<em>Passing Strange</em>&nbsp;at Theatre Three

2017: Theater, Part 4

Janice L. Franklin on some of her favorite productions of 2017.

published Friday, December 29, 2017

Photo: Karen Almond
Miller, Mississippi at Dallas Theater Center


I didn't see as many productions this year, but I still saw a lot that sticks with me. Here are some of my favorite shows of 2017:


Miller, Mississippi

By Boo Killebrew

Dallas Theater Center at the Wyly Theatre, Sixth Floor Studio

This theatrical experience was so powerful that I saw it twice, unusual for me. It was what I describe as 'pure theater'. A good script, and skilled actors who dug in and did their work. As a southerner, I recognized the context. Months later and I still remember the blocking, set design, costumes, nuances and those characters. My thought was that this is what theater is supposed to be. Directed by Lee Sunday Evans.


Photo: Jeffrey Schmidt
Passing Strange at Theatre Three

Julius Caesar

by William Shakespeare

House Party Theatre at 508 Park Amphitheatre

The amphitheatre location downtown worked very well for this production. That the female dominant casting worked is a good conversation for this time. Was it because 21st-century audiences are no longer shocked by seeing women cast in powerful male roles? Or was it because the performances engaged the audience in the story and not in who was telling it? Perhaps it was both. I loved this production which benefitted from the wind and ensuing sound effect enhancements. Directed by Sarah Lacy Hamilton.



By Lynn Nottage

Echo Theatre and Denise Lee Onstage

Bath House Cultural Center, Dallas

It is possible that there are as many reasons to avoid producing RUINED as there are reasons to commit to it. This is a Pulitzer Prize-winning play telling the stories we wish were fictional but know were not. Little if any relief from the tension, which is a hard sell to an audience.  Echo jumped off the cliff with this production and landed on their feet, facing forward with cast that can be proud of its work. Directed by Pam Myers-Morgan.


Passing Strange

By Stew and Heidi Rodewald

Theatre Theatre, Dallas

This is a complex work to stage and produce, particularly in an arena space. This is at least in part due to the writer and protagonist being a musician with a limited understanding of how to write a play. Still, vickie washington figured out how to make that work in Theatre Theatre's space. The characters were "out there" and the production team went into all of those places the character dragged us into. Directed by vickie washington.


Photo: Cecil Fuqua
Thurgood at Jubilee Theatre


By George Stevens, Jr.

Jubilee Theatre, Fort Worth

This piece could easily become one of the portrayals that attaches to Selmore Haines, one that he could be asked to replay for some time to come. It was clean, pointed, and interesting. Directed by Harry S. Parker. Good news: This same production, with actor/director, will be performed in February 2018 at the Bishop Arts Theatre Center.



By Sherry Jo Ward

Risk Theater Initiative at Bath House Cultural Center and Stage West

I will remember this production because of its honesty. Ward talked with the audience as if we had an existing relationship that she was taking to the next level through intimate conversation. Directed by Marianne Galloway.



By James Rado, Gerome Ragni and Galt MacDermot

Dallas Theater Center at Wyly Theatre

I cannot think of a misstep with Hair. The concept was fanciful and the cast wonderful. I think I had the most fun in this production than any of the others, and that is what should happen with Hair. Directed by Kevin Moriarty.


Inherit the Wind

By Robert E. Lee and Jerome Lawrence

Dallas Theater Center at the Kalita Humphreys Theater

Again, the concept while unexpected, worked. Strong actor performances and a proven script did the rest. Directed by Kevin Moriarty. Thanks For Reading

View the Article Slideshow
Click or Swipe to close
2017: Theater, Part 4
Janice L. Franklin on some of her favorite productions of 2017.
by Janice L. Franklin

Share this article on Facebook
Tweet this article
Share this article on Google+
Share this article via email
Click or Swipe to close
Click or Swipe to close
views on theater, dance, classical music, opera and comedy performances
news & notes
reports from the local performing arts scene
features & interviews
who and what are moving and shaking in the performing arts scene
season announcements
keep up with the arts groups' upcoming seasons
listen to interviews with people in the local performing arts scene
media reviews
reviews and stories on performing arts-related film, TV, recordings and books
arts organizations
learn more about the local producing and presenting arts groups
performance venues
learn more about the theaters and spaces where the arts happen
keep up with fabulous ticket giveaways and other promotions
connect to local arts crowdfunding campaigns
post or view auditions and performing arts-related classes, services, jobs and more
about us
info on TheaterJones, our staff, what we do and how to contact us
Click or Swipe to close
First Name:
Last Name:
Date of Birth:
ZIP Code:
Your Email Address:
Click or Swipe to close
Join TheaterJones Around the Web

Follow Us on Twitter

Subscribe to our Youtube Channel

Click or Swipe to close
Search the TheaterJones Archives
Use any or all of the options below to search through all of reviews, interviews, features and special sections. If you are looking for a an event, use the calendar section of this website. This search will not search through the calendar.
Article Title Search:

Description Search:
TheaterJones Contributor:

TheaterJones Section:

Showing on or after:      Showing on or before:  
Click or Swipe to close
We welcome your comments

I am discussing:  

Your Name:
Your Email Adress:

please enter the text below and then click or tap SUBMIT :