Evan Michael Woods
The "Bright Star" band
The national tour of Bright Star is coming to the Winspear Opera House. Photo by Craig Schwartz
Dallas Solo Fest 2018
The Dallas Solo Fest is back, bringing in six artists from around the country to perform. Photo courtesy of Nkechi Chibueze
WaterTower Theatre presents The Last Five Years
Monique Abry and Seth Womack star in The Last Five Years at WaterTower Theatre. Photo by Evan Michael Woods
Second Thought Theatre presents Enemies/People
Black Hackler's Enemies/People is getting its world premiere at Second Thought Theatre. Photo by Jordan Fraker
National tour of The Lion King
The national tour of The Lion King is coming back to Dallas Summer Musicals. Photo by Joan Marcus
Lyric Stage presents Guys and Dolls
Lyric Stage is mounting Guys & Dolls at the Majestic Theatre. Photo by Jonathan McInnis
Casa Mañana presents Mamma Mia
Casa Mañana is suiting up for the ABBA musical Mamma Mia!. Photo by Chip Tompkins
Every Brilliant Thing
Zak Reynolds makes his Circle Theatre debut in Every Brilliant Thing. Photo by Tim Long
Charity Angel, Dawson Desi Oakley, and Lenne Klingaman in the National Tour of Waitress
The national tour of Waitress is coming to Bass Hall. Photo by Joan Marcus
The Comedy of Errors
The Classics Theatre Project presents The Cherry Orchard
The "Bright Star" band
Dallas Solo Fest 2018
WaterTower Theatre presents The Last Five Years
Second Thought Theatre presents Enemies/People
National tour of The Lion King
Lyric Stage presents Guys and Dolls
Casa Mañana presents Mamma Mia
Every Brilliant Thing
Charity Angel, Dawson Desi Oakley, and Lenne Klingaman in the National Tour of Waitress

Yes, you read that headline correctly: 20. This might be the biggest month in Dallas-Fort Worth theater history, with an incredible number of new plays, festivals, revues, musicals, and tours gracing the stages around town. If you say you can't find something to see, then you're lying.

Here are the 20 shows to see, in order by start date:

Gordon Kelly & Robin Benson Linek, May 31-June 9
Using Linda Gaboriau's translation of Michael Marc Bouchard's script, independent producers Kelly and Linek are trying out a new grassroots-style approach to theater. Everyone involved in the production at the Bath House Cultural Center is splitting the revevue, which was secured through online fundraising along with traditional ticket sales. The story takes place in a men's prison in 1952, where Bishop Bilodeau has agreed to see his old friend, Simon. But through a series of vignettes performed by his fellow inmates, the Bishop is forced to relive their childhood memories and a long-held secret is revealed.

Little Mexico  Ayer y Hoy
Teatro Dallas, June 1-10
This 30-minute production depicts the experiences lived by Mexican Americans in Dallas, told through theater, dance, song, and music. Also: tacos. The show takes place at Taqueria Pedrito in North Oak Cliff, and tickets are free (though donations are encouraged).

Mamma Mia!
Casa Mañana, June 2-10
Here we go again: The ABBA musical set in a Greek paradise is back. On the eve of her wedding, a daughter's quest to discover the identity of her father brings three men from her mother's past back to the island they last visited 20 years ago. Local luminaries Denise Lee and Cheryl Allison are a few of the stars, and DFW's own Anthony Fortino appears fresh off the national tour of Fun Home.

The Second City Summer Blockbuster
Off Broadway on Flora, June 6-9
The famous Chicago improv group is ready to fight the summer heat by bringing the next generation of comedy superstars to Texas. Hunker down in the Wyly Theatre to see sketch comedy mixed with on-the-fly improv, as the troupe that gave us Bill Murray, Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert, Amy Poehler, and more comes to town.

Dallas Solo Fest
Audacity Theatre Lab, June 6-10
Performers from around the country are converging at the Rosewood Center for the Arts to present six distinct one-person shows. This year's lineup includes The Biscuiteater by Jim Loucks, Drunk Lion by Chris Davis; PerVirgin by Nkechi Chibueze, magician Cody Clark's A Different Way of Thinking, and two entries from performers with Dallas ties. Former resident John Michael brings us his Meatball Seance from Chicago, while current resident John S. Davies gives us Oh, Jesus! Or… An Actor, a Cynic and a Savior Walk Into a Bar.

Guys & Dolls
Lyric Stage, June 8-10
Considered by many to be the perfect musical, Guys & Dolls is a romantic comedy involving the unlikeliest of Manhattan pairings: a high-rolling gambler and a puritanical missionary, a showgirl dreaming of the straight-and-narrow and a craps game manager who is anything but. Frank Loesser's score is filled with memorable tunes, including the hilarious "Adelaide's Lament," the romantic "I've Never Been in Love Before," the exuberant "If I Were a Bell," and the classic "Luck Be a Lady."

The Comedy of Errors and The Taming of the Shrew
Shakespeare Dallas, June 6-July 15 and June 13-July 13
Running in repertory, these two Shakespeare classics each deal in love and mischief. The first concerns two sets of twin brothers who arrive in Ephesus and are mistaken for their siblings, while the second is a battle of wills between the strong-willed Kate and her dauntless suitor, Petruchio. Bring a blanket and a bottle of wine (and the bug spray) to enjoy these open-air performances at Samuell-Grand Amphitheatre.

The Last Five Years
WaterTower Theatre, June 8-July 1
Through opposing, intersecting chronologies, this award-winning musical by Jason Robert Brown follows Jamie and Cathy, two 20-something artists in New York, as their relationship blossoms and sours. The beginning, the end, and everything in between is put into perspective in this touching and sympathetic tale of love, loss, and timing that's directed by Kelsey Leigh Ervi and stars Seth Womack and Monique Abry.

Bright Star
AT&T Performing Arts Center Broadway Series, June 12-24
Musician Edie Brickell and actor/author Steve Martin are the team behind this five-time Tony-nominated tale of love and redemption, set against the rich backdrop of the American South in the 1920s and '40s. Propelled by an ensemble of onstage musicians and dancers, the story unfolds as a rich tapestry of deep emotion, beautiful melodies, and powerfully moving performances. TodayTix has $25 mobile rush tickets — get them here.

Second Thought Theatre, June 13-July 7
This world premiere by Dallas-based playwright and artist Blake Hackler is loosely adapted from Henrik Ibsen's An Enemy of the People. STT calls the play "a timely
world premiere about the search for truth in the age of alternative facts," and it will bring STT artistic director Alex Organ back to his company's stage for the first time since 2016. He'll be joined by Allison Pistorius, Christie Vela, Gregory Lush, Jovane Caamaño, and Sasha Maya Ada.

The Lion King
Dallas Summer Musicals, June 13-July 8
Its larger-than-life puppets and lush score by Elton John and Tim Rice have filled the Music Hall before, but not since 2013. If you haven't seen Julie Taymor's stunning and imaginative staging, now's your chance.

Broadway Our Way
Uptown Players, June 14-17
For the seventh straight year, B.J. Cleveland has written and directed this fundraiser, which features many of your favorite actors from past Uptown Players seasons performing selections from Broadway shows, both past and present, all done with a twist. For the last 16 years, this hot-ticket concert has been providing members of the LGBT community a previously unheard voice and seeing the world as they always wish it could be.

The Monarch
Echo Theatre & Soul Rep Theatre Company, June 15-30
Soul Rep co-founder and area playwright Anyika McMillan-Herod has turned her own personal experience with breast cancer into an inspiring, dark, and sometimes humorous exploration of the human spirit. The world premiere is co-directed by McMillan-Herod and Tonya Holloway, Soul Rep's co-artistic director and co-founder.

Les Liaisons Dangereuses
Theatre Three, June 14-July 8
You may know it as Dangerous Liaisons, the title of the 1989 film adaptation, or even as Cruel Intentions, a modern retelling set in NYC with elite, scheming teenagers. But this is the original, a tale of seduction set in France among aristocrats before the revolution. Nominated for the Tony Award for Best Play in 1987 and now adapted by Christopher Hampton from the 1782 novel by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos, this fresh take by director Tiffany Nichole Greene includes an all-star cast, with Cindee Mayfield, Charlotte Akin, Gayle Cronauer, Lydia Mackay, and Brandon Potter.

Every Brilliant Thing
Circle Theatre, June 14-July 14
Zak Reynolds makes his Circle Theatre debut as the narrator of this theatrical experience, which engages its audience with the question "what's on your list of things that make you happy?" Written by Duncan Macmillan with Jonny Donahoe.

Broadway at the Bass, June 19-24
Grammy winner Sara Bareilles made her Broadway debut by penning the score for Waitress, 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.

Romeo and Juliet and Twelfth Night
Trinity Shakespeare, June 19-July 8
Blake Hackler has a busy month, as he's also directing what many consider to be Shakespeare's greatest comedy. Clearly that's Twelfth Night and not Romeo and Juliet, which is being handled by Trinity Shakes' founding artistic director T.J. Walsh. TCU students work side-by-side equity actors in these repertory shows, which take place in the air-conditioned theater on the school's campus.

The Cherry Orchard
The Classics Theatre Project, June 21-July 14
The inaugural production from this new Dallas company is using an adaptation of Chekhov's script by local playwright Ben Schroth. Artistic director Joey Folsom is directing an impressive cast that includes Emily Scott Banks, Stan Graner, Matthew Eitzen, Francis Fuselier, Sterling Gafford, Taylor Harris, Gretchen Hahn, Courtney Mentzel, James Hansen Prince, Mary-Margaret Pyeatt, Rachel Reininger, and Dean Wray.