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Dallas Summer Musicals Announces 2016-2017 Season

An American in Paris comes from Broadway to Fair Park next year as part of Dallas Summer Musicals’ 2016-2017 season. The Tony-winning hit, which was partly produced by DSM and former president Michael Jenkins, was guaranteed to come to Dallas this season.

The six-show season begins Dec. 6 with a holiday production of Broadway Christmas Wonderland, although the  Rudolph musical opens as an add-on Nov. 25. Other visiting shows include The Bodyguard, Circus 1903 — The Golden Age of Circus, and Let It Be, the Beatles tribute.

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Guessing the Shows in Dallas Summer Musicals’ 2016-2017 Season

Dallas Summer Musicals has yet to announce its 2016-2017 season, which is always anticipated, but is perhaps even more anticipated this year because of the recent firing of longtime DSM president Michael Jenkins. It’s likely that most of the season was already set before the departure of Jenkins, who has a reputation for booking family-friendly fare at the exclusion of more risque shows. So we wouldn’t expect to see Book of Mormon at the Music Hall at Fair Park anytime soon.

But we can take some educated guesses as to which shows will be included this season. Because for the last several weeks, DSM has been sharing clues about the upcoming season on its YouTube channel. Because it’s Friday and the Tonys are this weekend, we’re in a musical kind of mood, and we’re always in the mood for a mystery. With that in mind, we’re going to work through these YouTube videos to determine what to expect from Dallas Summer Musicals in 2016 and 2017.

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Why Is Shakespeare Always Performed in the Summer?

William Shakespeare died 400 years ago this April, which means his plays have been performed every summer for roughly 418 summers in a row. “More Shakespeare? I can no other answer make but no thanks,” 17th-century theater critic Edvard Bark once wrote about a summer Shakespeare festival in 1694. “I leaveth it to you bespawlers, cumbergrounds, and fopdoodles.”

Did I make that up? Perhaps. But the point stands: why is Shakespeare so popular in the summer? It’s not as though Shakespeare’s work is really evocative of summer, other than the fact that it is generally, universally beloved but also secretly a real drag, and unless performed almost perfectly, pretty much always a letdown.

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Dallas Participatory Theater Project to Bring Performers, Audience Closer

The Dallas Theater Center is launching an experimental “participatory theater” project that will cast both professional artists and the members of several Dallas community groups in an upcoming production, softening the division between audience and performer. Working with SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts, the New York City-based The Public Theater’s Public Works, and the AT&T Performing Arts Center, “Public Works Dallas” will seek to encourage Dallas residents to tap into their creative sides through the theater, according to a press release from DTC.

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Rules of the Game Explodes With Collaborative Ideas in Dallas Premiere

That “Rules of the Game” is so remarkably enchanting is almost just a happy bonus. By commissioning such a high-profile work in the first place, Soluna, and by extension the Dallas Symphony, made a powerful statement.

And, as the presidents of the Symphony and the AT&T Performing Arts Center took care to note before the show, it doesn’t reflect badly on a city with big cultural ambitions — aspirations that may outstrip reality, but are at least apparent in the size of our Arts District, a sometimes all-too-empty expanse that will be relatively bustling with activity over the next few weeks of Soluna performances.

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