Theater Critic Picks

These are the 11 can't-miss shows in Dallas theater for December

The 11 can't-miss shows in Dallas theater for December

The Great Distance Home at WaterTower Theatre
Mitchell Stephens and Christopher Llewyn Ramirez in The Great Distance Home at WaterTower Theatre. Photo by Evan Michael Woods
Dallas Summer Musicals presents Irving Berlin's White Christmas
Irving Berlin's White Christmas kicks off Dallas Summer Musicals' new season. Photo by Kevin White
Theatre Britain presents The Three Musketeers
Theatre Britian closes its doors after The Three Musketeers. Photo by Michael Foster
Kitchen Dog Theater presents Trump Lear
Kitchen Dog Theater presents Trump Lear for a few short days only. Photo by Anthony Velez
The King and I national tour
The nation tour of The King and I comes to the Winspear Opera House. Photo courtesy of AT&T Performing Arts Center
How the Grinch Saved Christmas the Musical
How the Grinch Stole Christmas brings the cartoon classic to life onstage at the Winspear. Photo courtesy of
The Great Distance Home at WaterTower Theatre
Dallas Summer Musicals presents Irving Berlin's White Christmas
Theatre Britain presents The Three Musketeers
Kitchen Dog Theater presents Trump Lear
The King and I national tour
How the Grinch Saved Christmas the Musical

It may not be the 12 days of Christmas, but the 11 shows of December have all the variety and (in some cases) musicality you could want. Whether you want a holiday that's glamorous, nostalgic, mysterious, or Shakespearean, it's all here in Dallas this month.

Here are the 11 shows to see, in order by start date:

The Legend of Georgia McBride
Uptown Players, December 1-17
If seeing Kyle Igneczi in drag two years ago whetted your appetite for more, you're in luck. Matthew Lopez's comedy about a failing Elvis impersonator named Casey who stumbles into a new career — and onstage identity — also benefits from the presence of established drag performers Walter Lee and Chris Herrero, and the funny and grounded Sky Williams as Casey's wife.

Black Nativity
Bishop Arts Theatre Center, December 1-17
Now in its 14th year, this seasonal favorite by Langston Hughes is back to present the Christmas story through praise dance, soul-stirring gospel music, poetry, and folk spirituals.

The Three Musketeers
Theatre Britain, December 1-30
This is the final show for Theatre Britain, which is closing up shop after more than two decades as North Texas' main purveyor of panto productions. Jackie Mellor-Guin's melodrama contains all the traditional panto elements: songs, dances, jokes, exaggerated characters, and lots of audience participation. Don't forget to buy an authentic, imported British snack in the lobby while you're there.

The Great Distance Home
WaterTower Theatre, December 4-17
This movement-based, mainly wordless theatrical event was devised by director Kelsey Leigh Ervi and her cast of five, who take the audience on a journey through one man's life. Kelsey Milbourn, Carissa Jade Olsen, Christopher Llewyn Ramirez, Mitchell Stephens, and Garret Storms use props to create everything from speeding cars to soaring mountains.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas
AT&T Performing Arts Center, December 5-17
The beloved cartoon gets the live musical treatment with this stage adaptation, and you may have already spotted the Green One around town (he even paid a visit to Whataburger). If a honey butter chicken biscuit doesn't make someone's heart grow, then there's truly no hope left in the world.

Irving Berlin's White Christmas
Dallas Summer Musicals, December 5-10
Sometimes the closest North Texas gets to snow is this stage adaptation of the cinematic classic, where a pair of Army buddies flirt with two sisters while staging a show at a picturesque Vermont inn. Tony Award-winner Karen Ziemba joins the tour straight from Prince of Broadway on the Great White Way, playing the busybody housekeeper Martha Watson.

Dallas Theater Center, December 6-January 7, 2018
This new comic-drama by Tanya Saracho, a writer for HBO’s Girls and ABC’s How to Get Away with Murder, poses tricky questions about identity and community. Director Christie Vela says of Saracho's play, "Her language sings, and even though Fade takes place in L.A., the play captures the weird poetry of growing up on the Border, specifically in South Texas."

Stand-Up Tragedy
Oak Cliff Cultural Center and Latino Cultural Center, December 7-16
For the first time, two of Dallas' cultural centers are teaming up to produce a professional theatrical production from the ground up, in collaboration with local theater artists Stephanie Cleghorn Jasso and Ruben Carrazana. With a cast of professional actors and local high school students, Bill Cain's play tells the story of a group of young students and the teachers whose job it is to help them graduate. But they all face one seemingly insurmountable obstacle: the statistics that say that most of these kids are not going to make it. 

Trump Lear
Kitchen Dog Theater, December 7-10
Lake Highlands High School graduate David Carl returns in his critically acclaimed solo show, which was created in collaboration with Michole Biancosino and based on William Shakespeare's famous tragedy. Carl channels America's commander in chief, performing a one-man adaptation of King Lear in the work's first showing outside of New York City.

The King and I
AT&T Performing Arts Center, December 19-31
The Lincoln Center Theater production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's lush musical takes audiences to 1860s Bangkok, where a British schoolteacher is tasked with education the King of Siam's numerous children. You'll recognize such tunes as "Getting to Know You," Hello, Young Lovers," "Something Wonderful," and "Shall We Dance?"

A Minor Case of Murder!
Pegasus Theatre, December 29-January 28, 2018
It’s New Year’s Eve, 1933, and world-famous detective and aspiring actor Harry Hunsacker (Scott Nixon), his paid-by-the-hour assistant Nigel Grouse (Ben Bryant), and Lt. Foster (Chad Cline) are celebrating at a swanky nightclub, The Black Diamond. When a fatal shot is fired, Harry faces one of his most puzzling cases ever. Don’t miss the special New Year’s Eve celebration, which comes with champagne, cake, and party favors to ring in 2018.