Lauren Nicole Chapman as Anna and Dominic Dorset as Kristoff. ‘Frozen’ North American Tour. (Photo by Matthew Murphy/Disney)
Stage Notes is a weekly aggregate post about theater, classical music and stage news, events, reviews and other pertinent information.
Opening this week:
Bishop Arts Theatre: One Year in Egypt, opened Thursday-Aug. 27.
Broadway at the Bass: Disney’s Frozen, opened Thursday-Aug. 20.
Theatre Arlington: Play Reading Club, 7:30 p.m. today and Saturday.
Art Centre Theatre: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, today-Aug 20.
Jubilee Theatre: The Color Purple, today-Aug. 20.
Theatre Coppell: Rounding Third, today-Aug. 27.
MainStage 222: Tigers Be Still, today-Aug. 26, pictured.
Lakeside Community Theatre: Spring Awakening, today-Sept. 2.
The Core Theatre: Last of the Boys, today-Sept. 3.
The Juno Show with Juno Birch, 7:30 p.m. Sunday at House of Blues.
Theatre Arlington: Comedy Club, 7:30 p.m. Sunday.
Pocket Sandwich Theatre: Captain Blood – A Pirate Melodrama, through Saturday.
Amphibian Stage: Miss Molly, through Sunday.
Fair Assembly: As You Like It, throughn Sunday at the Wyly.
Firehouse Theatre: Newsies, through Sunday.
Rockwall Summer Musicals: Oklahoma, through Sunday.
Theatre Frisco: Pippin, through Sunday.
Uptown Players: Chicken and Biscuits, through Sunday at the Kalita Humphreys Theater, pictured.
Rover Dramawerks: The Fox on the Fairway, through Aug. 19.
Hip Pocket Theatre: White Elephant, through Aug. 20.
Auriga Productions: The Homecoming, through Aug. 26 at the Bath House Cultural Center.
Texas heat forces outdoor venue Hip Pocket Theatre indoors
For the final two weekends of its current production, the outdoor theater space and company Hip Pocket Theatre will be opting for some AC. The company will move White Elephant into the Sanders Theatre at Fort Worth Community Arts Center beginning this Friday and concluding its run on Aug. 20. The Texas heat (AKA Hell on Earth) finally got the best of the company.
“After canceling four out of the last six performances due to the extreme heat, we knew we needed to do something to continue the performances while protecting our cast, crew, staff and patrons from heat-related complications,” Managing Artistic Director Lake Simons said in the announcement.
White Elephant, written by Simons and John Dyer, features vignettes about people, animals and objects, moving from one plane to another with scant dialogue, the story is told through images, movement, puppetry, mask, super 8 film and live music.
Click here for tickets.
Review: Frozen was a cool experience with surprising depth
Caroline Bowman (Elsa) and the company of ‘Frozen’ North American Tour.(Photo by Deen van Meer/Disney)
Elsa and Anna are back in town. The Disney musical Frozen has swung around to North Texas for a second time opening Thursday night at Bass Hall. A year ago, the production landed in Dallas last July. That it hits here in the area during summer gives some nice distraction from the dang heat outside.
In every way, Frozen was what audiences expect. The show had that spectacular pizzazz, those signature Disney songs, impressive effects all wrapped around a familiar story based on the popular movie. Being a Disney production, no expense was spared and all that made for a magical watch of a blockbuster show. Children — many in Elsa dresses — were low-key singing along which was more adorable than bothersome.
The show was satisfying certainly for younger audience members but its had mature appeal and laughs was enough for adults to enjoy. Frozen did have deeper layers that sometimes served up some operatic vibes. The actors were strongly invested and in the more dramatic or tender moments, the show really succeeded in giving us fleshed out characters. As the adult Elsa and Anna, Caroline Bowman was fierce while Lauren Nicole Chapman served up the proper pluckiness and defiance as Elsa’s younger sis. Their chemistry served them well as their sibling characters.
This shouldn’t surprise as Disney wouldn’t put out a subpar product, but Frozen and other Disney shows are inherently just that — products. However, stripped of all that, the theatrical quality Thursday night was nonetheless marvelous to experience.
All the rest was just as amazing.
The special effects onstage were wondrous and the lighting effects were so smart displaying the frozen environment. Wardrobe echoed the movie precisely, but the puppetry work was phenomenal. Actor Jeremy Davis worked behind the Olaf puppet which was confusing at times on where to place the eye, but he combined singing, dancing and puppetry all without flaw. Actor Dan Plehal (for the Thursday night performance) gave live to Sven the reindeer with charming personality.
RELATED: Queer actor helps bring lovable reindeer Sven to life in Frozen onstage
The disappointing part of Frozen was that the story itself was compelling up to its bit-too-tidy resolution, but likely worked for the youngsters. Regardles, the entire experience of Frozen was a delight that hit strong notes of drama and comedy for audience members young and not-as-young.
Frozen runs through Aug. 20 at Bass Hall.
Theatre Arlington takes a ride to Avenue Q
Theatre Arlington announced the cast and creative team for Avenue Q, the sixth show of its 50th anniversary season. The show features some hilarious and unforgettable songs mixed with some raunchy laughs. The Tony-winning puppet musical opens Aug. 25.
Theatre Arlington’s Bryan Stevenson will direct the show. He led a production of Q at Theatre Wesleyan in 2019.
“It allows us to see modern issues through the comfort and humor of puppetry. And I think in a way, that brings us back to our childhood,” he said in the press release.
Stevenson will also serve as set designer. The rest of the creative team includes Mark Mullino as music director, lighting by Kyle Harris, sound design by Ryan Simón. Hope Cox is the costume designer with Robin Dotson as props manager and scenic artistry by Bianca Folgar.
The cast includes Jessica Humphrey, Bryson Petersen, Landry Beckley, Lindsay Hayward, Lindsey Longacre, Hayden Lopez, Darin Martin, Andrew Nicolas, Brandy Raper, Jayden Russell and Brandon Wilhelm.
For those not in the know, Avenue Q contains adult content, language, situations, and humor. This production is not suitable for all audiences.
For tickets, click here.
Rover Dramawerks announces the lineup for its 24th season
Plano-based company Rover Dramawerks dropped the news on its new season that will be presented at the Cox Playhouse. The season includes eight productions with five comedies, a classic mystery, a night of winners and an entire festival. The season opens in January.
Here is the lineup for its 24th season (From Rover):
Jan. 11-27: Here Lies Jeremy Troy by Jack Sharkey and directed by Eddy Herring.
March 7-23: Take the Couch, a new comedy by Connie Schindewolf and directed by Glynda Welch.
April 11-20: 10-Minute Comedies will feature the winners of Rover’s 10-minute comedy contest.
May 30-June 15: Tons of Money by Will Evans and Valentine will be directed by Carol M. Rice.
June 20-22: Deadline is a comedy/mystery by Don Zolidis and directed by Nicole Denson. This will be a youth production featuring a cast of actors ages 10-18.
Aug. 1-17: Wrong Turn at Lungfish is a dramatic comedy by Garry Marshall and Lowell Ganz directed by Sara Jones.
Sept. 7: One Day Only festival returns to Rover’s season lineup. The event features five plays that go from concept to curtain in a day.
Oct. 3-19: Go Back for Murder. Kathleen Vaught directs the season closer based on the Agatha Christie mystery.
Tickets and more information can be found here.