Last year at Austin's experimental theater festival, Fusebox, the Rude Mechs workshopped a little show about wealth, societal expectations, and greed. It was two parts Pygmalion, one part musical, a little bit tap show and a whole lot of theatrics. This troupe of theater provocateurs would go on to premiere Stop Hitting Yourself at New York City's Lincoln Center earlier this year to rave reviews. Of course, positive critical reception is nothing nothing new for the avant garde stylings of the Rude Mechs. For decades, the rest of Texas theater has looked on with envy as the company performs in Los Angeles and NYC to packed audiences. Finally, Dallas will get a taste of the Rude Mechs' unconventional shows, as part of the Off Broadway on Flora series the AT&T Performing Arts Center announced today.
The five-show series launches September 3 with the final stop on the national tour of Buyer & Cellar, which was a smash-hit in its Off Broadway and Broadway premiere last year and continues to run with a new lead actor to packed houses. It stars Plano native Michael Urie in a story about a fictional actor who takes a job working in Barbra Streissand's Miami home's nonfictional underground shopping arcade. Not only did critics swoon for the show, which won the Drama Desk Award, the Lucille Lortel Award and Actors' Equity Foundation's Clarence Derwent Award, critics also fell in love with Urie's performance as the myriad characters in the one-man show.
"I'm excited to bring the show to Dallas, where my high school teachers, and friends and family are," Urie says. "I think audiences are really surprised when they see this show and it's actually about something."
Perhaps the most exciting about the series is the variety in productions. From the compelling storytelling of monologuist Mike Daisey to the cutesy stories of romance and heartbreak in Nora and Delia Ephron's Love, Loss and What I Wore, each show offers a different perspective on the Off Broadway scene. Whoever booked this series deserves a round of applause and maybe even a standing ovation. Wait, who am I kidding? This is Dallas, the audience is already on its feet.
Here's the press release:
Buyer & Cellar at Dallas City Performance Hall. September 3 - September 6
Alex More (Plano native Michael Urie) has a story to tell. A struggling actor in L.A., Alex takes a job working in the Malibu basement of Barbra Streisand. One day, the Lady Herself comes downstairs to play. It feels like real bonding in the basement, but will their relationship ever make it upstairs?
The Second City at Dallas City Performance Hall November 13 - 15
Drawing from the vast archives of material, the Touring Company produces a two-act review of The Second City's celebrated brand of topical sketch comedy, hilarious songs, and on the spot improvisation that changes with every performance. An evening with The Second City provides audiences with the chance to see comedy stars in the making, a night of cutting edge comedy, and an unforgettable experience.
The Great Tragedies by Mike Daisey at Hamon Hall February 26 - 28, 2015
Monologist Mike Daisey presents a dazzling new work: Over four nights Daisey explores the nature of our theatrical genetics and wrestles with the genius that penned ROMEO & JULIET, HAMLET, MACBETH, and KING LEAR and reveals how the heights and depths of his gifts have much to teach us about ourselves. From the sublime to the ridiculous, he'll delve into what Shakespeare can mean to us today, and how this cultural religion changes and shapes our theatres. Each evening is unique and can be viewed independently, but all four together form an epic oral accounting of triumph and folly told with Daisey's dark and hilarious intensity.
Stop Hitting Yourself by Rude Mechs at Potter Rose Hall May 28 - 30, 2015
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With Stop Hitting Yourself, Rude Mechs is embracing the fundamental beliefs underlying late-stage capitalism and indulging in our version of 1930s Hollywood glamour. Part Pygmalion, part Busby Berkley, part self-help lexicon -- all while dancing around a queso fountain. Rude Mechs borrows from the plots of 1930s musicals to dig into the contemporary conservative dilemma: how to honor steely individualism without disavowing the virtue of charity. Tap dancing, fine dining, and the missionary position will be employed in order to help all Americans to stop hitting yourself.
Love, Loss, and What I Wore at Potter Rose Hall June 25 - 27, 2015
Proving that a great show is always in fashion, Love, Loss, and What I Wore, with its starry rotating cast and compulsively entertaining subject matter, has become an international hit. This intimate collection of stories by Nora Ephron and Delia Ephron and directed by Karen Carpenter, has entered its second smash year at New York's Westside Theatre. Produced by Daryl Roth, Love, Loss, and What I Wore is based on the best-seller by Ilene Beckerman, as well as on the recollections of the Ephrons' friends. Like the popular book, the show uses clothing and accessories and the memories they trigger to tell funny and often poignant stories that all women can relate to, creating one of the most enduring theatergoing experiences in New York and now across the country.
Tickets available at attpac.org.