Tina Parker in Theatre Three’s ‘Misery.’ (Photos by Jeffrey Schmidt)

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

Stage Notes Calendar

Opening this week:

Sammons Cabaret: David Slater and Veronica Williams, 7:30 May 16 at the Sammons Center for the Arts

Dallas Symphony Orchestra: Rachmaninoff Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, today-Sunday at the Meyerson

Firehouse Theatre: Footloose, today-June 2

Dallas Black Dance Theatre: Spring Celebration, 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Wyly Theatre

The Classics Theatre Project: Oleanna, Friday-June 17 at the Stone Cottage, pictured.

Theatre Arlington: Comedy Club, 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday

Texas Ballet Theater: Beauty and the Beast, Friday-Sunday at Bass Performance Hall

Richardson Theatre Centre: Lost in Yonkers, Friday-June 2

Upright Theatre: Bonnie and Clyde, Friday-June 15

Pocket Sandwich Theatre: Four Weddings and an Elvis, Friday-June 22

Plano Symphony Orchestra: Women Composer Series, 7 p.m. Saturday at Addison Conference Center

DSO Woodwind Quintet, 6 p.m. Sunday at Klyde Warren Park

Turtle Creek Chorale: Pages, Sunday at Northaven United Methodist Church

6 o’Clock Dance Theater: Visions of Blue, 2 and 8 p.m. Monday at Addison Theater Centre.

Onstage now:

MainStage ILC: On Golden Pond through Saturday.

Ochre House: Patti and Theo, through Saturday.

Allen Contemporary Theatre: Ken Ludwig’s Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery, through Sunday.

Auriga Produtions: Hamlet, through Sunday at Arts Fort Worth.

Bishop Arts Theatre Center: Fannie: The Music and Life of Fannie Lou Hamer, through Sunday.

The Core: Our Town, through Sunday.

Theatre Arlington: Steel Magnolias, through Sunday, pictured.

Theatre Frisco: Six Degrees of Separation, through Sunday.

Echo Theatre: Beyond the Yellow Wallpaper, through May 25 at the Bath House Cultural Center.

Rockwall Community Playhouse: Tuesdays with Morrie, Friday-May 26.

Undermain Theatre: The Persians, through May 26.

Theatre Three: Misery, through June 2 in Theatre Too.

Broadway Dallas: Hamilton, through June 9 at the Winspear.

Review: Theatre Three’s deeply intimate Misery makes for more intense thrills

Staging the Stephen King story Misery in its smaller Theatre Too space was a stroke of genius for T3. The confined area added to the isolation of the story and its characters Annie Wilkes and Paul Sheldon. Going smaller made everything feel so much bigger which resulted in a thrilling and chilling experience.

The audience that trickled in last Thursday was welcome primarily and somewhat ominiously by a bed. Added furniture was dotted around it but the bed — especially for those who know the story or the movie — felt foreboding. The tone was set immediately by Jeffrey Schmidt’s scenic design.

Adapted by William Goldman, the play centers on famous author Paul Sheldon who was in a wreck in a blizzard and saved by Annie Wilkes who happens to be his number one fan due to his books featuring Misery Chastain. Wilkes loves Misery and Sheldon a little too much. With no in or out via roads or the phone, Paul is trapped and then he realizes it as Annie’s attention and devotion becomes frighteningly excessive and demanding.

Cameron Cobb played Paul with all the right notes. He was cocky as a celebrity, he was pained from his wreck and he was cunning as Paul plotted his own escape. The majority of his time has to be spent in the bed but Cobb’s performane was intensely physical. He conveyed the pain so well that the audience groaned and grunted along as his character fell out of bed or crawled to his wheelchair. Cobb impeccably brought the audience along on Paul’s plight.

The facets of Annie Wilkes were equally expressed by Tina Parker. From wholesome caretaker to horrific gaslighter who wasn’t afraid of cracking some bones or feeding Paul his soup mixed with mop water, Parker embodied all the puzzle parts that made up a fully-realized Annie. What made her even more chilling was that Parker had a very sweet voice as Annie. When it switched into rage, it was a stark 180 that was both sinister and successful.

If there was ever a couple of the year for Dallas theater, it may be Cobb and Parker who played diametric opposites, but were beautifully matched scene for scene. Christie Vela crafted exciting performances from the two. The story moved along well but gave time to catch the occasional breath when needed. T3 newcomer LaQuintence Canady II gave a perfectly homey smalltown cop performance as Buster.

If the show wasn’t thrilling enough, big props to Schmidt’s stage design. The play happened mostly in Paul’s bedroom, but the shift to other parts of the house was so clever and even jaw-dropping to see it happen onstage. That mixed with effective lighting by Aaron Johansen and sound by Dylan Hearn, the world of Misery was stark. The production also featured the work of  Raven Lanuza Brown for costuming, props designed by Phoebe Strunk, special effects by Isa Flores with fights choreographed by David Saldivar.

The show runs through June 2.

The 2024-25 season of Stolen Shakespeare Guild has been declared

Fort Worth’s classical theatre company announced its new slate of shows on Friday morning. The season consists of six shows beginning in September. All performances will be held in the Sanders theater in Arts Fort Worth. The season will include a Shakespeare comedy and tragedy in repertory for its annual Stolen Shakespeare Festival.

“We are passionately committed to preserving the timeless works of William Shakespeare and other celebrated playwrights and authors. Join us for our 19th season and experience the magic of live theatre with six incredible productions,” the company stated in Friday’s season announcement.

The season includes (from SSG):

Sept. 27-Oct.13: F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby by Simon Levy. Jay Gatsby, a self-made millionaire, ardently pursues the elusive Daisy Buchanan. Nick Carraway, a young newcomer to Long Island, is drawn into their world of obsession, greed, and danger. The breathtaking glamour of the Jazz Age comes to life on stage in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel, as adapted by Simon Levy and approved by the Fitzgerald Estate.

Dec. 6-22: Georgiana and Kitty: Christmas at Pemberley by Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon. Georgiana Darcy, an accomplished pianist wary of romance, and Kitty Bennet, a bright-eyed optimist and perfect best friend, are ready for their own adventures in life and love after years of being overshadowed by their older siblings. Their journey begins with the arrival of an admirer and secret correspondent. Despite meddlesome families and outdated expectations, these determined friends forge their own path in a holiday tale filled with music, ambition, sisterhood, and forgiveness.

Feb. 14-March 9: Stolen Shakespeare Festival 2025 featuring Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare. Follow the hilarious journey of mistaken identities, misplaced affections, and uproarious antics as Viola disguises herself as a man to navigate the whims of love in Illyria. Don’t miss your chance to witness this timeless tale filled with romance and humor. 

Feb. 21-March 8: Stolen Shakespeare Festival 2025 featuring Richard III by William Shakespeare. Indulge in the gripping tale of power, betrayal, and ambition with Shakespeare’s “Richard III”! Follow the ruthless journey of Richard, Duke of Gloucester, as he schemes, manipulates, and murders his way to the throne of England.

Aprili 25-May 11: My Fair Lady with book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner and music by Frederick Loewe. Based on George Bernard Shaw’s play Pygmalion, with book, music, and lyrics by Lerner and Loewe, My Fair Lady is a gloriously triumphant musical! The tale of a cockney flower girl transformed into an elegant lady features one of musical theatre’s greatest scores. Songs include “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly?,” “With a Little Bit of Luck,” “The Rain in Spain,” “I Could Have Danced All Night,” “On the Street Where You Live,” “Get Me to the Church on Time,” and “I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face.”

July 18-Aug. 3: Hairspray book by Thomas Meehan and Mark O’Donnell and music by Marc Shaiman; lyrics by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman. It’s 1962 in Baltimore, and the lovable plus-size teen, Tracy Turnblad, has only one desire – to dance on the popular “Corny Collins Show.” When her dream comes true, Tracy is transformed from social outcast to sudden star. She must use her newfound power to win the affections of heartthrob, Link Larkin, and integrate a TV network… all without denting her ‘do! 

The season features two forms of season passes: the Season Pass and the Opening Night Pass. The former includes admission to all six shows for the 2024–2025 season. Reservations may be changed up to 48 hours in advance at no charge. Valid for any performance except opening nights.. The Opening Night Pass includes admission to all six opening nights for the season but there are no season ticket upgrades or reservation changes.

For tickets and more information, click here.

Stage West drops news on its new season of shows

On Thursday, Fort Worth’s Stage West unveiled its new season of shows. The season will feature six productions with the first show launching in October. Among the lineup are four regional premieres, a rerun and a gay fave musical.

“We’re thrilled to unveil a Season 46 lineup that’s packed with laughter, inspiration, and intrigue,” SW stated in its announcement.

Oct. 17-Nov. 3: What the Constitution Means to Me by Heidi Schreck. Earnest and polite high schooler Heidi put herself through college by winning debates about the Constitution. Now an adult, she revisits her teenage self to trace the generational impact America’s founding document has had on her life. Civic duty is on full display as this witty and interactive new play builds to a live debate between Heidi and an actual teen, allowing “we the people” to decide how to move forward in this regional premiere. 

Nov. 29-Dec. 22: The Play that Goes Wrong by Henry Lewis, Henry Shields, and Jonathan Sayer.Welcome (BACK) to the opening night of The Murder at Haversham Manor, where things are quickly going from bad to horrible. With an unconscious leading lady, a corpse that can’t play dead, and actors who trip over everything (including their lines), the whole evening is a disastrous smash. Chock-full of mishaps and madcap mania, this classic murder mystery is sure to bring down the house (AGAIN)! A co-production with WaterTower Theatre. 

Jan. 30-Feb. 16: Primary Trust by Eboni Booth.Kenneth lives in a small town in upstate New York. By day, he works at a local bookstore – by night, he sips mai tais at his favorite bar with his best friend Bert. But when Kenneth is unexpectedly laid off, the quiet life he knows is thrown into a tailspin, as he sets out on a journey of self-discovery. Courage gives way to transformation in this story about old friends, new beginnings, and the good in being there for one another. A regional premiere and co-production with Dallas Theater Center. 

March 13-30: Hedwig and the Angry Inch by John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask. From East Berlin to Junction City comes an electric tale of glitter, grit, and gnosis. On a revenge tour across the nation, punk goddess Hedwig Robinson, born Hansel Schmidt, recounts her high-octane journey in search of her other half. With a pulsing rock score, this groundbreaking smash-hit musical triumph is for anyone who has felt life gave them an inch when they deserved a mile.

June 12-29: Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Fallen Souffle by David MacGregor. It’s the eve of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee – but her son, the playboy Prince of Wales, and French chef Auguste Escoffier have just turned up at 221B Baker Street in the thick of scandal and blackmail. Royal vice, priceless gems, and gourmet food abound in this new action-packed whodunit. Noted sleuth Sherlock Holmes reunites with his beloved Irene Adler and his partner Dr. Watson for their tastiest and most bizarre case yet in this regional premiere. 

Aug. 28-Sept. 14: Fat Ham by James Ijames. Juicy’s got a lot on his plate – his mom just married his uncle. All he wants is to make his own way as a queer Black man in a Southern family. But here’s the rub – his father’s ghost just turned up at a backyard barbecue demanding vengeance. In this delicious and sizzling reinvention of Shakespeare’s masterpiece, a young man vows to break the cycles of violence in service of his own liberation and joy. Regional premiere. 

Subscriptions are available now. Any made by June 14 will receive a complimentary guest ticket to any show. Click here for more information on packages.

–Rich Lopez