Tony Award Winning “The Band’s Visit” in Dallas –  February

Playing in Dallas from February 5 – 16 at the Winspear Opera House and February 18-23 at the AT&T Performing Arts Center

THE BAND’S VISIT is a beautiful, nontraditional musical that is subtle and somewhat slow in its delivery but powerful in its message.  This is not your usual musical with lots of big numbers and foot stomping music and if that’s what you expect when you go you’ll be disappointed.  But if you go with an open mind and heart you will find yourself moved in ways that you didn’t expect.  It is definitely worth the trip to see it.

Here’s the Plot:

THE BAND’S VISIT tells the story of an Egyptian police band that goes to Israel to perform a concert. Because of a funny mix up of the town’s name at the bus station, they wind up in the wrong town. With no bus till morning, they are taken into their homes by the locals for one night and the rest of the story is funny, heartwarming, and at times heartbreaking.

The ensuing interactions between the band and the locals examines how even though they may come from completely different cultures, human connection is very powerful.  The beautiful music that the Egyptian band brings with them to the small “nowhere” Israeli town meshes these two cultures together for one (very long) night.  Despite their many differences, the possibility of conflict never materializes and in fact, it becomes something much more powerful.  This is a story about acceptance and the revelation that we are all simply human trying to make it through life with the same desires, dreams, disappointments, and yes, even heartbreaks.

THE BAND’S VISIT is the winner of 10 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, making it one of the most Tony-winning musicals in history.  Starring in the Dallas Production is a cast of world-class performers  led by award-winning Israeli actor Sasson Gabay, star of the original film and Broadway production. THE BAND’S VISIT is actually based on the 2007 film of the same title written by Eran Kolirin.  The show also features a band of very talented actors/musicians that perform the score which is a combination of jazz and traditional Middle Easter music.  The final number is a satisfying ending to this poignant story about how a small insignificant band brought light and hope to a group of lonely people in another country.

Leave the kids home for this one.  It’s not that the musical is inappropriate but it’s not your typical crowd pleasing musical with nonstop music and dancing.  It’s a musical for adults who enjoy theater and the many surprises that you may find there.  My husband and I are still talking about it.

ABOUT THE SHOW:

 

 

 

The Blue Man Group Speechless Tour is in Town!

The Blue Men have returned to Dallas with a brand new show! BLUE MAN GROUP SPEECHLESS TOUR, presented by Dallas Summer Musicals, is at the Winspear Opera House January 15-19 and features new and original compositions, acts, and instruments alongside iconic Blue Man Group moments!

My husband and I went last night and were pleasantly surprised how much we enjoyed the new show! We had seen Blue Man Group before in Vegas but this is an all new and really entertaining show.  If you’ve never seen it before you should go and if you’ve seen it before you should go again!  This is a fun interactive show that plays with your senses through art, non-verbal communication, and music.  It’s like a rock concert and comedy show rolled into one fun happening.  The quirky blue men are so interesting to watch and the creativity of their performances continue to delight audiences everywhere!  This show appeals to all age groups so take your kids or your parents – they will enjoy it, I promise!

 

TIP:  Try to sit on the bottom floor to get the most out of the visual and interactive part of the show and DON’T sit on the front row if you don’t want to get wet and DON’T sit on the end of the row if you don’t want to get pulled up on stage!  Like I said, it’s an interactive show!

 

Don’t miss the opportunity to see The Blue Man Group.  They’ll be at Winspear Opera House  (2403 Flora St.) in Dallas from January 15-19.

  • Single tickets for the BLUE MAN GROUP SPEECHLESS TOUR start at $20 (pricing subject to change) and are available at DallasSummerMusicals.org or by phone at 800-982-2787.
  • Purchase in person at the Music Hall at Fair Park Box Office Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Orders for groups of ten (10) or more may be placed by calling (214) 426-4768 or emailing Groups@DallasSummerMusicals.org @dsmusicals #DSMBway

Old Jews Telling Jokes Coming to The Eisemann Center in July!

OLD JEWS TELLING JOKES
JULY 11-28, 2019
Charles W. Eisemann Center for Performing Arts

Don’t Miss a Hilarious Evening in the Catskills with Jokes, Skits, Song, and Dance!
From the Producers of My Son the Waiter: A Jewish Tragedy and
My Mother’s Italian, My Father’s Jewish, & I’m in Therapy

Philip Roger Roy and Playhouse Productions, Inc. have announced a limited engagement of the off Broadway hit Old Jews Telling Jokes at the Charles W. Eisemann Center for Performing Arts and Corporate Presentations Bank of America Theatre. The visiting production is set to open on Thursday, July 11, at 2:00 pm and the engagement will continue through Sunday, July 28.

Created by Peter Gethers and Daniel Okrent and Directed by Jeremy Quinn, Old Jews Telling Jokes, which has been called a “pickle-barrel full of giggles,” showcases five actors in a revue-type production that pays tribute to and reinvents classic jokes of the past and present. It celebrates the rich tradition of Jewish humor and ‘all the rabbis, complaining wives, fed-up husbands, patience-challenged physicians, gossiping ladies, and competitive men’ populating it. The humor is suggestive and even raunchy as the ‘Old Jews’ make fun of themselves as well as followers of every other religion. Producer Philip Roger Roy said this, “Think Catskills comedy with jokes, songs, stories, skits, and routines. The humor is reminiscent of the great Jewish comedians from Buddy Hackett and Alan King to Tom Lehrer, and more.” Warning: adult (bawdy) humor. Not for audiences under 21.

Old Jews Telling Jokes has received rave reviews around the country including The Huffington Post who said this about the show, “A non-stop laugh fest.” Said the New York Times, “Hilarious … magnificent, enduring rhythm of Jewish humor!” And from the New Yorker, “The laughs-per-minute average is as high as anything you’ll find on stage!” Legendary comedian Mel Brooks enthused, “Chock full of laughs!”

Get your tickets now for this very funny production while it’s in town! The regular performance schedule is Thursday at 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm, Friday at 8:00 pm, Saturday at 2:00 pm and 8:00 pm, and Sunday at 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm. Ticket prices range from $39-65 and may be purchased online at: www.eisemanncenter.com, by phone at 972.744.4650 or in person at the Eisemann Center, 2351 Performance Drive, Richardson, TX 75082. For group sales information, call (888) 264-1788.

 

 

The Book of Mormon Review

 Back by popular demand, the nine-time Tony Award®-winning Best Musical returns to Dallas, Music Hall at Fair Park for a limited engagement January 29 – February 3!  Presented by Dallas Summer Musicals.

Disclaimer:  First of all, I’d like to apologize to Mormons everywhere because I thought this was the funniest musical I’ve ever seen.  The musical is filled with offensive song lyrics and profanity not only aimed at the Church of Later Day Saints but really all religions and ethnic groups (no one is off limits).   If that offends you then this is not the show for you and PLEASE – no children should be in the same building with this musical!

So now that I’ve apologized and warned you, here’s the truth:  Despite the shock value (every scene not only makes you gasp but makes you laugh out loud despite yourself) there’s a reason why The New York Times calls THE BOOK OF MORMON “the best musical of this century.”  The musical was created and written by the same team of writers Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone who created the TV Show “South Park” and  the musical “Avenue Q”.  If that’s not a hint to what’s in store for you then I don’t know what is.   It’s sarcastic, silly, offensive, clever, rude, inappropriate, and makes several brutal commentaries about our society but in a lighthearted and hilarious way of course!

The numbers in The Book of Mormon are creatively staged and absolutely inspired.  To say that the dancing is lively and fun to watch is an understatement and the songs are not only hilarious but actually really good!  After you’ve seen THE BOOK OF MORMON you understand why this musical has won 9 Tony’s and has been widely acclaimed by critics everywhere.  You may not like everything you hear but you will definitely love and appreciate the musical itself.  This is definitely one to check off your bucket list!

Tickets for the Dallas engagement start at $29 (pricing subject to change) and will go on sale at DallasSummerMusicals.org or by phone at (800) 982-2787. They can also be purchased in person at the Music Hall at Fair Park Box Office Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Orders for groups of ten (10) or more may be placed by calling (214) 426-4768 or emailing Groups@DallasSummerMusicals.org.

 

Pick Murder Mystery Dinner Theater for Your Next Event!

Food, fun, and murder all in one live-action murder mystery party!  My family and I decided to try something new for a holiday outing recently and went to The Murder Mystery Company’s production of “The Most Wonderful Crime of the Year” in Dallas.  It was so fun and something different for our family to do together besides the usual movie we go to together.  As soon as we walked in the door (after we took our fun Murder Mystery pic together of course) we were interacting with some of the quirky and definitely suspicious characters/suspects in the soon to be “murder” mystery production.

If you’ve never been to a Murder Mystery Theater Dinner event here’s the scoop:   It’s basically a two hour dinner party (you enjoy a delicious three course meal) while the live action theater plot unfolds and a murder is committed right before your eyes (in a funny way).  You then have the opportunity to mingle and interview the characters and suspects.  Think of it as a live game of Clue and you get the idea.  Each table is given a team name and a profile.  We were TMZ Reporters and our goal throughout the night was to be obnoxious  and take lots of photos WITH the flash on to irritate everyone around us – lol!  Trying to figure out all the twists and turns of the game and gather clues with your team makes it both fun and a challenge.  My husband was picked to be one of the suspicious characters and being the big ham that he is, he was in his element!  My 21 year old son loved that the audience got to interact with the players and help solve the crime.  And yes The TMZ Reporters solved the crime correctly and expertly (which was a good thing because my family is very competitive) but they definitely make it a challenge to figure it all out.

The Mystery Company makes the whole experience even more fun by encouraging you to dress for the theme (we wore ugly Christmas sweaters for our production) and that definitely made it more of a festive atmosphere.  The actors also do a great job of staying in character throughout the night so that creates a very theatrical element to the evening.

Murder Mystery Dinner Theater is the perfect thing to do with the family (rated PG-10), date night, girl’s night out, marriage party, birthdays, and anniversaries.  The Mystery Company also offers parties for privately hosted parties (they will come to you) and corporate events!   I strongly advise adding this experience to your “must do” list!

The next theme is “Death of a Gangster” a 1920’s Mafia Marriage Murder Mystery and dates are:

Friday, January 25th @ 7:00 PM

Friday, February 22 @ 7:00 PM

Go to the website for more information: The Murder Mystery Dinner Theater

Last Minute Christmas Gift Idea – Tickets to See Phantom of the Opera!

After over 30 years in production The Angel of Music is making its triumphant return to Dallas at The Music Hall at Fair Park in Dallas from December 19th through January 6 and it’s better than ever!

Looking for a last minute Christmas gift idea?  Anyone in your family would love to see this production!  Seen it before?  I’ve seen it several times before and it never gets old.  This is a new fresh production with beautiful new set designs and even more intense drama!   Maybe your children have never seen it before?  This Phantom will amaze and delight the new generation!  Really, this musical is for everyone in your family.

I had the incredible opportunity to interview the new Phantom, Quentin Oliver Lee before the musical started and I was very impressed with both his presence and his graciousness.  He gave me some insight into his background and aspects of his performance.  Quentin has starred in Porgy and Bess, Lion King and several other productions. He has found that starring in Phantom has presented some unique challenges.  Such as the unique music of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s that is challenging to sing due to the number of minor and flat notes that you’re required to sing.  Also human elements such as Phantom’s darkness, anger, and frustration were quite challenging for him to display.  But having such a great leading lady as, Eva Tavares (Christine) helped him tremendously in his performance.  It also takes over an hour for The Phantom’s make-up to be applied and at least 30 minutes to take off each night.  He loves the role though and is looking forward to performing in Dallas the next two weeks.

The media also got an exclusive peek in the house an hour before the musical began to see the real star of the musical be prepared for her performance – The Giant PHANTOM Chandelier!  Stage Manager, Mitchell Hodges gave us several amazing details about the chandelier itself and the preparation that goes into it.  Such as:

  • Each production has their own uniquely designed and created chandelier which is modeled the chandelier after one in the Palais Garnier, Paris’s opera house.
  • The Chandelier weighs 2000 pounds so it’s a real challenge to get it into each theater on the tour.
  • It is made up of 6,000 beads consisting of 35 beads to each string and includes several pounds of gold leaf.
  • The touring version falls at 5.5 miles per second in the opening act.
  • The original version was built by 5 people in 4 weeks.
  • It takes crew members over an hour each night to prepare the chandelier and wrap it in silks before each performance.
  • In the opening auction scene, a system of magnets and a weight in a tube at the bottom of the medallion sucks the bag inside the chandelier, revealing its splendour.
  • There are 50 wirelessly controlled pyro elements concealed inside the chandelier. It launches three fireworks called “gerbs.” There are also 40 smaller firecrackers that go off like gunshots.
  • It can be very scary when it drops and takes some audience members by surprise.  He said there have been multiple screams from the audience when it drops!

We also heard from Mitchell some wonderful trivia about the dazzling costumes worn in Phantom:

  • Each performance has 230 costumes, 14 dressers
  • Each actor has their own set of costumes.
  • Each actor has 2 sets of costumes and can’t use the costume twice in a day.
  • There are costume fixes every day because of the heavy use.
  • Some costumes weigh more than 40 pounds.
  • Some wardrobe changes are made in 15 seconds!

 

With newly reinvented staging and stunning scenic design, this new version of PHANTOM is performed by a cast and orchestra of 52, making this one of the largest productions on tour in North America.  So if you’re looking for some last minute Christmas gifts or even if you’re not, you will not be disappointed in this incredible performance of The Phantom of The Opera!

 

To purchase tickets, visit:  DallasSummerMusicals.org, call 800-745-3000 or visit the Music Hall at Fair Park’s Box Office at 909 1st Avenue, Dallas TX 75210. Ticket prices start at $26 (pricing subject to change).  For more information on the production and a video sneak peek, please visit www.ThePhantomOfTheOpera.com/ustour/

 

 

The Lion King – The World’s #1 Musical Returns to Dallas

June 13, 2018 through July 7, 2018 at the Music Hall at Fair Park

 

This Classic Broadway adaptation of Disney’s animated movie has returned to Dallas!  After 20 years of performances it’s still one of the most creative productions ever made and remains one of the theatrical marvels of all time.  If you haven’t seen it before you must make the trek to Music Hall. If you’ve seen it before you must make the trek to Music Hall to see it again.

 

Tony Award Winner, The Lion King is one of the most popular productions of all time and has been seen by more than 95 million people around the world.  There’s a reason for that.  This is a musical that appeals to both kids and adults.  The Lion King has a universal theme that we can all relate to and yes, a lot of it is geared to the younger generation (this is Disney after all) but adults love it as well.  My 20 year son was in town from college and he surprised me when he agreed to go with me to see it.  He remembered that The Lion King was the first musical I took him too as a child and he was actually excited about seeing it again.  Not only can my son Jack quote every line from the movie because he saw it a million times as a child but he remembered the musical as being pretty great too.  This time though, he saw it through eyes of an adult and still enjoyed it as much as I did.  We marveled at the creative visual imagery, loved the familiar and catchy music (Grammy award winning actually), and appreciated the African culture depicted in the musical much more than we did before.  The message of the circle of life and the love of family still rang through for us as much as it did 20 years ago.

The performances are wonderful, the costumes are incredible, and the animals are delightful (except for the crazy hyenas – I never liked them and still don’t ha ha).   Take a date, a friend, or a child but go see The Lion King, have fun, and no worries for one magical night!

 

Disney’s The Lion King tickets are available at DallasSummerMusicals.org or by calling Ticketmaster at (866) 870-2717.    They can also be purchased in person at the Music Hall at Fair Park Box Office Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Orders for groups of ten (10) or more may be placed by calling (214) 426-4768 or emailing Groups@DallasSummerMusicals.org. VIP Ticket Packages, which include a prime seat location, a commemorative souvenir program and an exclusive merchandise item, are also available.

 

 

 

TAKE YOUR KIDS ON SAFARI AT THE MUSIC HALL! 

Elevate your family experience during Disney’s The Lion King with a passport to the DSM Savanna presented by Frost Bank.  Get a DSM Savanna Passport for $15 per person. That’s $60 for a family of four.

Open two hours before each performance*, the DSM Savanna is located on the West Lawn of the historic Music Hall at Fair Park and includes:

  • Pre-show access to a shaded outdoor family-friendly experience
  • Coupon for one (1) snow cone per DSM Savanna Passport  
  • Face-painting and craft activities
  • Access to dedicated bars to purchase beer, wine and non-alcoholic drinks
  • Access to food trucks to purchase pre-show snacks
  • Dedicated restroom facilities

**BONUS:  Get a Food Truck Voucher for a complimentary item with every 4 DSM Savanna Passports.

You can pick up your Savanna Passports online, or on-site at the Box Office or at the DSM Savanna check in, located at the doors to the West Lawn of the Music Hall.

*The DSM Savanna will open two hours prior to the show and close 15 minutes before curtain so be sure to arrive early to allow time to enjoy all of the activities.

Be sure to dress comfortably and prepare yourself for a wild adventure!

 

Following The Lion King, DSM‘s 2017-18 season will continue with the spellbinding sequel to The Phantom of the OperaLove Never Dies: The Phantom Returns, July 24-August 5, 2018; and closing the season will be the hilarious new musical School of Rock, based on the hit film, August 15-26, 2018.

DSM will continue to bring the best of Broadway to North Texas in the 2018-19 season with shows like  Hamilton, Disney’s Aladdin, Hello, Dolly!, Cameron Mackintosh’s new production of The Phantom of the OperaAnastasiaMiss Saigon, Fiddler on the Roof and season add-ons Elf and The Book of Mormon.

 

Dallas Summer Musicals Presents Les Miserables

LES MISÉRABLES THE MUSICAL PHENOMENON

 DALLAS ENGAGEMENT AT MUSIC HALL AT FAIR PARK

APRIL 24 – MAY 6

Yes, the much loved LES MIZ has been around (32 years to be exact) but if you think it’s tired, think again. It’s musical theater at its best and has the most powerful music and performances that have ever been seen at the stage.  LES MISÉRABLES is still the world’s most popular musical, breaking box office records everywhere.  It’s also the 5th longest running Broadway of all time.  There’s a reason for that! If you’ve never seen it you need to go to experience it. If you have seen it before you need to go again because  this new production has been revamped with imaginative new staging and stunning scenery inspired by the paintings of Victor Hugo.  It’s really spectacular!

Here’s the plot:    LES MISÉRABLES takes place in 19th century Frances and is the epic tale of broken dreams, love, passion, sacrifice and redemption. The story follows the fugitive Jean Valjean and his journey from a 19 year imprisonment for stealing a loaf of bread and the prison officer, Javert who makes it his life’s goal to hunt him down.  Jean reinvents himself as a mayor and factory worker and meets the tragic Fantine and becomes the guardian of her beloved young daughter Cosette.  The musical will thrill you and delight you at the same time.    The musical features one of the greatest scores of all time, with the much loved songs such as “I Dreamed A Dream,” “On My Own,” “Stars,” “Bring Him Home,” “One Day More,” “Do You Hear the People Sing”.

This production is filled with first rate talent and  incredibly powerful voices.  Nick Cartell portrays the fugitive ‘Jean Valjean.’ Josh Davis performs as ‘Javert,’ J Anthony Crane as ‘Thénardier,’ Allison Guinn as ‘Madame Thénardier,’ Mary Kate Moore as ‘Fantine,’ Matt Shingledecker as ‘Enjolras,’ Emily Bautista as ‘Éponine,’ Robert Ariza as ‘Marius’ and Jillian Butler as ‘Cosette.’  Elsa Avery Dees and Sophie Knapp alternate in the role of ‘Little Cosette/Young Éponine.’  Julian Emile Lerner, Sammy Middleton and Jonah Mussolino alternate in the role of ‘Gavroche.’   All of their performances are energetic, strong and heartbreaking.

And yes, I cried throughout because the music is truly wonderful and full of raw emotion, realism, and love.   One of my favorite lines from the finale of LES MIZ is “And remember The truth that once was spoken, To love another person is to see the face of God!” This is one of my all time favorite musicals.   Go..See..LES MIZ! 

Looking for a a great spring date night or a girl’s night out idea?  I have the perfect chose for you!   I took my son, Jared to see it and he loved it!  Tickets start at just $35 and can be purchased online or at the Music Hall at Fair Park Box Office.   To purchase tickets, visit dallassummermusicals.org/shows/les-miserables, call 214-691-7200 or visit the Music Hall at Fair Park Box Office at 909 1st Avenue. Ticket prices start at $35. For a sneak peek, please visitwww.LesMiz.com.

 

Following the thrilling run of LES MISÉRABLES, DSM‘s 2017-18 season will continue with Disney’s The Lion King, winner of six Tony Awards®, including Best Musical, June 13-July 7, 2018; the spellbinding sequel to The Phantom of the Opera, Love Never Dies: The Phantom Returns, July 24-August 5, 2018; and closing the season will be the hilarious new musical School of Rock, based on the hit film, August 15-26, 2018.

 

Waitress – Dallas Music Hall at Fair Park

MARCH 28 – APRIL 8, 2018

 It’s an “easy as pie” decision to grab some girlfriends and go see the cooking themed musicial Waitress!   The musical is all about friendships, relationships, motherhood, loyalty, love, and pies! I mean who doesn’t like a good musical and pie, right? The production is uplifting and full of laughs, and tears.  Warning tip:  Don’t go hungry or you will die of starvation because of all the pie talk!

The musical is based on the beloved 2007 movie Waitress.  It is all about women and their struggles and it was created by a team of women that features the original music and lyrics by 6-time Grammy® nominee Sara Bareilles (“Brave,” “Love Song”), a book by acclaimed screenwriter Jessie Nelson (I Am Sam), choreography by Lorin Latarro (Les Dangereuse Liasons, Waiting For Godot) and direction by Tony Award® winner Diane Paulus (Hair, Pippin, Finding Neverland).  .

Here’s the plot: It’s the story of Jenna who is a downtrodden waitress who works in Joe’s Pie Diner making amazing homemade pies.  Her beloved mother passed on the talent to her in the hopes that it could help her be successful but she’s trapped in a small town in the south in a dead-end job and in a loveless marriage.  She dreams of escaping both but now finds herself in a real predicament – she’s pregnant.   If that’s not enough to deal with, she pays a visit to her long time doctor only to find that she’s retired and there’s a handsome new doctor in town who’s more interested in her than her baby OR her amazing pies.  There’s only one big problem with the new man in her life – he’s married.  Oh, what’s a girl to do?  Well, if you’re Jenna you bake more pies and give them hilarious personal, life names such as  “Betrayed by My Eggs Pie”, “My Husband’s A Jerk Chicken Pot Pie”, “Marshmallow Mermaid Pie” and “I Don’t Want Earl’s Baby Pie”.

Jenna  loves to create new pies with lots of sugar of course but also some very creative ingredients.  She demonstrates through song “What’s Inside” how she makes her pies and with the song “What Baking Can Do” how it helps her deal with her depressing  life.    But there is some hope on the horizon for Jenna.  There’s a baking contest in a nearby county that may be the way out of her dead-end existence.  And just maybe the new doctor in her life might actually be the answer to her love life.  Meanwhile Jenna’s best friends and fellow waitresses, the frisky and feisty Becky and the dorky but adorable Dawn are by her side to lift her up with advice, laughter, and support as she deals with this new wrinkle in her already beat down life.  Becky (Charity Angel Dawson) delivers the “been around the block” strong and sassy role with a big and soulful voice that will leave you wanting more.

Jenna not only makes magical pies but she’s also loved by everyone who knows her including the grumpy and grouchy diner owner Joe.   Their banter in the diner is endearing and sweet and it’s a real showstopper when Larry Marshall who plays Joe belts out “Take it From an Old Man”.   Another standout performance that will have you seriously laughing out loud is Jeremy Morse as the hysterically manic character Ogie.  He’s Dawn’s new (and first) love interest that she’s met on a dating site  and goes by the online name “OKC with a Bullet” (that should give you a hint to his level of coolness).   His song “Never Ever Getting Rid of Me” is brilliantly funny and when you put Ogie and Dawn together they will become your new favorite couple.

Desi Oakley delivers a solid and believable performance as Jenna.  She’s sweet as southern pecan pie and balances that with a sorrowful sadness that feels genuine.  She can also belt out the songs in a big voice which reminded me a little of Reba McIntire.  When she sang “She Used to be Mine” in the second act she had me and most of the audience in tears.   Her interaction with her jerky husband Earl (played almost too well by Nick Bailey) will break your heart and will make you want to break Earl’s head.

All the performances are strong and contribute to the fun that Waitress brings to life.  The young actress Eliza Chabot who plays LuLu is pure delight when she makes her appearance at the end of the performance the audience cheers! I love it when that happens!   The sets are creative with the diner interchanging easily with Jenna’s tired and sad home.  I also really liked the ingenius way the band slides on and off the stage and becomes part of the diners set.   This musical is not heavy on dancing but I found myself not really caring because it is heavy on the  music.  I don’t always have a desire for the sound track but I do for this one.

As funny as it is, Waitress deals with a lot of real issues and sometimes uncomfortable subjects but it does so with heart and some adult humor (leave the kids at home for this one).   There are moments where most of us can relate.  Bad relationships, career disappointments,  unrealized dreams,  and yes, the one that got away.  But through it all we have our friends and family who love us anyway, the knowledge that there’s always tomorrow, and oh yes, there’s always pie.

Waitress is a perfect girls night out!  Single tickets for the Dallas engagement of Waitress, starting at $20 (pricing subject to change), are now on sale atDallasSummerMusicals.org or by phone at 1 (800) 745-3000. They can also be purchased in person at the Music Hall at Fair Park Box Office Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Dallas Summer Musicals 2017-18 season continues with the thrilling, spectacular and unforgettable Les Misérables, April 24-May 6, 2018; Disney’s The Lion King, winner of six Tony Awards®, including Best Musical, June 13-July 7, 2018; the spellbinding sequel to The Phantom of the Opera, Love Never Dies: The Phantom Returns, July 24-August 5, 2018; and closing the season will be the hilarious new musical School of Rock, based on the hit film, August 15-26, 2018.

 

 

 

 

 

On Your Feet! The Emilio and Gloria Estefan Broadway Musical

FEBRUARY 27 – MARCH 11, 2018

MUSIC HALL AT FAIR PARK

 The first national tour of the Broadway musical hit ON YOUR FEET is performing right now at Dallas’ Music Hall and you need to get your tickets right now!  The musical is based on the life story of seven-time GRAMMY® winning international superstar Gloria Estefan and her husband, 19-time GRAMMY® winning producer-musician-entrepreneur Emilio Estefan.  Together the Estefans and their group The Miami Sound Machine has sold over 100 million records.   Never before has a Latin pop musical group become such a sensation and taken over the music industry.  They endured many roadblocks along the way but through ingenuity and endurance (and a lot of talent) they became a radio and music video sensation in the 80’s with dozens of smash hits.  But that’s only half the story.  This is an incredible true story about an immigrant girl from Cuba from modest means who finds the kind of success that one could only dream of and oh the way finds love too.  You can’t make this stuff up.

Here’s the plot:  A young Gloria (incredibly talented Amaris Sanchez) is living in Miami where she and her family have moved after the Cuban revolution.  Gloria is an inspiring songwriter and singer who’s encouraged by her father, Jose who is serving in Vietnam.   José believes in his daughter’s talent and tells her “You’re a born artist, my angel. And one day you’re going to be a big star!”  After the war when he returns home, Gloria’s father tragically develops  multiple sclerosis and Gloria takes on the role of her father’s caretaker (along with her mother and little sister).   A struggle develops between Gloria’s mother and the new man in Gloria’s life, Emilio Estefan.  Emilio wants Gloria to partner with him and his Latin band and fulfill her dream in the music world.  Gloria’s mother meanwhile is more than a little vocal in her disapproval of Gloria’s ambitions because of jealousy and fear of losing her dutiful daughter.  Meanwhile her biggest support is her darling grandmother (a real jewel played by Debra Cardona) – she’ll make you smile throughout the performance.

This jukebox musical is energetic and makes it hard to stay in your seat.  Such huge hits such as “Rhythm Is Gonna Get You,” “Conga,” “1-2-3,” “Get On Your Feet,” “Mi Tierra,” and one of my personal favorites “Don’t Want To Lose You Now”.   I had forgotten how huge this musical group was, what a cultural impact they made on pop music, and how much I loved their music until I saw the musical!

If you know Gloria Estefan’s story  you’ll also remember a horrific accident that almost takes her life and definitely changed it.    You will rejoice at the resilience she has and be reminded that this is what made Gloria the superstar she is in the first place.  The beautiful original song “Reach” written by Gloria and her daughter Emily is performed during this point of her story and will have you in tears.

The sets are simple yet project both the Miami of Gloria’s childhood and her old Havana roots.  The performances vibrate with energy, spice, and passion and are really fun.   Gloria is captured well by the very talented Christie Prades and Mauricio Martinez who plays Emilio is a total delight.   The dancers are perfection and will seriously make you want to go get on your feet and go take salsa lessons.

It’s no secret that I love musical theater and I loved this performance from beginning to end.  This was a story that was made for the stage because it has everything we love –  music that is familiar (and we know all the words to), great choreography, and an epic love story.  It’s a true American dream story that will have you in awe of their success.  Go and enjoy the journey.   My husband and I are still singing the songs.

 

Single tickets are available for ON YOUR FEET! On line at: DallasSummerMusicals.org or by phone at 1 (800) 745-3000. They can also be purchased in person at the Music Hall at Fair Park Box Office Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

 

Dallas Summer Musicals 2017-18 season will continue with WAITRESS with music and lyrics by Sara Bareilles, March 28-April 8, 2018; the thrilling, spectacular and unforgettable LES MISÉRABLES, April 24-May 6, 2018; Disney’s THE LION KING, winner of six Tony Awards®, including Best Musical, June 13-July 8, 2018; the spellbinding sequel to The Phantom of the Opera LOVE NEVER DIES: The Phantom Returns, July 24-August 5, 2018; and closing the season will be the hilarious new musical SCHOOL OF ROCK, based on the hit film, August 15-26, 2018.