It was a slight â€” well, not so slight â€” slap in the face of the venerable Dallas Summer Musicals last year when the new Dallas Center for the Performing Arts announced it would not be inviting Dallas’ largest importer of national touring shows, housed at the creaky, acoustically-challenged Fair Park Music Hall, to become a resident company at the soon-to-open Winspear Opera House. Worse, the DCPA would actually compete with the DSM by launching its own series.
Today, that series was formally announced (although through sources, I had learned of three of the shows). And to say it will “compete” with DSM may be something of a misnomer. Only four-shows long, the season includes one play (which MIGHT have made it to part of the DSM’s Broadway Contemporary Series at the Majestic, but had no chance of a Fair Park production), and two musicals that seem, shall we say, outside the DSM’s target demos.
The play is “August: Osage County,” a Pulitzer winner about a family in Oklahoma that’s still scorching up audiences in NYC. Another musical on deck is “Ave Q,” which has been on tour for more than a year and not made it to Dallas, opting instead for Bass Hall in Fort Worth. Chances are it would have been hard to fill a week’s run at the cavernous Music Hall for a puppet show that includes onstage sex and songs about gay love and racism.
Ditto “Spring Awakening,” the edgy Tony winner from a few years ago that deals with burgeoning sexuality and contains songs with titles like “Totally Fucked,” “My Junk” and “The Bitch of Living.”Â
The one show the DSM might have had an interest in is Lincoln Center’s revival of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “South Pacific,” the first such revival of the famed musical ever on B’way … but which I am sure has toured in Dallas in prior incarnations. The tour won’t have the smokin’ gay Brazilian opera star of the NYC production, Paolo Szot, but I want to see it anyway.Â ”SP” will launch the series in December.