Theater Critic Picks
These are the 8 must-see shows in Dallas-Fort Worth theater for July
It finally happened: The heat got to us all. Excuse all of DFW while everyone more or less hibernates for the rest of the summer.
But for those who are brave enough to battle the humidity and heat index, there are some real gems happening onstage this month, from world premieres to hometown celeb concerts to major tours.
In order of start date, here are eight local shows to watch this month:
My Son the Waiter: A Jewish Tragedy
Eisemann Center for the Performing Arts, July 6-30
Paying his dues to stardom, Brad Zimmerman spent 29 years "temporarily" waiting tables in New York, all the while chasing a career in acting and comedy. In My Son the Waiter: A Jewish Tragedy, he delves into the trials and tribulations of being a server, particularly for someone not exactly invested in the career and with little tolerance for persnickety diners. He also tells stories about the pursuit of his passion, along with tales about childhood, family, and his misbegotten love life.
Major Attaway: The Genie's Jukebox
Theatre Arlington, July 7-8
Whether you know him from Disney's Aladdin on Broadway, Orange is the New Black on Netflix, One Piece, Borderlands 3, or his numerous credits as a director and actor at Theatre Arlington, Major Attaway is a star. For two nights only, he'll present his cabaret The Genie's Jukebox, an homage to his record-breaking run as the Genie in Aladdin.
The Watering Hole Collective, July 12-22
This new production company — which is entirely funded by donations and grants — is doing the Duncan Sheik musical Spring Awakening at Arts Mission Oak Cliff. Based on the groundbreaking and controversial 1891 German play by Frank Wedekind, the musical tells the story of teenagers discovering the inner and outer tumult of adolescent sexuality set to a contemporary pop-rock score. Partial ticket sales will benefit local nonprofits working in sex education, teen mental health, and with LGBTQIA+ youth.
WaterTower Theatre, July 19-30
This world premiere is a brand-new musical filled with Hollywood glamour, romance, and intrigue. Have you ever wished you were born in a different time? Alice Chandler did. Alice does not feel like she belongs in the 21st century, but she never dreamed that while at lunch with her best friend and writing partner, Garson Stein, a magical birthday wish would find them both instantly transported back in time to 1949 Hollywood. Alice and Garson land smack in the golden age of movie musicals, where they land their dream job writing for L. B. Mayer at MGM and are surrounded by glittering stars of Hollywood, but they soon see that under all the glamour lies a studio system crumbling, the blacklist threatening their closest allies, and their eyes are opened to Hollywood’s darker side.
Amphibian Stage, July 21-August 13
This new comedy from Christine Carmela is an homage to Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, offering the same humor and charm of Wilde’s work while incorporating modern references and exploring queer themes (an act punishable by law during Wilde’s lifetime). It's directed by Evan Michael Woods, Carmela's roommate at TCU when she first drafted the play.
The Book of Mormon
Broadway at the Bass, July 28-30
This nine-time Tony Award-winning Best Musical is an outrageous comedy that follows the misadventures of a mismatched pair of missionaries, sent halfway across the world to spread the Good Word.
Chicken & Biscuits
Uptown Players, July 28-August 13
Written by Douglas Lyons, Chicken & Biscuits follows rivaling sisters Baneatta and Beverly as they try to bury their father without killing each other. Baneatta’s husband tries to mediate the family drama while preparing Bernard’s eulogy. Baneatta’s son intentionally brings his neurotic white Jewish boyfriend along, knowing Baneatta disapproves. All while Beverly’s nosy daughter keeps asking questions no one wants to answer. But when a family secret reveals itself at the altar, the two sisters are faced with a truth that could either heal — or break them.
Hip Pocket Theatre, July 28-August 20
First produced in New York City by La Mama ETC in 2009, this show then received two grants from the Jim Henson Foundation and was reprised on the Hip Pocket stage with the original New York cast. A reimagining of the original production, the show is presented as a series of poetic vignettes about animals, people, and objects that transform from one plane to another. Their stories come to life through puppetry, mask, movement, film, and live music.