It was Christmas in July onstage at the Music Hall at Fair Park last night, when Dallas Summer Musicals announced its 74th season during a party for subscribers. White Christmas, the December show, inspired the event.
Pine trees twinkled with tiny white lights, and Bing Crosby crooned over the speakers prior to the big announcement, which was made by president and managing director Michael A. Jenkins and WFAA meteorologist Colleen Coyle.
Below is the lineup for Dallas Summer Musicals’ 2013-2014 season, which for the first time does not include a State Fair show in late September and October. According to DSM press rep Jo Ann Holt, the contract between the Fair and DSM has ended.
The Lord of the Rings in Concert
A special addition to the regular season, this performance blends Peter Jackson’s epic cinematic version of J.R.R. Tolkien’s tale with Howard Shore’s Academy Award-winning score. The music is performed live by the Dallas Pops Orchestra while the film screens above the stage, a feat which Jenkins noted can only be accommodated by eight theaters in the U.S. — and Fair Park is one of them.
Rain—A Tribute to the Beatles
This musical journey through the iconic song catalog of John, Paul, George and Ringo returns after a highly successful run at DSM last year. A multimedia concert featuring both the group’s early and later hits, Rain is known for its uncanny performances by a quartet that has now performing together longer than The Beatles did themselves.
The actor who performed the title tune during the party coaxed, “Come on, you all know the words,” and indeed you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t know the chorus to Irving Berlin’s famous holiday song. Based on the classic 1954 film of the same name, White Christmas has enjoyed two Broadway runs and several successful regional productions since its original adaptation in 2004. You’re perhaps also familiar with the show’s other popular songs, “Let Yourself Go,” “Sisters,” “Blue Skies” and “Happy Holiday”? Thought so.
Ghost the Musical
January 28-February 9, 2014
Jenkins promised the crowd that in addition to an original pop score by Grammy Award winners Dave Stewart and Glen Ballard and a well-known and beloved plot — based on the 1990 film starring Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore and Whoopi Goldberg — Ghost features some pretty incredible onstage special effects. Holograms especially figure into the plan, so if you were picturing actors running around in sheets ... well, sorry to disappoint.
Disney’s The Little Mermaid
February 13-March 2, 2014
A mix of New York actors and local performers will help tell the story of Ariel, a mermaid who longs to be human. Unlike the original Broadway production, which kept its actors firmly on the “sea floor,” this version will employ flying effects to better create the sensation of being underwater — a “huge undertaking,” admits Jenkins. Another reason to be Dallas proud: We are one of only five cities in America authorized to present this show.
We Will Rock You
March 4-16, 2014
It’s been running for more than 11 years in London’s West End, and it features characters named Britney Spears, Scaramouche and Galileo all struggling to break free in the homogenized future, where self expression is banned and rock music is virtually unknown. Queen’s foot-stomping score and Ben Elton’s clever book have been seen by more than 15 million people worldwide, and now Fair Park will rock too. Killer, no?
The Wizard of Oz
March 18-30, 2014
If you’ve been craving more of L. Frank Baum’s fantastic world since Wicked flew away in May, Andrew Lloyd Webber can help. The Phantom of the Opera impresario has conceived a new production about Dorothy’s journey to Oz, based on the beloved MGM screenplay. New songs by Lloyd Webber and frequent collaborator Tim Rice are peppered in with the movie’s classic tunes.
April 15-27, 2014
Lloyd Webber and Rice make another appearance with their Tony-winning musical about Argentina’s charismatic First Lady, Eva Peron. If you’ve only ever watched Madonna’s film version, do yourself a favor and see this grand, sweeping soap opera onstage. Caroline Bowman, who portrayed the diva known as The Lady of the Lake during Spamalot’s last trek through Dallas, will tackle the role that won Broadway diva Patti LuPone her first Tony Award in 1980.
June 3-15, 2014
“This is probably going to be the last time this is here,” Jenkins cautioned the crowd, who were audibly giddy when Coyle revealed the show’s poster. The ABBA-scored musical is a perennial favorite in this city, and Jenkins confirmed that it’s consistently in the top five of shows DSM audiences want to see again. Featuring songs like “Dancing Queen,” “Take a Chance on Me” and “The Winner Takes It All,” Mamma Mia! pairs chart-topping pop tunes with a fluffy plot set on a Greek island.
Nice Work If You Can Get It
September 2-14, 2014
Matthew Broderick and Broadway sweetheart Kelli O’Hara starred on Broadway in this Gershwin confection about a playboy who falls in love with a bootlegger during Prohibition. Joe DiPietro, of I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change fame, wrote the book, so expect a lot of charming coincidences and quaintly sassy comebacks, all set to classics like “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off” and “Someone to Watch Over Me.”