We know. You've missed our column Places!, in which TheaterJones rounds up performing arts events in North Texas that are opening and closing each week (the last Places! ran in October 2017). We've missed it, too.
Cheers! It's back.
We'll start with a monthly version for July, and will have one for August, too. The plan is to get the weekly Places! back by September, by which time we'll have our long-rumored new website up and running, with a more robust calendar system. (Yes, it's happening.)
In the list below you'll see our top recommendations and general listings for theater, classical music, opera, dance and comedy events on North Texas stages this month.
Get out and support the arts!
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PERFORMANCES OPENING IN JULY
1 The 21st Annual Festival of Independent Theatres
Festival of Independent Theatres | Bath House Cultural Center | July 12-Aug. 3
FIT is now old enough to drink! In the 21st installment of one of our favorite summer events, four theater companies make their FIT debuts — Leos Ensemble, Lily & Joan Theatre Company, Flexible Grey Theatre Company, and Very Good Dance Ensemble — while WingSpan Theatre Company remains the only group to have been in every FIT. Imprint Theatreworks returns for a second year; and two companies that have not appeared in FIT for several years, Bootstraps Comedy Theater and Audacity Theatre Lab, are back. Also, there will be late night cabarets from Kathryn Taylor Rose and Jodi Crawford Wright. The theaters/performers and the plays/cabarets, in order of first appearance in the festival, are below. An asterisk denotes a DFW playwright.
- Bootstraps Comedy Theater — Nerve by Adam Szymkowicz
- Very Good Dance Theatre — 1st Annual Gay Show by Colby Calhoun*
- Leos Ensemble — small hours by Lucy Kirkwood and Ed Hime
- Lily & Joan Theatre Company — Marilyn, Pursued by a Bear by Nicole Neely*
- Kathryn Taylor Rose — Nobody Knows What They’re Doing
- Flexible Grey Theatre Company — Sky’s the Limit by Alice Stanley
- WingSpan Theatre Co. — Jo & Louisa by Isabella Russell-Ides*
- Jodi Crawford Wright — Songs My Mama Taught Me
- Audacity Theatre Lab — The Beast of Hyperborea by Brad McEntire*
- Imprint Theatreworks — Dirty Dirty Night Squirrel by Cameron Casey*
» See the complete schedule, descriptions of the performances, and ticketing information in our 2019 FIT Special Section
2 Sex Ed | Crossing the Line
(Sex Ed) Cry Havoc Theater Company | AT&T Performing Arts Center, Winspear Opera House, Hamon Hall | Dallas | July 3-14
(Crossing the Line) Cry Havoc Theater Company and Kitchen Dog Theater | Trinity River Arts Center | Dallas | July 19-Aug. 3
No question, Cry Havoc Theater Company has been doing some of the most important theater in North Texas, and with a troupe of teenagers as the performers and co-authors, no less. Cry Havoc specializes in documentarian theater, and this month, the group has its two big productions of the year. First up is Sex Ed, in which high schoolers talk about sex education in school and at home, presented in the AT&T Performing Arts Center's Elevator Project. Then comes Crossing the Line, a co-production with Kitchen Dog Theater about the crisis at the Texas/Mexico border, for which members of the company and artistic director Mara Richards Bim and KDT's Tim Johnson traveled to South Texas. They talked with people on all sides of the issue, and witnessed the camps where immigrants are held. Expect it to be even more powerful and moving than CHTC's Babel, about gun violence, last year.
» More info on Sex Ed
» More info on Crossing the Line
3 Hello, Dolly!
Dallas Summer Musicals | Music Hall at Fair Park | Dallas | July 17-28
We have to admit, this musty Jerry Herman musical has never been high on our list when a conversation about classic musicals comes up. Then came the Jerry Zaks revival with Bette Midler, and everyone seemed to fall in love with the piece again. It has been touring for almost a year with another star, this one a bona fide Broadway legend: Betty Buckley. She is, of course, the North Texan who got her start at Casa Mañana before taking off to NYC where she was instantly cast as Martha Jefferson in 1776, and later won a Tony for Cats. Look for an interview with Buckley coming on TheaterJones.
4 Latin History for Morons
John Leguizamo | AT&T Performing Arts Center, Winspear Opera House | Dallas | July 26
John Leguizamo is one of the great solo performers of the past 20 years, and his latest show, Latin History of Morons, has been getting raves. He brings the show, which was inspired by the lack of Latinx figures in his son's history books, for one night to Dallas.
5 Mimir Chamber Music Festival
Mimir Chamber Music Festival | Texas Christian University, PepsiCo Recital Hall + Kimbell Art Museum | July 3-12
There isn't much happening in the classical music world during the summer, but this festival, now in its 22nd year, is always highlight. It brings together top local and national musicians for five concerts of varied repertoire, with some young artist showcases and other events. Look for reviews of the concerts coming on TheaterJones.
6 Modern Dance Festival at the Modern
Contemporary Dance/Fort Worth | The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth | July 12-27
The 16th year for this event celebrates the centenary of modern dance great Merce Cunningham. For the celebration, there will be three performances of "Night of 100 Solos," as well as lectures and other performances from local and national dance companies, celebrating the Cunningham legacy.
Stage West | Fort Worth | July 25-Aug. 18
Carson McCain directs the regional premiere of Duncan McMillan's drama about a couple considering bringing a child into a world with unrest and global warming and all kinds of other issues. McMilllan is known for Every Brillliant Thing, seen last year at Circle Theatre. Ruben Carrazana and Dani Nelson star.
8 Arcadia Darling
Hip Pocket Theatre | Silver Creek Amphitheatre | Fort Worth | July 12-Aug. 4
Every summer at Hip Pocket Theatre, the arrival of Lake Simons and John Dyer's latest work is always the highlight. This year their piece, which uses puppetry, music and movement, is inspired by the story of Peter Pan and the myth of Pan of Arcadia.
9 Father Comes Home From the Wars (Parts 1, 2, and 3)
African American Repertory Theater | Mountain View College Performance Hall | Dallas | July 19-Aug. 3
Regina Washington directs the regional premiere of Suzan-Lori Parks' excellent retelling of Homer's The Odyssey, set during the Civil War. The cast for the Pultizer Prize-finalist play includes Christopher Dontrell Piper and Drew Wall.
10 Sistas the Musical
Jubilee Theatre | Fort Worth | July 26-Aug. 25
Jubilee's new artistic director Wambui Richardson makes his local directorial debut with this musical that uses popular music tracing the history of black women, from the 1960s through the present, including tunes like the Edwin Hawkins Singers' "Oh Happy Day," Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive" and Solange Knowles' "I Am Not My Hair."
WaterTower Theatre | Addison Theatre Centre | Addison | July 18-28
The final show of WaterTower's 2018-19 season, which was changed from the work previously scheduled when the theater's leadership changed, is Stephen Schwartz's musical that tells versions of parables from the biblical book of Matthew. Directed and choreographed by Aaron Brown, the production stars Sadat Hossain as Jesus, Feleceia Benton as John the Baptist, and Alex Branton as Judas. The ensemble includes Devin Berg, Alyssa Cavazos, Jamall Houston, Emily-Kate Ivey, Jason Villarreal, Charity Whitfield, Sky Williams, and Juliana Zepeda.
12 Gutenberg! The Musical!
Amphibian Stage Productions | Fort Worth | July 12-Aug. 18
It's weird to think that this Anthony King and Scott Brown musical comedy, which is about a musical duo trying to pitch a musical about the inventor of the printing press to investors, is having its fourth production in Fort Worth. It's the third time for Amphibian Stage Productions, which is reviving the work as part of its 20th anniversary season. It IS the first time the musical will have been staged at Amphibian's current home (the first three times, by Amphibian and then Tarrant Actors Regional Theatre, it was performed in the FWCAC's Sanders Theatre). FYI, King and Brown were recently Tony-nominated for their book to the musical of Beetlejuice. David A. Miller returns to direct; and the musical director is Rebecca Lowrey.
13 Basically Beethoven Festival
Fine Arts Chamber Players | Moody Performance Hall | Dallas | July 7-28
Every Sunday afternoon in July, Fine Arts Chamber Players brings excellent local and national musicians to perform works from the canon. And it's free!
14 Old Jews Telling Old Jokes
Eisemann Center for the Performing Arts | Richardson | July 11-28
This tour is pretty much what it sounds like: a comedy inspired by the Borscht Belt comedians. It's a revue-like show that pays tribute to the comedians of the Catskills in a certain era, and it apparently has the approval of Mel Brooks.
15 Zion Dance Project Summer Series
Zion Dance Project | Uptown Theater | Grand Prairie | July 6-7
Zion Dance is a praise dance group that has made a splash at various festivals, and now presents its first big summer concert. See video below.
16 A Bronx Tale
Performing Arts Fort Worth | Bass Performance Hall | July 23-28
The musical based on Chazz Palminteri's play and then movie comes to Fort Worth, after stopping in Dallas last year.
» Read our 2018 interview with Palminteri
17 In the Words of a Sistah: Just Fine
Poetry Smash | Black Academy of Arts & Letters, Clarence Muse Cafe Theater | Dallas | July 11
Brenda Randall, the host of many local poetry and spoken word events, does her annual showcase of women poets. On the guest list are Gabby E., Trang Vu, Lyrique Jaye, Opalina Salas, Linda JonesStaci, and musical guest Lyn Lyric.
18 American Psycho | Jerry Springer: The Opera
(American Psycho) Ohlook Performing Arts | Grapevine | July 12-21
(Jerry Springer) Ohlook Performing Arts | Grapevine | July 19-Aug. 10
Grapevine's Ohlook Performing Arts, which recently expanded its small space, is always a hoot in the summertime, relishing in musicals fun, naughty, and/or spooky, in both its mainstage and late-night series. This summer you can catch the Silence of the Lambs spoof Silence!, as well as Matilda and Chicago. But take special note of the area premiere of Duncan Sheik's American Psycho (based on the Bret Easton Ellis novel), and the return of very clever (and very naughty) Jerry Springer: The Opera.
19 A Little Night Music
Theatre Frisco | Frisco Discovery Center Theatre | Frisco | July 26-Aug. 11
Normally you'd only call one work by a particular artist a "masterpiece." But composer/lyricist Stephen Sondheim has a few of them, depending on whom you're arguing with. This operatic work, which is best known for the song "Send in the Clowns" — a tune that too few singers get right — is definitely one of his masterpieces, along with Sweeney Todd and Sunday in the Park with George. Follies and Company will have to settle for merely "brilliant." Directed by Neale Whitemore, with music direction by Vahn Phollurxa.
20 Little Shop of Horrors | Much Ado About Nothing
(Little Shop) Junior Players + University of Texas at Dallas | University of Texas at Dallas | Richardson | July 18-21
(Much Ado) Junior Players | Samuell-Grand Amphitheatre at Tenison Park | Dallas | July 30-Aug. 4
Junior Players is known for following the Shakespeare Dallas outdoor summer season with its own production of a work by the Bard, and this year it's one of his finest comedies, Much Ado. JP is extra busy this year, with a production of the fab doo-wop musical Little Shop of Horrors, in a co-production with UTD.
21 Northanger Abbey
Stolen Shakespeare Guild | Fort Worth Community Arts Center, Sanders Theatre | Fort Worth | July 12-28
At this point, Stolen Shakespeare Guild could also be known as Stolen Austen Guild. The group has done adaptations of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Sense and Sensibility, and Persuasion (many of them twice). Next is Austen's lesser-known Northanger Abbey, which is one of the first books she completed, directed by Lauren and Jason Morgan.
22 God of Hell
Dragstrip Courage | Arts Fifth Avenue | Fort Worth | July 5-13
Last year Dragstrip did the Fort Worth premiere of Sam Shepard's The Late Henry Moss, and this year returns to Shepard with his 2004 play God of Hell, directed by Seth Johnston. The play was written as a response to 9/11, and the playwright has said it's his take-off on "Republican fascism."
23 Hamlet | The Lehman Trilogy
(Hamlet) National Theatre Live 10-Year Anniversary | Angelika Film Center, Dallas and Plano | Dallas | July 9 & 10
(Lehman) National Theatre Live | Angelika Film Center, Dallas and Plano | Dallas | July 25 & 31
The National Theatre production of Hamlet starring Benedict Cumberbatch has been reprised many times because it's one of the most popular NT Live screenings. So it's appropriate that it returns to mark the 10th anniversary of the NT Live series. Another NT Live screening this month is The Lehman Trilogy, by Stefano Massini, adapted by Ben Power, and directed by Sam Mendes, and featuring Simon Russell Beale.
24 Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
Garland Summer Musicals | Granville Arts Center | Garland | July 19-18
If they get the big barn dance numbers right, that's enough for this fluffy but entertaining movie-turned-stage musical. And since we mentioned Betty Buckley and her Casa Mañana connection above, we should mention that the great Ruta Lee, who has performed at Casa many times over the decade (including as Dolly Levi) and calls Fort Worth one of her homes, played the youngest bride in the movie Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.
25 Mamma Mia!
Firehouse Theatre | Farmer's Branch | July 18-Aug. 11
Yes, we know EVERY community theater in North Texas — and there are a lot of them — is doing this ABBA confection this season, and you can expect a deluge of it for years to come. Because box office. But if you're looking for the theater that will likely do it best, look no further than the Firehouse. Bruce R. Coleman directs.
MORE PERFORMANCES OPENING IN JULY
The comedian brings his I'm Already Professionally Developed Tour to AT&T Performing Arts Center, Winspear Opera House. | 8 p.m. Saturday, July 6
Refuge: Our Quest for Sanctuary and Meaning
The Dallas Chamber Choir performs works by Matthew Maniano, Andrew Steffen, Z Randall Stroope, Mari Ésabel Valverde, Thomas LaVoy, Hyo Young Ahn, Elaine Hagenberg, Matthew Maniano, and Jake Runestad at Flower Mound United Methodist Church. | 7 p.m. Sundaym July 7
Broadway(ish) | Black Girl Magic
Stomping Ground Comedy Theater always has interesting improv and comedy selections, and among this month's highlights are Broadway(ish), a musical improv, and a show featuring black women comics. | Broadway(ish) is July 6, and Black Girl Magic is July 13
Flores y Calaveras
Cara Mía Theatre Company presents this free performance about a Mexican-American girl and her deceased uncle, who teaches her the beauty of the Mexican Day of the Dead tradition. Inspired by the engravings of Jose Guadalupe Posada, this performance utilizes masks, movement, physical comedy, and projections of visual art. It's at the Dallas Public Library, Grauwyler Branch. | Noon, July 8
A children's show, presented by Rover Dramawerks, Plano. | July 11-13
Tony Hinchcliffe | Eddie Ifft | Helen Hong | Andrew Dice Clay
There are three Hyena's Comedy Nightclub locations in the DF-dub, and while there are lots of good options this month, we want to point out Hinchcliffe in Fort Worth (July 12-13), Ifft in Dallas (July 18-20), and Hong in Plano (July 25-27). Oh, and the Diceman will appear at all three.
You Can't Take It With You
Presented by Artisan Center Theater, Hurst. | July 12-Aug. 17
Presented by Theatre Coppell. | July 12-28
Be More Chill
Presented by North Texas Performing Arts, Plano. | July 12-20
» To see all of the productions by the NTPA locations in Plano, Frisco, Fairview, and Dallas, go here
Next to Normal
Presented by Music Theatre of Denton at the Campus Theatre, Denton. | July 12-21
Piano 4 Hands: Evan Ritter and Matthew Eng
Open Classical presents the duo for two concerts, at Metroplex Piano in Keller on July 12, and Kawai Piano in Plano on July 13. | July 12-13
3 Redneck Tenors
Presented by Uptown Theater, Grand Prairie. | July 13
Goldilocks and the Three Bears
Open Classical presents Mark Landson's 40-minute children's opera based on the fairytale, at St. Paul United Methodist Church in Dallas. | July 17
The Dallas VideoFest presents its Dallas Medianale part II at the Latino Cultural Center, featuring experimental film, video art, and live video performance fest. | July 17-18
Presented by Mainstage Irving-Las Colinas at the Irving Arts Center. | July 19-Aug. 3
Presented by Richardson Centre Theatre. | July 19-Aug. 4
Too Old, Too Fat, and Too Black: Songs I've Never Sing on Broadway, Part II
Denise Lee does a sequel to her popular show, and will announce plans for the fourth Dallas Cabaret Festival, coming later this summer. This show is at the Addison Theatre Centre. | July 23
Another Set of Issues
Luckenbooth Theatre presents the play by August Riehle at the Fort Worth Community Arts Center | July 25-Aug. 4
District XI: Believe in Me
An original musical by Kids Who Care at the Scott Theatre, Fort Worth. | July 26-28
Presented by Runway Theatre, Grapevine. | July 26-Aug. 11
The Wizard of Oz
Presented by Granbury Theatre Company. | July 27-Ag. 31
Artstillery presents its monthly showcase of new performance works, at its space in West Dallas. | July 31
THESE ALREADY-RUNNING PRODUCTIONS WILL CLOSE IN JULY D
Presented by Granbury Theatre Company. | Closes July 7
The View Upstairs
Presented by Uptown Players, Dallas. | Closes July 7
Diary of a Worm, a Spider, and a Fly
Presented by Dallas Children's Theater. | Closes July 7
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Presented by Circle Theatre, Fort Worth. | Closes July 13
Presented by Onstage in Bedford. | Closes July 14
A Reason to Believe
Presented by the Core Theatre, Richardson. | Closes July 14
The world premiere of Jonathan Norton's play at Dallas Theater Center. | Closes July 14
» Our interview, conducted by playwright Regina Taylor, with Jonathan Norton
» Conversation review by Janice L. Franklin, Mark Lowry and Richard Oliver
Shakespeare in Love | As You Like It
Shakespeare Dallas' summer season. | As You Like It closes July 19; Shakespeare in Love closes July 21
» Our interview with Raphael Parry
» Our review of Shakespeare in Love
» Our review of As You Like It
Presented by the Plaza Theatre, Cleburne. | Closes July 27
LOOKING AHEAD: AUGUST 2019
A SNEAK PEEK AT 15 PERFORMANCE HAPPENINGS IN AUGUST
(listed chronologically by opening date; we'll have a more complete list in the August Places!)
- Kentucky by Leah Nanako Winkler | Imprint Theatreworks at Arts Mission Oak Cliff | Aug. 2-17
- Carrie the Musical | Presented by Casa Mañana Apprentice Program | Aug. 2-4
- Fiddler on the Roof (national tour) | Dallas Summer Musicals (Aug. 7-18) + Performing Arts Fort Worth (Aug. 20-25)
- Broadway or Bust by Paul Kalburgi | Pegasus Theatre at the Bath House Cultural Center | Aug. 8-24
- The Cake by Bekah Brunstetter | Uptown Players at Kalita Humphreys Theater | Aug. 9-18
- Love Letter to a Raven by Lake and Lorca Simons | Hip Pocket Theatre | Aug. 9-11
- Hairspray | Stolen Shakespeare Guild at the Fort Worth Community Arts Center | Aug. 9-25
- Brighton Beach Memoirs | Theatre Arlington | Aug. 9-31
- Sixth One-Minute Play Festival | Presented by Kitchen Dog Theater at SMU Bob Hope Theatre | Aug. 10-12
- A 3D Adventure by Matt Lyle | Presented by Circle Theatre, For Worth | Aug. 15-Sept. 14
- Public Works Dallas: As You Like it | Presented by Dallas Theater Center at Wyly Theatre | Aug. 16-18
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: The New Musical | Presented by AT&T Performing Arts Center at Winspear Opera House | Aug. 22-Sept. 1
- Comic/podcaster Marc Maron comes to the Majestic Theatre, Dallas | Aug. 22
- What We Were by Blake Hackler | Presented by Second Thought Theatre and Circle Theatre | Aug. 28-Aug. 30
- Dallas Dances Festival | Presented by Dance Council of North Texas at Moody Performance Hall | Aug. 31-Sept. 1