Slowly but surely, our regular column Places! — in which TheaterJones rounds up performing arts events in North Texas that are opening and closing each week — is making a comeback. It returned in July (before that, it had been MIA since October 2017). And here it is again, to cover the last half of August and the first week in September.
This installment covers the next three weeks, at the end of August and first few days of September, including Labor Day weekend. It's typically a slow time in the arts, and while that's true this year, there's still enough for us to fill out a list.
In September, Places! will return, at first with a bi-weekly schedule, soon ramping up to its weekly rotation. That should time perfectly with the launch of our long-rumored new website, which will have a more robust calendaring system, a mobile version, and a newsletter. (Yes, it's all happening.)
In the list below you'll see our top recommendations and general listings for theater, classical music, dance and comedy events on North Texas stages in the next three weeks.
Get out and support the arts!
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PERFORMANCES OPENING AUG. 15-SEPT. 4, 2019
1 A Latin Spectacular Festival
Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra | Bass Performance Hall | Fort Worth | Aug. 30-Sept. 1
There are many reason to celebrate this festival, most notably that it's the final pre-season, three-concert festival under outgoing Music Director Miguel Harth-Bedoya, who is leaving FWSO after 20 years on the podium. One of the legacies for Peruvian-born Harth-Bedoya, who started this festival tradition at FWSO, is that he has also steadily programmed compositions from Latin-American composers in his seasons. Let's hope that continues under the person who will succeed him (we won't know that name for at least another year from now, but possibly longer). The festival features the following happenings:
- 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 30: No FWSO here, but it will feature Mariachi los Camperos and Dallas-based Anita N. Martinez Ballet Folklórico.
- 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 31: Conductor Harth-Bedoya, cellist Jesús Castro-Balbi, hyper-accordionist Michael Ward-Bergeman, and percussionists Jamey Haddad and Cyro Baptista will perform works by Mexican composer Silvestre Revueltas and Argentine composer Osvaldo Golijov.
- 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 1: The FWSO presents jazz, tango and Caribbean music with Cuban-born saxophonist, clarinetist and composer Paquito D'Rivera, including a new work.
2 Dallas Dances
Dance Council of North Texas | Moody Performance Hall | Dallas | Aug. 31 & Sept. 1
It's the sixth year for this event, featuring local dance groups and training programs. Here's this year's line-up:
- 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 31: Ballet Dallas, Ballet Ensemble of Texas, Ballet Frontier of Texas, B. Moore Dance, Bruce Wood Dance, Dallas Black Dance Theatre, Elite Classical Coaching, Hailey von Schlehenried, Natyanjali Kuchipudi Dance School, RIFF (tap dance), and Texas Ballet Theater
- 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 1: Academy Dance Company, Brandi Coleman Dance, Chamberlain Performing Arts, Dallas Ballet Company, Dallas Youth Repertory Project, DBDT: Encore!, LakeCities Ballet, 6 o'Clock Dance Theatre, Texas Ballet Theater School, Tejas Dance, and Zion Dance.
3 Public Works Dallas: As You Like It
Dallas Theater Center | AT&T Performing Arts Center, Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre | Dallas | Aug. 16-18
What started as a community happening at the Public Theater in New York has extended to Dallas: A musical adaptation of a Shakespeare play, featuring five professional actors and then community members and other performance groups. This year, it's As You Like It, directed and choreographed by Ann Yee; adapted by Shaina Taub and Laurie Woolery with music and lyrics by Shaina Taub, and conceived by Lear deBessonet. DTC's Brierley company actors are Ace Anderson, Tiffany Solano DeSena, Alex Organ, Tiana Kay Blair, and Christopher Llewyn Ramirez, and the community ensemble comes from Bachman Lake Together, City of Dallas Park and Recreation, Jubilee Park and Community Center, and Literacy Instruction for Texas. It's free, but you have secure tickets online.
4 Latinidades: A Festival of Solo Shows
Cara Mía Theatre Company | Latino Cultural Center | Dallas | Aug. 15-Sept. 8
Cara Mía is opening its season with three solo shows, with national and local collaborators. The first two shows run for one weekend each, and the final one is for two weeks. All performances are in the Latino Cultural Center; clock on the "more info" below to see descriptions of these works. The schedule is:
- Aug. 15-18: Evolution of a Sonero, written and performed by Flaco Navaja with live music by the Razor Blades, and directed by Jorge B. Merced
- Aug. 22-25: Your Healing is Killing Me, written by Virginia Grise and performed by Florinda Bryant, directed by Kendra Ware.
- Aug. 29-Sept. 8: Ursula, written and performed by Frida Espinosa-Müller, with original music by Armando Monsivais.
5 What We Were
Second Thought Theatre | Bryant Hall on the Kalita Humphreys Theater campus | Dallas | Aug. 28-Sept. 21
This is the third world premiere by Southern Methodist University faculty member Blake Hackler to be produced by Second Thought Theatre, and it will also be the company's first co-production with another theater. After this production, it moves to Fort Worth's Circle Theatre. It's directed by Christie Vela, and features the cast of Lydia Mackay, Jenny Ledel and Jessica D. Turner. The play centers on three sisters, the youngest of whom resurfaces after disappearing 17 years ago. Previews are Aug. 28 and 29, with opening night on Sept. 30.
6 A 3-D Adventure
Circle Theatre | Fort Worth | Aug. 15-Sept. 14
What We Were isn't the only new play by a local writer on Circle's season. Before that (see item above), Circle debuts Matt Lyle's A 3-D Adventure, which was originally commissioned by Dallas Theater Center. Directed by Matthew Gray, the work deals with a community theater group that enters a strange world dominated by popular movies. Previews Aug. 15-16 and 3 p.m. Aug. 17, with opening at 8 p.m. Aug. 17.
» See our Proust Questionnaire Offstage video with Matt Lyle here
7 Dallas Cabaret Festival
Denise Lee Onstage | Bath House Cultural Center | Dallas | Aug. 23-25
Denise Lee's Cabaret Festival returns for a fourth year, and its second time at the underground space at the Bath House Cultural Center (don't worry, there are lots of fans). This year's headliner is actress Saycon Sengbloh, who has been on Broadway in Aida, The Color Purple, Fela!, and the play Eclipsed, and has done a number of TV roles. The cabaret line-up is:
- 7:30 p.m. Thursday, August 22: DISCO INFERNO – A celebration of an era of the best music and the worst clothes ever with Denise Lee, Angie McWhirter and other special guests. Featuring Norman Williams and Da Band.
- 7:30 p.m. Friday, August 23: So You Think You Can Cabaret Winner Malcolm Beatty. Immediately following at 8:30pm by Peggy and Bill Lohr with their show “Songs Most Requested.
- 7:30 p.m. Saturday, August 24: In 2018, Drama Desk Award Winner and Tony Nominee, Saycon Sengbloh, joined us for a mini-set at the Opening night of the Dallas Cabaret Festival. This year, she returns to headline the 4th Annual Dallas Cabaret Festival! An accomplished performer of song, stage and screen, she comes back to close out the Festival the way she brought it in last year— with a BANG!
8 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: The New Musical
AT&T Performing Arts Center Broadway Series | Winspear Opera House | Dallas | Aug. 22-25
It's the national tour of the musical version of the beloved Roald Dahl story, with music and lyrics by the Hairspray team of Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, and a book by David Greig. Here's hoping that it's pure imagination.
9 Dallas Comedy House (Re)Opening
Dallas Comedy House | Dallas | Aug. 16
The area's leading home for improvisation, stand-up and other branches of the comedy tree is back, after having lost its former Deep Ellum home, into a nearby space, also in Deep Ellum. There'll be lots of opening-weekend events.
10 Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back: Movie in Concert
Dallas Symphony Orchestra | Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center | Dallas | Aug. 30-Sept. 1
Constantine Kitsopoulos conducts the entire John Williams score of the very best film in the Star Wars series, as the movie plays above the symphony. In December, the DSO did this with Star Wars IV, and it was a big hit. Expect nothing less here.
11 Shivalaya & Kalpana
Tejas Dance | MCL Grand Theatre | Lewisville | 5 p.m. Aug. 17
Tejas Dance, which is dedicated to the Indian dance form of Bharatanatyam, presents the U.S. premiere of Kalpana, featuring Odissi, India-based dancer Bijayini Satpathy; and the premiere of Shivalaya, featuring Tejas dancers Bhuvana Venkatraman and Chintan Patel.
12 Marc Maron
AEG Live | Majestic Theatre | Dallas | 7:30 p.m. Aug. 22
The comedian and podcaster comes to Dallas on his new tour.
13 Baby Snooks & Daddy
Hip Pocket Theatre | Silver Creek Amphitheatre | Fort Worth | Aug. 23-Sept. 15
The season at Hip Pocket continues with the premiere of Joann Gracey's adaptation of the 1940s radio show that was famous because one of its performers was the great Fanny Brice.
14 Bridges: Multiracial Connections
Flexible Grey Theatre Company | Latino Cultural Center | Dallas | Aug. 15-25
Last year, Flexible Grey Theatre presented a performance based on interviews conducted with older members of the LGBT community. This one is the same idea, and was also developed by Mindamora Rocha, and explores being multiracial and LGBT. The performances are in the MPR Gallery at the Latino Cultural Center.
15 Junior Players Present: Revolution
Junior Players | Moody Performance Hall | Dallas | Aug. 16-17
Junior Players presents its fifth and final installment of The Transformation Project, using dance and movement to comment on challenges that exist within teen communities and family ecosystems.
SHOWS THAT OPENED BEFORE AUG. 15 AND ARE STILL RUNNING
Gutenberg! The Musical!
It's the third time in 20 years for this musical comedy hit to hit Amphibian Stage Productions in Fort Worth. | Through Aug. 18
The Wild Party
Interestingly, both the Andrew Lippa and Michael John LaChiusa musical versions of the jazz-age poem are getting revivals at several North Texas theaters this season; and first up is Lakeside Community Theatre in The Colony, with the Lippa take. | Through Aug. 24
My First Date
The Core Theatre in Richardson presents a new comedy by Bill Rhoden. | Through Sept. 1
Imprint Theatreworks presents Lean Nanako Winkler's play about growing up Asian in Kentucky, at Arts Mission Oak Cliff. | Through Aug. 17
Broadway or Bust
A new musical by Paul Kalburgi, presented by Pegasus Theatre at the Bath House Cultural Center. | Through Aug. 24
The Cole Porter musical presented by Stolen Shakespeare Guild at the Fort Worth Community Arts Center, Sanders Theatre. | Through Aug. 25
Presented by Denton Community Theatre at the Campus Theatre, Denton. Through Aug. 18
Uptown Players presents Bekah Brunstetter's play about a lesbian couple and the bakery that refuses to bake a cake for their wedding. Through Aug. 25
Brighton Beach Memoirs
Theatre Arlington closes its season with a revival of the Neil Simon autobiographical play. | Through Aug. 25
K.D. Conservatory in Dallas premieres Dallas plawright/director Tom Parr IV's adaptation of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. | Through Aug. 17
A Midsummer Night's Dream
Shakespeare in the Bar does the Bard's most popular comedy/fantasy in a non-bar location, at Theatre Three. They still have booze, though. | Final performance is 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 19
MORE PERFORMING ARTS EVENTS BEGINNING BETWEEN AUG. 15 AND SEPT. 4
Java Scripts: A Short Works Festival
Sundown Collaborative Theatre presents an evening of short works, from scripted to devised to improv to a burlesque response to Lady Macbeth. At Aura Coffee in Denton. To see list of works and authors/perfomers, click on the more info link below.
Jekyll & Hyde
The Frank Wildhorn musical presented by Ohlook Performing Arts in Grapevine. | Aug. 16-25
» More info
I Hate Hamlet
Onstage in Bedford presents the Paul Rudnick comedy. | Aug. 16-Sept. 1
Anomaly: The Magic of Robby Bennett and Other Curiosities
Presented at the Eisemann Center for the Performing Arts at Richardson. | Aug. 16
A Midsummer's Drinking Game
Taphouse Theatre in Fort Worth debuts with one performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream, after one rehearsal, with drinking games. At Fort Brewery and Pizza on Magnolia Ave. | 5 p.m. Aug. 18
Fiddler on the Roof
The latest Broadway revival of the masterwork is on a national tour, and having run at Dallas Summer Musicals (through Aug. 18), it moves to Fort Worth's Bass Performance Hall Aug. 20-25
» Our review in Dallas
» More info on the Fort Worth stop
Presented by Pocket Sandwich Theatre, Dallas. | Aug. 23-Sept. 21
C33: Oscar Wilde in Prison
Amphibian Stage Productions presents a stage reading of Scott Carter's play, directed by Emily Scott Banks. | 7 p.m. Aug. 27
» More info
Morning's at Seven
The Paul Osborn classic presented by Rover Dramawerks in Plano. | Aug. 30-Sept. 15
A musical about Noah and the Ark, at Artisan Center Theater in Hurst. | Aug. 30-Sept. 28
Freaky Friday: A New Musical
Plaza Theatre in Cleburne presents Tom Kitt and Brian York's musical adaptation of the popular story. | Aug. 30-Sept. 28
LOOKING AHEAD: SEPTEMBER 2019
A SNEAK PEEK AT 25 PERFORMANCE HAPPENINGS IN SEPTEMBER
(listed chronologically by opening date; we'll have a more complete list in future Places!)
- The Firehouse Theatre in Farmer's Branch does Cats | Sept. 5-22
- Echo Theatre presents Us/Them at the Bath House Cultural Center | Sept. 5-21
- The fourth annual Fort Worth Fringe happens at the Fort Worth Community Arts Center | Sept. 6-8
- Texas Ballet Theater presents Sleeping Beauty at AT&T Performing Arts Center, Winspear Opera House | Sept. 6-8
- North Texas Performing Arts presents Peter and the Starcatcher at Willow Bend Center for the Arts | Sept. 6-14
- Garland Citic Theatre presents Plaza Suite at the Granville Arts Center | Sept. 6-22
- Richardson Symphony presents Celestial Celebration at the Eisemann Center in Richardson | Sept. 7
- Casa Mañana Theatre opens its season with Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story | Sept. 7-15
- Avant Chamber Ballet opens its season with Morphoses at Moody Performance Hall in Dallas | Sept. 7-8
- Undermain Theatre does the world premiere of Gordon Dahlquist's Red Chariot | Sept. 11-Oct. 6
- Stage West presents First Date | Sept. 12-Oct. 13
- Dark Circles Contemporary Dance presents Pete: A New Dance Musical at AT&T Performing Arts Center, Winspear Opera House, Hamon Hall, in Dallas | Sept. 12-15
- Dallas Symphony presents Fabio Luisi Conducts Beethoven Emperor Symphony at Meyerson Symphony Center | Sept. 12-15
- Mainstage Irving-Las Colinas and thinkIndia Foundation present The Royal Dilemma at Irving Arts Center | Sept. 13-28
- Fort Worth Symphony presents Cliburn Gold Plays Rach 3 at Bass Performance Hall | Sept. 13-15
- Ballet Frontier of Texas presents An Evening of Ballet at Fort Worth Community Arts Center, Scott Theatre | Sept. 14-15
- Shakespeare Dallas presents Macbeth at Samuell-Grand Amphitheatre in Dallas and The Sound at Cypress Waters in Coppell | Sept. 18-Oct. 13
- TITAS/Dance Unbound presents Ronald K. Brown/Evidence at at AT&T Performing Arts Center, Winspear Opera House | Sept. 20
- Dallas Theater Center presents In the Heights at AT&T Performing Arts Center, Wyly Theatre | Sept. 20-Oct. 15
- Lyric Stage presents Evita at the Majestic Theatre, Dallas | Sept. 20-22
- The Chamber Music Society of Fort Worth season opens at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth | Sept. 21
- The tour of The Phantom of the Opera comes to Bass Performance Hall, Fort Worth | Sept. 24-Oct. 5
- Soul Rep Theatre Co.'s season opens with The Shine Play Festival: Black Men Illuminated at South Dallas Cultural Center | Sept. 26-Oct. 6
- Jubilee Theatre in Fort Worth presents Single Black Female | Sept. 27-Oct. 27
- Turtle Creek Chorale opens its 40th season with To All the Women We've Loved Before at the Meyerson Symphony Center | Sept. 29