A few theatrical change ups in the last couple of weeks. In Fort Worth, producing director Jerry Russell stepped down at Stage West and moved temporary to the position of business manager until that position is permanently filled. He’ll then move to a volunteer advisory capacity, as founder and producer emeritus.
Here in Dallas, Roberto Aquirre-Sacasa’s new play, The Dracula Cycle, previously on track for a March world premiere, has been postponed to the Dallas Theater Center’s 2013-2014 season on account of Aguirre-Sacasa being such a busy dude (per the DTC’s release, his “many current projects include his work producer and writer for the TV show Glee and writing the screenplay for a new film version of Carrie that will open in theaters this winter. He is also writing a new play, Abigail/1702, which will be produced at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park in January.”). The playwright and the DTC will continue to develop the play. In its place, DTC will put up Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple, directed by artistic director Kevin Moriarty.
In other news, I finally made it out to a Oral Fixation event—Dallas’ version of The Moth in New York City, in which people (who don’t have to be writers or theater folk) spill their guts on stage in the form of a personal essay that revolves around the evening’s theme. After a successful first season, producer Nicole Stewart put together a “best of,” which is what I attended Tuesday night. I enjoyed myself, laughed a bit, and thought a few of the stories were truly something. Anyway, along with a new website, Stewart has the themes lined up for Oral Fixation’s second season, which begins in November. If you’d like to submit an essay, go to email@example.com.
Baby Steps – November 6
Cold Turkey – December 11
Cloud Nine – January 22
Playing the Field – February 12
Under the Gun – March 26
Miss the Boat – April 23
Old School – May 14
Openings and One-Offs
Ain’t This Some Sh*T!: A Conservative Right-Wing Guide to Over-Simplifying the Complexities of the Female Body and Extolling the Virtues of Jesus’ Favorite Southern Fried Treat (TeCo Theatre). As tempting as it might be to ascribe local playwright Jonathan Norton to the trendy “the longer the name, the more interesting the play” school of thought, I’ll reserve judgment like a good critic until I can make it over to the Bishop Arts Theatre Center. Which will have to be soon, since this is a super short run. It opened Tuesday of this past week, and closes Sunday.
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (Casa Mañana). Kid-friendly production of Mark Twain’s beloved book. Opens October 12.
Othello (Shakespeare Dallas and the AT&T PAC). As you may have heard, a partnership between the AT&T Performing Arts Center and Shakespeare Dallas has promised us staged readings of Willie Shakespeare’s complete works over the next five years. This month, you’ll experience Othello, a tragedy that revolves around the Moorish military general Othello, and his wife Desdemona. The bitter Iago, Othello’s trusted advisor, exploits Othello’s love for Desdemona and engineers the great man’s downfall. Two dates, October 14 at 3 p.m. and October 15 at 7 p.m.
Pinkalicious (Dallas Children’s Theater). I have it on good authority (that’d be Joslyn Taylor, lovely executive editor of D Moms) that Pinkalicious is a sparkly good time—and I believe it, especially since this show has been extended after the length of the original run completely sold out. Joslyn informs us that her daughter and two of her daughter’s friends had a blast both before and after the show, when they got to meet the star. Pinkalicious will be at the Children’s World on Level Two of the NorthPark Neiman Marcus tomorrow, signing autographs from 5-7 p.m. Reply to 214-363-8311, ext. 2239 or via email to RSVPNorthPark@NeimanMarcus.com if you’d like to attend. Through October 28.
Harvey (Level Ground Arts). Affable, kindly Elwood has a friend. It’s a very large, maybe imaginary, anthropomorphic rabbit. Appalled by his increasingly strange behavior, Elwood’s socialite sister decides to have him committed. That’s when the insanity really starts. Personally, I think it’s great that LGA is producing Mary Chase’s 1944 play, especially since it’s fresh from a Broadway revival. That production, from the Roundabout Theatre, Through October 27.
The Addams Family (Dallas Summer Musicals). Womp. Lindsey Wilson was so-so on this one, but mostly because of the book. Unfortunately, the story of a family that only shops at Hot Topic does not necessary make for the best musical. Wilson says the talented cast saves this from being completely terrible. Note: this is at the Music Hall at Fair Park. Something else is going on there right now. Parking will probably be scarce. Runs through October 21.
The Mystery of Irma Vep (WaterTower Theatre). This play is a bit of a theater stalwart that Lindsey Wilson, reviewing the show for FrontRow, found delightful—and not in the least bit stale. I don’t want to spoil the surprise of playwright Charles Ludlum’s twisty, frequently revived satire, but highlights include two male leads playing eight parts and a well-timed spoof of Gothic melodrama and the supernatural drama genre from Shakespearean times to the reign of Alfred Hitchcock. Lindsey wrote in her review that part of the fun was imagining what was going on backstage, since the costume changes came at such a breakneck pace.
Freud’s Last Session (Theatre Three). Psychiatrist (and noted atheist) Sigmund Freud and Christian author C.S. Lewis never met. But what if they had? Playwright Mark St. Germain imagines the collision of two very specific historical figures with very different beliefs on one particular day. The much older Freud, 83 and dying of cancer, invites Lewis to his study and they engage in a heated religious debate. M. Lance Lusk has the review right here. Theatre Three’s artistic director, Jac Alder, plays Freud, and Lusk writes, “Alder and [Cameron] Cobb [who plays Lewis] are brilliant together. They wield their erudite repartee with practiced ease while imbuing every line with intellectual crackle and spark.”
Hello, Again (Uptown Players). What’s this “adult musical” all about? Sex. Sex sex sex sex sex FEELINGS sex LONELINESS sex. Uptown Players closes out their season with Michael John LaChuisa’s frank examination of s-e-x in all its carnal incarnations (this is its Dallas premiere). LaChuisa’s music, lyrics, and book draw inspiration from Arthur Schnitzler’s play La Ronde, weaving a story of criss-crossing lovers and bedfellows over the years. The characters don’t have names—just professions. Lawson Taitte reviews the show for The Dallas Morning News, saying that “Hello, Again gives powerful witness to the power of the erotic. You keep expecting it to celebrate the joys of sex. Instead it reveals the frustrations of casual sex and the yearnings that can never quite be fulfilled.” There is nakedness, for sure, so leave the kids at home.
Flight (Jubilee Theatre). Inspired by real slave narratives as well as African-American folklore, this play (experience, really) incorporates traditional music, dance, and song to tell the story of a young mother sold away from her husband and child on a Georgia plantation in 1858. The slave community bands together in the wake of this tragedy. M. Lance Lusk reviewed the atmospheric show for FrontRow right here. Through October 21.
An Iliad (The Undermain). Of course Bruce Dubose kills it. Don’t miss one of our past BOBD Best Actors command the stage in this one-man production of Homer’s epic poem. Check out the review here. Runs through October 25.
Macbeth (Shakespeare Dallas). Resident Shakespeare buff M. Lance Lusk called this production of the accursed Scottish play “beautiful” and “harrowing.” High praise indeed. This is your last weekend to see it at Addison Circle Park.
Photo: Chad Peterson and Stephanie Riggs in Hello Again now stage by Uptown Players