Just when you think you've got Kevin Moriarty figured out, well, you've only partially done that. The artistic director of the Dallas Theater Center has announced the group's 2013-'14 season, and while one title we knew would come back but with a new look—A Christmas Carol—is there, the rest of the season is somewhat surprising.
Of course, given his track record since he's been here, we should expect a new musical. In this case, it's another world premiere and, like Giant in the 2011-'12 season, a co-production with New York's Public Theater. It's Fortress of Solitude, based on the novel of the same title by Jonathan Lethem. It will premiere here in March 2014, and then be in the Public Theater's 2014-'15 season. The musical has a book by Itamar Moses (Back, Back, Back; Bach at Leipzig) with music and lyrics by Michael Friedman (Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson), and was conceived and will be directed by Daniel Aukin.
By the way, this could be DTC's fifth premiere musical in a row to have a life in New York after debuting here, following Lysistrata Jones (Give It Up! when it premiered here) and Giant. Future plans for the two new musicals coming in this current season, Fly by Night and Fly, are also being worked on, although Moriarty can't reveal what they are yet.
Here's Kevin Moriarty talking about his success with new musicals, from my interview with him about the season:
The one concept in the 2013-'14 season that I had predicted would make it into a Moriarty line-up is indeed happening, with the first two shows: rotating repertory productions of Lorraine Hansberry's classic A Raisin in the Sun and Bruce Norris' Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning Clybourne Park, which takes a twist on Raisin, a few generations later. It's no surprise that DTC would do a recent Pulitzer winner; and the rep idea with a play that it's "in conversation with" is exciting. Raisin will be directed by Tre Garrett of Fort Worth's Jubilee Theatre, and Clybourne by DTC's Joel Ferrell.
Here's Moriarty on this concept:
The seven-show season is broken into a four-show Classic Series and three-show Contemporary Series. Moriarty explains:
Other new works in the season are Steven Dietz's Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure (which, because it's based on an older story, is in the "classics" category) and Luis Alfaro's Oedipus el Rey (which oddly, is based on a much older story, but is in the "contemporary" series).
Raisin raises the question of starting a new multiple-season "classics" cycle, much like Moriarty did with his Shakespeare cycle in the first four seasons at the Wyly. Raisin migh suggest an American classics cycle, but not so fast. Here's Moriarty on a potential classic series:
And the biggest surprise is the summer 2014 musical, which will be Les Misérables, riding a wave with the Oscar-nominated movie and the new version having been in Dallas and Fort Worth on tour, and reopening on Broadway in 2014.
This will mark the Texas professional premiere of that title, for which rights have been unavailable except to high schools. How did this come about?
A Christmas Carol is, of course, a returning favorite, but will be a new version and performed in the Wyly Theatre. In fact, all of the 2013-'14 shows will be in the Wyly, with Oedipus in the Studio Theatre. Moriarty says it just happened to work out this way. They will do shows at the Kalita Humphreys Theater in future seasons.
Here's the season breakdown, and included after each blurb is an audio file from the interview I had with Moriarty. In each, he talks about the show/production.
A RAISIN IN THE SUN
Sept. 13 – Oct. 27
By Lorraine Hansberry
Directed by Tre Garrett
The New York Times called it, "The play that changed American theater forever." First produced in 1959, A Raisin in the Sun is unflinching in its vision of what happens to people whose dreams are constantly deferred. In her portrait of an embattled Chicago family, Lorraine Hansberry posed eternal questions about identity, justice, and moral responsibility. The result is an American classic that’s as powerful today as it was 50 years ago.
Oct. 4 – Oct. 27
By Bruce Norris
Directed by Joel Ferrell
Clybourne Park ... why does that name seem so familiar? Oh, yes! The neighborhood in the classic A Raisin in the Sun, riven by tension in 1959 when the first African-American family moves in. This is the other side of that story. Rendered in two outrageous acts set 50 years apart, it’s a wickedly funny, Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning examination of race, real estate, and the volatile values of each.
A CHRISTMAS CAROL
Nov. 21 – Dec. 24
By Charles Dickens
Adapted and Directed by Kevin Moriarty
Choreographed by Joel Ferrell
A spectacular new production brings the hope and joy of Dickens’ perennial classic to the Wyly Theatre for the very first time. This dazzling new Carol will fill the Wyly Theatre with music and special effects – from flying ghosts to falling snow – with the audience right in the middle of the action. From “Bah! Humbug!” to “God bless us, everyone!” A Christmas Carol is a holiday tradition full of merriment and chills, meant to be shared with family and friends.
OEDIPUS EL REY
Jan. 16 – March 2
By Luis Alfaro
Directed by Kevin Moriarty
Rhythms pound. Violence escalates. A Chicano delinquent fights his way to the pinnacle of gangland power. But not even he can win the ultimate battle against fate. Sizzling, sexy, and startlingly contemporary, playwright Luis Alfaro’s adaptation tears Sophocles’ timeless Greek tragedy out of its mythic past and catapults it into the vivid, vicious reality of today’s LA barrios.
THE FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE
March 7 – April 6
Book by Itamar Moses
Music and Lyrics by Michael Friedman
Conceived and Directed by Daniel Aukin
Based upon the novel by Jonathan Lethem
Co-produced by The Public Theater
A musical based on the bestselling novel by Jonathan Lethem, The Fortress of Solitude is a story of how racial differences impact two boys, Dylan and Mingus, growing up in 1970s America. It is the story of impossibly joyful afternoons of games in the street and of living in a society in which you don’t belong. It is the story of prison and of college; of Brooklyn and Berkeley; of soul and rap; of murder and redemption. And, it is the story of what would happen if two teenage boys obsessed with comic book heroes actually ... maybe … had superpowers.
SHERLOCK HOLMES: THE FINAL ADVENTURE
April 25 – May 25
By Steven Dietz
Based on the original 1899 play by William Gillette and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Directed by Kevin Moriarty
The ageless appeal of the world’s greatest detective comes thrillingly to life in this regional premiere of a witty play filled with intrigue, humor and surprise. With stalwart sidekick Doctor Watson by his side, Sherlock Holmes pursues a blackmail case that leads him straight into the lair of his arch-adversary, Professor Moriarty. Follow the clues with the clever duo on their mysterious adventure, told in true Holmes-Watson fashion.
June 27 – Aug. 10
Book by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg
Music by Claude-Michel Schönberg
Lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer
Director to be announced
"Do you hear the people sing?" The most popular musical in the world takes over the Wyly Theatre with its glorious music and heartfelt story. In this thrilling new DTC production you will be immersed in this beloved story in a way you’ve never experienced it before: surrounded by the passion of the French revolution; engulfed by the romantic music; and overwhelmed by the experience of hope, redemption and forgiveness.
The full seven-play Theater Lover’s Subscription Series will be presented as follows: in the Potter Rose Performance Hall at the Wyly Theatre A Raisin in the Sun (Sept. 13 – Oct. 27) and Clybourne Park (Oct. 4 – Oct. 27) in rotating rep; and A Christmas Carol (Nov. 21 – Dec. 24) for the first time ever at the Wyly. In the Studio Theatre at the Wyly Theatre – Oedipus el Rey (Jan. 16 – March 2). In the Potter Rose Performance Hall – The Fortress of Solitude (March 7 – April 6); Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure (April 25 – May 25); and Les Misérables (June 27 – Aug. 10).
Full season subscriptions are on sale now for as little as $105; or choose our Classic Series for as little as $60 or our Contemporary Series for as little as $45. Subscriptions can be purchased online at DallasTheaterCenter.org or by phone at (214) 880-0202.
For those who want to take their theater-going experience to the next level, DTC’s program, Friends@DTC, offers patrons a variety of exclusive benefits, including premium seats, a VIP intermission lounge, special invitations, complimentary drinks, free parking and much more. Visit DallasTheaterCenter.org/Friends or email Friends@DallasTheaterCenter.org for more information.
Here's a DTC video with the season announcement: