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Category: Theater Reviews

REVIEW: Fun Home is Heart-wrenching, Poetic & Funny @attpac #FunHome

Fun Home: Opening Night Ovation in Dallas Fun Home, which won five Tony Awards (including Best Musical) is an engaging and unusual coming-of-age tale. The show is now playing in Dallas, Texas where it opened to a cheering crowd and standing ovation last night. Fun Home: A Cartoonist’s Life Story Fun Home is an original musical play based on the best-selling graphic memoir Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic  written and drawn by cartoonist, Alison Bechdel. The story is revealed through the eyes of Alison Bechdel during three pivotal stages in her life: as a 10-year-old girl, a college freshman, and…

REVIEW: Finding Neverland Reveals the Real Peter Pan @attpac #FNLtour

Opening night for Finding Neverland  in Dallas ended with a cheering crowd and a standing ovation. This whimsical musical runs through July 23 at the AT&T Performing Arts Center Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House in the downtown Dallas Arts District. These days, most of us know “adulting” is hard work and if you don’t believe it, we have the memes to prove it. After a long day on the job, we grown ups even have TV shows about time lords, zombies, and queens who give birth to dragons to make us forget our cares. In 1903, however, the fantasy genre…

REVIEW: Get Thee to a Ticket Vendor for Something Rotten! #SomethingRotten @attpac

I saw Something Rotten! last night and it was wonderful! Pardon the silly play on words, but if that ain’t your thing, read no further. However, if you’re looking for a fun night out, then read on: Opening night for Something Rotten!  in Dallas ended with a cheering crowd and a standing ovation. This much-lauded original comedy musical with book by Karey Kirkpatrick and John O’Farrell, and score by Wayne and Karey Kirkpatrick plays through June 25 at the AT&T Performing Arts Center Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House in the downtown Dallas Arts District. The plot for Something Rotten! is…

Review: RENT 20th Anniversary Tour @ATTPAC @RentOnTour #Rent20

Opening Night Ovation for RENT: Feels like a Party! Opening night for RENT 20th Anniversary Tour in Dallas ended with a cheering crowd and a standing ovation. This much-lauded and multi-award-winning show with book, music and lyrics by Jonathan Larson plays through October 2nd at the AT&T Performing Arts Center as part of its 2016 – 2017 Broadway Series. It was obvious by the crowd’s cheers and anticipatory applause throughout the show that a good portion of the opening night crowd had not only seen RENT before, but they were very familiar with it. It felt like a party!   RENT’s Storyline: Making…

Review: A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder @ATTPAC in Dallas

Opening Night Ovation   The national tour of A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder received a well-deserved standing ovation last night in Dallas, Texas at the AT&T Performing Arts Center. It was easy to see why this Tony Award winning musical received so many accolades – including winning Best Musical and Best Book – when it debuted in 2014! Lighthearted Black Humor While the story revolves around a series of murders conducted by a ruthless serial killer, it’s actually a comical show that keeps you smiling and laughing from start to finish. Fans of “Arsenic & Old Lace,” “Sweeney Todd” and “Clue” will instantly connect with…

My Kickstarter Campaign for a Book, Photo Show & Music CD

2016 Writer in Residence I haven’t mentioned it in a while, but I was chosen to be the 2016 Writer in Residence for Tarleton State University’s Langdon Review Weekend – and it’s coming right up! (Click here to read a blog post about last year’s Langdon Review Weekend.) The Langdon Review Weekend is an amazing annual literary conference, and I am super thrilled and honored to be their resident writer! My residency starts on August 27th. I’ll be staying in the gorgeous historic town of Granbury, Texas for two whole weeks with the sole purpose of creating and reaching out to the community. Brainstorm I’ve been brainstorming recently about what…

Disney’s Beauty & the Beast @ATTPAC in Dallas

Disney’s Beauty & the Beast If you have any little princesses or princes in your immediate family, you absolutely must head over to the AT&T Performing Arts Center before Disney’s Beauty & the Beast leaves town! This entertaining musical, based on the animated 1991 Disney movie, portrays the classic fairy tale in a lush and lively style that will keep viewers of all ages highly entertained. A Tale as Old as Time… Disney’s Beauty and the Beast tells the story of Belle, a young woman who lives in a small town where her love of reading makes her a nerdy oddball. Every other…

Review: Beautiful, The Carole King Musical in Dallas #BeautifulOnTour

Beautiful: The Carole King Musical on Broadway   When a major recording artist is featured in a jukebox musical, you can pretty much guess which songs will be recorded – or so I thought before attending Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. The national tour of this Tony Award winning show opened in Dallas, Texas last night to a packed house at the AT&T Performing Arts Center. Not just Carole King songs Beautiful includes plenty of Carole King songs, but what surprised me was how many other familiar tunes came along for the ride. For instance, I didn’t know Carole King and her…

Review: Cabaret Musical in Dallas @ATTPAC #CabaretTour

Cabaret – surprisingly timely What could possibly be timely about a 50-year-old musical set in Berlin during Hitler’s rise to power? What, indeed. Had I seen Cabaret a year ago, I would have enjoyed it, but seeing it during the 2016 election cycle as we argue over transgender bathroom rights, immigration and religious freedom made this musical even more powerful, and rather unsettling! (In retrospect, I shouldn’t be surprised. John Kander and Fred Ebb, the same songwriting duo responsible for Chicago, another musical set in a different time period that also has uncanny modern day parallels, wrote the songs in Cabaret.) Set during the Weimar…

Review: IF/THEN A New Musical in Dallas @ATTPAC #IFTHENtour

Opening night ovation in Dallas, Texas Opening night of IF/THEN at the AT&T Performing Arts Center in Dallas ended with a cheering crowd and a standing ovation. This new musical by the Pulitzer Prize Winning duo, Brian Yorkey and Tom Kitt, is a 2 and a 1/2 hour riff on the decisions we make in life and the consequences (both expected and unforeseen) these choices create.   IF/THEN vs Sliding Doors At first blush, the plot of IF/THEN sounds similar to “Sliding Doors,” a 1998 movie starring Gwyneth Paltrow. “Sliding Doors” shows the myriad ways a simple event – in this case, either catching or…

J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan 360 in Dallas, Texas – An Exciting Blend of CGI, Cirque & Live Theater

Peter Pan 360 Lands in Dallas In association with AT&T Performing Arts Center, J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan 360 has landed in Dallas for an extended stay from now through December 6, 2016. Through high-flying aerial routines and CGI projections, Wendy, Peter, Tinkerbell and The Lost Boys come to life in a thrilling production that is fun for the whole family. What is the Threesixty Theatre Tent? If you’ve driven through the Dallas Arts District recently you may be wondering why a 100-foot high white circus tent suddenly appeared at 2450 San Jacinto. Well, not only did Peter Pan 360 come to…

Review: Motown the Musical in Dallas, Texas

Crowd Pleasing Motown Hits in Dallas, Texas There was no second guessing needed to tell if the Dallas, Texas audience enjoyed Motown the Musical. From the moment the curtain lifted, people were clapping, whooping, and dancing in their seats. Based on a 1994 autobiography by Motown founder, Berry Gordy, this jukebox musical is chock full of toe-tapping nostalgia. With everything from “Baby Love” and “My Girl,” to “Brick House” and “Super Freak,” Motown the Musical packs in well over 50 major hits from the past 50 years. The show includes all the songs you remember, plus a few you may…

Review: Pegasus Theatre’s Living Black and White™ Play

Living Black and White™ Every January, Pegasus Theatre presents a unique production at the Eisemann Center in Richardson, Texas: a play that looks and feels like an old black and white movie. Through special trademarked make-up techniques, carefully chosen costuming, clever lighting and stylized acting, the experience is so good that when a woman in a bright red dress steps onto the stage after the curtain call, it’s jarring to the eyes. (Even my camera struggled to make sense of that moment; she came out looking splotchy and yellow in a few shots.) A Parody of Film Noir & Crime…

Review: The Gershwins’ Porgy & Bess in Dallas, Texas

The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess: A Tony Award Winning Musical After winning several prestigious awards (including the 2012 Tony Award® for Best Revival of a Musical) The Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess is now playing at the Winspear Opera House in Dallas, Texas as part of the AT&T Performing Arts Broadway Lexus Series. Even if you have never seen Porgy and Bess, chances are you know its songs, since so many of them have been covered over the past 78 years. George Gershwin’s famous American opera intentionally weaves classical music with spirituals, blues and jazz, so it’s easy for artists in…

Review: US National Tour of Traces in Dallas, TX

Traces at AT&T Performing Arts Center’s Winspear Opera House The AT&T Performing Arts Center’s 2012-2013 Lexus Broadway Series ends on a high note with the US National Tour of Traces now playing at the Winspear Opera House in Dallas, Texas. Opening night for this limited run was spectacular and well-attended. It was also peppered with applause throughout and received a spontaneous standing ovation at the end. What a show! Traces: Jackie Chan meets Stomp You know how Jackie Chan performs crazy gymnastic stunts in real-life settings, and how Stomp performs intricate percussion pieces with ordinary objects, like buckets and brooms?…

Review: Fela! (a musical) in Dallas, Texas

Dancing in our Seats Opening night of the Tony Award winning musical Fela! had its Dallas audience dancing in their seats – and the show hadn’t even started yet. Instead of waiting for the curtain to rise, musicians were already jamming with the set on full display as viewers found their seats. In this clever way the show made us feel that, instead of coming to see a musical at Winspear Opera House, we were at a nightclub to hear the legendary Fela Anikulapo-Kuti and his band perform. Who is Fela Anikulapo-Kuti? Fela Anikulapo-Kuti is the father of Afrobeat music,…

Review: Blue Man Group Theatrical Tour in Dallas, Texas

Blue Man Group in Dallas, Texas The quirky performance art trio known as Blue Man Group has returned to Dallas for a quick visit. The show kicked off last night at the AT&T Performing Arts Center’s Winspear Opera House and plays through December 30th. From Street Theater to a Theatrical Tour Longtime friends, Matt Goldman, Chris Wink, and Phil Stanton created Blue Man Group in the 1980′s, and the concept has been evolving ever since. What started as guerilla street theater in New York City has grown into a major enterprise. Blue Man Group now has full-time talent scouts scouring theater…

Review: War Horse in Dallas – The Poetry of Puppetry

Like me, you probably associate puppet shows with children’s entertainment, not sophisticated Broadway productions. So when I heard that a theatrical version of War Horse featuring horse puppets was coming to the AT&T Performing Arts Center in Dallas on its first national tour, I didn’t know what to expect. I mean, come on, horse puppets?!? On my way in I was intrigued to overhear a man say, “I’ve seen this show four times, and I still forget those horses aren’t real.” After seeing the show, I know exactly what he means. From the opening scenes, in which we are introduced…

Review: Chicago (the musical) in Dallas, Texas – Still Relevant in the 21st Century

To see Chicago or not to see Chicago, that is the question The AT&T Performing Arts Center kicks off its Lexus Broadway Series with the classic musical, Chicago. Opening night at the Winspear Opera House was a rousing success, with an audience that spontaneously clapped and cheered throughout, then unhesitatingly leapt to a standing ovation at the finale. There are several reasons Chicago has endured, becoming the longest running American musical in Broadway history. For one thing, like Shakespeare’s classic play, Hamlet, even if you’ve seen it before, you want to see it again. Why is that? Because with the…

Review: Jersey Boys, a Tony Award Winning Musical in Dallas, Texas

The Tony Award-winning musical, Jersey Boys, is now playing in Dallas as part of the AT&T Performing Arts Center’s Lexus Broadway Series. Jersey Boys is a jukebox musical, meaning that the primary score is based on previously released music. Unlike some others, such as Green Day’s American Idiot, or ABBA’s Mamma Mia, which have fictitious story lines, Jersey Boys tells the true story of the pop group, The Four Seasons. So in addition to catchy music, Jersey Boys offers a fast-paced storyline with elements of a musical documentary. Here’s the plot in a nutshell: Long before reality TV, an ambitious…