DGDG's New Dance Work, NICE, Has Spice

Categories: Theater

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DGDG
Dancers in DGDG's new piece NICE: Sarah Dye, Joshua Nichols, Tamara McCarty, Jana Duplechin.
The new Elevator Series in the sixth-floor performance space at the Wyly Theatre allows plenty of space for the dancers to run in NICE, the fascinating new piece by Dallas choreographer Danielle Georgiou and her company, DGDG.

"It's nice to be nice," croons singer-pianist Paul Slavens, who composed the score for a show that takes all the old tropes about how ladies should behave -- back to 1920s etiquette maven Emily Post, whose insipid rules for debutantes are read and recited by the dancers -- and smashes them to bits. Know that YouTube video about the woman getting catcalled on New York streets for 10 hours? NICE is its succinct, artistic response.

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Folklore Gets a Sexy Feminist Twist in Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls

Categories: Theater

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Undermain Theatre
Stephanie Cleghorn Jasso, Mei Mei Pollitt, Katherine Bourne and Alexandra Lawrence fight the "vicked vitch" in Undermain's Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls.
Tasty baked goods, glowing ovens, scary beasts, flying witches and dark forests. This is the stuff of classic children's fairy tales. Throw in 6-inch stiletto heels, push-up bras and glossy lips, and it's also the stuff of The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls, a toothsome play by Meg Miroshnik about three Russian tarts and a smart American cookie. The dark comedy, which premiered earlier this year at Yale Rep, is getting its regional debut at Undermain Theatre.

The Red Riding Hood of this adventure is Yankee student Annie (Katherine Bourne, speaking with Kardashian flatness, as befits her generation of young women). She leaves a worried mom (Joanna Schellenberg, who plays other roles, too, and all delightfully) at home in So-Cal to spend a few months in Russia, which her family left as Jewish émigrés when Annie was a child (the story is based on the playwright's own experiences). Annie's going back to study Russian language "for business" and see what capitalism has wrought upon post-Soviet culture. "Sleep with one eye open," her mother warns her. "Vicked vitches is crazy bitches."

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Nine Holiday Shows To See in Dallas

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Karen Almond
Dallas Theater Center's A Christmas Carol

Most of the shows on this list require little to no explanation. You've likely seen A Christmas Carol before, but the holidays return every year and with it, the same shows, the same music, and the same garland your mother's been hanging on the bannister for 30 years. So Scrooge will probably come to appreciate Cratchit and the ghost of Christmas future will arrive before Tiny Tim is able to say "God Bless Us, Everyone." But how can you be sure unless you see it again? Besides, you don't want your daughter to be the only 4th grader who doesn't get the joy of telling her teacher, "Bah Humbug!" I'm sure other versions will pop up around town, but you'll want to see Dallas Theater Center's A Christmas Carol. The show is onstage at the Wyly Theatre November 25 - December 27. Tickets are available at dallastheatercenter.org.

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Russia Casts a Spell on the Fairytale Life of Playwright Meg Miroshnik

Categories: Theater

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Undermain Theatre

In the second act of The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls, our protagonist, Annie, realizes that her fairy godmother is a blue-haired prostitute. Studying abroad in her native country, the American-raised Annie doesn't believe in evil eyes, and she doesn't believe in witches. Which is a shame, because she might be staying with one.

Meg Miroshnik's play is not your mother's story. Undermain Theatre's basement space has transformed into the seedy underbelly of Russian folklore, a vivid world filled with colorful characters and stories. A lot of stories. Tales Miroshnik grew to love while living in Russia in 2005.

"Baba Yaga was the starting point for me," says Miroshnik. "I was predisposed to be fascinated with the Russian fairy tales. They bring back the excitement of being a kid and going to the theater or listening to a story. And the Russian fairy tales are fascinating. Like Baba Yaga, who feels like a witch but is much more nuanced."


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At Ochre House Theater, Young Lovers Try to Escape Robot World in Flower in the Machine

Categories: Theater

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Ochre House Theater

Across Dallas stages, a long ignored genre of theater seems to have taken center stage. Science fiction, with all its robots, aliens, and future societies has been seen in its intellectual (Tomorrow Come Today at Undermain Theatre) and its campy (Rocky Horror Show at Dallas Theater Center). This weekend, Ochre House Theater ships a cast of characters off into dystopia for Flower in the Machine, a new play by Kevin Grammer about a young couple trying to escape a world managed by machines.


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Cara Mia and Prism Co. Play in the Sand Together with the Mythic Teotl: The Sand Show

Categories: Theater

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Can Turkyilmaz

In the center of an abandoned warehouse, carpenters put the final screws into a sandbox big enough for a giant. Near the front of the box, a woman buries a man in the sand. She's wearing a black leotard and a mask reminiscent of the reptilian birds from Labyrinth, he's wearing little more than a loin cloth and lines of beige paint. It's clear that at some point he will emerge from the sand, but first he must be buried.

Just West of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, Cara Mia Theatre Co. collaborated with Prism Co. to fabricate an archaeological dig for the show, Teotl: The Sand Show, a movement-based piece that excavates a rivalry between two Aztec gods. The building, 500 Singleton Blvd., used to house an ironworks. Now it's owned by the group developing Trinity Groves, which loans it to artist groups for performances and events. It's been an exhibition space for Dallas Biennial 14 and the final resting place of performance artist George Quartz. Now it's filled with 20 tons of sand.

"Like other Prism Co. shows, we started with the material and said, 'Gee wouldn't sand be fun?' Which leads us to questions like, what happens if you try to drink sand or dance with it?" says Jeffrey Colangelo, Prism Co's founder and Teotl's writer and director. "Then we dug into the mythology to give ourselves something raw to work with."

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Bonnie & Clyde Cast Hold Up YouTube With Music Video to "Bang Bang"

Categories: Theater

"Criminals have more fun" could've been the subtitle of the musical, Bonnie & Clyde, currently on stage at WaterTower Theatre. History's law-breaking power couple certainly have a better time than the rest of their family in the Depression-era story. And it seems the actors playing them are having a damn good time themselves. Earlier today, the cast put out this Youtube video of them lipsyncing the apropos lyrics to the Top 40 Jessie J song "Bang Bang."

See Bonnie & Clyde through November 2. Tickets available at WaterTowerTheatre.org.

How Seth & Shawn Magill, of Home by Hovercraft, Spiced up Shakespeare's Sonnets

Categories: Theater

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Yes. Collage Art by Shawn Magill. Original Art by Sarah Magill. Photography by Paul Westlake, Styling by Pan & The Dream.

Three years ago, Shakespeare Dallas launched a project called, "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare." The gist was simple: Over five years, the company's actors would recite every single word Shakespeare ever wrote in a monthly series of staged readings. This includes plays and poetry. According to the Folger Shakespeare Library, that's 884,647 words and 118,406 lines.

It's a huge undertaking that has been received with surprisingly large, attentive audiences (I mean, c'mon, Shakespeare plays are long even when they're edited down). They've performed uncut versions of many of popular works, like Taming of the Shrew, which has an opening scene often left out, which reveals Shakespeare originally intended it to be a play within a play. This week, the monthly series presents its first attempt at combining a few sonnets with music orchestration, provided by local band Home by Hovercraft.

With original music written by the band's front-couple Seth and Shawn Magill, setting the sonnets to the orchestrations like lyrics. They'll perform six of the "Sonnets with Sundry Music," along with The Phoenix and the Turtle. Shawn's also incorporated visual elements, with the help of local artists, turning this into what promises to be the most visually stimulating edition of Complete Works yet.


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Sundown Collaborative Theatre Tries Their Hand at Shakespeare, With Help From Sigur Ros

Categories: Theater

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Sundown Collaborative Theatre

Shakespeare seems to be on the minds of Dallas theatre-makers this month. Last weekend, there was a staged reading of Romeo and Juliet at the Wyly Theatre, Shakespeare in the Bar at Wild Detectives, and of course, Dallas Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra. Now, Sundown Collaborative Theatre is taking their stab at the Bard with their adaption of The Winter's Tale.

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The Best Theater to See in Dallas in October

Categories: Theater

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Kelsey Leigh Ervi
Bonnie & Clyde at WaterTower Theatre

Theater season is in full swing. Here are a few picks for your month.


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