The cast of ‘Head Over Heels’ by Uptown Players. (Courtesy photo)

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

Uptown Players got the beat for its new season

Uptown Players’ goes on “Vacation” with its 2022/23 season opener next month. The company will open the new season with the  musical comedy Head Over Heels, by Jeff Whitty & James McGruder, featuring the music of the Go-Go’s

The jukebox musical adaptation of Sir Philip Sidney’s The Countess of Pembroke’s Arcadia features music by one of the iconic groups of the ’80s New Wave.  The show blends Elizabethan England, The Go-Go’s pop punk sound and some contemporary queer culture.

The show features the hit songs, “We Got the Beat,” “Our Lips Are Sealed,” “Vacation,” “Head Over Heels,” and lead singer Belinda Carlisle’s “Heaven is a Place on Earth” and “Mad About You.”

This production will be directed by Penny Ayn Maas, with music direction by Lee Harris and choreography by Evor Wright.

Cast cast includes Tim Brawner, Kylee Brown, Brian Hathaway, Isaiah Christopher-Lord Harris, Laura Lites, Gena Loe, Canali Miller, Grace Moore, Michael Mossucco, Seth Paden, Caroline Rivera, Michael Russell, Kylie Stewart, Lee Walter, Kelsey Ward, Brett Warner, Evor Wright and Sarah Youngblood

The production is stage managed by Kathryn Demith. The creative team includes scenic designer Dennis Canright, lighting designer Amanda West, hair/make up designer Michael B. Moore, properties designer Jane Quetin, and sound designer Brian Christensen.

The show opens Dec. 2-18 at the Kalita Humphreys Theater. Tickets available here.

The Elevator Project announces season eight of performances

Earlier this month ATTPAC’s The Elevator Project quietly announced its eighth season of performances for the 2022/23 season. All shows in the Wyly Studio Theatre unless otherwise noted. The new season’s shows include:

Feb. 2-4: Tear Down These Walls by Emerge Coalition in the Wyly Studio Theatre.

Tear Down These Walls brings traditional musical performance together with interactive set design. This meaningful project integrates the visual and performing arts, cultivating an immersive and elevated concert experience. Where there are walls, there is separation.

May 4-6: The Eldort Lofts by Agora Artists.

The Eldert Lofts is an original movement-based work made in collaboration with local artists. The piece explores the stories of a community living in a small apartment building. Through a series of vignettes, the work reveals the intimacies and intricacies of relationships, exploring themes of connection, isolation, identity, and support as each character navigates what it means to be in community.

May 11-13: #Filtered by mixtamotus.

Materializing out of mixatmotus’ obsession with the human-machine relationship and social media, #Filtered explores the age-old idiom “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” in a tongue-in-cheek journey of perfectionism between the digital and real self.

May 26-28: Luminescence presented by Jess Garland.

Luminescence is a performance featuring Jess Garland on a laser-harp created by frequent collaborator Eric Trich. The performance shows the connection between light, sound and visual arts.

June 1-3: Poems for Broken Screens presented by Therefore Art, Sound, and Performance Group in Hamon Hall.

Poems for Broken Screens is a transmedia performance art project spanning multiple genres and disciplines. It is an adventurous expression of 21st century poetry, broadly interpreted: the poem as sound, as image, as movement, as media. This ambitious project is an avant-garde interpretation of poetic forms translated through technology and experimental performance.

July 21-23: Jazz-Soul-Funk-Classics presented by B. MOORE DANCE.

B. MOORE DANCE presents a classic night of sultry jazz, soulful harmony, and the funkiest funk at the Wyly Theatre in the Dallas Arts District. Adding to her prolific repertoire of choreographic work, Artistic Director, Bridget L. Moore focuses her eclectic, diverse and daring vision on music that rocks avant-garde audiences around the world. Get ready to take this immersive, kaleidoscopic trip through the cosmic universe! The dynamic dancers of B. MOORE DANCE, coupled with live music, vocalists, and visual artists from Dallas, will be a festive delight for the soul that you don’t want to miss.

July 28-30: The Power of Collision by The DASH Ensemble.

The Power of Collision tells a familiar story that expresses how fragile life can be, how heavy things can get, and how exciting life can become when you weather the storm of both. The plot unfolds over the course of three acts, each one displaying a distinct use of contemporary movement and illusionism as innovative tools for storytelling.

Holiday shows

Kieran Connolly as Ebenezer Scrooge in DTC’s ‘A Christmas Carol.’ (Courtesy photo)

DTC celebrates 10 years of Kevin Moriarty’s Christmas Carol adaptation

Dallas Theater Center will open A Christmas Carol at the Wyly Theatre on Nov. 25 – Dec. 24. The musical is directed by Alex Organ and stars Kieran Connolly as Ebenezer Scrooge returning to the role which he first starred in a decade ago. This also marks the 10th anniversary of DTC artistic director Kevin Moriarty’s adaption of the story at DTC.

“Audiences should expect the story they know and love, plus a few surprises, performed by an amazing cast of actors and musicians,” Organ said in a press release. “Since music drives much of the story, we’ve invested a little more time and focus into the musical elements of the show this year. I personally think the music has never sounded better.”

Musical direction is led by DTC’s newest resident artist Gary Adler.

The cast includes Olivia de Guzman, Christina Austin Lopez, Christopher Ramirez, Tiffany Solano, Sally Nystuen Vahle as Marley/Old  Joe in her 30th season as a resident acting company member, and Bob Hess and Zachary J. Willis as understudies.

Additional adult cast includes Natassia Dominique, Sarah Gay, Ivan Jasso, Randy Pearlman, Rachel Nicole Poole, Esteban Vilchez, and musicians Benjamin Brown, Kat Glaze and Sam Henderson, with Claire Greenberg, Amber Rossi and Eduardo Velez II as understudies.

The creative team consists of scenic design by Tony Award-winning Beowulf Boritt, costume design by Jen Caprio, lighting design by Tony Award-winning Jeff Croiter, sound design by Broken Chord and hair/wig/makeup design by Valarie Gladstone. Laura Elaine Berrios is stage manager.

DTC is working with community partner North Texas Food Bank (NTFB) to help those with food insecurity across North Texas. During performances, DTC will provide a location in the Wyly lobby for patrons to donate canned goods to NTFB. Members of the cast will also collect monetary donations after every performance or donations can be made here.

A Christmas Carol remains a special story because it reminds us of humans’ ability to change,” Organ added. “Even the hardest, meanest person in town can acknowledge their mistakes and correct the course of their life. It’s worth reminding ourselves of that, year after year.”

Tickets are available here.

Casa Manana presents a twist on a Dickens classic

Casa Mañana gets in the holiday spirit and continues its Children’s Theatre season with A Christmas Carol: A New Musical Comedy directed by BJ Cleveland. Scrooge gets an update With a contemporary score and pop culture references. The show opens Nov. 25-Dec.23.

The cast includes Dirk Lumbard as Ebenezer Scrooge, Braxton O. Johnson as Jacob Marley, Jacob Clemmons as Bob Cratchit, Bob Reed as Lamplighter/Ghost of Christmas Future, J. Dontray Davis as Mr. Fezziwig/Ghost of Christmas Present and Samantha McHenry as Mrs. Cratchit/Ghost of Christmas Past.

Also featured are Daniel DiPinto, Annie Olive Cahill, Georgia Tillie Stumbo, Charlie Bilbow, Ivy Bilbow, Patrick Bilbow, Joshua McLemore
and Sarah Powell as “Mrs. Fezziwig. Ensemble includes Landry McRee, Mila Nelson, Isaac Petty-Gonzalez, Reagan Rees, Maxton Rhys Sims and Davis Wagner.

Led by Cleveland, the creative team includes choreographer Merrill West and music director James McQuillen, scenic design by Kathleen Holmes, lighting design by Samuel Rushen, sound design by Allan Branson, costume design, Tammy Spencer, wigs and hair by Cat Petty-Rogers and makeup artist Marcelina Villarreal.

A Merry Cirque: A Family Holiday Spectacular returns to Coppell Arts Center

Celebrate the holiday season with A Merry Cirque: A Family Holiday Spectacular in Coppell. Presented by Lone Star Circus, the festive show will feature holiday music, slapstick comedy and new circus acts for audiences of all ages..

The show runs Dec.15-8 with tickets available here.

Texas Ballet Theater announces final Nutcracker performance

Texas Ballet Theater’s ‘The Nutty Nutcracker.’ (Courtesy photo)

Reading that headline may be jarring but we kinda clickbaited you. Sorry! Nonetheless, TBT announced this week that the final performance of The Nutty Nutcracker on Dec. 16 at Bass Hall will be its last presentation after 12 seasons “where classic goes campy.”

“We are sad to see this long-standing tradition come to an end at TBT, but we are excited for the future and look forward to starting new traditions that will be as fun for the audiences, and dancers, as Nutty,” Tim O’Keefe, Acting Artistic Director, Texas Ballet Theater said in a press release on Tuesday.

From TBT:

This change comes as former Artistic Director Ben Stevenson, O.B.E., transitions into his new role as Artistic Director Laureate. Acting Artistic Director Tim O’Keefe, former Associate Artistic Director, will create the programming for the upcoming 2023-2024 season, marking a shift in the nonprofit ballet company’s artistic vision.

TBT will continue to present all other holiday events and productions, which include the Tutu Chic Fashion Show and Luncheon in Dallas, the Caren Koslow Fashion Show and Luncheon in Fort Worth, the Sugar Plum Fairy Tea and the full five-week production of Ben Stevenson’s The Nutcracker at Winspear Opera House in Dallas and Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth, as well as a variety of performances for schools in the DFW Metroplex.

Get your tickets here for the final performance of The Nutty Nutcracker.

In other TBT/Nutcracker news, the company will present Artistic Director Laureate Ben Stevenson, O.B.E.’s The Nutcracker for a total of 27 performances with the first eight at Nov. 25–Dec. 4 at Winspear Opera House in Dallas and then Dec. 9-24 at Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth.

“Many of our dancers will dance multiple roles and some are stepping into new roles for the first time this year,” Acting Artistic Director Tim O’Keefe said in a press release. “It’s exciting to see dancers expand their repertoire and take on new opportunities and I know you’ll be able to see their excitement on stage.”

Texas Ballet Theater’s ‘The Nutcracker.’ (Courtesy photo)

The classic Nutcracker story, festive choreography and elaborate sets and special effects for a unique presentation by the company.

Opening this week: 

Sammons Cabaret: Denise Lee, 8 p.m. Thursday at the Sammons Center

Theatre Arlington: Club Cabaret with Daniel Hernandez & Mary Gilbreath Grim, 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Bruce Wood Dance: Awake, Friday and Saturday at Moody Performance Hall, pictured. 

Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra: Wagner Highlights, Friday-Sunday at Bass Hall.

Rockwall Community Playhouse: Little Women the Musical, Friday-Dec. 4

Artisan Center Theatre: She Loves Me, Friday-Dec. 23.

6 o’Clock Dance Theatre: Cocoa and Candy Canes, Saturday and Sunday

Onstage now:

Sammons Cabaret: Denise Lee, 8 p.m. today at the Sammons Center.

Circle Theatre: Kodachrome, through Saturday.

Lakeside Community Theatre: An Inspector Calls, through Saturday.

MainStage Irving-Las Colinas: Gypsy, through Saturday in the Dupree Theater at Irving Arts Center.

Kitchen Dog Theater: The Sound Inside, through Sunday at Trinity River Arts Center.

Theatre Frisco: Same Time, Next Year, through Sunday.

Stage West: Guards at the Taj, through Sunday, pictured.

Art Centre Theatre: Money Talks, through Sunday.

The Classics Theatre Project: Dutchman, through Nov. 26.

Undermain Theatre: Feeding on Light, through Nov. 27.