Stage Notes is a weekly aggregate post about theater, classical music and stage news, events, reviews and other pertinent information.
Broadway Dallas announces 2023/24 Germania Insurance Broadway Series
Last week’s Stage Notes missed this announcement by a day but here’s the latest news on BD’s newest lineup of musicals shows for its upcoming season.
BD and Broadway Across America (BAA) announced last Friday its full lineup of Broadway shows coming to Dallas for the 2023/2024 Germania Insurance Broadway Series. The season includes four Dallas premieres along with some notable return engagements.
“We’re thrilled to announce such a fantastic season, with four shows premiering at the Music Hall for the very first time and several crowd pleasers making their return. This season has something for everyone,” Ken Novice, President and CEO of Broadway Dallas said in a press release.
All shows will be at the Music Hall at Fair Park unless otherwise noted. The season will include:
Nov. 21 – Dec. 3: MJ. The Tony Award-winning new musical centered on the making of Michael Jackson’s 1992 Dangerous World Tour.
Dec. 20-31: Les Miserables.
Jan. 23-Feb. 4: Tina – The Tina Turner Musical.
Feb. 20-March 3: Beetlejuice.
April 9-21: Girl from the North Country. The Tony-winning musical features the songs of Bob Dylan.
May 8-June 9: Hamilton. At the Winspear.
June 18-30: Hairspray.
Aug. 6-18: Funny Girl.
Season tickets are available now. Subscriber benefits include access to the best seats for one low price, priority access to additional tickets before public on sale, option to enroll in interest and fee-free payment plans, and ticket exchange privileges.
Bruce Wood Dance announces Spring 2023 season
BWD will kick off its new Spring season in March. The season features four events through early summer.
The 2023 Spring Season includes:
March 3 and 4: WOOD/SHOP—New Works by Company Dancers. The series returns in person for its third year at the Bruce Wood Dance studio. New works by company dancers Claude Alexander III, Jaime Borkan, Alex Brown, Kevyn Butler, Sofia Downing, Weaver Rhodes, Megan Storey, Elliott Trahan, Cole Vernon, and Seth York will be on display. Ticket sales open Feb. 1 at EventBrite.com with limited seating available.
April 8: Dallas Spring Arts Festival. Co–produced by Bruce Wood Dance and The Dallas Conservatory, this free afternoon event features a diverse lineup of dance and music from North Texas artists and offers performances and interactive activities at Klyde Warren Park.
April 29: The 13th anniversary Performance and Gala. This event will feature the work of choreographer Lar Lubovitch. The performance will include the world premiere of Conversing with Brahms, inspired by Johannes Brahms’ piano pieces and played live by guest artist José Antonio Cubela; the Dallas premiere of his masterwork, Concerto Six Twenty–Two; and the return of Elemental Brubeck. A gala dinner and entertainment follow the show at Moody Performance Hall. Ticket sales for the performance open Feb. 1 at TicketDFW.com. For gala tickets, contact email@example.com.
June 10 and 11: Grace. The June show will feature the world premiere of Ghost by Emmy Award–winning choreographer Ben Needham-Wood, who says of the piece, “Our bodies hold onto the past like a ghost within us, pulling our internal strings, shaping how we understand our present.” Artistic director Joy Bollinger will premiere And Heaven and Nature, a look at the seemingly divine design of planet earth. “I see patterns like fractals shaping the land, water, and air. The intricacy of these structures gives me a sense of something greater and turns my gaze to the spiritual.” The reprise of Bruce Wood’s jazzy blockbuster, Rhapsody in Blue, closes the bill. Moody Performance Hall. Ticket sales open April 1 at TicketDFW.com.
For more information and updates, click here.
Review: Theatre Three’s Elephant Man is a cold look at humanity
In Bernard Pomerance’s drama The Elephant Man, Theatre Three and director Jeffrey Schmidt give an inventive take on the story of Joseph “John” Merrick (Drew Wall) who suffered life with extreme disfigurement and deformities as well as public ridicule as a carnival attraction. When approached by Frederick Treves (Taylor Harris), a doctor who wants to take Merrick under his care, the patient goes from freak-show attraction to practically a celebrity with visits by prominent citizens and even royalty in Victorian England.
The story follows Merrick’s life first as an underling to Ross (Shawn Gann) in the carnival and then to his next caretaker Treves at the area hospital. The hospital director Gomm (Cindee Mayfield) oversees Treves’ work but also has difficult decisions to make both with the staff and with Merrick. He also meets Mrs. Kendal (Karen Raehpour), an actress who builds a trusting relationship with him
Pomerance’s story felt rather paper thin without fostering any heartfelt feelings for the characters. This can be hard to overcome, but Schmidt and the cast which also featured Gerald Taylor II and Mindamora Rocha applied an imaginative bleak world to the stage. There isn’t much happy about Merrick’s story which could have languished – which some scenes did – but Schmidt directed the show with efficiency and even some urgency that kept the story compelling on opening night.
At the center of it all was Wall’s performance who had to bring a strong physicality to the role. Watching his body contorted actually felt painful — particularly as he hobbles throughout the stage with a cane. With such an emotional arc though, it felt Wall opted to keep any emotional registry at the same level. This was sometimes difficult in relating to the character in any way or unclear if Merrick can display emotions simply because of his deformities.
As Treves, Harris had a wide range of emotions in his character’s efforts to cure (?) Merrick. Perhaps this is the balance between the two. Harris was eager as the young doctor but also earnest with determination to simply find an answer whatever that may be. This brought up the idea of who the story is really about – Merrick who simply accepted his position or Treves trying to find his?
Raehpour’s Kendal was a beacon amid the bleak hospital world inhabited by the doctor and patient and the others. Her chemistry with Wall as they developed a friendship was touching to watch unfold.
Creative choices for this show were sometimes challenging. The Saran-wrapped set was ambitious and imaginative but unclear on if it was a metaphor for the story or simply an idea to try out. Costuming felt appropriate for the era but Merrick’s clothing often seemed random with mismatched socks and shoes or flowery vests. The lighting was a range of moody blues which painted the show dramatically and when shifted to more natural lighting, was a stark contrast. This allowed the show some subtle layers to its storytelling.
Theatre Three’s production was thought-provoking which brought up questions about compassion, vanity and healthcare. Lengthy conversations were had by this watcher after the show. Thanks to this Monday night’s takeaway from The Elephant Man was certainly a philosophical one.
Opening this week:
One + One Players, The Trial staged reading, Friday and Saturday at the Bath House Cultural Center.
Dallas Symphony Orchestra: Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto, Friday-Sunday at the Meyerson.
Allen Contemporary Theatre: Ken Ludwig’s The God of Comedy, Friday-Feb. 12.
Garland Civic Theatre: A Few Good Men, Friday-Feb. 12 at the Granville Arts Center.
Runway Theatre: Beer for Breakfast, Friday-Feb. 12.
The Core Theatre: Every Livin’ Soul, Friday-Feb. 26.
Artisan Center Theatre: Freaky Friday, Friday-March 1.
The Dallas Opera: The Hart Institute for Women Conductors Annual Showcase Concert, 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Winspear.
Lone Star Wind Orchestra: Rhapsodies in Blue, 3 p.m. Sunday at the Eisemann Center.
Dallas Chamber Music Society: Dallas Symphony Chamber Players, 6:45 p.m. Monday at Caruth Auditorium.
Rover Dramawerks: Four Weddings and an Elvis, today-Jan. 28.
Broadway at the Bass: Disney’s The Lion King, through Jan. 29.
MainStage Irving-Las Colinas: Ada and the Engine, Friday-Feb. 4 in the Dupree Theater at Irving Arts Center.
Broadway Dallas: Pretty Woman: The Musical, Wednesday-Feb. 6 at the Music Hall at Fair Park.
Theatre Too: I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, through Feb. 18 at Theatre Three.
Theatre Three: The Elephant Man, through Feb. 19, pictured.