Lose weight. Stop smoking. See a play?
Commitments you can keep: 5 New Year's theater resolutions
Some New Year’s resolutions you’re never going to keep (ahem, losing those pesky 10 pounds), but others are surprisingly easy to accomplish. Perhaps instead of vowing for the umpteenth time that you’re finally going to fit into your high school jeans, use this year as a chance to expand your cultural horizons by trying one — or all — of these theater resolutions.
1. Discover a new theater company
You might be familiar with the big names (you know, the ones that can afford billboards and major advertising campaigns), but DFW is flush with smaller theater companies that often do excellent and challenging work. On The Eve, a new rock musical about “the almost entirely true story of Marie Antoinette and the first time-traveling hot air balloon,” recently proved a gargantuan success for Nouveau 47 Theater and Spacegrove Productions.
A show produced by one of these less-publicized companies is usually not only a cheaper option and more intimate experience, but it also makes you look like someone “in the know.” And don’t we all want to be trendsetters?
2. Indulge in a guilty pleasure
Theater doesn’t always have to be a serious endeavor. Dallas Summer Musicals’ upcoming season is a roster of familiar titles (Wicked, Sister Act, The Lion King), most of them beloved musicals that have visited Dallas before and/or have been adapted from popular films.
There’s no shame in attending a musical based on a cult flick; Bring It On: The Musical surprised the heck out of me by being one of the most energetic and entertaining shows I saw this past year. Crowd pleasers are called so for a reason.
3. See something you know nothing about
There’s a certain thrill that comes from going into a show blind. Sure, the play may turn out to be a turkey, but there’s also a very good chance you might discover something amazing that you otherwise wouldn’t have considered.
This coming year, Dallas Theater Center is premiering Fly, a new musical based on J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan, and Fly By Night, a rock musical co-written by Kim Rosenstock, one of the staff writers for Fox’s hit comedy New Girl. Both shows have accessible entry points but promise new and exciting destinations.
4. Attend a festival
Each March, WaterTower Theatre sponsors the Out of the Loop Fringe Festival, a collection of locally produced plays, musicals, dance performances and visual art displays. Often smaller in scale and time commitment, these bite-sized shows provide an astonishing bang for your buck over the two weeks, making it easy to while away a Saturday dropping in and out of vividly different performances.
Kitchen Dog Theater's annual New Play Festival and the Festival of Independent Theatres are other examples of dramatic potpourri, the latter giving smaller companies a month in the summer to produce new, seldom-seen or avant-garde works at the Bath House Cultural Center.
5. Introduce someone else to live theater
Whether it's a youngster you're accompanying to Dallas Children's Theater or Pocket Sandwich Theatre, or a more mature individual who's tagging along for anything from Shakespeare's greatest hits to a grand musical at the Winspear to an experimental play downtown, it's hard to beat a first-timer's reaction.
Live theater is immediate. Being a part of that exhilarating give-and-take is a wondrous experience. It doesn't matter what kind of theater you see in 2013 — what matters is that you see something.