Planning your year in entertainment: North Texas arts groups kick off their seasons, and there’s plenty of gay to go around
Theater seasons traditionally start in the fall, though in the modern era, it’s often a year-round consideration. Still, many arts groups (including dance, music and opera) will begin their seasons between now and December.
To help you plan your season subscriptions, as well as your vacations, we offer this comprehensive directory (even pointing out the gay stuff!) for the major arts organizations in North Texas, in order of their season launches:
The Uptown troupe actually starts its season every year mid-summer; it’s now running So Help Me God! as its inaugural show of its current season. It will follow that with a spate of gayish shows, including Assassins by Stephen Sondheim (Sept. 26–Oct. 27), Other Desert Cities by gay playwright Jon Robin Baitz (Nov. 21–Dec. 15), On the Eve (Jan. 16–Feb. 9), Less Than Kind by gay writer Terrence Rattigan (March 6–30), Seminar by Smash creator Theresa Rebeck (April 24–May 18), and By the Way, Meet Vera Stark (June 19–July 13). Theatre3Dallas.com.
Lexus Broadway Series.
The series began just this week with The Book of Mormon (running through Sept. 1), and will be followed by Peter and the Starcatcher (Sept. 17–29), Porgy and Bess (Dec. 12–22), Godspell (Feb. 18–March 2) and Beauty and the Beast (April 15–27). ATTPAC.org.
Lyric Stage. North Texas’ most aggressive producer of musicals returns in three weeks, launching its season with The Sound of Music (Sept. 6–15) at the Irving Arts Center. It will then move down to the Dallas City Performance Hall for the limited-run production of Nine (Nov. 8–9), followed by a concert version of The Desert Song (Jan. 23–26, back in Irving), the world premiere of Blue Roses (Feb. 7–23), and concluding with Jerry Herman’s bombastic treat Mame (June 12–33). LyricStage.org.
The Deep Ellum troupe starts off with Profanity by trans playwright Sylvan Oswald (Sept. 10–Oct. 12), followed by Abraham Zobell’s Home Movie: Final Reel (Jan.15–Feb. 1), We Are Proud to Present a Presentation… (March 19–April 19) and an as-yet-unnamed spring production, as well as its 30th anniversary gala on April 7. Undermain.org.
Dallas Theater Center.
The gay-run DTC begins its season with the classic by lesbian playwright Lorraine Hansberry, A Raisin in the Sun (Sept. 13–Oct. 27), which will play in repertory with the unofficial sequel to Raisin, the Tony-winning Clybourne Park. Oedipus el Rey (Jan. 16–March 2), The Fortress of Solitude (March 7–April 6) from gay composer Michael Freeman, Sherlock Holmes: A Final Adventure (April 25–May 25), and closes with Les Miserables (June 27–Aug. 10). The annual holiday show A Christmas Carol will return to the Arts District for the first time in nearly a decade, with an all-new adaptation (Nov. 21–Dec. 24). DallasTheaterCenter.org.
Theatre Arlington. This company’s unexpectedly gay-friendly 41st season begins with the musical Altar Boyz (Sept. 13–Oct. 6), followed by Of Mice and Men (Oct. 25–Nov. 10), A Tuna Christmas (Dec. 6–22), Enchanted April (Jan. 17–Feb. 2), the gay drama Doubt (March 28–April 13), Nunsense (May. 9–June 1), The Three Musketeers (July 11–20) and finally The Nerd (Aug. 8–24). TheatreArlington.com.
Kitchen Dog Theater.
The Uptown troupe’s season starts a bit late this year, with the timely titled Detroit in the lead-off spot (Sept. 27–Oct. 26). It will be quickly followed by David Mamet’s controversial Race (Nov. 14–Dec. 14), The Motherfucker with the Hat (Feb. 14–March 15), Gidion’s Knot, which deals with bullying (March 28–April 26) and concluding with its New Works Fest (May 23–June 21). KitchenDogTheater.org.
WaterTower Theatre, the gay-run company in Addison, launches with Hank Williams: Lost Highway (Oct. 11–Nov. 3), followed by the Sherlock Holmes romp The Game’s Afoot (Dec. 13–Jan. 5), The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (Jan. 24–Feb. 12), Spunk (April 11–May 4) by gay director/playwright George C. Wolfe, Good People (June 6–29) and the new musical Dogfight (July 25–Aug. 17) by gay composer Benj Pasek. A bonus holiday production in the Studio Theatre will be the very gay Santaland Diaries (Dec. 13–29). In March, the company will also stage the 11-day Out of the Loop Fringe Festival, which always has a lot of queer content. WaterTowerTheatre.org.
Gay-centric MBS begins its 10th season, as always, with a creepy production just in time for Halloween. This year is the return of Dante: Inferno (Oct. 17–Nov. 3), a sexy tour through hell. That will be followed (once again, per tradition) with the equally gay Xmas show The Beaulaville Baptist Book Club Presents: A Bur-Less-Q Nutcracker! (Nov. 23–Dec. 29), then a series of premieres and company revivals: Marianla (Feb. 6–22), Stainless (Apr. 3–26), John XII (May 29–June 29) and The Straight Guy (July 17–Aug. 10). MBSProductions.net.
Broadway at the Bass.
The Forth Worth tour series includes Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (Nov. 19–24) as its only fall show, then starts 2014 with Ghost the Musical (Feb. 11–16), I Love Lucy Live Onstage (March 11–16), Stomp (Apr. 8–13), Jersey Boys (June 3–15), and the recent Broadway hit Nice Work If You Can Get It (Sept. 16–21), penned by gay Tony winner Joe DiPietro (Memphis). In addition, its specialized series will include Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding (Oct. 23–27), a one-night-only performances of American Idiot (March 19) and Forbidden Broadway (March 27). BassHall.com.
Dallas Summer Musicals’
recently-announced season begins just in time for the holidays with White Christmas (Dec. 17–29), followed in 2014 by Ghost The Musical (Jan. 28–Feb. 9), The Little Mermaid — written by Dallas’ own Doug Wright (see story on Page S2) (Feb. 13–March 2), We Will Rock You (March 4–16), The Wizard of Oz, featuring new songs by Webber and Rice (March 18–30), Evita (April 15–27), Mamma Mia! (June 3–15), and it will beat Bass to the punch by two weeks with Nice Work If You Can Get It (Sept. 2–14). It will also produce two bonus shows this fall: The Lord of the Rings In Concert (Nov. 8–10) and Rain (Nov. 23–24). DallasSummerMusicals.org.
Some companies follow a calendar-year season. Here are some of the highlights of those — which are pretty gay.
Uptown Players’ just-announced 2014 season brings them back to the Kalita Humphreys Theater in 2014 — with no planned detour to the Rose Room. The season will include the regional premiere of the recent Tony Award winner for best play, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (Feb. 14–March 9), followed by a revival of their hit Pageant (March 28–April 13), the comedy-drama The Lyons (May 2–18) and the regional premiere of the musical The Boy from Oz (July 25–Aug. 10). The season kicks off with the bonus fundraiser, Broadway Our Way (Jan. 17–26), and the Pride Performing Arts Festival will move from Dallas Pride in September to June, coinciding with National Pride Month, with Soho Cinders as its mainstage production (June 13–22). It will also co-produce, with the TCC, a concert version of Sweeney Todd (see below). UptownPlayers.org.
Contemporary Theatre of Dallas starts its season Jan. 24 with the musical Working, directed by Michael Serrecchia. That’s followed by The Diviners directed by Rene Moreno (April 4–27), Noises Off directed by Robin Armstrong (June. 6–29), Sweet Sue directed by Sharon Benge (Aug. 15–Sept. 7) and concluding with Little Women, with Serrecchia again directing (Oct. 10–Nov. 2). ContemporaryTheatreOfDallas.com.
Ballet and Dance
TITAS: It begins its dance-centric season next month with Jessica Lang Dance (Sept. 14), followed by: Scrap•Arts•Music (Nov. 22), Pilobolus (Jan. 17–18), Alonso King LINES Ballet (Jan. 25), Kibbutz Contemporary Dance (March 1), the very gay Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carol (April 4–5), Motionhouse (April 12–13), Mark Morris Dance Group (May 10) and Shen Wei Dance Arts (June 19). In addition will be the annual Command Performance Gala (May 3). ATTPAC.org.
Dallas Black Dance Theatre: Kicks off its season — its final with founder Ann Williams at the helm — with DanceAfrica, Oct. 4–5. It will conclude with the spring celebration May 16–17, 2014. DBDT.com.
Texas Ballet Theater: Once again, the Fort Worth-based troupe will spend most of its time at Bass Hall, with certain performances of The Nutcracker also at the Winspear. It starts with Romeo & Juliet (Oct. 18–20) before the holiday fave The Nutcracker (Nov. 29–Dec. 27) as well as the campy The Nutty Nutcracker (Dec. 20), Serenade & Gloria (Feb. 28–March 2) and finally Swan Lake (May 30–June 1). TexasBalletTheater.org.
Music and Opera
Dallas Symphony Orchestra. The DSO breaks down its season into several series: classical, pops, family and chamber. Its inaugural concert will be classical, with Tchaikovsky’s Fifth (Sept. 19–22), followed by pops on Oct. 4 (An Evening of Gershwin), family (Oct. 27, with a Halloween theme) and chamber next spring. DallasSymphony.com.
Turtle Creek Chorale. Dallas’ gay men’s chorus kicks off its 34th season with gay cabaret regular (and Sirius XM star) Seth Rudetsky doing his Deconstructing Broadway show, where he looks into the making of a showtune (Oct. 20). That’s followed in December by the one-two punch of the traditional holiday concert in repertory with the “naughty and nice” version (Dec. 12–21). In the spring, Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd will be mounted in concert with Uptown Players (April 24–26), followed by Divas Gone … But Not Forgotten (June 20–22). In addition, the TCC Chamber Chorus will perform Remembering JFK, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the president’s assassination in Dealey Plaza (Nov. 10). TurtleCreek.org.
Dallas Opera. The full four-opera season, tagged with the theme By Love Transformed, doesn’t even include all the additional shows and community interactions the company has planned. It begins with Bizet’s Carmen (Oct. 25–Nov. 10), which was to be directed by gay stage director Bliss Hebert; he withdrew for personal reasons last month. But never fear: The role of Remendado will be played by out tenor Chris Alexander. Also up: Death and the Powers by modernist composer Tod Machover (Feb. 2–16) and directed by recent Tony winner Diane Paulus; Die Tot Stadt by Erich Wolfgang Korngold (March 21–April 6); and The Barber of Seville, based on an original production by gay stage director John Copley. (March 28–April 13). DallasOpera.org
TITAS: It’s only music offering this year, as it transitions into more dance-centric programming, is an evening of the music of Philip Glass (Feb. 24). ATTPAC.org.
The Women’s Chorus of Dallas: See season and anniversary preview
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition August 23, 2013.