Plano — Since launching in late 2015 with Jones and Schmidt's I Do! I Do! I Do! I Do! (the version with four couples), the musical theater outfit Brick Road Theatre has become one of DFW's theaters to watch, with professional productions of overlooked gems (A Man of No Importance, The Light in the Piazza, The Secret Garden), groundbreaking classics that are not warhorses (Cabaret, Company), and so far, only one stupid-fun-but-popular title (Nunsense!). There was also a play with music (Master Class) and a Jason Robert Brown title that's approaching overdone territory, or at least as much as a JRB musical gets overdone (The Last Five Years). As long as Brick Road doesn't start doing Hairspray, Legally Blonde or Peter Pan, we'll take overdone JRB.
The 2018 season, Brick Road's third full season, raises the bar even more, opening with the rarely done masterwork The Cradle Will Rock by Marc Blitzstein. It continues with Sondheim's massive Follies; followed by another overlooked gem, The Robber Bridegroom; and closes with a play, A Midwinter Night's Dream, which is Shakespeare's Midsummer decked out for the holidays. Because this is Brick Road, you can bet there'll be music.
In the middle of the season is a one-night event put together by Jeremy Dumont (who also directs and choreographs Follies), called Dance Call, which will include new work by local choreographers.
Not to put any pressure on the BRT crew and director Diana Sheehan, but hopes are very high for The Cradle Will Rock, an important piece of political theater. In August on Instagram, TheaterJones wished for a local production. If that goes well, expect to see an IG wish for a Weill/Brecht title that's not Threepenny (although we'll take that) or something from the past 20 years that deserves a pro revival, say James Joyce's The Dead or Caroline, or Change.
Below is the 2018 season. Order season subscriptions for the 2018 here.
THE CRADLE WILL ROCK
A Play in Music by Marc Blitzstein
Directed by Diana Sheehan
The Cox Playhouse
March 9-18, 2018
THE CRADLE WILL ROCK has been called “one of the most historically significant pieces of American theater ever written,” and is the only show ever shut down by the Federal government. Composer Marc Blitzstein wrote it in a specific political and social context, but the questions it raises regarding economic power, class structure, agency, hypocrisy, and opposing forces remain as relevant today as in 1937. Rather than accusing or lecturing, this piece uses humor and 1930’s musical traditions to reveal and reflect our ongoing challenges, and is a tribute to the artists, who, in 1937, risked everything for art.
“I am a product of my time—and my time is one of urgency and direct communication in the arts.”—Marc Blitzstein
Book by James Goldman
Music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Directed and choreographed by Jeremy Dumont
The Courtyard Theater
July 20-July 29, 2018
A true theatrical event, this legendary masterpiece is considered by many to be the greatest musical ever created. Surreal, sophisticated, compelling, heart wrenching and epic in scope, FOLLIES is a tribute to the glamourous musical theater traditions of the 1930’s and 40’s. Songs are presented by past and present incarnations in unison, which creates constant, shimmering reflections between age and youth, hope and hopelessness. Winner of seven Tony Awards, including Best Score, FOLLIES includes many well-loved songs, such as “Broadway Baby,” “Losing My Mind,” and “I’m Still Here.”
A Choreographers' Collaboration
Conceived and Directed by Jeremy Dumont
August 25, 7:30 pm
Presented in collaboration with Park Cities Dance Studios, DANCE CALL presents an opportunity for local choreographers to develop and workshop their skills with the music and the mirror, and culminates in a powerful, showcase performance exhibiting the immense talent of the dancers and choreographers in this area.
THE ROBBER BRIDEGROOM
Book and lyrics by Alfred Uhry
Music by Robert Aldman
Based on the novella by Eudora Welty
October 19-28, 2018
THE ROBBER BRIDEGROOM is based on the rambunctious, Southern fairytale from the Pulitzer-Prize winning beloved author, Eudora Welty. One of the only genuine blue-grass scores ever heard in a musical, it’s a fun, jubilant hoedown. This wildly creative show engages a unique kind of storytelling—an exciting kind—in which the audience helps put the puzzle pieces together, and then sees themselves reflected in it. It’s sure to steal your heart, and whatever else it can get its hand on!
A MIDWINTER NIGHT’S DREAM
by William Shakespeare
Directed by Marianne T. Galloway
The Cox Playhouse
December 7-23, 2018
One of Shakespeare’s best loved plays, A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM enacts what Aristotle called “mimesis” or the imitation of life itself. Imitation is how we learn, how we see, by reflection, our stark truths and ambiguities, our darkness, our lightness, our absurdities, our fears. Taking us into an enchanted forest and bridging the worlds of dreaming and waking, Shakespeare reveals, by reflection, the magic of life and love. And what if a wintry, holiday spin is woven into this classic? What happens in the forest, stays in the forest!