Theater Critic Picks
These are the 13 can't-miss shows in Dallas-Fort Worth theater for April
New, fresh vibes are all over the place this month, especially when it comes to theater. Expect lots of new works, regional premieres, and even a fun riff on a theatrical juggernaut.
In order of start date, here are 13 local shows to watch this month:
Junie B. Jones is Not a Crook
Casa Mañana, through April 9
Something terrible happened to Junie B Jones at school today: someone stole her new furry mittens! When Junie B. finds a wonderful pen of many colors, she should be allowed to keep it, right? Because finders keepers, losers weepers. And guess what? There’s a new boy in kindergarten and he is the handsomest. The only thing is both Grace and Lucille want him to be their boyfriend. Maybe he will love Junie B. when he sees her wonderful pen. It is okay to keep it, right? Junie B. Jones is not a crook … or is she? Based on the best-selling book series by Barbara Park, this show is suitable for all audiences.
Circle Theatre, through April 15
The Mountaintop is a gripping re-imagination of events the night before the assassination of the civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. On April 3, 1968, after delivering one of his most memorable speeches, an exhausted Dr. King retires to his room at the Lorraine Motel while a storm rages outside. When a mysterious stranger arrives with some surprising news, King is forced to confront his destiny and his legacy to his people.
Broadway at the Center, April 6-8
From the Tony Award-winning creators of the Broadway classic Ragtime, Anastasia transports us from the twilight of the Russian Empire to the euphoria of Paris in the 1920s as a brave young woman sets out to discover the mystery of her past. Pursued by a ruthless Soviet officer determined to silence her, Anya enlists the aid of a dashing conman and a lovable ex-aristocrat. Together, they embark on an epic adventure to help her find home, love, and family.
The Butterfly's Evil Spell
Theatre Three, April 6-30
In a whimsical world of beetles, scorpions, and bugs of all sorts, a beetle falls in love with an injured butterfly. An "insect comedy" written in verse, The Butterfly’s Evil Spell is a story about unrequited love in a “green and humble meadow” covered in dewdrops on the side of the road in South Texas.
A Light in Dark Places
Bath House Cultural Center, April 7-15
This is the return of five short plays working together to break down the stigma surrounding the topic of suicide, using a mix of comedy and drama to encourage healthy discussion, create community, and offer hope to those affected. Performances will be followed by a Q&A featuring members of the ALIDP team and mental health professionals, as well as a reception.
Into the Woods
Dallas Theater Center, April 7-30
The enchanted story begins with the Baker and his wife and their desire for a child. When they engage with the vengeful Witch, the adventure brings childhood storybook characters Cinderella, Jack, Rapunzel, a Wolf, giant, and of course a charming prince, "into the woods" for an incredible journey.
He's Born, He's Borne
Undermain Theatre, April 12-30
He's Born, He's Borne explores a primitive, medieval world which exists outside of actual human history. The inhabitants of this world are agrarian peasants who work the land, and are all too human in their battles to live in spite of their superstitions and struggles. When a young child falls from a tree, the angel of death comes to claim him for the underworld.
Spamilton: An American Parody
Casa Mañana, through April 14
Gerard Alessandrini, the comic mastermind behind the long-running hit Forbidden Broadway, has done it again with a side-splitting new musical parody of Broadway's biggest historical hit ever. Spamilton: An American Parody is the story of a very famous writer/director/star trying to save Broadway from mediocrity and oblivion. Along the way this sharp and lovable genius not only takes aim at Broadway's mega-hit, but manages to make hysterical mince meat out of all current and classic Broadway, plus a good deal of pop culture, too.
Cara Mia Theatre, April 15-30
This new bilingual play, created in collaboration with Mexico City’s Laboratorio de la Máscara, tells the immigrant story of a teenager sent by her family to live with her father in the United States. Featuring masks, movement, and original music by Peruvian composer Fabricio Cavero, Orígenes/Origins will be performed mostly in Spanish with English supertitles.
Broadway Dallas, April 18-30
Tootsie is a laugh-out-loud love letter to the theater, based on the Oscar-nominated film. It tells the story of Michael Dorsey, a talented but difficult actor who struggles to find work until one show-stopping act of desperation lands him the role of a lifetime. It features a Tony-winning book by Robert Horn and an outrageously clever score by 2018 Tony winner David Yazbek.
The Manic Monologues
WaterTower Theatre, April 19-30
When creator Zack had his first psychotic break and was diagnosed with bipolar in May 2017, he was just finishing his PhD at Stanford University — and his world imploded. Would mental illness dictate his whole life? Would everything change? Zack was underwater, and his then-girlfriend Elisa (and future co-creator) had no way of knowing whether her happy, gregarious partner-in-crime would ever resurface. This series of vignettes is having its regional premiere here.
The Tucker New Works Project
Soul Rep Theatre Company, April 22
Celebrating the legacy of Dianne Tucker, these commissioned new works include a world premiere by Erin Malone and a staged reading directed by Anyika McMillan-Herod.
Amphibian Stage, April 27-May 7
Baba chronicles the tender, funny, and complex relationship between a newly immigrated father and his U.S.-born daughter. Freedom and family collide when Mohammad’s search for the American dream leads Layla on a quest home to Egypt 30 years after the story begins.