Plan your (night)life

Posted on 14 Aug 2015 at 6:00am

We narrow down a year’s worth of performing arts into one fantastic events calendar


Charles Busch


The arts community in North Texas is a thriving one — not only the museums and galleries, theaters and stages, but sometimes the city itself. (Remember the NasherX two years ago?)

Well, we’ve curated this list of the best of the best. Culled from all the as-yet-announced arts events planned around the Metroplex from now until next year, we found the likely standouts, from exhibits to dance to opera and theater.

We’ve broken it down chronologically so you can plan ahead; it’s a bit top-heavy in the fall, but remember: New events are always added, so there will be tons more coming as the year progresses.

Moonshine: That Hee Haw Musical at the Wyly Theatre, Sept. 2–Oct. 11. It may sound cornpone, but this world premiere promises to be a slightly subversive and tunefully funny updating of the rural-minded variety show, with a largely gay creative team behind the scenes and American Idol runner-up Justin Guarini onstage. Presented by the Dallas Theater Center.

Twyla Tharp Dance’s 50th Anniversary Tour at the Winspear Opera House, Sept. 18–19. The famed choreographer launches her sixth decade as a premier figure in dance with this colorful celebration of her life’s achievements. Presented by TITAS.

Creep at the Addison Theatre Centre, Oct. 2–25. Local actor Donald Fowler surprised a lot of people five years ago when he announced he’d spent years writing and composing a musical based on the Jack the Ripper legacy. After several workshop presentations, the dark, Sweeney Todd-like musical finally receives its world premiere, courtesy of WaterTower Theatre.

Aurora in Dallas’ Arts District, Oct. 16. It’s been two years since the last Aurora, a spectacular display of light that turned the Arts District into a beacon of colorful displays. The huge undertaking returns for one-night-only. And it’s free.

Maid Marian in a Stolen Car at the Eisemann Center for Performing Arts, Oct. 22–25. One of our all-time favorites, legendary Texas actor and playwright Jaston Williams (the Tuna plays) returns to North Texas with this new one-man show.

A Divine Evening with Charles Busch at City Performance Hall, Oct. 29–31. More than one evening, actually — the actor, director and playwright (Red Scare on Sunset, Die, Mommie! Die!) appears for three consecutive performances of dragtastic stories, courtesy of AT&T PAC’s Off Broadway On Flora Series.

Great Scott at the Winspear Opera House, Oct. 30–Nov. 15. North Texans will be gifted by one of the most promising seasons in Dallas Opera history, which includes three world premieres and one first-ever musical in the lineup, and it all gets going with the much-anticipated, new Texas-set opera from gay composer Jake Heggie and librettist Terrence McNally set in the world of sports.

Dixie’s Never Wear a Tubetop While Riding a Mechanical Bull (and 16 Other Things I Learned While I Was Drinking Last Thursday) at McDavid Studio, Nov. 11–22. We broke the news last spring about this all-new solo show from Tupperware lady Dixie Longate, and based on the title, it sounds perfect for Texas audiences. Presented by Performing Arts Fort Worth.


Jaston Williams

The Bridges of Madison County at Fair Park Music Hall, Feb. 2–14. The Tony Award winner for best score two seasons ago, this was not a big hit so this might be a rare chance to see the musical based on the hokey hit novel. Presented by Dallas Summer Musicals.

Long Day’s Journey Into Night at Undermain Theater, Feb. 10–March 16, 2016. One of theater’s enduring masterpieces of drama is this last play from Eugene O’Neill, a towering achievement that is rarely revived. Undermain seems ideally suited to tackle this one.

Ballet Boyz at the Winspear Opera House, Feb. 13. We’d be lying if just the concept of this company — an all-male troupe of ballet dances — didn’t intrigue us a little. But anything TITAS presents usually impresses and intrigues us.

Heroes at the City Performance Hall, March 31–April 2. The Turtle Creek Chorale’s upcoming season looks promising, and none of the productions more so than this one, which includes a tribute to bullied gay college student TylerClementi. But the program also includes tributes to local heroes.

Show Boat at the Winspear Opera House, April 15–May 1. We admit it: The decision by the Dallas Opera to mount its first outright musical — even one as sweeping and operatic as the Jerome Kern–Oscar Hammerstein one here — has us giddy with excitement. Three words: Old. Man, River.

JFK at Bass Performance Hall, April 24–May 8. Gay librettist Royce Vavrek teams with composer David T. Little for this world premiere opera, set in a Cowtown hotel the night before JFK’s assassination.

New Works Festival at the Green Zone, May 20–June 25. There’s a lot of change going on at Kitchen Dog Theater this year, as the Uptown-based company moved out of the McKinney Avenue Contemporary for the first time in 20 years and settled into new, if temporary, digs in the Design District. (Welcome, neighbors!) But as always, the New Works Festival presents an excellent chance for us to sample great up-and-coming plays.

Uptown Players’ season at the Kalita Humpreys Theater: Mothers and Sons, It’s Only a Play and The Toxic Avenger (exclusive announcement). We’re playing favorites, here. In addition to three earlier-in-the year presentations we’re looking forward to (see the full lineup of the season, starting on Page 27), next summer looks like a blast, as they mount two plays by Terrence McNally, followed by the regional premiere of the campy-delightful musical The Toxic Avenger, written by the Tony Award-winning team (Memphis) of gay writer Joe DiPietro and composer David Bryan.

(A full lineup of more than 20 arts company seasons)

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition August 14, 2015.

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