Randy Pearlman in Circle Theatre’s ‘I’m Proud of You’,’ a world premiere. (Photos by TayStan Photography)

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

Opening this week:Lyric Stage, Little Shop, 2023

Lyric Stage: Little Shop of Horrors, today-Sunday at the Majestic, pictured.

Circle Theatre: I’m Proud of You, today-Nov. 18

Avant Chamber Ballet: Dracula, Friday and Saturday at Moody Performance Hall.

Allen Contemporary Theatre: Dr. Montague’s Carnival of the Bizarre: the Rhapsody of Catastrophe, Friday-Sunday.

Dallas Symphony Orchestra: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban in Concert, Friday-Sunday.

Artisan Center Theatre: Guys and Dolls, Friday-Dec. 16.

Irving Symphony Orchestra: A Spooky Symphony, Saturday at the Irving Arts Center

Art Centre Theatre: War of the Worlds radio play, Saturday-Tuesday

FWSO Chamber Series: Buddy Bray and Keith Cerny, Sunday at the Kimbell Art Museum.

Dallas Symphony Orchestra: Dia de los Muertos, Tuesday at the Meyerson

Dallas Symphony Orchestra: The Concert Truck, noon, Wednesday at One Arts Plaza

Gould Family Organ Recital Series: Thomas Ospital, 7:30 p.m., Wednesday at the Meyerson.

Onstage now:The Classics, The Crucible, 2023

Rover Dramawerks: Bernhardt/Hamlet, through Saturday.

Second Thought Theatre: Anne-Tig-Uh-Knee, through Saturday.

Art Centre Theatre: Bat Boy the Musical, through Sunday.

Dallas Theater Center: The Rocky Horror Show, through Sunday at the Kalita Humphreys Theater.

Grand Prairie Arts Council: The Hunchback of Notre Dame, through Sunday.

Hip Pocket Theatre: The Fly, through Sunday.

MBS Productions: Vampire Bros vs. Werewolf Lesbians, through Sunday at the Stone Cottage.

Mesquite Arts Center: The Play that Goes Wrong, through Sunday.

Theatre Denton: The Play That Goes Wrong, through Sunday.

Theatre Three: Lizzie the Rock Musical, through Sunday.

Upright Theatre: Sweeney Todd – The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, through Sunday.

Lakeside Community Theatre: Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, through Nov. 3.

The Classics Theatre Project: The Crucible at the Addison Theatre Centre, through Nov. 4.

Bishop Arts Theatre Center: Othello, through Nov. 5.

Garland Civic Theatre: Arsenic and Old Lace, through Nov. 5.

Richardson Centre Theatre: Murder On The Nile, through Nov. 5.

Stage West: Once Upon a Mattress, through Nov. 5.

Amphibian Stage: The Visit, through Nov. 12.

NTPA to host second annual Stardust Awards Gala

North Texas Performing Arts (NTPA) announced its second annual Stardust Awards Gala will be held on Saturday, Nov. 4. The costume ball will feature a cocktail hour followed by a three-course meal, dinner entertainment, the Stardust Awards ceremony, a live auction, and dance party with Emerald City’s Party Machine Band.

The event, sponsored by Dairy Farmers of America, honors performing arts professionals and enthusiasts from across North Texas including performing arts teachers, artists, philanthropists and top performing arts organizations across North Texas in addition to NTPA volunteers. Patrons are invited to don costumed attire following musical theatre themes. Proceeds from the event will fund programs to extend NTPA’s DEI initiatives and underwrite operations and critical projects for North Texas Performing Arts.

Honorees for the community leadership awards are nominated by the public and determined by a committee of judges including performing arts leaders, educators, and professionals from across Texas.

Select 2023 NTPA Stardust Community Award recipients include:

Distinguished Performing Artist – B.J. Cleveland

Distinguished Performing Arts Organization – Plano Civic Chorus

Distinguished Performing Arts Leader – Janie Oliver, Children’s Chorus of Collin County

Distinguished Arts Advocate – Tammy Meinershagen, Frisco City Council

Distinguished Arts Advocate – City of Plano and Cultural Arts Commission

Distinguished Arts Advocate – Baxley Foundation

Distinguished Collegiate Performing Arts Educator – Sally Vahle, UNT

Lifetime Achievement Award – Katherine Wagner, Business Council for the Arts, retired

The Stardust Awards Gala will be held at the Marriott at Legacy Town Center. Tickets area available here.

Show information

Circle Theatre opens the world premiere of I’m Proud Of You

The Fort Worth professional regional theatre in Sundance Square, will close its season with the world premiere of I’m Proud of You. The play by Tim Madigan and Harry Parker opens in previews tonight with opening night on Saturday. The play stems from the book I’m Proud of You: My Friendship with Fred Rogers by Madigan.

“I considered him to be one of my closest friends. In fact, it’s no exaggeration to say that if it were not for Fred Rogers, I might not be around today, alive to tell you my story,” Madigan stated. The author invites the audience into his memories and friendship with a man who shaped more than a generation—through kindness.

The production is directed by Theatre TCU professor Harry Parker with original music by Alan Shorter.

The cast includes Randy Pearlman as Mr. Rogers and Richie Haratine as Madigan. Lisa Fairchild and Gabriel Whitehurst complete the show’s cast.

Production of the show includes Circle Theatre’s team members ‬Kaitlin Hatton‭‬ (‬Stage Manager‭), ‬Richard Morrison‭ (‬Master Carpenter‭), ‬Brian Clinnin  ‬‭(‬Scenic Designer‭), ‬Tristan Decker ‬‭(‬Lighting/Projection Designer‭), ‬‬Jessie Wallace (‬Costume Designer‭), ‬Brian Do (Sound Designer), Jamie Milligan‭ ‬‭ (‬Master Electrician‭), ‬Saul Ortiz‭ ‬‭(‬Wardrobe‭), Shelbie Mac (Scenic Artist), TayStan Photography‭ (‬Photography‭).‬

Tickets are availabe here.

Undermain Theatre announces show info for No Man’s Land

Undermain Theatre will present the regional premiere of this Harold Pinter play set in London’s Hampstead Heath for its 40th anniversary season. The company will open the show Nov. 9 and run through Dec. 3 with no performances on Thanksgiving. Undermain announced the show’s cast and crew info this week.

About the show (from Undermain):

In No Man’s Land two men face each other over a drink. Do they know each other, or is each performing an elaborate character of recognition? Their ambiguity—and the comedy—intensify with the arrival of two younger men, the one ostensibly a manservant, the other a male secretary. All four inhabit a no man’s land between time present and time remembered, between reality and imagination—a territory which Pinter explores with his characteristic mixture of biting wit, aggression, and anarchic sexuality.

The cast for the show will include  Tyrees Allen as Spooner, Bruce DuBose as Hirst, Marcus Stimac as Briggs and Max Morgan as Foster. The creative team for No Man’s Land will be Robert Winn, scene, Steve Woods, lighting, Katelyn Jackson, costumes, Paul Semrad, sound and Linda Noland, props.

The play is directed by Ivan Klousia.

Tickets are on sale now with student, senior and KERA discounts available.

WaterTower Theatre announces cast for CHAPLIN

WTT will open its 28th season with CHAPLIN the Musical. The show will open Nov. 8-19. The company revealed the cast and crew for the production on Thursday.

The musical dramatizes the making of Chaplin’s films, including The Kid, The Circus, Modern Times and The Great Dictator as well as his turbulent childhood, love life and political beliefs. Featuring an original score by Christopher Curtis, including “Look at All the People,” “Just Another Day in Hollywood” and “This Man,” CHAPLIN tells the  story of the man who makes the world laugh as his legendary screen persona, the Tramp, but struggles to find happiness in his own life.

The production stars Max J. Swarner as Charlie Chaplin, Duke Anderson as his brother Sydney Chaplin, Lauren Mikeal Weber as their mother Hannah Chaplin, Laura Lites as Hedda Hopper, Kylie Stewart as Oona O’Neill, Brian Gonzales as Mack Sennet, Andrew Nicolas as Alf Reeves, Jude Laine Lewis as Young Sydney Chaplin.

The youth roles of Young Charlie and Jackie Coogan are double cast. Allison Arroyo and Lucas Bierrenbach will both star as Young Charlie with Livie Chiou amd CJ Weber sharing the role of Jackie Coogan.

The show includes an ensemble of skilled singers, dancers, and actors including Blake Henri, Emery Gray, Spencer Laboda, Donovan Marie Lawson, Lisette Sandoval Perez, Tilda Grace, Daniel Vanegas, and Nik Blocker who portray multiple other characters in Chaplin’s world. The cast is joined by two ensemble swings: Evelyn Dumeer & Steven Rios.

CHAPLIN is directed by Shane Peterman and associate JC Schuster, with music directed by Vonda K. Bowling and choreography by Ann Nieman.

Tickets available here.

Season announcements

Kitchen Dog Theater reveals 2023-2024 season

Dallas’s Kitchen Dog Theater (KDT) announced its new 33rd season this week that will keep audiences on their toes. The company is in the middle of construction on its new home in the Design District, so KDT’s new season will travel throughout North Texas with some unique staging opportunties. The season will include three mainstage shows along with its PUP Fest that features high school talent.

KDT’s 2023/24 schedule (from KDT):

Dec. 7-10: Safe at Home by Gabriel Greene and Alex Levy. In this regional premiere, star pitcher Victor Castillo is set to take the mound for game 7 of the World Series. But when a rumor begins to circulate that Castillo may use the sport’s biggest stage as a political protest, the shock waves hit all corners of the stadium, from the owner’s box to the locker room. An engaging and provocative site-specific work designed to be performed inside a baseball stadium, Safe at Home examines the complex intersection between baseball, politics, and the American Dream. Directed by Jack Reuler, performances will be held at Riders Field in Frisco. Yes, a baseball field is the stage for this one. Patron pods to performances will be available.

Feb. 8-25: Shape. Another regional premiere for KDT, in this feminist comedy, written and directed by Southern Methodist University Assistant Professor Kara-Lynn Vaeni, offers a forthright look into fitness, body image and how we define strength. For this production, the audience will be “getting back in the gym” both literally and figuratively with performances held at D-Town CrossFit. 

June 2024: Play and location TBA. 

June 8: DPAC PUP (Playwrights Under Progress) Fest. For its 22nd annual event, PUP Fest will feature six staged readings of jury-selected plays written by DFW high school students, featuring student actors directed by area professional directors. PUP Fest is the culminating event of Dallas Playwriting Arts Collective (D-PAC), a partnership with Dallas ISD and Junior Players.

Subscriptions will include all three shows and the PUP Fest. Individuals tickets for each show go on sale Nov. 1. Click here for more information.

Something uneasy is coming to Echo Theatre in 2024

In its announcement Thursday, Echo Theatre will present three premiere productions for its 26th season. The company is giving off some mysterious vibes with its descriptions and visuals. This next season’s shows will explore the off-putting, painful, inscrutable and unexplainable aspects of humanity that would normally cause us to look away, but Echo is going to stare them straight in the eye.

Here is Echo’s next season of shows:

Feb. 9-23: Feeding the Cat, Incorrectly, Several Times Over by Shyama Nithiananda. Jo and Jen live parallel lives: They study medicine. They pay the rent. They fight with their partners. And they keep big secrets. When Jo’s decision to keep a patient’s secret backfires, she is forced to reckon with her responsibility to partners, strangers, and enemies alike. Content warnings for language, blood, adult themes, depictions of medical procedures, and discussions of domestic violence. This regional premiere and winner of  the 2023 Texas Shout Out New Play Contest for Women+ BIPOC Authors will be directed by Katie Ibrahim. 

May 9-25: Beyond the Yellow Wallpaper by Ann Timmons. This world premiere, historical drama delves into the life of feminist author and social reformer, Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Known to many for her short story, The Yellow Wallpaper, Charlotte’s work explores the realities of womanhood at the turn of the 20th century. From adolescence to her deathbed, we follow Charlotte’s complicated journey to professional success, and experience firsthand how her ongoing struggle with depression and an unconventional life shaped her work. Content warnings for depression, post-partum depression, and suicidal ideation. Commisioned by Echo Theatre, the play will be directed by Caroline Hamilton.

Sept. 13-28: the secret keepers by Erin Malone Turner. Trudging through life at The Right Path Academy is a group of silly, intense, thoughtful, difficult high school seniors. During their last semester at the run-down boarding school, nightmares plague the unspoken leader of the group, shadowy figures come and go, skeletons tumble out of their closets, and one of the teens goes missing. Will they graduate with more troubles than they started with? This Southern gothic, coming-of-age play explores taking responsibility for our relationships, the messiness of growing up, and learning to let go of the things we’ve never truly had. Content warnings for discussions of self harm, disordered eating, and suspenseful sequences. This regional premiere and winner of the 2023 Texas Shout Out New Play Contest for Women+ BIPOC Authors will be directed by Sasha Maya Ada. 

Tickets for all shows can be found here. Subscription packages are also now available.


Zachary Willis struts with flair in DTC’s The Rocky Horror Show

Zachary Willis in Dallas Theater Center’s ‘The Rocky Horror Show.’ (Photo by Kim Leeson)

—Rich Lopez