Two world premiere musicals (one written locally), a stage version of a beloved gay film, a Bruce Coleman original and the return of a fan favorite are among the shows debuting in September during Uptown Players’ inaugural Pride Performing Arts Festival.
In its 10 seasons, Uptown Players has moved from producing four shows a year in the 120-seat KD Theatre to being the resident company in the famed 440-seat Kalita Humphreys Theater (producing local premieres of hits like Next to Normal), in addition to mounting bonus shows in places like The Rose Room. Last year, the gay-run company announced that it would premiere its first festival of plays during Dallas Pride in September.
Check out the line-up for the festival below.
• Crazy Just Like Me — Already announced, this new musical from Drew Gasparini and Louis Sacco about three queer friends navigating love will receive its world premiere here. (Main Stage, Sept. 9, 11, 14 and 16 at 7:30 p.m.)
• From Chopin to Show-tunes — A one-night-only cabaret style musical performance from regular Uptown music directors Adam C. Wright and Kevin Gunter, who will play everything from classical to Broadway showstoppers. (Main Stage, Sept. 13 at 7:30 p.m.)
• Amy Armstrong and Freddy Allen — The closing night performance is this music and comedy act famed for their RSVP Cruise performances. (Main Stage, Sept. 17 at 8:30 p.m.)
• The Facts of Life: The Lost Episode (pictured) — The return of a bonus show that played at the Rose Room in 2008, this parody of the cheesy 1980s sitcom features the original Uptown cast of Paul J. Williams, Kevin Moore, Chad Peterson and Chris Robinson. (Frank’s Place, Sept. 9 and 14 at 8 p.m., Sept. 10 at 9:30 p.m.)
• Beautiful Thing — Jonathan Harvey’s stage version of his acclaimed British film about young men in working class England who tenderly come out and find romance; B.J. Cleveland directs. The performance will benefit Youth First Texas. (Main Stage, Sept. 10 at 15 at 7:30 p.m., Sept. 17 at 2 p.m.)
• The New Century — Another comedy from Paul Rudnick (Jeffrey, Regrets Only, I Hate Hamlet), starring Paul J. Williams and Marisa Diotalevi. (Frank’s Place, Sept. 10 at 3 p.m., Sept. 11 at 5:30 p.m. and Sept. 17 at 4 p.m.)
• The Last Sunday in June — A comedy about a gay couple who are transformed during a Gay Day celebration during Pride. (Frank’s Place, Sept. 13 and 15 at 8 p.m.)
• Asher TX ’82 — Local theater workhorse Bruce C. Coleman (busy as a costume designer, director and sometime actor) debuts his newest play as a writer, this one-act set in a small town in Texas where teens are bullied for being, well, you know. Asher TX will be presented along with two other short plays, both by Allan Baker: Click, about two guys seeking an online hook-up; and A Midsummer Night’s Conversation, in which a new gay couple face a hurdle in their young relationship. (Frank’s Place, Sept. 11 at 2 p.m. and Sept. 17 at 6 p.m.)
A Taste of Beauty — A word-in-progress musical by locals Adam C. Wright, Jeff Kinman and John de los Santos gets its world premiere reading. (Frank’s Place, Sept. 10 at 6 p.m., Sept. 11 at 8 p.m.)
Last Summer at Bluefish Cove — A milestone of lesbian theater, directed by Cheryl Denson. (Frank’s Place, Sept. 12 at 7:30 p.m., Sept. 16 at 8 p.m.)
The festival runs Sept. 9–17. All performances take place at the Kalita, either on the Main Stage or the upstairs Frank’s Place. Prices range from $10 to $20 per show, or a festival pass can be purchased for $50. UptownPlayers.org.