BREAKING: DTC announces 2016-17 season


Doug Beane

Kevin Moriarty, artistic director of the Dallas Theater Center, revealed a nine-show season (seven mainstage, two “extras”) this morning, including a remarkable two world premiere musicals.

The season kicks off with Nick Payne’s Constellations (Aug. 24–Oct. 9, at the Wyly), a romantic drama that plumbs issues of life, the universe and everything in 75 stark minutes. It will be directed by Wendy Dann.

Next up is the first premiere musical, written by an alumna of DTC: Bella: An American Tall Tale (Sept. 22–Oct. 23, at the Wyly) by Kirsten Childs (co-lyricist on DTC’s Peter Pan musical Fly). A co-production with Playwrights Horizons in New York, the musical comedy — set in the Old West, and featuring the adventures of a young black woman and the characters she meets — will be directed by the acclaimed gay playwright and director Robert O’Hara (Bootycandy).

That’l be followed by the annual bonus show A Christmas Carol (Nov. 23–Dec. 28, at the Wyly), this time directed by Dallas theater stallwart Steven Michael Walters.

The final show of 2016 — and the first of 2017 — is … well, a secret. Suffice it for now to say it’s an exciting and contemporary urban comedy, running Dec. 7–Jan. 22 in the Wyly’s Studio space. (We’ll announce the name some time next month.)

That mystery show is followed by The Christians (Jan. 26–Feb. 19, at the Kalita), Lucas Hnath’s volative, buzzed-about look at a megachurch and a rift occasioned, in part, by same-sex marriage. Joel Ferrell will direct.

Another bonus show will be something on the deeply experimental side. Moriarty is adapting Eruipides’ lurid revenge play Electra … and it will be very outre. First, it will be performed at AT&T’s outdoor Annette Strauss Square adjacent to the Winspear. Second, Moriarty is still toying with how he will stage it — moving the audience around the grounds to follow the action and using earbuds to “whisper” a Greek chorus into the audience members’ ears are just some of the possible outcomes. “You can see how this could be a disaster,” Moriarty said. It will run Aug. 4–May 28, 2017, with a late start time (8:30 p.m.) so that it will be performed in the dark.

Next is the classic play Inherit the Wind (May 16–June 18, at the Kalita), about the 1924 Scopes Monkey Trial … only it won’t be set in the past, apparently. Moriarty, who is also directing this one, promises edgy casting decisions and innovating concepts like nothing you’ve seen at the Kalita.

The season will conclude with the second world premiere musical, a comic riff on the Robin Hood myth called Hood (June 29–Aug. 6, in the Wyly). It’s being written by the husband-and-husband team Douglas Carter Beane (pictured) and Lewis Flinn, who last teamed up for DTC’d Give It Up (which moved to Broadway renamed Lysistrata Jones). Beane will direct.

The current season isn’t over, though. All the Way, DTC’s co-production will Houston’s Alley Theatre about LBJ, will move up to the Wyly next month (March 3–27), followed by the world premiere of Deferred Action (April 20–May 14) and finally Dreamgirls (June 10–July 24).

Season subscriptions start at $140 for the seven-show mainstage season, and design-your-own subscriptions start at $60 for three shows. Visit

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Uptown Players announces 2015 season

Nathan Lane starred on Broadway in ‘The Nance,’ which will receive its regional premiere from Uptown Players in 2015.

Uptown Players’ upcoming 2015 season will feature two major recent Tony winners, from a new comedy to a rock musical, as well as the return of a TV spoof in the Rose Room at S4 and the annual fundraising performance.

Things were more complicated for Uptown Players this time, scheduling-wise. For several years, they have shared the Kalita Humphreys Theater with the Dallas Theater Center, which moved to its new digs in Downtown’s Wyly Theatre, but which is still the primary leaseholder at the Kalita. DTC mostly performs at the Wyly … mostly — not exclusively. So when DTC announced its 2014-15 schedule this spring, it threw a monkey wrench into the works: Its plays would seesaw between the venues, and the timing was going to interfere with Uptown Players’ calendar.

But they worked it out, in part by starting a month early. The first show of their 2015 season will actually be in December 2014: Christmas Our Way, UP’s holiday-themed Broadway Our Way fundraiser (where men sing women’s songs and vice versa) will be held Dec. 11–14.

The first official show of 2015 will be Gilligan’s Fire Island, another spoof by playwright/actor Jamie Morris, who was last represented onstage at the Rose Room as Julia Sugarbaker in Re-Designing Women. As the title suggests, the castaways have gotten pretty gay.

The mainstage season will arrive at the Kalita in June, starting with the wonderful comedy-drama The Nance, then the regional North Texas-produced premiere of Catch Me If You Can, the rock opera Hedwig and the Angry Inch and the new off-Broadway hit Harbor.

See the complete lineup after the jump. You can also get season tickets here.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Out names its list of 100 top gays …

Rocca, Mo 0202 copy… and once again, I’m not on it. Fine. So I’m not “TV-pretty”. So I’m not “talented” or “important”. And maybe I’m not technically “out” (I’m worried what it will do to my career, which is why I’m dating Katie Holmes). But still. Nevertheless, I don’t feel so bad with some of the inclusions on this list this year, among them my fave TV soft-news reporter and Public Radio bon vivant, Mo Rocca, pictured; playwrights Christopher Durang, Tarell Alvin McCraney, Jonathan Tolins and my friend Doug Carter Beane; filmmaker John Krokidas (whom I profiled just this week); fellow food critic Frank Bruni; stage actors Billy Porter and Jonathan Groff; statistician Nate Silver; and the funniest man on Facebook, George Takei. But how could they pick Jinkx Monsoon over me?!?! It’s all a popularity contest, I tell ya.

Go here for the complete list.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

BREAKING: WaterTower’s (very gay) new season

Addison’s WaterTower Theatre released the schedule for its 2012-2013 season, and the line-up is among the gayest for the company in recent memory.

• The season begins in September with The Mystery of Irma Vep, experimental gay playwright Charles Ludlam’s hilarious send-up of melodramas revolving around the strange goings-on at a spooky estate. (Sept. 28–Oct. 21.)

• The holiday show will be It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play. This is a new concept for WTT, which typically stages a musical comedy or revue with a Christmas  theme. This production will transport the beloved film to the studio of a 1940s-era radio station for an authentic recreation of the old-school radio play. (Nov. 24–Dec. 16.)

• The season picks up again in January with Putting It Together, a musical revue featuring the music of gay composer extraordinaire Stephen Sondheim. Diana Sheehan, who played Big Edie in WTT’s Grey Gardens, stars. (Jan. 11–Feb. 3.)

• This past year, WTT’s Out of the Loop Fringe Festival was super-gay — it often is. Next year’s line-up won’t be announced until early next year, but you can always count on odd and engaging new works. (March 7–17.)

• WTT’s gay artistic director Terry Martin, who recently starred in the Dallas Theater Center’s production of Next Fall, pictured (Martin’s on the right), will direct Frank Galati’s award-winning adaptation of The Grapes of Wrath, about the Joad family’s journey from Dust Bowl Oklahoma to the fields of California in the 1930s. (April 5–28.)

• Prolific playwright A.R. Gurney, who mined the field of WASP culture in plays like Love Letters, tackles the formal wedding toast in Black Tie, a comedy about a father trying to maintain some dignity at his son’s upcoming nuptials, only to have his own late father appear as a ghost, offering advice. (May 31–June 23.)

• The season ends next summer with one of the gayest musicals ever conceived: Xanadu. Playwright Douglas Carter Beane’s hysterically campy adaptation of the godawful 1980s movie musical, released in the waning days of disco, inserts pop music into a revised plot about the establishment of a roller disco. (July 26–Aug. 18.)

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Dallas connections to the 2012 Tony noms

The 2012 Tony Award nominations came out this morning, with the new musical Once (based on the Irish film) getting the most nominations (11). But actually a couple of other productions are even more interesting to Dallas audiences.

The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, which features Dallas actor Cedric Neal, received 10 noms, including best revival of a musical. And Lysistrata Jones, which began as a world premiere at the Dallas Theater Center (under the name Give It Up) received a nom for best book of a musical for Douglas Carter Beane. He’ll go up against fellow gay writer Joe DiPietro for Nice Work If You Can Get It. Unfortunately, Liz Mikel, who wowed Dallas and New York audiences, was not singled out for her performance.

This is the Tonys, so gay nominees abound. The revival of Sondheim’s Follies scored a number of nominations (including, for my money, likely winner Jan Maxwell). Gay playwright Jon Robin Baitz got a nod for best play for Other Desert Cities. Gore Vidal’s The Best Man (with a gay twist) was nominated for best revival of a play as well as best actor James Earl Jones; he’ll face against John Lithgow, who was nominated for another gay play, The Columnist (which also features former Dallasite Brian J. Smith as Lithgow’s  six-pack-ab’d trick). Lesbian actress Cynthia Nixon is up for her performance in Wit.

Jeff Calhoun, whom I interviewed last year, is nominated for best director of a musical for Newsies. Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark got only two design nominations, though ironically, the new movie Spider-Man, Andrew Garfield, was nominated for best featured actor in a play for Death of a Salesman.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

“Lysistrata Jones,” which started at DTC, closes on Broadway this Sunday

It got great reviews from the likes of Ben Brantley (and me, for that matter), and Dallas-based star Liz Mikel seemed destined for award nominations, but that didn’t translate into box office for Lysistrata Jones during its run on Broadway. After fewer than 30 regular performances and about as many previews, the show will close on Sunday. For some reason, it never caught on, despite a catchy score and saucy story about sex among college-aged hotties. It rarely exceeded more than about 20 percent of its revenue capacity and hovered about 60 percent occupancy since opening last month.

We’re sad it wasn’t a tentpole, but hopefully this means Liz will be coming back to Dallas soon.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones