Pride Performing Arts Fest wraps up

Uptown Players’ inaugural performing arts festival, timed to coincide with Dallas Pride, was a risky venture, if only in training theatergoers to seek out new plays mid-week and in repertory. But the experiment has paid off so far; co-producer Craig Lynch reported that most of the performances in the upstairs Frank’s Place space were complete or near sell-outs last weekend. Good for them, but even better for audiences, getting to see Paul Rudnick’s hilarious New Century, where Lulu Ward gives the best performances I’ve seen on a stage this year, and a fully-dressed staged reading of the lesbian melodrama Last Summer at Bluefish Cove — both of which you can still see one more time (New Century on Saturday at 4 p.m., Bluefish on Friday at 8 p.m.). The whole event wraps up Saturday night at 7:30 p.m., with a cabaret performance RSVP Vacations vets by Amy Armstrong and Freddy Allen, pictured.

— A.W.J.

All performances at the Kalita Humphreys Theater, 3636 Turtle Creek Blvd. Through Sept. 17. UptownPlayers.org.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 16, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

EXCLUSIVE: Uptown Players’ Pride Fest line-up

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.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones