Cedric Neal and the company of ‘Guys and Dolls’ at the Bridge Theatre in London. (Photo by Manuel Harlan)

Stage Notes is a weekly aggregate post about theater, classical music and stage news, events, reviews and other relevant information.

Stage Notes Calendar

Lyric Stage, Sweeney Todd, 2024Opening this week:

Broadway at the Center: Annie, March 14-17 at the Winspear

TITAS/DANCE UNBOUND: Parsons Dance Company, March 15 and 16 at Moody Performance Hall

Dallas Symphony Orchestra: A Night at the Movies – Music of John Williams, March 15-17 at the Meyerson

Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra: Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto and the Fifth Symphony, March 15-17 at Bass Hall.

Lyric Stage: Sweeney Todd, March 15-April 20 at the Lyric Studio Space, pictured.

NTPA Repertory Theatre: All Shook Up, March 15-April 24

Allen Contemporary Theatre: Flanagan’s Wake, March 15-31.

Chamber Music International: Concert 4 with the Sitkovetsky Trio, 7:30 p.m. March 16 at St. Barnabas Presbyterian Church.

Dallas Bach Society: The “I”’s Have It, 7:30 p.m. March 16 at Zion Lutheran Church.

DBDT Encore!: Dancing Beyond Borders, March 16 at W.E. Scott Theatre.

Fine Arts Chamber Players: Mystique, 3 p.m. March 16 at TBA.

Plano Symphony Orchestra: An Evening with Héctor Guzmán and Friends, 8 p.m. March 16 at Christ UMC.

Cenicienta – A Bilingual Cinderella Story, 2 p.m. March 17 at the Eisemann Center

Dallas Chamber Music Society: Dallas Symphony Chamber Players, March 18 at SMU Caruth Auditorium

Dallas Symphony Orchestra: Daniil Trifonov Piano Recital, 7:30 p.m. March 18 at the Meyerson.

The Womens Chorus of Dallas: Voices of Women IX Concert, March 20 at Moody Performance Hall

Onstage now:Rover Dramawerks, Take the Couch, 2024

Bishop Arts Theatre Center: The Sum of Us One-act Festival, through Sunday.

The Elevator Project: The Taming of the Shrew by Plague Mask Players, through Sunday at the Wyly.

Theatre Denton: Stupid F$#*ing Bird, through Sunday.

Undermain Theatre: This time, through Sunday.

Upright Theatre: Into the Woods, through Sunday.

Uptown Players: Fire and Air, through Sunday in the 6th Floor Studio Theater at the Wyly.

MainStage ILC:  Dear Brutus, through March 23.

Pocket Sandwich Theatre: I Hate Hamlet, through March 23.

Rover Dramawerks: Take the Couch, through March 23 at the Cox Playhouse, pictured.

Dallas Theater Center: Every Brilliant Thing, through March 24.

yGarland Civic Theatre: Sondheim’s Follies, through March 24.

Stage West: POTUS, through March 30.

Lonesome Blues, through April 7 at Club Dada.

The Classics Theatre Project: The Glass Menagerie, Friday-April 13 at the Stone Cottage.

Stage West extends POTUS

The cast of Stage West’s ‘POTUS.’ (Courtesy photo by Evan Michael Woods)

Due to high ticket demand, Stage West has added four more performances of its currentshow POTUS: Or, Behind Every Great Dumbass Are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive by Selina Fillinger. The added performances will be March 28-30 at 6 p.m. and a 2 p.m. show on March 30. .

POTUS is directed by Kara-Lynn Vaeni, and features Stage West Executive Producer DanavSchultes as Chief of Staff Harriet, with Vanessa DeSilvio, asvPress Secretary Jean, KristinvMcCollum as Presidential Secretary Stephanie, Octavia Thomas as journalist Chris, vickie washington as First Lady Margaret, Laurel L. Collins as the President’s sister Bernadette and Olivia Cinquepalmi as Dusty.

The creative team behind POTUS includes Technical Director Bryan Stevenson for set design with lighting design by Roma Flowers, costume and wig design by Shahrzad Mazaheri, sound design and mixing by Joshua Nguyen, intimacy and fight choreography by Mitch Stephens and props and set décor by Lynn Lovett.  Stage Manager is Tiffany Cromwell.

For tickets, click here.

Dallas native Cedric Neal up for an Olivier Award

Earlier this week, the Olivier Awards were announced recognizing the best in London’s professional theater.  You could say its the British equivalent to the Tony Awards. Among this year’s nominees was a hometown name.

The nominees for Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical included Cedric Neal for his role in Guys and Dolls at the Bridge Theatre.

Of course, he posted his disbelief on Instagram.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Cedric Neal (@iamcedricneal)

In the second slide, he wrote “Oak Cliff to the Oliviers!!!”

The show itself was nominated for a total of nine awards including Best Musical Revival and Best Actor and Actress. Throughout social media, he received congratulatory notes from Dallas creatives such as music director Vonda K. Bowling, actor Max J. Swarner, Turtle Creek Chorale’s Sean Baugh and others.

Neal’s fellow nominees include Sarah Jessica Parker, David Tennant, Nicole Sherzinger. The Oliviers will be announced on April 14.

Review: MainStage ILC confounds with Dear Brutus 

‘Dear Brutus’ at MainStage ILC. (Photos by Kris Ikejiri)

Last weekend, MainStage opened the 1917 play Dear Brutus by J.M. Barrie, who famously wrote Peter Pan. While fantastical like Peter Pan, Barrie’s story about second chances was a confounding one. Directed by Rose Ann Holman, MainStage delivered a beautifully crafted play that suffered under a story that was hard to put a finger on. 

The play begins in an Agatha Christie setting where guests are invited to a mysterious mansion. They try to figure out the connection until the impish Lob tells them to go into the woods for an adventure. The guests were warned not to by the butler Matey. Upon entering, they become different characters or perhaps different versions of themselves where they confront inner truths. Upon their return, each has a second chance at their mistake. 

I’m simplifying but in a nutshell, that’s it and as for the “why,” who knows? Barrie’s story never really dove into who these characters truly were, particularly their host. There’s no real exposition on the magical aspect and the return was anticlimactic. The stakes were never urgent but perhaps, more than 100 years ago, Barrie could get away without all that. 

Outside the story, the play itself was beautiful to look at. Scenic Designer TJ Firneno and Set Dresser Josh Henley’s set was filled with lush colors and rich textures. The forest scene was dreamy, often recalling A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The parlor where all the characters convened was opulent grand while also lived in. Nikki Deshea’s lighting served the sets well, filling the spaces with warm colors and vibrancy. Michael A. Robinson’s costumes were giving luxury period vibes particularly for the female characters. 

MainStage ILC, Dear Brutus, 2024The cast was also invested into their parts and surely had a far better sense of them than I did. Bill Lewis was superb as a klepto butler but then he upped the charm as his character found his second chance with Lady Caroline, played with spirit by Kristin Sutton Ford. Brian Hoffman never missed a mark with his two-timing character Mr. Purdie. Dio Garner’s puckish Lob was joyfully annoying as the character was supposed to be, but it was hard to land on him as the magical character. 

Travis Cook’s Mr. Dearth was the most fleshed out character. Cook’s extensive second act scene gave him room to play with the character’s tender and loving aspects that helped focus his character in the first and third acts.  As Mrs. Dearth, Staci Cook played up the icy character who melted into the grief-stricken mother. In the fantasy world, he spends time with daughter Margaret who apparently is dead in real life. Carol Diaz-Arrastin played the lively role with gusto. 

Barrie Alguire and Allen Matthews depicted a lovely older couple rediscovering love while Hanna Destiny Lynn and Bethany Soder battle it out as properly and charmingly as possible over Mr. Purdie. 

Holman’s direction moved the play along at a nice pace, but Barrie’s story never landed. Within the two intermissions, overheard conversations proved I wasn’t the only one figuring out what was happening. 

Dear Brutus runs through March 23.

–Rich Lopez