By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
That's the first big tour to hit town in 2011, but there are lots of small but intriguing offerings coming up in local playhouses.
It's taken a decade since its Royal Shakespeare Company debut for Martin McDonagh's black, bloody comedy The Lieutenant of Inishmore to come our way, but it's finally playing Friday through February 6 at Addison's WaterTower Theatre. Pittsburgh-based special-effects expert Steve Tolin was hired in for the staging. He's created effects for nine other productions of the play, including one at Berkeley Rep, and he won a 2009 Joseph Jefferson Award for his work on the play at a theater in Chicago.
This, a wry comedy by Melissa James Gibson that was praised by critics in its Off-Broadway debut in 2009, unsentimentally addresses the dilemmas of Boomers hitting middle age. See it January 13 through February 13 at Fort Worth's Stage West.
Remember Second Thought Theatre? Started by a scrappy group of talented Baylor drama grads, the company did some great stuff in the mid-2000s, then fell into disarray when the original members scattered to Chicago and LA in search of film and TV work. Now one of the founders, actor-director-playwright Steven Walters, is back in charge. With help from Dallas Theater Center's Lee Trull, Matthew Gray and Chris LaBove, Walters is working to give Second Thought a second life. Directed by Gray, Walters stars in Will Eno's one-man play Thom Pain (based on nothing) for Second Thought January 13-29 in the studio space at the Addison Theatre Centre.
Uptown Players preach to their choir with the dressed-in-drag Golden Girls spoof Thank You for Being a Friend, February 4-27 at the Rose Room. And Kitchen Dog Theater tempts the theater demons with "The Scottish Play," aka Macbeth, February 4 through March 5 at McKinney Avenue Contemporary. It's early in the year for Shakespeare, but at least it's his shortest, bloodiest one.