Here Comes Wicked

Expect familiar titles and few surprises in Dallas Summer Musicals' 2015-16 season

Dallas Summer Musicals' new season brings old faves and few surprises

Wicked featuring Jennifer DiNoia and Hayley Podschun
Wicked will fly back into the Music Hall at Fair Park April 20-May 22, 2016. Photo by Joan Marcus

Fresh off its 75th anniversary season, Dallas Summer Musicals announced an upcoming year's lineup that's heavy on tried-and-true titles — with one or two welcome surprises thrown in. Pairing once again with Performing Arts Fort Worth, which presents shows at Bass Performance Hall, the two organizations will co-present three productions.

The first will start DSM's season, a "brand new" stage adaptation of The Sound of Music. Since it appears to use the famous score, which includes songs like "Edelweiss," "Climb Ev'ry Mountain," "My Favorite Things" and "Do-Re-Mi," it's unclear how brand-new this version actually will be. It seems the decision to revisit this classic was influenced by the popularity of NBC's live telecast of the show in 2013, and that it's the film's 50th anniversary this year. It runs November 3-22.

Next up is Elf, which played Bass Hall last November and stops this year in Dallas from December 8-20. Yes, this is the musicalized stage version of the Will Ferrell movie. No, he's not in this tour. Yes, there is a song in the show titled "Sparklejollytwinklejingley." No, I will not sing it for you.

February 2-14, 2016, just in time for Valentine's Day, comes The Bridges of Madison County. Another musicalization of a film, but this time the lush, Tony-winning score is by Jason Robert Brown, which makes the story of a lonely war bride and the traveling photographer who awakens her passion seem even more sad and romantic.

Dallas Summer Musicals produced a new version of Disney's The Little Mermaid in 2014, and now it's coming back from March 11-27, 2016, in a co-production with Performing Arts Fort Worth. You might remember reading about the cool flying effects that visually stunning production introduced.

Also returning, this time for a good long stretch from April 20-May 22, 2016, is the mega-hit Wicked. This show isn't part of the regular DSM subscription season but can be easily added on. Easily, that is, if you can beat the hordes of girl-power fans for tickets to this popular musical.

Though it won a handful of Tony Awards back in 1996, Ragtime doesn't seem to tour quite as often as other shows. Perhaps that's because it's an epic, sprawling tale of America at the dawn of a new era, though some companies have proven that a stripped-down approach also conveys the show's message. Whether this tour version is large or intimate, it's still nice to see it out in the world again. It will be in Dallas from May 24-June 5, 2016.

You might be more familiar with the film Bullets Over Broadway that its musical version, but you can get acquainted when it plays the Music Hall at Fair Park from June 14-26, 2016. The show played a few months on Broadway last year with Zach Braff in the John Cusack role.

The final show of the season is another co-production with PAFW. 42nd Street, the ultimate backstage musical, is being directed by co-author Mark Bramble and choreographed by Randy Skinner, the team who staged the 2001 Tony Award-winning best musical revival. Are your tap shoes ready? You know, just in case you get your big break when they need you to go on.

In Fort Worth, the Broadway at the Bass season will include The Book of Mormon (December 1-6), Motown the Musical (January 13-17), The Little Mermaid (March 29-April 3), The Wizard of Oz (June 7-12), 42nd Street (July 12-17), The Sound of Music (August 17-21) and The Phantom of the Opera (October 20-30).

Dallas Summer Musicals tickets are available by calling 214-346-3300, visiting the website or in person at the box office, located at 5959 Royal Ln., suite 542 in Dallas.

Tickets for Broadway at the Bass in Fort Worth are available over the phone at 817-212-4280, online or in person at the Bass Hall box office.