DSM, Bass theater series announced

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Broadway’s ‘Kinky Boots’ will play in Dallas and Fort Worth in 2015

Dallas Summer Musicals (which performs at Music Hall in Fair Park) and Performing Arts Fort Worth (which performs at Bass Hall) announced their upcoming 2014-15 series last night, and there are some hits in the mix.

DSM’s current season ends, for the first time in decades, before the State Fair, and will pick up again in time for the holidays with last season’s Broadway musical stage adaptation of A Christmas Story, co-written by gay composer/lyricist Benj Pasek (Dec. 2–14). The season picks up in 2015 with the North Texas premiere of the transgender smash Kinky Boots (Feb. 24–March 8, 2015), which DSM’s Michael Jenkins co-produced on Broadway. That will be followed by The King and I (March 20–April 5), then a magic show called The Illusionists (April 7–19).

The “summer” in Dallas Summer Musicals arrives in June with a quick succession of three shows. First will be the still-running hit Rodgers+Hammerstein’s Cinderella (June 9–21), which has a new book written by gay scribe Douglas Carter Beane. It is immediately followed by a stage version of Dirty Dancing (June 23–July 5), and finally the Tony Award-winning revival of Pippin (July 7–19).

Performing Arts Fort Worth will welcome some of these shows, as well. Cinderella will move straight from Dallas to Bass Hall (June 23–28, 2015); Dirty Dancing will do the same (July 7–12) as will Pippin (July 21–26). You can also see Kinky Boots in Cowtown if you miss it in Dallas, though you’ll have to wait until the fall (Oct. 27–Nov. 1).

Before that, PAFW begins the holiday season early, with Elf (Nov. 18–23, 2014), followed by Beauty and the Beast (Jan. 14–18, 2015), the eight-time Tony-winner Once (Feb. 18–22) and Chicago (April 3–4).

You can learn more about season tickets here and here.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Dallas Summer Musicals announces uber-gay 2014 season

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Joe DiPietro is back in Dallas with ‘Nice Work If You Can Get It.’

Dallas Summer Musicals announced its 2014 season at an event Tuesday night, showcasing a larger eight-show mainstage season, as well as two special events. And boy! Is it ever a gay season.

The series kicks off, as already announced, with the holiday show Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, Dec. 17–29. That will be followed in the new year by Ghost: The Musical (Jan. 28–Feb. 9). Then the gay heats up.

Next up is The Little Mermaid, written by gay Dallas native Doug Wright (Feb. 13–March 2); We Will Rock Youa London hit featuring the music of glamrock band Queen (March 4–16); the return of the Friends of Dorothy — not in Wicked, but in The Wizard of Oz (March 18–30); the new production of Webber & Rice’s Evita, the recent B’way hit that starred Ricky Martin — but don’t expect Martin on the tour (April 15–27); the return of the uber-gay ABBA jukebox musical Mamma Mia! (June 3–15); and finishing up with Nice Work If You Can Get It, featuring the music of the Gershwins in a new story by gay writer Joe DiPietro, pictured (Sept. 2–14). 

Interestingly, the season does not include the announcement for the State Fair musical, which typically plays for much of the month of October. It may be a pipe-dream, but DSM head Michael Jenkins is one of the producers of Kinky Boots. DSM is also a producer of the recent Tony favorites Rodgers+Hammerstein’s Cinderella and Matilda The Musical, though they may be, like Kinky Boots, a few seasons away.

UPDATE: Apparently, DSM’s contract with the State Fair ended, and so there will not be a State Fair musical next season — and, possibly, far beyond.

In addition to the mainstage shows, there are two special events as well. First is Lord of the Rings In Concert, which features the music of the massive show played by the Dallas Pops Orchestra (Nov. 8–13, 2013), then the Beatles tribute show, Rain (Nov. 23–24, 2013).

All performances will be at the Fair Park Music Hall. Tickets can he purchased here.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

‘Priscilla’ contest winner drags it up

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Brandon Simmons

Last week, we held an online contest to win tickets to see Priscilla Queen of the Desert and the winner was Brandon Simmons, who got the chance to attend opening night at Fair Park (courtesy of Dallas Summer Musicals) with three of his friends. And Brandon had a blast.

The show, about three drag queens traveling the Australian Outback in a rickety bus (which they dub Priscilla), is about as gay as a musical can get … and that’s saying something. “We had a great time!” says Brandon about the experience. “The show is really fun and entertaining. And I think it’s great getting to see something that is bold and very ‘in your face’ … and probably a bit shocking for many DSM subscribers!” In continues through May 26, and you can get tickets here. But you can also meet folks with the show at the official cast party. On May 24, Luxx Night Club on Pearl Street will host the cast and guests from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. with a glittering disco-themed party. The 21-and-over event offers free admission and valet to those with a ticket stub and those who RSVP in advance to Michelle@iegnation.com. You can learn more about it here.  

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—  Arnold Wayne Jones

DSM announces 2012 season

The Dallas Summer Musicals have formally released their next season lineup, although several of the shows — Memphis and The Addams Family,  for instance — were already common knowledge. The full schedule is:

Bring It On! (Feb. 14–26), a new musical based on the film set in the world of competitive cheerleading.

Million Dollar Quarter (March 6–18), a jukebox musical set on the one day in 1956 when newcomers Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins all recorded in the same studio. Gay singer Levi Kriess won a Tony for his performance.

La Cage aux Folles (April 10–22). The recent Tony-winning revival of the musical about drag queens and alternative families.

Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles (April 24–29) returns.

Memphis (May 15–27), a fictionalized telling of the integration of the radio in 1950s South won multiple Tony Awards, including best score and musical.

Mamma Mia! (May 29–June 3), the uber-gay ABBA musical, returns yet again for a one-week run.

Peter Pan (July 10-22), the children’s classic with a campy sensibility, once again starring Cathy Rigby.

The Addams Family (Oct. 2–21), the current Broadway hit with gay cred, based on the cartoons and movie/TV franchise, will be the State Fair musical next fall. (This year’s State Fair musical, West Side Story, opens in a few weeks.)

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Dallas Summer Musicals announces 2011 season

The Dallas Summer Musicals’ big State Fair production will be the recent revival of West Side Story, complete with Spanish-language rewrites, as well as a few other revivals, returns … and one new show.

The season kicks off with gay Texan Tommy Tune, the biggest Tony winner of all time. in Tommy Tune Steps in Time with the Manhattan Rhythm Kings. for a one-week run beginning March 15. That will be followed by the return of another dance show, Burn the Floor, for two weeks in April.

The official summer season begins May 18 with the recent Dolly Parton musical of 9 to 5, followed by the returns of Stomp and Monty Python’s Spamalot in June and Guys and Dolls in July.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones