Stage Notes: Review of Lyric’s ‘The Producers;’ Access+Inclusion to feature Palant’s Dallas Street Choir

dfwnewsa | January 13, 2024 | 1 | Dallas News

Stage Notes: Review of Lyric’s ‘The Producers;’ Access+Inclusion to feature Palant’s Dallas Street Choir

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From left, BJ Cleveland, Julia Rose Hartman and Brandon Wilhelm in Lyric Stage’s ‘The Producers.’ (Courtesy Lyric Stage)

Stage Notes is a weekly aggregate post about theater, classical music and stage news, events, reviews and other relevant information.

Stage Notes Calendar

Opening this week:

Lyric Stage: The Producers, opened Thursday-Jan. 20 at Moody Performance Hall.

The Elevator Project: Elm Thicket by Soul Rep Theatre Company, opened Thursday-Jan. 21 at the Wyly.

Rover Dramawerks: Here Lies Jeremy Troy, Opened Thursday-Jan. 27 at the Cox Playhouse.

Broadway at the Center: Jagged Little Pill, Friday-Sunday at the Winspear.

Onstage now:

Pegasus Theatre: Death Express in Living Black and White, Dec. 29-Jan. 21 at Eisemann Center.

Theatre Wesleyan presents one-actor show Breakneck Romeo & Juliet

Theatre Wesleyan will feature actor, writer, and director Tim Mooney presenting his one-man theatre production on Wednesday, Jan. 24. The performance will take place at Martin Hall in the Ann Waggoner Building at TWU. The show is a free event and open to the public.

From Theatre Wesleyan:

For Shakespeare lovers, novices, and everyone who finally wants to get what the big deal is with Romeo and Juliet, Breakneck Romeo & Juliet is an epic one-man tour de force in an hour! Tim Mooney takes you “into the Julieverse!” presenting Shakespeare’s great tragedy of star-crossed teenagers! He’s the Nurse, he’s the Friar, he’s the oldest, male-est Juliet ever attempted on stage!

Tim Mooney informs, enlightens, educates, and entertains through our great theatrical thinkers. Through Timothy Mooney Repertory Theatre, he has produced six one-man award-winning Shakespeare shows over the last 15 years at over 80-plus Fringe Festivals. Timothy Mooney Repertory Theatre is a nonprofit proudly supported by the Christel DeHaan Family Foundation.

Follow Theatre Wesleyan on Facebook for show details.

Jonathan Palant leads Dallas Street Choir for Eisemann’s Acces+ Inclusion 24 event

Jonathan Palant

The Eisemann Center and the City of Richardson will present the community event Access+Inclusion 24: A Road Toward Mental Wellness during the week of Feb. 12-15. Community engagement activities with Tonality Chorus  of Los Angeles will take place with Richardson ISD and UT Dallas music students. Tonality will also collaborate with the Dallas Street Choir under the direction of Dr. Jonathan Palant in preparation for a public performance that will feature both groups.

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Founded by Palant in 2014, the Dallas Street Choir is a musical outlet for those experiencing homelessness and disadvantage. DSC has performed at The Stewpot,  the Winspear, Moody Performance Hall and the George W. Bush Presidential Library. Palant, former artistic director of the Turtle Creek Chorale, is Associate Dean of the Arts and Director of Choral Activities at UT at Dallas and also founder and conductor of  Credo, the 115-member community choir.

A public luncheon on Thursday, Feb. 15 will feature a program by national mental health and wellness advocate Chamique Holdsclaw, an Olympic Gold Medalist, former WNBA player and Hall of Fame member. Tickets for the luncheon are $20 including parking.

A public performance will follow at 7:30 p.m. showcasing the Tonality Chorus along with the Dallas Street Choir in the Bank of America Theatre and Pay What You Wish tickets are on sale now.

Review: Lyric Stage kicks off a new year with all the laughs for The Producers

Lyric Stage, The Producers, 2023

We don’t like Nazis  that we know for sure. But in Lyric Stage’s production of The Producers, writer Mel Brooks’ Nazis were hilarious and sometimes fabulous. The company continued its 30th season while also kicking off the year with a blitzkreig of laughs in musical where two producers hope a likely offensive show titled Springtime for Hitler will bomb on Broadway but also fill their wallets.

The company also opted for a new venue this time. Usually at home at the Majestic Theater, Lyric moved over to Moody Performance Hall for a two-weekend performance over its usual one-weekend. This show should make it worthwhile for Lyric with its quality choreography, local star power and Brooks’ popular and Tony-winning show. Lyric pulled no punches and missed no marks with The Producers.

Director/choreographer Brandon Mason led a sharp show on the show’s first night Thursday at the Moody. Despite a bit of choppiness in early scenes, the cast found the right groove. BJ Cleveland as the washed up Max Bialystock was more than perfect as a horny, over-the-top has-been that still has a cunning sense. He was such a master at holding the character’s larger-than-life bombasticity. There’s nothing inherently layered about this character. Thus, Cleveland leaned into Bialystock’s derision and inapprorpiate manners full tilt with great appeal.

As Bailystock’s cohort Leo Bloom, Brandon Wilhelm was a manic delight to watch as well as a triple threat to behold. He played the ideal straight man to Cleveland, but his performance was magnetic with outstanding physical comedy and dance moves.

The statuesque Julia Rose Hartman carved out a divine performance as the Swedish Ulla. As the sexpot character, Hartman kept up with the dynamic energy of the two leads but on her own terms. She also played the budding actress role with a sweet earnestness and heart but always clocked in on the innuendo of her role.

Ryan Michael Friedman served up mega-gay realness as the stereotyped queen and director’s assistant Carmen. What a contrast from the butch baseball player he just played. Jeff Wells, played Franz who wrote the flop musical, was pure caricature as the outrageous German with a lasting fondness for the Fuhrer. Wells displayed some limber dance prowess through his numbers but his constant shouting and exaggerated singing were key to his character’s flashy presence.

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And then there’s Micah Green. Here he played the overhyped theater director Rogers Elizabeth Debris with a glorious entrance complete with a swift walk onto the stage in a glitzy gown. That quick moment where he held as the audience laughed and clapped was his magic. When his character has to sub in for Hitler, Green let the audience have it with an extensive number of singing, dancing and prancing. He was fabulous and big but his nuances of head tilts and hand gestures brought extra panache as if there wasn’t enough. God bless Micah Green.

Mason’s choreography was always gorgeous to watch and in crafting it, he really let the actors shine through the moves. The ensemble was a strong company that bolstered the show with great energy and added laughs. Bruce Greer led the orchestra which was also able to inject its own humor.

The show runs through Jan. 20 at Moody Performance Hall.

ICYMI

Spoke with director Alejandro Saucedo as he brings a queer perspective to Theatre Three favorite I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change.

Revisited this piece as North Texas native and actor Delaney Brown returns for the Dallas shows of Jagged Little Pill this weekend.

–Rich Lopez

The post Stage Notes: Review of Lyric’s ‘The Producers;’ Access+Inclusion to feature Palant’s Dallas Street Choir appeared first on Dallas Voice.


Stage Notes: Review of Lyric’s ‘The Producers;’ Access+Inclusion to feature Palant’s Dallas Street Choir was first posted on January 12, 2024 at 5:14 pm.
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