Theater Critic Picks
You'll going to be doing a lot of traveling this month, as the shows to see span Dallas and Fort Worth but also extend out to include Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York City. A few of the plays are touring, so if one really hits your hot button then you're in luck: you can play groupie.
Here are the 12 shows to see, in order by start date:
Performing Arts Fort Worth, August 1-6
Famous singer Deborah Cox plays a famous singer in this stage adaptation, which is based on the popular film of the same name that starred famous singer Whitney Houston. The musical has shifted the focus from the bodyguard himself to the woman he's assigned to protect, and incorporates even more of Houston's chart-topping songs such as "So Emotional" and "How Will I Know?"
Theatre Three, August 3-27
Jeffrey Schmidt has said that as soon as he read Anna Ziegler's play, he knew it had to be in his first season as T3's new artistic director. It's "storytelling at its best," a riff on ancient Greek mythology that's set in the present and uses a chorus made up of, literally, a lawyer, a priest, and a rabbi. When Ariadne visits her half-brother, the beastly Minotaur, she and the hero Theseus try to break the shackles of their own destinies.
Lenny Bruce Is Back
Upstart Productions, August 4-11
Joey Folsom portrays the controversial comic and satirist Lenny Bruce in this one-man show written by Sam Bobrick and Julie Stein. Folsom, who is Upstart's artistic director, will also be taking the bad boy on the road, beginning here at Dallas Comedy House and Viva's Lounge and then on to Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York City. The performances at Viva's Lounge also include tabled seating, themed drinks, a full bar, burlesque entertainment, and a pay-what-you-can admission policy.
The Great American Sideshow
Cry Havoc Theater and Kitchen Dog Theater, August 4-12
In this political allegory, Otto Barron is the new owner of The American Sideshow and along with his advisor, Narcissa, and mouthpiece, Birdie, Otto sets out to sow discord and wreak havoc all in the name of making the sideshow great again. All performances are at the Trinity River Arts Center.
All About Bette: An Interlude with Bette Davis
Starlight Entertainment, August 11-26
Fasten your seatbelts for what's sure to be a bumpy night, as Dallas actor Morgana Shaw becomes screen legend Bette Davis in Camilla Carr's one-woman play. After a short but successful run in June at the Margo Jones Theatre in Fair Park, the show is now playing Stage West in Fort Worth for August 11-12 and then the Stone Cottage in Addison August 18-26.
Boy Gets Girl
Proper Hijinx, Resolute Theatre Project, and L.I.P. Service Productions, August 11-27
Three independent theater companies joined together to produce Rebecca Gilman's play, which explores what happens when a man doesn't take no for an answer in a world where a woman is supposed to be nice and never say "no." It's unsettling, to say the least. All performances take place at Amy’s Studio of Performing Arts on Marsh Lane in Dallas.
Circle Theatre, August 17-September 16
In David Lindsay-Abaire’s new high-stakes comedy, a seemingly harmless bet made between two residents of the Bristol Place Assisted Living Facility becomes a risky game of one-upmanship. Robin Armstrong directs a cast that include such DFW favorites as Lois Sonnier Hart, Clint Gilbert, Jeff Burleson, and Deborah Brown.
One-Minute Play Festival
Kitchen Dog Theater, August 19-21
Back for its fourth year, this weekend event showcases 80 original one-minute plays by 35 local playwrights, utilizing 10 directors and 60 actors. You never know what to expect, which is half the fun.
Ochre House Theater, August 19-September 9
Longtime Ochre House collaborator Carla Parker has penned her first show, and not only is she behind the words in the script and the lyrics to the original live music, but she's also directing. Navigate the world of children's television through the eyes of a religious zealot in this spirited and dark musical comedy.
The Royal Society of Antarctica
Stage West, August 24-September 24
A young woman seeking to understand her mother’s disappearance joins the ranks of a ragtag group of misfits and scientists who serve at McMurdo Station in Antarctica. Amidst janitorial duties, never-ending daylight, and subzero temperatures, this lonely and rugged bunch finds an escape from the world and a home for each other.
The Tribute Artist
Uptown Players, August 25-September 10
To close its 16th season, Uptown Players has the regional premiere of this Charles Busch farce. An out-of-work female impersonator (Coy Covington) assumes the role of his elderly landlady when she dies in her sleep, in order to hang on to her valuable Greenwich Village townhouse. Of course, things do not go as planned.
Dallas Theater Center, August 30-October 1
In the Wyly Studio Theatre, you'll find Boo Killebrew's story of one family that falling apart as the country attempts to come together in the 1960s and '70s Deep South. Lee Sunday Evans directs the first show of Dallas Theater Center's 2017-18 season.