Your handy guide to a year of theater, dance, music and the arts
In addition to our Best Bets rundown of the arts, here’s a comprehensive guide to what’s going on in North Texas for the next 12 months (and beyond). You’ll never be able to say “I’m bored — there’s nothing to do!” again.
PLAYS AND MUSICALS
Dallas Summer Musicals and Performing Arts Fort Worth (Broadway at the Bass)
The two companies again share marketing and booking this season, with plenty of overlap.
DSM’s season starts a bit later than usual, with its holiday show, Broadway Christmas Wonderland, a family-style revue of carols and ditties (Dec. 6–18). That’s followed in 2017 with the Tony Award-winning hit An American in Paris (Jan. 31–Feb. 12); the Beatles-inspired musical Let It Be (March 7–19); the return of the dragtastic musical Kinky Boots (March 28–April 9), about a staid shoe manufacturer that stays afloat making sassy couture for drag queens. Next will be Circus 1903: The Golden Age of Circus (May 23–June 4), which combines the efforts of the puppeteers who created War Horse with producers of magic for a tribute to the animal-filled circuses of the last century. The season ends with the musical adaptation of The Bodyguard (July 18–30), starring diva Deborah Cox. (The season will also feature four add-on bonus shows: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical (Nov. 25–27); Cheers Live On Stage (Jan. 6–8); Stomp (Feb. 14–19); and The Illusionists (Feb. 28–March 5).) All performances at Fair Park Music Hall. DallasSummerMusicals.org.
PAFW still has two more shows this summer and fall (the wonderful redo of The Sound of Music, Aug. 17–21, and The Phantom of the Opera, Oct. 20–30), before beginning its 2017 season in January with the return of Annie (Jan. 17–22); An American in Paris then heads from Fair Park to the Bass Hall (Feb. 14–19), followed by Let It Be (March 21–26). Fort Worth then gets the charming kid-friendly musical Matilda (June 13–18); The Bodyguard (Aug. 1–6); Beautiful: The Carole King Musical (Sept. 12–17, 2017); the ongoing 20th anniversary tour of Rent (Oct. 17–22, 2017) and finally Irving Berlin’s White Christmas (Nov. 14–19, 2017). (Bonus shows also include Rudolph (Nov. 22–23), Cirque Dreams Holidaze (Dec. 3–4) and the legendary Texas comedy Greater Tuna (March 29–30).) All performances at Bass Performance Hall. BassHall.com.
AT&T Performing Arts Center
The Broadway Series starts this week, with the Tony Award winner for best musical A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder (Aug. 16–28), featuring cross-dressing, comedy and romantic entanglements. That’s followed by the 20th anniversary tour of the groundbreaking Rent (Sept. 20–Oct. 2.), the highly anticipated best play Tony winner The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Jan. 11–22, 2017), Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods (May 17–28), Something Rotten! (June 13–25) and finally Finding Neverland (July 11–23). (Bonus shows include the return — again — of the super-gay The Book of Mormon (Dec. 20–31) and the transgender musical phenomenon Hedwig and the Angry Inch (Feb. 7–12).) Beginning this season, mid-week evening shows start at 7:30 p.m. All performances at the Winspear Opera House. ATTPAC.org.
Dallas Theater Center
DTC, as usual, divides performances for its season between Downtown’s Wyly Theatre and Uptown’s Kalita Humphreys Theater, starting with Nick Payne’s romantic two-hander Constellations (Aug. 24–Oct. 9, Wyly). Next up is the premiere musical set in the Old West, Bella: An American Tall Tale (Sept. 22–Oct. 23, Wyly). As usual, the winter offers the add-on tradition A Christmas Carol (Nov. 23–Dec. 28, Wyly). The final show of 2016 will be Gloria (Dec. 7–Jan. 22, 2017, Wyly Studio Theatre), set in the cutthroat world of magazine publishing. DTC moves to the Kalita for The Christians (Jan. 26–Feb. 19), which looks at same-sex marriage and other divisive topics. Next at the Kalita is the classic about the Scopes Monkey Trial, Inherit the Wind (May 16–June 18). The season ends with Hood (June 29–Aug. 6, Wyly), a new musical about Robin Hood by the husband-and-husband team of Douglas Carter Beane and Lewis Flinn. (In addition to A Christmas Carol, another bonus show will be Kevin Moriarty’s updating of Electra, which will be performed out-of-doors next summer.) DallasTheaterCenter.org.
The gay-centric troupe ends its 15th season this month (see the story on Page 28) with The Toxic Avenger, and then host its 5th annual Pride Performing Arts Festival Sept. 16–24, but kicks off its 2017 season a bit early, starting with Angels in America (Nov. 4–20). That will be followed by the musicals It Shoulda Been You (March 24–April 9) and La Cage aux Folles (July 14–30), and then the Charles Busch camp comedy The Tribute Artist (Aug. 25–Sept. 10, 2017), starring Coy Covington. (Bonus shows include its annual fundraiser, Broadway Our Way (March 2–5), and the concert version of Titanic, performed with the Turtle Creek Chorale at City Performance Hall (May 5–7).) All performances (except Titanic) are at the Kalita. UptownPlayers.org.
The first season in 17 years without Terry Martin as artistic director begins with Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash (Oct. 7–30). That’s followed by Silent Sky (Jan. 20–Feb. 12, 2017); The Gospel According to Thomas Jefferson, Charles Dickens and Count Leo Tolstoy: Discord (April 14–May 7); Native Gardens (June 2–25); and finally Sondheim’s Sunday in the Park with George (July 28–Aug. 20). (A bonus show, Sister’s Christmas Catechism: The Mystery of the Magi’s Gold, will play Dec. 2–23. The 16th annual Out of the Loop Fringe Festival should be expected in the spring.) All performances at the Addison Theatre Centre. WaterTowerTheatre.org.
The magnificent stagings from this all-musical company continue with Lerner & Loewe’s Camelot (Sept. 9–18), the Gershwin musical Of Thee I Sing (In Concert) (Nov. 3–6); Jerry Herman’s flamboyant treasure Mame (In Concert) (Jan. 26–29, 2017) and then two world premieres: Quanah starring Larry Gatlin (April 28–May 7) and Pure Country (June 9–18). All performances in Carpenter Hall as the Irving Arts Center. LyricStage.org.
Theatre 3’s seven-show mainstage season has already begun with The Novelist (through Aug. 28), and continues with The Wedding Singer (Sep. 22–Oct. 16); Day Light, a world premiere from out interim artistic director Bruce R. Coleman (Nov. 17–Dec. 11), the Southwest premiere of Laugh by Pulitzer Prize-winner and T3 alumna Beth Henley (Jan. 5–29, 2017), Passing Strange, the funky autobiographical musical by underground artist Stew (March 2–26); the classic Susan and God (April 20–May 14) and finally Sondheim’s A Little Night Music (June 8–July 2). The smaller space, Theatre Too, offers its own season: The gay comedy-drama The Sum of Us (Sept. 1–25); the return of A Christmas Carol: The Radio Show with B.J. Cleveland in a one-man show; the return of the revue I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change (Dec. 29–Feb. 12, 2017); The Empress, The Lady and the Pearl Part II (March 23–April 16); and finally Conor McPherson’s stage adaptation of The Birds (May 25–June 18). Theatre3Dallas.com.
Kitchen Dog Theater
Kitchen Dog spend the last season as an itinerant company, moving from locale to locale, but next season will settle in at the Trinity River Arts Center. The season beings with A Stain Upon the Silence: Beckett’s Bequest (Oct. 7–29). Four generations of playwrights contributed to this evening of short plays celebrating Nobel laureate Samuel Beckett. Next is the regional premiere of Feathers and Teeth (Nov. 18–Dec. 17), about monsters under the bed; Paper Flowers (Feb. 17–March 11, 2017), another regional premiere; and Trevor (April 14–May 6). The mainstage production during the 2017 New Works Festival will be the world premiere Br’er Cotton (June 9–July 1). KitchenDogTheater.org.
North Texas’ only company dedicated to both forgotten classics and original works and new translations (often with a gay slant) returns with Slave Letters (Oct. 13–Nov. 6), its holiday classic A Bur-Less-Que Nutcracker (Nov. 25–Dec. 29), the world premiere Love, Lust & Lies (Feb. 2–26); … A Moment in the Life of Willa Dean Arvis (March 30–April 23); The Soul Gatherer (June 1–July 2); and finally the world premiere The Life and (Cruel) Times of Conchita Zaragoza: A Mambo Musical (July 14–Aug. 6). All performances at the Stone Cottage Theatre on the campus of the Addison Theatre Centre. MBSProductions.net.
WingSpan Theatre Co.
The mainstage production for the company’s 19th season at the Bath House Cultural Center is the local premiere Breadcrumbs, a fractured fairy tale about a reclusive writer and her caretaker. (Oct. 6–22). WingspanTheatre.com.
The company dedicated to plays about women opens with Marsha Norman’s award-winning ’Night Mother (Sept. 8–24); then The Echo Room Presents: Her Song Music and Dance Revue (Feb. 9–25); and finally Brides of the Moon by the Five Lesbian Brothers (June 8–17). All performances at Bath House Cultural Center. EchoTheatre.org.
Contemporary Theater of Dallas
The troupe finishes out its current season with Brian Friel’s Dancing at Lughnasa (Sept. 9–Oct. 2) and the musical As We Lie Still (Oct. 28–Nov. 20), directed by Michael Serrecchia. All performances at the Greenville Center for the Arts. ContemporaryTheatreOfDallas.com.
Fort Worth’s granddaddy of theater concludes its season with Bootycandy (through Sept. 11), about being gay and black in America, followed by An Iliad (Aug. 25–Sept. 18), co-written by Denis O’Hare. StageWest.org.
Following a tumultuous year, Fort Worth’s musical-tinged theater targeting African-American issues starts with Working: A Musical (Sept. 20–Oct. 30); The Gift of the Magi (Nov. 25–Dec. 24); Thurgood (Jan. 27–Feb. 26); August Wilson’s Two Trains Running (March 17–April 16); Having Our Say (May 26–June 27) and finally Beehive: The ’60s Musical (July 28–Aug. 27). JubileeTheatre.org.
This Fort Worth company’s season continues with the feminist comedy The Taming (Aug. 18–Sept. 17) and concludes with Bruce Graham’s Funnyman (Oct. 20–Nov. 19). CircleTheatre.org.
OPERA AND MUSIC
The Dallas Opera is coming off a legendary season or premieres and exciting shows. For its follow up season, expect Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin (Oct. 28–Nov. 5); the return of the Jake Heggie-Gene Scheer modern work Moby-Dick (Nov. 4–20); Puccini’s Madame Butterfly (March 10–26, 2017); Britten’s The Turn of the Screw (March 17–25); and finally Bellini’s Norma (April 21–May 7). DallasOpera.org.
Fort Worth Opera
North Texas’ oldest opera company continues with its festival format, with Bizet’s Carmen, the mariachi opera Cruzar la Cara de la Luna and Voir Dire. The festival runs April 23–May 7, 2017. FWOpera.org.
Turtle Creek Chorale
The men’s chorus’ 2016–17 season, called Contrasts, features three mainstage shows: It’s holiday tradition, A Not So Silent Night (Dec. 8–11); Topsy Turvy: Songs You Thought You Knew (March 23–25, 2017) and In Your Dreams (June 2–4). They also team with Uptown Players for a concert staging of Titanic (May 5–7). And on Sept 16 at Trinity Groves, the TCC will put on After Dark, a fundraiser with wine and dessert pairings, auction and performances by Janelle Lutz and Amy Stevenson. All performances take place at City Performance Hall. TurtleCreekChorale.com.
BALLET AND DANCE
Texas Ballet Theater
The Fort Worth-based company’s 55th season will be performed, as has become the custom, both at Bass Hall and Dallas’ Winspear Opera House, starting with Carmen/Danse a Grande Vitesse (Sept. 16–18 at Winspear, Oct. 7–9 at Bass), then The Nutcracker (Nov. 25–Dec. 4 at Winspear, Dec. 9–24 at Bass); The Nutty Nutcracker (Dec. 16, Bass only); Rooster & Smith & Scher (March 3–5 at Bass only); and concluding with Alice in Wonderland (May 19–21 at Bass, June 2–4 at Winspear). TexasBalletTheater.org.
The lineup includes 10 companies, starting with Aspen Santa Fe Ballet (Sept. 16–17) and Estampas Portenas (Oct. 28–29) at City Performance Hall, then the return of Jessica Lang Dance (Dec. 10) at the Winspear. 2017 begins with Pilobolus (Jan. 13–14 at CPH); Bridgman | Packer (Jan. 27–28 at CPH), Doug Varone and Dancers (Feb. 18 at Winspear), Diavolo (March 10–11 at CPH), Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (March 31–April 1 at CPH), Che Malambo (April 14–15 at CPH) and Ballet BC (June 3 at the Winspear). There will also be the annual Command Performance Gala (May 13 at the Winspear). ATTPAC.org.
Bruce Wood Dance Project
The company’s sixth season continues, appropriately with Six at CPH (Nov. 11–12), followed by the annual fundraiser called Mistletoe Magic (Dec. 20). BruceWoodDance.org.
Dallas Museum of Art
The DMA’s new executive director, Agustin Arteaga, will begin his tenure in September (look for an interview soon thereafter), but the upcoming season already includes this lineup of exhibitions: Waxed: Batik from Java (Sept. 25, 2016–Sept. 10, 2017); Divine Felines: Cats of Ancient Egypt (Oct. 9–Jan. 8); Shaken, Stirred, Styled: The Art of the Cocktail (Nov. 18–Nov. 12, 2017); Art and Nature in the Middle Ages (Dec. 4–March 19); and Iris Van Herpen: Transforming Fashion (May 21–Aug. 20, 2017). DMA.org.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition August 12, 2016.