If there's a theme to this month's shows, it's fright. After all, there's nothing scarier than a serial killer, the devil himself, and visiting family members. But don't worry if you're easily scared — there are also a couple of shows that don't conjure up the Halloween heebie-jeebies, so there's something onstage for everyone in October.
Creep, October 2-25
Donald Fowler has been working on his Jack the Ripper-inspired musical for years, which is no small feat for someone who is not classically trained and cannot read or play music. Fowler, a one-time Dallas actor who now heads up the hip design store Nest, enlisted local music-man-about-town Adam C. Wright to help him bring this dark and haunting story to life, and after several workshops the show is getting a splashy premiere at WaterTower Theatre. A bevy of hot DFW talent is also featured, from Janelle Lutz and Sarah Elizabeth Smith to Jonathan Bragg and Calvin Scott Roberts.
Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill, October 2-November 1
Audra McDonald earned acclaim (and her sixth Tony Award) playing Billie Holiday in this recreated concert given just four month before the legendary songstress' death. We're lucky enough to have Denise Lee around to pin up the flower and bring down the house as Lady Day, who shares tantalizing snippets from the icon's life in between a dozen of her most famous songs.
blu, October 3-18
Cara Mia Theatre Co.
Cara Mia has been making a push to produce new work, and its latest offering is Virginia Grise's blu. The native Texan playwright combines spoken word and hip hop into an epic poem about a queer Xicana couple raising a family under the specter of gang warfare.
Dear Liar!, October 8-24
WingSpan Theatre Company
It's always so fun to watch smart people banter, especially when those people are famed playwright George Bernard Shaw and the actress Mrs. Patrick Campbell. Shaw wrote the role of Eliza Doolittle in Pygmalion for his muse, and it sparked a 40-year correspondence between the two playwright Jerome Kilty used as the basis for Dear Liar!.
Faust, October 9-24
The Drama Club
This actor-driven company may have been quiet for a while, but it's roaring back onto the scene with an adaptation of that man vs. devil tale, Faust. Cameron Cobb joins Lydia Mackay, Drew Wall, and a handful of other local talent for what looks like will be a thrilling production at Bryant Hall.
Harbor, October 9-25
Chad Beguelin may be more closely associated with family fare (he wrote the book for Disney's Aladdin and the lyrics for Broadway's Elf), but he gets a little naughtier with Harbor. Kevin's perfect life becomes tumultuous when his sister and her teenage daughter descend on his Sag Harbor home, throwing domestic life with his husband Ted into disarray. The spectacularly talented young Kennedy Waterman, a phenom from Fun House Theatre and Film, makes her Uptown debut as the daughter.
A Divine Evening with Charles Busch, October 29-31
Off Broadway on Flora
The drag legend Charles Busch is not only a revered performer, but also a Tony Award-winning playwright. Those talents ensure that his solo cabaret at the Wyly Theatre will be not only fantastically entertaining, but also supported by expert storytelling as he shares personal anecdotes from his career through song and patter.
Grand Hotel, October 30-November 8
The glamor of 1920s Berlin comes to Irving with this adaptation of the popular novel, stage play, and film, the latter of which starred Greta Garbo and Joan Crawford. At Lyric, we get such regulars as Andy Baldwin and Christopher J. Deaton, both of whom turned in strong performances in the recent Into The Woods. Len Pfluger also returns, following up his success with South Pacific by directing and choreographing this musical.